This post feels so strange to write. I have been blogging for nearly 8 years. It started as a complete passion project and has led to so much more than I could have ever dreamed. Michael and I moved from Chicago to Michigan in the summer of 2014. We had just had Enzo the year before and I was longing to spend more time with him and less time away. After being in Michigan for a month I quickly realized that I was missing something for me. Something outside of being a mom. While I desperately wanted more time with Enzo I also didn’t want to lose myself. This was when Michael suggested I start the blog I had always been wanting to write but had managed to put off for years. Not having a clue what I was doing, who was going to read my blogs or where this would ever take me I launched my own personal lifestyle blog. Sharing the ins and outs of everyday life, motherhood, food and, of course, design.
Early in 2018 Michael and I made the decision he should become more involved in the brand and business we were building together. Michael was working a full time job in Advertising and helping me run the blog business on the side. We had realized through our analytics that people were coming to our site to see what we were doing in our own home. As we made the pivot from sharing all about our everyday lives to showcasing the work we did on our home, locals started to inquire if we’d ever thought about doing work on other peoples homes.
The thought had absolutely been on our minds. Michael and I had been on the hunt to find a way for him to leave corporate life and for us to work together to build something. With the inquiries piling up Michael went back to school to get his Residential Builder licence in Michigan and I got my Real Estate license. In November of 2018 we both went full time on our brand, Clark + Aldine!
Here we are 3 years later. We have worked on 40 homes and 9 commercial spaces together. We now have 4 full time employees we love dearly and empower them to be the best version of themselves on a daily basis. We have a passionate team who loves what they do and we openly support their passion and creativity.
Now seems like a perfect time to introduce you to them!
On a random Saturday morning in 2018 I was enjoying a latte at a local coffee shop and overheard someone talking about videography. In true fashion I introduced myself, C+A and what we were looking to create. That is the moment I met Josh.
Josh is Creative Director and resident barista at C+A, leading all content initiatives for design build projects and brand partnerships, and keeping the entire team caffeinated (except for Ryann). From a young age he always had a camera in his hand and always looking to tell a good story through visual mediums.
Josh and his wife reside in Downtown Plymouth and can be found out about walking the town, getting involved in the community and enjoying time with loved ones. They have a love for travel where they can explore new areas for their coffee + tea, food and architectural design. And a fun fact – Josh’s wife Emilie is responsible for all C+A branding and digital marketing. Her and Josh have their own business and passion projects on the side and hope we all can combine forces on a fun future project!
In late 2018 Matthew came to Clark + Aldine with an abundance of trade experience from running underground fiber optics to pipe fitting, plumbing and tile work. It was immediately evident that Matthew had a natural skill set and genuine curiosity to “find a way to make it happen”.
Matthew now runs the day to day as General Contractor across every residential project C+A touches, writes content for the blog and manages all communication during the construction phase. Our clients continue to inform us how joyful Matthew is to be around, somehow making the chaos of a construction project both enjoyable and entertaining.
When he’s not remodeling a home or crafting a set of built-ins Matthew enjoys spending time with his son and family, hitting the bike trails, and slopes when snowboarding season is in full swing. Oh yeah!
Leslie is our resident DJ, Interior Designer and Content Manager. A Detroit Metro native, she spent 10+ years on a path of “figuring it out” before she took a leep and applied for a job that married her passions with a profession. Her positive attitude and genuine vibe was infectious from day one; she turns a rainy day into an oceanfront party.
Leslie has a natural ability to capture each client’s persona by bringing their individual visions to life with a blend of vintage and modern elements.
On any given day, you might find her enjoying Detroit’s House Music scene, hiking or kayaking with her husband and dog, on her Peloton and/or Pilates Reformer, catching a Detroit sporting event (DEEEETROIT BASKETBALL) or soaking in a hot tub with a margarita. Only good vibes and good times with this one!
Ryann was Clark + Aldine’s first full time employee, and after a short stint away he is back and better than ever. As Project Manager Ryann ensures all of the details are dialed in, and works alongside Matthew on all client projects. Ryann spent the better part of his youth learning trade skills by working with his father, and can be accurately described as a jack of all trades. When he wasn’t working he starred in an aspiring pop/punk/emo band and fed his enthusiasm for Nintendo and technology.
Ryann is a father to two beautiful daughters and husband to his super talented wife who created and manages an incredible allergy friendly bake shop in Plymouth, MI. And if you’re hoping to grab a coffee with Ryann sometime, give it up now…he is the only non-coffee drinker at Clark + Aldine!
This is fun! We love each and every member of our team dearly. We are all truly like family, which makes this wild ride so much more fun.
On the off chance you don’t know enough about Michael and myself, here you have it!
Named after the Chicago streets where we first met, Clark + Aldine was born out of a love for design and everyday functionality. Our collective chemistry was discovered and nurtured by updating each of the 7 apartments we lived in over the 10 years we spent together in Chicago. A move to Michigan, and nearly 5 years later, our passion and design influence continued to grow, pushing us to leave our established careers behind in pursuit of building Clark + Aldine.
Together we oversee all operations at Clark + Aldine, a Design + Build firm specializing in custom residential remodeling. I serve as Lead Designer and Content Strategist, while Michael is General Contractor and has oversight of all Business Operations.
We currently reside in and operate the Clark + Aldine Studio and Workshop/Warehouse spaces in Downtown Plymouth, MI with our two boys and dog, Niko.
Michael and I cannot thank you all enough for following our journey! We truly feel blessed. We’ve got some big things in store for you all this next year and cannot wait to share more with you soon!