#WFH Diaries: Chris, Celeste and Demour Breen of Chemistry

Even as the world begins to open up amid the pandemic, most folks are still working from home. We're continuing to check in with people to see how they're doing. Here's an update from Chris, Celeste and Demour Breen of Chemistry in Atlanta.

Give us a one-line bio of yourselves.

For the Breens, advertising is a family business, and for the past several years we have all contributed to the growth of Chemistry in Atlanta—Chris as partner and chief creative officer, Celeste as a group account director, and our daughter Demour as a producer.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

We currently live in Atlanta, and due to the effects of Covid-19, we're all sheltered in place together with two dogs and our youngest daughter, Grey, who is home from college for the summer.

What's your work situation like at the moment, and how is it evolving?

Since we all work at the same agency, that means we often work on the same projects and client accounts. Now that we've been working from home for the past few months, we've each claimed different spaces in our home where we work best. The kitchen is the account department, the living room is the creative/production department and the patio has been named our "West Coast" office, aka "The Beach." When the weather is nice, the beach is "open" and we'll work and take calls there. When the weather isn't cooperating, we close the beach and work in our department space instead.

When we need to all participate on the same video conference call, we share one computer and gather around the screen together or just pop through the virtual backgrounds and join the conversation.

When you do you expect to return to the office?

In Georgia, businesses have already been cleared to reopen while adhering to specific public health requirements. After a thorough deep cleaning and reorganization of Chemistry's office space, the office has reopened. However, staff are able to continue working from home for the time being, if they choose. Chris and Demour have both made stops into the office, but Celeste has continued to work entirely remotely.

Describe your socializing strategy.

It's different for each of us, but for the most part, we've enjoyed being able to spend more quality time with each other on a daily basis. Other than that, we take part in family and friend group video chat happy hours and socially distant in-person gatherings on the rare occasion.

How are you dealing with childcare?

We don't have any small children, but we do have a new pandemic puppy who is like a baby. So, it's pretty much a group effort to care for him.

What are you reading?

Chris is reading Barack Obama's memoir.

What are you watching?

Demour is watching a steady rotation of reality TV shows like 90 Day Fiancé as well as Dave.

Chris is really missing live sports, and now that we've finished watching The Last Dance about Michael Jordan, he's been sucked into watching Dynasty on Netflix with Grey.

Celeste watches pretty much anything on Hulu, Netflix, HBO and Amazon Prime. Name it and she's probably watched it.

What are you listening to?

We have Sonos speakers placed in various rooms of our home, so music in the house has played a huge role in defining the vibe for the day. The earlier part of the week usually features a mix of jazz and relaxed vibes by artists like Jack Johnson, Kahlid, the Beatles or Erykah Badu. By midweek we start adding in some higher-energy selections from Spotify's Tastebreakers playlist. And by the end of the week, we're ready to let loose, with a mix of pop and hip-hop from the likes of Harry Styles, Chance the Rapper, Dua Lipa, Megan the Stallion, Childish Gambino, DaBaby and more.

How are you staying fit?

Chris cleaned out the garage in the early days of quarantine and turned it into a pretty serviceable at-home gym. We already had a Peloton bike and recently purchased a treadmill, so we've got basic gym equipment covered for some pretty nice workouts.

Have you taken up a hobby?

Chris and Celeste have become wine connoisseurs. That's a nicer way of saying we've been drinking a lot of wine. And Demour has been dedicating her free time to creating content for her YouTube channel.

An awkward moment since all this started.

Nothing outside of the usual, video conference call background drive-bys and unexpected dog appearances.

An aha! moment since all this started.

We've all been pleasantly surprised with how we've been able to maintain our focus all day and switch gears to family time at the end of the day.

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

We believe everyone's home environments will play an even more important role in our lives than ever before. When you spend so much time in your home, you start to realize what you can and can't live without, and at the same time, you appreciate the people you get to spend your time with even more.

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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