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Never Give Up On Your Dreams

I was recently interviewed by British interior designer and author Kelly Hoppen since she featured a week of inspirational posts from business owners who, like me, are in the design world and have had lots of struggles but have still managed to keep going forward and fight the tide. I was honored that she approached me and so I wrote a huge and quite candid essay on her blog HERE if you’d like to read it. There is an excerpt below…

Kelly Hoppen

Imagine this. You are in a career you sort of enjoy but definitely do not love, and you’ve been at it for around 8 years and one day you just have a mini breakdown on the job. That’s what happened to me. I was typing yet another action item into a massive Excel spreadsheet when I felt this wave of emotion hit me. I have no idea, looking back, where it came from but this wave was massive and I felt like I was going to break out in tears. I lifted myself quietly from my chair, walked swiftly to the nearest conference room, and with overwhelming relief, I shut the door and turned the lock. With a typical all-beige and chrome corporate décor surrounding me, I sunk down on my heels, then to the floor where I laid and cried for what felt like days. I remember wishing I could click my heels and know what I wanted to do with my life. Laying on a conference room floor…. READ THE REST HERE.

So now it’s YOUR turn… After you read my essay on Kelly’s blog, why don’t you return and tell me YOUR STORY. I could use the encouragement like all of you, to keep going forward, and I find that by pulling together and sharing our stories we become stronger somehow.

Can’t wait to hear from you in the comments below. :)

(image: kelly hoppen)

Posted in real talk on November 16, 2012
decor8 great.ly shop

Is Pinterest Killing Blogs?

I heard someone predict recently that Pinterest will ultimately kill off our blogs. I felt a bit put off by that. Maybe they don’t realize that most of what is pinned is from blogs. If there are no more blogs, where are people going to find all of the fab DIY projects bloggers are posting, the great decorating tips, home tours and inspiring art and graphic design… Sure, people will pin from websites but when you look at what you are pinning, isn’t most of it from blogs? That is why I think that this prediction is a bit off. But…

Is Pinterest Killing Blogs?

BUT there is one thing that rings VERY true and that is this: Pinterest can kill SOME blogs, or shall I say, harm some bloggers. Here is why: Pinterest forces bloggers to STEP IT UP a notch simply because Pinterest is showing our readers EVERYTHING in one place. Pinterest is like a boat with a massive trawling net catching everything thanks to its massive member base. This sheer volume of stuff forces bloggers, magazines and even book publishers to step it up. I don’t think that is a bad thing, the better we each nudge one another to become a bit more polished, then there is nothing wrong with that. Iron sharpens iron.

The point is that none of us can repetitively toss up photos and leave it at that on our blogs. A little chit chat is needed. A little of, “I love this because…” and “This works because…” and “I think you can learn from this because…” goes a really long way for any blogger. If you want to add value through your blog content then put your heart into it. Be a bit more bold and lay your opinions openly out there, express yourself more freely than ever (as long as you don’t become a meanie, not what I encourage), be honest and funny (if you want to be funny), be yourself… Blog YOUR way. That will set you apart from the pack. Then Pinterest does not threaten your beautiful blog – you can use it to promote your blog and Pinterest will continue to tap in to all of us who are using it for their content. Currently, Pinterest drives more traffic to decor8 than Google.com – so I’m not complaining – that’s good stuff. Thanks, Pinterest.

I wonder what your honest opinion is when it comes to Pinterest. Do you think it is killing blogs? Do you think it is making bloggers step back and reexamine their blogging approach? Do you USE the content you are pinning on Pinterest to create anything – are you doing anything with all of that inspiration? As a blogger, are you finding more traffic coming in to your blog from Pinterest? I’d love to hear your take on it.

By the way, I’m on Pinterest. Follow me if you’d like, I’m @decor8.

xo, Holly

Posted in blogs, real talk on October 23, 2012

Thoughts On Being Honestly Happy

Well hello there! I thought I’d pop in quickly to see how you’re doing. This post is a bit personal but I’m just going to go there because I really miss you guys and want to talk and what better place? I’ve been writing a bit on my personal blog, Haus Maus, in case you feel like checking out some of my more recent posts so we can play catch up. I listed a bunch of things that I’ve been up to over the past few months here because it’s nice to be open and give mini updates so I can connect with you. But today I’m thinking to just spill some feelings here on decor8 to see what comes back. Maybe some of you need to hear this, feel the same, or simply have comments to leave. Encouragement and support would be nice.

pretty things

Lately I’ve been really stressed because despite taking a month off, I don’t feel much more refreshed or better than I did when I began. This concerns me. I eat well, I exercise regularly, I do things that I love, I have friends and go dancing, shopping, paint my nails neon pink(!)… You know, all of the things that usually perk a girl up. But this summer has been different.

It’s not been a normal summer. It’s not been much of anything really, just time passing. And this concerns me.

I wonder if I need new projects or quite possibly a vacation away from home, as in faraway for several weeks? I keep wanting to go to India or Bali, I think those places would be most restorative for my soul and heart. In the end, I think it’s really my heart and soul that needs a safe place to rest right now. I need new experiences, new sounds, sights, things to capture with my lens, colors, patterns and most of all, I need to feel alive again because this has been a hard and challenging year for me in ways I cannot begin to describe. I don’t feel ‘dead’ or clinically depressed, but I do feel like there has to be something more for me – that I need to identify what it is and somehow capture it, place it into my nearly complete puzzle, and finally feel like that space has been filled.

I didn’t feel like I was missing anything for years but suddenly I do and I’m not sure where this springs from. Or maybe I’ve been missing it for years and used my workaholic/over-achiever-ness to mask it and now that I’ve paused a bit, I have had enough quiet in my life to hear that little hollow space that I had no clue ever existed. I just thought I was all cool and “A” type and that it was something to be proud of. Perhaps in some ways working hard and trying to prove our talent and value is how we avoid thinking about the real stuff. I have many workaholic girlfriends who, the minute they really stop and think, feel like stuff is missing in their life but they quickly wash that feeling down with wine and a ‘girls night out’ thinking that will cure it. For the moment it does. I am ready to face whatever this empty spot is and finally heal it. I’m ready.

But how do I get started? This is what I will explore in the next month of my life. I have a new journal, a sharpened pencil, and a park behind my house where me and my blanket will spend the final days of this beautiful summer to write stuff. Lots of stuff. And to think.

It’s scary to think about those ugly bits, isn’t it? But it’s exhilarating because change is in the wind. I smell it stronger than ever before. This is good.

I am thinking more and more lately about the importance of being happy. How you really have to be happy in your heart and with yourself and in your skin and well, just honestly happy. Maybe age does this to us. We stop trying to fit the form that others want us to be and instead, work at being really, truly, 100% true to self. I often think about, “To Thine Own Self Be True”, which when really considered is quite a strong statement not to be swiftly uttered but to be sifted, felt, the sands of the truth from those words falling gracefully upon the floor leaving traces of glimmering hope on our fingertips.

I don’t always write so openly on decor8 because this is a design blog, a place of pretty things and inspiration. But then I thought that it can be quite inspirational to read about how others feel because we can sometimes relate to those feelings and be somehow inspired that someone else ‘gets’ us. Well if you understand any of what I’ve written above, then hopefully my words have inspired you to consider your feelings too, take them seriously, examine them and evaluate next steps. This is what I’m currently doing.

I wonder what you are thinking about lately? I wonder if you often think about the puzzle of your life and whether there is a piece that needs to be refit elsewhere or perhaps one that is missing altogether? I wonder if you have ever gone through a time when you felt an authentic shifting inside, a need to truly find your ‘happy’ place like never before and then grab it and hold onto it for awhile?

Love,
Holly

Photos: Holly Becker

Posted in real talk, uncategorized on August 29, 2012

End of Year Ritual: List Your Accomplishments!

It’s that magic time again. Do you know what I’m referring to? It’s that mini gap between Christmas and the new year when most are starting to come down from the high of carbs and cocktails to prepare for more of the same on NYE. However you celebrate it, no doubt you view the beginning of 2012 as a most exciting time of hope and happiness, things to do, resolutions to make, a fresh start. I welcome a new year though the reality of getting older is the least exciting part of it but there’s nothing to do to stop the passing of time except to be happy and live your life! There is no future date in which you can allow yourself the “right” to do something, this is your life – this is your time as Snow Patrol so cleverly puts it.

What are your end of the year rituals?

Sadly,  some get rather down over a year ending because they feel another year has escaped them, they somehow didn’t manage all they had hoped to, they’re getting older, life is passing them by, etc. Do you feel this way right now? If you have the end of the year blues try to turn things around…  Rather than think about what you didn’t accomplish in 2011, make a list of all that you managed to do this year that you are proud of. In fact, that is my end of year ritual and I think we should share it together on decor8. It can be a real mood booster!

So! In the comments section below we can each write down what we accomplished in 2011. Not what we HOPE to do for 2012, this isn’t a list about resolutions, but what we DID that made THIS year good. It never ceases to amaze me as to how BIG the list really is on paper compared to how it looks in my head (usually a lot smaller as I struggle with my inner critic/over achiever leanings), which is why I always encourage list making to sort things out, peel back layers and to expose the truth.

As 2o11 comes to an end, corks will be popped, wishes will be made and parties will be thrown around the world only this time you will clink your glasses remember all that you wrote down on your list below that made 2011 good for you. It’s important for our self confidence as we march into a new year to end it this way so are you ready to join me with my end of year ritual? Good, I’ll go first in the comments section and hope that you will join me there.

Lots of love to everyone! Kiss! – Holly

(images: holly becker)

Posted in real talk on December 29, 2011

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