Now this is a pretty office! Ez was out there reading decor8 yesterday and after seeing my yellow living room/reading nook, she decided to create an office in our virtual house. Any other bloggers want to get involved and create a kitchen, bathroom, master bedroom, guest bedroom, or an entryway off of the same theme – yellow and pretty pastels? Here’s the house we’re building so far. :)
Anyone want to try a room? Maybe we can pull together an entire house like this, one blogger at a time. I’ve been looking for some creative online exercises to do lately with my fellow bloggers and this would be a fun project to collaborate on. Perhaps I should just nominate others or else some may feel to shy to get involved? Okay then, I challenge Joy to pull together the bedroom, Irene — a kid’s room, Susan — the kitchen, and Victoria to design a bathroom complete with a vintage clawfoot tub. Can Danielle pull together a guest bedroom? And I’d like to see Nicole put together a fancy patio space. Wouldn’t this be a fun project to do once a month in blogland? Hmmm….
[update: I just emailed my blogger friends so let's see if they have the time to do this. For fun, I sent them a little bio about our virtual client. Home owner: Young single mother (cookbook author) with a son living in a 18th century Georgian townhouse in Savannah Georgia approx. 2000 sq ft., 2 floors, 3 bedrooms (one is an office), and a large patio off of the kitchen. She loves to entertain, enjoys pastels and Swedish decor, decorating on somewhat of a budget but she can splurge on one expensive item per room. Loves pattern and feminine touches but can't deal with too much clutter.]
(images from ez and holly)
Jen Wallace over at the very sweet online shop Indie Fixx
(image from indie fixx)
Karen at Hammocks & High Tea and Anna of Sub-Studio are looking to share space at the National Stationery Show with other stationery designers. If you are interested in learning more, please contact them directly. I thought I’d post this since some may be looking for an opportunity to team up with others for the show as it provides a more affordable alternative to leasing a space on your own.
Anyone else showing at the National Stationery Show this year? What have your past experiences been? I’ve not attended but may cruise the grounds this year because I’d love to check it out. Booths and booths filled with gorgeous stationery? I mean, what’s not to love!
(images from sub studio and hammocks & high tea)
Would you like to know about my shopping trip with the Boston Globe on Saturday? Since some of you have asked, I’ll give you the scoop. A Globe correspondent and her photographer met up with me in the South End and since the article will focus on decor8 and shopping, my mission was to take them to a few of my favorite home stores. Shopping? Did someone say shopping? Sign me up!
I arrived 20 minutes early (you never want to be late for an interview) and spent that time talking to the shop owner and cruising the store to familiarize myself with all the products since a lot had changed since I was there a few weeks ago. I thought that by the time everyone arrived I’d be a freaking out nervous wreck but just the opposite — I felt so excited and ready to get started when the writer and photographer arrived. I was told to walk the store and talk about products, how to use them in in the home, and answer general questions while the photographer trailed us shooting the whole time. I’m not sure what kicked in, but it was the easiest most natural thing in the world for me to do, and so much fun. Like I had prepared my whole life for that moment. But I hadn’t, it was my first time ever doing something like this so even I was surprised by how second nature it was. All I could imagine was hosting a show taking the audience shopping with me around the world to all my favorite independent stores. Kind of like decor8 only on cable. Hey, a girl can dream. But that vision was one I had as I shopped and it was extremely exciting to play pretend for the day.
We visited about 5 stores and at each stop when they introduced me, the stores already knew who I was and starting talking about decor8, my trip to Germany, and other things they read here that they’ve enjoyed. It was so nice to learn that local shop owners enjoy reading this blog and use it as a resource to find new talent. Each store we visited welcomed us with open arms. Later in the day, I learned that even the Globe correspondent is a loyal decor8 reader for 1.5 years now. I guess even I sometimes forget the reach of blogs!
At the final store, we spent about 30 minutes on posed shots. Holly on the chair, Holly looking out of the window, Holly standing before the dining table, Holly perched on the end of the bed. It was fun working with a pro directing each pose, especially amidst a busy retail environment. I wasn’t scared at all, just the opposite. I kept thinking about those who read the article and how they’ll be introduced to blogging and will eventually meet not just those I write about, but all the great blogs that I read and support too. I’m sure the photos that run in the paper will reflect the happiness I felt because it was one of those days that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. I can’t believe that the girl that who worked a desk job dreaming of how I’d be out on my own doing what I love someday was experiencing this - you know? For me, it was huge.
After the shopping trip it was interview time. The photographer went his way, so we grabbed a table at a local restaurant and then a recording device appeared on the table and it was time to get down to business. I felt totally at ease. The conversation was centered mainly around decor8, blogging, and the community that exists online, along with those that have encouraged and supported decor8, what matters to me and why I do it. Other topics including my background and family life were also discussed, etc. I really appreciated her enthusiasm and energy, it was refreshing and I look forward to reading the article when it runs at the end of the month.
So for those who have emailed and asked me, that was my day. :) I will be taking some time off this afternoon to work on a project, but I’ll be blogging later tonight so I’ll see you soon.
(photos from holly becker for decor8)
I was really inspired by the January issue of Real Simple magazine because I thought their shopkeeper profiles in Meet the shopkeepers: Five women who are following their dreams ? and selling great stuff along the way was just great. Did you catch that yet?
For int’l readers and others interested, I’ll recap. They featured Nancy Laboz of Parcel, Sage owner Shannon Kitchens, Diane Campbell of The Candy Store in San Francisco (I first read about her via Daily Candy, how fitting), Amy McCawley from The Livable Home, and finally the lady behind Outdoor Divas — Kim Walker.
What encouraged me about each of these spirited ladies is that they’ve each built a successful business primarily around negative emotions they were feeling – frustration due to a need that wasn’t being filled in their local community. Of course, other reasons cited had to do with a desire to follow a childhood passion or the urge to share something they’re into with others, but again – it was all about filling a need.
Nancy wanted to do something with all the collections that she and her husband had since both love to scour flea markets and found that they ultimately needed to do something with all the great things that resulted from their hunts.
Kim was tired of shopping several stores in Vail, all with inexperienced staff, to find sporting gear so she created a customer service driven store carrying woman-specific gear.
Diane has loved candy since she was a child, selling it out of her locker at school, so her business was born out of a love of candy and a desire to share the sweetness on San Francisco’s Russian Hill where she wanted to live her dream and again, fill a void.
Amy is an Interior Designer who was sick of being covered in dog hair from her 3 fur kids. When clients wanted to see her home, she felt embarrassed by the overwhelming “fur factor” and would cringe at the thought of having them over. This resulted in forming The Livable Home, a business focused solely on furniture with fabrics that are guaranteed to stand up to the demands of owning pets and having young children.
Again, see a pattern here? These ladies turned a negative situation into a positive one — filling a gap. If you don’t have access to a particular product you love, well complaining won’t change that. View a void as a call to action – if you see something is missing, step up and change it, right? Being innovative isn’t about copying the idea of someone else and then just rolling it out with your name on it, it’s about finding a need, filling a void, and actively seeking to fill that need through your business. That’s how decor8 came about. And if you own a business, you may think of your roots and see the same beginnings – you built your product based on what you weren’t seeing – but desired to see.
Whether that’s a storefront, a website, a blog, Etsy, DaWanda, Ebay, Trunkt, etc. there’s really no excuse to not listen to your voice nowadays with so many platforms that exist where you can get started. If you’re frustrated by lack, rise to the challenge and turn that lack (negative) into a business (positive).
No summer indie market in your city like Renegade or Felt Club, well look into starting your own. Can’t find a blog that targets your passion (floral design, gocco printing, etc.), then do some research and start your own. Freak at the thought of attending yet another craft fair only to see mostly booths packed with jewelry and handbag designers when you want to find some good vintage stuff? Talk to the market owner about renting a space and sell vintage finds yourself.
What frustrates you? Can you do something about it? Find a need, fill the gap. It’s really that simple.
(image taken by holly becker for decor8)