Well this is turning into one very exciting Friday. Not only were we able to feature the fabulous works of Christy from Farouche, but we also have a new and very exciting interview to add to our It's Just A Crush Interview series.
It is truly a honor, not to mention a highlight in my blogging career, to introduce Jena from Modish.Modish (pronounced: mode-ish) is a daily design and style blog full of art, craft and inspiration. Created in April 2006, Jena has fully grown and establisted herself as someone with great stature in the blogging world! So let's get the ball rolling and find out what she loves, what she obsesses over, and of course what inspires her!
Q#1: What are the 5 random things that make you, well you?
Hmm, well I'm not sure if these things make me "me" necessarily, but they're 5 random things that people may not know unless they meet me in person or get to know me a bit:
1- I'm bi-racial- my dad is black, mom is white and I came out an easily tanned, curly haired red-head. Go figure! ;) I haveancestors from both Nigeria and Sweden and I think that's pretty cool.
2- I'm a vegetarian and have been since I moved out of my parent's house when I was 18. Part of the reason why I moved to Portland- so much GOOD vegetarian food here!
3- I'm an only child and grew up out in the mountains with not many other kids around, so I had to learn to entertain myself from an early age. I was always playing by myself, making up games and had tons of "projects" going on. To this day I still don't get lonely or bored easily, I can always find something to do to occupy myself- like blogging or starting a business, for instance! :)
4- Music is a big part of my life and if I could start all over again, I might try to be a rock star instead of a blogger ;) I used to be able to play lots of instruments- the saxophone, guitar, bass, I sang in the choir and for 10+ years I played piano- that's what I loved the most, the piano. I ache to have one in my house again someday so I can get back into it. And maybe write some cheesy songs for my cat's ears only!
5- I'm a carb-o-holic. Pasta, bread, potatoes, rice, tortillas, gnoochi, I love them all to an unholy degree. The whiter and starchier it is, the better. And if it has cheese on it too? Woo doggie, I'm in trouble. I just hope my metabolism doesn't catch up with me anytime soon.
Q #2: What was your life like before you decided to become a full-time blogger? What made you explore this career path?
I had just graduated college and was working customer service for a company that is awesome, but the actual job just sucked. Sucked the life out of me, sucked my creativity down the drain, sucked my years of schooling into a big empty void of why'd-I-even-bother-getting-a-degree-ness. I wasn't making much money on top of it, so I decided to start making jewelry on the side for some extra income and to do something creative in my free time. Then, to help get the word out about my jewelry shop, I started Modish and eventually that took over and became a big part of my life. The busier and more involved Modish got, the more depressed I'd get behind my desk at work, just yearning so deeply to be doing what I wanted to be doing with my time.
After a couple years of blogging (and I also had an online shop open at the time) I felt that I was making enough money, and had enough saved up to take the plunge and quit my day job. I never imagined blogging as a "career path" and I still don't know where it'll take me, but I'm very happy to be here at this point in my life. And I'm especially happy to feel like I'm in a career where I can learn something new and push myself everyday.
Q #3: How would you compare your "first-ever" post to one of your more recent posts?
Oh my goodness, those first posts are so funny to me! The ethos was the same from the start, to help bring attention to handmade creators and indie designers, but I was way more "talky" at the beginning and I definitely have better graphic skills now and figured out that bigger images are better!
Q #4: I see that you have a wonderful sister site, ModishBizTips. How do you come up with all your great marketing tools? What are some of your favorite tip that are featured in the site?
To find ideas to write about, I do a lot of research on the web and read books, I listen to what my readers request via email or in the comments, I notice questions popping up around the web in forums and such. I have way more ideas than I will ever have hours enough to cover them all, and I don't get the time to blog as often as I'd like to on Biztips. Every Friday though I try to do an "encouraging words" post, which are my favorite. Those deal with the more emotional, less practical issues involved with running a business. I like writing those the most because they come from the heart and my own experiences, and they seem to speak to readers and address topics openly that aren't really discussed elsewhere.
Now for the fun questions...
Q #5: When you see each word, what is the first thing that comes to your mind. For example, you see the word phone and the first thing you think of is text message, it would translate to... I say phone : You say Text Message.
Marker : sharpie
Camera : makes me look at the world in a new way
Elephant : Africa
Savvy : being a smart marketer
Coffee : french press, every morning
To Do Lists : my friend and foe, oh how I love them and hate them at the same time! Oh won't I ever complete you, dear lists?
Q #6: What is your favorite color?
Ooh, I've been obsessed with mustard yellow for the past few years- that yummy dijon-ish, kind of 70's earth tone yellow. I have a wardrobe full of it. It matches my hair :)
Q #7: If you were to press shuffle on your ipod, what are the first three songs?
Oh my gosh, one of my favorites came up first! Marry Me by St. Vincent (totally the kind of musician I wish I could be), then No Moon by Iron and Wine, then Anywhere You Looked by Au Revoir Simone
Last, but not least...
Q #8: At the moment, what are the three things you are in love with, obsessed with, and inspire you?
In love with: my favorite man Justin, all my silly pets, this beautiful city of Portland
Obsessed with: the idea of buying a house, Ben & Jerry's Cupcake Batter ice cream, True Blood
Inspired by: fellow bloggers, flickr and all my incredible readers who keep me plugging away!
Bonus Question: Any advice, for people who are taking the plunge and starting their own blog?
Originality will get you everywhere: be true to yourself, find your own voice and write about something you truly enjoy and are passionate about because your readers will be able to tell. Work on creating fresh content and coming up with new ideas so your blog can stand out from the crowd- don't just copy what you see is working for others. The most unique thing you can bring to the table is you! Your voice, your experience, your creativity, your viewpoint. Use that to your advantage- be authentic and your blog will be a reflection of that.