Archive for Interview Series
Linda McDonald of Restyled Home joins us today for as the next creative entrepreneur in our Interview Series. As a design business owner and creative blogger, please welcome Linda as we find out more about her, what she is passionate about and how that translates to her work and home life.
Congratulations Linda! You were chosen to work with an amazingly creative team on the premiere issue of Flea Market Style, which hit newsstands mid-February 2010. (Team included: Editor Matthew Mead (of Country Home & Matthew Mead Style) and Ki Nassauer (author of Junk Market Style, of Country Home, and Inspiration behind the Junk Bonanza) Heather Bullard (photographer extraordinaire, blogger and stylist.) Can you tell us a bit about this experience and how it was to work on a shelter magazine with such a renowned team?
I had a great time! It was a great team and we are all so proud of how beautifully the magazine turned out and the fantastic response we received from readers. I made it my mission to spread the word about the magazine via the blog; and the resultant buzz, as a result, was incredible. Before it launched, we received so many emails from people asking when it would be out and to “hurry up already” that I had a hard time keeping up! I am really proud of what we were able to achieve as a team so geographically spread out, but we all brought different talents and skills to the table.
ReStyled Home is your blog and your business. How did you arrive at your profession and how has your blog changed things for you?
I started Restyled Home as a staging business but it quickly segued into decorating, helping people with their renovation and building choices and finally, to offering writing services as my blog grew. My blog was initially intended for as a place for me to share my projects with clients and (interested) family and, to my surprise, grew very quickly into something that really meant a lot to me both professionally and personally. I now blog about decorating, family and other style topics. But I keep it all lighthearted and fun.
I believe our surroundings really inspire us in so many ways. You live in Nova Scotia, a place I have longed to visit for some time. Can you tell us how your local inspires you?
Well, I live ten minutes from the most amazing beach: white sand and the warmest waters north of Virginia. So, I definitely enjoy a bit of the coastal aesthetic, although not in a nautical way. I instead have decorated my home in watery shades of blue and green and enjoy including natural elements. Where I live is slower paced and beautiful, so I try to make my home feel feel that way too.
I also believe our “life stories” influence our homes in how we decorate, what we find comfort in, the belongings we surround ourselves with, and the memories we carry with us. Can you share with us some of your “life story” and how that affects your home today?
Well, I didn’t grow up with a lot of money. We emigrated from Ireland in the mid-seventies and my parents had to start completely from scratch. A single income and six children did not allow for us to go around with “silver spoon” attitudes (nor would our parents have allowed it!). So, I come with the belief that you can make things pretty without spending a lot of money; and I believe it takes more talent to do it that way, anyway. I believe in re-purposing, creating, and thinking outside of the box. I always joke that I wouldn’t make a very good wealthy person because I dislike pretension and have a hard time spending a whole lot on anything. But, I still like my home to be attractive, and so my husband and I do a lot ourselves and have realized that you can have real quality that way, too. I truly believe that you don’t need to spend $300 on a throw cushion, when you can make it yourself or head to somewhere like Homesense. I also really enjoy incorporating vintage elements into my design, and we all know where we can find those on a budget, right?!
In addition to running your business, you are also a busy wife and mother. What would be a few “take-away” tips for our readers on blending real-life with the desire for a lovely and welcoming home?
Well, with my new writing projects (I am currently working in an editorial role with Holiday with Matthew Mead and another upcoming magazine), I find myself working at home more than I ever did. Because I am writing about decorating, I tend to get my fix with others’ projects and haven’t done that many of my own, recently! That said, I really focus on putting everything aside to enjoy the supper and early evening hours with my family. I actually quite enjoy cooking, so I unwind by making dinner and hearing about everyone else’s day. We are very busy with our children’s activities; but still, I tend to nip back to the computer late at night and on weekends to try to get more work done. It is not a good habit, and is one I am trying to break. Indeed, now that the weather is nicer, I want to get back to doing my own projects and making my home an even more relaxing and enjoyable place to be…because I’m home a lot, now!
** Please head on over to www.holidaywithmatthewmead.com to see what I am working on now!
Thank you so much for joining us today Linda! I am thrilled to have you join us for my Interview Series, thank you for sharing your passions and creativity with us.
To learn more about Linda, or to follow her blog, please visit her at www.restyledhome.blogspot.com
Alicia Danzig of Lulu Painting is with us today as the first Creative Entrepreneur in our Interview Series. As a business owner, artist, and instructor, I welcome Alicia today, as we find out more about her, her passions and inspirations, and how they translate to her work and home life.
I have had the pleasure of working with you on several occasions Alicia, and you bring so much creativity, professionalism, and attention to detail to every project. Can you share with us how your business evolved and some of the projects that you have worked on?
It has been an evolution indeed! LULU began as a painting business. As we’ve evolved, we’ve become a fully encompassing decorative finish business as well. We tackle anything and everything that our clients dare to dream up from Foil and Metallic Plasters to Furniture and Concrete. When I started LULU I had a deep respect for the sanctity of clients allowing me into their homes to better their space. I still hold onto that passion for painting now, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that over time there has been a lot of “learning” about what I don’t want for my clients and what I do. I pride myself on having a great clientele. I don’t know where they come from sometimes but it seems like every client I have is equally as wonderful as the last. I’ve learned through my business growth and various projects that the most important voice comes from within and that I have to do what I think is best for LULU Painting and its clients. When the work is pouring in, it’s hard to remember to stop, take a deep breath, and make sure you are doing things for the right reasons. I’m so proud to say that I have learned from every one of my clients a way to better LULU Painting, and each project brings a whole new sense of gratification to me, for bettering peoples lives by simply painting in their homes.
You are so creative; your artistry is evident even in a traditional paint project. In addition to running your company, you are an instructor at the Minneapolis Institute of Fine Finishes. Can you tell us more about this part of your life?
MIFF has been such a wonderful opportunity for me to expand my knowledge and share with my fellow painters and DIY homeowners. I do not consider myself to be an instructor, but rather a peer who has experience doing something that others want to know about. I hold myself in the studio as a laid back artist having fun with the gang…wow that sounds so: “I’m the cool Mom.” My presence at MIFF has brought in quite a few fun new products in the past year, including Wood Icing, Foils, Architectural Enhancements, Wallover Stencils, Royal Design Stencils, and a place for our monthly meeting for NTA. Drew is the owner and he is a master Plaster Applicator with knowledge to boot. He welcomed me into the space with open arms and has had a great deal of patience with me and my terribly busy schedule (whose isn’t?). I Love what I do, and so I want to share that with as many folks as I possibly can.
For those readers who would like to learn more about those techniques and finishes, what is the first step to taking instruction at MIFF??
The first step would be to check the schedule at http://plastercenter.com/ . I have an upcoming FOIL class that I’m teaching this April!
Here is a link to it: http://lulupainting.com/2010/03/foil-yourself-silly-with-my-new-class/
To sign up people can email me at email@example.com or call the Plaster Center at (612) 374-0221. It’s a fun and laid back class. The class includes lunch and the boards vary from Glass beads to stain and seals and glazes.
You have such a depth of paint and finish knowledge, where does that passion come from and how do you keep up on the new trends and products?
Oh passion, I think if I had the answer to where passion came from I’d be a millionaire. All I know is that it’s in there. I know when I start to get off track because the passion starts to dwindle…I’ll find myself having trouble sleeping or worrying too much. I keep my body and mind strong and rested by doing Yoga regularly and getting massages when feasible. Keeping up on trends is a little overwhelming. In the painting industry there are SO MANY products, and gadgets, and methods it’s impossible to follow them all. Mostly I look through magazines to stay current. Did I mention what a magazine whore I am? I have more subscriptions than Sarah Jessica Parker has shoes. I see what speaks to me…rip out pages, and then try to recreate what I see using the resources I have available. One thing I know for sure is that you cannot know it all, it’s better to dabble lightly in those which do not really feed your fire and to delve fully into that which strikes you most. This way you can keep the passion part of you happily inspired and also maintain a healthy level of industry knowledge to satiate your clients should they need your help.
I am so excited for you, as you will be studying in Morocco soon. Can you tell us how this trip evolved and what you look forward to most?
It all began last year actually. I stumbled upon the trip when it was too late for me to pull my schedule and finances together to make it a reality. Unfortunately for me it was supposed to be the last Moroccan trip of the Peacock Painters so I was crushed to miss out on the opportunity. When I noticed the trip was happening again this year I took it as a sign that my time had come and registered immediately. It is a study/work abroad program where you travel with 8 other painters to Marrakesh and work painting a Pavilion with the very talented Melany Royals. I’ll be there for two weeks of painting and sightseeing and falling in love with a whole new culture. Is it May 7th yet? I’m beyond thrilled for this adventure to start.
When we work together, you are such an asset to the overall project and the paint looks so stunning when you are done, you thrill the client. Will you share with our readers a few “take-away” tips on how to hire a paint and finish professional?
Here is my best advice for you homeowners out there looking to hire a paint crew to help in your home. Nothing beats a word of mouth referral. Ask your friends, your neighbors who they use and then see if they will come out to do a FREE estimate. For regular painting you want to make sure that the crew you hire is going to set drop cloths to protect your floors and cover any furniture they may be working over. They should be reasonably priced, timely, and treat your home with respect and love.
Thank you Alicia for sharing more about yourself and Lulu Painting with all of us. I am so excited to have been able to share you with my readers. Your talents and passions are evident and inspiring. To learn more about Alicia or Lulu Painting, please visit www.lulupainting.com
Just like flowers blooming in the spring… I am excited to share some “blooming” new features will be added to Celebrate Life Everyday over the next few months!
First, I will be starting an Interview Series. I am so excited about this! The interviews will be with highly creative, talented people who have so much to share with us. Some of these fantastic people will be kindred spirits that I know and have worked with, others we will both be getting to “know”. The first interview will start in just a week or two!! This can’t be missed…
Next… Giveaways! Yes, free things to win! I will be hosting contests and special events to give things away to readers like you! All you have to do is read often to find out what free treasure could be yours next… it’s like an online party!
There are of course lots of additional things planned for the Celebrate Life Everyday blog, but the last thing I am going to share with you now is… online shopping! Yes, this will be coming in several formats, but I will be able to share all of my favorite things with you, and you will be able to click on the link and learn more, or to purchase that item as well. I am working on this as we speak and I will reveal more as soon as things are up and ready!
Thanks for reading and I look forward to sharing so much more with you….