January 24, 2014

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off To Vail We Go

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I am heading to Vail this weekend with one of the other wives to explore the quaint town and watch a couple of the guys hockey games. I'm so looking forward to 48 hours of internet free relaxation, a hot sauna, and breathing in the fresh air at 8,000+ feet above sea level. 

I've left you in good hands for the weekend with my sweet friend Melissa from Blush & Jelly Design Studio. Melissa is a super talented web and blog designer, and her Etsy shop has a variety of pre-made templates that are only $30! If you're looking to update your site from BLAAAAAHG to BLOG, make sure you head on over to Melissa's shop and check out her lovely options.

MEET MELISSA from BLUSH & JELLY

Q. You left your office job about six months ago to pursue your love of designing blogs and websites. Where you terrified at the time? And how have the past six months been for you?
A. Leaving my 9-5 cubicle job was one of the most exciting/terrifying things I've ever done. The last day at my job I started to second guess myself but I knew it was the right thing to do - my design work was growing and I was extremely miserable sitting at a cubicle all day pretending to be interested in crazy spreadsheets. Working for myself these past couple of months has been crazy stressful and filled with lots of ups and downs - but I finally love my job and Mondays no longer suck. :)


Q. How did you discover your love for web and blog design? 
A. Before I really got into web design I started my blog, Blush + Jelly. I always loved customizing and updating the look of my blog. My little hobby little by little became something that I was so passionate about. I would spend hours reading and learning new things. Eventually I designed a few blogs for some blog friends and this made me realize how much I loved working with other bloggers to create a fun and unique space for them to blog away. I then opened an Etsy shop just to see what would come out of it - few years later I am so happy that I made that move. :)
 Q. What is your favorite part about what you do? 
A. I honestly love just about everything that has to do with my business (except bookkeeping!) - but I think the best part is my clients. I honestly feel so fortunate to be given the opportunity to work with so many talented bloggers and business ladies. Many of clients have inspired me in so many ways and if it weren't for this amazing online community I would have never had the chance to meet them. 

Q. Tell me a little about your creative process ... 
A. My creative process is totally random. Sometimes I am stuck for days on a logo or mood board that I am working on - and then one night while watching a commercial for toothpaste some colors jump out at me and next thing you know I am back on my computer designing away for hours. It doesn't make sense to me but it's usually how it works. Also, I've been learning that I am more creative late at night. So I have learned to stick to emails, shop updates, and social media during the day - and save the design part of my work for the nighttime. 

Q. Do you have a favorite design that you've created? 
A. I love all the sites that I've created because by the end of the project I feel like I have a special connection to it. Of course there are always a few that stick out in my mind because of how much fun it was to work with that client. One project that I feel I will always love is a site that I created for a small town coffee shop owned by the 2 sweetest sisters, Lyn Marie's Coffee on Main. I love how everything turned out on their site - plus I now only purchase their coffee to brew at home, it's the best! ;) 

Q. Do you see blog designs changing at all this year? 
A. Lately I've been getting lots of request for very minimal and clean blog designs. I feel like people are moving away from cluttered and colorful designs and keep things a little more monochromatic. Also, black and white seems to be the color scheme that many people are requesting. 

Q. What is your advice for the perfect blog design? 
A. Every blog is different because no 2 bloggers are alike. That's what makes blogging and blog design so much fun. I feel like there isn't one specific blog design that can work for everyone - it all depends on your mission. Of course a few of the standard tips are: have a header that makes an impression, make navigation throughout your site easy for readers, don't use tiny fonts, and make sure your readers can spot your social media icons. 

Q. I'm very jealous of all of your Instagram photos that show you galavanting around Disney. What is your favorite park, ride, and princess? 
A. I always get people asking me "Aren't you tired of going to Disney all the time?", which honestly just makes me laugh. The parks have soooo much to do and they are always changing. The Hubby and I go at least once a week to the parks - it's really the best part about living just 10 minutes away from the theme parks. It's always so much fun to head on over to one of the parks for dinner or just to watch fireworks, sorta feels like a mini vacation. My favorite park always changes, but at the moment I really love going to Magic Kingdom. Mainly because of the new "Fantasyland" area and because they have an area dedicated to Rapunzel - my all time favorite princess.

Q. What are your hobbies outside of web/blog design? 
A. My hobbies are always changing but the main ones that stick around are blogging, baking, and reading. I always complain about not having enough time for any of these things - but I am working hard to create a healthy balance between my work and my favorite hobbies.

Q. Do you have any advice for someone who has been wanting to quit their job and follow their dream? 
A. Lots of planning! Before I left my job I had already been planning on making this move - make sure your business is providing enough income, have enough savings that can get your through a couple rough months (just in case!), and have a back up plan. And one of the most important things to keep in mind - working for yourself is NOT easy. Never in my life have I worked so many hours a day and answered so many emails. I wear so many hats: customer service, designer, developer, problem solver, marketing department, bookkeeping and finance, tech support, and the list goes on. It's hard but I promise if you put in the work it's definitely worth it.

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check out her web design shop: Blush & Jelly Designs
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