>>Blog Out Loud Interview
Jess Constable of Jess LC and Makeunder My Life

We are happy to share our latest Blog Out Loud interview with you featuring talented and inspiring jewelry designer and blogger, Jess Constable of Jess LC and Makeunder My Life. I spotted Jess's blog this summer through links from other blogs and think I spent, oh, about 2 hours on it the first time I was there. Her sincere writing and thoughtful series (she has a few weekly series) are full of ideas about living your best life with the best intentions. Yes!! And her jewelry is gorgeous, selling at some of the hottest boutiques in the country. (Boutique owners - you must carry Jess's lines - they are lovely!)

You are a great example of Blog Out Loud's mission statement of blogging to enhance a creative business. Your professional site is Jess LC and your blog is Makeunder My Life. How have you used your blog to promote your lovely jewelry line while infusing your personality into it?

The funny thing is that a) before December, I didn't read blogs, and b) when I started MakeunderMyLife.com in late January, 2009, I didn't intend for there to be much (if any) crossover with Jess LC. I started MakeunderMyLife.com as a way to consolidate my ideas for an eventual book called Makeunder Your Life. I thought that collecting stories and ideas for the book on a blog would be an easy way to get started along the path towards publication. In fact, I didn't even imagine that anyone else would begin reading and interacting with the blog until after the book was written. Needless to say, within the first week of writing the blog, readers found my posts and loved what I shared. That's when I realized I didn't need to write a book to share my idea, I just needed a blog! And if at some point in the future a book evolves out of the blog, that will be icing on the cake.

Over time, I also changed my feelings on incorporating Jess LC into the blog. Rather than keep the two passions separate, I chose to incorporate Jess LC into the blog topics whenever there is something new to share in terms of product design or business advice. I also make sure to mention the jewelry in a way that is not "selling" the jewelry. I write MakeunderMyLife to help people design a life with intention. It just so happens that by helping people simplify, they also become customers and supporters of my jewelry. I believe this happy coincidence is a byproduct of going after my dream. If I help people, the world finds a way to help me at the same time.

We love your series - Design Your Life - of guest bloggers "from all walks of life that share their intentions and tangible, actionable ways they design their life accordingly." (We love this!!!!) Why did you decide to create a weekly series and include guest blogging? How have you been feeling about it?

The DESIGN YOUR LIFE series is my most popular feature. I decided to incorporate this segment because I believe that MakeunderMyLife should be a community of people improving their lives through simplifying. If I am the only voice of that mission, the community becomes stale. Guest participants provide a fresh perspective weekly. And I like to learn from readers and contributors myself! So it works out for everyone.

We also love your weekly series - Business Advice - where you offer small space business advice. What a neat way to give back to your readers who are also small business owners! How has this been rewarding for you as a blogger and also as a business owner?

As a blogger, it's great to share advice about something I've done for 10 years. Especially since I know a lot of my readers are interested in going full-time with their own businesses. I happened to fall into my business as a 15-year-old and learned as I went along. I took risks, and failed. A lot. Now that I've come so far from my start, people wonder how I got to this point in my career. The Small Business Advice section is where I share the nuts and bolts of that process. As a business owner, this sections is a way to reflect and see the progress I have made as an entrepreneur as well.

We love the look of your blog. It's full of great content but feels super accessible. How important was it to create the design of your blog? What advice would you give to new bloggers regarding design who want to start simple?

Oh, I have a lot to say about this! When I began in January, I had two tech friends who told me to start my blog on Wordpress.org (where I am now). I was intimidated by the self hosting, sophisticated templates, and just wanted to start writing! So I started on Blogger for the first few months. But I quickly became head over heels in love with blogging and I was no longer satisfied with the design abilities of a normal Blogger template. I wanted something unique and customizable. So, about two or three months after I started Blogger, I switched to Wordpress.org. The process was not easy (read: hard) and without the help of many tech friends, I don't think I could have done it on my own. But now that I've made the move I'm so happy with the results. It's actually a lot like moving from my old studio apartment with my boyfriend to our new two bedroom. The extra space and freedom is awesome.

Here is my recommendation for people who want to start blogging: start on Wordpress.com. Wordpress.com (not Wordpress.org) is easy, simple, and free, just like Blogger. And once you are ready to switch to a custom template on Wordpress.org, converting your content and comments is seamless. My other personal preferences in blog design (for free templates or custom templates) are:
  • Light, neutral backgrounds (white, light gray) and dark text (dark gray, black, or navy).
  • Simple, clean fonts are best and easiest to read.
  • Make an interesting logo or banner - this is like the accent pillow on a really classic couch, make it pop!
  • Match your content to your blog design. I went with a very clean look since I write about simplifying. If you are writing about interior design, consider using a pattern or texture from fabric as a banner accent and so forth.

Thanks, Jess! Please visit and support Jess at Jess LC and Makunder My Life!

Want even more inspiration? Check out more Blog Out Loud Interviews with successful business owners who have seamlessly integrated blogging into the mix.
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ms. less is always more said...

Awesome interview Jess!

pve design said...

Jess, having met you was a high-light and then each and every bit - I love seeing you spread your wealth of knowledge!!

Crystal @ Plush Palate said...

I'm a huge fan of Jess (her jewelry and her blog!) and LOVED learning more about her through the interview. Thanks to you both!


Creategirl said...

fabulous interview! I just learned even more about Jess and what great tips for new (and even not so new) bloggers.

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