Thursday, December 8, 2011

Keeping up with the blog next door

Guys today I want to talk about this,



We DIY blogs fit into an interesting part of the blogging world. 

In order to survive, and ultimately thrive, we need to be unique. Different. But at the same time, we need to create projects and pieces that fit into people's everyday life and home. Like in the cartoon above. This might get featured on someone's weekly link party...and we'll probably all comment on how totally awesome and cute it is...but are we really going to put it in our home? 

Essentially we run two different businesses. 1.) Our blog, where we want people to come to be inspired and see new things and 2.) our actual retail business, be it through Etsy, Craigslist, markets etc, where we need to move product. 

In order to drive traffic to our blog, we need to walk the fine line between being creative and doing things that haven't been done yet, while at the same time refinishing/creating pieces that are relatively mainstream in order to sell them.

To be perfectly honest, I worry about how I'm managing that aspect every day.

 But after doing this for awhile I've learned a few things about how to keep up with the blog next door and still sell my work.

Use a popular style in a different way.


When I started working on the Ombre dresser, I had seen a lot of pieces done with this technique; but always with paint. I knew the technique was popular and I loved it, but I didn't want the dresser to get lost in the crowd. So I thought, why not try it with stain?


I love how it turned out and it was featured on Apartment Therapy. (Yay!)
And some people love it and some people have been pretty critical about it, but I'm happy that I took a chance. :)

With this dresser, I knew I loved the look of a Union Jack, but again, I didn't want it to be just another Union Jack.

So I did some research and found that this design was the old British flag.


There is nothing wrong with following a trend, but try to work your personal touch into it.

Don't be afraid to go against the norm.

When we picked up this desk, Jake and I debated for awhile on whether or not to stain it or paint it.
We knew painting was more popular than stain, but we really felt like staining it would stay true to the existing beauty of the piece.


 Going against the norm can help your work stay fresh and new.


Lastly, expand your skills.

If you had asked me if I was a painter before I did the Very Hungary Caterpillar Dresser I would have said no way jose!

But I LOVED painting it!


This might be one of my favorite pieces simply because it tested my skills and talents.
I know sometimes I still get super nervous about trying a new technique, and not to sound cheesy, but how can we know what we are capable of if we don't give it a shot?

I would LOVE to know how you manage to walk the line of keeping up with the blog next door and still create product that sells.

How do you guys do it?

Do you think it is better to find a "niche" or a style that is characteristically your own, or is it better to keep recreating and inventing your style?


Pin It

28 comments:

  1. i think you should do what you love and do it well. and that's it. who cares what the blog next door is doing, right?
    and i am with you- i thought the union jack was cool, but so overdone and i did a swedish flag inspired piece.... plus i am part swedish. :) i think taking your own spin on things is the way to go to avoid being trite. you know i actually had someone email me asking for a union jack dresser and i just told her i didn't do them. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Julia, I just love you! Everything you said is spot.on.

    I've found that the more I think about "what will be different to get attention from the blogging world", the more my mind goes to mush and I come up with nothing. So I go with what I feel would be best...and sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not...but I'm always learning!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like your spin on the union jack. I love it no matter how many times it is done.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love this post. I do what I like because ultimately if it doesn't sell it will be in my house. :)
    I used to wonder about the blog next door especially some of the blogs that I see and they don't have anything particularly good, but everyone gushes and follows. That used to drive me crazy, but now I just do my own thing and if someone likes it, then even better. I keep my blog solely based on furniture because I am not a DIY with tutorial kind of girl. I don't sew, build stuff, craft or any of those other things. I just like to paint and stain furniture. I love your blog and keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi, I couldn't find your email. Not to say it isn't there. Just that I didn't see it! Just wanted you to know that you've just been featured at my weekly Welcome Wagon Friday post. Welcome to our blogging community!
    Brenda@Cozy Little House

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great points. We love the Union Jack dresser.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think about this all the time, too. But, when it comes to bills, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, especially when your in a time crunch. I think that means sometimes we make things that are sellable, but not blog-worthy. andrea@townandprairie

    ReplyDelete
  8. I popped over from Brenda's blog and I'm so glad I did! Your blog is very inspiring! Thank you! Twyla

    ReplyDelete
  9. Agree. agree. agree. ;) I do have the satisfaction of having someone tell me every once in awhile that my blog inspired them to choose a different color than white. ;) Love your work!

    ReplyDelete
  10. decoration or painting on furniture is the other popular way to represent them. today, most of people like this art and it's looking so beautiful and also your home.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I tend to do what I like. Sometimes I have a piece all figured out as soon as I spot it and other times, the furniture points me in a different direction once I get started.

    I have so many ideas bouncing around in my brain, but our funds are lacking so I can't always score the pieces I'm hoping for. What drives me bonkers is when somebody on blogland does a post on MY idea (lol) before I get to it. Then ya feel like a heel if you do the same thing later.

    There are just certain pieces that you know will appeal to a wide range of buyers, but I still like to put my personal touch on it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. oh, you took the words right outta my blog. i know that playing it safe is what sells furniture in my neck of the woods BUT it was boring me silly. lately, i'm going bold and bright just to keep motivated.

    no, it's not selling. no, i'm not on D*S or apartment therapy.

    yes, i'm still smiling!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Being a seriously analytical person, I feel that I'm often times trying to figure out this whole "blogging" thing as it relates to my "reality". :-) I AM a stay-at-home mom of three little ones first and foremost, so I (very) often have to remind myself why I started blogging, and that I can have greater aspirations once all of the kids are in school. I'll never get this time back with them, so I need to stayed focused on them and not let other things like blogging distract me. It is a fantastic outlet for me, but can suck a lot of time I just don't have - especially when interacting with everyone else on their blogs! I wish I had more time to visit and comment and be inspired!

    As for furniture, sheesh...tons of people loved the Union Jack I recently finished, but it's still available. Other "safe" pieces usually sell within a few days. Your Caterpillar dresser is seriously one of my faves of yours!!! I would totally design a nursery with that piece! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  14. The wooden cupboard with four cups placed on it looks the best to me!

    ReplyDelete
  15. A very beautiful article on the Contemporary furniture.

    ReplyDelete
  16. To be perfectly honest, I worry about how I'm managing that aspect every day..furniture designs

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love the union jack and sometimes a DIY doesn't realize that non DIY people like me don't live in your world or know what is overdone. Yours is the first I have seen of any of these projects. Sometimes a talented person like you can take a popular idea and elevate it with the combination of your own taste and a unique piece.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Julia, Julia here too :) I pronounce my name (YOULEEYA since I'm from Germany)
    I love this post. So true!
    I feel sometimes like the blogging paralyzes me a little. Because I tend to overthink projects now knowing they will be up on the web for people to comment on. Then I have to stop myself from doing that. Before blogging I just went ahead and did my project without thinking too much about it and that's still how it should be.
    I also hate that I'm a perfectionist! I have to learn that not everything turns out perfect and especially with redoing vintage furniture, it will never be perfect like a store bought piece.
    I can't please everybody and getting it all done is a challenge. I hate when people asked me: "What do you do with your time? You are a stay at home mom?" They have no clue!

    Love your pieces of furniture and that you went outside the box.


    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow nice! any way wood is really prone to termites so if you hat termite better to use cabinet having glass doors, it look so unique.

    ReplyDelete
  20. SELAMAT DATANG DI DISTRIBUTOR VIMAX ASLI
    OBAT PEMANJANG PENIS
    VIMAX CANADA
    KLG USA
    CREAM KUDA HITAM
    VMEN PLUS
    ALAT VACUM
    VIGRX PLUS
    COBRA OIL
    PERANGSANG WANITA
    SEX DROP
    BLUE WIZARD
    POTENZOL
    LIQUID SEX

    OBAT KUAT LEMAH SYAHWAT DAN EJAKULASI DINI

    MAXMAN POWERFULL
    CIALIS ENGLAND
    VIAGRA
    PROCOMIL SPRAY

    KOSMETIK ALAMI
    PENGHILANG BEKAS LUKA
    VACUM PEMBESAR PAYUDARA
    PERONTOK BULU
    PEMUTIH BADAN
    PENINGGI BADAN
    PELANGSING BADAN
    PENGGEMUK BADAN
    CERITA SEX DEWASA
    JIKA ANDA BERMINAT SILAKAN HUBUNGI
    NO HP 082281195117
    BBM 3312A00E
    TERIMA KASIH ATAS KUNJUNGANNYA

    ReplyDelete
  21. eToro is the most recommended forex trading platform for beginning and professional traders.

    ReplyDelete

I really appreciate all of your thoughts and comments! They bring a smile to my face!