This is the second post in my “Blogger Favourites” Interview series and I’m so excited to be interviewing Ally from Now That’s Pretty this month! She is seriously one of my favourite craft bloggers. Her blog is filled with colour and whimsy and fun craft ideas and tutorials. I love that lots of her tutorials are focused on seasonal holidays – it’s a good excuse for a party any time of year.
J: It’s so nice to come across other craft bloggers in their late teens / early twenties, sometimes it feels like there aren’t many of us! Craft blogging is time consuming though. You’ve got to take the photos, write the post and actually make the thing that you’re blogging about. I know you’re also a student and you have your own business. How do you manage your time?
A: It’s very tricky! I keep a lot of lists and stay aware of what relies on certain factors and then prioritise. I know my uni hours are set but in the afternoon my time management is pretty much up to me. I work on photographing projects straight after uni so I get good lighting and then will do the writing later when there isn’t as much urgency. Similarly work, reading and my business all have to slot in at different points. It is by no means easy and you can’t do everything every day but you can have work-heavy and blog-heavy days which will level out over the week.
J: What’s your favourite thing you’ve ever made, or what are you most proud of?
A: Oh my goodness that is a hard question! I really love my cat bowler hat simply because it is pretty snazzy but also because it is the first project which drew any sort of attention to my blog. I love the fact that I made it as a really small-fry blogger and then overnight thousands of people suddenly knew about it. WOW!
J: What inspired you to start blogging, and what inspired you to start making things?
A: I know I have always made things; my house is practically a museum of projects past. I decided to start blogging as a sort of portfolio. When you just make things, with no particular focus on any craft in particular, it can be quite hard to see where you fit into the whole ‘artist’ role and so having a craft blog seemed like the perfect solution. Another great thing about having a blog is you can use it as an excuse! Previously if I made a unicorn costume and someone asked “what is that for?” I would have nothing to say but now I can just blame it on the blog and sort of role my eyes as if to say “duties, huh!?”
J: You have a very distinctive style which I love. It’s fun, colourful, and sometimes silly but not childlike! How would you describe your aesthetic? Who inspires you creatively?
A: I couldn’t have asked for a better description! I’ve always loved it when very illustrative and costumey elements are played out in really life; it makes for such an interesting scene! A lot of my clothes are very colourful or look like a cartoon character would wear them and I’ve never really understood why themeing of rooms is restricted to children’s bedrooms. I think my main interest aesthetically is how you can essentially design your life or set dress your environment to get a certain reaction from people; I mean people do this as a job for films and television all the time and so why not just do it for your own life? I can’t really pick out specific people who inspire me but I love looking at shop windows. They present these scenes that are like a snippet of a life or a scene but amplified and controlled; I think it’s great to look at a huge dressed window made entirely out of fresh flowers or featuring big hot air balloon models and think “I like that, how can that be in my own look?”.
J: What’s your favourite aspect of blogging?
A: It’s really cheesy but I love the response you get. Sometimes just making things in a little workshop is isolating and you think “hmm, why am I actually doing this?” It’s really reassuring to have a stranger from across the world remind you that it really doesn’t matter why you’re doing it, all that matter is that it’s wonderful!
J: I’ve been so impressed by your ukelele business. I’m not sure that I would have the ability to set up something like that. I know people ask this all the time when you’re in uni, but what are your plans for the future?
A: Thank you very much; I’m very proud of the Ukulele Workshop. It has grown so much this year! I think my main piece of advise with business is you just need to be outrageously cheeky. I made one ukulele and put it up for sale making it look like I had sold loads and was an absolute pro, I then got in touch with a supplier and told them I was seeking to find a NEW supplier and could they do me a better price, I then got in touch with retailers with a few different departmental email addresses so it looked like I was a much bigger company and so on and so on. There really is a lot to be said for the whole “fake it until you make it” hypothesis.
As far as my future, I would hope it’s quite exciting! This year I am hoping to grow the Ukulele Workshop as well as opening a new fashion store with my brother (I am both excited and terrified!). Eventually I am hoping to go into events planning or perhaps window dressing; I study Linguistic sciences at Uni but as useful as it is to be able to identify different types of Swahili I think my heart lies with glitter glue and sequins!
Thanks so much for agreeing to be interviewed Ally, I’ve loved hearing your thoughts and advice Good luck with the Ukelele Workshop and your new fashion business, I can’t wait to read all about it!
Don’t forget my GIVEAWAY is open until the end of the month!
(All photo credit belongs to Ally)