*Like many creatives, you wear a lot of hats. Part editor, writer, copywriter, PR expert...how do you juggle it all and maintain a sense of balance? Are you a highly organized person? Tell us a little about all of the things you do and how you fit them all into your life and still find time to travel and shop!
Growing up I would come home from school, take the books out of my backpack and start my homework immediately without being told. My parents love to tell that story, because they thought it was so strange that I didn't want to watch TV or play outside, but I think I still have that attitude today! I can't truly relax until I've finished the "work" on my plate, so that's pretty key in how I organize my time and multiple hats. I'm truly thankful to have a day job that doesn’t require me to work nights or weekends, so that freedom in my schedule is key to keeping my creative streak going.
My husband and I share the entrepreneurial spirit, so one of us is always starting a new blog or picking up a new writing gig. But we both believe in the work hard, play hard model, and like to take two or three vacations a year. I think this is key for both of us to be able to be always "plugged in" and allow time to be "unplugged." I think life brings many seasons, and I'm sure we won't always be able to travel as much as we have in the past, but we are certainly thankful for the chance to stay with friends in other locales, which is also how we can afford to do so much traveling.
*You talk on your site about being crafty as a kid and getting your first sewing machine. I am always so enamored of people who can sew; my grandmother was a master seamstress. I’ve got a machine, piles of fabric and lots of vintage patterns, but have not found the time to dive in. Your mom seems to have been a big creative influence for you, I love that she got you a Hello Kitty Janome as your first machine! Can you talk about your love of sewing, your creative influences and what it is about this particular craft that excites you?
My mom is very creative, and I've grown up watching her decorate cakes, stage houses, paint--you name it. I always looked forward to our trips to the craft store as a kid, where I would stock up on supplies to cross stitch or make jewelry. Sewing is something I really got into after college, and yes my mom bought me my first mint green Hello Kitty machine, which she found on clearance at Target for $50! Who could pass up that deal? She called and asked me if I was interested in a sewing machine, and within the next year, I taught myself how to make a dress, some skirts and pillow covers. In the last three or four years, I've taken an interest in modern quilting as well as sewing clothing and accessories. I have a wonderful community of sewing bloggers from all over the world that keep me inspired and motivated. I've dabbled in knitting, crochet, jewelry making.... For me, sewing is what I keep coming back to. I'm happiest when I'm putting the finishing touches on a quilt or teaching someone else how to sew a handmade gift.
*You dabble in many different crafts, as most creatives do. I think it’s funny when people think that if you sew, or in my case make jewelry, it’s all you do. To me, creativity is endless and once you start channeling your creative vision, it spills out into all aspects of your life. Can you talk about your creativity and what inspires you?
I think that's so true! For me, blogging is just as creative as sewing or any craft I've worked with, and I'm extremely passionate about it. I've been known to spend a long time drafting a blog post, photographing my fabric earrings in just the right light or reorganizing the elements on my site until they look just right. That was my motivation to learn HTML, explore photography and keep up with many of my favorite bloggers.
I'm also very interested in the craft book industry, so my co-editor Mary and I hosted an event called Craft Book Month last September on our blog Craft Buds, to celebrate the craft book industry and feature authors, editors and readers all month long. I had a blast envisioning this concept and seeing it come to fruition!
*You work as an editor during the day for a major publisher. That’s a complex job. You have a degree in PR, so how did you get into editing? Would you say that the skills you have developed as an editor and writer have helped you build your online presence?
While I was in college, I edited our school's newspaper. For me, that job was very creative and gave me the ability to assign articles, design pages and see a final product I could be very proud of. I started as an editorial assistant at Wiley right out of college, thanks to a job market that was less scary than today's, and have grown significantly in terms of project management. At work, I'm always working on several books at the same time, which is the same way I tend to juggle freelance projects and creative blogging. But I've always been interested in PR and over the years have been able to use my training to work with clients like a local hospital, a national candy distributor (yes, I got paid to eat candy and write about it), and my local church. I also enjoy helping friends who are looking to change careers but need that extra boost in learning how to talk about themselves on paper.
*At Craft. You. we’re all about doing what you love and loving what you do. What advice do you have for people who want to make a living doing what they love?
I think it's okay to go through seasons of trying out things in order to find your niche. I've tried to find that place in health writing, traveling blogging, entertainment media... and one day fell into crafting. And I love it! I also recommend taking time to think through your options before taking a big leap. For instance, you might be able to "try out" your passion on the side before you uproot your current life and work. But once it's time to make a move, ask for a lot of advice and seek support from loved ones. Sarai Mitnick gave a great interview on how she did just that, leaving the corporate world to launch her creative business. We all have a different journey, and it's okay to feel a little lost in the midst of it. Loving what you do is a life-long goal, and what you love to do may change over time.
*What’s next for Lindsay Conner?
On January 15, my Etsy shop is going to be hosting a huge promotion through Heartsy where buyers can earn more than half off handmade fabric earrings. To take advantage, readers can just visit Heartsy and purchase a discount voucher there. All of the earrings were created with donated fabric scraps, with proceeds to go towards our adoption fund. (Yes, another huge project in the works!)
In other news, I look forward to more writing, sewing and blogging in 2012. I'll be adding some sewing patterns to my shop and also planning some fun events for the blog Craft Buds with Mary, my partner in crime there. We'd love to have you join us for some tutorials and handmade business advice.
Thanks so much for having me at Craft. You.!