Minneapolis Illustrator, Invitation Designer, + DIYer Blog

 

Art, Inspiration, and Life. Sharing all the inspires me to create.

 
Posts tagged DIY
Monday Muse: Morgan Molitor
Morgan_Molitor.jpg

Meet Morgan Molitor. This week’s Monday Muse. She’s the style half of Construction 2 Style, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t know her way around a tool box. Morgan is a girl after my own heart. She’s passionate about all things design, but isn’t afraid to dig in and do it herself. She’s a true DIYer along with her husband Jamie. In addition to tackling home improvement projects, she writes for a number of publications, holds workshops on how to get started with blogging, social media, etc, just recently launched e-courses to help grow your business, speaks on panels are various conferences and networking events, the list goes on and on. Morgan LOVES to be busy and truly loves meeting new people and helping them. She’s also a big proponent of community of competition (which I LOVE). So with out further adieu, let’s meet Morgan!

What did you want to be when you grew up and why? What did you end up going to school for?

Hairdresser, art teacher, fashion designer, coffee shop & boutique owner, server, business owner, and ultimately got my degree in fashion merchandising and marketing. To be honest, even when I got my degrees, I wasn't quite sure what my path would be. I just knew I thrived on creativity. Eventually my goal was to set displays for home magazines.

Can you share with us your journey to construction2style. I understand that isn’t the career path you originally had set out for yourself?

Although I never set displays for home magazines I spent years working the corporate gig creating planograms and setting displays for big box retailers such as Target and Walmart and fashion trade shows such as FAME and MAGIC.

I went to school in Long Beach, CA and after working in the fashion district for a handful of years, my dad died unexpectedly and I decided it was time to be closer to family. So I packed my bags and moved to the largest city in my hometown state, Minneapolis. I'm originally from a very small town up north called, Roseau. Quickly after I moved home to MN, I hit up the dance floor at the Wild Onion on Grand and met my man, Jamie. Fast forward to him buying his first investment property, while we were dating, and me telling him we should start this thing called a blog. And at that moment construction2style was born. Hardly knowing Jamie at the time I was blown away by his talents and wanted to document it all for him. Slowly but surely as he updated the house, I would document what he was doing which in turn led to DIY tutorials. Never would have I thought in a million years it would eventually lead us to the life we're living right now!

When you began blogging, how long before you knew you could make it a business? What steps did you take to get it off the ground and generate income for you?

Yet, again, I had no idea what I was doing when we started c2s. ha! I built the website on my own after a full year of watching how-to build a website YouTube videos. And had no idea that you could actually make a business from blogging until we got our first inquiry from a brand asking if they could do a sponsored post. Jamie went to school for carpentry so he knew he always wanted to be in the home improvement field. But what he probably didn't expect to be his career path was creating DIY content nonstop. He always envisioned that he'd be this big builder rolling the the good 'ol boys. But I put a kink in that plan. ha!

c2s started off as a DIY home improvement blog that eventually led into a full design + build interior residential remodeling company. People started reaching out to see if we could make a table for them or re-do their fireplace or finish their basement. So after we got married Jamie took the leap, got his contractors license, quit his job and dove in. I kept working my full time merchandising job and then once our blog was up and running I was so fascinated by this whole blog and social media thing that I made a career shift to a digital marketing agency and ran their social media department. I worked there up until our second son, Beckam, was born. I realized I just couldn't do it all...run two full time jobs, be a mom of two, and a present wife. Something had to give. So in 2017, I took the leap to be full time right alongside Jamie at c2s.

What advice would you give to someone starting in the blogging/influencer space?

Write, write, write, write and then write some more! Creating content regularly is key. Which can also be very time consuming! But if you're not creating content regularly, as in 3-4 posts per week, your page-views will never increase which means you'll never be able to pitch brands and make an actually money-making business out of it.

But also, don't give up! Page-views take awhile to reach the goal you need to be at, but if you're creating content on a regular basis, you'll get there. It just won't happen overnight. Nothing happens overnight. All good things take time, right?

You’ve had a ton of success with your business - can you share something that didn’t go well or failed and what did you learn from it?

Ohhh you are so kind. There have been a lot of mistakes in our business, for sure. And we've learned a ton over the years. We're still learning every day with every new project and client we face. And I'm always thinking up these crazy new ideas and not all of them work out. But that's ok, at least I tried. The thing I tell myself though when embarking on a new idea is that I have to commit to it for at least 1 full year before I can say, ok, you can be done now. Otherwise, how do you know it really didn't work?

I honestly can't think of any failures because even when things haven't worked out, we've learned so hard and fast from it and it's just made our business better, which is a win in my eyes! But if I had to think of a constant learning experience it would be - cash flow. Running your own business and being financially independent is stressful and cashflow is a constant juggle. For a long time we didn't know our worth and we danced around money with clients. We cringed at having the estimate conversation and explaining to them why what is what. And then if there was something in the project that was out of scope, we'd just do it and not charge them. Because it wasn't worth the time or energy to explain why it was out of scope to our clients and why it's costing x amount. Now because we've learned that we are worth more than that, and are confident in that, we just say it like it is and also don't even explain things. They can take it or leave it. We're not going to sit and convince them why they should have this or that and/or work with us. We're not a non-profit and we're done working for free.

How did you know when it was time to grow your team? Did you plan for it? What was the hiring process like? Do you plan to keep growing?

We never knew that we'd one day have a team, still scares us half to death at times. We have two full time employees and both of them found us through Instagram and asked if we were hiring. They started part time, maybe working 10 hours a week and quickly moved to full time. Each time we just made the jump and figured it out financially as we went. And we all have worked harder and smarter together and doubled our companies profits within the first year they went full time. Best decision we ever made! And we can't wait to keep growing our team. If you asked Jordan what our hiring process was like she'd say... Well, Morgan was 2 hours late to the interview because she was getting her lashes done and it was her first time so had no idea that it took so long and couldn't open her eyes to text me. And... within 5 meetings of meeting her I asked if she could help me setup an event that day. She was hired after that! The hiring process with Topher was pretty similar. So I guess you could say, we don't have a process. I can tell if I like a person within the first 5 minutes of meeting them. And I don't care what your background is, as long as you're a good, genuine person, thrive on creativity and working your ass off, and want to be here- we want that kind of person on our team. Because we can train the rest.

What would you tell your younger self?

Know your worth. No-one needs to know or be convinced of your why but you. Read more books early on. Avoid people who don't fill your cup. Don't stress over the small things, because it's all small thing- learn fast and move on! You'll be terrified of public speaking in college and will avoid it at all costs- knock it off and practice more of it! Do everything that scares the crap out of you. Spend more time with your parents because soon you'll loose your dad way too young.

Rapid Fire Questions:

  • Early bird or night owl: Both, I don't sleep.

  • Control freak or go with flow Go with the flow 100%

  • 3 Instagram accounts that give you life @beginninginthemiddle, @standtoserve, @ashleyklemieux

  • City slicker or country lover ....Bah, that's hard. If it weren't for family I'd totally be a city slicker. I grew up small town and now married a man who will never leave the country. So the country is where home is.

  • Favorite room to design/style Bathrooms!

  • Go to paint color Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore

Thanks Morgan for sharing your journey and being a part of the Monday Muse series. You can find Morgan on their blog, instagram, and pinterest.

Taj Halloween 2018: TV Characters

This will the be the 5th Annual Taj Halloween Party and the theme this year is TV Characters. As I’ve stated before, I LOVE Halloween. It’s my favorite holiday and I’m super excited for this year’s theme. I started planning in August. Seriously. Save the dates went out and then I got to work on the invitations. With this year’s theme being TV Characters, I wanted to do something tv related (obviously!). After a few brainstorming sessions, I landed on designing a mock up of a TV Guide cover. I wanted to highlight the array of characters one could chose from. And while I couldn’t fit everything I wanted onto the cover, I did enjoy drawing all the images.

As usual, once I started creating, the ideas kept coming. I didn’t want to clutter the cover with all the details of the party, so I created a table of contents. This allowed me to convey the theme in more detail and provide specifics on time, etc.

While trying to figure out how to put it all together in a fun way, I had the idea to use actual TV Guides. I took to Instagram to crowd source after a few unsuccessful searches on Ebay. IG didn’t pan out either, but after a few rabbit hole trips on the internet, I found a site that then linked me back to a bunch of ebay sellers who weren’t selling collector issues. Side note: why couldn’t I find them as easily just searching on ebay the first time???? Anywho, I ended up getting the 22 copies I needed. All various years dating back the 80’s. They’re pretty great! I attached my cover over the cover of the old TV Guide, and then attached the contents page inside over the original contents. I will share photos of the actual invitation and details of the party later this month. Stay tuned.

TV Guideactualsize blog version.jpg
TV Guide Contents blog version.jpg
Muse Monday - Tiff Style
image

Today’s Muse Monday is dedicated to my friend Tiff.  50+ days ago, she suffered an extremely severe stroke. It was on that same day that we had just started talking about meeting up in person. Weird, right? You see, I’ve known Tiff since High School. But, we didn’t reconnect until a few years ago. We started following each other on twitter and facebook, commenting on each other’s post regularly. She is the most inspiring person I know, even if we haven’t “seen” each other since high school. She greets every day with a positive attitude, sees the good in all things, and has this great I’m going to kick ass today and nothing is going to slow me down attitude! Oh, and did I mention she loves heels, fashion and all things fabulous? A girl after my own heart.

image

I read her CaringBridge page everyday and continue to be amazed at the progress she has made. Even her doctors are impressed with how dedicated she is to recovering from this debilitating stroke. She has a long recovery road ahead of her, but I know she will fight all the obstacles that are in her way. I’d been waiting to make her a card as I wanted inspiration to guide me through the process. Today,inspiration struck. It’s simple and to the point, but I know she will like (I used her favorite color-pink!).  Take some time today to send positive thoughts to Tiff. She could really use them!

Card Materials:

Paper: Stampers Select White (Papertrey Ink)

Stamps: Watercolor wonder, Mini Blooms (both Papertrey Ink)

Ink: Pink Grapefruit (VersaMagic), Pink Petunia (VersaMagic), Galaxy Gold (Brilliance), Lilac Posies (Memento), Pixie Dust (VersaMagic), Orchid (Colorbox)

Muse Monday - Mom's Birthday Card

{Image credit}

My mom has been my most loyal reader since day one. Whenever I post a new update, she’s one of the first to like it (she hasn’t quite figured out how to comment yet, baby steps) . She’s my biggest supporter and believer in me and it’s her birthday today- Happy Birthday Mom!! I love you and hope you have a wonderful day! XOXO

Now, onto the details. The inspiration for today’s card is one of my favorite pins to my card inspiration board. I love the color combination and the sparkle this dress has. Trying to find the same effect for a card was difficult until I stumbled upon this paper and knew it was what I was looking for. I’ve been wanting to use this inspiration for quite some time and I’m really excited by how it turned out. 

Don’t you just love how the copper embossing powder shines? It really makes the card. Reminds me of shiny, new pennies. 

Card Materials:

Paper: Vintage Cream (PTI), Peacock (PaperSource), Carousel (October Afternoon)

Ink: VersaMark

Stamps: Sentiment Signs (PTI)

Other: Mat Stack 4 die (PTI), Copper Embossing Powder (Zing!), Glitter Ribbon (American Crafts)