Minneapolis Illustrator, Invitation Designer, + DIYer Blog

 

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

 
Posts tagged Design
Monday Muse: Morgan Molitor
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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.

Monday Muse: Melissa Oholendt
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I’m fan girling big time over this week’s Monday Muse - Melissa Oholendt. For real. I ADORE her. From the minute I found her on Instagram, I’ve been a big fan. From her amazing (I mean AMAZING) photography to her interior inspiration and DIY projects, to the funniest photo captions (that truly make me LOL) and her (and her husband Matt) journey to becoming parents - this gal is just downright awesome. I may have fan girled on her husband the first time I met him while working one night at The Foundry Home Goods - True Story. I realized it was him and was all - your OHOHouse’s husband. Yep. I said that. No shame. *smackshead. He took it in stride and when I actually got to meet her IRL a few months later, she hugged me like we’d been long lost friends. So let’s get to know Melissa a bit more and you can see why she’s truly the best.

How did you get started as a photographer? Did you always have a passion for photography?

I would love to say that yes, I totally always knew I would be a photographer but the answer is that my passion was born out of need for a creative outlet and quite honestly, took me by surprise! When I first picked up a camera with the intent to create something, I was working in finance at a super type-A, task-driven position that fit my strengths perfectly but needed a little dose of creative freedom to balance the left-brain heavy career. What began as a hobby turned into a snowball that would eventually allow me to fulfill both my love of analytics and organization and my need for beauty and artistic creation and ten years later, here we are. Older, wiser, definitely a little weaker in the knee joints.

How did you decide weddings were what you wanted to focus on?

Weddings were such a natural fit for me! Not only am I a hopeless romantic but I have a heart-pounding obsession with pretty things and nothing is prettier than a happy bride.

Has there been a specific moment that made you think "yep, I've made it because I've done ...

Last year I was recognized as one of 74 Best Photographers in the WORLD by Brides Magazine and if that's not a pinch-me-how-did-that-even-happen moment in life? I don't know what is.

Whats one bucket list photo you want to capture?

A self-timer photo of my entire family of 4 generations together this summer - this will be the first time we've all gotten together since the babies were born and I CANNOT WAIT. <3

Your Oho House account is FILLED with so much gorgeous home inspiration (and lets not forget the amazing captions you create!) - what inspired you to create that account and where do you get your inspiration from for your home?

Oh gosh, you are SO kind. Years (and years and years) ago, I initially started college with the intention of becoming an interior designer so I've loved interiors for as long as I can remember (just ask my mom who tried to talk me out of painting my childhood bedroom a deep navy). Initially, I started Instagram the way we all did, with the intent to document life (so please don't scroll back to 2013, k?) but as we (my wonderful, amazingly patient and receptive-to-my-hair-brained ideas husband, Matt) found such a passion for transforming rooms to align better with how we live (and, let's be honest - to be beautiful), the life documenting turned into documenting those changes (with life thrown in) and DIY projects became a fun outlet (and therapeutic when things would go awry, too). There is an amazing community of people who love DIY house projects and interiors on instagram and it's been really fun to find my place in that community.

You've also created a website , Oho Interiors, that offers online design help. What prompted you to start offering design services? Do you see yourself transitioning from weddings to this? Or will you do both?

This is the ten million dollar question!

Truth be told, 2019 will be my last year in the photography industry but I don't know what life beyond that looks like. All I know is that I truly believe that a home is a powerful place of rest, togetherness and love and if I can have a small part in helping someone create that in their own home? It would be an honor.

If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

"Dear Year 2000 Melissa. You will marry Matt Oholendt so chill, ok?"

(But seriously.)

Rapid Fire:

  • Favorite Wedding Venue to Photograph: I LOVE my local MN venues but a certain winery in the Santa Ynez Valley has my heart (there is magic there, I am convinced) - Sunstone Vineyard & Winery!

  • Foodie (All about those new restaurants) or Stay home and cook (give me all the recipes/creations): Two years ago I would have said FOODIE ALL THE WAY but our daughter's 7pm bedtime has given me a new appreciation for staying home and cooking! (PS - Chrissy Teigen's Cravings cookbook might be one of my favorites. Not a bad recipe to be had yet!)

  • Go to Paint Color: Balboa Mist by Benjamin Moore

  • Describe your home style in 3 words: Cozy. Elevated. Layered.

  • Favorite Justin Timberlake Song: ALL OF THEM. How can you pick just one? (Ok, ok. Blue Ocean Floor. By a hair.)

Thanks so much Melissa! We’re so excited to see where Oho Interiors takes you. To stay up to date on all the great stuff Melissa is working on, follow here @Oho_house on instagram.

Monday Muse: Kayd Roy
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This week’s Monday Muse is creative brand strategist Kayd Roy. She’s a force to be reckoned with when it comes to building out a brand and has more energy than the energizer bunny. No joke. She’s busy all the damn time and still finds time to have fun, a family, take time out of her day to mentor/guide/inspire others over coffee or drinks. Seriously. She will meet you to chat anytime!

You're truly a "Jane of all Trades" when it comes to a creative career! Can you share with us what it is you do and how you got started?
I help launch and organize businesses through strategic design and thoughtful experiences. On the daily I create trend concepts for Target, am the Director of Design for the boutique fitness studio Fly Feet Running, Co-Founder of a career-growth event series called The Catalyst Circle and run a full-service design studio with clients nation wide. Since a young age, I was always around art projects thanks to my parents and began teaching myself Photoshop in middle school. I’ve said yes to almost every opportunity and this is where it’s landed me!


How to you get it all done? What does a typical day look like?
First, whenever my toddler wakes up that’s when I also wake up (trying to squeeze in every last moment of possible sleep). I drop her at daycare and the majority of the day I’m at Target HQ working on design concepts for Beauty, Essentials, Electronics and Pets. Half the day is spent in meetings and the other is spent pinning ideas to a wall creating a design strategy to drive the businesses forward. In the evening we’ll do dinner, a small walk and then it’s off to bed for my daughter, which is when the real work begins. A small but mighty team of freelancers pitch in on the projects I create for clients so it’s a lot of organization, communication and prioritizing while also catching up on the latest Netflix show. 


You're a small business owner as well as a corporate employee. What made you decide to do both?
It’s not easy, and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to everyone. My small-biz experience is where I get my energy. It allows me to be nimble, try new strategies, swiftly adjust course if something is not working, lead a team and be a part of other peoples stories. My corporate gig allows me to focusing in on areas of career-growth I wouldn’t necessarily get by being independent. 


What have you worked on that you are the most proud of and why?
There’s been a lot of really great projects but the one that takes the cake is Fly Feet Running. In a corporate environment, or even at a design agency, you only get to be a small part of the puzzle, very rarely the full thing. So when Kristin & Ben brought me on I helped further develop their brand in design, naming, class structure, website, social, floor plans & environment design, apparel and basically anything else that need that needed some design thinking. Through their leadership and trust I was able to prove that what I had been doing for much smaller businesses could be scaled up and still successful.


What advice would you give to someone starting their own business?
Figure out the goal of your business. Is it something to keep you busy? Is there whitespace you can develop in? Is this your get rich quick solution? Is this a business you want to pass down to your family? Is it for more control? Once you can articulate why you are going into business it will help you make the right decisions.

Rapid Fire Questions:

  • Introvert or extrovert? Super extrovert. hiiiiiii

  • Coffee or tea? Coffee. Lots of cream

  • Early riser or burn the midnight oil? Party all night long

  • Paper or digital calendar and to do list? Todoist.com is how I can manage it all

  • Your design style in 3 words or less: All-in. Underestimated. Jazzed.

  • Favorite IG account to follow: For years and years and years it's been Kate over at Wit&Delight. Now that we've all grown up, it's fun to see what her kiddos are doing and how she's grown from her #ootd days.

Thanks so much Kayd! If you have a business that could benefit from Kayd’s work, you can find her at KaydRoy.com. Drop her a note and meet her for coffee!