photo by Jessica Kettle Photography
I remember first hearing about blogs around 2007. The concept to me was incredible. I guess I assumed Martha Stewart was the only crafty and creative person out there. Suddenly I was introduced to ordinary woman, like myself, who were posting DIY tutorials, sharing their favorite products, giving parenting advice and sharing their stories with the world. The first few blogs I read religiously were, a Room Somewhere, Stephmodo and Black Eiffel. I was studying Interior Design at Mesa Community College and I felt like I had so many resources for design inspiration opened up to me because of blogs. I remember the first time I saw someone post a picture of a kitchen with white cabinets and I was floored. What! Something other than brown cabinets and granite countertops could be beautiful? Coming from Utah I assumed red was the only color you were allowed to decorate with and if your home wasn’t “Tuscan” or ” A Pottery Barn Look-a-like” then it was nothing. Fast forward 2 years and I had my first baby, Jett.
I suspected at the time that I was feeling a bit of the baby blues but I know now I had post-pardum depression. I never in a million years thought it would happen to me. But here I was with a brand new beautiful baby feeling so so so so sad. I was tired and anxious and stressed out to the max. I wanted more than anything to go back to the life I had before I had a baby. I missed my freedom and I missed my old life. I started to feel trapped in my sadness and loneliness and I didn’t know how I would ever get out of it. One night during one of those late night feedings I started blog hopping and something life-changing happened. I discovered Little Green Notebook. As I had mentioned before I had read a lot of design blogs but I had never really found a blog where someone blogged specifically about Interior Design and most importantly they blogged about what they were doing in their own home. I read Jenny’s entire blog back until I reached the beginning of it and I was hungry for more. I followed her links and found blogs like Making it Lovely, I Suwannee, Caitlin Creer, Bryn Alexandra and 4 men 1 lady. I started looking forward to waking up with Jett at 1 in the morning just so I could read my favorite blogs. Something wonderful started happening. I started to feel awake and alive for the first time since having Jett. I felt connected to these amazing women who were doing what they loved to do. I was inspired to follow my own dreams and be creative in my own way. So my blog was born.
Starting my blog is by far one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Readers didn’t come fast but they came. And with each new reader I felt more and more excited. I also felt less alone and more connected to other women out there. I had no idea so many people enjoyed design as much as I do! I also had no idea that things that I wrote about could ever inspire or touch any one else. But people started reading and commenting and it felt great! I wouldn’t say my blog alone pulled me out of my post-pardum but it helped.
As a mother sometimes it’s easy to feel lost in this world. We may feel looked over or a little less important. Blogging made me feel like I wasn’t alone and that I was important! Not only that but maybe I even had a talent I could share with other people. And it’s been so eye-opening to read blogs of other business owners and inspiring designers. Every time I read someone’s blog I am in awe of the creative and amazing women out there. I feel empowered and more confident in my own abilities. I remember reading Jenny’s blog and realizing that maybe I too could start my own design business. If people were responding well to what I was doing in my own home there was a chance they might hire me to help them with theirs. And sure enough it’s happened!
When I started taking on clients I was surprised and delighted each time someone asked me to help them with their home. It felt like such an honor and still does. There have been many many many ups and downs since starting my business and after I had Jane I felt burnt out. I had some rough clients that took a lot of the joy out of doing design work. I took a much needed client break from design work but I couldn’t stay away for long. One of my very best friends, Erin, and I started working together and suddenly I felt excited about designing again. There is something so fun about working with your best friend. It’s as if every tough situation doesn’t seem as tough and every happy and exciting moment seems a million times more happy and exciting because you have someone to share it with. It was definitely an adjustment to make room for another equal partner on projects but I started to see that working with someone else only made me better. What we have accomplished together could have never been accomplished if I was still on my own. House of Jade has become so much bigger than we could have ever imagined. With each new big step we take we feel nervous and excited at the same time. We are always overwhelmed with the amount of support we feel and are so grateful for the clients that hire us and keep our business going. I have felt more and more that the next natural step is to turn this blog over to House of Jade. I know, just like with everything else that we’ve done, that it will only make the blog better. We’ll have more time, together, to brainstorm fun ideas and think of ways to reinvent the content. I can tell that I won’t be able to keep it up on my own. It’s so much work and I want to have every spare second that I’m not working to be spent with my family.
When Erin and I discussed the decision I couldn’t help but cry. It sounds so silly but this blog is like another child. It has blessed my life so much. YOU all have blessed my life so much. When I had Jett and I thought my life was over I had no idea that it was just beginning. The greatest and most amazing journey of my life was starting to take shape as I focused on building my blog. People have come into my life that have changed it tremendously. I have received countless sweet and genuine emails from readers that I’ll save forever. It has allowed me to help support my family and build a business. It has taken me across the country to meet amazing people. It has been a place to share a piece of my heart. But it’s on to new adventures.
We have been working hard on the House of Jade blog and I guarantee it will be a new and improved version of 6th Street Design School. There will be more great content and we’ll continue to give insight, sources and sneak peeks into all of our design projects. We’ll have more time to focus on better posts. I will continue to oversee the blog and make sure that we are giving readers what they want. I hope and pray that all of you will continue reading and stay connected as we make this transition. Change is good but so so hard. But with each change comes so much growth and so many wonderful surprises!
photo by Lindsey Orton Photography