Saturday, December 15, 2012

She Makes a Home

Welcome fine readers. In the midst of the very sad and disturbing news of the CT tragedy, I hope you can take a reprieve and look at the beauty that also exists. In the end, there is nothing more important than home, family, love and kindness.  I hope you find inspiration in this interview with Ashley Pahl, of She Makes a Home. Ashley is a creative entrepreneur and mother of two who embodies the beauty and sweetness that reminds me to keep my chin up. May love and kindness prevail.

1. I recently discovered your gorgeous blog via Holly Becker's Blogging Your Way forum and fell in love with your unique aesthetic. Can you tell us about your blog and shop? Did you design your own graphics for your site?

I wish I had designed the graphics myself! I actually have no graphic design education, but I'm very specific with what I like. I've been blogging since January 2008, and over the years, my blog has had a couple of name changes and complete design overhauls. It was over the summer of 2012 that I came across the work of Kendra at the Darling Blog, and it was exactly what I had been looking for all of these years. The design that Kendra made is exactly what I would have done, if I knew how to do it.

I am at least comfortable enough to work with clip art and HTML code, so I tweak a lot of my blog myself, such as the specialized fonts, buttons and badges, etc. I like to work with graphics by The Ink Nest, almost exclusively.

2. What is the inspiration behind your new e-mag?  Will you make more?

The idea for Snowed In has been in me since I was 8 or 9 years old. I used to make magazines out of construction paper and notebook paper, and try to sell copies to my relatives - I've always been a bit of an entrepreneur. I've seen so many amazing e-Magazines and catalogs online now that I thought it was time to give it a try. There's really no better time than the holidays - people love gift ideas, little DIY projects and help with throwing their parties. I was lucky enough to find a great group of women to contribute to Snowed In with me. I'd love to make it an annual thing, but that always depends on my work schedule in my paper goods shop. 

3. You describe yourself as a "paper-crafting workaholic-at-home mother of two", as a mother myself, I often notice the struggle between wanting to fully devote myself to my creative endeavours and making sure I spend quality time with my daughter... how do you manage your creative business with mothering?

I have to admit that it's not always pretty! Since I stay home with my girls, I look at my three jobs like this: 

1. my children
2. my business
3. housework.

Although, my marriage is pretty important too, so housework is more like 4th priority. I can usually do a good job of playing with and taking care of the kids during the day, and work on my blog and paper goods shop during naps, nights, and weekends. The result is that my home is not always as clean or organized as I'd like it to be. I feel like something will always be lacking - it just comes down to deciding what that thing will be. Right now I have my online shop on vacation mode, and my house hasn't been this clutter-free in a few months. I also make sure to take a vacation in the summer so our family has some quality time together. I guess there is a season for all things. When my girls are in school all day in a couple of years, I'd like to be working during the day and spending time with them in the evenings.

3.You have an Etsy shop, and recently your cards got picked up by Terrain- how did this come about?

A buyer from Terrain contacted me directly, so I'm not entirely sure how they found me. I probably should have asked! I was Etsy's Featured Seller back in June, so it could have been from that increased exposure. 

4. I see that you are a fan of Danielle LaPorte, what inspires you about her work and how have you incorporated her message into your own life?

It was actually a year ago that I was introduced to Danielle's work. I bought The Spark Kit, devoted a week to it, and I believe it changed my whole life. I became more focused and driven in my work, and I started taking more time for myself and making my happiness a priority. What I like about Danielle is that she doesn't tell you, "this is the only way - it's my way or the highway." Instead, she gives you the tools to help you figure out what's right for you. The reader has to dig deep and do the dirty work.

At the end of the Fire Starter Sessions and The Spark Kit, Danielle says, "Just start. Now." Everything in your life doesn't have to be perfect to get started on your dream. The sooner you start, the sooner you'll see results. And that's what I did. I refined and edited my paper goods line, and refocused my blog. 2012 has been the best year for both my shop and my blog, and I can't say I would have made those changes if it weren't for Danielle's influence. She just radiates awesome.

5. On my blog/show, I like to ask people if they are living in their sweet spot, a self defined place of meaning and fulfillment. Are you there?

I can't say I'm there yet, but I do feel like I am on my way. There's nothing I could complain about in my life, other than needing more time, of course. There are definitely some things I still need to work on. I need to go to bed earlier, so I'm well-rested in the morning. I need to be more patient. I could stand to be more social. But as far as what I have - my family, my home, my work - I wouldn't change anything.

6. What makes your home YOUR home?

I'm very sentimental. I have personal photos in each room. I've painted the main living spaces in colors that make me feel calm. There are little objects from my past on the shelves that remind me of good times and good people. I definitely want my home too look good, but I'll never sacrifice memories and personalization - I have to work those into each room. This is the first house we've ever owned, and I'm hoping to stay for a few decades. I have a little series on my blog so you can see the changes I've been making since we moved in.

7. Where can we learn more about you and your products?

My entire line of handmade paper goods are on Etsy as AshleyPahl, and my blog is She Makes a Home. I'm also pretty active on Facebook and Pinterest, so you can connect with me there!
THANK YOU Ashley for sharing your beautiful story and lovely home. xo Desha


  1. Wow Ashley is so talented Deesha. BYW has been such a great way of finding so many creative people all over the world hasn't it!! :-)) caroline

  2. Yes, I agree Caroline, I'm so glad to connect with all these great BYW gals (including you!)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...