On today's show, we have home design blogger, Marly Dice. Marly is the founder of A Brick Home, a blog about home renovation, DIY projects, and decorating ideas that help readers create their version of a beautiful home on a budget.
Marly has a background in marketing but has had a passion for home living ever since she can remember. Although she might not have had any formal interior design training, Marly spends her evenings and weekends creating an inspired home space one DIY project at a time.
Marly also has a passion for everything blogging-related and often outlines blogging tips and strategies on her blog to help others achieve their blogging goals. On today’s show, we catch up with Marly about turning a blog into a business, working from home and where to find inspiration.
Whether you’re a designer, a DIYer, a new home owner or a blogger, Marly has a stockpile of helpful tips and advice! Take a listen.
Key Points From This Episode:
- Find out what motivated Marly to start a home design blog.
- Managing a one-year-old daughter and a blog.
- The blogger bug!
- When is it okay to splurge on home décor?
- Marly’s tips for re-doing your own furniture.
- Making time for blogging.
- Photography for your blog.
- Why you don’t necessarily need interior design training.
- The importance of studying other blogs.
- Starting your projects on Pinterest.
- Turning your blog from a side hustle into a full-time gig.
- And much more!
“Blogging allows you to work for yourself. You don't have deadlines. You create your own deadlines.” @abrickhome [0:03:31.1]
“Continue observing what other bloggers are doing; study their pictures, study their work, look at their tips.” — @abrickhome [0:19:12.1]
“Pinterest is always my go-to number one tool that I use when I start a design project.” — @abrickhome [0:19:12.1]
“A lot of people don’t realize this, but blogging can be very lucrative and you can earn a nice income.” — @abrickhome [0:27:20.1]
“If you have affiliate marketing strategies in place, you can be making money when you're sleeping.” — @abrickhome [0:28:53.1]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
A Brick Home Blog — http://www.abrickhome.com
Marly Dice on Twitter — https://twitter.com/abrickhome
Marly on Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/abrickhome/
Marly on Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/marlydice/
Marly on Pinterest — https://za.pinterest.com/abrickhome/
Canva — https://www.canva.com/
Rug Knots Trade Account — RugKnots.com/trade
Read The Podcast Transcript
[0:00:05.7] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to Spinning Yarns, the interior design podcast brought to you by rugknots.com, luxurious hand knotted area rugs for your home and clients. Want to offer top quality hand crafted oriental rugs to your customers? Setup your trade account now at rugknots.com/trade and get special discounts on all products.
Now, let’s talk interior design.
[0:00:28.0] GO: Hello everyone, and welcome to the second edition of the Spinning Yarns Podcast. I'm George Owens and with me is the owner of Rug Knots, Naheed Mir. Our guest on today's show is Marly Dice. Marly is the founder of A Brick Home, a blog about home renovation, DIY projects, and decorating ideas. They help for home inspiration. A Brick Home helps readers create their version of a beautiful and thriving home on a budget.
Marly has had a passion for beautiful home living ever since she can remember. Even when she used to work in the corporate as a marketer she spent her evenings and weekends creating an inspired home space one DIY project at a time. Marly also has a passion for everything blogging related. She often outlines blogging tips and strategies on her blog to help others achieve their blogging goals. To learn more about Marly and A Brick Home, please visit abrickhome.com.
[0:01:18.0] GO: Good morning, Marly, and thank you for joining us on the Spinning Yards podcast. It's great to have you here this morning.
[0:01:24.5] MD: Thank you. It’s great to be here.
[0:01:25.9] GO: Great. You started a blog after your daughter was born, and so how did you decide to do a home design blog?
[0:01:34.6] MD: I actually ended up becoming a stay-at-home-mom in February of this year and it's been wonderful and everything I had imagined, but I wanted my creative outlet that I could have that was only for me and I then I just wanted something that I could do on the side, almost like a side hustle where there was potential to earn money but also incorporated my passions.
Blogging ended up being the perfect thing. I actually used to be marketer for six years prior to becoming a stay-at-home-mom, so I knew that I wanted to do something with marketing. I also wanted to do something with writing. I've always been an avid writer. Then I knew that going into blogging would be perfect just because I could be able to incorporate the marketing side where I could market my blog, also writing a blog because I was able to write blog posts, but then having the home design aspect just seemed like the perfect fit because I'm really doing it anyway.
To give you guys some background, my husband and I, we actually have been fixing up homes for years now even while we were in prior or other jobs. It really worked out well because he has DIY skills, where I have decorating skills and we kind of blend those together. It ended up being just that blogging was the perfect fit and I actually love every minute of it, and that’s pretty much how I ended up going into home design blogging.
[0:03:01.1] GO: Very good. I guess congratulations are in order. I know you say you have a daughter and —
[0:03:06.5] MD: Thank you.
[0:03:07.3] GO: I guess she’s probably nine —
[0:03:10.2] MD: She’s almost a year.
[0:03:11.7] GO: Almost a year now.
[0:03:11.6] MD: Yeah, she’s 10 months right now. Yup.
[0:03:13.1] GO: Yeah, 10 months. Congratulations.
[0:03:15.4] MD: Thank you.
[0:03:15.8] GO: It’s kind of nice that you're able to incorporate some of the things that you like to do; writing and, in a sense, marketing. You’re putting a lot of your marketing skill to task where, so that's kind of nice as well.
[0:03:29.0] MD: Yes, absolutely. The other side of it is that unlike having a part-time gig or something like that where I could have done that on the side for myself, blogging allows you to really work for yourself. You don't have deadlines. You create your own deadlines. I didn't want to have that kind of responsibility with a growing daughter. Right now she's actually starting to crawl, so my time to be able to do my improvement projects is kind of changing, so deadlines aren't really working for me right now. I have to kind of go in her schedule. When she's napping, for example, that’s when I’m working on my blog. That's when I’m painting furniture. That's when I’m doing all of my home-improvement tasks.
[0:04:09.6] GO: Fitting in here and there where you can.
[0:04:11.0] MD: Yeah, exactly. Yup.
[0:04:12.6] GO: That’s good that your kind of time management is really being tested there as well as.
[0:04:16.1] MD: Yes. Yes, absolutely.
[0:04:16.1] GO: Okay. It seems your blog was born out of your interest in home renovating and decorating, but you’ve developed a passion for the practice of blogging in and of itself. Can you tell us a bit more about when you decided you wanted to help others to start a blog of their own.
[0:04:32.0] MD: Sure. Yeah. Really, I started blogging, and right away I got the blogging bug. Really, it stemmed from just seeing what other bloggers were doing. I absolutely love the décor aspect. I do that all the time. It's the main theme of my blog, but I think I’m kind of making it so that I have a side theme or a subset, which is blogging. I just like to help other bloggers get kicked off and learn how to blog. Fortunately, for me, I've been in the marketing world. I've been working around websites for years and years, so I know a little bit of HTML coding. I know things like that where I was able to put those skills to use to make my blog. In general, I have knowledge in it, so I like to be able to help others get their’s started too.
[0:05:23.1] GO: Very good. You say in the blog that your passions are home decor and kind of keeping things tidy, and you have a tidy home and everything, but it actually shows in the blog. Everything is very well in order and easy to follow and easy to read and it just looks like it follows through.
I do like the name of your blog, it’s A Brick Home.
[0:05:48.5] MD: Yes.
[0:05:49.0] GO: I saw the photo on your blog. Visitors can go and visit Marly’s website, abrickhome.com, and there's a photo of you and your husband at the front door of your brick home, so it’s not just the name. She actually has a brick home. It’s a beautiful — looks like a two-story home.
[0:06:06.5] MD: Yup. Thank you. I appreciate that.
[0:06:10.2] GO: It looks like you and your husband seem to be very frugal and wise with your spending. If we could touch back to the impetus for your blog for the home decor and kind of decorating on a budget. What are some of things would you say that are okay to splurge on when decorating your home?
[0:06:29.6] MD: Yes. That's a great question. To me, I don't think that there is necessarily one right answer, and I don't think that it’s a one-size-fits-all type of answer. I think that, yes, we are frugal people, but I think that, obviously, we do splurge on things. I think it’s okay for other people to splurge on things as well. I think it really just matters what those people value most.
For us, we value our large staple items. We tend to splurge on things that we can’t necessarily DIY. For example, our sectional in our living room. I’m not going to go out and make a couch or a sofa, right? That’s something that we ended up spending a little bit more money on, but it's only because we value our living room, and that’s one area that we spend a lot of time in. It just made most sense to find something that was, number one, quality product that would last a long time.
Another thing that we’ve splurged on has been our kitchen, and our kitchen cabinetry. We recently did a full kitchen reno. Funny enough, my dad actually used to own his own cabinetry business and I think that that's where my love of DIY first started was just growing up with him and seeing him do pretty much every single thing. He’s the ultimate handyman, and really so is my husband, so it’s funny how that works.
We ended up spending a lot of money on our cabinetry. I wanted a certain look and I wasn’t going to be able to achieve that look with poor quality products. I will say though that I had the luxury of having my dad have the know-how to install kitchen cabinetry, because that’s what he did for a living, right? He knows the ins and outs of that. I like to think that were frugal in the sense that we were able to do the install ourselves. We didn’t actually have to pay for that, so we did pay for the actual cabinetry, but not the install.
Yeah, also as far as things to splurge on, we also did end up splurging on our bedroom set, which is funny, because I typically tend to redo furniture, but at that time in our lives were looking to have something quick. We wanted to have a room that was all our own and it was just, I think, timing in that sense. I really think it just depends on where you are in your life regarding what you want to splurge on. Second to that, I really think it also depends on your skill. If you don't have a huge knack for DIY, it might not make sense to go out and try and build your own dining room table. You might want to take it small, right take small steps. I think it’s awesome to try and test out something, like redoing side tables, for example, because it’s something easy to do.
Actually, I’d like to bring this up. I’m super excited. I actually just did — I redid two side tables that we have. I actually found them at Goodwill. They’re only $12 a piece, which is an amazing deal. I didn’t like the look of them. They weren't what I was going for, but they had good bones and I knew that I could just fix them up with paint and some new hardware. I ended up just buying the materials that I needed to fix them up. I used chalk paint. I actually have a chalk paint tutorial right now on my blog, so if you’re interested in that you can obviously check that out. They turned out amazing and it ended up with materials. It was $27 for one table total that I spent, which is amazing.
I have to throw this in. I'm a huge fan of Joanna Gaines, and she’s the designer on Fixer Upper on the HGTV show. She actually has her own home line, which is Magnolia Homes. She actually has a very similar style side table, and I saw hers and I was looking at mine and it so similar. It's crazy, the colors. The way that I’d fixed it up was very similar. The hardware, we both have bronze hardware.
Anyway, hers, on sale was $200, and it's not horrible but at the same time I spent $27 on mine. I got that same expensive look whereas hers is $200 on sale.
[0:10:46.5] GO: Right. I guess $200, you’re starting to get into buying new furniture. It’s already finished.
[0:10:52.3] MD: Exactly.
[0:10:52.9] GO: I’m glad you brought up about your end tables, because I spent some time — I was reading the blog, and if listeners are even thinking about doing some of their room furniture, the tutorial that Marly’s written about is very detailed and it goes into a lot of detail and it has links to everything she used, paint-wise, hardware-wise, even down to like where she likes to look for used furniture. I must say you have a talent, because you have amazing pictures on there that show the before and after. I'll be honest, those end tables are beautiful and, as you mentioned, strong bones. That looks like a furniture you could probably stand on. They are solid.
[0:11:37.1] MD: They are.
[0:11:37.0] GO: They’re solid wood. It’s probably something that at the — You said it was Goodwill.
[0:11:44.2] MD: Yes.
[0:11:44.9] GO: That you found those out. I’m they got passed by, by everybody. It’s a piece, or pieces that look like they’re probably at every Goodwill. It just looks like that old, dated, dark wood furniture, but Marly refinished it and there’s pictures of the end tables actually in your home. If you look at this, it’s amazing that — It does look like something that could be from Restoration Hardware that you’ve spent —
[0:12:15.9] MD: Oh! You just made my day.
[0:12:17.2] GO: Hundreds and hundred dollars on easily, if not more. It is amazing what you've done and it does look fabulous, but it’s neat that you’ve pointed that out. The tutorials are really detailed. I think this is going to be great for anybody that's interested in doing furniture over. Of course, Joanna Gaines, you’ve pointed her out. I guess she does similar work.
[0:12:44.2] NM: I had a question, Marly. The question I had was how are you — For example, you were saying your passion for marketing and for blogs. My question is our designers who are listening, how can they incorporate the blogging in their business when they are so busy as designers?
[0:13:02.6] MD: How could they incorporate blogging in their daily lives?
[0:13:08.0] NM: Yes.
[0:13:08.4] MD: That’s a great question. For me, right now, I'm actually trying to balance my home life with blogging and I think it's really come down to setting up a schedule. Obviously, that’s altering right now, because my daughter is growing and she’s crawling now, so it is crazy. I think if you have a good schedule and I think if you're determined to be a blogger, because blogging is something that you have to do yourself. It's not something that you sit down and you have a boss and they say, “You need to get this to me by X-date.” You actually have to really want it and really make time for it. That's one thing.
I also think that it's important to have a space to do it. Right now, I'm actually working on creating a new office space in my home, because I think is really important to have that separation between home life and work life and that can be really difficult when you're working at home. How do you separate your home life and that? You walk downstairs and you're like, “Oh, I need to throw in a load of laundry,” and it’s like, “But, wait. I really need to work on my blog, so I need to have that schedule. I need to have that space set aside where I’m going to do that.” Right now that’s something I’m actually working through and I think that when I get my office completely designed, which I'm so excited. I have some new tutorials coming up for that, which I'm working on right now. Once I get that space designed, it’s going to be great because it’s going to be an inspiring space for me where I can go in every single day, I feel inspired. I’ll be able to do more inspiring work, and so I think that all of those things play a role in becoming a blogger.
[0:14:51.3] GO: It sounds like there’s a lot of content coming out on just the blog side of your business. Is there a possibility of segregating and having your home renovating A Brick Home and then maybe the blog aspect separate or just keep them together for now?
[0:15:10.1] MD: That’s a good question. I haven't really thought about separating them. I think I might change it on the website. My website is fairly new. It's been only online since February, so I have a long way to go and designing it differently. I want it to be as user-friendly as possible. Right now, I’m toying with the option of changing some of the layout so that the blogging side of it and when I actually blog about blogging, if that might live in a different area than the main blog itself and the main blog might just be the actual theme of it, which is the home reno side. I’m still toying with that idea.
I don't necessarily see me making two websites just mostly for the management side of it. Maybe one day, if it grows enough that I can have a team help me, then might be different. If it’s just me and trying to manage two sides, I don't see it as feasible, but it’s definitely something to think about.
[0:16:09.2] GO: Right. I just see that it looks like the blogging aspect of your informational, the blogs about blogging are seem to be growing and you give a nod to Canva for the design aspect.
[0:16:19.8] MD: I did. Yes. I love Canva. I do. All of my graphic design work through Canva and I actually don’t have any other tools that I pay for to do graphic design, and Canva is free. There is a paid option for it, but I choose just to use the free option and it's just great. It's so easy to use. It’s user-friendly. Right now, I've been using all of my own photos and it’s been super helpful for me too with blogging because I also have a love for photography. I’m learning more photography skills. Oh my goodness! It is very very hard. I never knew everything that went into photography, but it's crazy, which is awesome because I get to learn that with blogging. Actually, I pretty much have to learn it with blogging because in order to have a successful website you have to have those beautiful images.
[0:17:10.8] GO: Images play a big role. If somebody’s going to visit your website, the photos kind of draw you in. I was going to get to that, and I was looking at your photos, again, of the furniture that you’ve redid reviewed as well as your rooms in your house. The images are very good. I didn’t know if you did that yourself. Apparently, you do, or you hired like an architectural photographer.
[0:17:32.2] MD: I haven’t. I am thinking about hiring somebody eventually in the future to do some of the interior shots in my home. It's interesting, because I actually have some difficulty with the lighting when I'm doing interior room shots. Whereas if I'm doing something, like if I'm shooting my end tables, for example, I can find the prime location with the right amount of light. Sometimes, the right amount of light isn’t coming in the room, where I need to shoot, and I don’t have the right angle for what I — It’s really interesting and I don't feel like I have the strong enough skill there to make it as good as I want it. I think it’s good, but it could be way better.
[0:18:15.7] GO: It sounds like the desire is there to learn more and more. We may be seeing some photography tutorials on A Brick Home.
[0:18:21.4] MD: Maybe. Yeah. Absolutely. It could happen.
[0:18:24.5] GO: Excellent.
[0:18:27.9] ANNOUNCER: You’re listening to Spinning Yarns, the interior design podcast brought to you buy rugknots.com. If you’re an interior designer and looking to grow your business by offering discounted hand knotted rugs to your clients, setup your trade account today at rugknots.com/trade and get exclusive discounts on all our high-quality rugs.
[0:18:48.4] GO: I know in the blog, getting back to more of the design side or the home renovation interior design side of your website, I just wanted to touch on — I believe you stated in the blog that you don't have formal interior design training. Did you just pick up everything you’ve learned from other websites? How did you learn everything that you write about?
[0:19:12.1] MD: Right. That’s correct. I don't have an interior design training. I’ve just always had a knack for it. I’ve always loved it. It's funny because I've been watching HGTV shows for as long as I can remember. Obviously, I've kind of nodded out to Joanna Gaines, but I also really like Jillian Harris, and she on Love It or List It Vancouver. I follow both of their blogs because I love getting inspiration from them.
But aside from actual interior designers, I also just follow the bloggers. Really, Pinterest, is my main avenue for doing that because Pinterest is really a search engine for bloggers. I love Google, but I rarely go on there anymore because everything I’m Googling or that I want to Google I can just look for it on Pinterest. Pinterest really gives me exactly what I need because I'm looking for the aesthetic side of it. I’m looking to see what are some decor ideas, how can I decorate my mantle? How can I decorate my bookshelf? How can I repaint this? What color do I want to use?
I love going on there and looking for ideas. Really, that's where I’ve started learning and I don't think I'm the best designer out there. I'm definitely not. I have so much to learn, same with decorating. It’s so funny because I actually follow one blogger who she started blogging maybe four years ago and she says it herself all the time that she's not the best decorator, but it's so funny because you can see the drastic changes that she's made in the four years. If you look at her first blog post, to now, it's crazy, the amount of improvement that she's done. She's actually one of the people who I follow most. I think she's an amazing designer now.
It’s just interesting, because she doesn’t have any interior design training, but she's used what she's learned through blogging and following other bloggers to improve her design work. That's also my plan, is just to continue observing what other bloggers are doing and other people who I look up to and seeing how they are doing things. I pretty much just study the pictures and study their work and look at their tips and ideas and then just try and put my style on that.
[0:21:25.8] GO: Try to emulate that and tweak it a bit.
[0:21:27.4] MD: Exactly.
[0:21:28.8] GO: I guess with technology, the technological landscape, everybody can kind of do anything. I think in the website you talked about your husband is a self-made home improvements, DIY guy. Thank you to YouTube.
[0:21:41.8] MD: Yes. He’s amazing. Yes! Oh my goodness! He’s learned so much from YouTube.
[0:21:47.8] GO: It is amazing what you pick up. I know I always go there if I need to learn how to do something. YouTube is kind of like the first page.
[0:21:56.0] MD: Yes. Love it.
[0:21:58.4] GO: Getting back to Pinterest, I believe that's probably where a lot of people draw inspiration. A lot of people may not have the interior design skillset or know that, “Okay, if you’re purchasing a rug, the rug needs to be this large in a room, or stick out this far from furniture.” You don't necessarily need to know that information. To go on to Pinterest, pin a bunch of images that speak to you, you may not know the reason why those images speak to you, but you know they do. It's the visual. You can put together a whole bunch of images that you like.
I know you did write a blog about your search for a rug for your living room. You have your living room, it’s kind of like all together. You’re like, “Well, there’s one missing piece.” As rug sellers here, at Rug Knots, I love your term rug love. That’s funny.
[0:22:56.2] MD: I do love rugs.
[0:22:57.5] GO: You were looking for a rug for this space and you said about — Like you say, to looking at Pinterest and looking at other ideas and what other people’s rugs look like in their living room, or their space and pinning what you like and what spoke to you. You were able to kind of narrow down what rugs that you were looking at. You were able to like kind of pair-down pretty quickly what you didn't like and what you did like. It made your rug search look a lot easier.
[0:23:32.3] MD: Yeah, exactly. I pretty much use Pinterest for every project when starting. I love just creating a board on there and saying, “Okay, let me just pin all the images that I’d like first, and then let me see what those images all have in common and let me see how I can tweak that to account for the space that I'm trying to design.” Yeah, Pinterest is always my go-to, number one tool that I use when I start my whatever design project I'm working on.
[0:24:00.8] GO: The designs — Or your living room and your rooms in your home, they look like you’ve spent all whole lot more to put it together and everything.
[0:24:00.8] MD: Thank you. That’s my goal. Definitely.
[0:24:13.5] GO: In today’s economic landscape, I think that your blog, specifically, about how to design with a frugal mindset is well received and has attracted a lot of readers. That’s definitely extremely valuable too.
[0:24:29.4] MD: Thank you. Yeah, it’s interesting that I’ve actually had some feedback from people and I love hearing, and I recently got a comment on one of my posts saying, “Oh my goodness! I actually just got side tables with a recent house purchase and you've inspired me to redo them.” I love hearing that. It makes me so excited because I feel like anybody, if they're willing to learn and willing to put in a little bit of elbow grease, that they can absolutely do and tackle a DIY project.
[0:24:58.6] GO: I think a lot of people are going to start to visit these Salvation Army Centers and looking for furniture, because it’s amazing. If you have an eye for it, you can fix some furniture out that you would just pass by normally. I do welcome people to visit A Brick Home and look at Marly’s blog about the tables she did. It’s very nice.
[0:25:20.1] MD: Thank you.
[0:25:20.6] GO: I guess I was getting back to ask you what you could splurge on. I think there’s an English proverb about necessity is the mother of invention. Did it kind of start out that way where your frugality is because it was something that you had to do, or was it just like a design choice that you're like, “I’m not spending a lot on furniture.”
[0:25:43.7] MD: I think, for us, there are other things that I do want to spend my money on, like traveling and things like that. Yes, you can save money in certain ways when you're traveling, but sometimes you do have to spend more when you're traveling. There're things where I knew that I could, from the home side, I could save that money instead of saving it for traveling. I knew I could save the money from the home décor side because I could do projects myself and go the DIY route.
It’s also one of those things too where I think a lot of people end up coming to this situation where a husband and wife both working full-time jobs. They have a child. Do you want to pay for daycare or do you want to have the ability to have one parent stay home. It is very difficult, number one, just in general to have a stay-at-home-parent. For us, just saving money in general has been great. We’re able to still do the things we want to while living on my husband's income, but then also still doing projects and I'm able to still create looks that I want to be able to create but just by spending less.
[0:26:56.9] GO: Right.
[0:26:57.5] NM: What is your long-term goal with the blog? Where do you want to go from here?
[0:27:02.9] MD: Yeah. With the blog, ultimately, I would like it to become my full-time business. Right now it's more a side hustle and even though I probably work on it more like a full-time job because I'm constantly doing something for it, I would like it to become a full-time gig. A lot of people don't really realize this, but blogging can be very lucrative and you can earn a nice income. I actually follow several bloggers who are millionaires just from blogging. The reason I know that is because what they post what are called income reports where the outline exactly where they're getting their money from. They’ll say, “Okay, this month I earned money from affiliate marketing in these ways,” and they’ll list out companies. They’ll say, “I got this much from ad networks,” and there is a ton of different avenues that bloggers can use to make money.
These millionaire bloggers that I do follow, obviously, they’re an inspiration to me. Also, I'm seeing how they're able to monetize their blogs and I know that I can do that with my blog. Obviously, like I said, I'm very very lucky in the fact that I do come from a marketing background. I do know a bit more than maybe the average person about the marketing side of it and marketing strategies and things like affiliate marketing and ad networks and how to monetize websites. I'm able to apply those skills, but then also see what other bloggers are doing.
The best part about it is that I'm doing what I love, which is home design and I'm able to incorporate that into a blog which has the potential to make a lot of money. The other aspect about blogging is that there is passive income with it. Basically, if you have affiliate marketing strategies in place, you can be making money when you're sleeping. That's the ultimate goal with the blog, with my blog and while also, obviously, renovating my home. It’s one of those things where I get to kind of kill two birds with one stone, is do what I love and then also make money.
[0:29:23.8] GO: That’s always a good thing.
[0:29:24.6] MD: Yeah, absolutely, and hard to do as well.
[0:29:28.8] GO: It’s hard to do but it sounds like you’re in the right direction. Like you say, if you get your blog to start generating money, you can maybe have more time for your family and more time to do you renovating. I would imagine eventually at some point you’ll have your house kind of how you like it. Have you ever considered helping others? Has anybody else come to you and said, “I love your designs. Can you help me with my house?” Have you ever considered kind of doing that on the side?
[0:29:58.9] MD: I actually have been approached by a couple people. I have a tutorial on my website about whitewashing brick and I had whitewashed our brick fireplace, which is actually more like a wall, an entire wall of brick and it was this red color. I like some red-toned bricks, but this one just looked outdated and it had the brass fireplace.
Anyway, I ended up whitewashing it and I've had people approach me and asked me if I’d be willing to do theirs. I'm super flattered, and that's amazing, and I love hearing that, but at this time in my life I'm not really ready to take on something else. I think, right now, blogging, it really is a full-time gig and just being able to do the projects, having the hours to actually physically do them but then also writing about them, taking the pictures, doing the graphic design work, and then marketing it, and then on top of that you have to handle all of your social media accounts and then constantly tweaking your website, and also handling the marketing strategy because I have subscribers as well to my website. Anytime somebody subscribes I have to handle all the email marketing side of that.
Really, I have no downtime. It's crazy, and I love it. I do. It’s amazing being approached to do something like that on a side. I might revisit it in the future. If I can get my website to a certain point and maybe once my daughter goes off to school, I could look into something like that because I love design work and it's something that I thought about even going back to school for, “Do I want to be an interior designer by trade?” It's something that I’ve considered and it’s one of things I think too I have to see where my blog goes and how successful it will be and then I’ll kind of make that decision when it gets to that point.
[0:32:01.6] GO: Right. Kind of revisit the option.
[0:32:03.4] MD: Yeah, absolutely.
[0:32:04.8] GO: I guess, also, with your furniture. You’re redoing furniture, that’s something else that I would imagine some people might come to you and say, “Can you help me pick furniture out and buy furniture in the cheap and help me to redo that.” That’s something else maybe you could consider.
[0:32:24.9] MD: Oh, yeah. There’s so many avenues, actually, with what I'm doing. I mean I’ve toyed with the idea of starting an Etsy shop, where I could sell furniture on there, or I’ve thought about, one day, opening my own little warehouse where I can actually have a spot that’s just for redoing furniture and I can just buy things as I find them and fix them up and sell them.
Yeah, I’ve toyed with that idea. I've toyed with doing interior design side. There's a lot of avenues I can go with it, it just really depends on —
[0:32:59.6] GO: Yeah, it sounds like it just really keeps you busy with the blog alone, especially since your every aspect of the blog is something you're handling. You’re doing the photography, the writing, the email marketing, and everything.
[0:33:14.2] NM: A question from me is who is your target audience long-term for your blog?
[0:33:21.2] MD: Yeah, great question. Really, it's somebody who is like me in a sense except they don't have the DIY skills. It’s somebody who’s an aspiring — I don’t want to say an aspiring designer, but they want their home to look good on a budget, which is pretty much — I don’t want to say all of my friends, but it’s a lot of my friends. I have a lot of friends who come in my house like, “Oh my gosh! I love how you did these tables. Can you just DIY my whole house?” I love hearing that. So many of my friends come up to me and say, “Oh my gosh! As soon as I buy my house, can you come in and design it?” It’s great and I love it.
Those people are really my target audience. It’s the people who they want to be able to achieve that look. They don’t want to spend a fortune to get it. Like I said, I do believe that they can achieve it through some DIY and just some learning.
[0:34:15.8] GO: There’s quite a bit of learning to do just by reading your blog. There’s a lot of good information on there. Obviously, people can find you at abrickhome.com. Would you like to plug any of your other social media sites?
[0:34:30.9] MD: Sure. Yeah, you can pretty much find me on any of the big ones. I’m on Facebook, just Facebook.com/abrickhome. I’m on Twitter, same thing, Twitter.com/abrickhome. I’m on Instagram. You can find me on there. I’m actually on there as @MarlyDice, not as A Brick Home. I might change that later. We’ll see. I’m on Google+ as well and I also have a Pinterest account. You can also just go to abrickhome.com and you can find all of the shortcuts right there.
[0:34:59.0] GO: Okay. Very good. It’s been a pleasure having you here, and thank you for joining us on the show today and I’d like to thank everybody for listening. If you found the value on today’s episode, please visit iTunes and, if you could, leave us a review. Thank you very much.
[0:35:14.1] MD: Thank you so much for having me.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
[0:35:17.0] ANNOUNCER: You’ve been listening to Spinning Yarns, the interior design podcast brought to you by RugKnots.com, suppliers of the finest quality oriental rugs. To open your trade account today, simply visit RugKnots.com/trade.
Until next time, thanks for listening.