Whatta a week we have this week featuring Jen Bishop on our site! Lucky us!! Everyone I know loves The Interiors Addict so we thought we would track Jen down to get her inspiring story. Talk about a woman who has single headedly created her dream job and is nice enough to tell us all about it and give us some awesome insight into how it all began!
Jen is a journalist of 14 years who left her magazine editor job to become a full-time blogger – The Interiors Addict is often featured and talked about in some of the world’s most fab publications! The site is a one stop shop for everything under Australia’s interior design, styling, homewares, furniture and appliances umbrella…sounds brilliant and IS brilliant! Jen has been kind enough to give us a sneak peek into her home too! YAY!
Jen is also about to tie the knot next month…LOVE is in the air! Wishing you tons of love Jen xxx
Wow, what a busy and exciting last few years you have had…what has been the most exciting part of starting The Interiors Addict?
“Turning the blog into a business and a full-time job last year. Pretty much every day I pinch myself that the money is still coming in and I’m still doing what I love (writing, interviewing people, meeting inspiring folk, going to lovely events and so it goes on) all in the wonderful world of interiors, which I have been obsessed with, although totally unqualified in, from a young age. Living the dream! It isn’t all as glam or as fun as it looks but 70% of the time I hand on heart absolutely love it!”
Was it a hard decision to leave your magazine editor role to blog full time?
“No, because I was made redundant (11 months ago)! I had been um-ing and ah-ing about leaving my job as publisher and editor of a business magazine (I know, yawn!) for a long time and was planning to go down to 2 or 3 days a week. But it was a comfortable, well paying job and I was saving for a wedding and at 30, I thought I needed to be pretty sensible. Then boom! Suddenly someone took my entire job away (all 5 days a week of it!) and I basically had to get on with it and make the blog make money! I never thought about getting another job. There wasn’t anything else I wanted to do. I wasn’t 100% confident I could make it work but I knew I had to try. And I’m so glad I did.”
Tell us how different your life is now from when you started The Interiors Addict?
“It is hugely different. For the first time in my life I’m my own boss, I own a business and I work from home. I was a journalist in newspapers and magazines for 14 years and I loved publishing and being a manager and mentor to my staff. But it had been many years since I’d written about what I loved or really got a kick out of it (probably the last time was as a newspaper crime reporter in my early 20s actually!). Now I am always excited about what I’m doing each day, full of new ideas to make the blog better and the grow the business. It is so rewarding and fulfilling, it’s such a buzz. And I am so grateful for what I have, all the time, even though it’s been borne out of a lot of hard work. I’ve had some lucky breaks too and other people have been incredibly supportive and encouraging.”
You launched The Interiors Addict in 2011 and since then you have become a household name in the interiors industry, tell us when you realised it was really ‘working’ and you were achieving your plans for the site?
“There was no one defining moment but a few ‘a-ha’ moments include when the first brand asked how much it was to advertise (I hadn’t even considered it), when one of the country’s top interior designers asked me when I was going to blog full-time and when I realised I had interviewed everyone I really wanted to in the country. When I recently did my tax return and realised I was making a decent living out of this, that was very cool too. And just little things, like having been able to pay for most of my wedding, alongside my fiance, in the first year of starting a business, make me very proud of how far I’ve come in a relatively short time.”
Why did you begin The Interiors Addict? Did you feel the industry was missing something you wanted?
“When I started the blog, in 2011, I didn’t even think of it as a blog, it was just “my Tumblr” and somewhere to keep all my inspiration together in one place, before I discovered Pinterest! I knew nobody in the industry and hadn’t even though about the industry, I was just another girl who loved cushions and candles and moving their furniture around. It was that simple! As time’s gone on though, I’ve really wanted to create something that’s accessible for everyone and I coined my slogan “style without the snobbery” to reinforce that. People really seem to love it. I’m not a qualified design professional and I think that’s a big point of difference too. I think I have something unique because as well as showcasing the best design talent we have in Australia and getting them to inspire the everyday person with their work and advice, I also feature mainstream, affordable furniture and homewares, aspirational and covetable pieces and everything in between.”
Tell us what’s next for Jen and The Interiors Addict in 2013/2014? What are your goals with The Interiors Addict?
“I’d like to keep growing my readership and making more money of course! I recently had my first reader event and I’d like to do more of those, as well as introducing video content. And by the end of next year I’d like to take on another writer. Ultimately, I want to turn this into a longterm business which I can one day work around having a family (I’m getting married in October!). I want to keep doing this because I really, truly love it and it makes me happy.”
What is your number one tip for anyone thinking about creating their own business/site?
“As Nike said, just do it! It might not work, but at least you can say you tried! And if you’re really passionate about something and prepared to work hard, the chances are it will work. It won’t necessarily be the most money you’ve ever made (and it might be more!) but you’ll probably be the happiest and most fulfilled. It all depends what your priorities are. (That wasn’t really one tip was it?). My overarching advice for success in your own business is to work hard and be nice to people.”
Tell us what your typical day looks like?
“I’ll usually start with a brisk walk around Cremorne Point, where I live (not before coffee though; NOTHING happens before the first coffee), then home to breakfast, a shower and to my desk for a few hours’ writing, scheduling posts, interacting with my readers on social media (this happens all day, on and off, on my phone too, but social media is a massive part of being a blogger), then maybe off to an event or product launch or to interview someone. The afternoon might see me doing more writing, or a phone interview perhaps, then often a pump or spin class before home for dinner and quality time with my fiance, Damian (I have an internet curfew from 6.30pm to 8.30pm on weeknights. True story!) Other evenings I might be at an industry event or party, of which there are many, or sitting at my computer until the small hours writing and planning things. I’m a chronic night owl and survive on not much sleep and lots of caffeine! There’s no typical day. Some weeks are crazy busy and others I can afford to give myself a random afternoon off and go for a mani pedi. I love the flexibility of working for myself.”
Our site is all about showing people things and telling them about it… Do you have something you can show us – it could be something near and dear to you, something that inspires you, something you could never live without?
I know it’s a bit lame, but I keep this motivational quote in a frame on my desk. It sums up how I feel about running your own business.
10 Minutes with Jen…
What is the last thing you purchased?
Bentwood chairs for my dining table and the book Paris Street Style.
What items could you never live without?
My MacBook and my Nespresso machine.
What item do you want so bad but don’t have right now?
A genuine Hans Wegner Wishbone chair (or 6). It’s all about the chairs!
Secret single behaviour?
Eating Nutella on a spoon straight from the jar.
Harper’s Bazaar (but I have high hopes for the new Australian Elle).
Fave interiors item right now that everyone should have?
Tom Dixon Eclectic candles are a lovely little piece of designer luxury for your home at under $100.
For more fab info on Jen and The Interiors Addict check out these links below:
Twitter: Jen Bishop @interiorsaddict