photo of Jamie via Glitter Guide
North Carolina interior decorator/blogger/business mogul Jamie Meares stopped by the show yesterday while on a trip to NYC. Meares eclectic, brightly colored blog I Suwannee led to the opening of her fabulous warehouse store Furbish. We talked about blogging and finding inspiration on Pinterest.
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Jamie's latest inspiration board for Furbish
Your blog as a very light-hearted tone – I love your recurring features such as 'What is Rowdy On?' featuring your dog Rowdy on various pieces of fabulous furniture. How did you develop your writing voice?
Well I tried to keep it really concise. I thought that that was one of the best things I had going when I started. I didn’t try to write an essay or to get into the theory of decoration or anything like that. It was ‘this is what I’m doing, this is how it looks, this is what I’m having for breakfast’ and that’s sort of how my sense of humor is – quippy and short and kind of dry. That seemed to work for me. I just kept it short and sweet.
How do you find time in your schedule to make blogging a priority?
Everything I’m doing now with my business is because of my blog so it has to be my first priority. Just recently I created an editorial schedule for it so I know what I need to be blogging about or what I need to be looking for or I have this feature coming up so I need to be taking pictures of things that Rowdy’s on. It’s like ‘Rowdy, come on over, today’s your day.’ I’ve made it a priority. It used to be just a hobby, but I’m lucky that it’s a hobby that really turned into a career so it never feels like work. It’s easy to always be doing it. I’m always looking for inspiration or something cool to take a picture of.
You have more than 2,500 pins on Pinterest. How do you use Pinterest as a tool to discover and organize?
When Pinterest was just in its heyday, I was opening up a brand new store, a huge store in a warehouse, and I needed so many ideas for it. So it literally was a way for me to catalog the things I wanted to do and what I wanted to try, from things as simple as how I was going to merchandise to how I was going to reupholster pieces of furniture to what I was going to sell.
Now it’s everything I want to try: It’s what I want to try in the store, it’s what I want to try for dinner, it’s what I want to try to wear.
I also use it with clients that we do redecorating with to compile inspiration images and make sure everyone is on the same page.
Your store, Furbish, has such an interesting mix of items, everything from jewelry to wallpaper. How do you find and source those things?
Just like with Pinterest, if I see something that I like, we’re lucky because Furbish is kind of a playground where I can try it. I have sources where I can build new pieces of furniture or I can upholster old pieces of furniture, I can get the fabric, I can have it painted, I can take something or turn it into a lamp – it’s just whatever I see somewhere else that I want to try.
I get the most inspiration from traveling. We were in Vegas last week and I’ve been in New York all this week and my hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina is just not that progressive. To see what’s cool I have to watch the Kardashians to see what they’re wearing or come here and everything, from the graffiti on the street to checking out the shops here in New York, I just see things and I take them back and tweak them and just try what I love.
What are your plans for the future?
Well, we are focusing most of our efforts on growing our online business so the shopfurbish.com site is where we see the potential for the most growth, it’s where we can reach the most people, it’s just easy. So, I think the that’s the direction I’m going to head. I see myself more as a creative director for the company than an interior decorator or a blogger. I think all of that is going to play into keeping a vision for this company as I try to grow it.