Introducing Bluchic Customer Spotlight, a series of posts featuring our customers who share the amazing stories behind their business and the gorgeous website they’ve built with Bluchic themes.
In today’s Bluchic Customer Spotlight, we’re happy to introduce you to Mandee Thomas, graphic designer of Designs By Miss Mandee. Read on to learn more about Mandee’s inspiring story and how she uses our Naomi WordPress Theme for her blog. Enjoy!
Q: Hi Mandee. Tell us about yourself and your blog?
My name is Mandee Thomas. I am a graphic designer, tennis player, and roller coaster enthusiast. I am a wife to an aspiring stand-up comedian and mommy to one super cute little boy! I fell in love with graphic design when I started working with a guy I met my freshman year of college on his comedy website. Design wasn’t the only thing I fell in love with, and we were married a year and a half later. I started Designs By Miss Mandee as a place to practice my designs skills and share my creative ideas.
Q: What ignited the spark in you to start your business?
I went into college knowing that I wanted to go into graphic design, but, early on, I realized that the assignments I’d be given didn’t always push me in the direction I wanted to go. I decided that I needed another outlet in order to develop the skills I wanted to learn and challenge myself in a new way. Now that I work full-time as a graphic designer for a large company, I feel that I need my design blog even more. I just never want to feel stagnant, or that I don’t have the right opportunities to be creative.
Q: What does a typical day in your life look like?
I wake up, check my emails, go to work, come home, spend time with my family, put the little one to bed, and work on my blog. If I have time, I like to go on walks, play tennis or watch an episode or two of one of my favorite sit coms (Modern Family and Parks and Recreation are two of my current favs).
Q: What’s been your biggest challenge so far and how did you overcome it?
This is probably weird to say, but one of the biggest challenges for me has probably been having confidence in myself and my abilities. There are so many times that I felt like I wasn’t good enough, and that maybe I should give up or not try something new. Each time one of these situations have arisen, I’ve been lucky enough to have an awesome husband who cheers me on, and some great readers who have reached out to me and helped me realize that there is a reason why I do what I do. And sometimes, I’ve just had to fight back the nervousness, look at an obstacle as a personal challenge, and let that motivate me.
Q: What’s one thing you wish you knew before you started your business?
I wish I had started my blog out on WordPress.org. I started on Blogger, and it just didn’t have the capabilities I needed. It was a pain to switch over, and I wish that I had just started on WordPress from the get-go.
Q: What business tools or resources have helped you or inspired you?
Probably the most useful resource I have in regards to my blog would be Pinterest. Not only is it great when I’m looking for inspiration, but it is responsible for nearly 50% of my blog traffic. My new favorite tool is definitely my Cricut! I love that I can design anything I want and it will just cut it out for me with a simple click. It’s definitely got my mind whirling with all the possibilities!
Q: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Am I qualified to give advice about this yet? I still feel like I’m just starting out. But, my advice for someone just starting their blog would be to make sure that they are blogging about a topic they are truly passionate about—not just something they find interesting. If you’re not genuinely passionate about your topic, you’ll get burnt out really quickly. That being said, look at your blog as a journey. I don’t think anyone starts a blog knowing exactly what it will look like and what their goals for it will be in five years, so be open to new possibilities and let it take you where it wants to go.
Q: What’s in store for your business in 2016?
In 2016, I plan to continue to provide lots of awesome [free] content for my readers, as well as other, more detailed design sets for my Creative Market shop. I also plan on creating even more video tutorials for those who are interested in enhancing their own design skills, and including SVG cut files in most all of my downloads for readers to use with their Cricut or Silhouette machines.
Q: What made you choose your current Bluchic Theme for your website?
When I wanted to redesign my website, I spent many hours researching possible themes. Having some previous experience in designing websites, I could tell that Bluchic themes had the high quality I was looking for (not to mention that they are gorgeous beyond belief)! I ended up choosing the Naomi theme because I knew it would provide the simple, feminine, and timeless look I wanted. Each detail was very thoughtful, and stylistically elegant.
Q: What are some of your favorite features in Naomi Theme?
Having a theme that is responsive was a must for me, and so I love that my theme looks just as slick on a tablet or mobile device as it does on a desktop. I also love how easy it is to edit the look of each element—I barely had to dive into the code at all to get it exactly how I wanted!
Q: What is your favorite quote?
I am a quote fanatic, so this is really hard to choose, but here is one of my favorites, it comes from the movie Harvey: “‘In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.’ Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant.”
To learn more about Mandee, check out her website l Twitter l Facebook l Pinterest.
If you are using a Bluchic Theme and interested in being featured, we’d love to hear from you.