Something different... (Interview)

I've always thought you could learn a lot about someone by their photos. Well not always, sometimes we could be posing or trying to compose things to represent a certain image etc. right? Well, this is 'TRULY' me. To learn even more about me, I've decided to let my production manager interview me. We'll refer to him as 'PM' for now.

PM: Whats a normal day like for you?
JEN: It depends on the day, but usually on the weekdays most is spent online marketing my business, networking with other individuals in my related field, running errands, stop at Starbucks for a quick coffee, workout, cook, do housework (never ending it seems). I spend a lot of time with my dogs because I work mostly from home, so they appreciate the company. But, I do take my work with me on the road sometimes (Macbook Pro).!

PM: Mac or PC?
I used to own a PC for a few years, but have gotten a Macbook Pro and haven't looked back since.

PM: Love or hate?
LOVE of course!

PM: Name 4 artist in your Ipod
Cat Power, Glen Hansard, Colin Smith/Mr. North, The Cardigans..

PM: Last Vacation you took?
In September 2007 when I visited Hawaii for the first time.

PM: Tell us about your business (Madebygirl).

MadeByGIRL is a paper goods company. We sell fun and colorful recycled greeting cards & some digital prints (which aren't recycled, but looking toward that in the near future). As of right now, all the products on Madebygirl are designed by myself.

PM: Favorite quote?

"The best way to predict the future is to create it" by Alan Kay

PM: What is your dream day?
Sitting in a coffee house in Paris or London with a design magazine and a few books to read.

PM: Name 4 things that you like in a person.
Honesty, loyalty, sense of humor, strength.

PM: What is your goal for your business?
My goal is to grow my business and still be happy doing what I do. I hope to inspire others in the process, whether it be in an environmental way or inspire them to start their own business.

PM: What drives you?
Drive is so important to me. I'm driven sometimes out of fear, weird huh? But it works for me. Drive also comes from feeling inspired as well as a need to feel accomplished every day.

PM: Name a pretty song.
"Communication" by The Cardigans.

PM: Whats your favorite food?
Lately I've been eating lots of guacamole and chips. The chips I eat are gluten free and made from flaxseed, and they're so good! But my favorite food is Italian.

PM: Name something you can't resist.
Dark Chocolate & true love...

PM: What is your favorite item in your shop?
That's difficult because I'm so proud of all my designs. But, I'd have to say from the greeting cards, my favorites are the Union Jack and from the Digital Prints my fave is the ABC Love print. 

PM: When you watch tv, what do you watch?
'The BIG Idea' with Donnie Deutsch & Millionaire Matchmaker. Also love CNN- Anderson Cooper 360.

PM: Looking forward to?
Exhibiting at the National Stationery show in NYC on May 18-22.

PM: Why are you studying Graphic Design, yet already have a Greeting card business?
Because I can. j/k. Its real simple, I like having a back up plan in case something doesn't pan out. Its a lot of work to manage both my business and be in school right now, so we'll see what happens.

PM: How often do you update your blog?
Almost every day.

PM: Any advice to anyone looking to start their own business but doesn't know how to take that first step?
One of the most important lessons I learned early on was that I had to do research, research, research. If you want to start a company its essential to email & call others that are within the same field. Email them first, ask them how they got started, what equipment they use, what manufacturers, etc. I'd start with very small businesses, so don't go emailing Hallmark and expecting an in depth response anytime soon. Don't ask too many questions, some of these biz owners may not have a lot of time, so start with 3 or 4 questions then email someone else. Some people may never even respond so don't be discouraged. Anything thats so easily attainable isn't worth having in my opinion. Contact several manufacturers and ask about prices and quantities etc. compare prices. Don't spread yourself too thin, this one is very important. Some people want to start and they want to sell too many different types of things. Concentrate on a few items at first, then when the money starts rolling in, perhaps think of expanding. LAST thing, know who your market is and focus on those people, don't give up.



  1. Well, that is what I call a 'fly on the wall' interview, which by the way, in my opinion is the most powerful kind. We see the human side of you. You are honest, funny & smart. I really enjoyed that. Things keep going up and up..and that's fantastic. Way to go!

  2. Hi Jennifer,
    It was a pleasure to read this interview, i love what you are doing and you seem very smart and driven! Good qualities in a person. Your dogs are so cute.

  3. Hey,
    how are you? I really thought this was cool. For you to let us in on a little about you and your personal shots.

  4. I love the shot of you and the dogs looking out the window, so serene. Oh and the pic of your phone with your cartoon- that is awesome!!!!

  5. Quite enjoyable read!!

  6. Hello Jen,
    This is Cynthia, I bought one of your ABC Love prints & I really love it!! Was a nice surprise to read this interview just now. Have a nice weekend!

  7. I am flattered that you included me on your list and here is my response to you:

    You continue to inspire me by your creativity and enthusiasm to bring more color and happiness into the world - and doing so in an environmentally friendly way!

    I admire your drive to succeed in following your dreams and staying happy and true to yourself along the way.

    Keep up the great work! :)

  8. Thanks so much for this. Things like this are just a recycled inspiration for girls like me trying to start my own business!!
    very casual, real and enjoyable!

  9. ruff ruff - so cute the pups!

  10. Great interview Jen, and it's awesome that you're providing guidence and some answers to new buisness start ups out there on how to get started :)

    Very inspirational, and I love the pics! ABC print is also one of my favorites out of your store :) Keep up the great work.

    Jenn Lee

  11. great interview & fun to read more about you. i love the advice about starting your own business. i'm in the process of starting a calligraphy biz & trying to do it in an eco-conscious way. it's great to see what you have accomplished & how you got to where you are. great design is hard to find with eco-friendly cards, but you've done it. of course, i love the pics of your dogs. they are so cute! and, i've been on a guacamole w/ flax/soy chips kick lately too, funny.

    all the best!

    p.s. i received my first order of made by girl cards yesterday & they are fantastic! i am using them to send as thank yous to referrals. thanks!

  12. great blog. great interview. love learning the inspirations & business musings from creatives. I love your prints! PS. I am such a fan of the union jack stuff as well especially designers interpretations of them. Ever see Rachell Ashwell's? I want to make one just like it with bolder fabrics.

  13. You're so cute with your doggies!

    And hmmm guacemole is SO good.

  14. Hey Dianna,
    Thanks for visiting my blog again, so nice of you!
    GLAD you like the cards, it means a lot. : )

  15. Sarah,
    That comment REALLY made my day...I truly meant what i said and consider you to be such a great friend to me, THANK YOU!!

  16. TO adesignaffair,
    I love the Union Jack, thanks for the Rachel Ashwell link...I'd never seen them before. Different twist thats for sure!! Thanks! : )

  17. LPE,
    As always love seeing your comments and visiting your blog! ;)

  18. Hey JEN,

    I really wanted to give other people who want to stat a business some insight on how I did it....I get emails often from women and men asking about my business and how long it took me to get things going etc...Sometimes they're even afraid to start so they never get to realize their dream. I always feel that you should at LEAST try - even if you fail..

  19. great post. i've been feeling a little discouraged recently and this post has really picked me up. i really want to have an etsy shop up and running by summer but feel a little daunted and shy and terrified that i will fail but i also know that i have to try.
    your post has helped me feel like i can manage it.
    p.s your dogs are Awesomn

  20. have you tried the french paper co. for your prints? all of their papers are made from hydroelectric power & they do their own printing.

  21. Hi Bexy,
    I love your art/illustrations they are totally PRETTY!
    I think you should just go ahead and not worry about failure, that is what will pull you backwards. Its weird because fear actually is driving me forward...the fear of not succeeding makes me want to that much more. I hope you will make it happen, your work is better than ALOT of the stuff that is out there!

  22. Hi Dianna-
    Yes i know Mr. French..I actually use his RECYCLED card stock for my greeting cards, but I don't purchase directly from them. I thought they didn't print....hmm, I just may ask on Monday, thanks!

  23. that is so sweet of you to mention me. i'd like to let you know that i admire your follow-through and commitment to what you set your mind to. i guess it takes one to know one because i try to be the same way!

    looking forward to next thursday.

    jill d.

  24. I really enjoyed reading this and learning more about you. You are an inspiration!

    The Nat'l Stationary show isn't open to the public or is a trade show?

  25. I love your site and your dogs are so cute! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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  28. WOW, I just checked in (haven't been on the internet much lately.) Congrats on all the success with your prints and cards...and you're in school as well! Enjoyed the interview, you're an inspiration!

  29. Jill,
    so glad you commented, I'm glad i found ya! You're great!

  30. marilyn
    This is going to sound crazy , but i am not sure...i will try and find out.

  31. Hello Pretty Lady I hope you had a fabulous Eastern weekend. Careful, with those cupcakes, I know your great a baking:}

    You too have been a true inspiration. Your daily insights and motivation, creativity, and friendship is one of a kind. It always has been.
    And will continue to be in every ...Tomorrow to come.

    Thank you for sharing all these wonderful post for us, I so look forward to the next.
    GIRLS RULE!!!!
    ps you had me in happy tears when I read your thank U.

    Pss the convention is opened to the public at a different fee.

  32. Hey're so funny...thank you!
    Its so cool to see you drop by my blog, yay!
    I hope you are in NY when i get there in MAY.

    thanks for the P.S.S.- about the show, i appreciate it.

    hope u had a great EASTER!

  33. AnonymousJune 12, 2008

    Hi Jennifer,
    you say that it could be useful to write emails to people who are in the same business.
    I would be afraid that they could fear a new competitor and would not help. Your comment encouraged me to forget this thought, thank you!!!
    I love your works, by the way,
    best regards

  34. i LOVE your site. LOVEEEEEE IT!
    your style is so similar to mine, I haven't found another blog yet that really quenches my design thirst like this one. Your blog inspires me be more creative and organised in all facets of my life, its weird how much power a blog can have! lols... just wanted to say good job! i love reading interviews, yours was cool. i'm actually kind of jealous of your life, sounds like my dream life... which brings me to the question, what were you doing before this? and can you actually make a decent living off a web-based business? I would love to start something similar, but then again, so does everybody else it seems.

  35. Thank you so much for inspiring me everyday. You are such a great role model for women! Keep up the good work:)Maybe I will get to meet you in May (it will come faster than you think!) at the stationary show in NYC!Please keep us posted on this event!

  36. Oh, wait! I should have read the date:(. It looks like the stationary event in NYC already happened. mmm. Looks like I need another cup of coffee. Yikes.

  37. Thanks for the words of advice about starting up.

    I just added that part to my blog for Australian women working online to reach their dreams.

    I'm in the middle of putting my business together and it's great to read an inspiring story like yours!

  38. Hi Jennifer - just thought I'd say I'm enjoying reading your blog - you've got some really great ideas, keep up the good work as I'm going to follow your blog.

  39. Hi Jen, Wonderful interview..just luv it :)

  40. Enjoy the blog, It's exciting to see someone that has been successful.

  41. hi, I just want to say that your blog inspires me so much! It's fun, it makes smile, it's so tempting to look at! To know that you love dogs and you get to take care of them, I'm so envious of your life now. (in a good way) im featuring your shop as Shop of the Month =)

    Please let me know if you want to add or change anything, thanks!

  42. I LOVE your blog and think this was a GREAT interview...we really see "who" you are! I too would love to start my own business - making bags......just gotta get the nerve up.

    Elizabeth {thanks for the inspiration!!!}

  43. Great blog jennifer - all the best for this wonderful blog!

  44. Great interview! I want to start my own business too. I live in NYC, is that where the stationary show is? I'd definitely be interested in checking it out...

  45. Jennifer - so many admirable qualities and you are very encouraging to others. I really believe it is your giving nature that helps in your own successes. This interview was a pleasure to read and I'm thrilled you reached out to me through the blogosphere.

  46. You are an inspiration, I love your blog and your prints :) you rock it!

  47. Hi Jennifer
    I have just started my own prints and stationery business i.e. just a month ago. And I came across your blog a couple of days ago. You are an inspiration to me as I too design and produce my own products. I look forward to staying up to date with how you are getting on and learning from you! Wish me luck on my new biz.

    Thank you for your comment...! I wish you all the are quite the talented painter. You should send me some images , perhaps I'll share your work on the blog?

  49. Jen, you are such an inspiration, I mainly just have my blog to vent once a month and to enjoy others aka yours. I want to have time to make a gorgeous blog like yours but I am a full-time graphic design major and I'm 19 and just wasting time, ha. But every time I view your blog it's an inspiration. Thank you for that, now I'm going to paint!! :]


  50. Great interview! I've been following your blog and I'm so inspired, thank you! :) And I love that you listen to Cat Power, she's so great!!

  51. I love your blog. I think that it is so creative and almost made of dreams. Are you brazilian? xxx

  52. Hi Jennifer,
    I have just discovered your blog and I am LOVING your taste and photography!
    Quick question: you mentioned you have a Macbook Pro - do you have a pretty laptop sleeve for it? I can't find one that I really love. I have a 15-inch but a Mac 15-inch is really 15.4-inch. I was wondering if you had found any pretty sleeves that would fit.
    I would so appreciate a post about it.

  53. TARA:
    Did you see this one?

  54. It is great getting to know you. You are truly an inspirational lady. More power to you always.

  55. You are a huge inspiration! Giving out great energy always brings great things back. Love your blog and your designs. If you ever have a second check out my (very new) blog and let me know what you think. I have big plans that spin around my head all night but am just inches toward them now. Oh and your wedding was gorgeous!

  56. Enjoyed reading your interview, especially the advice for starting a business, it is by far the best information I have gotten all month!

  57. GRLzar:

    Hi glad you liked it.... :)

  58. Hi Jen. I really enjoyed reading your blog and learning more about you. You are an amazing inspiration to all. Keep up the great work!

  59. Love your interview!
    We have lots in common :)
    goodluck with your business!


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