Q: Can you share a little bit of background about your early life and education? Were you always creative? Who were your biggest influences leading to your decision to start a scrapbooking company?
A: Yes, I’ve always been a creative person… I’ve loved color, stickers, stationery and paper since I can remember. I’ve always been a bit of a hoarder when it comes to paper and stickers… and growing up, my mom always had handmade crafts in our house, so I guess it was just something I grew up with. My biggest influences were my husband and my kids. Being a stay at home mom, with very little extra cash, I LOVED to scrapbook, but the hobby was more than our budget could handle. I knew that I had a talent when I started doing work for magazine publications and local manufacturers, so, my husband convinced me that it would be worth the risk to give it a try—to go out on my own and start a business. He believed in me and I loved to create projects around our family, so it was his influence and my desire to create for my cute babies that convinced me to put myself out there!
Q: There have been many companies that have come and gone since you started Fancy Pants Designs, and you are still going strong. What do you think has been most important to your success? What challenges in the industry have you faced?
A: Like many companies, we’ve seen our ups and downs. And, scrapbooking is ever changing, so I think our success is based on riding the waves. We’ve been at really high points and at really low points, too, but we really don’t think we can just give up, so when faced with challenges we just try to figure out ways around (or through) the obstacles we are facing. We know we’ve been blessed in times when it seems like we couldn’t survive… so, for me, it’s not just what we do, but something beyond our control that has kept us going! We know that if we continue to work hard, things will work out!
Q: How has scrapbooking changed since you started? How has your style of designing changed?
A: It's changed a lot! Most of the books I have from my early scrapbooking days are filled with mini dolls that I’ve created to look just like my photographs! It’s funny to see the drastic difference, but I love those pages and would NEVER change them—the hours I spent then were so fun and that shows in my pages (In fact, I included an old page for your viewing-along with a current design)! As for now, I am a more design oriented scrapbooker. I love color, I love patterns and I love embellishments! I also love to do projects off the page… home decor, cards, tags and gift packages—there is so much to be done with paper and embellishments, I just love all of the possibilities!
Q: Did you work in the industry in any capacity before starting your own company?
A: Yes, as I mentioned above, I created projects and products for magazines and manufacturers! My first “big” job was with Scrapbooks, Etc. magazine when I approached them with an article concept called Piece Talk. They loved the idea and I was working on that article every issue, creating paper piecing designs and projects to match! I loved that “job”! I did cut back when I started Fancy Pants Designs, Inc., but the article continued on with the help of many other talented scrapbookers creating for it until the publication ended! That’s so cool for me! Aside from the magazine article and publications, I did do side work for a few different companies and had some really great success and was honored to be working in the industry even more.
Q: When is your most creative time of day? Are you a morning person, or a night owl for example?
A: I am a complete and total night owl-no question! Since having children, it’s really the only time of day that I have to myself (but, even still, I’ve always been a night owl-never a morning person). My husband used to work the night shift, so I was always anxious to get the kids to bed and dash downstairs to my scrapbook room and design the night away. Since starting our business, I find less time spent designing projects and more time spent designing product and just running the business. I work from home, so really, I do work all day and into the night, but my best work is still done in the late night/early morning hours …when the kids have gone to bed and I have some quiet time!
Q: How would you describe your own personal style of scrapbooking? Does it influence how you design your collections?
A: Trendy. I think that’s probably a good word. I love fashion, home design and color. So, I tend to follow trends—sometimes I choose to make my own—, but overall, I’d say I’m a trendy scrapbooker. And yes, most definitely, my style influences the designs that we release. I do not design every collection any more, but I have amazing designers that have a good feel for trends and know me well enough to put my ideas on to product! It’s an amazing thing—and I feel so lucky to be surrounded with amazing people considering it used to just be me, alone in my basement!
Q: Can you share with us what inspired you to design the As You Wish collection?
A: I LOVE this collection…my inspiration for this line was really a lot about home decor and interior design. I love that the trends are so filled with color…the As You Wish line has a multitude of awesome colors in it…and they all work together to create something fabulous! This line was really based on so many things, from pillows & curtains to hardwood floors and sofas! And, the whole ‘travel’ portion really came in to play when we created the ‘map’ paper… my all time favorite… and things just went on from there!
Q: Do you have an all time favorite Fancy Pants Designs collection?
A: Oh, my! One collection…I’m not sure I could name just one since we’ve had so many amazing designers along the way! One of our most popular collections, that I designed, recently was Park Bench. That was a big hit, so I’d say that is a recent favorite! As for overall, fans love our summer and our holiday collections, too…oh, and the boy collections… see, I told you I couldn’t have just one!
Q: Do you have any advice for other women entrepreneurs who dream of making a living in a creative business?
A: Prepare to work…hard and a lot! It’s fun, but it’s also a daunting task to turn your hobby into a business…and, to be completely honest, it does take away some of enjoyment of the hobby! Now, when I create, it’s more about design and presentation, so there’s a little more stress behind the creation!
Q: Do you have any secrets for staying ahead of the trend curve? Places you find fresh ideas and inspiration?
A: No big secrets here…I wish I had some as I think that could really benefit me :)… but, like most of you, I use Pinterest for ideas, blogs, home decor and storage magazines. I also like to head out to antique shops now and then to see what “was” cool…as I’m sure it will be “cool” again!
Q: Three things that most people don’t know about you?
A: Mmmm Let’s see.
1. I was a bouncy, hyper cheerleader from 9th grade through high school on one of the top squads in the nation! 2. I am really shy (weird since the first one would make you think otherwise). Many people take me for snotty or “stuck-up”, but I’m just a quiet girl that’s not big on lots of attention! 3. I LOVE sports. I love to watch my kids play (they rock!), I love to watch it on TV, and we love to take family trips based on where our favorite teams will be playing!
Ice cream flavor: Bubble Gum
Breakfast food: Yogurt and Granola (but I certainly love a big stack of pancakes with syrup!)
TV show: Reality TV is great for me…The Amazing Race, Survivor, The Voice…
Sport: I love sports (you just learned), so really, anything goes!
Vacation Spot: Hawaii
Thank you so much for spending time with the Clique, and for supplying us with all of the super trendy As You Wish designs! This kit has received nothing but AWESOME reviews, and we have you to thank.
We will definitely be on the look out for more Fancy Pants Designs collections at upcoming shows and releases!
You have been a gracious Designer in the Spotlight… Thanks a million!
--xoxoThe Clique Kits Gals