Big Folio and a quick Q&A



My friends at Big Folio (my website people) have extended a discount to my blog readers!  If you’ve been thinking about a new website and just haven’t made the move yet, now may be the time.  They are offering $25 off your site of choice when you use the code: URBANGRACE25



Jen from Big Folio emailed me a few weeks ago asking if I’d do a quick little Q & A with them for a feature on their blog.  Here it goes…



*What inspires you as an artist/designer?*
For me inspiration comes in two packages… there is the visual kind and then there is the kind that comes from rest. “Visual” inspiration comes in the form of magazines, blogs, pinterest, and traveling.  And when I say “rest” I’m not talking about naps and pina coladas in a hammock (although that would be nice).  I consider “rest” any time spent away from a computer/office/phone… for me it’s usually time spent in my garden.


*What a typical work day like for you?*
I am an early bird.  I make my coffee the night before and set a timer (it goes off at 5:30am).  Between the time I wake (usually in the 6 o’clock hour) and the time my little Sloaney B wakes (8am) you can count on  me being outside (with the doggies) checking on my garden- pruning, uprooting, replanting, weeding, making sure all my little plants have what they need (watering and fertilizing).  I try to get to the office between 8:15 and 9am.  If I get in early I try to spend that time blogging.  My day consists of work, work, work.  There is rarely any downtime.  Every so often I’ll take what I call a “non smoker break” and allow myself a little time on pinterest, facebook, or google reader.  We have a very laid back work environment, but that shouldn’t be confused with laid back work ethic… we work like crazy.  Thankfully I have the best team of people a person could ever dream of and they like to work hard too.  At the end of the day, usually between 4:50 and 5:05, someone “calls it”… which means “call it a day” (usually this is me, because there are certainly days where I just.can’t.take.anymore and I have this pint-sized nugget that I cannot wait to get home to!)… and then we get in our cars and go home.  When I get home I quickly dream up what to make for dinner, whip it up, and then play, play, play.  Chance gets home from work later than I do and he tackles Sloane’s bathtime while I clean the kitchen (or collapse on the sofa for 20 minutes).  I check my email, take a bath, go to bed.

*What’s one thing you will always splurge on?*
boots, jeans, sunglasses


*If not a designer, you would have considered being?*

Hmmm… a high school art teacher/Master Gardener?

*What the strongest and weakest part of your business?*
Strongest: client retention.  Weakest: office organization.


*What’s in your goodie bag?*

(I had to ask Jen what a “goodie bag” is.  In case you don’t know either… she said “that could be any of your industry tools/must haves on the job or things you can’t live without!”)

My goodie bag is a baggu.  Inside my bag is pandora, a plethora of pens (black ink is my preference), dove dark chocolate, moleskine calendar, my iphone, and chips and salsa.  And…. none of those are “industry tools” – so I better throw in computers, autoCAD, Adobe CS5, and email too.  I seriously couldn’t live without those things, they just aren’t very exciting.

work hard be nice

*What is your best advice for an up & coming designer?*

Work hard, nothing comes easy.  Challenge yourself, learn something new everyday.

*What’s your most successful marketing concept?*
The only marketing tool I have is this blog.  Thank you for reading.

*List 3 blogs you frequent and are inspired by?*

Three?  Now that’s really hard.  Here are the ones I check in with often…

mallyskok julia double


*What’s your most favorite product in the industry?*
Mally Skok fabrics and wallpapers.  Her color selections and patterns are refreshing and unique.


*What’s playing on your iPod currently?*

Patty Loveless on Pandora… does that count?


*Five goals for 2011?*

{I can’t resist – a picture of my Sloaney B.}

1. simplify – personally and professionally

2. take better care of myself – slow down

3. take a vacation

4. expand the office – we desperately need more room

5. make it to book club and/or figure drawing classes


Alright… now head over to Big Folio and treat yourself to a website!  I can’t tell you how easy they made the process.  Always there when I had questions and responded quickly!  They even offer logo design and their websites include blog hosting too… it’s a packaged deal there!  A great value and a great team of folks to work with… what more could you ask for!?  Don’t forget… URBANGRACE25 @ check-out to save $25!



  1. Pretty garden in the “dream garden”! So beautiful!

  2. @ first, I was like, they spelled ‘lose’ wrong. Then I got it. ha. I should probably at least water my plants in the morning instead of laying in bed watching the today show, putting off getting ready for work.

  3. Love this post, and I agree with Emily about the dream garden photo!

  4. Wow thanks so much for the mention. Lots of great ideas and links in this Q & A!

  5. Love this Q&A post as well. I have the same print hanging by my desk: “To live a creative life we must loose the fear of being wrong.” So, so true.

  6. thnx for sharing! i def. need a website overhaul and a major update…so i plan to consider bigfolio!

  7. What a fabulous interview- I don’t know how you do all you do and still stay sane- seriously- you are inspirational!!!

  8. I love when my favorite bloggers give their readers snippets of their lives in Q+A form! Great post!

  9. Love the sweet little picture of Sloane and her boots!

  10. love the interview, that picture of sloane just melts my heart.

  11. Love that print by Amanda Cherie. And that garden is so pretty!

  12. So weird, but I follow your blog & Amelia
    Strauss, wedding photographer (she was the photographer for my son’s & DIL’s wedding). Her website is also by Folio & she’s the one in their ad that’s saying “What more could a girl want” & she’s going to be in a video they’re creating about Folio. Just found it so coincidental that the two ladies of the two blogs I read most often not only use Folio, but are recruited by them for Q&A’s or videos. Actually, I follow your twin sister’s blog just as often.

  13. Your dream garden with the little cottage is beyond. I love it and it almost makes me wish I had a green thumb.

  14. OMG that picture of Sloane just kills me. I have never in my life seen such a sweetly dressed little gal!

  15. What great answers. I loved the ‘day in your life’ post last year, and I love hearing how you get things done in a day. The answers for goals for 2011 matched mine (except the office – I don’t need that!)

    Have a great day.

  16. Oh how I would love to get out in the garden first thing in the morning! I have to be at the office at 8am and I deal with Atlanta traffic so ugghhhhh…it’s just not in the cards- I would have to garden in the dark!

  17. where can i get the “work hard and be nice to people” poster?

  18. Seriously – can she get any CUTER?!

  19. Adore.xx

  20. emily brown says:

    you have got to make it to a figure drawing class! i am a graphic designer and i go regularly — it is so inspiring and refreshing to move away from the computer and use your hands to create!

  21. erika:

    xo and thank you for the mention!

    MJ: i know where you can get the poster :)

  22. Thanks for the shout out! Can’t wait to see you this weekend. Love you and that was really fun to read!!

  23. Always fun to learn a little more about one of my favorite designers!!

  24. You are such an inspiration!!!!

  25. Kristin says:

    “we must LOSE our fear,” not “LOOSE our fear.” That would be an incredibly cool thing that I would love to repost, but I don’t want to look like a complete idiot. Can you please redo it so those of us who are both creative and able to spell can share it? Thanks.

  26. i like the poster with the Joseph Chilton Pearce quote, except you used “loose” instead of “lose”. oops.

  27. How does it warm my heart to find myself on your lovely blog?? – a lot!!! Thank you, thank you, M

  28. This was fun!! That garden is gorgeous! So is Miss Sloane. :) I’d love to be a gardener in another life too!

  29. Stephanie says:

    Hi Erika!
    I know you are so busy…I just have one tiny really fast question:) if you have time to answer I would be the happiest girl ever! I am wondering what chair you would put with the white west elm parsons desk in a 12 year old girls room? I am sure this is a no brainer for you…and something I am losing sleep over (tiny exaggeration). She has the Serena and lily Abigail bedding (just got and love). Anyway, I think you are absolutely amazing and would love any ideas that you may have on the matter.
    I am hiring you and your team someday:) would you consider traveling to phoenix ( not in the summer of course haha)

  30. Stephanie says:

    Oops…I meant Annabel not Abigail. Not that it probably even has anything to do with what chair you put with a desk…..see how confused I am when it comes to design:)

  31. Great interview! You are a busy girl. Such is the life of a designer! Big Folio looks like they’ve done a great job for you.

  32. Jessica says:

    Any chance you remember where you got that adorable shirt for Sloane? She’s precious as ever and I adore her/your style.

  33. Was running through the archives of your blog and laughed to myself when I saw my dear friend, Dede’s chicken coup pictured in this blog post – small world – great blog :)

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