Home Making takes real talent and Grace Bonney has it in spades. With her blog, Design*Sponge, she's taken that talent and her love for beautiful things and turned them into a successful career. Read our Q&A to hear how she got her start and why she doesn't believe in perfection.
What was your very first job?
My very first job was babysitting in my hometown of Virginia Beach. I've always loved taking care of other people and animals, so it was a great way to enter the working world. I had some less-than-enjoyable jobs as a waitress after that...
Was there a defining moment when you decided to turn your passion into a profession?
Around 2008, the print world took a big hit and we lost some of our most treasured home and design magazines. In that moment I realized that blogs might actually be the future (or at least have one!) and that I should turn my passion into something that might actually support me and anyone else who wanted to work alongside me. From that moment on, I've taken Design*Sponge more seriously and treated it like the dream job it really is.
If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice when you were just starting out, what would it be?
Relax. I worried so much about being perfect when I was younger that I forgot to learn how to recover from a mistake, say sorry and accept that all of us are imperfect, but that's ok — and great, actually. I've learned most in my life from the times things didn't work out, so I've learned now how to put things in perspective. No dinner party needs to be perfect enough for a magazine (or blog), and no room will ever be 100% "finished.” I love that our home — and life — is about embracing real life and what makes us happiest and most comfortable.
When you meet people and tell them about your job, how do they react?
Five years ago, most people didn't understand what I do. I did a lot of explaining about what a blog was and how you could make that a living, but now most people have heard of blogging, at least in theory. I'm 11 years into blogging now, and I find most people think it's great or exciting that I get to talk about the things I love every day. So getting to experience that through them every time I explain my job is a nice reminder to be thankful and appreciate what I do here at Design*Sponge.
What's the best homemade or DIY gift you've ever received?
A few years ago, my wife collected all of our early emails to each other and bound them into a book. That was easily the best DIY gift I've ever received.
What's the best homemade or DIY gift you've ever given?
It was a small one, but I decoupaged a clear phone cover with beautiful gold sparkles for my mom a few years ago. She loved it and told everyone that her daughter made it for her. That made my day.
Any clever tricks or favorite ways to use Mrs. Meyer’s products?
We have two rescue dogs who love to watch chipmunks from the downstairs windows. Their adorable, but messy, little paw and nose prints cover every downstairs window so I'm always running around with Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner to clean them up. But we also love to save leftover (washed) Scented Soy Candle jars and use them for making quick salad dressings. (Just add ingredients and shake!)
If you could be a Mrs. Meyer’s product, which product would you be and why?
I'd be Red Clover Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner for sure: a little sweet, a little spicy.
How does Mrs. Meyer's inspire you and your Home Making?
I share Thelma's garden inspiration and try to find a way to bring the outside in whenever I can. If I could find a way to live inside our garden, I would. It's my dream to build a greenhouse with a guest room in it one day.