Last week we had the opportunity to meet up with the amazing Kelly Beall of Design Crush. We originally met her at a recent Anthropologie String Art Workshop she co-hosted supporting the elementary schools hit by the May 20th, 2013 Moore, Oklahoma tornado. Since this workshop, we have been able to get to know Kelly a little better and were able to do an interview that we are super excited to share with you today!
Kelly is a wonderful person with a warm heart and a creative mind. Her blog Design Crush features design and art that she finds inspiring and is passionate about sharing. Kelly's current 'Design Crush' right now is Wit & Vinegar, a fun and well-designed food blog. We were also curious to see what Kelly's 5 favorite things are right now, to which her response included, "fall fruits and vegetables, cooler weather that's allowed me to put a blanket on my bed, the bookZ by Therese Anne Fowler, that it's college football season(!), and mySkin & Bones moisturizer."
While Kelly has become more of an art/design curator for Design Crush and the blog focuses more on these categories than on Kelly's personal life, she still enjoys sharing parts of her personal life and designs on occasion. You can find more of Kelly's interests and fun photos of her pets via Design Crush on Instagram.
Kelly started her blog about 6 years ago as a way to catalogue art and design she was inspired by, but also share it with others. Blogging is currently her full-time career, but it didn't start off that way. When Kelly first began blogging, she was working full-time as a graphic designer and pursuing her blog on the side. The blog soon became her larger passion and took more of her time, causing her to transition to focusing on Design Crush full-time.
Kelly told us that in her first year of blogging, she did a lot of commenting on other blogs, emailing potential connections, and collaborations in order to begin developing a readership. While Kelly was unsure of how she was able to get such a large following to her blog, her first realization that Design Crush could potentially be a bigger thing was when she was invited to speak at the first Alt Summit in Salt Lake City four years ago. Ever since then, Kelly has been invited to speak every year at the Alt Summit Conferences.
Kelly mentioned that social media is a huge part of blogging and getting your name out there. She stated that each social network has its own community and that different people prefer to use different networks, so it's beneficial to make the most of each. Kelly waited a few years after she started her blog to begin an advertising program for Design Crush. She spent a year and a half managing it on her own, but eventually made the switch and began using Federated Media Publishing as her primary form of advertising (other than social media).
Kelly spends about 8-9 hours a day blogging (similar to a normal day job), but she mentioned that being a blogger has its perks, such as having flexible hours. She also mentioned that when you do something you truly love, you are always thinking about it in the back of your mind and so it really becomes more than a 40 hour per week job. While Kelly tends to be more introverted (similar to many of us bloggers), she stated that she was able to overcome these fears in college and through blogging. Through her blog, Kelly has been able to have several amazing opportunities including attending Fashion Week a few times and speaking at several conferences on her specialty. Kelly made it apparent that even though public speaking may be one of many nerve-wrenching fears we all have, it is much easier to do well when you have the opportunity to share about one of your greatest passions. Kelly said the thing that she loves most about blogging is the community within the blogging world and the friendships she has developed through blogging.
The amazing thing about Design Crush and Kelly's passion for blogging is that she is already doing her dream job! There is not much that could take her away from doing what she loves. She mentioned to us that for those of you out there who are just getting your blogs started or haven't started one yet, to be encouraged and don't wait around to start. You can find your voice through blogging and many of us bloggers are just learning as we go. Even though every post you publish might not be a 'homerun,' take the feedback you receive and grow from it!