Interview: Rachel of One Pretty Thing

I have recently become acquainted with One Pretty Thing, a blog that scours the internet to bring us amazing DIY projects (20 or more of them!) every day! I have been so impressed with Rachel’s picks that I wanted to interview her to find out more about how she does it.

Rachel as Mrs. Lovette

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hello CroqZine readers! I’m Rachel, the face behind the website One Pretty Thing. I’m a twenty-seven year old happily married California girl who’s two biggest loves are DIY and her (mostly!) furry family. I think that blogging comes in a close third!

Tell us about One Pretty Thing.

One Pretty Thing is the ultimate stop for DIY inspiration! Everyday I scour multiple forums, websites and blogs to bring together 20 projects for the Daily DIY post. I also post a variety of seasonal and holiday Roundups, kid’s Roundups and I’m getting ready to dive into the Handmade Gift Guide. Phew! Altogether One Pretty Thing links to around 40 DIY projects a day!

When did you get the great idea to create One Pretty Thing?

I think the blogsphere is the most amazing source of crafting inspiration but it can become a little overwhelming. When I realized I was spending more time tracking down projects than actually crafting, I thought that other crafters might benefit from my travels. From there One Pretty Thing was born, and now three thousand people a day head over to check out a wealth of creative ideas.

How much time does it take you to track down all the great things you find and post about every day?

Right now I spend about four hours a day putting together Roundups, around two doing administrative tasks (your email is on the way, I promise!) and another couple of hours a day developing new features that will add more functionality to the site. It’s a ton of work but it’s so much fun!

What kinds of things always catch your eye?

Since I’m currently renovating, anything for the home! I also love unique art projects, such as the junk mail canvas we featured recently, and projects featuring recycled materials.

What kinds of items get the greatest response from your readers?

Reader love projects that make great gifts! I’m seeing a huge focus this year on handmade gift items, and décor. I anticipate my Handmade Gift Guide to be my most popular post series to date.

I seem to dream about crafting (and blogging about it) every night. Do you ever suffer from DIY/Pretty Thing overload?

So far I have yet to grow tired to searching for projects. I’m hoping I never do because I’m having so much fun with this site, not to mention all the amazing people I’ve met! I will occasionally dream about my site crashing or loosing all my unread emails. I’m constantly worried about something happening to my email backlog-I don’t want anyone to think I’ve ignored them!

What’s your fondest crafty memory?

My husband and I had our first date on Halloween and three weeks later, I brought a small potted Christmas tree. I took my then-boyfriend to the fabric store and told him he had ten minutes to spend ten dollars on anything he thought would make a good decoration for a two foot tree. We left with ric-rack, feathers, bells and glittered pom-poms. Watching him carefully choose his supplies and deck out our tree with handmade creations is one of my all-time favorite memories. I remember being so impressed with his creativity and how he turned glitter and feathers into a tree topper. And, eight years later, we still have the potted tree!

I love that story, thanks for sharing! What’s the last crafty project you did?

The night before Halloween I decided to make 20 feet of lit creepy garlands for a friend’s Halloween party. I was up all night cutting tulle but the look on her face made it all worthwhile.

What’s your favorite material?

Currently it’s cork! More specifically, cork on a five foot roll! I recently discovered a waterproof cork sealant that will allow me to cover my dining room table in cork. It’s a project I’ve had on my mind for sometime. I was SO excited to finally find that sealant!

Any new techniques or crafts that have caught your eye lately?

For the last two months I’ve been completely enamored with felting. I’d been oohing and awing over other crafters tiny felted animals for years, but I finally took it up because I wanted to make cute toys for my cats! Yup, I’m totally one of those people.

(Feel free to not answer this, but for the sake of our aspiring professional crafting contingent) Is maintaining your site worthwhile, financially?

Right now the site actually makes no money. I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not to put up ads for awhile now but I’m still undecided. On one hand, my hobby site has turned into an additional full-time job but on the other, I really want to maintain the integrity of the site. For now my plan is to host an ad space giveaway for indie designers over the holiday seasons. After that, I’ll get feedback from the readers and reevaluate.

What advice do you have for indie business owners/designers?

I’m seeing a lot of indie business owners concerned about the economy but it’s actually a great opportunity for smaller designers. People are focusing more on meaningful, handmade, independent goods that are made to last. Indie businesses can also take advantage of the current economy’s lower costs to stock up on supplies and expand into other markets.

What one thing should every crafter who is marketing her wares do?

Start a blog! I’ve found so many wonderful handmade items from the bloggers I visit. I also love visiting my favorite artist and designers blogs to see what they’re working on and what’s coming out next. All of my holiday gifts this year will be purchased on Etsy and all of them will come from bloggers that I know and love!

What are your kitties’ names?

Lil’ B (Little Bottom) and Chewbacca! They LOVE that I’ve started a website. There is no more valuable real estate to my cats than a lap that stays in the same place for multiple hours. When Lil’ B sees me heading for the computer she jumps on my chair and waits for me to sit down. Every post you see on my site was put together with kitty approval!

Thank you so much, Rachel! I know you’re busy putting together your kick-craft blog, so thanks for taking the time to chat!