Happy Thursday everyone! I’ve compiled a list of questions that I am asked a lot through my blog, my Etsy shop and in my daily life. Hopefully you’ll learn a little something about me!
Q: Is Stevie your real name?
No, Stevie isn’t short for Stephanie and no, my Dad’s name isn’t Steven. But my Dad is a big Fleetwood Mac fan and that’s why he named me Stevie, after the lead singer Stevie Nicks. As a kid, it did bother me that I could never find my name in those racks of pre-personalized keychains they sell at the beach and that I literally went an entire year being called Steven by my elderly health teacher who just got more confused every time I tried to correct him. But now, I really like having a unique name and I’m glad my parents didn’t play it safe and just name me Stephanie.
Q: You’ve said you are addicted downloading new fonts, do you have a favorite?
I can sit for hours browsing and downloading new fonts. Since I mostly use free fonts, some of these turn out to be winners and some of them don’t. My favorite free fonts are always changing, but Canter, Janda Stylish Script and Walkway are all good ones. My favorite font that I’ve purchased right now is Asterism by Great Lakes Lettering.
Q: Did you go to school for design?
Yes, I spent one year at La Roche College in the Interior Design program before transferring and completing my Bachelor of Interior Architecture degree at Chatham University. A lot of people ask the difference between interior design, interior architecture and decorating. I wrote a post about this called “Why Interior Design is more than Decorating”.
Q: What are your hobbies other than design?
My biggest hobby going through school was music. I was a tuba player with the Marching, Concert and Symphonic bands but my real passion was singing Alto in Concert Choir. I love music so much that I almost went to school for Music Education instead of design. While I know I made the right decision for me, I still get sad sometimes and wish that I had Hermione Granger’s time turner so I could have two careers! In the last couple of years, I’ve also picked up the Mandolin and find a lot of enjoyment playing and singing with Anthony (who plays bass and guitar).
Since I’ve graduated college, I’ve picked up a few more hobbies. Recently, I’ve been reading a lot more — in May of 2014, I read 6 books! I’ve also gotten really into meal planning and trying new recipes lately, which you might have noticed if you follow me on Pinterest. I have 3 different cooking boards, “Recipes to Try”, “This Week’s Menu” and “Tried and True Recipes”. I’m also currently taking a Ceramics class! Yeah, I have a lot of hobbies…
Q: What is your favorite color?
My favorite color is white. Which, according to some gossip magazine, is also Kate Middleton’s favorite color! I have the biggest girl crush on Kate Middleton. I made all of my friends sleep in the lounge of our dorm room so we could wake up at 4:00am to watch the Royal Wedding. I think I was the only one who watched the entire thing without drifting back to sleep.
Q: You say you’re from Central PA, does that mean you are Amish?
This is a very common assumption. There’s a phrase out there that Pennsylvania is Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Alabama in the middle, and my story only reinforces that idea. No, I am not Amish but I grew up about as close to Amish as an “English” (what the Amish call us) person can be. I grew up on a dairy farm in a rural community outside of Delta, PA. There are probably another half dozen farms within 2 miles of my parents house and most of them are owned and operated by Amish families. Many people think of the Amish as a secluded community that doesn’t interact with modern society, but at least in the small towns around where I am from, the Amish and English communities are very connected.
Q: When and why did you start blogging?
I started blogging in the summer of 2011 when Anthony and I were preparing to move into our first apartment together. I originally just wanted to keep a record of the DIY projects I was doing for our first home together. As our lives have changed, my blog has changed as well. I write about everything from newlywed life and new recipes I am trying to home decor tips and craft projects I am working on.
Q: How did you get started with Etsy and grow your stationery business?
I started my Etsy shop, Young Tradition Studio in February of 2013 at the suggestion of my older sister. You can read more on my Etsy shop’s About Page. Growing it has been more of a experiment than an exact science, and I have a lot that I still want to change and improve. For me, the key to running a successful Etsy business is consistency and customer service. I’ve been able to create a “signature style” in my offerings on Etsy, so even if I am not offering a specific item that a customer is looking for, I will often have people request a custom design from me just because they like the other items in my shop. Customer service is also very important. I do my best to respond to customers the same day that they contact me and I also shy away from generic responses. For me it is easy to be personable with my customers because they are contacting me for help with an exciting life event, like a marriage, baby shower or birthday party. As someone who LOVES weddings and babies, I get genuinely excited for all of my customers and feel so flattered that they have chosen me to help them celebrate their milestones.
Q: How did you meet your husband?
Anthony and I met in 2003, on the first day of seventh grade. We had all of the same classes, including homeroom together. It wasn’t until our sophomore year of high school that our friendship turned into something more, but we’ve never looked back since then. <3
Q: What was it like to grow up on a farm?
Growing up on a farm and being a member or 4-H was all I knew as a kid. It wasn’t until more recently that I realized just how unique of a childhood I had compared to the majority of people my age. To us, summer meant hay season and 4-H shows, not relaxing at the beach. In fact, my family didn’t take a week-long trip to the beach until after we sold the dairy cows in 2004 – we just couldn’t be away from the farm for that long. I missed a week of school each fall for the local fair, spending days taking care of our animals and preparing for the show and night sleeping on cots in the barn. We had a lot of fun back then. I remember one night at the Solanco Fair, we waited until my friend Kyle was asleep on his cot, before carrying him (cot and all) outside to a grassy spot in between barns and leaving him there. I remember playing cards in the stalls with Carlyn, using my lounging cow’s belly as an impromptu card table. I remember being sweaty and covered in cow hair when we were grooming our cows for the show and how annoyed my cows got when I tried to clean their ears with baby oil. It was an awesome childhood. My Dad is still farming, growing crops and raising a small herd of beef cattle, but sometimes I still miss having the dairy cows around. Farming will always be a huge part of my life and even though Anthony and I aren’t planning to become farmers, I hope that we can share some of these same experiences with our future children down the road.
Q: What’s your favorite interior design style?
I always say that I am a schizophrenic when it comes to design styles — I have so many different design personalities! I’m definitely eclectic, but I would define my current style as Rustic Traditional with accents of Midcentury Modern.
Q: Do you offer interior design services?
Q: Best book you’ve read recently?
I recently read two books by Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl and Attachments and thought both were FANTASTIC! She has another book, Eleanor & Park that is on my reading list and a new book called Landline that is coming out this summer. I get most of my reading inspiration from Janssen at Everyday Reading and through my friends on GoodReads.com.
Q: Favorite movie?
Walk the Line. I want to be June Carter AND Reese Witherspoon. Amazing movie.
Have more questions for me? Leave your question as a comment and I will respond!