One of the most delightful blogs we’ve come across in a long time is called “Frugal with a Flourish” by Jess Scaggs.
Jess is a joy to work with and I think you will find her and her blog both useful and charming; not to mention incredibly unique.
Jess has a hidden storage bin in her brain that contains some of the neatest ideas we’ve ever seen, and well, you’ll just have to visit her blog to see what we mean.
We immediately asked Jess for an interview, and she was kind enough to grant one to us. Here now is Jess Scaggs, the master frugal decorator!
1. Hi Jess, thanks for joining us today. Please take a moment to tell us about your “Frugal with a Flourish” blog, along with anything else you’d like to promote.
Frugal with a Flourish is all about creating a fantastic space for a little cash as possible. For some of us, that involves DIY and crafty projects that let you turn your time and effort in to a special accent decoration or to help revamp a piece of furniture. For others, they either don’t have that crafty DIY gene or they simply don’t have time – so they need a place where they can find the beautiful things they are looking for at a decent price.
Either way, Frugal with a Flourish is the perfect place to find what you need to create a stylish home within your budget! I am also excited to announce that I am getting ready to open up a new shop with Open Sky. As a shopkeeper there, I will be able to stock affordable items that I love and believe that my readers will too!
2. In today’s economy, blogs like yours that specialize in thrifty decor are exploding in popularity. How long have you been doing your blog, and what do you think about what it has become today, and where do you see it going in the coming years?
I have been blogging for a little over 9 months now and I have to say that I had no idea that I would be where I am today. Never in my life would I have ever thought someone would be interested in my thoughts or ideas – but I am thrilled to death that they keep coming back and inspiring me! I love my readers and I love interacting with them. They have provided me with some great insights and amazing ideas!
As far as the future goes, I would love to see the blog continue to grow and I want to continue to challenge myself to come up with new thrifty ways to stretch a buck!
3. We’re very sorry to hear about what you’ve affectionately called “the situation.” I think you will find that this situation is very common, and unfortunately a lot of people are also in the same boat. For readers who may not be familiar with “the situation,” can you please briefly explain what this is and provide a status update?
Sure – “the situation” is actually the name I have given to our current real estate situation. In January of 2009, the hubby and I both lost our jobs and had to hustle to find new employment. We both managed to find jobs within 90 days, which was great! However, we did have to move out of state. Unfortunately, that left us with a house to sell in a very stagnant housing market in an area that had four major companies file for bankruptcy within 5 months of one another.
We had bought our home in the fall of 2007 in a very rural market. The majority of our competition are homes in foreclosure and it is going to take us someone who wants to live “out” in the country to be able to sell. We have continued to lower the price over the last year and a half trying to get some movement, but with the new foreclosures coming on every month at lower and lower prices and very few people looking that far out it has been very difficult. However, we have had some more traffic recently so we are hopeful that “the situation” will be over soon.
4. You’ve written before on your blog that people commonly ask you how you are able to visualize what an inexpensive piece of decor can transform into with some creativity and design expertise. According to you, this is not a born talent and that you’ve picked up these ideas just from immersing yourself in all the decorating blogs out there. How long did it take you before you could come up with these ideas so quickly and naturally? If readers do what you did and simply read lots of decorating blogs out there, do you think they too will also have this ability come to them?
I certainly do not think it is talent that only a few people have or there would be a lot less thrifty blogs out there! Honestly – I think it took me about 3-4 months of reading and having “Holy Cow, you can do that!” moments before it all really started clicking for me. Once you see how others are able to take a dirty yard sale picture and make it into something different you can start to imagine your own projects as you thrift. I remembered trying to go to Goodwill after I had been reading blogs for about a month and being totally frustrated that I couldn’t find anything “good”. These days, I can’t leave Goodwill without a new “find” that I can’t wait to transform!
Now, I am not saying that just reading blogs will turn you into Martha Stewart or anything. But when you open your mind to the idea of looking past what is there to what could be there – you open up a whole new world of possibilities. You have to have the time and the desire to want to do it too. But I think once you see some of the ideas that are out there you will want some of them for your own!
5. Some people give up their day jobs and start their own interior design business without batting an eye. That’s nice if it’s an option, but for 99% of us, we have day jobs we need to keep. Have you ever had the desire to quit it all and just become a decorator full-time? Or are you satisfied enough just holding down a day job and living out your passions with this blog? Surely you must have those creative juices flowing all the time at work!
I have honestly never thought about being a decorator! I have always said that if I won the lottery I would love to be a wedding planner – but it is all the same isn’t it? Both are about taking a blank slate, creating something in your mind and executing that vision while working within a budget. There are days when I would love to chuck the day job (which is VERY stressful) and just be a full time blogger, but it simply isn’t realistic within our current financial situation. However, this is true for most people out there. I really feel that by working full time and running the blog and coming up with quick and innovative ideas, I am setting the example that you can create a beautiful home even if you work 40-50 hours a week.
6. Who rules the roost in your household? You, your husband, or your three cats?
Oh the cats for sure! Even on the weekends they have me up at 5am to feed them – I try to go back to sleep after that!
7. Jess, your blog is a joy with some real treasures of articles that so many people would find useful. Thank you so much for joining us today. For this last question, please tell us about any particular decorating projects you have on tap for later this year that you’re looking forward to?
Well, I am really going to try to finish off my to-do list for our living room. I have some great ideas for putting some art behind the sofa and creating a beautiful (and affordable) alternative to vertical blinds. I am also hoping to finish off our guest room/my craft area soon too. And I honestly can’t wait to decorate for fall and the holidays! Stay tuned!
Thanks again to Jess for a tremendous interview, and we wish her all the luck in the world with her blog, her job, and her “situation.” Please visit Frugal with a Flourish today.