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How Joanna Hawley Made the Jump From Textile Design to Blogging

Okay. This is heaven like amazing, but my personal life was a freaking trainer. I had a roommate pull a knife on what everybody welcome to the show. As always, this is a show about screwing up making mistakes in the bottom coming back out again and and shinin. So your your mom knows that your tenacious, I I think in general, this is the show about being human, because that’s what we all do like, even though we like to tell people the great things that we’ve done in the world and we’ve made it there and It’s all been perfect, that’s never ever ever the case, that’s what we tried our covering and having to gets on the show and figuring out exactly what they did to be successful tonight.

We will be talking to Joanna Holley, who runs Joe Joe tastic she’s, a fashion blogger designer small space for the she’s, an influencer. I’r really really excited to me. Everybody welcome to the show I am here with Joanna from Jojo Jojo tastic welcome. Thank you for being here thanks for having me oh, this is going to. I can already tell there’s going to be a lot of fun so before we get into like all the fun messed up kind of stuff and everything we like to talk about, tell me a little bit about yourself what you’re doing now and actually just start there.

Yeah, what do you? What are you doing now so now I am a blogger, influencer social media person and I do some prop styling on the side. Okay way back when I was a textile designer for companies like Nordstrom anthropology and a few others like, and I went to school for industrial designs so like I spent a lot of time in the woodshop building, things like yeah, just feeding things through the table saw At 3 o’clock in the morning, I’m like all of that and then went into textiles after school and just kind of loved it and spent all of my day like in an office drawing and photoshopping stuff yeah yeah.

I have so many questions now. This is so good. I so first I’m not even going to remember all of them now so textile design. I have no idea what that is. What is if you’ve ever bought like a shirt with a pattern on it. Okay, chances are a textile designer touch that so either they picked the fabric that the print is printed on yeah or they like designed the weave like. If you have a plaid shirt yeah and it’s it’s a woven yeah that shirt they design that or it’s like.

I did a lot of what’s called fabric manipulation you walk into anthropology and there’s those quilts with like a bunch of like texture and stuff. On that, okay yeah. I did a lot of that so tough fabric and I would like tuck in and pin in yeah all that and then I’d send it to a factory and be like copy. This make this yeah. So that’s textile design wait spell designer is a textile designer and then I did the print design as well.

So that is like the tiny little flowers on like a t-shirt yeah, and I did that for like ladies underwear and pajamas yeah. How would like? Where would you okay, how did you get into that? Like? Did you just see an open position and you’re yeah, or is it like? I saw an open position and the HR person had accidentally put her email address in it, so I emailed her Wow yeah. Why not like? What are you? What’s on your resume to say, hey, I can put little tiny flowers on women’s underwear.

I have been creating artwork for bedding at a catalog company yeah, and so I had like a portfolio of printed duvets, yeah and then candle packaging printed. I seriously it’s so look at everything. Everything that you’re saying makes it sound like you, should be much more pretentious than you are you’re like printed duvets or, like your shape style. The Euro metal is a Euro sure yeah, yeah yeah, but yeah, obviously you’re not like that at all.

It’s I mean it’s underwear, so you did that and then you said prop prop styling props style, that’s like kind of a newer thing: okay, well, a byproduct of blogging, where it’s like. Basically with my blogging, it’s like I’m a one-woman like marketing machine yeah. So it’s like a company or a brand like reaches out to me and they want to do a photo shoot, and so I, like I’ll, shoot the photos. I do the whole concept in write.

The copy edit the photos like everything, yeah, and so that has turned into oh well. We like the way your photos look. Can you make our photos? Look like that. Okay, I got you which is fun. It’s basically it’s making stuff look pretty and then just like walking away and not having to promote it on social media. What, before that, what screw you to this like work, I mean, did you start off by I didn’t like as a kid I was really into ballet and really into like being creative.

I was really lucky because my mom, I I don’t know how she met this guy, but she met a guy whose son had gone to my college, Carnegie Mellon, and he like mentioned this program of industrial design, to her yeah and like communication, design and she’s. Like oh, that could be interesting for me and they do this pre, which program so between your junior and senior year. You go for a summer, know all about it, and I came back for rent and I was like nobody can tell me anything now.

I’r important like I’ve been to college I’ve lived on my own. No was it was an industrial design that you studied there for that kind of both yeah, like they cuz at CMU, the it’s a four-year program right and the first year. You do both industrial design and communication design, and then you decide sophomore year, and so it was like a little bit of both and I just was like this is amazing yeah and it clicked now we’re at the drinking part of the show.

This is sober. This is going to be the best jack. What are we? What are we drinking? Yes tonight I’ve got the candle and pitch for you, so we’re going to start out with our ghost whiskey, two ounces. We keep this one very spirit forward in life. Point five of our cedar cordial house-made, one dropper of our allspice tincture quarter, ounce of our cherry and kaffir lime, shrub and wasn’t of our Regan’s orange bitters and we’ll find strain that into our glass here the espuma and then we’re going to add a few allspice Berries and a little cedar, frog yeah, but cherry kaffir lime shrub, is a part of your base here, served in a lantern, so to speak, that’s the candle part for sure.

Thank you. Thank you all right. Oh it has a straw. You ready! No! I am yeah pick that part up. Oh cuz, it’s in there all right, favorite way to say cheers. You got 100, oh you’re, great, all right! Oh bah! Here we go! Oh wow! That’s really good! If you were to write a blog post about this drink like how would you do it like, where would you start it’d, probably be a recipe post? There’s always the glamour shot recipe pose yes and recipes perform very well in Pinterest.

First, you tell me: what’s the construct of a recipe post like how’d, you do like how it’s actually yeah like one of the parts and how they go together, because there’s the glamour shot, okay, which encourages you to click. Okay, there’s an introductory paragraph and that’s usually where we pack the SEO keywords and then usually I like to do like four to five images: they’re all they’re, actually, all glamour shot that one you know and sometimes I’ll do the ingredient shot like if the ingredients are Especially pretty yeah I’ll, just like do like a really messy shot on like a piece of marble.

You know like: where does the recipe show up halfway down the post uh-huh? We need to make sure they spend the time on the site. Yeah, you know maybe it’ll be a few other like links to other things as a consumer. Maybe they’ll subscribe to my email newsletter while they’re there does it pop up on the screen. I think go back only like every like fifth visit or something like that’s very kind of you, we’re subtle, yeah.

I should’ve brought UX for my chickens. Oh wait! You have chickens, oh yeah, oh wait! How many chickens? Do you have five? You have five chickens. I have five: we’ve had a few um. You had more than five House Rules he’s lately. We should pour one out, but you know you have lots and lots and lots of eggs. Well, it depends like oh, my god, okay yeah, so well, and some of the chickens don’t lay because they’re duds, like Nancy Kerrigan, is just like nope we’re not going to do it.

You have a chicken there, Nancy Kerrigan, well, they’re, fancy chickens, so there’s named after figure, skaters, okay, so the tiniest one that just died was Tonya, Harding, Nancy Kerrigan. I call her my like emotional support chicken because she lets me hold her like a baby and like she follows me around she’s like a big fluffy white chicken and then there’s Dorothy Hamill. She like rules the roost, it’s her world, we’re just living in it.

Michelle Kwan, she has this like weird raspy voice, where she sounds like she’s had like a pack of day a habit for like years. It’s really weird. She lays blue eggs she’s like she’s, like a beard like the Kathleen Turner um Chris Yamaguchi she’s. Am I allowed to kurtis she’s? She really is she hisses at me: she’s like she hates me yeah, but, and she eats everything like she won’t let any of the others eat and then there’s Katarina vet, who is like kind of the lowest on the totem pole and she gets picked on a Lot yeah, but she’s like she lays eggs the most consistently.

The the the the big question for me here is: did you name them after you saw their personalities? Yes, oh it’s even better yeah great yeah, that’s the figure! Skaters see totally well, I don’t Kerrigan and I’m like Nancy. Can we be friends yeah, but no, it didn’t work out now: yeah yeah cuz. You named the chicken yeah after a problem, but the prettiest chicken yeah yeah. I love that we’re no longer talking about like the Jojo testicle.

I mean this, oh my word. Well, I mean you have to put that together: yeah yeah, yeah, yeah cuz. I do like hashtag chicken TV on Instagram stories and people like just send me their own chicken TVs. This is so great. You have chickens and you made underwear so getting to where you’re at now, with Jojo tastic influencer lifestyle. Blogger tell me a little bit more. So what I’m curious about, obviously, because of the show it’s on the way to that, but did you have like what were that? What were the missteps? What were the mistakes? What were the things you had to learn where you’re like? Oh, my god, I totally screwed that up.

Why, like what could I have done differently? I learned that I’m not great at like working for other people, I’m really good at working for myself. You know so it’s this constant thing of like I have this vision and I like desperately want to share it and like be part of these team to help with this vision, your vision, right and just not really being able like within myself to like communicate it Or to feel like, I am part of the team, like any of those reasons you know, and so I left Nordstrom and went to anthropology, because I they put me in this like super technical role, where it was just like emails, emails, email at Nordstrom’s yeah.

It felt like I was hitting my head against the wall, and so when I went to anthro it was again like I’m drawing all day. This is heaven like amazing, but my personal life was a freaking train wreck. Oh, I had moved to Philadelphia. Yeah. I’ve never been to Philly, except for, like the job interview yeah, I get off the plane and it’s like 90 degrees, a hundred percent humidity yeah, there’s like a drunk man yelling in the airport.

I have my cat in a carrier and like two of those like really big, like expedition like body bags of my personal belongings, yeah, and I’m like what have I done. Yeah yeah. We have made a terrible mistake. It was not my place, it didn’t work for me like I just I had like really a living situation like I had a roommate pull a knife on me. What like, I was connected with some friends of a friend, and she just wasn’t like why why to take out the recycling I took up the trash and I forgot to take out the recycling, because I got distracted no seriously.

No, she like woke me up at 3 o’clock in the morning when she came home from the bar and was like hella aggressive, and so I was like I’m done and there was like a week span where the cat – and I always with the cat, always we Slept in my Volkswagen Golf yeah outside of my office, not many people know this. That’s a speck actually you’re going into anthro anthropology, after sleeping in a golf with a cat, and nobody knew I’m like nobody knew yeah.

Nobody knew yeah, and I just was so supremely unhappy. It was like it was just really bad and it felt it honestly felt like it was like the deep dark period of my life, like I still think of it as like. This is the deep dark space. We will never go back here. Yes around that time. I actually got a huge contract for the blog and it was a contract that was more than my yearly salary. So you were all right, so you were blah.

I was blogging while you were there yeah and what did you? So? What did you start blogging about? Was it about really this weird thing that I fell into when I was the climbing bum like living off unemployment yeah, I emailed joy, Cho of oh joy, calm who’s, like the og, blogger, yeah, and I was like I love what you’re doing and I’d love to Be a part of it and she’s like okay, and so I wrote for her for three years, something like that on her site and just learned everything about blogging from her yeah and she invited me to Pinterest early.

So she somehow got on Pinterest really early. I like think as like a consultant something like that. Yeah and she invited me. So I have this like corny joke which, like I’m not the first person on Pinterest and the second interesting, was growing or and growing all right right and suddenly. I have 3.8 million followers suddenly, and I was just like look: what’s it? What’s the? What was the drive like they? What’s the most things that people were following, was it designed into fashion? Yes, because for my day job I read to runway a lot yeah, and so I would pin runway looks that I could then like get inspired and translate into a pillow yeah.

So it was like I was always pinning fashion, and so then I became a fashion. Influencer, it’s a lot of pressure, so you start you end up with your own blog all the way and eventually so was it easy at the beginning to to monetize your blog, oh right, yeah. So – and this is super rare yeah. I had my first sponsored post within three months of launching oh wow. What was it was just like a gift guide for a company that does like a bunch of super gifty things like really weird gift ideas, and I think it was like for $ 300, and I was like we’re rich, that’s amazing, yeah, and so from there just Kind of, and then I’m in this period like the past couple years of diversifying yeah so that you know it’s like in summer blogging slower, there’s fewer sponsorships yeah.

Let’s have something else yeah you know so I like to have a lot of things can’t sit. Still. I actually am thinking of taking like a sabbatical type situation, and I don’t know what that looks. Like hashtag ban life right, I was like a social media like personality like what does that look like yeah, because it can be depleting to be like posting every day and feel this need to like constantly be sharing, and there is definitely like.

There’s the Jojo tastic Johanna and then there’s Johanna Johanna and it’s like not everybody knows that I’m, like sleeping in my truck in Montana yeah. You know, but that’s what fuels me, and so some of what I’ve been doing is pulling those things together a little bit more yeah, so that if I take a sabbatical in the van or the sailboat or whatever, whatever it feels more natural yeah. I’r also just thinking of ways that, like, like I miss making things yeah.

You know like I used to draw painting yeah and I don’t know if you know, but I use my hands a lot when I talk, so it’s really misusing my hands. So it’s like. I want to like: is it ceramics? Am I painting again like something like that? Even it’s just personal yeah, I missed that yeah there’s a when it comes to social media or personalities. Influencers things like that we were. The idea of authenticity is, I know, where’s the like earner.

I know it totally. It’s like. I want to see authentic right yeah, like here’s me in the loo right like, but nobody, I think in general that there’s a not only a tolerance, but people want to see people recharge. They want to see them be human. They want to see that but like through all of my trips to like the hospital and everything like my followers have always been there like. Essentially it’s like a cheering section, yeah, it’s incredible yeah.

You know because it’s like I can have a day and they’re, just like you’re amazing, and these people have really become a part of my life or it’s like I, I really, if I could. I would just like thank them every day, because I I couldn’t do this without them, like I’m freaking, lucky yeah, you know well uh Opa, Opa Opa. Let’s do it one more time, thanks for being on having me, this is wonderful! All right, Oh bah! Well, that’s a wrap thanks Joanna for being on the show.

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