Grown-Up Gigs: Website Designer/ Food Blogger/ Artist/ Greeting Card Designer!


Aint’ It Nice to Be Nice  When You Can Be Nice from thesmalljoys, Jeanette’s printable paperie shop

Do you guys read The Boss of You? I finished the book a few weeks ago (it’s still digesting!) & love the info that Emira & Laura put out into the creative entrepreneur airwaves, like the idea that starting a business does NOT necessarily have to do with making a trillion dollars & being able to buy & sell a Hawaiian island, unless you want it to be. So anyway, I’m on their blog a few months ago & was totally enraptured by their interview with Jeannette Ordas, who I loved from her stationary line, The Beautiful Project. When I read that she has a successful food blog, website design company & printable paperie shop on top of her gorgeous (& funny!) stationary, I freaked out with excitement & emailed to ask her if I can be next up for an interview. She lived up to her super awesomeness & sent back these self-proclaimed “quick ‘n dirty” answers:

1. What did you want to be when you grew up? When I was little I wanted to be a film director. I had a vision of me in a director’s chair directing a movie like Jaws. Later on, in elementary and high school, I really wanted to be a writer.

2. I’m fascinated by those who don’t settle for Just One Career, & find it to be something a lot of creatives are scared of (although they’re wired for it!). How did you embrace your Renaissance Soul & decide to pursue blogging, crafting, & design as a career? I was always very panicked at the idea that I didn’t have a One True Path. I was envious of people who had a drive and a desire to be a violinist or an artist. I was never like that and it seriously worried me. Instead of being good at just one thing, I was pretty good at a lot of things and in my thirties I realized that it was okay and I could embrace that. I was never one to want to work a full time job, so I figured that I could divide my life into blogging and drawing and designing and be happy–and make money at the same time. Who knows what I’ll be doing in 10 years, but I’m okay with going with the flow.

3. Many of my clients who have more than one passion/focus never know how to respond to the question, “So, what do you do?” How do you describe your businesses to the outside (often stuffy/judgmental) world? Well, I often respond that I’m a web designer and that I run my own company with my husband. But I always do mention that I also have a greeting card business and that I’m a food blogger. I always upfront that I’ve got my hands in many pots, so to speak. It’s funny because so many people don’t want their jobs to define them, but because I’ve created my own jobs out of my passions, I’m proud to define myself as a creative person with many talents.

4. One of the main things that a lot of creatives struggle with is balance. It’s something I crave too, but have never seemed to grab a hold of (&, thanks to Danielle LaPorte, I’m thinking it doesn’t really exist). But honestly – how do you manage owning three businesses, designing your stationary & printable, designing websites (& other web-related services) for your clients, writing in 2 blogs, & assumably being a pretty great wife, friend, & family member? Feel free to reveal any & all secrets here :) Ha! I actually wonder if anyone really does achieve balance! It’s easy to look at others and gasp at how much they accomplish or get done in a day, but I think it’s always a struggle for everyone. How do I do it all? Well, it takes a lot of work. I’m pretty driven and I’m also organized (though if you’d look at my desk, you’d probably disagree) so I do put in a lot of long nights. I work from home and I do work until the wee hours sometime, but I’m also good about taking breaks. Every Monday I’m in a bowling league so I find time to hop on my bike and get away for a few hours with my friends. It’s scheduled and it’s something that I can’t miss, so it’s like a dedicated fun break. And while I have a food blog and do a lot of cooking and baking from scratch, I do order in take out pizza when I need a break or when things are just too crazy. And sometimes I don’t even find the time to shower or dress for the day (ah, the perils of working from home). No one is perfect and I don’t think anyone feels they are achieving the balance they feel they should. We’re always hardest on ourselves and maybe you just have to sit back and think back to all your accomplishments and feel good about what you’ve put your energies into. And maybe go bowling once a week.

5. You totally embrace your uniquity with designs like “Hooray for me & fuck you”, “Let’s hump” & “I’m sorry for being such an ass.” Was it ever a problem to stop your censor from going, “Ack! Bad words & crassness & shoving-it-in-your-face-ness! Must be polite & nice & professional & blend in with the crowd…”? Nah, I’m not the best when it comes to self-censoring. I put my foot in my mouth and I throw out f-bombs when I’m with my friends. It’s part of who I am when you get to know me. I’m not an ass or a meanie, but I can be blunt. And other people obviously can relate with my cards and sentiments so I know I’m not the only one. My sassier cards are some of my most popular cards and I think because it’s not part of the Hallmark norm, that it’s appreciated.

6. What advice would The Present You tell The Old You – the one who got laid off & starting having little seeds of thoughts of wearing very many hats? Stop worrying and don’t sweat the small stuff. As long as I do my best and work my hardest, it will all work out fine in the end.


  1. says

    Wow, Michelle. Thank you thank you thank you for gifting us with this interview. You've given me at least an hour of internet reading to do in just this one little post. I can't believe I didn't know about Jeannette's blog, as I'm a food blogger and am generally just food blog obsessed. So I'll be spending some time over there for sure. Also, thanks for providing some inspiration for those of us who have lots of different interests. Reassuring and inspiring.

    • says

      You're welcome, Mariss & Kylie! I'm so glad you kids enjoyed. I have a feeling you felt the same spark I felt when you came across Jeannette & her awesomess. Isn't it empowering that you can create the life that's best for you, & not the life that others feel you "should" have? It's 2010! We can be almost anything we want, in any combination. It's amazing how many out-of-the-box careers are being lived today.


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