NewNewInterview with Jena of Modish

Our indie blog fifth installment brings us Jena of Modish.

1. So tell us a little about your site and how you got started?
Modish is a celebration of all things handmade, from jewelry to art to home decor. At the time I began, I could not find any design blogs that focused exclusively on small, independent designers and handmade goods, so I started one! It took off really fast and now the the niche is filled with tons of blogs!

2. What do you look for when featuring an artist?
I look for someone who presents themselves professionally and makes good work- it's a shopping blog, so I only feature artists and designers that sell their goods online, whether it's on their own site or an etsy shop. I need to see unique handmade goods that are represented with clear, well balanced photos. I also have to be drawn to the products personally in some way so that what I feature stays in line with my own style/tastes.

3. Suggestions on how to generate buzz about your products?
Oh my gosh, I'm working on a new blog that's purely about this- marketing your art and craft business. There's too much to say here, but some quick tips would be to start your own business blog, contact design blogs you like, use online social networks, write a press release, advertise on blogs that serve your niche...

4. What not to do when contacting sites like Modish?
Hmm, I'd say don't contact us until you're really ready- if we head to your site and find yucky poorly lit images, only a few items, products lacking descriptions, etc, we're not going to feature you and we might not be back again even after you fix those things. Make sure your site is in tip-top shape before you start submitting it to blogs- use forums like the Switchboards to get feedback before you release it to the world.

5. What blogs do you follow to stay current?
I read all the major design blogs like design*sponge, decor8, oh joy and Poppytalk. I also like Heart Handmade, a new-ish blog that also focuses on all handmade goods, but has some fun, unique features, Creature Comforts, Design for Mankind and many others- my feed reader list is long!

6. What trends do you see developing? What products or styles are hot?
It's summer so everything's super saturated and colorful. Mustaches seem to be big right now, masks are popping up in lots of art and I've noticed more Native American imagery and styles in art, jewelry and accessories.

7. Do you see yourself embracing new media to reach your audience (podcasting, video)?

I've been thinking about how to incorporate video into modish... we'll see what pans out. I think podcasting and video will come more into play with the new marketing blog I'm working on, as that's more information based.

8. What do you think sets you apart from other design blogs?

The fact that I feature only handmade goods is the first thing. I try to incorporate new features all the time to see what works and what doesn't, and am ever striving to make Modish a unique experience. I also think everyone's individual voice and style are evident after spending just a few minutes on their blog, and are really what make people come back.

9. Is blogging more of a hobby or do you see this becoming a long term career choice?

For me, it's already a long term career choice. I've been blogging for over 2 years and have been self-employed for a year now (wow!) I also just closed my shop, so right now, blogging is my only source of income. It's a lot of hard work to transform a blog from a hobby into a career, but I've been successful so far, and that's why I'd like to start another, more informational blog so I can use one blog to write write write on and share my advice and experiences, and still have Modish to share all that fun handmade eye candy.

10. Any other thoughts you'd like to share?
If you're an artist, crafter or indie designer, stay tuned for my new blog all about marketing tip and tricks, just for you- it's gonna be great! I hope to have that up and running by mid-August! :)

Special thanks to Jena for taking the time for this interview. Be sure to check out Jena at Modish (

Collective Elements