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Friday, 14 March 2014

FEATURE FRIDAY: SohoSonnet Creative Living

I love finding new blogs and I love sharing them with everyone.
I'll be featuring a new blogger every Friday. 
(Check here for previous Friday Features.)

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Please meet Sonnet from SohoSonnet Creative Living.

SohoSonnet Creative Living Header

Sonnet O’Kane is a graphic artist and owner of Etsy shop SohoSonnet Print Shop. She is also the writer and creator of the blog SohoSonnet Creative Living. Her blog provides DIY tutorials for the home, crafts, kids, free printables and more.  She is a fabric hoarder, IPA drinker and Peanut Butter addict. Sonnet recently made the shift from office job to staying at home and spending more time with her 1 year old daughter Scarlett and focusing on her own business endeavours.

How long have you been blogging?

I started my blog in November 2013 so it has been about 4 months. I must say it feels longer. I look back on those first few blog posts and realize how much I have learned about blogging in such a small period of time. I was SO excited the day I got over 50 visitors lol,  that I was texting friends and family telling them what countries my visitors were from and what posts they looked at. Now, only a few months later, I am celebrating a new record of 6000 visitors in a day. You have to celebrate any success you have no matter how big or small, and surround yourself with people that will cheer you on every step of the way.

DIY Baby Board Book
DIY Baby Board Book

Why did you decide to start Blogging?

I was laid off from my job as a fashion design developer and feeling pretty devastated.  I have always defined myself by my work and given everything to my job. Those first few weeks at home with Scarlett were hard, I was happy to be with her but at the same time I was looking around wandering what I was supposed to be doing.  I needed to accomplish something in my day, produce something.

So I did what I do best…. A project. I started crafting and doing activities with Scarlett to keep us busy and to keep myself from going totally insane. A few weeks later I decided I wanted to share my tutorials and ideas with others. So I created the blog and I have been loving it.

You recently launched an Etsy shop, what is your vision behind it??

I have always wanted to open an Etsy shop! My first shop idea, I had when I was 26, it was selling embroidery hoop art. I never even got it off the ground because the cost of making the goods was more then I could sell them for. My next attempt was selling baby clothes but I soon realized that was impossible to sew with a baby around. Showering was a large enough accomplishment with a newborn.

SohoSonnet Etsy Fails

Finally… I am proud to say that I have found success! After blogging a few months I realized my printables and graphics were the most popular blog posts. My Valentines Day printables were shared on pinterest over 24K times! I sat down at my computer and wandered if people would pay money for my designs.  Initially I was worried I would fail and embarrass myself but I decided to go for it and give it a shot and sure enough people will pay money for my designs! While my shop is only a few weeks old I have received lots of orders and custom requests.  Also, the Wedding website has asked me to be their exclusive wedding invitation provider.  I am beyond excited with what I have accomplished so far. The endless nights of staying up until 2am designing are finally paying off.

SohoSonnet Print Shop on Etsy
Soho Sonnet Print Shop

Where do you find inspiration?

I get 90% of my inspiration from my friends. My blog posts are usually answers to questions. “Sonnet, what are some indoor crafts I can do for Leena’s birthday party, the kids are 7-10” “Give me a creative idea for revealing we are pregnant on facebook” “I need a Breakfast at Tiffanys invitation for Juliette“. Usually it ends up that the answers are things other people are looking for as well!  When I am thinking about things to write for my blog I literally look around my house or think about things going on with my friends and family and I usually can come up with something helpful that someone could use. 

What has been your biggest challenge in blogging so far?

My Ego.

Like many others, I care what people think. Too much.  When I first started blogging I was worried what people would think. Would my friends, family and colleagues laugh at my blog? Would anyone even read it?  Does anyone care about what I am writing?  After receiving over 1000 comments on my blog in just 4 short months I have come to realize that people do read it, they do care and if my blog post helps give inspiration to just ONE person, then that is my idea of success.

Free Chalkboard Binder Label Set DOWNLOAD HERE

What excites you the most about blogging?

Connecting with so many other crafty creative people! I have become close friends with a lot of women that I have never even met. There is this huge tight knit community of bloggers that support and inspire each other and I am so thankful that I have become a part of that.  I wake up in the morning and can’t wait to see what my blog friends have crafted and read the comments I have received. 

Any advice for newbie bloggers? have SO MUCH but will try my best to keep it short.

*Come up for Air -  My first few months blogging I literally spent so much time crafting, taking pictures and writing blog posts that were seen by essentially no one. It took me a while to realize that I needed to establish relationships with other bloggers, gain a following on social media outlets, and participate in link parties.

* Make Authentic Connections -   Don’t just visit blogs and socials to gain followers. Find 8-10 (or more) blogs that are about the same size following as yourself and really connect with the authors. Write to them, comment on their blog regularly, share their posts. Keep up the relationship, it might take them a little while to start to follow you back and promote you as well because people are busy but after seeing your blog and your name regularly, trust me, people will return the favor. Give it time.

*Create a small Facebook blog group -  Once you have started a relationship with a few bloggers create a small group for each of you to share your blog posts and promote each other. Having a crew of like minded people to bounce ideas off of is AMAZING. I still send pictures to my group asking which is the best feature picture to use. Keep it small though, anymore then 5 people and it is hard to manage.

*Set up a good blog -  If your blog is not set up properly then people will not want to follow you and google will rarely show you in search results. Check out this website, it taught me EVERYTHING about blogging

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If you would like to follow Sonnet and Soho Sonnet Creative Living, here is her Social Media:

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If you enjoyed this interview you might also like this one:

Interview with Life in Velvet

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Isn't Sonnet awesome? I know that if we ever met in real life we would become fast-friends and chat a mile a minute!  If you want to see more of her projects, then head on over to SohoSonnet Creative Living and say "hello".

Let's Connect!

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