I like nice people. You can be the most talented person out there, but if you’re not nice, well… So I was really
happy to get to interview Kirsten Nunez of wildamor.com
– not only do I love, love, love her DIY ideas, but she is just so
nice! I remember reaching out to her when I first started hapinesswherever.com, asking to feature 1 of her tutorials on my blog- not only did she reply, she even RT-ed the link when my article was up 🙂 🙂 🙂
Since then, she’s firmly had a space in my list of Fave Fellow Bloggers 🙂 I’ve always been curious to find out more about her & her blogging journey- She’s been on CNN! She’s had a DIY book published!!! – and thankfully she’s been patient enough to answer all my questions 🙂
Note: all images copyright of wildamor.com
Kirsten in one of her DIY hats, looking like she’s thinking very hard- maybe planning the next DIY tutorial? 🙂
Tell us the story of Kirsten pre-blogging & post-blogging 🙂
In June 2010, I was finishing up undergrad for Dietetics and about to start graduate school for Nutrition. I was always craft-obsessed as a child and throughout college. I tried to be creative as much as possible (both in class with projects & outside of class with my hobbies) but it just felt like my brain was SPILLING with ideas.
So, in July 2010, I started a DIY fashion blog (then called Studs & Pearls) the day after I turned 21. It was a much-needed outlet from the intense science-based studies of nutrition. Eventually, I wanted to embrace everything I was interested in (not just DIY fashion, but also food, health, and everything creative) which is why I eventually changed the name to Wild Amor.
That’s really interesting but, let’s go a bit further back- how did you start crafting?
I have a hunch that I started crafting in my mother’s womb. Either that or I started at such a young age that I couldn’t even pinpoint a single moment that I started crafting. However, I do remember playing around with paper, felt, and beads when I was just a few years old. I clearly recall being obsessed with tiny little craft projects. When I learned how to read, I’d borrow the same craft books over and over again from the library until I made every single project in them.
Succulents are all over social media- but have you seen succulent jewellery? One of the amazing tutorials on wildamor.com
Being a creative blogger myself, I know how difficult it is to actually get people to read your blog! 😛 What was the reaction to your first post and when did your blog really start getting traction?
I was lucky enough to have started when DIY fashion blogs (let alone DIY blogs) weren’t very popular. My first post was a Braided Thread and Chain Bracelet that was inspired by a designer piece; it was very well-received and is still one of my most popular posts… despite the terrible photography! My blog started picking up later that year and into 2011.
And now for more blogger envy- You’ve been featured on lots of very good sites such as CNN and Mollie Makes- when did you get your first “big break” and how did that come about?
The CNN coverage a few years ago was one of my biggest features (thanks again, CNN Lifestyle!) and that really helped grow my readership. I’d say between that entire year of 2012 had a string of on-going mini “big breaks”… my tutorials were featured in magazines in Sweden, India, Czech Republic, and more. Later that year, I started talking to a publisher about writing a DIY fashion book. It was a whirlwind of a year.
Again, not many bloggers can claim to have published a book at 28! (SO cool!) How did the opportunity for the book arise?
Thank you! The crazy thing is that the book was actually published when I was 25, almost 26. I was 23 when the publisher approached me.
In November 2011, one of the head editors at my publisher sent me an email. They are based in the UK, but she was going to be in New York in a couple weeks. We met up and chatted about potential book ideas. I wrote a proposal, we went back and forth with edits, and I landed the book deal in early 2012. I worked on it until September 2013 and it was published May 2014. And now, I have a book baby.
At 28, I know I’m still young… but when I look back at when I was 23-25 years old, I still can’t get over how young I was while writing that book. It was definitely a life-changing process.
Kirsten’s take on the patches trend which has been seen everywhere from Gucci catwalks to, well, DIY blogs 🙂
You mention spending anything from 3-15 hours per week on your blog. That’s quite a lot! Is your dream job full time blogging? (Mine is! :P)
I don’t have a single “dream job”. Over the years, I’ve learned chasing a single “dream” position isn’t always the healthiest, mentally. It’s a bit of a loaded, stressful concept. Instead, I’ve been aiming toward a dream “lifestyle”. So, any job(s) that allow me to exercise creativity while paying the bills & letting me live comfortably… I’m cool with.
With that said, it’s important to note that a “dream lifestyle” can take the shape of a lot of different positions. I can achieve that by being a freelance lifestyle editor & journalist (which I currently am). Down the road, I might be able to achieve that working an in-house position while blogging a little less on the side. It all just depends what’s going on in life at that time.
Wonder how many of the 3-15 hours was spent on this incredible blazer?! Great way to upcycle any old white clothing!
As a DIY blogging veteran, what advice do you have for other DIY bloggers, especially those just starting now, when the landscape seems quite crowded 🙂
The Internet is extremely saturated these days. We’re being thrown information at us from all angles and it can get pretty overwhelming! My biggest piece of advice is to write about what you absolutely 1000000% love. It might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s also easy to follow the trends or what the “popular kids” are doing. There’s nothing wrong if you actually like the trend, obviously, and it fits with your style and voice.
Otherwise, just do what feels good for you. Like… if you love socks, then please feel free to start a blog about socks. And when you’re passionate about ALL the socks, then you’ll never run out of ideas. Your dedication will show.
… On a more serious note, it also helps to not take your stats and numbers so personally. If you love what you’re writing about, those numbers shouldn’t matter. It’s a lot of unnecessary stress, especially when you’re just starting out. Use this newbie time to find your writing style and how you want to represent yourself on the web.
And since it’s Christmas, we can’t end without featuring one of Kirsten’s Christmas DIYs- check out these AMAZING skull Christmas tree ornaments! Double duty for Halloween decor! 🙂
Having moved from a blog to a full lifestyle site, I can’t wait to see what Kirsten Nunez will be up to in 2017! 🙂