Are you ready for some major inspiration?! A successful blog, tons of recipes, DIY projects, and a kiddo at home sounds like a lot of hard work! But Lexy Ward of PROPER balances it all gracefully. Keeping up her brand and adding even more to her plate in the near future makes us admire her even more! We love her playful and creative content, she is one seriously creative woman! From starting her blog just for fun to turning it into a successful business, Lexy has some great advice on how to keep up with your work and stay inspired. Read on below to find out what inspires Lexy and how she continues to grow in a competitive business.
1. It seems there are a million new blogs that pop up every day. What advice would you give someone just starting a blogging business?
Oh gosh! First of all, hang in there! The task-list seems overwhelming, but just remember to start small and tackle one thing at a time! Also, contrary to popular belief, there IS room for everybody! The community is wonderful and supportive so take the time to build relationships that can lift you up when things get tricky!
2. When did you decide to start a blog? How did the concept behind PROPER come to you?
So I have worked in the creative community for years, but years ago, it was just a side gig! I was actually working a different full-time job and doing styling & event services on the side. My husband (he’s the tech-wiz!) suggested I start “this thing called a blog” to build my portfolio and share things I’m working on and that inspire me!
3. We love the colorful & playful nature of PROPER! Where do you drive inspiration from?
Thank you! Sheesh, we pull inspiration from everywhere! I like to travel and get a lot of inspiration from plants, colors, and textures I see when traveling. I also like to hit up flea markets and look at old ideas and think about how I can put a new, modern twist on something that was popular in the past.
4. You recently changed the name of your blog from The Proper Pinwheel to PROPER. Why did you decide to change the name?
You know, I just felt that we had outgrown that name. In blogland, you’re constantly evolving and that can happen with the actual aesthetic of the blog. I really felt like I found my true aesthetic and the content we were sharing just didn’t feel like it was aligning right with the name. So, I just dropped everything to PROPER! And it’s kind of a play on the word, because if you know me in person, you know that I am the FARTHEST thing from “proper!”. I’d like to just say I’m chill.
5. Your blog features so many drool-worthy recipes and whimsical DIY projects! Have you always been a creative person?
I come from a very large Italian family. That means a lot of cooking and a lot of parties and get-togethers. Growing up, I was always interested in making things myself. And that just kind of translated into this DIY version of myself as an adult! And I LOVE to cook! Crazy fact – I don’t eat everything I make. While I taste it all to be sure it gets my stamp of approval, I usually just give it away! #diabetes
6. We are swooning over the beautiful images on your blog, so we have to ask! Who is in charge of producing such beautiful photographs and how can we do it too?!
That’s so sweet of you to say! Photography has definitely been something that we’ve had to work at over the years! If you could go back to some of my very first posts (please don’t!), you would see that the photographs are night and day! As the editor of PROPER, I create most of our editorial calendar and shoot most of the day-to-day content myself. For larger projects, we collaborate with photographers & brands to give the content the oomph it needs. I’m a big believer in experimenting! Test out your camera. Take classes. Just shoot everything in every setting until you figure out what you like and what you don’t!
7. With so many fabulous creations under your belt, we know this is probably a tough question, but what are some of your favorite projects that you’ve worked on? Any crafty failures you look back on now and laugh?
Oh gosh, I really love our floral food series. We’ve done floral macarons, floral marshmallows, floral pancake wreaths, and my absolute fave would be the floral pie wreath that seems to circulate around the web every Thanksgiving season! Crafty failures? I once made a garland out of loofahs. Shower loofahs. That’s all I will say about that.
8. We can’t praise hard working mammas enough! With a busy home life and an ever popular blog, how do you find balance in your everyday life?
Caffeine! And a great support system. I honestly thank the heavens for friends and family who totally support what I do. And on those days that I am mentally exhausted and about to crack because I think I can’t go on much longer, they send words of comfort and encouragement and rejuvenate me!
9. How do you plan your blog content? What’s your process for creating features, photography, writing, etc.? Any tips on planning ahead?
I like to be as organized as possible, but sometimes ya just gotta fly by the seat of your pants! I typically try to plan things out 4-6 weeks ahead of time. With the holidays, it’s much farther ahead of time. I take a look at the season, the trends, what we are currently working on in our house, and the sponsored content we have already scheduled. And once those are on the calendar, I choose filler posts that are smaller, but still as original as possible, to add in.
10. Your daughter, Vita, is the absolute cutest! Does she enjoy being just as crafty as her talented mamma?
Oh my gosh. Vita is SUCH a ham! She’s definitely got the creative bug. And that’s a blessing and a curse! She’s always working on whatever I’m working on. If we’re painting something for a shoot, you better believe she’s a few feet away painting her own little something. She is also quite the furniture arranger. She watches me move things around to get the perfect shot and has started doing it herself! She moves all the pillows off the couch and says “take a picture!”.
11. What’s in store for PROPER in the coming future?
I don’t even know where to start! This year has been the craziest and best yet, and we have so many exciting things in the works. I will say that there is going to be a shop, a line of products, and a series of workshops in different cities! So we’ve definitely got a lot to look forward to!
Photography by: Sally Mae Photography // @sallymae