I met Katie through Sad Lumberjack Co., our very first interview. Be sure to check out her super cute website, especially her About page. Seriously, it is one of the best About pages I've ever read in my entire life. Whenever I read it (and I have read it many times) I want to become her lifelong supporter, do all her craft tutorials, and buy all the products in her shop! She is a great example of how to brand yourself through writing.
1. Who are you, what do you do, and how did it all begin?
Hi! I'm Katie Chalmers, the designer, creator & blogger behind Betty Louise Studio. I guess this all began when I was a little girl. For as long as I can remember, I've always enjoyed working with my hands and have had a love for making things. My passion for creativity is definitely an inherited trait as I come from a long line of crafters on my Mom's side of the family. I dabble in a little bit of everything but my focus has been on my handmade crocheted items such as hats & scarves, my love for sewing pirate dolls and building wood crafts. On my blog I like to share DIY projects for the home.
In college, I studied Visual Art and English Lit but pursued career paths following graduation that were not in the art and design world. When I was pregnant with my first child I made the decision to be a stay at home mom, which is the best decision I've ever made. Being home with my children has inspired me in so many ways and has especially helped me to get the creative juices flowing again.
I knew at some point I wanted to take my love of making things and somehow turn it into a business venture but thought it wouldn't be possible until my kids were in school. From the encouragement of my husband, family, friends and the realization that I had no idea what I was waiting for, I decided to go for it and created Betty Louise Studio about 8 months ago. This crafting endeavor is named after my late maternal grandmother who will forever be my greatest inspiration.
2. Where can we find you on social media?
You can find me on -
I find that I'm most active on Instagram as posting easily fits within my full time responsibilities as a stay at home mom.
3. What is your favorite hashtag?
My favorite hashtag is #madeinmaine. Maine has an amazingly talented and supportive population of designers and crafters. I check that hashtag out daily as I love to see what the locals are crafting up.
4. Why do you use social media?
I use social media as a means to share my work and inspiration, connect with like minded people, and to build sales for Betty Louise Studio. It has also been incredibly helpful in discovering new people, places, things & products I otherwise may not have found.
5. Which tools do you use for creating or posting content?
Just about all of my Instagram photos are taken with my camera on my Samsung Galaxy S5. Photos for my blog posts are taken with my Nikon D3100. Most of my work is done on an iPad. When I edit photos for my website I typically use the iPhoto app for the iPad.
6. What effect does social media have on your business?
I don't know where Betty Louise Studio would be without social media. Instagram in particular, has been an invaluable platform for me to reach a wider audience. I don't have an actual online shop (it's a work in progress) so the majority of my sales are placed by Instagram users who find me and initially connect with me as a result of my product posts.
7. How do you measure success on social media?
I measure my success on social media through new connections, followers and sales. Any time I receive a "like" or comment on a product post my heart skips a beat. I am genuinely excited and honored that people enjoy the items I create. At the end of the day I want to share my love of making things with others and hopefully inspire a little creativity in everyone.
8. What aspect of social media do you find most challenging?
The aspects of social media I find most challenging are time management and quality of posts. My goal is to post daily on Instagram but I have made the decision that content needs to be about quality vs. quantity - I'm not going to post just for the sake of posting. I'm not looking to achieve perfection but I want the things that I share to be relevant. There are weeks when I may post only 2-3 times.
I do think it's important to be involved and to stay current with social media when you're not posting. Even on the busiest of days, I try to take 30 minutes to check out my favorite brands and to make sure I answer and acknowledge comments on my own posts.
I also struggle with how personal I should or should not be on my business Instagram platform. I am not one to over share but at the same time I know that I am attracted to brands that offer sneak peeks into personal life. I am working on pushing myself outside of my sharing comfort bubble.
9. What makes you follow another brand back?
I typically follow brands based on a connection made or photos and content I enjoying checking out. I'm totally inspired by nature, all things vintage, quirky and colorful.
10. Which brands that have social media do you admire?
There are so many brands out there that I LOVE. The brands I admire most on social media (Instagram) are Sad Lumberjack Skateboards, Lotta Jansdotter, Erin Flett, Folk Magazine, ModCloth, and Daytrip Society.
11. Any advice for other brands just getting started on social media?
To be honest, I'm just getting started. But the best advice I can offer is to stay true to yourself and your brand. The purpose of social media is to be social...social media is a great way to connect on a more personal level with the individuals behind the brands you love. Don't be afraid to reach out, comment and ask questions. Most importantly, have fun and love what you do! :-)