Today I am introducing you to Linda ~ our digi designer of choice ~ years ago when we all used other creative names to hide behind, Linda was Bobby’s Girl, and I recalled this song.
Linda, thank you for this opportunity to get to know you better. Please share a little of your background. Family education travel interests, etc.
My (rest of my) life partner and I have eleven children between us. Robert has five sons. I have two daughters and four sons. We are awaiting the birth of our tenth grandchild, Madison Rose (the second girl out of the ten), who shall be making her debut any time now! There truly is never a dull moment and our hearts are overflowing. With a family event of some sort happening every month, I am thankful that there are numerous photo bugs and Facebookers in the mix to capture and share moments we would otherwise miss. I love anything digitally procured! I also have great interest in interior design, sewing, crafts, genealogy/health research and forensics. Living in the country, I enjoy walking and capturing images of sunrises, sunsets, wildlife and objects of interest in our neighborhood! It goes without saying that I am positively addicted to the process of preserving memories!
When did you first realise you loved digital scrapbooking and what caused it?
What motivated you to start creating and designing? When I met the love of my life in the first quarter of 2001, I planned surprise birthday parties for both Robert and his #2 son. Their birthdays are less than a week apart. I took lots of photographs at both parties (large Hawaiian blended family) and I wanted to present them to both Robert and Joshua in a special and unique way. I had purchased Print Master several years prior to use while homeschooling my children and discovered digital scrapbooking on my own by having my photos developed in both print and on CD. I then created layouts on an 8-1/2 by 11 inch canvas using photos, clip art and journaling! I printed them at home, placed them into sheet protectors and then into half-inch binders with graphics on the cover, back and spine. I had no knowledge what a photo book was or that there were actually websites to come that would make my new-found passion a memory preservationist’s delight!
Please share the story of your blog name and how you thought you were Italian.
My blog name, which is also my designer/business name, came by way of an attempt to be, somewhat creative in finding a title that did not exist anywhere else! I, of course, did an Internet search just to be on the safe side 😉 I had been in a bit of a quandary for a time, until feeding my beloved fur babies one evening and leaving them with my daily ritual of a pat, a kiss on the bridge of their noses followed by, “Bon Appetit” a la Julia Child style! It struck me like lightning this one particular evening in 2007 … “Bon Scrapatit”! Loosely translated to mean, “Enjoy your scrapping” or “Happy scrapping”! Either way, it stuck!
Looking for some ambience, my original blog design displayed one of my very own photographs taken while visiting Italy in late 2000 to early 2001. I added in some red gingham, naturally, and a chef’s hat to my beautifully rendered avatar from a well-known designer in the industry at the time.
Why the Italian flavor when the name appears to be French? It was a wee bit of a boo-boo (I used a diacritical mark to elongate the “o” in Bon, but neglected to add the “o” to the end of Scrapatit, as in Italian it would be properly spelled, Buon Scrappetito) that I did not wish to alter after all of the time I had spent finding a doable font, plus being under a bit of pressure to finish
by a certain time. I had also spent most of my youth, and into my twenties, believing that I was part Italian on my mother’s side. I did not grow up with my mother, so I was a little disappointed when I found out this was not true! However, being that my father had a gorgeous European olive complexion and the looks of a 1920-ish to 1940-ish movie star, I ran with the Italian theme anyhow! In the early days of my blogging, when it was acceptable to a point, I even posted a playlist of Italian music artists (yes, lots of Dean Martin!) to carry over the Italian flavor.
What has been your greatest hurdle getting the business up and running – professionally and personally?
Staying focused. I have a lot of family and there is always something going on, whether it is a family gathering, a family need, a new birth, etc. I often joke about how I could make more than one full-time job out of keeping up with everyone. There is a method to my madness! I am currently fine-tuning my method!
Is passion keeping you going, the original desire that got you started…how do you maintain that?
My passion is just as hot and heavy as it was the day I knew I wished to preserve my family’s heritage digitally and to help others do the same! The fact that I still have 35+ years of photos to document keeps that flame burning and I know there are others around the globe with the same need and desire!
How are you finding the online business experience?
It is my “real” life! I’ve never understood what people mean when they say, “in real life (IRL)”. My online presence has been my real life since January 2005. I have met so many incredible people in the digital scrapbooking community/industry, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogger, WordPress, etc., that have truly enriched my life that would not have happened otherwise. My business online, as well as maintaining some good friendships the past seven years, has afforded me so many opportunities to mingle with special people across the globe (we would not be conducting this interview if not for my business online!). Am I able to walk out my front door and do that every single day? Well, perhaps if I were a billionaire with a personal jet to fly me about at my whim. Realistically, the average person is lucky to get in some good travel time once or twice per year, if that. What better way to build your people skills than to communicate with those from other parts of one’s own country and/or from around the world! I love it. It keeps “me” real, challenged, stimulated and well-informed!
How do you balance your passion for creation and your health issues?
Hmm … I obviously have not done a very good job of that thus far, though I am determined to make it work! I have good days and not-so-good days. My health issues are much of what is behind my lack of focus. I have found that my high tolerance for pain has given me the ability to escape it either through sleep or by sticking my nose into Photoshop and staying until I can stay no more! I ‘shop ‘til I drop! *grin*
What matters most to you the journey or the destination?
Oh goodness. The journey, without even a moment to think about it! I am in the third quarter of my life (God willing) and have learned so much about myself the past decade. I love a good challenge! I have come to embrace the obstacles in my path, as they always teach me something and cause for me to grow and to change/adapt. 9. How do you measure success, professionally and personally? Professionally, I’ll let you know when I get there! LOL!
All kidding aside, it would not have anything to with making exorbitant amounts of money, but that I have accomplished all that I have set out to in my business. Topping my list would be satisfying my customers to the point of their repeat business, as well as maintaining a good relationship with them, and then gaining new customers through my satisfied repeat customers!
On a personal level, I measure my success by what is taking place on the inside of me as opposed to the outside! I have overcome some huge obstacles in my life. I am content with myself, accept myself for who and what I am, and I love myself unconditionally. Those are three things my lips could not have uttered a decade ago! I continue to fight the good fight by learning, growing and changing. If I have stopped learning, please check my pulse. I should no longer have one! My complete acceptance and love for myself allows me to embrace (love) others for who they are and where they are on their life’s path. This puts me at peace with myself and my fellow man/woman.
What would your best advice be to a woman wanting to launch her own business?
Do your homework and prepare yourself as best you can. I am all for getting one’s ducks in a row, although mine seem to have gone astray! I was actually put into flight sooner than I had anticipated or wanted to be and have struggled to keep up ever since! For example, if selling product, it is always nice to have a good stock of product before opening your doors. From my experience, most of us of the female gender like to look at a variety of options, unless we are in search of something specific. While not all businesses need to be concerned about quantity at the get-go, it is, in my honest opinion, conducive to my business that I diligently work at meeting the supply and demand of my digital/hybrid scrapbooking customers!
Generally women are very entrepreneurial, any thoughts as to why?
We, typically, are able to wear many hats and/or are great multitaskers by nature! After all, we women have been blessed with the use of both sides of our brain when listening, versus a man and his one side. LOL! Shh … I did not say that! Oh … yes I did! Women, overall, are better communicators than their counterparts.
Finally, Linda, these are the famous 10 Questions from, ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio’, slightly adapted.
1. What is your favourite word? I don’t have favorites of anything! Love and tolerance.
2. What is your least favourite word? Hate and prejudice.
3. What excites you? Awakening to a new day, still breathing and able to continue to do all of the things that I love to do!
4. What bores you? Not a thing. A creative mind should not encounter boredom, should it?
5. What sound do you love? The cries of a newborn baby (new life). I shall be hearing the cries of a newborn very soon! *sigh*
6. What sound do you hate? I very much dislike random gun shots. Downright scary at times!
7. What do you love doing most? I love being creative in my work and including as much of my family as possible in my madness! I have just recently taken a dive (head first) back into the genealogy research pool and I love every new tidbit of information I find while adding new pieces to the family puzzle! My greatest passion is in being of help to others in documenting and preserving their family heritage. I have come to find that I love to be of service by helping others in any way that I am able to.
8. What profession would you NOT like to do? As much as I was interested as a youth, I would not wish to be in the entertainment industry. Not today. That is all.
9. Chocolate or not chocolate? Need you ask? It’s good for the heart! *wink*
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? Welcome. You are punctual today!
Anything further you might like to add? Not a good question to ask of a prolific rambler! LOL!
I would like to tell you that I am honored to have been asked to conduct this interview with you and that I greatly admire your passion in sharing “pearls of wisdom” with women all over the world. Thank you for having me and I wish your site and your vision great success in accomplishing all that you desire it to dear friend! If we were conducting this in person where would we have met? We are in triple-digits again this week, so I would sit with you in my little office space with the fan blowing upon us! After all, my office is where things are happening! Well, most of the time. He, he …
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Blog: Bon Scrapatit