Thursday, May 24

Interview with Kojo Designs

Recently I had the chance to chat with Kirstin and Jordan of Kojo Designs and boy do they love to create. Whether they are party planning, crafting or baking these sisters always have something creative up their sleeve. They may live in different countries, but that does not stop them from publishing one of the best creative blogs on the net.

How do you guys make it work running a joint blog and living so far apart?

Skype! And a fairly detailed long range plan. Kirstin handles almost all of the day-to-day stuff and Jordan does all of the graphic design stuff as well as a weekly post feature. The time difference (11 hours) and Jord's inconsistent access to the internet kills us though. Good thing we both love this enough to make it a priority!

It seems like a popular thing for blogs to do these days is have a whole slew of guest posts. How do you think having guest posts on kojodesigns helps your blog? Also, how do you choose who will be writing guest posts?

We love hosting themed series with tons of guests! Whether the theme is making knock-offs, gifts for guys, or planning parties, we think the guests bring great content and fresh perspective to the blog. We usually start each series asking our friends (both 'blog friends' and 'real life' friends who have blogs) and then branch out to asking bloggers we've admired from afar. We keep a running list of "People to work with someday," and often draw from there. Sometimes bloggers hear that a series is coming up and email us to ask if they can participate as well (love that initiative)!

You recently conducted a survey on your blog about what your readers want more of. What were the results? Do you think it will influence what you blog about? Were you surprised by the results?

We were already pretty convinced that we have the best readers ever, but the survey just confirmed that a hundred times over. Our readers love sewing, event planning, knock offs, photography and home decor (in that order)- pretty much just like us, actually. The number one requested topic was more 'real life' personal stuff (everyday life, family life, craft fails, etc.)- which was a huge surprise to us. I am the first to admit that I love reading about "the blogger behind the blog" and would love to do a better job of sharing everyday life at kojo!

What are your favorite kinds of things to blog about? Do you love the craft tutorials or are the posts about cooking more your thing?

Right now we're in the middle of planning four parties- so both of us are dreaming in cupcakes and photo booths. However, parties aside, Jord's favorite posts are about cooking and life in the middleeast and Kirst loves making and sharing sewing projects.

You guys have lot’s of fun series on kojodesigns. Color Your Summer II is coming up. Tell us a little bit about that.

Last summer, we partnered with Delia Creates and a whole rockstar lineup of guests to share tutorials in every color of the rainbow (as well as "ROY G BIV" and white projects)! It was one of our favorite series ever... and it's back by popular demand! We've seen a sneak peak of a few of the projects and it's going to be again this year (think fabulous sewing tutorials, refreshing recipes and even a home decor project or two).

What has been the most popular crafty tutorial on your blog?

The Anthro-inspired knotted duvet has been our most viewed tutorial for the last two years- we love that project (it was quite the labor of love). Also, the reading nook (made from two wooden palettes) has been quite the pinterest sensation (it has also been featured all over the internet, including on Apartment Therapy and in the magazine 5280).

Party planning seems to be a popular theme on your blog. I too have an inner party planner. Can you give the readers 5 simple tips for making a party perfect.

We love it that you're an event planner in your heart as well! Our best party planning tips-

1 - Prioritize according to your guest of honor (an amazing menu for the foodie, for example). Parties are about the guests, not the hostess.

2- Keep a running inspiration file (ours in now on pinterest, but it used to be a regular old Word document with a list of links). When an occasion arises, check out that file!

3- Plan ahead- it's way easier to enjoy the actual party if you didn't pull all-nighters putting things together the week of the event.

4- Choose one or two amazing features for each party and put most of your effort into those things. With so many fabulous ideas floating around, it's easy to get overwhelmed or to spread yourself too thin. Focusing on just a couple of really great features (for example- a Nacho Bar, or a photo booth, or perhaps enough balloons to cover the entire ceiling) make each party special and narrow your work load.

5- Spend time with people at the party! It's too easy to spend a whole night refilling bowls and adjusting garlands. Once the event starts, remind yourself that this party will only happen once and set your mind on really enjoying all of your hard work!

Since I know you guys like to cook and craft give me one item from each area that you could not live without.

Kirstin- my sewing machine and a food processor Jordan- my Kitchenaid (it even made the move across the ocean with me, which is quite the feat considering how little we brought with us!) and a big circle punch

What is on the horizon for kojodesigns?

No more sewing competitions- haha (we love those, but oh my goodness are they a ton of work)! We have some seriously fabulous parties coming up (as a little teaser, one is an OH SNAP themed 30th birthday party for Jordan-the-photographer and one is a Sprinkle themed birthday party for the world's sassiest almost-two-year-old!). We also have a couple of really fun furniture knock-offs that are currently in progress. We keep saying that we're going to focus on projects that are lower maintenance, but then fall in love with elaborate bags and distressed tables and just have to make them. Kirstin and her family are headed to the Middleeast for several weeks in June, so this summer is sure to be a flurry of joint projects (actual joint projects, not Skype-advice joint projects) and a few cousin pics as well. We can't wait!

Thanks so much ladies for taking the time to chat!

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