***The Thursday Interview is a showcase for creators, innovators, troublemakers, business owners to share news and insight about the creative impetus and inspirations behind their latest project, launch or business.
Name: Julie Reif
Companies: The Blog Bar, Cardrella and Daville
Launch Date: August 19, 2015
Website: The Blog Bar
Motto: Hustle Beats Talent, Hustle Isn’t Defined By My Environment
I love all things digital but still take the time to send letters and cards just because so I can appreciate your love of all things paper. Can you share the eureka moment (or moments) that inspired Cardrella and Daville and 8Balloons.com?
I was preparing to write a book at the time and I had writer’s block and needed to exercise my writing skills with something I loved. During 2009, blogs were becoming large and I had such an appreciation for them and wanted to have my own. So I started exercising my writing skills by writing about paper daily on my blog, 8Balloons.com. I then realized quickly this was very niche and I may be onto something. My blog continued to become larger and only a year ago did I decide to share my own designs. It was a small but yet successful project and fun!
What are three life lessons you’ve learned (so far) as a creative entrepreneur?
This is difficult to put into three lessons as I feel this a 24/7 way of life.
1) There is no such thing as failure. I know this is cliche but really there is not. You should feel gratitude for the fact you are following your passions and having the opportunity to see the ups and downs of your passion projects. Most people don’t get to that level.
2) Gratitude. Always have gratitude. It changes the energy around you always.
3) My hustle isn’t defined by my environment. No matter if I am in New York City or the smallest suburb, I don’t let it hinder me or make or break me. There’s something called the internet and I work with as much as I have at my fingertips. Always have. Everyone can. So no matter if you’re waiting to make your dream come true by “getting out of wherever you are” There is always something you can be doing from where you are.
4) Hustle Universe Enterprise. These are the three words I live by. I find every avenue at my fingertips I can use to make what I am working on get one step farther. I always put it in the universe because positive vibes attract positive reactions and I always think enterprise (business) with everything I do. If anything that day does not fall into those three aspects, I don’t do it.
Your motto is Hustle Beats Talent. There’s gotta be a story behind that. Spill.
I don’t know if there is a story behind it, it’s just how I have always felt. In actuality, my motto is H.U.E. Hustle Universe Enterprise. I keep the hustle mentality for everything I do, I place it in the universe, and I always think enterprise. How can I make something bigger than myself, How can I make a product helpful to others. Talent is great, but you can’t rely on just that.
Share why you had to launch The Blog Bar.
I realized bloggers were missing so many online resources. We didn’t have a digital planner at our own fingertips and ironically most bloggers were still using pen and paper. As much as I am a fan of pen and paper, I wanted to give all bloggers access to the opportunity to have a planner that was dedicated to their needs. From there, I quickly learned we needed an online community to connect with other bloggers to not just collaborate with but to have a bigger network of like-minded individuals, and to share our content for others to discover and grow our influence.
What are your go-to resources for managing your businesses?
My needs right now are very technical and all about project management, so I have been using Asana, Google Documents, and Basecamp.
What’s on your weekly must read blog list?
I am a huge fan of Product Hunt and always find new products that not only help me but inspire me. I read the NY Times, Huffington Post, CNN. And throughout the day check out my TED app to learn as much as I can.
What’s next for The Blog Bar, Cardrella and Daville and 8Balloons.com?
The Blog Bar’s new launch is around the corner and I am as excited as Jessie Spano from Saved By The Bell for it! It will seriously change how we blog! Cardrella and Daville is finding its way into a few shops in NYC and Florida and can be found online. No new designs until the fall. As for 8Balloons.com, it is in full force with many amazing interviews with designers throughout the next few months with my fellow blog partner Andrea.
Shout-out time! This is your chance to spotlight your collaborators and community. Don’t be shy.
My network I collaborate with is extremely tight and also have become my best friends and family. They don’t all know each other as some work within greeting cards and others within the tech aspect, but they are familiar with each other and connected.
Diamond Donatello is one of the best greeting card designers there is and more importantly all around amazing artist. Her cards are pop culture and hip hop inspired and you may have seen them in stores like Urban Outfitters.
Andrea is my co-blogger on 8Balloons.com and she is well known for her 365 Days project, where she writes a beautiful card a day and shares her curation on Instagram, @dreyray. She has also created a stationery subscription company called qandaletterbox.com. Everyone I work with has created their own passion projects.
Andrea Grbavac is a close friend, great copy writer and my co-author on our book Blog Boss.
Britney of seamsandsprinkles.com She is a contributor to The Blog Bar and her blog is one of my favorite reads because of her positivity and did I mention all her baking recipes!
Ray of afewhungrygirls.com This girl has been a contributor to The Blog Bar since day 1 and I have loved seeing how far she has grown with her food and fitness blog and her business.