Interview with Professional Blogger and Interior Stylist Emma Fexeus
Emma Fexeus, who is a professional blogger and interior stylist from Sweden, started her blog “Emmas Designblogg” in 2005. Nowadays she is one of the most well-known bloggers, and she still has many fabulous examples of Scandinavian design and style to share with you all.
You started your blog in 2005 when the so-called blog boom happened. Most of the blogs that were popular back then don’t exist anymore unlike yours. How do you find time and inspiration to keep writing and giving beautiful examples of Scandinavian design every day?
I love blogging and can’t think of anything I would rather do for a living. My biggest passion in life is Scandinavian design, and getting to share that with the world is amazing. With that being said, I don’t always feel inspired, some days my head is full of other things, but as any creative knows, you can’t sit down and wait for inspiration to come to you, you just have to do the work anyway. Since I am a full-time blogger and this is what I do for a living, there isn’t really the option of just shutting the blog down or taking a break for a few months, so when I have a bad day I just shake it off, take a walk and get back to it again.
Did you need to create a blog persona or would your rather say that everything came to you very naturally and you found out the details later?
I started my blog for personal use, as I needed a place to store information on designers and new products so I never even thought about creating some kind of online persona. I’ve just been myself from the beginning, and still am, and I hope that shines through in my blog posts. During the years I have been thinking a lot about how much of my personal life I want to share with my readers and have come to the conclusion that I am a rather private person when it comes to letting other people into my home and everyday life. I can give my view on style and design without showing people what my own apartment looks like, and even though I show a lot of amazing interiors, I think my readers know that I am still a very down to earth person who shops at IKEA and feeds her kids pancakes just like anyone else.
How would you describe your style?
My style has evolved with time but has probably been pretty much the same for the last 4-5 years. I prefer a neutral colour palette with a white base as well as simple furniture and accessories made from natural materials. I do love to add a bit of edge to it though by introducing a bit of darkness and a slightly punky attitude.
What was the biggest challenge you have had to face so far?
There are always new challenges, but I haven’t been through any sort of crisis, blog-wise that is. To keep blogging when things around you are falling to pieces like when you are going through divorce or a death in the family is, in my opinion, the toughest thing about blogging. Other than that, there have only been small things, like people copying my blog or advertisers not paying their invoices, but those are just daily annoyances and nothing that I would let bring me down.
What have you learned by blogging?
I have learned so much! Anything from running my own business to how to keep your integrity in social media. But the most important lesson is probably the fact that online friendships can be very strong, and having close relationships to other bloggers is of great value.
What would you advise those who are thinking of setting about blogging?
To anyone thinking about starting a blog, I would advise them to only do it if they can see themselves still doing it in 5-10 years. You have to really love the subject you choose for your blog.
You mentioned on your blog that you readership had grown as time went by. What do you think the reasons were? What did you offer that other bloggers didn’t?
One of the strengths of my blog is probably its consistency in style. My readers know what to expect and want to come back for more. I have always aimed to only show things I absolutely love, so I try to keep a high standard for my posts and wait until I find those special gems instead of just blogging to put a new post out there.
I assume you always have a great amount of material you could write about. How do you select among them?
It’s all about gut feeling. I can see in half a second if a picture fits on my blog or not. So it’s really not so much about a selection process, I just pick whatever speaks to me. Sometimes it isn’t even interiors related, it can be graphic design, art or fashion as well, even though that is quite rare.
The word Scandinavian refers to Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and sometimes to Finland. Does a homogeneous style exist or does every country have its own peculiarities?
I would say that there is, of course, such a thing as Scandinavian style, but every country also has its own. You would need to look quite closely to see it though, and it is probably more obvious when you look at the work from new young designers than comparing interiors from actual homes. After many years of reading interior design magazines and blogs from all these different countries though, I think I can be brave enough to say that I can see very quickly in which country a home is located.
You’re from Sweden, the home of IKEA that is really popular abroad, however, I’m not sure whether the Swedes like it or not. Could you tell me your opinion on it?
I think most Swedes have a love/hate relationship to IKEA. We love it for the affordable prices so everyone shops there, and hate it because everyone else has exactly the same sofa as we do, and it will look like crap in five years…
You released your first book in March. Have you received good reviews and what does the audience say?
The book was very well received. The first edition sold out in 2,5 months, and the reviews have been overwhelming! I never expected this, and still get quite embarrassed and insecure when people ask me to sign their copy of the book. Like “What, you want ME to sign a book? But I’m not an author or editor… Or hold on, that’s right, I am!”
What kind of design-related activities do you do besides blogging and occasionally working for magazines? Do you give workshops, seminars or lectures maybe?
Besides styling for magazines and advertising, I sometimes do workshops, live stylings, shop events and lectures. I also visit showrooms and trade fairs, travel to interesting places for the blog, and go to blogger conferences to learn new things.
What is your next project?
Right now I am preparing for a lecture about blogging at Aalto University in Helsinki, and after that I will start working on a big collaboration with a brand for their holiday campaigns.
Written by Barbara Majsa
Originally published: 22 October 2013, Enspire.hu, http://enspire.hu/interjuk/interview-with-professional-blogger-and-interior-stylist-emma-fexeus/