Today we are featuring VA Blogger, Lisa Tutman-Oglesby, the stylish brains behind the popular blog,A�Celebrate Creativity. This Black Southern Belle is a creative force and we are so excited to feature her. A�Lisa says “I’m a diehard baker, bargain hunter, DIYer, crafter, collector of fabrics and vintage dishes, home dA�cor enthusiast, wife, mom of two and a Virginia transplant. I relish taking the everyday and the ordinary and transforming it into pretty darn extraordinary… without spending a fortune to do it. Celebrate Creativity is a natural extension of that sentiment.” We love everything about this blog and know you will too. If you want inspiration for your next craft or dinner party,A�make sure to check out Celebrate Creativity. This is oneA�Stylish Midlothian, VA Blogger & DIYer you must follow!
What You Provide: Tutorials, ideas, projects and inspiration for creating a home and life you love, including but not limited to: sewing, crafting, photography, recipes, gardening and seasonal topics.
Where are you based? MIdlothian, VA
Why did you decide to start a business? My blogging started out as a way for me to share lots of different crafts projects and recipes and the site evolved into the lifestyle blog it is today. Ten years ago, I won a national scrapbook magazine contest (Memory Makers) and was named one of the countrya��s top scrapbookers. As part of the win, I was asked to contribute content to the magazinea��s website. I found myself posting content that included far more than just scrapbooking. While the editors enjoyed seeing my sewing, recipes and decorating projects, I did feel a bit guilty about posting these other hobbies on a blog site that was supposed to be all about scrapbooking. Thata��s when I decided to start my own blog and thata��s how Celebrate Creativity was born. The blog name allows me to have a pretty wide umbrella of content which includes my many interests. Ita��s also been a great forum for me to share my love of creativity and I hope my projects, tutorials and recipes inspire my readers to try new things.
What is your favorite client story? I actually dona��t have any clients per se. I have done some freelance photography work for several companies and my projects and writing have appeared in numerous magazines and publications.
What is your website? celebrate-creativity.com
Do you have any mentors? Again, no mentors per sea�� but there are many bloggers whose work Ia��m inspired by and enjoy.
What is your favorite thing about being southern? Ia��ve actually had a chance to live and work in many different parts of the country. I grew up on the east coast, went to school in the south, started my television reporting career in the midwest and now Ia��m back in the south again. I think there is definitely a wonderful generosity of spirit in the south and a genuine hospitality too. Yeah, I know that may sound a little cliche but thata��s been my observation. Oh, and Ia��m loving not having to deal with nightmare rush hour commutes in my neck of the woods now. A�When I worked in Chicago, traffic was often like a parking lot. Ia��m definitely not missing those two hour commutes. A�
What is your favorite southern dish? Oh, my. Thata��s a hard one. Ia��d have to say peach cobbler. Thata��s Southern, right? Of course, no peach cobbler is complete without homemade whipped cream which is so easy to make and taste much better than store-bought whipped topping. I have a great whipped topping recipe on my blog.
What is the most important thing you have done to build your business? A�I think one of the most important things Ia��ve done is to have my blog redesigned. When I first started the blog, it had a very simple theme that was not necessarily very reader friendly. I didna��t have a navigation bar, archives were hard to find and the presentation was just a bit lackluster. So, I hired a developer and designer to help bring my new vision together and I switched to a self-hosted platform. I think the site looks so much better now. Ita��s modern, fresh, with clean lines and the content is now organized in a way that is easier for visitors to find and subscribe to. A�I still make tweaks here and there but I think the presentation is now more in line with my own personal aesthetic. Having said that, I will also say that self-hosted blogging does have its challenges. I basically went from renting the store (platform) to owning the store (self-hosted fees, etc). Therea��s far more to learn and maintain to keep the site optimized on multiple fronts. Ia��m also responsible for keeping it secure from hackers, bots and malicious viruses. Therea��s always something new to learn to keep my site and content safe and running efficiently. Ita��s all part of the blogging process and successful blogging is still a marathona�� not a sprint. A�
What is your favorite item or piece of clothing to wear/use while doing business? Hmm, dona��t laugh but since I do most of my business/photography work at home, Ia��d have to say I love wearing my cushy, house slides. My son bought me a great pair to stop me from borrowing his. I have hardwood floors throughout my home and that type of hard surface looks great but ita��s super tough to stand on for long periods of time and I do a lot of standing when Ia��m shooting and styling photos. The soft sliders are definitely a life-saver.
Check out more of our favorites from Lisa below! Make sure to follow her, we sure are!