Our February “Designer of the Month” is Misty Allen of Crazy 4 Monograms! As promised, we have a brand new release from her called Some Birdy Loves You. Kits 1-3 along with the matching Cluster Frames, Monograms, Monograms With Word Art, Page Titles, Word Art, and Alphas 1-3. We grabbed a few moments out of her super busy schedule for a fun Q & A session……
What is your Business Name?
What is your Name and Title?
Misty Allen, Designer
Where are you located?
Are you originally from there?
No, Payson, Arizona
Do you have children? How many?
2 boys ages 8 and 2
When and how did you get involved in designing?
I lived in Japan for 12 years and worked for Ibaraki University as an assistant to the professor there. I spent a lot of my free time on the computer playing in Photoshop back when it was version 3 LOL, but went on maternity leave and when I was pregnant with my first son I started getting ideas about what to do with the pictures that I would be taking soon as he came along. I had never even heard of scrapbooking back then. But the idea of just plopping pictures into a plain picutre book just seemed so boring to me. So I got online and started looking for ideas to decorate a picture book and came across scrapbooking. Back then in the are where I lived (very remote countryside) there was scrapbooking stores or crafts stores that carries scrapbooking items. I started trying to make stuff just using construction paper to see if i could duplicate this or that and it was so much fun that I was on a niche from there. Eventually I started to order things from overseas on ebay and soon had a massive stash. Being that I had a boy I wanted a try at girly stuff. Though the finished stuff was nothing I could use and didnt know anyone who was into scrapbooking so I figured I would throw them up on ebay for a buck just so someone could put em to use. These were handmade monograms that I made and the bidding blew my mind cause I was finding them ending at 30 bucks and up. I never would of thought they would do so well. Nonetheless I thought it would be a blast to do my own little business on ebay and for the next 5 years, even after coming back to the states thats what I did. I loved it. They were really popular. I had come across digital scrapbooking here and there but the idea never appealed to me. One of the peeves I had was never being able to find what I needed when I needed it. The right elements but the wrong color and so on. I always thought how great would it be if I could just make the stuff myself. At one point a customer from Brazil wanted me to do a few digital projects for her. The monograms on digitally done. This first file took me almost 4 hours to do. But I was so impressed with how it turned out that I was rather hooked on the challenge. It wasn’t long after that that I completely tossed out the whole paper scrapping. I couldn’t imagine going into that any longer when I could make anything I needed and not have any supply cost. It was awesome! The freedom to create anything you can imagine was perfect for me. I ended up donating everything I had (1000s worth the stuff) to the local childrens hospital craft program since I had not used anything of it in over a year. Dont miss it. Hooked on digi!
Are you strictly digital?
I am yes. I got rid of everything that I had cause I just didnt see myself going back. I, at the time, didn’t know about hybrid so I might end of stocking up again soon LOL!
How do you balance design with your personal life?
I work from home. Fortunately I make enough at this to support a single income. It allows me to stay home with my youngest and that was perfect for me. Hubby had a curfew for me to get off the computer for a while. But now he takes night school after work so it’s no issue at the moment. I’m a workaholic. LOL.
Give us a little behind the scenes into a normal day for you.
Wake up, check email, check sales, get the baby ready for the day. Make hubby his lunch. Get him out the door. Feed the lil guy and pick up the neighbors boy for a few hours of them playing together while I work. Take them for a play at the park and put him down for a nap. Work a few more hours. Get lil man up from his nap, fed and changed and play a bit before getting some more work done and then get dinner ready and get hubby fed and off to school. Clean up and get the lil guy fed, showered and off to bed. Sit up, working for another few hours before showering and hitting the sack.
Do you have any hobbies besides scrapbooking?
Designing pretty much takes up all my time. Which is ok cause I absolutely love it! I play scrabble on ISC.ro pretty regularly.
What are you currently working on?
Potty Traning Kits for boy and girl
What inspires you?
Colors. I have a million bookmarked color palette sites.
What is your favorite product?
Rolled Flowers. They are so neat!
What is your most popular product?
Ironically the first kits I ever did still sell really well. Looking back at those they are really bad, in my opinion. If people didn’t still like em so much I would probably retire them LOL!
Advice for someone interested in becoming a designer?
Do your own thing. Be original. Create from your heart. What you would use yourself.
Do you have a dedicated office in your home?
Once we get the house built we will! For now it’s a desk in the living room! LOL!
What designers work do you look at and drool all over?
I work with one of the most talented designers that I have ever seen. She happens to also be one of my best friends. Katie of Just So Scrappy. Next to her Kay Miller. They both make the cutest stuff I only wish I could have that kinda talent.
Are you on any CT’s?
No I do layouts to promote Just SO Scrappy but nothing as an official CT.
Mac or PC?
PC. I am sure Macs are great but I have no intention of investing 1000s on the software all over again that would be compatible with the Mac were I to buy one.
What programs do you design with?
Photoshop CS5 but I am currently learning Illustrator as well.
What kind of camera do you have? Lenses?
I have not gotten that into it yet. My iPod touch works for me at the moment LOL!
Any other tools (wacom tablet.. etc.)?
Do you have an iPhone, iPad or iPad touch? If so, what are 3 apps you can’t live without?
I have the iPod touch and the iPad. Coolibah is such a fun app. I love playing with it. The shopping list app that I use getting groceries. I was freaking hopeless when it came to packing a pen. HAHAHA and Kindle Reader. If I’m not designing or playing scrabble, I’m reading a book on one of those devices.
What are your Favorite TV shows?
Don’t watch TV. Too many things that I would rather be doing. But I loved Stargate back when it was on in the first seasons.
Do you have any quirky pet peeves?
None that I can think of at the moment….
Leave us with one interesting factoid no one would know about you from first glance.
I am fluent in Japanese both spoken and written.
Check out Misty’s store at http://www.crazy-4-monograms.com/store/. Misty’s Some Birdy Loves You kits 1-3 along with The matching Cluster Frames, Monograms, Monograms With Word Art, Page Titles, Word Art, and Alphas 1-3 and many other kits can be found in the Gallery of Coolibah.