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Jaime Derringer. A blogger’s life lessons to following your gut.

Jaime Derringer. A blogger’s life lessons to following your gut.

If you’re just as thirsty for interior design as we are, chances are you’re an avid reader of Design Milk. It’s a highly edited blog, offering a fresh taste of modern design, founded by Jaime Derringer. We talk with her about how she turned her hobby into a business. Meet the lady who describes design as her daily portion of vitamin D.

It all started in 2006, when Jaime created a website where she bookmarked the things she liked. Little did she know that her journal would become a renowned platform, attracting millions of readers. “I used to work as a project manager, hopping from one job to another,” Jaime fills us in on her career path. “I didn’t have a design background but simply looked at beautiful things to buy.”

Ten years down the line, Jaime knows the design world like the back of her hand but managed to retain the blog’s initial sense of naiveté. Jaime explains: “Design Milk is a place for inspiration, excitement and innovation, not for deep conversation. This consumer perspective is exactly what has helped us grow. It’s very accessible—even when you don’t know anything about design.”

Unlike many blogs, and until this day, Design Milk was never set up as a moneymaking machine. Only when somebody contacted Jaime to place an ad on it, she realized that people might pay her for working hard, doing what she loves. She continues: “The wheel started spinning and I started to approach it as a potential business, but I didn’t take it super seriously for another couple of years as I still had a full time job.”

Today it’s easy to assume that Jaime made it to the safe side, but it’s not all rainbows and unicorns in bloggers’ paradise. Jaime explains: “We don’t make tons of money. I mean: we share all this great stuff and don’t ask for anything in return. Banners used to be the big thing, but today it’s all about sponsorships, and even when it would have helped us out big time, I said no quite a few times. Integrity is everything.”

Since Jaime decided to be her own boss, she claims to be ten times happier, working five times harder. She received a couple of awards and tons of top-tier ratings but still describes Design Milk as her ultimate happy accident. And although we think the word “accident” doesn’t cover her 24/7-work ethos, we love her for being so modest. For simply following her gut, doing what she loves.

Thirsty for Design Milk? Visit: designmilk.com

Headshot photo by Noa Azoulay of featherlove.com

JAIME’S ESSENTIALS

My phone

My phone

I do all my work while travelling on my phone. It also keeps me connected with my family, which makes me feel like I’m never too far away. 

My sketchbook

My sketchbook

Drawing helps me unwind, while keeping my brain in creative mode. I embrace ‘happy accidents’ to land in the state of flow. 

Earbuds

Earbuds

Music and podcasts are like oxygen to me. These earbuds were made for my ear— or at least that’s what they feel like. 

Burt’s Bees beeswax lip balm

Burt’s Bees beeswax lip balm

My go-to lip balm. I never go anywhere without it. 

Sneakers

Sneakers

If I were independently wealthy, I’d have a closet just for sneakers. Heels are not for me as I’m tall. 

JAIME’S TIPS FOR BETTER SOCIAL MEDIA

  • Be present

Frequency and visibility are the keys to success on social.

  • Make visuals talk

Having a mix of high-quality imagery and video to draw customers in will go far. Just make sure your content stays relevant to your brand.

  • Don’t worry

Can’t keep up with it all? Don’t know Snapchat? Identify two to three platforms where the majority of your customers are and focus on those.