Customer Spotlight: Pauline Henderson

March 25, 2015

Pauline Henderson

We are excited to introduce you to Pauline Henderson in today's Customer Spotlight. Pauline runs a wonderful DIY site using X around repurposing old and forgotten things. Enjoy!

Q: Hi Pauline! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Q: DIY is near and dear to you. Can you tell us more about the genesis of your passion for doing things yourself?

I grew up in a small town, where everybody knew each other. Necessity is a great motivator, and DIY was a way of life for my family. I didn't know any different. It wasn't until I moved away to the city and had a family of my own, that I fully realized DIY meant different things to different people. When my dryer broke in our new apartment, I spent two days learning about dryers. I wasn't going to pay a repairman. I couldn't pay a repairman. (Necessity motivates.)

Decoupage Chairs

Q: You talk a lot about your father. How did he influence the person you are today?

My dad influenced my core beliefs in life. He showed me what work ethic was, before I even knew it existed. His consistent example of just doing what needed to be done, solidified my knowledge that people can do things.

Q: Can you tell us about The Moment you talk about on your site and what that has done for your business?

There came a moment when I realized that my Etsy shop wasn't the vehicle I was supposed to be driving. While writing a description for a reclaimed wood item I was listing in my shop, I noticed that I had already written 3 long paragraphs. Practically a novel in terms of item descriptions. At that exact moment I knew that my desire to tell the story was bigger than just running an Etsy shop. It was the journey that I wanted to share. To me, that is what held the real value.

Q: How important is story telling in your business and do you think other business owners should be good story tellers?

Being a good story teller, while sharing DIY info is tricky. There are people with different skill levels visiting my site, not to mention people who just want the technical details, and not my random thoughts on misplacing tools. I have to try to keep a balance, and feel good about it.


Q: How did you discover X and how has it helped you and your business?

I started researching different ways to make my blog feel more like a website, and less like an old-fashioned blog. I needed more functionality, and I wanted it to be easy for my readers to navigate. I started to Google things, and the rest is history.

Q: You've done a great job building an engaged community on your site. Can you walk us through the process for how you did that and how others can do the same in their respective fields?

I have found that the DIY community on my site are active in social media platforms as well, and it carries over. I stay engaged as much as possible across the board. I feel like the personal voice I share in my projects help stay connected with the community, and responding to comments helps too.

Q: How do you get ideas for the DIY topics to cover on your site and how important are pictures/videos in covering those topics?

I get ideas for topics by looking around me, and being open to inspiration that pops up in the form of opportunity. I work backwards sometimes. For example, I might come across some extra building material that I don't want to go to waste, so that will inspire me to come up with an idea on how to use it. I always try to keep an open mind when it comes to ideas. I can't force creativity. Photos and videos are extremely important, because there are a great number of visual readers out there. (Me included.) My eye filters for images first, then if my interest is piqued, I read the text.

Reclaimed Wood Snowflakes

Q: What types of tools do you use or recommend for shooting quick, professional videos and/or taking great photos to use on the site?

I've used a few different cameras for content on my site. My About Me video was shot with a professional DLSR camera, but the fancy stops there. The rest of my videos and images are shot with a simple point and shoot Cannon, or my GoPro Hero. Eventually, I will invest more in this area but for now, daylight and proper angles are my best friend. Most of the images I take are intended to clearly show a step in how to do something, and that is my first intention with an image. I work around a lot of dust, and the thought of taking expensive camera into my dusty shop makes me a little nervous.

Q: What is the favorite forgotten piece that you found and gave life back to? What was it's history and story?

One of my favorite projects would have to be my crown moulding wall art. I had saved scraps of crown moulding for so long, and never gave up on my belief that they could be something beautiful. It demonstrates how half-formed ideas need to just sit sometimes, and patience pays off if you believe it will. It's one of my earlier projects, and it wasn't easy, but it gave me the opportunity to open up to my readers and share my mistakes. It stands as a pivotal project for me, and it helped to shape my story telling from that point on.

Crown Moulding

Q: What do you hope people accomplish as a result of visiting your site?

I hope people gain inspiration when they visit my site. I want readers to gain something useful from my experiences. I hope that I can help spread the word on the internet, that there's resources all around, and we have more say in our own limitations than we think.

Thank-you Pauline for contributing to our Customer Spotlight Series and for giving us a sneak peak into the inner workings of a DIY site (really liked that magnetic wristband idea). Be sure to check out her site (using the Ethos Stack in X) where you can learn all sorts of wonderful skills! If you are a customer of ours who is interested in being featured in a future Spotlight, we'd love to hear from you.