27 April 2015

Spotlight on... Magic Feather Designs

I am SUPER excited today to introduce a new little occasional series on the blog, called 'Spotlight on...' I will feature my very fave artists, bloggers, designer makers, crafters etc in this little space.

First up THE best blog designer out there, the one and only Jen from Magic Feather Designs... 

Please introduce yourself and your business... 

I am UK based, in not so sunny Newcastle-Upon-Tyne with my better half, the best little person we ever did make; 
our son James, and four little fur balls; Walter, Chase, Tig, Edgar (Degus!). Originally though, I am from beautiful Cumbria. I am obsessed with crafts, baking and baking accessories and general homemade amazingness. I am an occasional photographer, self confessed film trivia buff, user of too many smiley faces and exclamation marks,  and a blog design enthusiast! Oh and I'm Jo's sister too! 

Magic Feather Designs (MFD) is a small business ran from home by me, I specialise in custom blog designs and graphics for personal blogs and other small businesses.

When did MFD start? 

I set up Magic Feather Designs in 2012 as an off-shoot to my personal blog, Jenny and the Magic Feather. I started doing various designs for my own blog and friends at first, and thus my passion for CSS began with a bang! I am not a super professional at this, I am learning as I go and have no formal qualifications in graphics, HTML, or any other computer wizardry folks. Its just me, sitting here in my spare time rummaging through Google and figuring out how all this works.

How many blogs have you worked on so far?

All in all, I think I have worked on over 100 blogs now, either full designs, updates or banners etc. I work predominantly with blogger, but can offer custom headers or backgrounds etc for Wordpress to be self installed.

Why is your business called 'Magic Feather Designs’?

I used to have a personal blog called Jenny and the Magic Feather, it's still up but for now I have abandoned blogging about myself to concentrate on making other people's blogs beautiful! It took me aaaaaages to think of the name for my blog. I chose Jenny and the Magic Feather as I was, and still am, a huge dumbo fan.  I was obsessed with finding the 'magic feather' when I was little so I could fly away. I liked the idea for my blog name, so when I started designing blogs, magic feather designs just seemed like the obvious name to go for. Hardly any thought put in there at all!


How did MFD start?

It started with my own blog, constantly changing the design and learning what I could do with Blogger, and then updating this very blog too!! I then offered to help Sallytangle with her new design and got more designs through word of mouth from hers. I have worked with a lot of Cumbrian bloggers which is fun, I feel like I have to collect them all!

What inspires you?

Good design! Typography! Fonts! Colour combos! Mood boards! I may have a secret Pinterest board full of inspiration….

What do you enjoy most?

I love a bloggy challenge! My favourite kinds of briefs are the big, rambling kind where clients lay all their ideas out for me and I can sift through, be inspired and work off this to achieve their perfect blog designs. 

It feels great learning new code and realising I CAN do something I thought I couldn't.  I also love people's reactions when I send them the link to their demo and first draft, I get such nice responses and kind emails back!

It's also nice having a bit of a back and forth chat - mostly very random - with clients too. People from all over the world, interested and blogging about all sorts, and people who I will never meet! It's nice to connect with that.

Can you describe a perfect client?

Ugh I am going to sound awful now but I'm a stickler for a polite email and prompt responses! I don't mind at all huge emails full of rambley ideas. One word answers or simply asking for more ideas when I have no idea why the last ones were not right, does not make me happy. Not happy at all :( I love a bit of constructive criticism! 

Do you have a fave design you have worked on?

Ooooh….. I'm pretty much in love with most of them really! It varies! Sometime I do quite a few simplistic ones in a row, which I love. Clean lines and fonts and minimal looks, and I really enjoy those designs. They I'll get a book reviewer or Crafty blogger or Mummy blog who wants something a little cuter and brighter and it's lovely to run free and be fun with a design and I'll sit back and look at the finished product and think ‘oh I just love it!’…. I couldn’t choose! (Jo - But obviously The Perfect Hiding Place is THE bestest, prettiest blog though!)

What are your business plans and goals for the future?

I am not much of goal setter ( i'll leave that to Jo!) I am truly a plod along and see where life takes me kinda person! I am really happy with the business at the moment.  I am constantly learning which keeps it fresh and fun, and designs are always evolving too, with clients wanting something a little different. So no two days are the same, which I love. I am now also a full time mummy so any expansion plans I may have been forming are on the back burner for now as my time to work is very disrupted and often short! Its a good job he’s cute! 

Thinking of a face lift for your blog? Jen comes HIGHLY recommended (and not just by her big sis, check out all these testimonials

Magic Feather Designs can be found right here... www.magicfeatherdesigns.com
Jen is on Facebook too... www.facebook.com/magicfeatherdesigns

Magic Feather Designs pricing structure could not be more simple and is super value for money! Check out Jen's packages with info on all her prices and how she works right here... here... www.magicfeatherdesigns.com/p/services

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