Today’s interview is with Sarah from Oh My That’s Awesome, a blog full of extremely cool stuff, much of it indie–I highly recommend checking it out if you haven’t already. She answers for both herself and her cowriter, Wendy.

This is one in a series of interviews with indie bloggers. You can find previous posts here:

Indie Fixx
Modish
Anything Indie
Miss Malaprop

Ohmythatsawesome.com is emerging as quite an asset to the indie community. How did it get its start?
I came up with the idea for Awesome in November 2005 after having a really bad day. I tend to find a lot of creative energy in really bad moods which is one reason I maintain seven weblogs. I had always shuffled this idea around about a non-shopping shopping blog that focused on great handmade stuff and indie shops instead of just featuring $400 silk bathrobes and $800 men’s wool coats. I’d never gotten around to it, so that day I just opened Typepad about 10am on a Tuesday and by Wednesday, Wendy and I were posting away. In a couple months we had 1,000 page views a day and in 6 months we’d quadrupled that number with very little effort.

Has it changed at all since you began? How?
Awesome has gone through several incarnations as we’ve felt our way into a groove for it. The only thing that has ever been consistent on the site is our writing, or our voice, but everything else has been changed drastically. We’re even planning another redesign soon to shake things up in a few months. And the biggest change is that we get paid for it now.

What has been your favorite thing about running Awesome?
I’ve really enjoyed knowing that really simple things we do have a huge impact on indie shops. After our holiday gift guide, we were getting all these emails from people who’d purchased a little $50 spot in the newsletter who were sold out of the stuff we featured and were almost overwhelmed with orders. Every month our sponsors write us with the same stories, and it’s fun to know that we still think of ourselves as a small company but we’re having a big impact for the better.

Your blog captures a breadth of awesomeness, but you seem to talk lot about indie shops. What do you look for in the sellers you highlight?
We both have a really good eye for what’s well-made and what is appealing to a large audience, so it’s really easy for us to see something for a split second and know we’d feature it. Craftsmanship is a big selling point for me because I make a lot of my own accessories (jewelry, purses, clothes even) so I know an lot about materials and technique.

[ed. note: Check out their How to Get Featured page for more details.]

Where do you see the your blog in five years?
I think we’d both like to be doing something like Awesome full time in a few years, and have it be more interactive and be a greater resource for people beyond the indie community. I’d love for a site like ours to be a conduit for getting exposure to indie shops so they can make contacts for wholesaling and selling to national retailers. There’s nothing wrong with selling your stuff in Target, in fact think the future of indie designs is for lots of small companies to have the leverage to sell their designs in large stores with total control of the product and pricing module. It’d be awesome if we could help make this happen for people.

What was your most recent indie buy?
I try to buy 1-2 things every payday from indie shops and especially sites we’d featured or have had as sponsors. Usually I buy stuff to test drive the products and I tend to recycle a lot to friends because my collection is ridiculous. The last purchase was a pair of earrings from JuJu Designs on Etsy. I think it I had no self control I’d buy everything in their shop.

What was your all-time favorite indie buy? What made is so special?
I have two: a pair of earrings from The Weekend Store that are just divinely simple and delicate that I probably wear every day. The other one isn’t really for me, it’s a gift I buy for all my best girlfriends when they reach a milestone in their life, a necklace from Small Things Designs. They’re expensive but well-priced for the quality you get, and you can’t wear one without receiving a hundred compliments.

In addition to blogging, you both seem to have many creative talents. Can you tell us a little about your own work?
Wendy and I are both writers but we’re very different writers, something that I think is really great for working together. I’m focusing more on fiction writing this year and have been publishing a lot of short stories while Wendy has developed a really interesting
voice that’s engaging and interactive with her readers. A lot of what she writes could easily be a column in a magazine while I’m getting more reclusive, detached and introspective with my writing. I’ve also really gotten into quilting this year.

Do you have any new projects on the horizon?
We have lots of ideas for Awesome that this year is really going to break open. Some of it will involve our publishing company more, and you’ll just have to wait and see what we do.

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