You guys are in for a treat! You know how every girl has a few "girl crushes"? If you don't, pretend that you do..., well, Tanya from The Dirty Housewife is SO one of my girl crushes! She's funny, she's gorgeous, she's smart and she's nice. Oh, and she makes amazing artisan perfumes, soaps and more! She's our interview this week - and trust me, you're going to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her.
How did your shop get started?
Most people do not know this, but I am actually a Cosmetologist turned Photographer turned Alchemist of sorts. Everything I have done was leading me to this. When I was younger I had a strong love affair with make-up , hair, products, and everything else that had anything to do with vanity. Cosmetology took me to great heights in Atlanta and I specialized in Redken hair color, products, and ‘make-overs.’ You could not keep me away from bright lights and Hair Shows! I stayed on the cutting edge and was always continuing my education and thirst for knowledge and worked hard, but could not get past the culture and behind the scenes of “The Salon” so I knew my time had come 12 years later and I left it for good. I had to reinvent myself, but stay true to my heart and soul, so I rode my time and went to college for Digital Photography after I moved to New England. I never did anything serious with Photography other than one publishing in a New Hampshire business magazine and small awards from my school, but it taught me how to take photos. Luckily for me starting an online “visual” business, going to school for Photography was exactly what I needed to do, not that I knew that then, of course.
What I am trying to say, is that I am not really sure, it just came to me, and I went with it. I guess I knew what I was doing after all. I needed something that I could still give to people in that fashion while staying home to grow a daughter and family life. I have also always had a strong love of botanicals and smells as I am a strong nostalgic and relate heavily to the way things make me feel by the way they smell. And what girl does not love to be surrounded by products? I am a self proclaimed “Product Whore”! It is a DREAM to be making my very own.
What does a typical day look like for you? How do you organize your time and tasks?
A typical day here starts with a 5 am wake up call from BOTH of my beloved cats who like to perch on my shoulder while purring very loudly, who after I am awake, want nothing to do with me. So I make coffee, get my daughter and husband out the door and start checking emails. I feel it is very important to start the day with a couple (yes, couple) of hours on Facebook. It is tough being so social sometimes, but I somehow make it through. I then check in to Etsy and my personal website and start organizing orders. I always have a large dry erase board on hand (make that two!) as I like to write daily/weekly items for orders on it. It is never empty, but always modified. Then I find the perfect music for the day to get me going (very important), play with my dogs, and get to work. One of the best things about owning a Cottage/Indie business is the luxury of choosing your slots of time , when and how you do things, and deciding on a whim to drop everything and run out the door to go to the beach if you like. But, you must be a master organizer and time manager. Whatever I may put aside for the day, gets done at night.
Where do you draw inspiration from currently?
Wow, what don't I draw inspiration from?! Nature, first and foremost. Then maybe a smell or a color. I have a habit of looking at a botanical and thinking “what can I do with this, and what kind of synergy can I create by adding something else.” Sometimes even just a simple feeling that a fragrance gives me will set me off into a crazed lab-state of mind. I am also always inspired by my competitors, big and small, and never hesitate to take a look around at all the trends. I was told once by my Art History teacher in college that in order to be a great artist, you must always appreciate other artists first and draw fragments of inspiration from them all. I liked that. (I like that, too, A LOT!)
Name your top 5 favorite Etsy shops.
Le Bella Caramella -THE BEST CARAMELS IN THE WORLD!!
NotableNotions - she keeps me packaged, yall
ElleMoss - stunning and perfectly staged photography
All of Shauna’s shops! She keeps me fabulous! - oh, you! total brownie points!
Catherine47 – I love her fauvist style of artwork in the likes of Matisse and Van Gogh
And SpiritedWoodland for my fairy nymph side
Where did your shop name come from?
Oh gosh, this one is tough because the contradiction almost does not make sense, does that make sense? lol I have always had a somewhat naughty edge to me so I knew my name had to as well, but it was mostly a contradictory word play on the fact that I made a product to cleanse. The name just came to me almost like a kindred spirit and I ran with it and then the product names came soon after. I wanted to make a line that would appeal to the women who know how/when to be a lady on his arm and a freak in the bedroom, and women who just like skin care and perfume is nice, too.
What do you do when faced with a 'creative block'?
I do a lot of meditating. I don’t exactly sit cross legged with my palms turned towards the sky in a sing-songy fashion, but I do take stolen moments throughout my days to either channel or concentrate on whatever is happening or needing to happen in my life
What is your favorite item?
Shauna, that is like asking who my favorite child is! Even though I only have one! Fine, Tanya. I'll tell everyone MY favorite - the MILF spray. Ohmygoodness - smells delicious and sexy! OR the Mermaid Hair - seriously, just get some.
What kind of things make you the happiest?
Ooooh, I just LOVE to wake up in the morning! That always starts my day off right! I love a warm Summer day with a slight breeze as much as the first snowfall. I could not live without poetry, especially Linda Goodman poetry - I am a hopeless romantic and it is disgusting sometimes. Any beach, especially mine. My daughter and husband make me laugh more than anyone normal person probably does. A really great book or movie. The way my cats wake me up in the morning (despite what I said) and sentimental people. Memories. My beautiful friends. And a very happy customer.
What is your favorite quote?
I am the Queen of Quotes! lol At the moment it is one by my brilliant nephew: “Our world needs History Makers and Visionaries, to open our eyes, to steer us to an altered path of existence but unfortunately we have them all medicated and staring into iPads”.
and there is also this verse from a Kate Nash song:
“You used to get it in your fishnets
now you only get it in your night-dress
discarded all the naughty nights for niceness
and landed in a very common crisis" (Originally by Arctic Monkeys)
Anything else you want to tell us?
I adore what I do and think that the key to any “job” in life is just that - adore what you do. Find something you would do for free and do THAT. I also adore the people, friends, and customers who help make it all happen - without them it would not be possible.
Also, life is really short, and I do not mean that in a cliché way - I really mean that. And you just do not know if you will be one of the lucky ones to simply open your eyes and wake up tomorrow. And with that being said - cherish each and every single one of your memories, but live and love in the now. Be kind to the people in your lives and NEVER be scared to say and do what you want, and how you want to. And always smile, it is the second best thing that your lips can do!
The Dirty Housewife
SEE... don't you just ADORE her?!
Remember to check out Tanya's website and Etsy shop. You'll be glad you did. Also, don't forget to check out her Facebook page for more behind-the-scenes goodness.
Thanks for the lovely interview, Tanya! You always have me laughing and smiling.