We recently chatted with Brittany Jepsen, the super talented blogger and DIYer behind The House That Lars Built, and got the scoop on her career path and her exciting upcoming projects.
01. How do you describe your work?
My work is a combination of many things, but I call myself a designer, crafter, stylist, and blogger. I do freelance design work and styling along with doing my blog The House That Lars Built and my Etsy shop where I sell my designs.
02. What was your journey to get here? Did you always want to do this and went straight for it, or did you have a more meandering path?
My path was meandering! I graduated in interior design and moved to Copenhagen right after graduation to marry my Danish husband. I couldn’t work legally for the first year, so I focused on my blog that I had started during school. I slowly started to incorporate DIYs into it, and bit by bit I was asked to contribute to other websites. After awhile I finally realized “Hey, I’m a DIY blogger.” Ever since then (about two years ago), I’ve been going full throttle with it. We moved back to the states last year, and I intended to get a “real” job. But one offer after the other didn’t work out, so I’ve recommitted myself to continue my blog and shop, and now I’m so happy that I did.
03. How would you describe your work environment? Do you use your surroundings to stay inspired? If so, what have you done specifically to create the ideal work space?
I work from home in one of our two bedrooms. As a craft blogger and stylist who loves making oversized objects, it’s not ideal. My stuff spills into every room of the house, but it’s what I have to work with right now. Currently, my space just gets the job done. For some reason, I have a hard time designing a space if I can’t afford exactly what I want. I’ve always been that way. I’d rather wait to be able to afford the things I really want versus filling it with stuff I don’t love. In the meantime, my space is functional, not pretty. I’m hoping to change that soon with a new column for my blog called “making my house a home in a rental,” where I’m partnering with different home brands to make it lovely and photo-worthy, as all good bloggers do.
04. What is the most unexpected thing that happened to you in business?
The community that’s developed because of it. I initially created my blog for graduate school. It continued that way for a while, but over time a community of passionate makers has sprung up around me and I’m so pleasantly surprised by it. I find it supportive and inspiring.
05. Walk us through your daily ritual.
I wake up early and do some reading; then I charge into emails. I work really last-minute—I tend to create my blog post for the day and publish it. In my dream world I’m working well in advance, but for some reason it doesn’t really play out like that. There’s no typical day, so I might have a photo shoot or a phone meeting or two, or I might gather supplies for a shoot. I usually work until late at night. My work is a combination of social media, creating content for my site, working on my freelance projects, and doing my shop. I’m still trying to figure out the whole “work smarter not harder” concept.
06. What do you enjoy doing outside of work for fun or relaxation?
Well, I consider work my fun time! My job allows me to collaborate with people who are not only creative and talented but also good and thoughtful people who I’ve come to admire.
Other than that, we live in Provo, Utah, near the Rocky Mountains, so my husband and I try to get out for hikes and walks and such. In my perfect world we’re traveling a lot more than we currently are. We traveled more when we lived in Europe, but travel in the U.S. is more expensive and we don’t exactly have Paris or Barcelona at our fingertips anymore.
07. Tell us about your proudest moment (in work or in life).
I’m grateful and constantly surprised at all the opportunities that have come my way because of having an online presence. But honestly, my proudest moments are less of a specific moment and more of a, “I can’t believe I get to work with so and so.” I’m continually proud of the collaborations I get to be involved in.
08. What’s something you’d like to learn?
How to work smarter not harder. And how to make millions.
09. What are you looking forward to right now?
I have a few fun projects coming up, including a collaboration with a plate company. I love plates! I’m also crossing my fingers that I’ll get a studio space in the near future.
10. What advice would you give to your twenty-five-year-old self?
I started graduate school when I was twenty-five, so I might have said something like “start your blog now with really amazing material.” That would have been helpful! But of course, it’s those lessons along the way that create who you are now.