Today, I’m in Georgia wrapping up an amazing weekend at the Haven Conference for DIY/ Home Decor Bloggers and it only seemed fitting that I share a local Atlanta talent, Kevin O’Gara from Thou Swell. I’m going to sound like a super old lady when I talk about Kevin, but I can’t help myself. I can’t even remember how I stumbled across Kevin’s incredible website and his impeccable designs… but what made me want to leap through the computer, through the internet and into his brain was the fact that he is NOT EVEN A COLLEGE GRADUATE. Soak that in. I will TRY not to dwell on that one fact alone because, let’s face it, his spaces make MY spaces look like the waiting room at a dermatologist’s office. But dayum… incredible to have the vision and the style and the taste at such a young age, right? (The blog my 18 year-old self would have would contain a Monet poster, some Absolut Vodka ads, and a whole wall of mix tapes…)
Question 1: Why did you start blogging?
With interests in photography and branding and already active on Pinterest, I started getting more and more interested in the lifestyle blogs I was finding through social media. I remember seeing DesignLoveFest, SFGirlbyBay, and Oh Joy! and being so inspired by the way they brought together beautiful photography, writing, and original projects to define their personal brands. I was also interested in how they were working with brands, and my entrepreneurial spirit kicked it to start Thou Swell (named Kevin’s Crumbs for a couple of months at its inception).
Question 2: What has been your proudest moment as a blogger?
I’ve got a couple, because each milestone has been so exciting for me. One of my most recent moments was being contacted by the editor of Atlanta magazine (the oldest magazine in Atlanta, and one of the oldest in the nation) for a profile in their August issue. The other might be my invitation to the spring 2016 One Room Challenge – something that happened so much sooner than I ever anticipated!
Question 3: What is the hardest thing about blogging?
The hardest thing for me is to maintain a steady blogging schedule when I’m not working on sponsored collaborations. I have most fun working with product and introducing different brands through my lens on the blog, and it can be hard to continue sharing regular posts in-between these projects. The other struggle for me is definitely time management! As a student, I often have trouble during the school year balancing busy work weeks with consistent blog posts.
Question 4: What is one thing you wish you’d known early on with your blog?
This one’s tough! The one thing I wish I had established early on was a more disciplined blogging calendar and organizational system to make running my blog much more easy and efficient in the long run. I’m still working on those organizational skills!
Question 5: What’s one fun fact about you?
Editor’s note. Kevin’s too modest to say anything, but I’ve been stalking him for months… I know that’s not a fun fact, but he’s probably wary to share too much personal information with me. Ha.
Question 6: What’s your favorite post (and why)?
My absolute favorite post may be this ode to dark walls I wrote for Design*Sponge because it was one of my more intellectual considerations of a design decision. I’m also partial to my One Room Challenge bedroom (See below!) and the home tour of Celia Tejada, which I shot this past January!
Question 7: What are your blog goals for the future?
As I head off to college this year I’m definitely thinking a lot about how my blog will transition and become part of my larger career goals. I definitely have some big goals for myself, like launch a product line, but I’m not sure what role my blog will take as I build my personal brand.
Here’s the thing with Kevin. From what I can tell ogling his work from afar, he breathes chic design. He writes for the West Elm blog, and was one of the featured designers for this last spring’s One Room Challenge. He’s headed off to college in the fall and I can only imagine what wonders of design he’ll come up with next!
Are you sufficiently in awe?! This young man is a true talent and a visionary in every sense of the word. Go stalk him on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and follow him on Snapchat (@kevinogara). Resist the urge to call out “young man” and just accept the fact that Kevin and Thou Swell makes ALL of us look a little less cool.