We're back for another round of interviews featuring a real, rad lady who is as sweet as she is funny - meet Erica McCready! Erica is a total inspiration when it comes to rockin' her career, her passion project, and her new sweet little baby, Alice. Not to mention, her love of corny jokes and The Office quotes had us in love at first sight.
Read on to learn more about Erica and how she's balancing #allthethings while staying unapologetically true to herself.
Where are you from and where are you now?
I'm from Upstate NY (we're not ALL from New York City) and I'm currently living in Durham, NC. The Army brought my husband and I to North Carolina and I've fallen in love with this state.
What do you do and what's your side hustle?
My "real job" (the one that requires pants) is at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill working within a Marketing and Communications team but my side hustle is blogging for istylediy.com.
What led you to be a DIY queen, and how did you learn your mad skillz?
Growing up, my family didn't have much money. I'm one of four kids and my mom stayed home with us so I was brought up to use my creativity instead of having the latest clothes or toys. My mom let me use her sewing machine to make my prom dress one year and from there, I realized I can recreate a lot of what I already own, to make it more fashionable, versatile, and me.
What's your favorite project to date?
My favorite project so far has been my DIY leather clutch. It was SO easy to make and I still use it! It's an oldie but a goodie and I'd love to update it soon!
Where do you find inspiration and motivation for your blog?
I find a lot of inspiration for my blog around the seasons. I feel like there's always SOME excuse to have a party or make a gift and the seasons can really help inspire that. A Beautiful Mess, Damask Love, and Club Crafted are some of my favorite DIY sites but I also like to grab inspiration from lifestyle bloggers and around Pinterest. I love seeing, making, and recreating projects that are fun and colorful and make you really want to party.
We are ALL about that girl power, and can tell that you are too! How has the support of other women impacted where you are now, and how are you spreading the love?
I have always believed in building our communities up not because it's just the right thing to do, but because of the profound impact that support has on women and girls throughout their lives. I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by many "take-no-shit" women growing up and that has really shaped me into who I am today and will help me raise one strong little girl. In the blogging world, you're so tempted to compare yourself to what other women are doing but once you really connect with them, you realize they're just real people who have real lives and also just trying to share their passions with the world. I have loved connecting with other bloggers on Instagram. So many of them feel like my real life BFF's, we even send each other Christmas cards and baby gifts. It's been an amazing, uplifting experience.
You're a new mama to the cutest little girl! How has it been adjusting to life with a new little human, combined with everything else you have going on?
Even before having Alice, I never had as much time in the day to spend creating and blogging as I would like so since becoming a mama, my time to do much of anything has been drastically reduced. Thankfully, I have an amazing partner in my husband who understands (and let me turn our spare room into my craft studio) and a really easy baby who is happy to watch me while I work on projects. She even likes when I sing Ray LaMontagne! (In reality, she thinks everything I do right now is amazing so I'm just taking advantage of that for as long as I can).
What's your favorite thing about being a mom? And what has been the hardest?
Hands down, the best thing about being a mom is having this magic ability to make my kid smile. Sometimes my husband and I will just walk around the house making the dumbest noises at each other and waiting for Alice to laugh. She either has the best sense of humor or this is how she's surviving her captivity with us but either way, her laugh is magic. The hardest part about being a mom (so far) is keeping a good balance. I am ridiculously busy between working full time, blogging, raising a human, drinking water, etc. and making sure I'm not neglecting anyone can be stressful. To my husband, I'm so sorry you're sometimes 4th on my list behind Alice and our two dogs. You have all of this love for your new baby and it can be hard to remember to show your love for your partner every once in a while too!
How would you describe your personal style aesthetic, and has it changed much since having Alice?
My personal style has changed SO much over the years. I mean, whose hasn't? But one thing that really never changes is my desire to be comfortable. When I feel good, I know I look good (instead of the other way around). I always look for classic pieces I can pair with a lot of different things. I feel like this goes back to my roots of not having a lot of money to spend on clothes. I'd much rather find a few great pieces I can wear over and over again.
A ton of our customers are in a similar phase in life, where they're either new mamas or soon-to-be. What's one piece of advice you'd give these gals on how to maintain your identity and sanity during the most massive life change ever?
You don't HAVE to love every single second of motherhood! Especially at the beginning. It's messy and painful and you'll want to just be alone for at least some portion of the day. Remember that a happy mama makes for a happy baby so take care of yourself. It'll make life so much sweeter. Also, you'll pee yourself at some point and that's okay too.
Favorite "The Office" character: Kevin
Favorite brunch meal: Waffles
3 words to describe your personality: funny, creative, fun-loving (is that two?)
Favorite inspirational Lady Boss: Michelle Obama
Signature dance move: The Pizza (it's basically just me pretending to make a pizza in a horribly embarrassing fashion)
90's song that makes you shake your groove thang: Return of the Mack by Mark Morrison.
Know an awesome lady who you think we should feature next? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can show her off!