Dana Willard is an author, designer, photographer and the bright personality behind the MADE Everyday blog and YouTube channel. Her latest fabric collection, Day Trip for Art Gallery Fabrics, takes you on a colorful adventure through fields of cacti, bluebonnets and everything she and her family love about their home Austin, TX, including a taco or two.
Visit Dana’s amazing site: www.MadeEveryday.com
1. Describe your perfect day.
Sunshine, 80°, playing at the beach with family and friends, chips and salsa, mint chip ice cream, Diet Coke and a dance party. In no particular order.
2. What’s the last hobby you picked up?
Embroidery! Though I can’t say I stuck with it. Guess I need to pick it up again. I love projects I can work on in the car, on a flight, on the couch — things that don’t require a machine. And I guess my second new hobby is listening to podcasts — can I call that a hobby? They’ve really brought an enriching aspect to my day-to-day life. It’s like reading a book while designing fabric and working. I love it!
3. What’s your spirit animal?
I’m not a real animal or pet person, so I’m going to go outside the box and say the sun. When I wake up and can see that it’s a sunny day, I feel so much energy to be productive and have a smile on my face. Sunshine just makes me happy and makes me want to share things with others. That sounds cheesy, but there you go!
4. What’s your best way to decompress?
I love eating out with my family where we can sit outside and chat and enjoy the warm Austin weather. Or I like to swing on the porch swing with my kids, in our backyard in the evening. I’m definitely someone who feels the need to be really productive during the day.
5. Which talent do you most want to have?
I wish I were a better artist, someone who paints and illustrates with ease. I recognize that I’m an artist in other ways. But I definitely have artist envy for those who create beautiful florals on canvas, or have sketchbooks bursting with doodles. I’m more of a geometric/digital shapes kind of gal, which is totally great. But I have admiration for other genres.
6. What’s your greatest extravagance?
Food and travel. My husband and I are pretty sensible when it comes to our everyday spending, but a unique food experience or a cool trip somewhere feels priceless. We love to travel internationally and within the States. And we love tacos, sushi, Indian food, and of course donuts and gelato. We will often buy every donut flavor in the store, just so we can try a bite of each and decide which is the best.
7. What’s your most treasured possession?
I would have to say my kids. They’re not a “possession,” but they’re among the most important things to my husband and me. They just get more and more fun as they grow up and develop into their own people.
8. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I’m pretty happy with the business that I’ve grown from the bottom up. It started as a hobby and a way to feel creative with little kids in the house. And now it’s grown to a full income with a part-time employee.
9. Who’s your dream client and what would you want to create for them?
I’d love to create a line of products for Target or be a DIY expert on a TV show. I’d love to take my YouTube channel (also called MADE Everyday) to the next level. My degree is in TV and film, so TV/entertainment is always an aspiration for my business and brand.
10. What’s your must-have tool in your studio?
Bias tape maker. It’s such a cheap, simple tool, but I LOVE BIAS TAPE! It’s almost therapeutic to make. If you’ve never made it, I have a simple video for you on my YouTube channel. You’ll be hooked too.
12. Where do you find inspiration?
Store products, Pinterest, childhood memories, childhood photos of our clothing and styles, wall art, my kids’ artwork, color combinations.
14. When did you learn to sew?
My grandma and my mom both taught me to sew when I was about 10. They taught me to use big-box patterns, and I liked to make my own elastic-waistband pants, simple dresses and a barrage of scrunchies. In fact, that was my first business! My best friend and I sold custom-order scrunchies to our friends in middle school. We even had a fabric swatch book they could pick from. $1 a scrunchie.
15. What is your motto?
Make it work. I know, that’s Tim Gunn’s motto. But I love it. It works for all aspects of life.