Somewhat over a year ago, I started thinking that what was missing from the design blog world was the real voices behind all the blogs and beauty we focus so much of our attention on. I’d had experience doing interviews via podcast on for Blogging Top Design and on my own blog and knew there was nothing like hearing peoples thoughts live and the exchange of true conversation. There is no way to have a real conversation in print and interviews never really achieve the same level openness as does a live give and take. And so, the germ of this idea kept growing inside me. I knew that I didn’t have the blog power to carry this off by myself and that other voices were needed to bring this concept to life. I also had no idea that this concept would ever attract any notable listeners or guests. In my mind, I was likening this to The View – with two or three regulars and a rotation of guest hosts and interviewees. I started thinking of who would make for interesting partners. One thing I’ve learned in my management background is to hire your weakness – meaning find people who do well what you may not. Since I generally don’t consider myself a spitfire and am sometimes hampered by my New England reserve, I knew I needed a partner who is much more outgoing and, um, brash maybe? than I am. I’d been email buddies with Joni Webb of Cote de Texas for a while. Of course, her blog is one of the best out there, well researched and passionate. And, Joni didn’t hesitate to speak her mind and maybe ruffle a feather or two. Perfect! Now, I’d never spoken with Joni on the phone and had no idea how we’d really get along, but I figured it was worth a shot. Luckily, she responded quickly and was in! We needed a third (odd numbers are always better than evens, as we know in decorating!) and I was at a loss as to the person who would be the right complement to Joni and me. She suggested Megan Arquette of Beach Bungalow 8. Megan and I knew of each other, but were not really readers of each others blogs and we’d never communicated in any way, although we had both been interviewed for a Washington Post story on e-decorating. So, our paths had crossed and I told Joni to go ahead and ask. Kismet.
I could not have found two better partners in this venture. In the last year, we have posted 60 podcasts, 21 of which have included guests. I think The Skirted Roundtable really exemplifies the power of partnership – especially in creative endeavors. Blogging can often be a solitary business. We spend ours on a post and if we’re lucky, we get a few responses, a few exchanged emails – which is wonderful. As individual bloggers, Megan, Joni and I each had a handful of great industry contacts. By combining our resources, we were able to reach out to a wide range of industry professionals. From our first chat with Patricia Shackleford of Mrs. Blandings to this week’s talk with leading antiquarian Lee Stanton, we’ve enjoyed the company and insights of some amazing industry professionals and I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we’ve all learned so much.
I just wanted to extend a huge thanks to my partners, and now friends, Joni and Megan, for joining me on this great adventure. Thank you for the late night chats, the commitment to this near weekly project and for your insights and opinions. I literally could not have done it without you! I also want to thank our listeners and commenters whose opinions we truly value – even when they are critical!
And here’s to our second year of The Skirted Roundtable!