Meet our Creator of the Month: Andi Chow from The Simply Distressed
Andi got into DIYing as a young girl due to her father being passionate about antique furniture and thrifting. Since then, her love for DIYs has grown and she has been creating her own projects for the past 10 years. Her blog The Simply Distressed and her Instagram page were created as a way to share her projects with others.
She is a mom to three young kids and works full-time as a maths teacher for an online school. Her days consist of a lot of family time and a lot of teaching maths. Yet, she still manages to find time to DIY.
Read on to see how Andi describes DIYing as her creative outlet and how it truly feeds her soul.
How did you get into DIYing?
I’ve been doing things since I was a kid honestly. My father loved to go antiquing and often I would go along with him. We didn’t always have the money to buy new furniture so we would come up with creative ways to freshen up older pieces.
Then, when my husband and I first got married, we were in a similar boat. We didn’t have much money, and we were both at the beginning of our careers. I was teaching in school and I needed a stress reliever so I would come home after work and do things to the pieces of furniture that we already had that I didn’t particularly like. Instead of buying new things, I just made the things we already had better. Now, I’ve been DIYing for over 10 years!
When did you start your Instagram page and what made you decide to start it?
I started my Instagram page around 2017 because I was doing more projects and I wanted to start blogging about them. After talking it over with my husband, I realized that I needed the creative outlet of doing the projects but I also just wanted to share them with others, so I started my blog, The Simply Distressed. From there, I created my Instagram page to promote my blog. I prefer my page to be as organic as possible and try not to focus on the number of followers because then I feel like it takes away from the real reason why I’m on there.
There was a period of time that I was more into Instagram as it was easier to share projects there but over the past year, I’ve been trying to get back into blogging and be more consistent with that.
I’ve also been lucky enough to meet some amazing people through Instagram. This past week I met up with some DIY friends who I’ve been in contact with for a few years. We try to meet up every now and then. We have become really good friends and it’s thanks to Instagram!
I wanted something that reflected my take on DIYs and pieces that I create. I am a complete perfectionist in many ways of life and I had to come to terms with that not being possible when trying to learn new things in DIYing. One of the ways I combat my perfectionism is with distressed pieces. If it is perfectly imperfect (i.e. distressed on purpose), then it is okay with my perfectionistic mind. After lots of thought, I landed on The Simply Distressed.
What is your favorite type of project?
Last year, we built bunk beds for my daughters which I loved and I would love to do that type of project again. My husband prefers that we wait, but for me, it was such a fun project as it was completely new for us and our girls absolutely love their beds.
I also loved creating our apothecary cabinet. I had been searching for so long for one for underneath our TV and I needed a specific size and I didn’t want it to be costly. I couldn’t find a vintage one within our budget so it was fun to come up with the idea of a budget-friendly DIY that we could put to good use. Now, we love it!
Have you ever thought about doing
projects for others or selling the things you make?
We mainly do DIYs for our own home but one day I would love to expand and create DIYs for others!
How did you hear about Hometalk? How has Hometalk helped you as a creator?
I’ve been following Hometalk for years but I originally came across the site through a pin on Pinterest. What I love about Hometalk is that I can take ideas from different projects and apply them to my own.
Outside of the inspiration, it has also helped me grow as a creator. I’ve had people reach out to me on Instagram after seeing my projects on Hometalk.
How do you balance it all? I’m sure it’s not easy finding the time to work on your DIYs whilst having a full time job and being a mother to three kids.
Honestly, I don’t balance it all! The best tip that I can give to others is that you need to be ok with that.
I know that DIY projects and blogging feeds my soul and is a kind of therapy for me. That goes hand in hand with me doing that in order to be a good mom and get through work. It’s something that I make time for and prioritize. My kids are also starting to understand that and even want to get involved in my projects.
Essentially, knowing that you can’t do it all has helped me balance it all.
If you have one piece of advice for content creators, what would it be?
Just do it! Do what makes you happy and keep focusing on that. Just like in life, it’s easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to others so you should focus on why you started and what feeds your soul. I have to constantly remind myself that. Sometimes I see other creators and compare myself to them but I need to remind myself that I’m a mom to three kids and I work full time and I wouldn’t change any of that.
Is there a creator on Hometalk, Foodtalk, or Upstyle who you think we should highlight next?
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