I’ve got big news!!! My other half is taking over the blog today! Well actually he will be taking it over several times a month! We are starting a new series called Tuesday’s With Topher. Where I am the visual part of the blog, Topher helps me from time to time with the behind the scenes work. So we thought it might be fun if he gives some little lessons on how to get a blog up and running!
Hey there! This is Topher (AKA Mr. Restoration Redoux).
I kind of have a rough idea of things I want to cover … but I promise you, you aren’t going to get design advice from little ol’ me. I can move it. I can fix it. I can sand it. I can sometimes help paint it. And I can help photograph it. But the vision is all Shanna’s, and I continue to be impressed at her eye for the right colors, how artfully she distresses a piece to make it look perfectly aged, and how she can stage something to make it look like it’s been in a home for years.
She’s the designer. I’m the help.
One thing I can bring to the table is a little technical know-how. I’ve been in IT for a long, long time, and have had a little experience setting-up blogs of various types, so I suppose … my design prowess lives in little 1’s and 0’s rather than plaster paint.
This is our story of how we started this web site…
There are literally thousands of ways to build a blog. I understand that the way we went about it may not be ideal, and almost definitely is not how you might do it … but this is our story, and I’ll try to pass along a little bit about what we’ve learned from our adventures (from my perspective).
The Restoration Redoux story starts about 5 years ago … Shanna was a stay at home mom to a middle schooler. Our unnamed child was becoming more independent and needed a stay-at-home mom a little less than she needed a coiffure mom or an ATM mom. As the kid needed her mom less, Shanna struggled with less to do and more and more downtime to fill.
Now for a normal person, we’d say “Bring it ON!”
But not my wife.
As she found herself with less mommying tasks, she found plenty of “Topher you need to…” tasks. I kept trying to point her in a direction of a hobby, encouraging her to take-up things she had talked about but hadn’t done, going out to a movie, take a cake decorating class, or please (dear God please) learn to golf.
Then she found some websites that featured some shabby chic furniture, and she fell in love with the style.
And we found ourselves, often, going to Kansas City for their First Friday events in the West Bottoms district at stores like Good Juju and Restoration Emporium. And she found more furniture. And she bought it. Because she loved the style.
And so she tried it one day.
And she was awesome at it.
By this point, we had been married a long, long time, and I thought I knew about everything there was to know about the Mrs. And I knew she wasn’t artistic. At all. But as I watched her take these heinous, monstrous furniture pieces and transform them into truly amazing works of art … I couldn’t help but stand back and marvel at how amazing she is. For at least the 10,000th time.
And she kept referencing her favorites sites, and I kept snickering at names like, Miss Mustardseed or Roadkill Rescue. (And please trust me when I tell you, that I’m NOT snickering anymore. I’m in awe at the success of these companies, and wish to someday have a sliver of their business savvy).
So she started selling some pieces, and when customers would come to the house to pick them up, Shanna would tell them a little bit about the piece they were buying, show them before photos, talk to them about the process … and they loved it.
I suggested to Shanna she try blogging. I could set up a blog space for her, show her the ropes, and send her on her way. After all, her favorite sites on the internet are nothing more than big (really, really big) blogs.
So after a little more explanation, she got on board. Decided she wanted to write about what she’s been painting.
The subject of the blog was simple: Furniture.
But then we had to face one of the hardest business decisions we’ve had to make to date:
What do we name it?
I’ll tell you all about that process next week.
Tuesdays with Topher is a great idea! It’s fun to see you here and fun to read about your admiration for your beautiful bride and her talents. 🙂
Heather J says
You two are a beautiful couple and I love your blog. I think this is a great idea and I would love to hear about your journey to become as successful as your blog is today. Shanna you are an artist and I love the ideas you come up with. Gopher I can’t wait to read more about the how to part of starting a blog. I just started mine and it is in extreme newborn status and I’m sure I probably didn’t do some things as I should have but it’s just been a dream of mine to write. Im looking forward to you and your beautiful wife’s story. Thanks so much!
Heather J says
OMG I’m sorry…I swear I typed Topher I HATE predictive texting. I’m turning it off NOW. Lol I’m so sorry!
LOL! Trust me … I’ve been called worse. And between you and me, Heather, most people call me Chris. 🙂
Aww thanks for your sweet words Heather! I’m sure your blog will be awesome! Have a wonderful week!
Christy@Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer says
What? a cliff hanger? LOL guess I’ll have to tune in next week. 🙂
Lisa (Petty) Newman says
LOVED reading your first blog post! As I read along I could hear your voice and it made me smile.
So happy for the two of you. Can’t wait to tune in for more!
You know what’s funny, Mrs. Newman, is that when I read your comment, I heard your voice, too.
Wendi @ H2OBungalow says
I LOVED the story of how your blog was launched ..and even more so that the two of you did it together! Shanna is indeed very talented with paint, furniture and color:) Looking forward to reading more of the Topher Tuesday Show!
Marcia Banach says
Truly great idea! I see so many references on so many blogs to the “Mr.” It’s awesome to put a face and voice to Topher. I look forward to reading your posts, Topher.
Linda J says
Well, I’m hooked! Shanna, not only is he handy and full of knowledge he’s cute as a button! I really enjoyed this post and look forward to man more. I think this is a great idea.
Thanks so much Linda! I think he’s a keeper!
Linda J says
Should have said MANY more! I guess I had “man” on my mind! lol
Hello Shanna, and Topher,
Have been enjoying your blog for some time now. Love your posts very, very much.
Looking forward to Tuesdays with Topher.
I, to, have a blog http://jcredesigns.ca/blog-2.php. (Redesign, decor and lots of DIY)
Kindest regards, Judy
Thanks so much Judy! I thought it might be fun to show you my other half and explain all of the hard work that he puts into the blog!
I love, love, love the addition of “Tuesdays with Topher”‘ to your blog. You are both such engaging, talented writers that we as readers can’t wait for the next installment of your wit & wisdom.
I look forward to your posts every day because of the gorgeous finished products you present but more importantly that you are willing to share the most economical “how to” steps with your readers.
A lot of us are beginners in this area of furniture repurposing & most of us don’t have piles of money just lying around to be used for our entertainment. That you admit your failures & trials along the way in such hilarious fashion is one of the reasons that the two of you work your way right into our hearts with every post we read.
Please never stop sharing your talent and your stories with all of us. Topher, you have been the unsung hero in this partnership so far and I am so excited that you will be sharing your story right along with your crazily talented, beautiful wife!