Finding design inspiration in a book and why Instagram could change your life

May 28, 2021 | Design Inspiration

On #DesignInspo Fridays I like to share websites I’ve found that have collections of amazing website designs, today I going to recommend a book. I just finished reading, Make Something Good Today, by Ben and Erin Napier of the HGTV shows Home Town and Home Town Takeover.

I’m a huge fan of both. So much so that when Darrell and I were making our way from Fort Lauderdale to Boulder, I discovered that Laurel, Mississippi was only forty miles off the route we were taking. To keep peace in the car, Darrell agreed to my little detour. He says he not a fan of the show, but as we got closer to Ben’s workshop, he yells, “There’s the blue truck, I see the blue truck.”

Just like when I was in Paris, and the Mona Lisa was on tour, on the day we arrived neither Ben nor anyone else was working in his workshop as they were replacing and upgrading the equipment. I did purchase one of his cutting boards from the General Store, and from their Laurel Mercantile Store, a shirt. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to drive through town to see any of the homes.

I knew before the show, Erin had had an online stationary business, but I didn’t know much more. I too have a one that has long been neglected. So much so, when I went to check on the website, I found out the SSL certificate didn’t install and there was the security warning.

My inspiration to get my online stationary business going again was Erin’s descriptions of her designs. She used old handkerchiefs with lace or prints on them and screen printed the invitation in the center. Not something I’d think of, but I strive to also make my design different from the norm. From her blog, a photographer in New York found her, which lead to her being featured in Martha Stewart Weddings. Not that I expect Martha Stewart Weddings to come calling, but it seems like a good time to get that blog going again.

The opportunity that came from Instagram

By the summer of 2014, Ben who was a youth minister knew it was time for a change. On the side, he had started woodworking and found he loved working with his hands. To get where he is today, there were a lot of failures. I find so much truth and inspiration in this statement:

There were entire weeks filled with failure, but I learned to actually enjoy it, to recognize it as a necessary step to getting good.

Within a few hours after he sealed the envelope of his resignation letter as a youth minister, Erin received the following email:

“Subject: FBFF (Future best friend forever)

Hey! I may or may not have been insta stalking you for a bit now. I do that, but it’s part of my job. I promise I’m not a creeper. Your life looks amazing and I want to get tape of you and your hubs and your space and your business. I just don’t know what the show is . . . Yet. Annnnyways, when are you in NYC?

We need to meet and eat.

Director, Original Programming & Development

As they say, the rest history.

You never know where you’ll get inspiration from. When I began the book, I never thought it would light a fire in me to work on something I had long forgotten about.

I’m on to getting the cobwebs out the website, and finally get the Instagram account going.

Who knows what that might lead to?


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