Blogwatch: Julip Made

Blog: Julip Made
Girl behind the blog: Julie Eitner
Occupation: Project Manager & Graphic Designer in corporate (9-5), freelance graphic designer and event planner—plus a new project in the works!

Where are you from, and where do you currently reside?
Born and raised in the DC metro area, and am now back in Northwest DC.

How and when did you first decide to start your blog? What gave you the courage and motivation to go for it?
Growing up I always had creative outlets, even if that wasn’t my focus of study or number one passion. I started reading fashion and lifestyle blogs in college and always thought of starting my own, but it wasn’t until I graduated and entered the real world that I was faced with a lack of a creative channel. To be honest, I had a hard time adjusting to corporate life (still can’t get used to certain things) and sought an outlet where I could be creative and have the sole ownership of what I was creating. Enter Julip Made—which has been such a blessing in my life. I am also lucky enough that some of my 9-5 skills leverage well into freelance gigs, and help make Julip Made even better.

What can people expect when they visit Julip Made?
Julip Made is a lifestyle blog that showcases a collection of editorial and pictorial musings for living the stylish life. Expect to find daily posts about all things entertaining, design, food, style, beauty, and color—as well as snapshots of my life in Washington, D.C. including the pictures of my pup, Odin. I also tend to whip up a mean cocktail from time to time.

We love how you came up with the title for your blog—tell our readers a bit more about the background of Julip.
As a young child, I had the tendency to write my lowercase a’s backwards. When I wrote my name, Julia (although I go by Julie now), it appeared to be Julip. I should also explain that my mother is an artist. Growing up I was lucky enough to spend hours in her studio making potato prints, beeswax sculptures, Sculpey beads, water coloring, and learning to create monoprints and collographs on her etching press. When I look back at my artwork from my early years (yes my lovely mother saved lots of it), it is all signed Julip and thus Julip Made.

I chose to title my blog after this early childhood moniker because it represents a time in my life when my creativity was completely uninhibited by the constraints of the real world such as time, cost, and that pesky adult consciousness that keeps us from completely expressing ourselves, often for fear of embarrassment or rejection.

What are three of your favorite posts you’ve ever written?
I can say that one of my most popular posts was a simple tray DIY I whipped up one night that just took off in the blogosphere. One of my personal favorites is this post describing one of the best weekends in my life. In terms of series, I love conceptualizing and creating these tablescape posts and I’ve loved sharing my home with all my readers in my Project Apartment series.

You’ve said that you have been surrounded by creativity your entire life! What influences and inspires you while you create blog posts?
Lately I have been trying to seek more inspiration outside of my computer and from real life. For entertaining and cooking, I look to the season and local ingredients. For design inspiration I’ve been looking more to my travels and meandering through my own city exploring new restaurants, shops, and neighborhoods. I’d be lying though if I didn’t also mention Pinterest, Lonny, Rue, other blogs (the Everygirl, Ann Street Studio, The Littlest Things, The Fresh Exchange, and so many others), Bon Appetit, and other print magazines.

What kind of camera do you use when photographing pictures for your blog?
I use my trusted Canon Rebel T3i with a 18-55mm, although I am thinking about investing in a 50mm for food shots and a wide angle for interior photography.

We know you are very into entertaining, and often share your favorite tips and tricks with your followers—what is the best piece of entertaining advice you could share?
My cooking and entertaining philosophy is that with a bit of planning and a focus on simple and seasonal ingredients, you can easily have a memorable and stress free evening with your guests. Keep it simple and comfortable, and don’t try to take too much on. The best hostess is one who is enjoying herself just as much as the guests!

Without knowing the creative background behind your blog title, people might initially associate “Julep Made” with Mint Julep’s. That being said, you often share fun cocktail recipes with your readers—we want to know, what is your signature cocktail and why?
I’d have to say the Caipirinha for summer months, and then the French 75 year round. A blend of Cachaça, lime, and sugar, the Caipirinha is super refreshing and with the addition of basil or mint—perfect for a hot summer day. The French 75 is boozy—but light, girly, but not too sweet, and bubbly. It is also one of my favorite cocktails to play around with new flavor additions such as this or this.

What is your favorite part about living and working in Washington, D.C.?
With a planning background, I have to appreciate the layout of the city. It is actually a “planned city” guided by the L’Enfant and McMillan plans, and done in the Baroque style modeled after large European cities such as Amsterdam, Paris, and Milan. In plain English, it has beautiful old buildings and large allées of trees. It is a very open and “breathable” city with numerous green spaces and a large National Park running through it.

What advice do you have for girls who are looking to start a lifestyle blog?
First, make sure you know and understand your purpose for starting the blog. If you are starting it for the stats, partnership opportunities, or in hopes of growing it into something more—expect to put in work. Rarely does a blog skyrocket to immediate success. Second, I cannot stress enough the importance of an editorial calendar. This will keep you organized and motivated for the days you are lacking. Also, use your Google Analytics to create this. Go back and look at the posts that garnered the most traffic and link backs, and then focus your efforts on planning more posts like that in the future. Finally, don’t get consumed by blogging and forget to live your life. Your posts will be most inspired if you are doing inspiring and exciting things outside of blogging.

Any other words of wisdom for Everygirl’s out there?
Don’t waste time or effort on comparing yourself to others. I know this can sometimes be hard to avoid in the blog world, but in the end you will be much happier and more successful if you focus on your life, your blog, and your work.