Howdy Do It 15 – Ellie Snow

Howdy Do It came from “how do you do It,” the question Ellie & Margot found themselves asking about their freelance lifestyles, and so Howdy Do It was born, a weekly column about the things we do to keep ourselves organized, inspired and on track. Ellie will be here each Monday, and Margot will be over on Mint at the same time.

If you have any questions for Margot or Ellie, you can ask them on formspring.
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Last week I talked about my latest self-employment hurdle, the freelancing blues, and this week I thought I’d touch on a few more things that helped me get over it. If you’re feeling the same way, I hope these will get the wheels turning.


• I realized that my home office, the room I sit in for probably 10-12 hours a day, is also my least favorite room in the house! It’s the room that we put zero thought into, and where we dumped all of the “what should we do with this?” stuff when we moved in last year. Major bummer. So, I’ve been brainstorming ways to rearrange furniture, cut down on clutter, and have been scouring craigslist, thrift stores, and yard sales for furniture bargains to replace the pieces I hate. I’m also working on finding better lighting and purchasing some plants. If it’s going to be cold and dreary outside, at least I can have some green inside! I can’t wait to have a yard sale of our own to get rid of all the extras.


• I haven’t actually told anyone this yet… but why not. I started a little etsy vintage shop called west + plum. I realized that I’d turned all my former hobbies into a full time job—awesome, but I hadn’t replaced them! Visiting lots of thrift stores and flea markets gets me out of the house, and it’s so exciting to have a new project that doesn’t involve designing or blogging. Plus, my indoor photography skills are way improving and the past couple Saturdays I’ve jumped out of bed to find new treasures. I’ve promised myself that this project is just for fun and the moment it becomes a chore, I’m done.

• Redesign! A couple weeks ago, during the worst of my slump, I sat down and just redesigned Mint. I was actually pretty afraid to do it, and thought I had no idea what I wanted. I even begged my husband to do it for me but then I got impatient. Since my redesign budget was slim, I kept the structure basically the same, and was able to hire a programmer to make my design functional without breaking the bank.


• Another way I’ve been forcing myself out of the house is to use my car less and walk more. There are coffee shops, a mail shop, book store, and grocery store all within walking distance of my house, but for some reason I used to always take the car to run errands. The 30-40 minutes of extra walking every day or so has been a great way to clear my head, get some fresh air, and cut down on gas expenses all at the same time.

So how about you, what tricks do you have for beating the freelancing blues?

photo credits: 60/365 by perminna / west + plum / sandra juto


Isa Maria

I can’t really give any tips because I’m kind of in that space right now. I love my job helping other people succeed in their creative businesses but I’m starting to miss using my creativity. I thought about opening another Etsy shop but all the planning started to become another business which I don’t have time for right now. I’m going to try and get out of the house more and maybe I’ll become inspired!

I love the vintage items you’ve chose and the name west + plum!


I admire that you realized you were in a slump and did something about it.

When I feel in a slump I tend to feel sorry for myself for about a day and then snap back with a new project that forces me to get up and moving. I definitely agree that walking and exercise in general is a mood booster. I live less than a mile from work and once I kicked myself in the butt and started walking everyday I became more motivated in other areas of my life.

You should be proud of your accomplishments and keep up the amazing work!


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