The Real Life Renovation Podcast | Home DIY

Ep 7 - DIYing from an interior designer’s perspective, how to win an official DIY Award, how to feel empowered as a woman DIYer w/ Liz Morrow (@liz.morrow)

March 22, 2022 Episode 7
The Real Life Renovation Podcast | Home DIY
Ep 7 - DIYing from an interior designer’s perspective, how to win an official DIY Award, how to feel empowered as a woman DIYer w/ Liz Morrow (@liz.morrow)
Show Notes Transcript

On the show today, Liz and I discuss her insane path where she began her career journey in Alaska in commercial fishing as a teenager, to becoming a wedding photographer, to an interior designer, and now a full-time DIYer. Her unique journey gives her an amazing perspective on budget design & tackling huge DIY projects on her own. We talk about the DIY landscape and how the majority of people in construction-related activities tend to be men, and how she hopes to empower a new wave of women to pick up some power tools to transform their spaces on their own. My favorite thing Liz has done so far for the DIY community is her annual DIY Awards where the community nominates/votes on different categories to reward creators of all sizes for their projects/work. Liz has a retreat coming up in the fall in Alaska that you won’t want to miss if you’re a DIYer, so be sure to message her on Instagram if you’re interested (@liz.morrow)!

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Alex:

Hey, what's up. I'm your host, Alex Dalessio and welcome to the real life renovation podcast. If you're looking to get your hands dirty and do it yourself in your home, that this is the go-to DIY and home renovation community, just for you. I invite you to join us each week as I chat with some of your favorite DIY creators to discuss all that goes into their DIY journey and the renovation projects that they've accomplished in their homes and how you can achieve similar results. If you have zero experience like I did when I started. And there's no better community for you to get the knowledge, confidence, and inspiration to release your inner bad-ass upon every corner of your home. So let's pick up that hammer, have some fun and nail your home renovations together. Welcome to the real life innovation podcast. This is episode seven and today I am with the lovely Liz Morrow. You can find her Atlas dot Maura on Instagram or at Liz dye, moral.diy on tic-tac. And you might know her. She is the infamous host of the DIY awards. Uh, if you've seen it, you know exactly what I'm talking about and don't worry, we will touch more on it. It is like one of the coolest things I've seen on this entire platform. Um, and, uh, there's actually grew up in Alaska. Really crazy. Um, she has some fun stories I'm gonna make her get into, especially the one where her, her first real job was commercial fishing. Definitely making her touch on that, which she now lives in Tacoma, Washington. So she is stay side. Um, any, she has a lot of experience. She started as a graphic designer, lifestyle blogger, even wedding photographer, and has her bachelor's in digital art and filmmaking. So safe to say that she's well-experienced across the board in DIY design, all of that. So I'm really excited to have her. And with that said, uh, the first question as always Liz, if you were to have a TV show on HGTV, what would the name of it be and why?

Liz:

So I literally woke up at four in the morning, which is extremely out of character and I like wake up. I'm like, why am I awake? What is happening? I'm laying there. And I'm like, oh, You need to think of the name of my HGTV show and lay there for like 30 minutes and I could not come up with the name of it. Um, but I know what it would be about. Um, okay. So obviously you mentioned that I am from Alaska and I would like to return to Alaska at some point. Um, my parents just moved back. Um, this past year they bought a house in Alaska again. And so. I would love to buy a fixer-upper obviously and have people from, you know, our DIY community on Instagram online, come up and help with the renovations and then be able to kind of take them on adventures in Alaska and, uh, kind of show them, you know, why I love the state and. Just all of the amazing things that you can do up there, fishing flight, seeing hiking, kayaking, all, all that kind of good steps. So that would be the show. I don't know what it would be called yet.

Alex:

That would be so cool. Cause I feel like, like for, at least for me stay side, especially on the east coast, uh, Alaska is so like, it's kind of like a mystery, like of course I know. Well watching, I know, you know, all the, the wilderness aspect. Um, to be honest, like I would be so interested in just seeing like the nitty and gritty of Alaska all there is to see, and then DIY being in kind of an environment like that, where you might not have a lot of sunlight. I know that like during the winter, what is it like? I want to say like five or six hours.

Liz:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. On the shortest day of the year. And depending on where you live too. So I grew up in south central Alaska. And so I remember going to school in the morning in the dark. And when you came home from school, the sun was already setting. Uh, but if you're getting up into, you know, You know, you don't have some, you don't actually have like a sunrise for, I don't, I don't even know how many days it is a year, but yeah, there's a period of time where there's no sun

Alex:

that was just going to make life so difficult across, like,

Liz:

I never minded it, but the thing that's really cool is in the summer, the sun is. For, I mean, it never really gets dark. So I, as a night owl, I always really love that.

Alex:

Yeah. I was, uh, yeah, I saw that like, cause you have to get like the blackout curtains because it doesn't really get truly tag. I just find that so interesting. And like, I feel like it would match. My circadian rhythms, but I guess you get used to it if your morning. I mean

Liz:

maybe, yeah, I'm definitely a night owl and I have a hard time falling asleep. So maybe it did mess with me.

Alex:

That's awesome though. So I have to ask about your job as a commercial Fisher. I think that is like the coolest thing you have to give me the spiel on that.

Liz:

So, um, my family on my dad's side is from Alaska. My dad, my grandpa commercial fish, his whole life from when he was a kid all the way until he retired. Um, and so that his sons took over commercial fishing. Um, and so my uncle was the one who kind of my, my dad ended up having a different career. And so my uncle was the one who was our, like the commercial fishermen in our family. And so I, when I was in high school, uh, I, I believe it was two seas. It's two summers. I went up and fished with him, um, on his boat in Bristol bay. Yeah, that was definitely, um, as far as first jobs go, it's like, oh, everything feels like pretty easy from here

Alex:

on out. Yes, seriously. I mean, I, I know it's a little bit different, but, uh, me and Kylie were always like the biggest fans of deadliest catch growing up and just see, I know it's completely different being commercial fisherman privately, not on the open seas where it's just crazy trying to catch no grass, but yeah. Yeah, it was definitely a no joke. And coming from someone where their first job was working in a local pizza joint, uh, mass, he didn't say that. Um, how do you think your life living in Alaska and all the extremes and kind of the different lifestyle compared to, you know, even to come to Washington, how do you think that shaped you in terms of, you know, your DIY journey or honestly the rest of your journey? Because it's all so. In the DIY creator space, like even from being a wedding photographer, like learning photography, graphic design, all of it. I feel like it just made you like the perfect well-rounded creator. It's just so, it's so crazy and cool to see your journey.

Liz:

Yeah. I, growing up in Alaska, I really love growing up in Alaska and it's one of the reasons that I want to make it back there because now having my son, like I would love for him to have something of that same experience. But yeah, I feel like Alaska, is it when you're living there, you kind of just have this sense of independence because, um, you know, you don't necessarily have all of the same resources that you do in the lower 48, uh, depending on where you're living, you know, you might have beat box store. You might live far away from people. I grew up in the biggest city, so I did have, you know, access to a lot of resources and stuff, but it's still kind of the general vibe of like the people that live there. They're very dependent. They're very, oh, let me do my thing. I'll let you do your thing. Kind of it's very libertarian. So. I don't know, and having my dad grew up there. And so he was a lot, he was a big part of my DIY journey and he was always working on every single house that we ever lived in renovating every house we lived in, whether it was like a full bathroom, remodel or kitchen remodel. Every, literally every single house that we ever lived in west, uh, was worked on by, at time. Um, and so I was always around that process and watching it. And, um, one of my favorite things growing up was being his kind of like little helper. So I was always biocide and handing him tools. And my mom was also creative. She was a graphic designer, um, and writer, um, before she had kids. And then we took over. Um, uh, so she was always the one who was doing kind of the creative aspect of like space planning and doing the painting. And so I was helping her with that and watching her do that. So, um, yeah, I F I feel like I just got like this education in home renovation and DIY just from watching them do it and being a part of it. And then I don't know what it is about me that. Does it really want to work for other people?

Alex:

Yeah.

Liz:

Something about that made me like, like you were saying, like, oh, you're like a graphic designer and a wedding photographer and all these things. And it's like, I was all those things because one, they were creative and I'm a creative person, but it's also that I was able to work for myself. And so I could set my own hours. I could cheat, you know, pick the clients I wanted to work with. Um, so yeah, it kind of stems from. A wanting to be creative and be wanting to have the freedom and control over my own life and not having to like go into a nine to

Alex:

five, no transmit. I get it. It's so liberating and exciting. That's what I did in my first two years of college. And then I quit back in October to kind of pursue this. Full-time just like being in the DIY space because, uh, it's just like to be able to set your own hours. And of course it's not for everyone because it's risky. It's not. Um, it's the exact opposite of safe. Like there's no, like, if you're good at what you do, you'll make more money probably than the nine to five, but there's also the flip, like the other side of the coin, where if you don't do well or the economy or whatever, not even just what we do, but like in anything, when you start your own business, which is exactly what IDI creator is. Um, and I've a lot of people from the outside looking in, don't realize how much goes in. I'm like, I was just poking around like your website, um, all the stuff have you done. And I don't know if you create it yourself, but it is. Um, so professional, did you create

Liz:

yourself and, you know, the perks of having all of these rant and seemingly random past lives of like a graphic designer and photographer, it's like, oh, this is all like, really useful as like a content

Alex:

creator, a hundred percent. It's funny how the little things for me personally. So I actually got really, I won't say really good, but I got pretty solid at Photoshop and people ask. How has, and I don't do it much anymore, but I'll make edits for other people. And they're like, how did you get to do that? Now? I was like, when I was in college, I worked for the basketball team and the coaching staff would want me to make graphics for their recruits. Like, oh, can you put a Maryland Jersey on this recruit? Now? I was like, I don't know what I'm doing, but I'll YouTube it. And then I got really good at Photoshop and making clean graphics that aren't clustered. Um, and then I had to start making video, like highlights for our recruits and our players. So I got good at video editing. And now if you would've told me that it would have been me editing videos of me, DIY in my home, I would have called you crazy. But that's exactly what it turned out to be. And this is so funny. So like on that, so you started, where did you start graphing design or wedding photographer? It was kind of mishmash.

Liz:

Um, so I graduated with a degree in printmaking and digital, uh, digital art. So I went directly into graphic design. Um, and then kind of at the end of my college years, I started my blog, which at the time was a fashion blog. So. Taking pictures of my outfits every day, posting them on the blog. Um,

Alex:

I think it's from 2008, so you're really like pressing it. You've learned so much. I feel like there's so much, that's why your stuff looks so polished. I don't know.

Liz:

So I threw out all of my other jobs and it's like, Graphic designer. Um, I went into block design for a while, so I was designing other people's blogs, but throughout all of that, I was also blogging. So that was kind of like the constant throughout it. Um, but yeah, I went from graphic design, um, and then wedding photography. And then after I had my son. For some reason, I was just like so done with wedding photography. And I don't know if it's like you have a kid and you're just like, I'm over people being like in love. And like when I'd have to like go home and change like a pavilion diapers, like that's great that you're two single people in love. That's great. I'm tired. And so I think at that time I was kind of feeling this need for. Uh, a pivot. And also, um, I knew that I really loved working on homes. We had bought our first house in 2012. So we had owned that house for a few years at that point. Um, and I knew that I had wanted to do some work on it and I was like, you know what? I'm just. I'm just going to pivot. I'm a pivot, real hard, not going take any more wedding like this whole business that I've built, like on wedding photography. I'm like, Nope, we're going to the ground. We're going to do something different now. So I started doing interior design and working on my own house and sharing that as, you know, content, creator, Instagram. Um, yeah. Um, for it, it's unlike, yes, this is where I was supposed to be like, weddings. That's fine. That's pretty. But like, I love it here because not only is it something that I love doing and something that I'm really passionate about, but it also, I love the aspect of it, especially in the community that I'm a part of with. 95% women. I follow like you and

Alex:

Kyle. Yeah, me, Kyle, really laughing about it. Like, I don't remember if it's on podcast or off air, but we were like, we are like such the minority, which we like, I have applauding all of the amazing you guys are all. Bad-ass like

Liz:

what I love about it. It's like women, it's a, it's a space that I really love being able to empower the women. And giving them the encouragement and the inspiration, but also like the education. Cause I know a lot of women didn't grow up with like how I grew up with my dad, like watching him and learning from, you know, just being able to see what he was doing and him telling me what he was doing. Um, so being able to kind of be everybody's like DIY dad never had is kind of what I love about, um, being in this.

Alex:

Yeah, I'm sure you get tons of messages and I'll get tons of messages, whether it be from a woman or just an experience, people kind of like I'm fairly young today, do a house like I'm 26. So I'll have people around my age. Like this is kind of crazy. Did you have a dad or mom or someone teach you? I was like, no. And I always tell them the same things. I've said it on the podcast before. I am not a special in any way, shape or form. Like if you are really interested in doing. Um, and you have, you know, two hands and 10 fingers. Like, I promise you, you can do this. You don't even need 10 fingers. You probably need two hands. You can get away with like pinky or something. But if you have the basics and the actual hunger to do the correct research and build your confidence up, you'd be amazed at what you can do. Um, and I think. Like I applaud, like seeing people like Q that I really just embracing the woman aspect of it and helping others, you know, see the light that no women are just as capable. If not more capable like Kylie, my wife is so much more naturally handy than me. It's not even funny when I tell people that they're like, no, no, no. I'm like, yes, like she, her dad growing up was always doing stuff. She was kind of around like you, she never actually got in the nitty gritty of it. Um, we laugh whenever there's like a skill and we both are trying it out. Like whether it be drywall, mudding, or like cutting in on paint lines, she'll pick it up like that. Even though I've watched hours of YouTube videos, I'll like show her what I've learned and she'll be like, oh, and then just bam. I'm like, what the hell?

Liz:

And I just went into detail as ladies,

Alex:

but like literally any, I don't think there's any like tasks that I have been naturally better from the get go at one time. I kind of explain the technique, she picks it up and then she'll catch all my little mistakes too. Like I have an engineering degree, she has a teacher degree, but she'll pick up, I should be able to good at the math and not mess up measurements. Will she be like, oh, you're not accounting for this and the shower curb, or the fact that there's going to be dry over there. And I'm like, oh yeah,

Liz:

yeah. It's, it is fun because I think. You know, for so long, women have just been told that they're not good at these kinds of things. And that just that line has been repeated over and over again. And to the point where I think both men and women started to believe it, and it's like, no, that's not accurate whatsoever. Like, there's literally nothing about doing what we do that. Has like gender has any bearing on what's who happened?

Alex:

Nothing. Yeah. Nothing. And that's, what's so crazy about it. So it, me and Kyle were laughing about it with it, like, cause it is funny how, because we're like, we're really, I think it's me, him. There's a few others. I don't want to miss anyone with like Dawson. My friend, Andrew, Phillip or flap was so you probably. But there isn't much. And like the woman rightfully taking over and doing an amazing job and it's been really fun to watch. Uh, so many of the people that follow me are women and, you know, they're just showing me their projects and they might not be full-time content creators, or even posts, but like the stuff that they're doing there, you know, our one friend that I actually met through Kyle penny, like. You know, replacing all over their windows and things like that. And I'm like, personally, I don't want to touch anything that leaves the open hole in my house for any moment of time in case I mess something up and now I have an open hole in my house, but, uh, she showed me the before and after. And it's just and say, yeah,

Liz:

yeah, I I'm, I'm really excited. And I think that maybe the beginning of the pandemic played into. Resurgence of women in this space of like, all right, well, here we are, I'm at home and I got time on my hands, but let's do this, you know? Um, yeah. So it's been, it's been fun seeing the kind of wave of women being more, um, cause I I'm sure women have been doing it for a long time, but I think the, in terms of like the content creation side of it, you're seeing a lot more women. Posting online and, and, you know, creating these businesses around, um, the content that they're posting. And it's just kind of this cool snowball of, you know, the more women we see doing it, the more, um, the women who maybe don't feel capable, kid kind of stop for a second and be like, I could probably do that, you know, or we're just making things feel more approachable. And I was, I just went to work bench con at the end of February. And it was really interesting because it was, you know, it's, uh, the woodworking kind of focused, but also, you know, home renovation, there's a lot of overlap there. Um, and so there was a lot, there was a, a big group of us women that went, um, a lot of us knew each other and, but it was a lot of dudes. And so it was really interesting to be in a space because I'm so kind of in the trenches of like me and my ladies. Uh, and so it was really interesting kind of feeling that male energy and seeing kind of like how men teach and how men approach that. And, um, it was interesting. I, uh, I think I prefer the way. That most women that I've come across, present the information or teach. And I think it's because you don't feel talked down to. Um, and I, and I know that not all men obviously talk down to women or, uh, you know, in the way that they obviously, you and Kyle are a great example of that. But, um, like it was really interesting being in these sessions where it was men talking and men teaching and. You're making me feel, not that great at it. Just like the way that you're presenting the information, like the information itself is great, but like, I wish that you weren't so like condescending or I don't know, it was just

Alex:

really weird power struggle type thing where it's like a yeah. A hundred percent and I've, you know, tried to make my styles much. I'm very open and honest about not knowing everything. So I make mine very much. At least try to, uh, taking you along the journey of my, my stupid thoughts that I have along the way and all the failures that I make. So it's very, I honestly, I learn more from the people in my DMS and I do YouTube and they'll catch stuff. I've had a couple of people catch stuff today. I read it just from like trying to light up a GFCI outlet. They're like, they're like, yo, you should be doing this on my, thank you.

Liz:

Yeah, I know I saw you yesterday with your, uh, you're like, should I use the plastic boxes? Because the metal ed hit have to grab and all this stuff.

Alex:

And then I tried to wire that up today, just posted like a story an hour ago and I got it all wired up and then it didn't fit inside the smaller amount of blocks. And I researched it and it was like, yeah, you're supposed to have this many wires and this 12 gauge wire, you're supposed to have this many cubic inches of box. And I was like, halfway. I was like, whatever outside, have McCulley have ACE hardware, like three blocks away. So I just walked to it and got paid $3 and got the bigger plastic ones. And I'm like, I should've done this a long time ago. I would have saved myself a lot more work, but there's definitely a level of stubbornness, I think, to every DIY fire where there is a breaking point of where you will admit you're wrong and you'll take the next step of driving home Depot. Lowe's. Getting the actual right material and coming back, but it takes, there's a different level of everybody for, for me, it takes a lot, like I will do anything in my power to put or use whatever I had on my, you know, in my hands will never and figuring it out. Um, and many times that can lead to injury or failure. Yeah.

Liz:

Yeah. Yeah. It's that thing of like, you just want to make it work. You just like anything to not have. Rework retool this thing that I've just put so many hours into.

Alex:

Exactly. And it even goes to stupid things. Like, I don't even know I get in my head about stuff like this, but if I grab a screwdriver and it's not the correct screwdriver, but the other one is like upstairs. And I know where it is. I will spend three minutes trying to make. Flathead work and a Phillips head or whatever, before the 10 seconds, it would take me to get the right one and the other 15 seconds, it would take me to finish the job. Yeah. I think it helps me in the sense that when I actually have real problems, I'm like focused on it and I'll figure it out. But it also hinders me at the same time. Cause I won't pivot has not just session.

Liz:

Yeah.

Alex:

I've been there. Yeah. I feel like everyone relates to that. So, um, hi. So I want to touch on, cause you you've mentioned the business of all these, like women creating these great businesses around it. People don't realize how much goes into creator as you, someone like yourself that has it all. Like you have an amazing parallel line. Go check her. Um, what's the official, uh, website name, just so I can plug it.

Liz:

Liz Morrow,

Alex:

studios.com. There's more studios.com. Go check out our parallel. That's really, it's really cool. Let's DIY the damn thing I think is on one of the shirts you're wearing it right now. Go get it. All of the stuff looks amazing. She seen it. She showed me a mug right now. She's got it all. Amazing sayings, everything. So go check that out. But you have that you have obviously Instagram, you take tag, you have a website, a blog. Um, so interested and obviously you have all of the intricate parts of being a great photographer and editor graphic designer. So I guess, touch on the entrepreneurship part of being a creator and kind of how you've been enjoying it, the things that you've liked having like, things like that.

Liz:

Yeah. I feel like I kind of, I got into it. Ground zero, because when I started blogging, literally nobody knew what that even was like, you had to like describe it to someone and then they were still a little bit confused. Um, and so when I started blogging and I was fashion blogging, um, uh, it was really interesting because we started to get these clothing brands who were like, can I send you clothes? And you can post, you can wear it and post it on your blog. Um, Instagram did not exist before. Um, and so it was like the beginnings of the, um, you know, this influencer, which that were didn't exist either like the beginning of this influencer marketing. And so I've just been, you know, in, in it for so long that it just feels very normal to me. I think people who are getting into it now still are kind of getting used to the idea of like, oh, I am, um, this tool or this, um, avenue that businesses find value in and, um, want to market their products through. And so I think that, that, I like that aspect of it because you know, you, you're already telling your friends about the stuff that you're using. Um, and so it, to me, it feels like a natural wave for marketing to happen, even from like the brand side of it. Like as a brand, like the best thing that you want is word of mouth. And so I think that's kind of what content creators influencers are doing is it's word of mouth marketing and the cool thing about being your own boss. Being an entrepreneur is that you get to choose who you get to work with. So it's like you don't have to work with a brand whose values don't align with you and you don't have to, you know, market a product that you don't like. Um, so again, maybe that's just my controlling self. I agree. A hundred percent having control over, but I mean, when it comes to like you, because you're the brand like you're the, you are. For business. So it does matter who you work with because that reflects on you. And so being able to set boundaries and control who you're working with, what brands you're working with. I think that's super important and something that like, especially people who are just getting into it really need to consider and kind of sit down and think about like, what are my values? What is, you know, the things that I want to make sure come across when I'm doing work with brands, like, I, you know, you don't want to work with a brand that like, all, you know is really sheisty and like, you know, then people are like, oh, well this person like. Anybody to get, you know, a buck and it's like, so I think that that's really important for, for newer creators. I mean, I've been in it so long that I've made a lot of mistakes. I'm sure I'll make more mistakes, but you know, it's like the realization of like, oh, I like signed a contract with a brand who knows. Getting bad vibes, you know what? I signed this

Alex:

contract. So yeah, no, I'm learning a lot along the way, too. And for any creators of new out there, you'll get so many emails, um, for free product. I've got a DM today of someone wanting to send me a kitchen faucet. That was probably like $70. And, uh, they didn't mention anything. And I was like, Hey, um, is this a free product exchange or is this paid collaborator? Unfortunately, I don't do free products change. And I gave him like my starting rate and they were like, oh, this is only for free product. Are you still interested? And it's just like, it's so frustrating when you see, and it's, it's not only some people just assume it'll be, you know, only these like one-off little Amazon brands, but you'd be surprised at some of the brands that we'll expect. You to move a mountain for them, for, for, uh, what did they get, uh, exposure on their social media channels. Yeah. You went through a rent other day and I was like laughing, but at the same time, equally pissed. And I was just like, I think we've all had those experiences and it's like, what are you like, are you serious?

Liz:

Yeah. And I think that comes down to us as creators. Valuing ourselves in our work. Because as long as people keep saying, yes, they're going to keep asking because the one, you know, they're going to get however many nos, but the one yes is worth it enough to them to keep bombarding people's inboxes with these honestly insulting offers opportunities. Uh it's like, I'm, I'm sorry. You're asking me to do. Thousands of dollars of work for a product that's, you know, not

Alex:

worth that I know. And then, you know, I think in their mind, they're like, oh, this amount of money, isn't all you have to do is like one video posts. It's like, no, you're not paying me for just the time. It takes me to do that. Like, it's kinda like you're also paying me for the time. It took me to get to the audience to the point where you can sell it and all the time I'm doing organic stuff because that's. Brought me the audience and was going to bring you the audience. It's not the fact that it will take me two, three hours to shoot and edit a video. I understand that you're probably like, oh my God, that on an hourly rate is ridiculous, but that's not, you know, that's not all that goes into it. It's everyday showing up, um, showing that your followers and audience, that you actually care about them and what helped them. That's what the brand is tapping into. And the reason why if they work with you, it'll be a success. Well,

Liz:

and you think about too, like what you're talking about, you know, the years I've spent building an audience, a community, but also if you have to have shoot, if you're a brand and you have to shoot an ad, even a 32nd ad or content piece, you're having to hire a photographer or videographer, you're having to hire a set design. You're having to hire the actors you're having to hire no, all of the. Individual pieces. And I'm that I am the full package. Like I'm offering you every single one of those services. I'm the videographer. I am the talent. I am the set designer, you know, like you don't mess to pay for all of that, but you do have to pay for me. Yeah.

Alex:

It's like, you're worried about the lighting. You you're doing the audio here doing a voiceover or you're doing potentially adding music and sinking it up. All these cuts. It's. And it really frustrates me. And I know you went on like a three minute rant and it was amazing because it needs to be said. And, um, any creators, whether you have a smaller following or you have millions of dollars, whatever, it it's the same, no, your worth, um, you can free product exchanges. Aren't necessarily a bad thing. It's just a bad thing. Um, when it doesn't align with the value that you feel like. Are giving off and other companies evaluated. Seemingly

Liz:

yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, we, I think a couple of us got this same email and it was somebody who, I don't even remember what they, what company it was or what they were asking for. But I had sent my rates over and then I knew that the rates were, they were not going to bite, but then some other dude in this. PR marketing company or whatever, it wasn't, it wasn't from the, it wasn't directly from the brand. It was like their PR company that was trying to hire an influencer. This other dude who had not previously been in our, you know, the email exchange comes in and he goes, oh, What brands are paying you that much, because I would love to work with them. It's like, um, I am not going to respond to this cause like, first of all, it's low key insulting, like yeah. Who even was paying you this, but it's also like, I'm not going to tell you the brand because I don't, first of all, they've already got their, their, you know, marketing company, all set. They're good to go. Like they don't need you to come in and install. Yeah, their creator rates.

Alex:

It was really weird. It's the wild, wild west out there. There's no doubt.

Liz:

It's, it's pretty wild. And I think a lot of us are trying to talk about it more, to be able to standardize things and be able to, you know, let creators know that they have value and that they should be charging for their services. And I mean, even, even if you're not. Doing this as a job brands will still come into people's comments and be like, oh, we would love to use your photo. If you agree to the terms at this URL, just reply with hashtag OMG. Yes. Or, you know, whatever. And what people do not realize is that the link that they're linking to is. Going, eh, it's, it's basically a contract of, Hey, we now get rights to use this content to use across any, uh, you know, we can use it on our website. We can use it on our print marketing. We can use it on our social media. We can edit it and make money from it in perpetuity. So forever. You've just handed over the rights to this photo forever. I think that people just need to know what they're saying yes. To, because they just don't people just say like, oh, that's so awesome. Like my favorite brand wants to share me on their feed. That's exciting, which is exciting, but they're also doing it in a shady way where they're like, say yes to the terms and services, but they, no, one's going to click on that link because first of all, it's not. And an Instagram comment. So you would have to like look at it and then type it out to even go and see what the terms are. It makes me, it makes me so annoyed.

Alex:

And I do think that it's, we're reaching a turning point where, um, the creator side has kind of battled back and, and created, you know, whether it's a close friend story or there's, I've seen blog posts. They're very open about. Um, and kind of helping this side of it. Cause the Brandon's are very sneaky to say the least, but we all learn. And one of the things that in terms of DIY creators, I think is the coolest thing that we have to touch on is the DIY awards. I think that is the coolest thing ever. So, um, tell the listeners a little bit, uh, about it and how it came to be. What does.

Liz:

So the DIY awards is an annual awards, um, that celebrates women in the DIY community on social media. Um, and it's started because I am an Enneagram three and I love trophies. And so I had this random idea in, uh, December, November of 2020. And I was like, what if I just like made. Some awards. And I think it was because I had found a hammer when I was on a walk with my son in an alley. And so I had this like random hammer and I was like, what if I like painted it gold and like attached it to a base and made it into a trophy and gave it away. Somebody like, have you so cute. And so it just like exploded from there where then I created, I think the first year we had six more, I think it was six awards. So I like just dug around in my garage and found like old, felt like an old Saab blade. And there was the hammer and a homey. What else? I don't even remember what it was that first year. Oh, I'm a speed square. I spray painted, um, the, you know, like the little Christmas village, uh, home Depot, they make one every year. That the overall DIY award was I spray painted Christmas village, clump depots for critical. Um, and it was really, 'cause like, I it's all community submitted, so I don't, I don't nominate anybody. It's all the community submits my dog. I don't know. I put her in her. Can all be. Put this out so that she would shut up, but she's just whining this whole time. Like, are you okay? What's happening? Okay. Sucks. So the DIY awards is all community submitted. Um, people submit non nominations, solid autonomous that matters, but, um, so people can submit their favorite DIY orders. And then from there, the top five in each category, It goes on to, uh, the voting period. Um, and then everybody in the community votes. And then we do a, an award ceremony, which the past the past two years have been on Instagram live. Um, but this next year. Oh, and. Apparently now every year I have to create DIY dress out of stuff that I find in my garage. So the first year I made it out of like plastic drop cloth and like a contractor, trash bags and duct tape. And then this year I did it out of a, I made a corset out of a home Depot bucket.

Alex:

Okay, good. Any listener, please go check it out.

Liz:

Um, and so next year, hopefully, you know, the pandemic situation is a little bit more handled. Um, but so this next January, I want to do an in-person. Award ceremony kind of like the Oscars for DIY or, um, maybe we can get some sponsors on board. We can do instead of a red carpet, we can do an orange carpet home Depot. Um, and yeah, I think it would just be really fun to have, you know, an in-person event where people can come get fancy, have fun, maybe. Just meet your other favorite. DIY wires have an opportunity to some people, you know, you can go to conferences and stuff, but, um, yeah, just being able to come and celebrate. And I think that's something that a lot of people maybe needed that the past few years, you know, just something fun and celebrating the community, um, and especially celebrating women in a, an industry that has been. Male dominated, um, and just giving recognition to, to the ladies.

Alex:

I think that'd be really cool, especially to do it in person. And then I'm sure you'll be able to get sponsors. Um, cause you have so much talent and just vibes in the building that it's all very niche and DIY obviously. Um, I get totally seeing you getting very similar, uh, sponsors as like Haven or something like

Liz:

that. Yeah, I would love to, and we're actually the partnered with Haven to be able to give the winner of the. Uh, DIY queen award this year, she won a, also a ticket to Haven. So I will be presenting her for her award at Haven, wearing my home Depot bucket. I'm going to bring it. I was like, I have to though, right. Like I, I kind of have to like,

Alex:

That's going to be so funny. I actually just bought my ticket this morning. If anyone doesn't know what Haven is, I didn't know until this past month, but it's like, um, a conference in July 21st to the 24th in Atlanta, Georgia. Um, and it's basically where a bunch of DIY creators are able to get together. No matter your following, anyone is welcome. Um, and you just kind of have a bunch of. Discussion slash would ban speakers from the DIY space from the brand space like home Depot, I think sponsors APO B a couple of others. And from what I've seen, did you go last year? It looks so cool. It's really

Liz:

fun. And I think. For me, I love the aspect of being able to get that face-to-face time with the brands and actually, you know, meet the people who you're talking to in the emails, um, and make new connections with new brands. Um, but also, um, it's just really wonderful to be able to hang out with the people that you're friends with online, because like so many of us don't live anywhere near each other. It's kind of the one opportunity that people have to congregate in one space and be able to like go out to dinner and just have, have that face-to-face community time and really make those friendships. Um, and I think that those are really important, especially because I know for me, like, I don't really know anybody in my like real life friends circle. Who does what I do, you know? So when you're complaining about like, oh, this brand contacted me and they wanted me to do something for a faucet, you know, and they were like, sounds like a bummer, I guess, you know, your friends, you know what, you're what that's like, you know, you're there, they can, you can talk to them on a different level. And so it's really fun to be able to communicate and talk the same language with people a

Alex:

hundred percent. Just to learn from everyone, with speakers, just, you know, uh, everyone else that'll be there like myself. I think it'd be really cool. So if you're listening again, there's zero follower account. Uh, from what I understand, there's zero follow account, uh, like that you need to attend anyone and everyone, whether you're looking to get into DIY, whether you've already started to count, you're looking to find how to grow it. You're looking to gain contact with cool. Literally everything. So I haven't been, but I'm really excited. I'm on a bunch of creators that I follow. And I think, um, a few that I've had on this podcast already have gone. I know Kyle went last year, so, um, yeah, definitely go check it out. We'll plug them. I have to send this, this clip to Haven.

Liz:

They're pushing hard right now because they just opened their ticket sales.

Alex:

Yeah. Yeah. End of March, it'll jump up a hundred dollars. I think it's around 480 currently, so definitely check it out and they have hotel accommodations. Um, that'll, that'll be cheaper as well at the, at the hotel. So check that out, but, uh, yeah, without further ado, I want to go into the quick, quick fire round and then we'll be finished. Um, I already know the answer to this one for you. Lowe's or home Depot Hampton.

Liz:

That's okay.

Alex:

Fair enough. I recently just became a home Depot support. Everyone knows I've been rapping lives for so long, but they screwed me one too many times recently. I know I'm very fluid still. Uh, I'm not hard set, but for the time being home depots has been there for me the last month when I needed them, where those has not. So. All right. Next question. Uh, DIY your own house or interior design for a client.

Liz:

Oh, Dom. I will house all the way. I, I stopped. I stopped taking clients for the most part. It's just really hard for me to deal with the anxiety of like the back and forth between like I send a design and the nascent edits or for whatever reason, my anxiety just like super high when I'm dealing with clients. I'm like, you know, You don't have to do that. Whatever the voice in your head is, that's telling me that you need to work with clients and do interior design professionally. You don't need to, that's a mysterious voice that comes from nowhere. Just do what makes you happy, which is DOI my own house. What's the

Alex:

love it. I love it. I don't see that they would give me a let anxiety as well. Especially as a people pleaser, I would not, uh, skin. Okay. Um, favorite paint brand. Same. Definitely love bear.

Liz:

Just get it at the home Depot.

Alex:

I think also I think bears sponsoring Haven as well. Oh yeah,

Liz:

they did last year. So they'll probably do it this year too. Cool.

Alex:

All right. Uh, call or text?

Liz:

Text. I will not answer my phone.

Alex:

Yeah. I always tell people if they want to call me unscheduled, unless it's like. Family member like very close friend. Like you better text me with what you plan on calling before. I will not pick up. Like, I don't care if I'm doing nothing. It doesn't matter. My anxiety will be too high, so. Okay. Uh, most rewarding project of yours so far.

Liz:

Um, oh man. Um, I think I'm going to say my laundry room because it's like 99.9% done. And I'd built it from scratch. It did not, it did not exist. And now there's a room there and I can do laundry in it.

Alex:

There's nothing better than just stepping back. If something like that when it's like fully from scratch and you're like, this was not here. I didn't just like rehab it. I built it out. Yep. I love it. All right. And this is my last one for you. Um, the number one, excuse people tell themselves on why they can't start DIY. Ooh.

Liz:

I think a lot of the times it's the know how, like, they they're like, well, I don't know how to do that. Um, to which I reply Google literally Google everything. If someone just asked me the other day, like, oh, you know, I shared something about how I Photoshop mockups and mood boards and all that stuff. And they were like, oh, how you know, how do you learn Photoshop stuff? Um, and literally, if you have a question about something. Google it. And there's going to be like five YouTube tutorials, bunch of blog posts, and it's just scrapping it together, figuring it out. Like anything you need to know, you need to know how to use your circular saw watch five YouTube videos about some old dude being like missile Saudi. You don't safely do that over and over again until you. Feel comfortable to get started. Uh

Alex:

there's um, what's really been nice too, is that brands have been doubling down on their YouTube channels and stuff and creating tutorials like friends, or for instance, I use my Wagner spade paint sprayer. I can't talk. Um, and it has how to set it up like a two and a half minute video, super in-depth to buy the brand, not some random person. And then that has a two and a half minute video of how to clean it up. And I watch them every time before I do it. Uh, I feel comfortable and I can do it on my own and having the actual brand too is so helpful. I wish more brands would do it. Like when I have a circular saw and I have to look up how to change a blade on it. I wish the brand would just have that video ready to go. And even like a QR code on the tool would be so helpful.

Liz:

Yeah. Hey,

Alex:

tool Rams. Yeah. Someone has to figure that out. I know.

Liz:

In like 20 years, like there's all these dead links on our schools.

Alex:

Yeah. Everyone's going like, what are those?

Liz:

But yeah, right? Yeah. Like our kids are like 25 and they're like, what's this weird design. Well, son back in the day.

Alex:

Oh man. It's definitely going to happen too. All right. Well, that's everything I have for you. Did you have anything that you wanted to bring up that I wasn't able to.

Liz:

Uh, the only thing that I can think of is that I am doing a retreat in September for DIY. It does, you don't have to be DIY, but I have a feeling it'll be mostly DIY content creators, which will be in Alaska. So it's going to be kind of like a mini version of my TV show. Um, and so, yeah, so I'm doing this retreat, that's kind of be focused on like kind of helping you. Yeah. Get your footing in terms of building your brand, um, you know, working, you know, the business aspect of all, of, all of, you know, like what you were saying. It's so all encompassing in terms of you're doing graphic design, you're doing video, you're doing all these different things. You're creating, you know, what is your brand vision? What is your, you know, mission statement and kind of working through, um, all of that kind of stuff and vision boarding and. Just getting people kind of excited and kind of, um, kind of like on ramp to the next phase of their businesses and as a content creator, um, all in the lovely backdrop of Sitka, Alaska. Um, so we'll be doing a lot of also kind of Alaska Annie thing. So we'll be going, hopefully, depending on the weather, obviously sick, cause weather is all over the place. Is it? Well, it's the end of September. So

Alex:

you never know,

Liz:

you never know. I mean, even in the summer, you don't know, but, um, it should be pretty nice. Um, so yeah. Going, kayaking going boating in. Yeah. It's it's

Alex:

gonna be really fun. Ooh. And where can people go to find out more? Is it on your website? It is on my website. Yeah. And it's Lismore studios.com. Okay. I'll put it anyone listening. I will put it in. No it's on the podcast. Definitely gonna take that. Sounds really cool, especially that it's not like just in a city that you would probably ever go to, you know, like Atlanta, Georgia, I've been there. I'm sure other people at least go there and we'll have stuff like that. But that is an experience on top of the value that you're bringing that is very specific. So that is like a vacation and a conference

Liz:

to, and then if people want, you know, and they can stay a little longer or they can hop up to Anchorage, Do you more or they can go early and then gum anyway. So if they want to make a whole Alaska adventure of it, they can.

Alex:

Yeah. And then, uh, however that is, uh, Liz's Instagram as well, Liz dot Mauro. Um, you can message her on Instagram. Uh, she'll definitely get back to you on that. That's so cool. Um, awesome. Anything else before jump off?

Liz:

I don't like damaging anything else? No, I think, I think that's it.

Alex:

Yeah. All right. Well, that is a pin in me of a DIY entrepreneur. Right. They're literally killing it in all facets. So I'm so blessed to have, have you on here. Um, I can't wait to hopefully meet you in Haven, excuse me, in Atlanta, Georgia. So again, seriously, thank you from Baltimore for taking out time out of your day to do episode seven.

Liz:

Thank you for having me. This is so fun. Of course.

Alex:

Yet again, another amazing conversation. So thank you to Lee. It's, uh, it's obvious how talented she is across the board from interior design to DIY and definitely go check out her account. She has some really cool things on there. And now that I'm thinking about it, I honestly forgot to ask her a question. Uh, she actually did one for kitchen makeup. And one of her homes for only $652. And if you look at the transformation, you would think she put 15 grand into it. So, um, not only does she have an eye for the design, but she can really do it. She does everything from start to finish super budget friendly. Really something that I aspire to be. Uh, and again, the DIY awards is one of the coolest things out there, uh, really special in our space. And I hope to see her at the Haven conference. Um, if you were interested in that again, this is not like a sponsored dinner or anything, but by all means, shoot me a message. If you have any questions, uh, I'm learning as well, but again, you don't have to have any sort of. Situation or maximum or minimum amount of followers. Uh, if you're interested in doing it, it's all DIY people getting together in Atlanta, Georgia over the summer. So there will be brands there. You'll learn how to grow your account, all the business aspects of it, um, and everything in between. So that'll be really cool. Thank you again for being here fit. If you're able to leave a rating of a four or five, again, as always, I'm not greedy three-star and below you can keep to yourself. Cause my momma told me anything that you have mean to say, keep it to yourself. So keep those three stars and blips yourself. But if you are able to take 17 seconds out of your day to. Uh, four or five star, it would mean the world. Um, and yeah. Seriously, thank you for being here. I can't wait to bring episode eight and thank you again, Liz, uh, for, uh, an amazing episode seven. So thanks again. And until next time