Jen Ramos of ‘Made By Girl’ On God, Business, and Overcoming Challenges

Filed under REAL Stories Your World on Aug 31 12 by

Jen Ramos of Made by GirlJen Ramos is a woman of many talents. She is the founder of MadebyGirl, an online company that sells paper goods, typographical posters, accessories, and paintings. Her blog has a large following and contains articles on everything from interior design to easy fashion DIY projects. Jen runs her business from the home she shares with her husband in New York City. In her interview with The You Are Project, the driven entrepreneur talks about her life, her business, and her love for God.

YOU ARE: What is the most important thing that our readers should know about you?
Jen: The most important thing is that I love God and that he is very much a part of my life.

YOU ARE: You started your business in 2007. What challenges did you face in the start-up phase, and how did you overcome them?
Jen: Challenges were everywhere. I was starting a company, MadeByGirl, in an industry that had no idea who I was. I recall being turned down many times to even do link exchanges with other bloggers because my blog was so new. I spent 14 hours a day, almost everyday, working on marketing and designs to get my company off the ground. There were days my husband would eat alone at the dinner table because I was still busy working. I feel bad about these days, but he forgives me.

YOU ARE: What does your typical workday look like?
Jen: I take care of the needs of my dog in the morning. Then I get to my desk and respond to emails. Most times I’m working on marketing or sourcing out new ideas for blog posts. There are days that I’m also painting commissions for clients, which can take up a few hours depending on the size. Either way, I work too much.

MadeByGirl

Jen blogs on decorating and more at MadeByGirl.com.

YOU ARE: What is your favorite aspect of running MadeByGirl?
Jen: Being able to create a brand that people recognize is something I’ve enjoyed. However, my favorite part is when we get to see photos of homes that feature some of my designs; that’s a cool feeling.

YOU ARE: How would you describe your painting and design style?
Jen: As an overall, I’d describe it as very colorful and happy.

YOU ARE: Running your own business is an exciting and difficult journey. How do you stay motivated and keep moving forward during times of fatigue?
Jen: I’m not going to lie, I’m not always motivated. When I have felt fatigued, I’ve discovered that getting outside and taking in new inspiration helps! However, since earlier this year, I’ve been feeling that ‘burned out’ feeling with blogging. It’s been feeling like the same thing over and over again. Some days I debate whether to continue blogging or get involved in something more challenging and rewarding. According to other bloggers who I’ve spoken to, blogging in general seems to be dying. Traffic has decreased on many blogs. If you look around carefully you can see this to be a fact. In my opinion, I feel Pinterest has a lot to do with it. In fact, the rise of Pinterest seems to be taking readers away from blogs. It’s an interesting dynamic, because Pinterest is a great tool for marketing, but at the same time it pulls readers away. People seem to be looking for fast solutions to everything. They have an “I want everything fast” mentality, and they don’t seem to care to read anymore. Pinterest is perfect in that sense where people can just flip through images quickly without getting too involved.

Cocoa & Hearts

Jen sells her colorful artwork at www.cocoaandhearts.com

YOU ARE: You recently moved to New York City. What has been the most exciting aspect of this move?
Jen: The most exciting aspect is that I get to see my family more, and boredom doesnt strike as often as it used to. When I lived in Las Vegas, it was a challenge to not be bored.

YOU ARE: At The You Are Project, we encourage women to pursue the things that they are passionate about. What advice would you give to another woman who wants to start a business or a blog?
Jen: I would encourage them to think things through carefully and ask themselves, is this what you love to do? Is this what you’re truly passionate about? If so, then go for it! Being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone. Keep in mind, you shouldn’t want your own business because you don’t like your boss or where you work. You should want to start a business because it’s the thing you love and the thing that drives you every morning. Blogging on the other hand is tricky. I started blogging at an interesting time; there was plenty of room to grow and get noticed. However, I’ve noticed things have changed over time—I feel blogging is becoming over-saturated. Everyone seems to have a blog nowadays, so the originality aspect of it is slowly disappearing. I wouldn’t encourage anyone these days to start blogging for business because it’s a different time—and certainly don’t leave your job to blog. Few bloggers can actually say they are blogging full-time and making money, so just be aware of that. Now, if you feel you have something different to bring to the table in the blogging world, I’d say do it.

YOU ARE: Finally, when do you feel the most in love with God?
Jen: When I’m worshipping at church, but also when I’m reading his word. God is amazing. Those who haven’t experienced what it’s like to know him—wow, what they are missing…

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Lauren D'Alessandro
As the founder of The You Are Project’s print magazine and blog, Lauren is passionate about developing publications that inspire creativity and action. Lauren is the Editor-in-Chief of You Are REAL and the creator and manager of our website. Her dream is to continue using writing and publications as tools for communicating God’s love to the world. Keep up with her latest endeavors at laurendalessandro.com.