Thursday, July 17, 2008

Interview with Mewsmom

Today's interview is with Mewsmom, who is one of Polyvore's most popular interior designers. She is famous for making picture perfect living rooms and bedrooms that look like seamless photographs. At age 60, Mewsmom claims she is the "oldest person at Polyvore". She also happens to be the mother of gokarm, another top Polyvore user who we interviewed a few weeks ago! Like her daughter, Mewsmom has also won a ton of Polyvore contests -- she has one 1st place, one 2nd place, and one 3rd place.

1st place in the Furnish a Room contest

Tell us about yourself.

Whew! Where do I start. I guess I'll start with my age. Probably the oldest person on Polyvore, I am 60 years old. I live in Oak Ridge, New Jersey with my husband and daughter. My husband and I are both transplants from Wisconsin due to his taking a job at Nabisco (now Kraft) 27 years ago. For those who don't know it, Oak Ridge is a very pretty part of NJ. It's in the furthest northwestern area and is well stocked with trees and small mountains.

I don't have a regular job except for teaching piano, but I have only one student left so that's dwindling. I do, however, spend a fair amount of time working for my church as treasurer, choir director and writer/editor of the monthly newsletter. Right now my future aspirations lean towards retirement. We're looking to retire next year sometime and then move to a home we already own in Madison, Wisconsin.

How did you discover Polyvore?

This one is easy. Gokarm! Yup, she's my daughter. I saw her working on Polyvore one day and asked her about it and the rest is history. She gets into it much more seriously than I do. I really just love the fun of it. Of course, it's nice to win a contest occasionally. We also introduced my other daughter (the one in Wisconsin) to Polyvore. Her handle is animalia. She's legally blind, but with a specially equipped computer, she can see enough to enjoy her time on Polyvore.

Tell us a little about what you use Polyvore for and why.

I really just consider it a big toy. However, since spending so much time with it, I have learned a lot about the fashion designers; who I like and who I don't. The down side is I'm a LOT pickier about the clothes I buy now so shopping isn't always as rewarding. But when I find "designer sales" I appreciate them a lot more. I also try to purchase some of the items I use on Polyvore, but so, so many are way to small for me. . .so I save money there.

Those who are familiar with my sets know I do a lot of interior design. This is the MOST fun for me. It would take me months to accumulate all the items I use in these rooms and it's just fantastic that I can "virtually" shop all over the place and make my selections in a matter of hours. Here again, there's a down side. When I find myself in a store with furniture displays, it's all I can do to keep myself from rearranging, switching pillows, etc. The best thing about this aspect of Polyvore is it's helped me in decorating my own house. And I already have tons of ideas for the "new" house.

Describe your set creation process.

For the fashion sets, I really do follow the same pattern. I always find the main item first and usually it's a dress. It gets blown up as large as possible (if it's fuzzy, I look for another). Then I search for shoes and always look for something a little different because I feel they grab the "eye". After shoes comes the bag/clutch and here I try for strange (especially if the shoes are a little plain). But the color is important. Then earrings, necklace, bracelet and perhaps a ring. After that, if necessary I add some sort of decoration. Lately it's been a bottle of designer fragrance but I like to use flowers too.

For my interior design sets it's not quite as cut and dried. If I can, I try to start with an empty room (but those are not always easy to work with). Otherwise, I build in this order: Wall, floor/rug, window/curtains, sofa/bed, chairs, tables, lighting, plants and flowers and lastly other decorations like knicknacks, magazines, books, food, etc. The most important aspect of building these interior design sets is PERSPECTIVE. When I look at other sets, it's the one constant error I find. Objects in the back should ALWAYS be smaller than those in the front.

Where do you get inspiration for your sets?

Most of the time it's just out of my head, feelings, mood, etc. Occasionally, I see an interesting item in another set that I decide to try to try my hand with--a cool dress, bag, sofa, rug. I know a lot of people use a picture for inspiration, but not me. Just can't get into that. I have done a couple sets based on Gokarm's original watercolors. That was fun.

What are your 3 favorite sets of the ones you've made?

This is a difficult task as I have 13 pages of sets and if I don't like them, I usually delete them.

Here are my 3 favorite Interior Design sets.

For My Mom. Betty Boop in the tub. I just like the way this one turned out.

Fantasy Suite. I just loved this bed, but it was difficult to use. This was a difficult set to do, but I'm fairly satisfied with the end result.

Le Grande. I really love this set. I love that it was possible to create the illusion of a second floor. And I love the colors.

And now my favorite fashion sets:

After the Ball. I just love the glitz. The way this fantastic dress moves. And the diamonds! And all in that beautiful background which is a picture I took of the Pantheon in Rome!

Lady. This may not be one of my most spectacular sets, but I just love it. It's so, so, so elegant! Definitely class and not crass.

Rainbow Rivalry. What fun this is! And it's a perfect set for me because I have a horrible time making up my mind. I just love the way the colors "pop" in this one.

Got any feature requests for the Polyvore team?

Well, I'm sure they're sick of hearing from me. I do want to thank them all again, from the bottom of my heart, for returning the "multiple select" feature. It's just invaluable to me. The other thing I've been requesting is a "rotation" tool. Sometimes I would like to just tweak an item in one direction or another. They say this is very difficult to do so I'm being patient. The other thing I thought recently that might be very useful is theability to change the size of an object--only just one way. Like taller, or wider.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for featuring this "old lady" on your blog and for the nice things you said. Mewsmom

Simon from VR Fashion blog said...

What great designs and fantastic to hear about her experience and motivation...

Nice interview!

Fashion_Queen24 said...

i love the last interior design one! it is great!

flooring perth said...

I love the interior design on the first photo. The wooden flooring made the entire design a compelling one. A wooden flooring also adds value to the house. I will surely make that design as an inspiration for my future home.

Correia Ribeyro said...

Do you have a gallery of your designs? I love living room with lots of curtains and honey comb blinds Perth. I want to be an interior designer like you too because I think that is the job that we will never get tired of because we are having fun designing homes.

Chelsea Wingfield said...

The whole lady in pink polyvore looks very amazing. A lady wearing this will definitely look wonderful on it. I also love the idea of using crystal pumps with it. The girl who owns this probably have a cute cozy room and a cabinet filled with more beautiful dresses.

Courtney Brennan said...

The first prize winner deserves its place. This is exactly what I want for my apartment for rent legaspi village!

Martha Diamond said...

Great interior design. This gave me inspiration and ideas on what to do to our newly purchased vacation house.

Jenna Jenkins said...

The first place deserves it hands down. When I was looking a it, I thought that its an actual photo of a living room. But when I looked at it again, that's the time that I noticed that it was a mosaic.

Blinds said...

Excellent and decent post. I found this much informative, as to what I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up.

Jimmy Braddox said...

Le grande should won. Even though it looks real, the arrangement of Le grande is way better. The winning pic looks compressed and congested.

Jannielyn Maddox said...

I agree with you Jimmy. I like Le grande's too simply because if I were to build my dream home, I want it to have a grand stair case. It's just so elegant and beautiful.

Kat Nielsen said...

Talk about a varying from one design palette to another. She doesn't seem to lean on one style, which is pretty good considering the need for innovation in interiors these days.

Kristine Dale said...

Hats off to this lady designer right here. her setups actually gave me some ideas about how I should rearrange our living room for the fall (cue second picture).

Marty McDonagall said...

I'm getting a good feel from the green-earth feel of the first image. I could probably use that color palette for my next house renovation.

Joshua Fowler said...

Even though you used a program to simulate the design, it appears very lifelike. To be honest, I am thinking of applying the same design on my living room.