Bearded Backchat with Chantele from Two Hearts One Roof
Bearded Backchat is a chance for me to interview PR people and fellow bloggers. This week it’s Chantele from Two Hearts One Roof. I know absolutely nothing about Chantele, apart from the fact that she is an award-winning blogger (Welsh Lifestyle Blog of the Year, no less!) so this is a chance for me to learn about her at the same time as everyone else reading this!
Who are you?
Chantele and my hubby (who occasionally writes on the blog) is Jon.
What is your “day job”?
We run a Wedding and Newborn Photography business! www.crossjonesphotography.com But I am also an usherette at a local theatre and fashion editor of a local magazine www.theswanseabay.co.uk.
What is your blog called and where can we find it?
It’s called Two Hearts One Roof - www.twoheartsoneroof.com and hubby is very proud that he come up with the name after days of us brainstorming. We knew we wanted something that summed up us and the fact that we were starting the blog as we started the new chapter in our lives of buying our first home together.
What’s your blog about?
Oh, everything!! It was started as an interior design and general lifestyle blog to mark us being our first home, but now it includes all aspects of our life as we can’t really decide on a niche and think we work better when we are free to write about lots of stuff. So now you’ll find home interiors, lots of food, travel, fashion and beauty occasionally, technology, pet product reviews and most recently pregnancy related posts.
So now you’ll find home interiors, lots of food, travel, fashion and beauty occasionally, technology, pet product reviews and most recently pregnancy related posts.
Ah, sounds like my blog. “Eclectic”! Why did you start blogging?
I actually started blogging back in 2009 under the blog Daisy Dayz which was a fashion blog. I trained as a journalist in Uni and simply love to write, so when I finished my degree and couldn’t get a writing job I started the blog to stop me going completely stir crazy.
I had never read other blogs before, had no idea what I was doing and didn’t expect it to be something I would come to love quite so much as I do.
Why do you still blog?
It’s addictive! And I can’t imagine not writing a blog now that I have been doing it for so long. I took an almost 9-month break back in 2013 when I had begun to not love Daisy Dayz anymore.
I had outgrown it and it really didn’t fit me as I was at that time, fashion was no longer such a big part in my life and Daisy Dayz was the 21-year-old me, not the 25-year-old me. But I missed blogging so much after the first 3-4 months, both the writing and the social aspect of it, that I decided I simply needed to start a fresh and rebrand. Luckily Jon was happy to help me this time round and we spent a few months researching and working with a designer to get everything just right before launching Two Hearts back in June 2014.
But I missed blogging so much after the first 3-4 months, both the writing and the social aspect of it, that I decided I simply needed to start a fresh and rebrand.
Luckily Jon was happy to help me this time round and we spent a few months researching and working with a designer to get everything just right before launching Two Hearts back in June 2014.
How has blogging changed since you started?
Hugely! It was still a relatively small and unknown thing back in 2009. I personally only knew a handful of local bloggers when I first started. Now there are 1000’s and that’s just in Cardiff!
There has been a massive boom in the field and although there have been good things to come of it, lots more posts to read and a bigger social aspect to it, it’s also brought lots more problems and difficulties, stolen content and general bitchiness for example.
But thanks to its growth and visibility increasing it does mean we are often taken a lot more seriously by brands and PR’s which is nice.
Would you count your blog as a job or something fun to do in your spare time?
I have always stood by the fact that I write purely for me, purely because I would go mad if I wasn’t writing something, so that means I tend not to worry about things like stats and rankings (when everyone else is panicking over the latest Moz updated I really couldn’t care less).
I do what I do simply because I love to do it. BUT…that being said I still take my blog seriously, I wouldn’t allow it to be filled with rubbish, and I wont post something for the sake of posting it.
I value all my readers and followers and love that little bit of recognition my work gets when people comment or share something I have worked hard to write.
I enjoy working with brands and companies and still do believe we should be fairly paid for the writing and promotional work we do for them (I think that’s the journalist in me! Writing is a job, career and profession no matter what PR people sometimes think) so in that sense I suppose it is a job (I still have to fill in a tax return saying its work after all!) but it’s a job I really love and do because I want to, not because I need to. If I ever fall out of love with it then I will know its time to step away!
Where do you get the inspiration to write a blog post?
My brain tends to be full of post ideas, some which make it on to the blog and others that don’t.
A lot of my posts are focused around food so those are usually easy as it’s whatever I’m cooking. But others are based on things happening in our everyday life, or posts that I myself think would be useful to others, like my recent post of 25 Great Guides for First Time Parents.
It’s something I would want to read now I’m pregnant so I thought why don’t I just write it then.
If you could recommend three other blogs to read, what three would you recommend and why?
Oh, that’s a hard one!
I adore Apartment Therapy for design inspiration and general DIY.
I have to give a shout out to my very first blogging friend and the first blogger I ever meet in person, the lovely Gemma from Fat Frocks and we are both still going strong all these years on.
And I have recently fallen in love with 30 Handmade Days for her sheer organised and creativeness!
What is the single best thing that has come about as a result of your blog?
Being awarded the Best Welsh Lifestyle Blog of the Year in 2012! I never expected anything like that and I was so honoured me and my little blog (Daisy Dayz Blog) had been noticed.
What would be your perfect blog post?
Right now if someone fancied giving me and Jon a free holiday somewhere nice to review and post about that would be awesome! lol! We work so hard on the business and our little bean is due in June we could really do with a holiday, lol!
What can you recommend to other bloggers to increase the traffic to their sites?
Personally, I would recommend you stop worrying about traffic and just enjoy your blog!!
Ha! An entirely correct approach but also a cop-out answer lol. Which brands do you enjoy working with?
M&S have always been great to work with, I’ve done quite a few fun recipe posts with them, as are Degustabox - there is nothing better than a surprise box of food and edible treats turning up at your door once a month.
I must admit that I’ve heard so many things about Degustabox. I keep meaning to contact them myself about working together. Anyone else?
I’ve also been working for a long time with Crabtree and Evelyn, I adore their products and their PR team are all lovely to talk to.
Everyone has that one company that they have always wanted to work with but have never quite been able to. Who is yours?
Do you know what I really don’t think there is! I have been lucky enough to work with all sorts of brands in one capacity or another. I would have said Vivienne Westwood but I was lucky enough to be invited to their store launch and the new season collection roll-outs in the Cardiff Store over the past few years which have always been fun events.
At the moment, I would say I am looking for baby brands to work with as we are about to become first-time parents in June, ideally someone like Tots Bots (which would be awesome as I plan to cloth nappy once bean gets big enough!) or The Gro Company. Even baby and parenting PR specialists like Bump PR, Azaria or Cirkle. In fact, any baby or kiddy PR’s out there; I’m open for emails!!! hehe!
Jon would love to get the opportunity to work with Nikon or some other camera gear brand as obviously as photographers we are always interested in Camera gear or new items on the market.
What is your own personal favourite post on your site?
Eek, it would be hard to narrow it down to one, so how about a two-fold.
I wrote an incredibly difficult and emotional post last year after something happened to us personally, I cant say it’s a favourite post or anything simply due to how hard it was for me to write it and how upsetting the whole situation was but the response I had from it was amazing, and I still stand by the fact that I wrote it to raise awareness and to try to break the taboo situated around the subject - That was my Breaking the Taboo on Miscarriage: Our Story post.
I was amazed by how many women had also been through this and it opened the channel of communication for so many people to talk to me and open up about their situations.
I hope it continues to help others dealing with miscarriage and those close to them.
And as a follow up I would say the day we announced we were pregnant with bean! It was definitely the happiest and most exciting post although I was still scared stiff about miscarrying again, but we had so many well wishers and so much positivity and love from that post.
Whose blog would you love to be featured on or write a guest post for?
If Apartment Therapy wanted to feature some of our home I think I would die and go to heaven, lol!
Lastly, if you were to interview another blogger, what question would you ask that I haven’t asked here?…
I think you’ve pretty much-covered everything!!
I’ll take that as an answer! Thank you!
Thanks, Chantele! I think they were some of most in-depth answers we have had in this series! Good luck with the impending arrival, and don’t forget if you’re stuck for names that “Danny” is suitable for all sexes! lol
You can catch up with Chantele in all of the usual places:
Don’t forget to visit the Two Hearts One Roof blog too.
(Header adapted from an original design by www.lucykatedesign.co.uk, with thanks)