Ever since I was a child I was very art and design oriented. I loved to paint, sew and collage. After studying art in college I moved to Italy and began to think about design as a way to make a living using my creative talents. I opened a small boutique for vintage and new-designer clothing and I found that after a few years, I was most excited about finding vintage objects and furniture for the shop. It was then that I realized my passion for decor and began working on home decor projects.
Vintage books-I’m obsessed with one right now that’s called “Textiles and Ornaments of India” from the Museum of Modern Art (1956). Nature and travel inspire immensely. When I’m stuck at home and need a little inspiration, I turn to some of my favorite blogs–including Old Brand New, Moon to Moon and Happy Mundane. And of course–there’s Pinterest–some of my favorite pinners for decor are Nicole Valentine Don and Victoria Vu. Also, the Rose Bowl Flea market is a spot that really exercises my imagination.
There’s no one place. Where I feel creative changes all the time–but traveling in general always brings it out in me.
You can read more about my professional journey here.
Yes! I think we are all born with incredible creativity! I think anyone who has children can attest to just how creative young people are–it’s truly amazing. As we grow older, I believe it’s those people who are able to hold onto that imaginative play that are the most creative.
I like to call myself a creative because I do so much different stuff in the creative field. Sometimes I just go with ‘designer.’ When people keep digging I tell people that I run a multidisciplinary design studio and design blog. 🙂
1.) Create original content (don’t just ‘curate’)
2.) Know yourself and your style and your brand. You should be able to answer questions like –what does your brand smell like? (mine smells like plumeria) 🙂
3.) Be consistent–post everyday.
4.) Engage with others on those platforms you’re trying to grow
5.) Partner with brands and likeminded folks that are at similar ‘level’ and grow together
At times I do. I think that I’m probably my harshest critic though. I think it helps with both my self-judgement and the judgement of others that my husband is a stay-at-home dad–I would certainly feel more guilty if Ida were at a daycare all day–but since she’s with her dad it’s like I get a pass 🙂
The stay-at-home dad thing has been a real blessing for us. We have been doing this basically since I stopped breast feeding at 16 months. Jason and I were both freelancers before and it wasn’t like one day we made a decision to split our roles like this–it was a natural progression. As my work picked up and I got my book deal and the blog was gaining momentum he just started doing more of the ‘parenting’ stuff I starting bringing home more bacon. The more this went on, the more we both felt like it made sense and then we just kinda made it official. But it doesn’t come without its own set of challenges. Living in Los Angeles on one income is very challenging. The money stuff is real. Sometimes we’re broke and putting everything on credit cards. Luckily, Jason’s very cool about it all–we’re super go-with-the-flow– I think you have to be that way in order to make this type of thing work out.
I work pretty much 9-5 five days a week. The rest of the time is family time–especially weekends. Ida and I also have special ‘mommy and me dates twice a week. Usually it’s a spa day and a flea market date!
Ask for double.
For the most part it’s very clear when you are engaging with Justina or when it’s one of my employees. On The Jungalow Instagram account that’s not me personally, but someone on the team. On my blog, and my Instagram, that’s me! I try really hard to look at the site and comment back to people there, to really engage.
Anytime I’ve taken a ‘real’ 9-5 job in the past it’s been super hard for me. I’m a VERY hard worker and give a lot and then, all of the sudden, I find when I’m working towards someone else’s dream I find I get burnt out.
I’m thrilled to share that I’m launching Justina Blakeney Home next year!! Everyone will be able to quickly and easily turn a home into a jungalow very soon.
If you can walk you can dance, if you can talk you can sing. ~Nigerian Proverb.
Flea Markets, World Market, Ross, eBay, Etsy,
Cover all of the surfaces in rad textiles and then garnish with plants 🙂