Faced with an important choice: go to the pub or go to a Private View for hand-printed wallpaper, Katie Treggiden opted with the latter and thus her blog confessions of a design geek was born. Otherwise we'd be talking about what the pub was like on that fateful day.
Tell us about your blog, how did you get started? Why did you choose your subject?
confessions of a design geek is a design blog that discovers, champions and inspires new designers. One night my work colleagues were all off to the pub and invited me to join them. I confessed that I couldn’t because I was off to a Private View for some hand-printed wallpaper and one of them said that I should start a design blog. The rest, as they say, is history!
How do you source content for your blog?
I go to design fairs all over the world like Maison et Objet in Paris, the Stockholm Furniture Fair in Sweden, Milan Design Week, Dutch Design Week, the London Design Festival… I'm always on the hunt for new designers who haven’t been picked up by the mainstream media yet.
Do you have a favourite post or one that best sums up your blog?
Not a post as such, but a project. In 2012 I launched the confessions of a design geek bursary. This year the winner, Fanny Shorter, received a prize worth £10K including a stand at Home London, a photo shoot, a film shoot, her product stocked in the Southbank Centre shop and mentoring in everything from SEO to PR from eight industry experts. I think that project best sums up what confessions of a design geek is about.
Do you write reviews? How many people read your reviews?
I do write reviews but more of events than products. I’m more interested in the design and making process and the designer than the final product.
How did you build a following for your blog?
It all happened quite organically. I share links to new posts via Twitter and Facebook and I have a Pinterest page, so I think a lot of people find it that way. I’m a big believer in “If you build it they will come” so I’ve just tried to create something that people will want to read and leave the rest to happen naturally.
Are you a PR friendly blog? Do you accept contributions and content for your blog?
I write all my content myself, because I think it’s important to have a consistent voice and I think people read my blog because they trust my judgement. I’m quite careful to remain independent, so I auction off any press freebies I’m given in aid of Maggie’s every year.
How best do you like to be approached by PRs?
I have submission guidelines on my blog so as long as PRs have read those and are pitching something that’s relevant to my blog, I’m always delighted to hear from them. I love any opportunity to get to see something for myself – whether that’s at an event or in a factory.
What’s in store for your blog in 2014?
I’ve just got back from Paris and I'm off to Stockholm on Sunday, so expect lots more coverage of new designers from the international design fairs. BRINK will be back at Tent London in September – a showcase of the best of 2014’s design graduates. And I’ll be launching the 2015 bursary towards the end of the year, which will be even bigger and better. 2014’s going to be a good year – I can feel it!
You can find Katie tweeting @coadg