Welcome to day two of the blog party! Today, I welcome Sandi Tuttle from the blog An Average Woman in a Superwoman World.
If you missed day one, pop on back and take a peek. It was a great interview with Ms. Tia Silverthorne Bach, author of the book Depression Cookies. Today, we add to the giveaway some really cool prizes! A couple of coffee mugs! See the photos after the post to get an idea of what you'll be winning!
Without futher ado, may I present Ms. Sandi Tuttle, coffee lover, blogger, radio show host, and designer of fine wraps for women. Ms. Tuttle is also writing a book on finding the perfect dress. Read on to find out more...
Jo: Today, I’d like to welcome Ms. Sandi Tuttle from the Average Woman in a Superwoman World blog and radio show. We’re gonna do a giveaway in honor of Ms. Tuttle but that’ll come at the end of the post. Let’s get started!
Hi, Sandi! Nice to have you! I’m gonna lead in with questions about you, then we’ll get going on your blog, clothing, radio show, and works you may have in progress. Tell us a little about your family. Where did you meet your husband?
Sandi: It’s great to talk with you, Jo! You're one of my fav people! OK, I met my husband in Orientation when we both started a new job on the same day. I had the shortest hair of the women, and he had the longest hair of the guys. I thought he was cute. We found out we were working on the same project, for the same boss. We even had cubicles next to each other. Kind of like Karma was giving me a hand… We found out we had daughters the same age, liked the same music, and ended up liking each other a lot!
Jo: I'd say you did! You married him! Ha! What were some of the difficulties of blending your existing families together?
Sandi: Wow. OK, I'm a Catholic. I was raised a Presbyterian. He's Jewish, but converted when his daughters were born. He was raised Protestant also. We had to make sure that I didn’t do too many ‘Catholic’ things, since this upset his ex. Kind of tough when your kid is in Catholic school, but we managed. We also had to make sure that we kept up with his twins’ religious instruction. So the whole religion thing was touchy.
My ex lives in Connecticut. My family lived in Illinois. Rich’s family lived in Massachusetts. So, whenever his ex and her family had events, we were expected to give up visitation. Driving my daughter to Connecticut for visitation was a problem if it was a weekend when we had the twins. Juggling school events, etc., sometimes got challenging.
The biggest issues surrounded what I guess would be called ‘life values.' On the one side, we were considered far too strict. On the other, far too liberal. We tried to manage this by saying that the girls had to listen to their other parents when they were with them. They had to listen to us when they were with us. When they were 18, they could decide for themselves what they thought was the right way to go forward. It worked a fair amount of the time.
Jo: Your recent radio show about life happening really spawned a response with some of our mutual friends. Where did you get your outlook on life?
Sandi: Not an easy question. I used to be an angry, confused person. Everybody thinks they had a rotten childhood, so I’m not going to bother outlining mine. I just got tired of myself. Got tired of being angry. Realized that if I changed how I looked at things, dealt with things, the whole situation improved. It’s like that song by Sister Hazel: “If you want to be somebody else, if you’re tired of losing battles with yourself, if you want to be somebody else, change your mind…” I wanted to like ME. So I had to learn how to do that. Then, I had to learn how to live and not drive myself crazy. The more I read, learn and share with other people, the more I realize that life really is chaos, with occasional moments of clarity. And the only way you enjoy the ride is to just get off your own back and deal with what you CAN control. You.
Jo: Never were truer words spoken! Why do people call you homebadger?
Sandi: Ha. Evil woman. OK. I can have a temper. I don’t like that side of my personality, but it’s there. One thing that really irks me is when people give my family a hard time. When the girls were younger, they knew that if they came home and complained that there was something ‘done to them’, I would ask them what happened, and then ask them if they wanted me to get involved, or if they wanted to handle it. If they left it to me, I tended to approach things with a ‘scorched earth – take no prisoners’ attitude. Since I worked from home, they started calling me their Home Badger… The name stuck, even if I stopped going nuclear. Now we laugh about it; but they still know if the chips are down, I'll be there. Of course, if I find out they lied to me, they get the full Badger treatment. All’s fair…
Jo: I'd hate to be on the receiving end of one of those rants! On a happier note, did you know that when you’re Googled, you dominate the first three pages of results? How did you manage to do that?
Sandi: No. I've never Googled myself until you mentioned it. I have no idea how I did that. If I did, I'd schedule a webinar and train other people. Just dumb luck, I’m afraid.
Jo: Okay, I’ll quit digging into your personal life now. It's really neat that you make wraps for women and sell them on your website via Etsy. Tell me, how did you decide on a logo for your brand and do you have it on all the labels?
Sandi: I used to have a logo of a ‘home badger’. Actually, it was a logo I came up with for doing artwork from old album covers, and it was a visual play on my initials and my husband’s initials. So, it started out as a rat. I figured I already had it, and how many people know the difference between a rat and a badger anyway? When I got my new website, I decided I needed something to brand “Average Woman,” so I asked my good friend Julie Basello-Holt to help. She owns Creative Genius Gallery in Medford, NJ, and knows all about marketing and branding and art and stuff. I asked her to take a crack at it, sent her some things I was trying (and failing) to do, and she came up with my logo. I had my wonderful mentor, Janet Powers, take a look, and the new logo was a ‘go.' I do have labels with the new logo, and am in the process of sewing them into the products I have on hand.
Jo: You have some of the most interesting guests on your radio show. Where do you meet these people that are so full of character and how do you get them on your show?
Sandi: Thank you! I'm so incredibly lucky! I've just kind of lucked-onto so many of them. One of my favorites, Nikki Johnson-Huston, was introduced to me via email from a friend in the eWomens Network. Another super lady, Kim Harvey, was mentioned in a blog entry by Jackie Bledsoe, and I was intrigued enough to follow up. One woman I met when she came to the store I work at, Fashions by Penina in Marlton, NJ, to pick up a bunch of clothes to put in her consignment shop. Turns out, for the past 18 years, they have funded a 24/7 help line from the proceeds of this consignment shop. I just stay open to the excitement of what other people do, and I have learned not to be afraid to ask. Some people don’t get back to me, but that just means that I have time for the next fun person who comes along.
Jo: It's awesome how you can let it roll off you like that. What do you hope to accomplish with your blog?
Sandi: I would like to say I could find a way to accomplish World Peace. But, if that's a little ambitious, I would like to think that I give other people out there a way to feel good about who they are and what they see in the world. I'd like to show people how to find the fun and whimsy in even the grimmest of days, and hang onto it like a flashlight to get them through the dark times. I hope to show people they can do marvelous things, just like the people I find in my own backyard. They just have to believe it and start putting one foot in front of the other.
Jo: That's an amazing goal. Now for a topic I’m super excited about! Tell us about your upcoming book.
Sandi: As I said, I work in a dress shop. It's actually a specialty dress shop. Mother of the bride, etc. type clothes. We have some really cool casual wear, but we're primarily a specialty dress shop. Shopping stopped being fun for most women I know a long time ago. Between the whole atmosphere at the mall, never being able to find a salesperson in the big stores, and the ravages of time on our bodies, most women I meet hate shopping almost as much as getting root canal. That’s a shame when you're shopping for one of the most exciting days in your life.
So many times, I have heard women say, “I never knew that… why didn’t I know that…” when I explain some of the hints and tips for finding a perfect dress. So, one day I decided to tell them. It’s kind of that simple. I work with amazing people who have a wealth of experience to draw on, and I have a few stories that can make even the worst situation funny, if you're willing to see the humor.
So, I'm thinking of calling it Cinderella’s Closet: Tips to Finding the Perfect Dress. It won’t be quite as long as War and Peace, but sometimes being in the middle of a bridal party fight over dresses can seem as bloody. It’s my job to diffuse the situation, and help each woman look in the mirror and have that, “Ah Hah” moment when she feels beautiful. That’s what it’s all about.
Jo: Do you plan to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher?
Sandi: I don’t know. I have all the wonderful tips from the ABC participants bookmarked, but I haven’t had the time to really get down and dirty and absorb the pros and cons. I can be bought, but since I don’t think some big publisher is going to just trip over me, I'm more than happy to explore self-publishing.
Jo: If you do, let me know! Well, that’s all the time we have for today. Thank you so much, Sandi, for agreeing to talk with me. I’ll be keeping an eye on you!
Sandi: It’s been my pleasure, Jo. As you always say: “Keep Writing”!
As a recap, you may find and connect with Sandi the following ways:
An Average Woman in a Superwoman World blog
An Average Woman in a Superwoman World radio show
On Twitter: @AverageWomanSJ
On Facebook: AverageWomanSJ
Home Badger Creations
Now, enter to win these great mugs! Sandi and I both love coffee, so we decided to do these instead of the usual, hum-drum stuff. I hope you enjoy!
Sandi's mug will feature this image:
And the link to view mine is here: WSTW mug.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
On to today's great blogs to follow and read!
The first two are book reviewers. You all know how much I love them!
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
On Facebook: Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
On Twitter: @kimbacaffeinate
One More Chapter Reviews
On Facebook: One More Chapter Reviews
And today's author is:
On Twitter: @getpulled
Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!