We first ran into the Smith’s when their loft apartment was featured on a little blog known as Apartment Therapy (no big deal!). Cale and I ooed and awed at a do-it-yourself modern home renovation right here in Oklahoma! After that we were hooked. We started stalking er, umm following the Smith’s blog and found ourselves enjoying their love for family and self-employment so much that we had to use our latest Creatives Near You interview to get to know them a little bit better.
Meridith is a stay-at-home mom who runs Smitty Baby, an online Baby shop. She does pretty much everything, from dreaming up product ideas to actually making them come to life while Jason helps out on the marketing and business side. Jason dabbles in just about anything he drums up in that ginger head of his—but right now he pays the bills mainly from writing bail bonds/bounty hunting, freelance video and music (recording, editing, marketing) via HOLY CLAP! and printing/publishing independent authors.
Q1. How are your personalities alike and how they are different?
A1) For the most part, Jason’s the type A guy and I’m more type B. While he’s busy drawing up plans for his next project, you can find me out on the back deck watching the kid’s swim listening to Kings of Convenience Pandora radio. However, we are both very flexible and low maintenance and tend to enjoy the same things…mainly creating.
Q2) How do you balance a healthy home and running your own business?
A2) Still trying to figure that out. Usually, we just make sure to play catch up with things that got left off last week’s agenda, weather that’s SB orders, time at the park with the kids, or swapping stories with each other.
Q3) What was the inspiration behind starting Smitty Baby?
A3) I knew I wanted to stay home with my babies, which meant I could no longer teach school. Jason recognized my passion for putting together unique fabrics, so he suggested that I do that for other people. With babies on the brain… bam! You have Smitty Baby! It didn’t hurt that we had a cooperative 6 month old that happily complied to the occasional fittings and photo shoots. Although I’ve always done every bit of the creative side/sewing, it would’ve never happened without Jason’s encouragement and gentle shove in the right direction.
Q4) What advice do you have for creatives and/or couples wanting to start their own business?
A4) Meridith: From my side, I’d say take a leap! You don’t know what you can do unless you give it a shot. I realize that wouldn’t have been my motto three years ago. It felt so big back then. Oh, and Jason always says to make friends with other creatives.
A4) Jason: Don’t be afraid to start your creative business on the side at first. First of all you may find out that you don’t actually love being forced to do the thing that you “love” everyday. Also, though you will have to make a leap at some point, it doesn’t have to be in the beginning. Let something else be your main source of income for a while. Learn and test the market while you’re still a nobody and can afford mistakes. As far as a couple, as in the rest of your relationship, find out who shines at what and run with it.
(By the way, those were answered at separate times without reading each others responses. Funny.)
Q5. How does where you live inspire your creative process?
A5) Meridith: For me, living in this small Oklahoma town, it feels like my ideas are very original and unique. So, in that way, it’s fun and I feel inspired. It’s great to have my sister’s close to bounce ideas of off, too.
A5) Jason: Honestly, it probably dampens it somewhat for me. I could go into a boringly long answer, but I will refrain. Simply put iron sharpens iron, and by population, there is just less iron out here. I thrive on a good challenge so I make the most of being out here. Learning things from the locals that I couldn’t have as easily in the city, like harvesting your own lumber, shop work kind of things.
AND NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF!
Q6) Describe a typical Jason and Meridith date night?
A6) Start with an amazing idea. Then, think about a baby sitter and how much trouble and money it takes to square that away. Take about ten steps backwards until we end up talking ourselves out of it, putting the kids to bed, popping a bag of Homestyle popcorn and watching the first ten minutes of five different movies on Netflix until we can’t keep our lids open any longer. However, we do have the most amazing restaurant/bar/hangout in all of Oklahoma practically in our backyard. It’s called Whitedog Hill…. it’s definitely worth the trip to Western Oklahoma to check it out.
Q7) What are your top five favorite kid-friendly hangouts?
- La Cantina (it’s actually what we call our back patio)
- Quartz Mountain and Wichita Wildlife Refuge
- Oklahoma City Zoo
- Acme Brick Park (our local park)
- The Wedge Pizzeria (in OKC, good place to teach the kids to play Bocce)
Q8) You guys make parenting look like so much fun! How do you create and maintain your carefree home life?
A8) Bissell Little Green wet vac. Lots of easy gourmet sandwich supplies. Bubbles and backup bubbles. Dancing. Back patio (clothing optional) kiddie pool time. Costumes. kid friendly home concerts and parties. The many costumes of Wylder.
Q9) What is your favorite home remodeling memory OR catastrophe?
A9) Jason once ran into our local doctor’s office (next door) complaining of numb arms. He just knew he had lead poisoning from his marathon sanding session the day before. Turned out that sanding for twelve hours straight with an industrial orbital sander will do a number on your arm muscles. Fatigue will get ya every time.
I’m so glad we built a roof on top of the existing roof so we could insulate while exposing the ceiling. Great idea on Jason’s part.
Q10) Jason, what are the top 5 most played songs in your iTunes?
A10) We listen to albums more so than just songs, so under the ITUNES “Top 25 most played” it lists songs from these three albums:
- Helplessness Blues- Fleet Foxes
- Bon Iver- Bon Iver
- Strange Negotiations- David Bazan
- I cant wait to fill 2 of these spots with St Vincent and Blind Pilot when their new albums drop Sept 13.
Q11) Meridith, is the fact that your husband is a bounty hunter as sexy and flashy as it seems?
A11) Hmmmm. Which part? The Stinch of cheap cigarettes on his Levi’s from his clients, cleaning up his hamburgered back flesh from doing things like getting drug under a car, or having to listen to 3am phone conversations from the same drunk that keeps calling continuously forgetting the previous phone conversations? Sexy probably wouldn’t be the word I would use to describe his job. Interesting? Exciting? Yes.
Don’t get me wrong. He’s sexy, but it has nothing to do with his job.
I now have the Smith’s to thank in furthering my baby craze! How can you not ADORE their apricot tops (as Meridith calls them) and their carefree family lifestyle. Thanks for the interview Smitty’s and to all you readers PLEASE tell our new friends how much you just love them!
Follow the Smith’s and all the fun happenings with Smitty Baby on their blog along with crazy bounty hunting stories and topless camping trips via Jason’s blog.
From the Farm
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