Community is an important concept to mom and entrepreneur Amy Locurto.
The Dallas-area graphic designer is also an active blogger and busy crafter, a nurturer of online relationships and encourager to other women , and a family photographer.
She’s just returned from Blissdom, a national conference of mostly female bloggers who meet to network, to improve their sites and businesses and to share their passion for social media.
Locurto, 39, is co-founder of the popular website IHeartFaces.com, which shares photography tips and sponsors weekly contests that draw up to 1,000 entries at a time. She also manages the website livinglocurto.com, on which she shares fanciful party ideas, crafts and free templates for cards and stationery. She also sells printable projects.
“I’m a creative person,” she says. “I always have ideas in my head.”
We visited by phone and e-mail this week. Here are excerpts.
How has the Internet changed how moms interact with other moms?
Being able to connect through social media via smart phones and computers has made it possible for women to create bonds with other women they would have never had the opportunity to meet in the past. We can find and support each other across the globe, share struggles, passions and get our voices heard. Online relationships are very much “real” relationships, now we just have the ability to connect with even more people.
Is it important for you, as an artist, to be able to share your ideas and creations with others?
It’s important for me to inspire others to be creative or to try something new. I hope sharing my creative projects with others will make that happen.
Do you have tips for nurturing creativity in children?
Be positive and encourage your child to use their imagination.
Read to your children.
Encourage them to try new things.
Play with them! Do crafts, bake, paint, play pretend, dress-up, play instruments, dance or sing.
If they like to draw, give them blank paper. Come up with ideas for what to draw. For example, ask them to draw a story about your family.
What do you learn from other moms in the process of managing your business and websites?
I get a lot of moms thanking me for giving them a fun idea or activity to do with their children. That makes me feel great and realize that I’m doing more than just designing something, but helping to create memories. I also get a lot of suggestions for parties or printables that they would like to see, so that helps me decide on what projects to work on next.
Is there still room for more women in the blogging/entrepreneurial world?
Absolutely. It’s not about a diary anymore. It’s about providing content that’s going to help people. Most people who blog aren’t making income off their blog alone. They’re marketing a service or product from the blog — maybe an interior designer, consultant, etsy.com designer.
There’s so much to be done still. There’s lots of room.
Tyra Damm is a Briefing columnist. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.