Welcome to Design track mind by Melissa Gulley

I am an interior designer from Newton, MA having a lot of fun writing this blog between client appointments, kid stuff, kid school stuff, dog stuff, husband stuff, husband's company stuff (http://www.fueldog.com/), life stuff, old house stuff, family stuff, extended family stuff and the rest of the detail stuff. I am not a writer (clearly) so please ignore the typo's, spelling mistakes and desperate need for proofreading.

Social Media 101

Today at 4:00 I had the pleasure of representing Kravet on a panel discussion on social media at the Boston Design Center.  I am a big fan of kravet- great product all around and I adore the staff at kravet, Lee Jofa, FDO showrooms!  So I was thrilled to be invited to be part of this amazing group of experts.  Leading up to this event I must say I was very nervous, I don't usually speak in front of 200 people- whoa!  So needless to say I only slept 3 hours- I was walking around West Newton Hill at 4 am with my two dogs trying to get my brain to shut OFF!  During this active brain time I reflected on what social media has meant ot me. 

My husband Kevin has begged me to write a blog for about 6 years.  During this economic slow down and the quietness of the last December, I finally got down to business.  I do not sit still very well at all and realized that I needed to put my time to something productive (blog, twitter, facebook, linked in) not something EVIL (shopping, lunching- general spending of $$$)  So I decided to give all this a shot, and it was still really scary to me.  I was convinced that there was not a minute left in my day to dedicate to this.  I got over that really quickly when I realized how easy and fun it was. 

Kevin (social media expert and business consultant) was very encouraging and technically helpful.  What was most amazing about starting this was that I joined a blogging group.  I highly suggest doing this for anyone wishing to start dabbling.  Find one, two, or three other people who also want to give this stuff a try.  We named our group "Coffee Shop Bloggers" and were initally four woman who were all muddling through this together.  We met once a week at a consistent time, helped each other with technical issues, made each other commit to what we would accomplish by the next meeting (meetings were every thursday at a coffee shop nearby), and listened/ supported each other the whole way through this process.  I cannot say enough how valuable these meetings were to me accomplishing everything I have so far.  Furthermore I bonded with these woman and really adore and respect them...so much good came from this.

Two of the woman in this group- Mia from http://www.pragmaticmom.com/ and Nancy from http://www.capabilitymom.com/ compiled all that we struggled with and muddled through on another blog called http://www.coffeeshopbloggers.com/ you can go to this blog and read the advice, help and tips on how to do this for yourself.  What I sensed about the lovely audience in this presentation today is that they were wanting to try this- wanting to jump in, but not convinced that they either can do it easily or that they have the time to keep it up.  What hit home about the presentation that Beth Green from Kravet did is the fact that you must start somewhere and must do it now.  This is not a fad that is going away and you risk looking unprofessional if you don't try.  Beth explained, facebook, twitter, linked in and blogging.  Beth clearly is an expert in B to B social media and did a great job detailing each of these social media platforms.  The other women on the panel - Designer Rachel Hazelton, who blogs at http://rachelhazelton.blogspot.com/, Designer Julieann Covino, who blogs at http://www.creategirl.com/, and Jennifer Powell who spearheads Kravat's social media efforts on a full-time basis, were AMAZING!  I felt like a complete newbie in their presence and their stories and anecdotes were terrific.

I think a lot of people were looking for some more intimate B to C tips of how these platforms could tie into their businesses and actually make a difference.  I also think they needed to hear that it really isn't that hard or scary and maybe some real life stories about how we did it.  They needed to sense that we were just average people who made this work.  We were reffered to as social media experts (my husband sitting in the audience tweeting live for me under my name thought this was very funny) just because we jumped in and did it - thats all.  You just have to jump in and try.  I cannot begin to tell you how many wonderful things have come to me by just doing this!


  1. It was Melissa that named our blogging group! She is our go to for creativity; I believe she came up with half the taglines for everyone's blog!

    Our blogging group has been so much fun and so educational. We liken it to drinking out of a fire hydrant.

    Thanks for the shout out DesignTrackMind. Love you too!

  2. Great meeting you yesterday! You ladies totally sold me on twitter and I signed up this morning. I definitely was the social media "newbie" of the panel. I totally agree that the audience needed more time to hear about how we did it...how to add a site meter, collect images, etc. I too just jumped in and learned by trial and error. Also, I wish we could have shown our blogs on the screen to show how we have linked facebook, twitter, our websites and convey the "personality" of our brands. Awesome turn out and a great event by Kravet.

  3. Melissa is a whirl of wonderful energy and creativity. She did not mention that we also (occasionally) veered off topic and needed to be redirected because in this wonderful group where we all learned so much we also had a terrific amount of fun. Thanks for the kind, kind words - right back at you!

  4. I was in the audience for this presentation and I think you all did a great job! I found it very inspirational and just the push I needed to get me more involved. My strength has been my blog, which I've had since 2007, but I only put up a Page for my business on fb last week and I rarely Tweet. I was just unsure of the last two, how they work, their purpose, etc. The panel did help to answer some of my concerns. You and Rachel are both right about needing more time for this topic and it would have been great to see everyone's blog up on the screen, etc. I think, like most in the audience, this could be an ongoing topic of discussion and I would like to see another seminar soon, with this same panel! Thanks ladies and sorry you lost sleep about this Melissa.

  5. You did such a great job, Melissa! It was so good seeing you and hearing what you had to say!