Talking with Jena Coray aka Ms. Modish

Talking with Jena Coray aka Ms. Modish

Episode #178

Today I talk with Jena Coray, aka Ms. Modish. Jena shares great information on how to find your ideal client. Plus, I review a knitting book, an app I love and a movie you don’t want to miss.


Grace McLean and Them Apples / My Friend’s Roomate

Knitting in Circles / Nicky Epstein

PayPal Mobile

The Eye has to Travel / Diana Vreeland Documentary

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Interview transcript

Alison: Oh, here I am again. I’m so lucky. I get to talk to so many fun people. And today I’m talking to Jena Coray who is the voice behind the blog Miss Modish. So, I’m very excited to see what she’s up to. Jena thanks so much for coming on and chit chatting with me today.

Transcription of Interview with Jena Coray

Jena: Thank you for having me. I’m very excited.

Alison: I know you were nervous. You said what are you going to ask me? [Crosstalk] All that stuff that people really want to know which is, first of all on of the things I noticed was in reading your bio and everything that you left the corporate cubicle

Jena: Yes.

Alison: And so people who are thinking about doing that or whatever, tell people a little bit like what was going on for you and how you made this, it’s that final moment where you decide moving on not looking back. What was that like?

Jena: Well I had started my blog from my cubicle, just as kind of a side project, fun thing to do because I was, the work I was doing was fun and I love where I was working but it wasn’t very creatively fulfilling. So I started my blog just as a hobby and then it kind of got, I starting advertising on there and it started to build up some sort of income and then I got to the point where I was making about as much income through the blog as I was at my day job.

Alison: OK. Stop there. Because people wonder, that’s huge. And you know now people can do that with their blog and everything. But you were putting time into your blog and you obviously had hit a chord with some people to get people following you like that. And what was that chord that you played so well?

Jena: Originally it was about, my blog was all about hand made goods. So, it was basically kind of a design blog showcasing independent designers and handmade goods and helping support the crafty scene because at the time was, had my own jewelry and was selling that as well. So, it started as that and I think it really was timing, really good timing because I kind of gone in before that was a really hot blog topic kind of thing you know. I got in kind of on the base level of that. So, it was really good timing and then I just started building up an audience and then starting charging for ads and it was all very organic, and it happened really kind of naturally. [Inaudible] over a year and then after about a year I was like, well I’m almost making enough to quit but not quite making enough to quit. So, I started a shop, I opened up a consignment shop selling work of all of these consignment, creative artist that I was meeting and selling it via consignment.

Alison: Was that online as well?

Jena: Yes. That was all online and that was kind of a tipping point. Once I started that I was like well this, I want to spend all my time doing this and it was kind of the little catalyst that I needed to be able to have a little bit more income to quit. And then it got to the point just going to my job, just like sitting in the cubicle and being there was just sucking all of my energy out of me. So, it got to the point where I was kind of resenting my job and dreading my job. I remember I went home for lunch; I live really close by, so I drive home for lunch. And a went home one lunch break and I was just like I just want to stay here and work on what I want to work on. And just have my time to myself and do what I want to do with my life. And I got so upset and I was driving back to work after lunch break and I just started bawling and crying. And my husband who was my boyfriend at the time worked there with me and he was the first person I saw when I came back to work and I saw him and just started crying and I was like I cannot do this anymore. I cannot work here anymore. And he was like, I think you should just tell them. I’m like I’m going to go tell them. So, I went upstairs and gave my notice.

Alison: And that was that.

Jena: Never looked back since.

Alison: See you created your dream job. You didn’t wait around for it to show up.

Jena: Yes. I’m really into kind of creating, making it all happen for yourself instead of waiting for an opportunity to come your way to create the opportunity.

Alison: Alright. Now let’s put, which I love that story and congratulations. And now let’s put some reality on that because some people think that. there’s a rumor out there that when you quit that corporate world and you start the world of online that you work less hours. Was that true for you or not?

Jena: No. No. It’s funny too, I still think sometimes that I used to get more done on my business when I worked my full time job because I had like five limited hours of after work or right before work that I just had to just focus on my blogging and whatever I was doing. So, once I quit, it became instead of a something I was trying to squeeze in, it’s like a 24 hour a day job.

Alison: You had to change your way of working and your drill. It is very different. Yes. Well we know if you want something to get done make sure you give it someone who has a lot on their plate.

Jena: Yes. Exactly. Because somehow you structure your time more efficiently, maybe when you have more to do. Like I felt like this freedom when I quit my job and I was like, Oh the sky is the limit. The day is mine. Yes, it’s really hard to manage your own time effectively and be a good boss to yourself. That’s a whole new thing, yes.

Alison: But you got to do that.

Jena: Yes.

Alison: And are you a good boss to yourself?

Jena: I haven’t been for many years. I think I’m just now starting to get to be a better boss to myself. It took about five or six years. This past year I’ve gone through a lot of like personal, just resurgence and figuring our really what I want in my life and how I want to feel more and I started taking steps in my work life to give myself more breaks and really make sure I take care of myself and instead of jumping out of bed and jumping onto the computer, I drink water first and I try not to get engrossed in email before I’m even out of bed. It just starts, I used to start everyday feeling so overwhelmed just by the nature of jumping into my work and being so, I’m a workaholic naturally. So, to give myself breaks and kind of force myself to take breaks has been really helpful and I’m actually way more efficient the more breaks I [inaudible].

Alison: Well I like to call it a lifeoholic because it’s really just when you love what you do, you still have to take breaks and replenish the well.

Jena: Exactly. Because even if you love it, it’s easy still to get burn out if you are not giving back to yourself.

Alison: Yes. And we all know when. How do you when you are burned out what happens? I start tripping over my lips basically. I can’t even form sentences anymore, and I know I get very cranky. How do you know when you are burnt out?

Jena: I get cranky, I get lazy, I get just “No, I’m not doing that right now!”. Like I just all I want to do is sit on the coach. I have kind of forced laziness or something.

Alison: Right. No and its very important to do that and it’s hard when you are a lifeoholic. You want to keep going but if you don’t because we all know if you do it enough, if you sit down and take that time you come back with a renewed energy.

Jena: Yes, exactly.

Alison: I love that you said it’s very important that we drink water in the morning. I know what you’re taking about. The first thing that you want to do is look at that, some mobile device to see what is happening.

Jena: Yes. I’m trying to become a little less connected to technology too since my whole life is, my job, everything I do is related to the computer and being on the compute all the time. So, the more I can get away from the computer its really helping me just stepping away from it every once in a while.

Alison: Now I have to say I also laughed, and I thought if you would share because a lot of people I talked to and majority of women are still struggling with how do to things online. How to just technically and I love, what was I reading where you had the guide to dream with a book in your lap? Sort of [inaudible]. I mean I don’t know about you but there were times when I was very glad that I was on a first floor with my computer equipment because it would have gone out the window I would guess. And there was nowhere to get any help.

Jena: Yes.

Alison: But you keep going.

Jena: Technical frustrations are the worst frustrations, I think.

Alison: I think you’re right, but you learn right? Yes. You just persevere.

Jena: Yes. I really taught myself pretty much all of this. It’s funny like I feel like finally now what I’m doing with my job kind of incorporates all of these random skills that I have learnt over life. I’ve finally figured out how to incorporate a lot of those natural talents and abilities into something that I actually like to do.

Alison: Wasn’t that cute? I love I that

Jena: But it took a while to get there, so.

Alison: What’s the one you think the most sort of one you never thought you would use that’s come into use?

What people are saying

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