Do You Own It? with Jaime Derringer


Jaime Derringer started the blog Design Milk even though she wasn’t a designer – she was simply curating what she thought was beautiful. Today it’s one of the best-known design blogs out there dedicated to modern design – offering what’s new in art, architecture, fashion and technology, and more.

In today’s episode, she and our host discuss the importance of having clarity on your hobbies versus your job, while still embracing all that you are as a creative renaissance woman. Jaime also talks about her depression and anxiety during her twenties, and shares the mindset shifts and energy management tips that helped her to leave it in the past.

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Highlighted Excerpt

Jaime: I do think about, like, “Who am I?” I don’t have any business experience, I have no design experience, I didn’t know anything about design really when I started the site. I just knew I loved the way things looked and I appreciated the way that they looked and I wanted to learn more about them. Curiosity is the biggest driver of that.

And now I’m ten years in and I know a lot more about design. I don’t know the things that designers learn in school, but what I do know is that I’m still a customer and I’m still a layperson, so I’m always looking at things from that perspective and I think that’s why the site is popular, because we’re like, “Hey this is cool and here’s why.”

So we’re not preaching to people or trying to teach them, we’re really trying to get them to appreciate design and the process and the people who are making these things. That’s all my mission is, is to try and help designers and help people connect.

Majo: Is there something you might say to a listener who might be in a similar phase as you were before starting Design Milk, where it’s like, “I have these others skills that relate to this domain or industry I’d like to move into, but it’s not exactly aligned, and I don’t have any experience in that industry. So who am I to start this business or this thing?

Do you have any mindset shifts or tools that really helped you in that moment?

Jaime: The number one thing I would say is to fake it ‘til you make it. And in the beginning when you’re learning, say yes to everything. Because you can only learn – you can only experience something new by saying yes in that phase, so you have to be more open to that.

You know, my husband used to get mad at me and say, “How do you always get every single job you interview for?” And I’m like, “Because I’m confident that I can do the job, and I go in there with that confidence." If you can convince yourself of that, that you can do the job, then you will have this natural confidence.

So fake it ‘til you make it. When I started the blog, I didn’t put my name or my face on it. I just started it with the appearance that it was this big magazine. And then I kept going with that idea, that we were this giant thing...

Show Notes:

  • Growing up: On being an independent girl who preferred the art store to the toy store, expressing herself with piercings and pink hair, and struggling to find herself. [1:52]
  • Why she chose to major in Asian Studies in college, even though it was a “useless” degree to her. [7:37]
  • On her depression and anxiety during her twenties, and the exercise that saved her. [10:22]
  • Moving around, becoming a mom, and how she got started with Design Milk. [12:55]
  • Jaime talks about how long it took to find a job where she felt comfortable, how she had to fake it ‘til she made it, and having the confidence to figure things out. [16:58]
  • On taking on new challenges, being multi-modal, and her hobbies for relaxation. [23:34]
  • Jaime and Majo talk about identity and wearing different hats, plus the big aha Jaime had that expanded her creative freedom. [27:03]
  • Some of the common pitfalls of working through big projects, plus tips on energy management. [32:09]
  • Jaime shares her final words of wisdom on increasing her capacity and what she’s reclaimed on her journey. [36:07]

Subscribe and listen to the full episode here (you must subscribe to receive latest episode).


Design Milk

Jaime's personal website

Dog Milk

Adorn Milk


by Lucia Lilikoi

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