100 Creatives 2013: Alicia DiRago, Whimseybox Founder Bringing Craft to the Masses
What She Does
Courtesy of Alicia DiRago Alicia DiRago at home, surrounded by Whimseyboxes
Alicia DiRago is the founder of Dismount Creative, a crafting blog and community that she started three years ago after moving to Houston from Chicago with her husband for his work/
In Chicago, DiRago worked as a chemical engineer, and thought for sure she'd find work easily in Houston. While she was getting settled, she started Dismount Creative as a way to fill her time and make friends in a new city.
As she writes on the blog:
"The dismount in Dismount Creative comes from my background as a competitive gymnast. I wanted my blog and classes (not currently offered) to give women the opportunity to dismount, or step away from, their busy lives and experience the joy of making something.
When it came time for DiRago to start looking for work, she found she was no longer interested in corporate life.
"I just did not have it in me," she said.
Instead, as the audience for Dismount Creative grew, DiRago began working with craft companies to create how-tos and projects for her blog. She started traveling the country giving how-to lectures at trade shows and craft festivals.
That naturally morphed into Whimseybox, the business she started in 2011. Whimseybox is a monthly subscription service where members get a grab bag of crafting supplies in the mail, along with a DIY project for using the supplies.
What She Likes About It
"I like that it allows me to work with products and people I love. Its fun to work on a small team. There's something empowering about that."
She also says there's something about classes that allow people to open up socially that a simple gathering at the bar can't do.
"I'm a class junky. I'll take a class on anything."
What Inspires Her
"I'm really inspired by the changes in the blogosphere. There are a of talented professionals who maybe 20 years ago would have gone to work for Martha Stewart -- now they can be their own generation's Martha Stewart
If Not This, What?
DiRago says that had she never moved to Houston, Dismount Creative and Whimseybox would never have been created.
"I'm sure I'd just be a process engineer like I was before. I would never have left my job in Chicago to do this. I wouldn't have figured it out."
If Not Here, Where?
"Probably Chicago. My husband and I met rock climbing, and we had a snowboard wedding. What can I say? I like to try new things."
"We are just focused on growing. We'd like to offer the ability to purchase one-off boxes for when we have a really popular project and someone wants to order it later. I'd also like to start working with more bloggers."
More Creatives for 2013
(In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).
Katia Zavistovski, contemporary art curator
Ashley Horn, choreographer, filmmaker
Amanda Stevens, scary book author
Peter Lucas, film and video curator, music lover and self-described culture-slinger
Ana María Otamendi, collaborative pianist and vocal coach
Billy D. Washington, comedian
Michele Brangwen, choreographer and dancer
Kristin Warren, actress and choreographer
Kelly Sears, animator and film maker
Colton Berry, Bayou City Theatrics' artistic director
jhon r. stronks,dance-maker
Joe Grisaffi, actor, director, writer, cinematographer
Jordan "Monster Mac" McMahon, artist, designer