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Unruly Things: Stylish Family Finds in Unlikely Places

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h1Two of my most popular posts were when I shared some photos from our wedding and when I announced that I was pregnant.

Alyson Brown, Unruly Things

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Cross a graphic designer with a style site and you're bound to get something special - which is exactly the case with Alyson Brown and her site Unruly Things and it's baby-inspired spinoff Unruly Little Things. Based in Oregon, Alyson shares fashion finds, photography, design, and inspiration from everyday life - and her baby boy Wolf inspires her to scout out cute pajamas, wooden toys and organic crib sheets. On her sites you'll find posts about flirty summer dresses, fall fashions, and great kids' outfits, with sweet photo essays sprinkled in between. She also has a knack for taking great photos of kids.

A recent addition to the SAY 100 Parenting Channel curated by the excellent Joanna Goddard of A Cup of Jo, we caught up with Alyson to ask her about her favorite style finds of the moment, how she juggles not one site but two – and what parenting and design blogs she follows.

You've been blogging since 2006 – which is well before most other lifestyle blogs. What was your breakout post or series of posts that put you on the map? Yes, 2006! Kind of hard to believe that I've been blogging that long. It's pretty funny to look back at my early posts - they are so embarrassing! In the fall of 2007, my husband {who was just my boyfriend at the time} and I packed up what would fit of our belongings into our cars along with our cat Moose and drove 3000 miles across the country to settle into our new home: Portland, Oregon. I was completely inspired by the creative vibe emanating from Portland and it rubbed off on the blog.

You have 2 sites: Unruly Things and Unruly Little Things. Why did you feel you needed to separate them? This is a constant internal battle for me. I'd love to combine the two but Little Things just feels so much more personal and I've never really been that way on Unruly Things. Talking about pregnancy back pain and what foods to introduce to my baby first just didn't flow with fall fashion tips for the upcoming year.

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You're also a graphic designer - what opportunities have your sites opened up for you that wouldn't have happened otherwise? In the early days of Unruly Things, I offered blog header design for ridiculously cheap to have samples in my repertoire. Then I'd post shots of the finished designs on the blog and mentioned that I would love to design more. If I hadn't been blogging about the headers I'd designed, I doubt my designs would have been noticed as quickly or by as many people! Pretty soon, people started coming to me for more design work and now I have a pretty steady flow.

You have a great eye for design and fashion finds – for adults and kids. What's on your most wanted list for the season? Thanks! I am always on the hunt for comfortable yet fashionable clothes! I just ordered a pair of Abarcas sandals from Spain and can't wait to wear them with breezy maxi skirts and dresses. The esp no. 1 summer collection for kids is so amazing - I wish they made everything in my size, too!

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What other parenting and design blogs do you follow? Who are your soulmates in style? I love Lena Corwin's blog, and her wee blog too. Her son Eli has great style. I also love Kristina's blog, Lovely Morning. She just had her second boy and I often dig through her archives for baby {and gardening!} related advice.

What have been some of your most popular posts of all time? And why do you think they resonated? Two of my most popular posts were when I shared some photos from our wedding and when I announced that I was pregnant. Since I'm not too personal on the blog I think these were nice little peeks into my life. I love when I have exciting news that I share on the blog and reading the love and support from my readers. It's silly, but reading comments is so encouraging and inspires me to keep blogging.

What's something your readers would be surprised to learn about you? When I was a teenager, I used to dye my hair green and wear ridiculously baggy pants. Really! I was way into the punk and ska music scene and I saw more concerts during this phase of my life than I ever have. My best friend and I would have our parent’s drop us off at the venue and we’d dance our little hearts out. I even managed to meet a few bands, snag a few autographs and get a song dedication while dancing back stage.

What's next? Aside from keeping myself busy with design work and running after my busy son, I've got some exciting things in store for Unruly Things. I've been sitting on a new design for months now!! With a little prodding, I'm hoping that my husband will finish developing the new blog for fall. I'm introducing a bit of structure to the site with dedicated columns and a few guest contributors.

Follow Alyson on Twitter @unrulythings and on Instagram @unrulythings.

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