Exclusive Interview with Blogging Entrepreneur Heather Thompson

by on Friday, June 18th, 2010

Heather Thompson is the woman behind The Gift Closet, a blog that features tips, recipes, insights and the always appreciated giveaway posts. The world of fashion blogging isn’t new to me, nor is blogging in general – but as we at She’s Smart have tried to incorporate more personal reviews and great giveaways I’ve had to challenge myself to reach out and explore.

I’d had The Gift Closet bookmarked for a long time, and Heather is one of the bloggers I reached out to. Deciding she was far too interesting and had way too much to say to keep to myself, I asked her for an interview. Despite having computer problems and having just returned from a big trip, she agreed.

An Exclusive Interview with the savvy Heather Thompson of The Gift Closet:

Heather Thompson with her cute baby and Mickey! Seriously, doesn't she look like Maggie Grace from Lost?

You look like the actress Maggie Grace of Lost fame to me, have you ever been told that? More importantly, did you watch LOST?!
I actually have never watched that show. I googled her, but my internet was down at that moment, so I’ll have to check it out later. :) (Editor’s note: Check out this Maggie Grace picture.)

Very recently you were on a trip to the fantabulous Disney World with your hubby and three darling kiddo’s, what one experience on that trip would you most love to re-live?
The food! LOL…I am such a food-lover. Disney has so many great restaurants & unique dishes. The desserts were my favorite. ~wink~.

What was the biggest challenge of the trip?
That’s an easy one. Traveling w/ a 6 month old (still nursing) baby!

Were there any items you took along with you that really helped you stay organized or keep the kids entertained on the car/plane ride?
We have a TV & VCR in the suburban, so that is a must for a 7 hour ride for me. We also played “I Spy” & the ABC Game to keep us entertained. I tend to be a bit organized, so just making sure I had everyone’s clothes laid out the night before and the diaper bag re-loaded and ready to go was very helpful for the next morning. We also take lots of snacks & water for during the day. I also knew where the Baby Care Centers were at each park when we arrived. That way when it was almost time for the little guy to nurse, I knew exactly where to go. :)

Because your site is called “The Gift Closet” it’s an inevitability that I must ask: what’s one of the best and memorable gifts you’ve ever gotten? Who was it from?
Oh my. Well, honestly, I’m very practical, very simple, and not real materialistic. So for me, a massage at a spa is something I always LOVE to get!

As a child, did you have specific gift suggestions for your birthdays, and for Santa on Christmas? (I used to write out very detailed lists, I was such a nerd.)
I was always a planner, so I do remember making lists too. I was really into Barbies as a child so I am sure my requests revolved around that quite a bit!

Heather with her family. Used with permission from TheGiftCloset.com

What do you think people don’t realize about the reality of updating a blog every day, and penning reviews?

The time it takes. Especially after doing it for almost 2 years, some days I really have to spend a lot of time searching for just the right recipe, picture, etc. Always keeping it fresh & something new to write about does take effort. I do enjoy it though!

What have been some of your favorite gifts you’ve gotten to run giveaways for on The Gift Closet?
I would say some of my personal favorites have been the jewelry. Such pretty unique pieces out there!

What do your readers especially appreciate and go gaga for?
Must be a girl thing cuz I seem to get the most entries on giveaways for jewelry.

Let’s go back a little bit, when did you begin writing The Gift Closet?

August 2008.

Have you always been someone who loved to write? What inspired you to start blogging?
Yes. My Dad instilled that in me. When I was little I had a “Neighborhood Newspaper” that I published w/ our neighborhood news for my neighbors! What inspired you to start blogging? I just saw all these neat blogs and thought, I’d love to do that. I am a bit of a maven, love to help people, and felt this would be a good outlet to give helpful tips to other women, inspire them, & promote women in business for themselves as well.

A screencap of The Gift Closet. Love the green colors!

I’ve seen some niche blogs (such as Girl with a Satchel) get criticized for their incorporation of religious touches (unless it’s a personal or religious blog). Have you ever gotten any negative response about things like your religious “Thought of the Day”? (Editor’s note: I personally love those kinds of little touches, and I think it helps readers connect with author’s even if they aren’t of the same religion.)
I’ve only had 1 person send me this long email about how she wanted to advertise on my blog, but she didn’t like people who turn it into a religious platform, etc. She apparently had not really read enough of my blog to see I am a religious person. 😉 I very kindly told her I did post “religious” things weekly, but had no intentions of turning into a preachy type blog. Never heard from her again. The Thoughts for Thursday posts are actually written by my friend, Emily Farmer. Last year I was pregnant & having complications, and knew it was going to be hard w/ a new baby & 2 other small children in the house. So, I asked her to take over the writing 1 day a week for me, and she has stepped in and done an amazing job. :)

The Gift Closet is able to cover a wide variety of products and ideas. But I’m curious, what sorts of specific things do you love the most? Do you have a secret weakness for wedge sandals, wii games or wild watches?
Jewelry& food! :)

You’re an excellent role model for the blogging community at large (whether it’s Mommy blogs, giveaway blogs, or blogs about someone’s love of cereal). You’re really one of the nicest people I’ve talked with, and you have a really engaging site that is fun to visit every single day. I think one of the most important things I can ask you is… what sort of tips or suggestions do you have for other bloggers? And what about the readers, we can’t forget them! What tips would you give to readers of giveaway blogs on how they can best help support sites and have good chances to win?

Thank you so much for the sweet compliments. It’s always so encouraging to see other’s who enjoy what I write. Tips for other bloggers? I would say be yourself. Find a Mentor. Be persistent. Know your targeted audience. Tips for winning giveaways? Well, I may not be the best one to ask. I never win any of the giveaways I enter. LOL…but seriously….I would say be sure you follow the rules. So many times random.org selects a winner, and the winner has left me no email address, no way to reach them. That is one of my rules, you have to leave a way for me to contact you. So, if you wanna win, you gotta play by the rules! :)

Here, here! I agree.

Follow Heather on Twitter: @GiftMama and on Facebook. Make sure to check The Gift Closet daily for new giveaways.

~ Click to check out our current blog giveaways 2010. ~

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