InterView Chelsea Foy: Because Isn’t Modesto Lovely?

Chelsea Foy: Because Isn’t Modesto Lovely?
By Abigail Murphy

Chelsea Foy, Modesto native and current College-Area resident, has become one of Modesto’s most popular and creative social influencers and bloggers over the past few years. Remember when all those adorable chalk messages popped up around downtown? That was her! Chelsea grew up on an almond ranch and for her, living out in “the country” inspired a fascination with all the fun, exciting things there were to do in Downtown Modesto. After following her creative passions to New York City and LA, she knew she would come back to her hometown to invest in the community every way that she and her family can to show her kids how incredible, lively, and positively wonderful Modesto is! We were lucky to catch up with Chelsea to learn more about her and her influential blog, Lovely Indeed, and find out how sheltering in place has inspired her DIY creations and business as a maker. Follow her blog and her Instagram at @lovelyindeed and<>. You’ll become instantly inspired – we promise!

ModestoView: You are definitely one of Modesto’s most famous and influential social influencers! We love the positivity and creativity on your Lovely Indeed website and social pages – how did it all start?

Chelsea Foy:Lovely Indeed is a blog that started as a hobby and accidentally became my career! When my husband Ryan proposed, I started the blog to document all of the DIY projects that we did for our wedding. I called it Lovely Indeed (because isn’t life lovely?), and tossed it up online. Soon it gained a following and I realized I loved to do it. I also realized it was a way that I could be creative every single day, in any way that I liked. I could be my own boss. I could do it from anywhere. And I could do it while we raised a family. A few years and a lot of sweat equity later, I learned how bloggers can monetize their work and make blogging into a career. And here I am.

MV: We are obviously in trying, uncertain times. You have always been a creative and talented maker, but what has changed about the way you create and run your business over the course of the past few months?

CF:Lovely Indeed has always involved DIY and crafting, but at its heart it’s really about using whatever skills I might have to be a resource to anyone who needs it. When California schools closed and we began to shelter in place, I immediately turned all of my work efforts to creating activities and ideas for parents who suddenly found themselves at home with their young kids all day. I found that my readers with older kids had distance learning and school work to keep them busy. But parents of toddlers or preschool-aged kids were totally lost. And being in the same boat, I completely understood. So I created a resource as quickly as I could for those families. It ended up being a 30-page eBook, full of activities and schedules to help parents navigate these times – and it’s been downloaded thousands of times. (Readers can download the ebook from the link in Lovely Indeed’s Instagram profile!)

It definitely hasn’t been “business as usual” with regards to the content I’ve been sharing during quarantine. But it’s been a huge opportunity for me to really listen to my readers, hear what they need, and translate that into content that can truly be helpful. I’m honored to have the platform to provide that for people.

MV: What project, craft, or activity brings you the most joy?

CF: My sweet spot is making things that are functional. Things that my family will use, or that we will have in our everyday lives. I love making toys for my kids, or clothes that they’ll wear. I think there’s something so special about creating a thing with your hands that didn’t used to exist. It’s very connective, and grounding, to see one of your creations out in the world being used and loved. I especially love the idea that perhaps the things that I make for my kids will be handed down to their kids one day. That’s what it’s all about!

MV: You often include your adorable children in your craft-making and social media content. What have they taught you about the creative process?

CF:Crafting with kids is the best! If you sit back and watch a child paint, or use clay, or draw, you’ll probably notice a total lack of inhibition. I think that’s so beautiful. They’re not afraid of wild colors or crazy shapes. They’re definitely not seeking perfection. They’re also their own most supportive critics, and I love that! When was the last time you made something and said to someone, “Look! I did this! Isn’t it cool?”

Seeing my kids blossom as young creatives is one of the reasons I’m so excited to be working on the Modesto Children’s Museum. We hope to make it a place where young kids can come and experience learning, creativity, and lots more.

MV: As an experienced and exceptionally talented DIY-er, what kind of advice do you give those who may not be as naturally gifted with crafting or those who are just starting out?

CF:First of all, I truly believe that everyone is creative! Creativity just looks different on everybody. Maybe you like to create by making music. Or maybe you take photographs. Or make recipes. Or maybe you want to flex your crafting muscles and enhance those skills. Wherever you are, meet yourself there. I think that the internet and social media (although hugely useful tools) can make us put unfair expectations of perfection on ourselves and our work. There is so much beautiful inspiration there, but we’re also seeing it through a lens of perfection. Every photo is styled perfectly, every technique is mastered. Try to remember that the people who put those photos there have been at this for years. My best advice is to focus on progress over perfection. Put in some hours working on a specific skill before you try to tackle a major project. Learn to enjoy the process of making, and get into the rhythm of expanding your creativity. Once you’ve got a handle on a skill, then put that skill to use and create something that you love.

MV: DIY projects can be stressful, intimidating, and sometimes expensive. What advice can you give those who want to try these projects, but are hesitant to get started for these reasons?

CF:I’m a major believer that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to make something beautiful! You also don’t have to tear your hair out, which a lot of DIY projects can make you do. Start small. Lovely Indeed has a whole slew of projects in our library archives that you can make in under 30 minutes and $10. Raid your cabinets and see what materials you have, and go from there. Especially in times like these, you shouldn’t have to run to the craft store to get crafty.

MV: Did you get your creative “bug” in school? Who are some influential teachers that inspired you to follow your creative career?

CF:I was lucky enough to have great teachers at every turn, but the teachers who really became my mentors were all of my performing arts teachers. Choir and drama were my passion and what shaped me as a creative person. Teachers like Polly Vasche, Candy Chamberlain, Karen Lotko, and Daniel Afonso truly opened up worlds to me that I never knew existed, and showed me that there is a world of possibility out there as a creative. Music and theatre, because of those teachers, are at the heart of everything I love. I followed in their footsteps for a while and taught music at Downey High (my alma mater). And because of them I had the courage to try other avenues of arts and creativity. I am grateful every day for all of the teachers in Modesto that helped create a foundation for me.

MV: What do you think are some of Modesto’s best “hidden gems” that you can share with our readers?

CF:One of my favorites since high school is Brighter Side! The sandwiches and the vibes are just so good. Simplicity Skin Spa is a gem of a hidden spot on McHenry, where they give the best facials. The Prospect Theatre Project is a local theatre that is always putting together amazing shows! And finally, it’s not so “hidden,” but if you’re a parent of young kids make sure you take advantage of all of the programming at the Stanislaus County Library! The children’s team there has given our family hours and hours of wonderful memories there.

MV: What’s your favorite memory of working at Disneyland? (The View Crew’s FAVORITE place!)

CF:There were so many magical moments during the time I was working at Disneyland, but there’s one that definitely sticks out. I was a dancer in Disney’s Electrical Parade, and before parade step-off one night our director let us know that one of our audience members along the parade route was a child who was there with the Make-a-Wish foundation. His wish was to visit Disneyland and see the Electrical Parade. They let us know where to find him, and every single cast member gave him as much love as we could as we danced our way down the route. His face was absolutely glowing, and I was so grateful to be a part of what brought him some joy.

MV: You have so much COLOR in your projects, social pages, and chalk projects. What’s your favorite color and how do you like to incorporate it into your projects?

CF:Yellow, hands down! Sunny, happy yellow has been my favorite from day one, so much so that I almost consider it a neutral. My projects usually have a simple base color, like white or natural wood, with pops of yellow to make things exciting. It’s the same for the living spaces we create — drive by and you’ll see our yellow front door. I think yellow is best used as a surprise pop of color to make you smile.

MV: Describe your ideal Modesto Day.

CF:Morning would be a workout at Core Fitness, followed by meeting friends for brunch at Commonwealth. A long family bike ride up and down the Virginia Corridor, followed by a trip to the library to get the kiddos some new books. Stop at Preservation for an iced chai. Drop the kids with a babysitter and head to the Gallo Center to see a symphony concert or some musical theatre. And follow it up with post-show drinks and dinner at Churchkey.

MV: Finally, Beatles or Stones?

CF:Beatles forever.

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