Blog Count: (9) Meet Shai Coggins | Pinay.com
You can see as soon as you flip through her blog pages that Shai Coggins, a 40-year old Filipina-Australian, is imaginative and creative. She likes painting in oils, dabbling in acrylic and mixed media, pen/ink and watercolors. She actually likes a lot of things.
This Pinay, married to an English-Aussie man, moved to Adelaide early in 2003. They are parents to two Eurasian-Aussie kids, a 10- year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl.
“I run my own digital media agency, Vervely and offer various digital media services to my clients—from social media strategy and implementation to digital content creation and audit. My main client right now is Microsoft Asia Pacific (the Citizenship and Openness teams), based in Singapore.” she says.
Her expertise in blogging and digital media has been recognized by Fast Company. In 2009, she was named among the Top 50 Influential Women in Technology (Bloggers). She has been featured in The Advertiser (Adelaide, Australia), ABS-CBN Australia, SBS Radio, and more.
On the side, she sketches, paints, teaches beginners’ art classes and explores digital art. We think she is a fabulous Pinay blogger—and inspirational.
So, what inspires Shai Coggins today?
Ah! I’m inspired by so many things and so many people on a daily basis—my kids, my art teachers and fellow students/participants, artists, writers and illustrators. I’m also currently loving oil painting and digital art.
What inspired you to come up with the title of your blog?
Actually, I’ll be honest: I’m one of those people who keep on shifting the title of my personal blog whenever new inspiration strikes. The most recent title: “Life, Inspired” came up when I wanted to revamp some things on my blog. I always find it hard to say what my blog is all about because I write about several things. I’m not really mishmashing my blog topics. I’m simply writing about things that inspire me. And, yes, I find a lot of inspiration in life, so I liked the idea.
What is the most popular topic and most read in your blog?
There are two topics that seem to get a lot of traffic: My craft posts and my food/recipe posts—almost equally. Currently, my post about making my daughter Elsa’s dress (from Frozen) seems to be on the top of the list.
Tell us about your successes as a blogger.
I’ve always thought that success in blogging can be defined as having a blog that serves the blogger’s needs—whatever that may be. And, for the most part, my blog does that. So, I’m happy. Having said that I consider myself lucky for experiencing blogging in many different ways—from the ‘old days’ when blogging was just a way to express one’s self and connect with others to using blogs as part of a professional career. I was About.com’s first Web Logs Guide way back in 2004. And, shortly after that, I started my own blogging network—one of the first that was aimed for women. At that time, I just wanted to create something. I couldn’t find online‑blogs that talked about things that I was interested in—from arts, crafts and literature to fashion, beauty and sciences.
What’s it like living in Australia?
Australia is a great place to live in. Australians are very lucky as we have pretty much a lot of good things going for us—subsidized health care, decent weather (the hot summer days can really be hot with temperatures going up to mid-40’C) lovely beaches, amazing places to visit, and a lot of other things. There’s also a good mix of cultures here. These are some of the reasons my husband and I chose this place to be our ‘second home’. It’s a great place to raise a family!
What’s next for Shai Coggins?
I can never tell what’s next for me, as life has been full of incredible surprises. Some are not-so-great, but mostly wonderful. All I know that right now, I’m pretty happy. I love the work I’m doing with Microsoft, through my company, Vervely. I would happily keep going with that for as long as I can. I’m also happy with having the time for my creative projects and my family. I hope to be able to keep doing all that too—including doing more art teaching, and perhaps, even finding out what else I can do to build a creative business alongside my digital media business.
Blog Count is a series of conversations with Pinays all over the world. We think these Pinays sparkle and shine. If you are a member of Pinay.com, we can feature you too. Can you inspire us? Do you have something to share? Email Tish Leizens, chief editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s start a conversation.
Tish Leizens is a great believer in asking lots of questions. That was how she was trained as a business journalist for newspapers and magazines. That was how she survived trying moments in her personal life and how she navigated a successful career and business in media. In 1997, she asked, “Why not?” And so, she moved from Manila to New York City. It was and continues to be a great adventure. After stints as a reporter for Manila Chronicle and Manila Times; correspondent for The Straits Times and Gulf News; Tish worked as editor for Conde Nast, and later edited and published her own regional magazines, OurHouse and Excursions. OurHouse, sold in bookstores chains in the East Coast, was nationally recognized for its innovative approach to magazine publishing. Tish has lectured at the New York Public Library on how to launch a magazine and other topics related to publishing. She was featured in CNN Money in 2010.