We all have things we are good at in life.  For me it is creativity and problem solving. My name is Nancy Masannat and I am a creativity junkie.  After years of crafting, creating, entertaining, decorating, and helping others with the same, I decided to turn it into a business.  I am the Owner and Creative Director of Simple JOY Designs. Why is it called Simple JOY Designs? I get a simple “JOY” from being creative. 

Business is in my Blood

think like a boss

Owning and running a business are not new concepts to me. I am a 4th generation entrepreneur on my dad’s side and 3rd on my mom’s.  My paternal great-grandmother moved my granddad and his kids (including my Dad) to Florida and opened a boarding house, which my granddad ran after his mother passed away.   My dad and his four siblings helped run it when they were kids. Dad opened a saw sharpening business just after my little brother was born in 1974. On my Mom’s side, her parents owned a coffee shop.  Not like coffee shops now, only serving coffee and pastries, but a full restaurant. My Mom ran the restaurant and was even the short-order cook for a while. That is where my parents met. For years I watched my parents work hard. They were driven to be successful for themselves and their family.  At a young age, I learned to work for what I have.  It was my Dad who really instilled in me my work ethic.  My Dad and I are a lot alike. We don’t particularly move real quick but we just seem to keep going.  So now more than 20 years after leaving home, I too have gone into business. This has been a process. Years of working for others, learning new skills, and having champagne tastes and a beer budget have brought me to wanting to run my own show.  I get the extra bonus of being available for my kids. My daughter is grown now and has a lot of creativity of her own. My son has non-verbal autism and will probably live with me until my passing. So being my own boss means I can do what I need to do for him and have a fulfilling work life. 

Creative from the Start

I’ve always been creative. My Mom was a 4-H leader and I started sewing when I was five.  At eight, I competed in my first fashion show wearing a jacket and skirt I had made. In my teens, I learned crochet, basket weaving, cross stitch, and wreath making. I still  have a grapevine wreath I made out of vines from the family farm.  In my early twenties, I learned to quilt and attended floral design school.  While in design school I worked on close to 100 weddings and I learned that I love wedding work.   When my kids were little I began scrapbooking all those hundreds of pictures I took of them. That was back in the dark ages when we used cameras and film.  Over the years I have continued adding skills to my “tool box”. I refer to myself as a “creative”. I use the term “creative” because I’m not really what I would consider an artist. My skill set encompasses everything from floral design, paper crafting, interior decorating, and event planning.  As a mother of two and a former military wife, those skills have been enhanced through many moves and a variety of different homes. Early on I learned to work within a budget while having a home that is beautiful, comfortable, and livable. HOME should be comfortable. If you have kids and pets it is difficult to have a magazine ready home.  Future posts will be about how to have a kid and pet friendly environment on a budget.

Nancy as a child

Creative when you can’t be


It is really difficult to sum up in just a few sentences what I do through Simple JOY Designs where our motto is “Creative when you can’t be”.  I enjoy being creative and try very hard to understand that not everyone has that gift. I think it is important that if you have a gift that can help others, you should share it.  My business gives me that opportunity. My brain seems to be hardwired to find a “pretty” way to use everyday items. Someone might see a porch rail and think it is just a porch rail.  I see it and think with the sleeve from a flannel shirt, some twine and a few buttons that could be a snowman. I can’t turn off the creativity. My kids had elaborate themed birthday parties.  I made my own Christmas cards and gifts for the kid’s teachers. I have hosted countless events for friends, family and organizations. Recently, I started staging lunch for a local business gathering, because I simply saw the potential to make it beautiful.

Making Things Beautiful

I want to make things beautiful even if nobody cares, but the thing is, I think they do care.  The world is busy and hectic and often unkind. But when we see something beautiful, something hand-crafted, it lets our mind rest on that thing or event for even just a few seconds and find peace.  We are about helping people put beauty back into their lives. We hope to create inspiration, events and environments by using color, textures and creativity. Our motto “Creative when you can’t be” encompasses many things.  We all know what we like, what is pleasing to our eye, but we can be overwhelmed on where to start. Or perhaps you have a career so no time to make handcrafted gifts or have the house decorated for the holidays like you remember your mom doing.  Think of us as your extra help, to make things beautiful, more comfortable, more you. But we don’t want to just be creative for you. We want to inspire you and encourage you to be creative too. Future blogs will have ideas, tools and instructions on how to make your world a little more visually pleasing.  Please like and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Thank you and have a BEAUTIFUL day.

nobody cares