Archive for the ‘Creatives Near You’ Category
Ever since I met Erin, a few years back, I have been inspired by the way she balances her full-time mom and creative career. Erin’s resume includes a wide list of experiences as a handmade shop owner, an artist, a blogger; Pippin + Pearl, and last but certainly not least she also runs a design studio with her husband Tim; CooperHouse.
“We’re a two man (or man/woman, if you prefer) creative studio that specializes in web development and branding for creative businesses. We’re learning that there is a creative side to almost every business and we definitely don’t discriminate, however most of our clients are designers, artists, bloggers, interior design industry etc. I handle all the art direction/design/project management and Tim handles all the development/accounts/hosting/maintenance.”
Together, from the comfort of their home, they take on clients from all sizes and still maintain time with their two daughters, date lunches, and vacations to see family on the West Coast.
Q1) What was the inspiration behind starting your own business?
A1) Tim was the first to strike out on his own. when the agency he was working for in Colorado closed its doors 8 years ago, he felt it would be a good time to try his hand at freelance web development. He worked on his own for a few years before luring me away from my design job to be his partner. I was inspired by his vision, but was also just really craving some independence after spending 8 years working in the Air Force design department. We both have always wanted autonomy in our careers and the freedom to work from anywhere, so that is the main reason we started CooperHouse.
Q2) How are your personalities alike and how they are different?
A2) We are both creative types. I’m a painter, he’s a sculptor & musician, so I think we understand each other very well on that level especially. I’ve never worked with anyone who is as respectful as he is of my creative process and the effort that I put into my design. I spent years learning Web design and so I also have an appreciation for his abilities. I know that this company needs both of our skills and talents in order to function well. Also, I think our personalities started out as more opposite and have grown to be a little more similar. I’ve mellowed a bit, and he’s become more social. I think our strengths are helpful in our business… Good Cop vs. Bad Cop and all that.
No related photos.
I first met Ryan and Chelsea this past January at a special dinner prepared for ALT Summit attendees. They arrived all sleek in their New York attire and to be honest it made me wish that Cale could have attended the conference with me. It’s always amazing to me to see other couples who work together creatively. I love hearing their process and how they balance work and life.
When Ryan and Chelsea first met, they were both full-time actors; actually they were doing a national tour of a show. Since then, Ryan has mostly left the acting business and started his own web design company, called Roundhouse Designs. He specializes in designing websites for actors and creatives while Chelsea has continued acting and has added blogging to her plate. Together they take on DIY projects, designing and re-designing Chelsea’s DIY blog; Lovely Indeed, auditions, and all that a New York City life has to offer!
Q1) What was the inspiration behind starting your blog Lovely Indeed?
A1) When Ryan proposed, I knew that I wanted our wedding to be very DIY, so I started reading DIY and wedding blogs regularly. After a while, I realized that I had a lot to share, especially while planning our wedding, so I put together a blog of my own. We documented all of our wedding projects and planning stages. I’m so grateful for it now; it’s almost like looking at a scrapbook of our engagement. I’m still so surprised and grateful at how it’s taken off – even though our wedding has passed, the blog has grown and transitioned into something that I hope is long-lasting.
Q2) What about your lifestyle inspires your work or makes it better?
A2) We’ve been so blessed during our time in NYC. While Ryan was still acting, we had the opportunity to work together on two U.S. tours, and to work together on a job in China. That kind of travel is so inspiring and eye-opening. In each new place, we’d be sure to try new foods, hunt down local shops, and go on photo tours. Those are memories that we both absolutely treasure, and seeing so much of the world together has exposed us to so many beautiful, inspiring things.
Q3) It seems you and Ryan work very closely together. How do you balance a healthy home while running a blog, graphic design clients, auditions, shows, etc.?
A3) For us, everything sort of runs together. One day may be filled with three auditions plus two client meetings and seeing a show in the evening; the next day might be staying home to get the laundry finished before we go to a rehearsal for something. To be honest, we know that it’s not necessarily something that’s a long-term lifestyle; but in the theater world, you have to somewhat roll with the punches and fit the puzzle pieces together however they will fit! And while we’re living in the city, we’re trying to soak up as much of it as we can.
Q4) In your opinion, define what makes a great DIY Project?
A4) To me, photos are key. If the project is attainable and the photos are quality, there are times when you almost don’t need instructions. I think that it’s easy to want to push through a project without taking the time to make sure the photos are beautiful and descriptive; but the truth is that much of the blog world is image-driven, and people want to see beautiful things – even if it’s a DIY tutorial.
Q5) What advice do you have for others interested in starting a DIY blog?
A5) Be ready to invest the time to make it great! DIY blogging is extremely time consuming once you add everything up – you have to conceive the project, shop for materials, do the project (do it again if you mess it up), photo it, edit photos, and put the post together. And that’s just one project. So you’ve got to be ready to work. But on the flip side, it’s so rewarding to share ideas with people and see your work making the world a little more beautiful!
AND NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF!
Q6) If you could co-star with your husband in any show what would that be? Why?
I’d probably go with us playing Robert and Janet in The Drowsy Chaperone (even though I’m so wrong for that role!). The show is kind of old-school, and Ryan comes from an old Vaudeville family, so he’d be hysterical in it. That, plus I’d get to wear lots of sequins!
Q7) What is the DIY project you are the most proud AND the one you will NEVER do again? Why?
For the last few years we’ve crossed paths with Allison Bailey as we’ve dropped off product at Shop Good and other places around OKC. As a retail consultant we’ve seen first hand some of the projects and shops she’s been involved with and we can honestly say that she’s been an intricate part in planning some of the biggest community centered events for the local districts around town. If Allison is not the brains behind the operation and organizing the entire event, you’ll also find her volunteering her time when it’s something she truly believes in.
What I love about Allison’s perspective is that she’s not just a girl who likes to “shop” (don’t let those blonde curly cues fool you) but everything she does is smart and strategic. Her passion is to truly support local retail shops by helping them establish a shop philosophy that they can continue to grow from and create a shopping community like culture that customers want to be a part of again and again. What originally started as a love for supporting local retail in the form of the blog Shopcrawlr has now become Allison Barta Bailey a full fledged retail consultant business for independent shops and districts.
Q1) How does one become a retail consultant?
A1) Honestly, I’ve only met one other retail consultant that works with independent retailers. We both took different routes to our careers. She started as a shop owner. Although I did work retail, I started from a completely different angle. I began recruiting shops to my start-up website, Shopcrawlr.com and gradually transitioned into managing marketing efforts, events and promotions for some of the shops that I became familiar with.
After consulting on weekends and evenings while I worked a corporate job, I had a revelation and decided to quit my full time job and jump into consulting for small shops full time. That was over two years ago and I still get excited thinking about that moment.
Q2) When a potential customer walks into a store what are the three key elements that can make or break their purchase?
- Environment: Does a customer feel welcome in the shop space? Is a shop owner friendly without acting like a salesperson? Candles, music, wall color, walkway space… all add to the initial perception. For example, Black Optical (in the image featured above) pays close attention to detail and makes it easy for a customer to feel comfortable trying on dozens of pairs of glasses.
- Product Rhythm: Product arrangement, how do the products’ prices and purposes translate to a customer’s path through the shop? How is the shop philosophy shared?
- Although this actually occurs before they enter the shop… Availability: Is your shop open when customers want to shop? If you aren’t open, does your window indicate the next time that you will be open?
“What you need to do is get clear about the life that you want. Then you need to re-focus your priorities until you can see that life and then you just run like hell at it! You just go for it!”- Susan Petersen with Freshly Picked
We couldn’t agree more!
From the Farm
We first met JD last year when we participated in the OKC Deluxe Indie Craft Bazaar. I don’t know how she finds time to balance it all (and right around the holidays) but JD and Sara Cowan (her BFF) put on Deluxe every December in addition to their own personal creative endeavors. After teaching in the Oklahoma City Schools for several years JD resigned to being a full-time creative. You can find her today working in her studio and weaving in time for her 18 month old.
Q1) How did Deluxe get started?
A1) Deluxe was created out of a need for a different kind of craft show in OKC. As crafters ourselves, we were hungry for the kind of show that would showcase our creative work and not lump us in with resellers and other non-handmade products. We wanted something a little more selective both for our vendors and our shoppers.
Q2) Define what makes a good craft show?
A2) What makes a good craft show is going to change from person to person. For us, it’s all handmade with the opportunity to talk with the maker. A good craft show for us also changes some from year to year. We like to bring back some of our favorite artists and also new ones, keeping the show fresh each year.
Q3) When you select artists for the show what are three key factors that can make or break the selection process?
A3) Selecting artists is probably the toughest part of putting on Deluxe. We love all of the handmade work that we see but we have to filter some out to keep the show in line with our vision. Three of the many factors we consider are:
- Is it handmade? First things first! If it’s not, it’s not going to fly at Deluxe.
- Would we buy it for ourselves, our home, our families?
- Creativity. Is it something we’ve seen a million times or is it new and something we think the shoppers will appreciate?
Q4) What advice do you have for others interested in starting their own handmade show?
A4) Get started. You learn a lot in the process. It helps to have a partner with complementing skill sets. Someone that can do the tasks that are out of you aren’t as comfortable with. It is also a good idea to go to other shows, see what you like, take notes, pictures, whatever will help you later. It’s really nice if you can get some experience as a vendor and a shopper.
Have you ever met one of those artists who’s work just reaches out and grabs you… we’ll, that’s Hailey. We were first introduced to Hailey when Cale purchased a handmade gift for me through her shop, Ozetta. He didn’t realize until later that he was ordering a cowl from someone right here in Oklahoma! We we’re so impressed with Hailey’s handywork we decided to order several of her pieces for gifts last Christmas. They were of course all hits and since then we’ve been Ozetta addicts.
Get ready to fall in love with Hailey and everything in her shop.
Q1) How did you get started knitting?
A1) I started crocheting when I was ten years old, but took a long break from it and picked up knitting. However, I have found that both are equally important in this industry. So, I do both. This art form appeals to me because you start with yarn and needles. That’s it. And with great care and process I begin to create something. It’s amazing what you can create with so little and make something so extraordinary. When I work on an order, I like to look at it as something entirely different than just an order. It means so much more to me than that. Each piece I create is full of meaning, love, and high attention to detail. According to my father-in-law I am building a piece. And I guess in reality, I really am.
Q2) Define what makes a great knitted piece?
A2) The definition of a great knitted piece depends on what you are trying to create. Each piece I envision I sketch, create a swatch, and then start on the bigger piece. When creating a specific look, it comes natural to me what stitch I should use. When the piece is finished I test all of them by wearing them out and about, I like to know how it will feel and if something is not perfect, I start over. It is a process of trial and error. My favorite material is a chunky super soft blend, this combination creates the most perfect scarf.
Q3) What is the inspiration behind your shop name?
A3) Ozetta is the middle name of my great grandmother. What’s surprising is the name was never really an issue; I always knew my shop was going to be Ozetta. My Memaw was the brightest person in any room. She had the best advice, was so very patient, and dropped subtle hints of what she knew you could become. She would always say “little Hailey, you can do anything”. I would sometimes stay for weeks with her in the summer months. We would wake up early to cook a huge breakfast for the two of us, watch movies, curl up in her handmade quilts while crocheting and talking talking talking. I think she always knew what I could become with my creative abilities. I wish she could see the skill that she alone taught me from just a chain stitch, has grown into something bigger than maybe even she imagined. Well, maybe she knew all along.
We first ran into the Smith’s when their loft apartment was featured on a little blog known as Apartment Therapy (no big deal!). Cale and I ooed and awed at a do-it-yourself modern home renovation right here in Oklahoma! After that we were hooked. We started stalking er, umm following the Smith’s blog and found ourselves enjoying their love for family and self-employment so much that we had to use our latest Creatives Near You interview to get to know them a little bit better.
Meridith is a stay-at-home mom who runs Smitty Baby, an online Baby shop. She does pretty much everything, from dreaming up product ideas to actually making them come to life while Jason helps out on the marketing and business side. Jason dabbles in just about anything he drums up in that ginger head of his—but right now he pays the bills mainly from writing bail bonds/bounty hunting, freelance video and music (recording, editing, marketing) via HOLY CLAP! and printing/publishing independent authors.
Q1. How are your personalities alike and how they are different?
A1) For the most part, Jason’s the type A guy and I’m more type B. While he’s busy drawing up plans for his next project, you can find me out on the back deck watching the kid’s swim listening to Kings of Convenience Pandora radio. However, we are both very flexible and low maintenance and tend to enjoy the same things…mainly creating.
Q2) How do you balance a healthy home and running your own business?
A2) Still trying to figure that out. Usually, we just make sure to play catch up with things that got left off last week’s agenda, weather that’s SB orders, time at the park with the kids, or swapping stories with each other.
I have to be honest and say since the first time I visited Jeremy & Kathleen’s blog I was hooked! Kathleen is a freelance art director, design and lifestyle blogger while Jeremy is an electronics engineer. The perfect left-brain/right-brain combo Jeremy & Kathleen are young dreamers who love family and all it’s annoying quirks, appreciate the ideas of simple living and love design in every form and fashion.
I know this might sound juvenile but they are honestly the type of people that just by knowing them you somehow feel cooler! I (Meg) was never in the “cool” group in high school so it’s exciting to get to introduce you to some of our “cool” friends…
Meet Ali. When she’s not busy with her musician career (worship leader, musician, arranger, choir director) she’s busy writing and taking photos of her yummy recipes on her cooking blog; “Gimme Some Oven”. Ali’s the type of girl that loves people and any excuse to entertain. She grew up with a family of entertainers and creatives that cherish family and believe there is nothing like a good meal around the dinning room table. Believe me I’ve had the pleasure of sharing some of those meals with her family (including AMAZING homemade cheesecake) and in college you could always avoid the school cafeteria by “stopping by” Ali’s apartment around dinner time!
Q1. How did you get started cooking?
I had the great luck to grow up in the kitchen alongside my mom, who is and talented, creative, and very resourceful home cook. She had dinner on the table for our family to enjoy together most nights of the week, and instilled in each of us an appreciation for healthy, well-balanced meals (always followed by dessert!!).
But for better or worse, I didn’t really develop my own passion for cooking until college. It was there that –- after the novelty of all-you-can-eat fried food and ice cream wore off -– I was finally motivated to learn the basics!! Thankfully, I had plenty of willing taste-testers around. (Quickly learned that college students will come over instantly at the mention of homemade food!) And while my roommates would affirm that there were definitely plenty of hilarious cooking disasters along the way, it was a blast and I learned a ton those years.
During that time, I also discovered what an absolute blessing it is to have your home filled with friends, enjoying a meal you have prepared. I still think there’s nothing better.
Q2. Define what makes a meal great?
I love-love-love exploring new restaurants, especially in Kansas City. But without a doubt, homemade meals will always be my favorite.
As for what makes those meals “great”, I most enjoy meals that are good all around – good for you (fresh, healthy ingredients), good for your schedule (which in my world usually means 30-minute meals!), good for your community (buying local when you can)…and occasionally, good for your sweet tooth (YUM). I also gravitate towards ethnic foods, so anything with lots of spices/herbs is an extra plus in my book.
Q3. What has been the most rewarding part about blogging your food adventures?
When I began blogging, my main hope was just to create a nice “little” archive of my favorite recipes, and maybe learn a little about photography in the process. (And I thought it would be a plus if my family or a few friends tuned in!)
Little did I know how quickly word spreads on the Internet, and what amazing and encouraging readers I would soon connect with from all over the world. To this day, it still boggles my mind people from all over the world tune in to my little site. It has been so fun getting to know them!
But I’d have to say that I think that the best “reward” of blogging (that still surprises me whenever I hear it) is having someone tell me that they made one of my recipes. Such a humbling honor.
Q4. What advice do you have for others interested in starting a food blog?
We first met Sam Lamb as neighboring booths at a local craft fair. Turns out we have a lot in common with Miss. Lamb and we have enjoyed our random run-ins ever since. Not only does she have an eye for truly breathtaking photographs but we we’re amazed to meet another creative who lives on a farm (with cows, horses, and chickens)! She genuinely enjoys the simple things that make life so sweet and has a joyous heart that makes you feel all warm and tingly inside. It’s the kind that makes you want to sit back, count the clouds, and sip a glass of sun soaked tea reeeeaaal slow.
Q) How did you get started?
A) I wanted to capture my grandparents farm in the way that I saw it and people, to my surprise, enjoyed my captures. From there, the morning light had my full and lovely attention.
Q) What about your lifestyle inspires your work and makes it better?
A) Ooohhh my goodness gracious….everything my dears. I live on a full fledged farm, so there is no division of my lifestyle and my inspiration. I am happier than a peach!!
Q) Why do you choose to live in the country?
A) The Mornings…….I live next to lovely pastures and I have two amazing barns….one in which I keep a milk cow, in which I milk by hand twice a day. I can plant an acre large garden and share that bounty with all of my loved ones. This would not be possible in the city. Plus, the farm is a well-spring of inspiration and I am obedient to my inspiration.