Posts Tagged ‘CNY’
Cale and I have had the pleasure of collaborating with David Lord for several years now. Together we branded The Wonder Revolution, designed The DOTS Album Design, and more recently hosted a private show on our own front lawn for his solo project; Francis Moss. David is the kinda of guy that you could talk with for hours about music, creativity, and life’s deeper topics. He’s the kind of old soul and free spirit that you just really want to get to know. One of the most genuine people we’ve ever met, David Lord is truly someone we admire. Trained in classical guitar he launched a music academy from his very own home!
Today Air House Music Academy has expanded into two East and West locations in Wichita, KS. Hosting classes of mixed genres and instruments, Air House also is a recording studio, and a private venue space. Through his love for music David Lord has created a special place where creativity, music, and good technique is truly celebrated.
Q1) What inspired you to open Air House Music Academy?
I had a vision of creating a music academy and recording studio that promotes creativity. The aspect of music that I fell in love with early on was writing my own music. I also studied jazz and classical guitar in college, so I saw the benefit of learning music theory and learning proper technique. So in conceptualizing a music academy in Wichita, I wanted to include both the creative aspects as well as the technical and theoretical aspects. I saw the need in Wichita for a music academy focused on producing proficient, creative musicians. I also had dreamed of building a recording studio, both to record my own music as well as produce quality recordings for the creative music of Wichita.
Q2) How does your casual “go with the flow” attitude towards life influence the way you run your business?
Haha. That is pretty much the way I run the business as well, for better or worse. Air House feels more like a community of music educators, rather than a business with me as the boss. I like the relaxed, friendly atmosphere. I couldn’t really imagine doing it any other way. I try not to make much of a distinction between the way I approach life and the way I approach business.
Q3) What makes Air House Music Academy different than it’s competition?
It’s the only music academy around town that has such a broad scope. Air House is a music academy, a recording studio, a record label and a music venue. We offer private lessons, classes, ensembles, recording engineering training, recording, mixing, mastering, clinics, concerts, recitals, etc. Also, we have a truly exceptional faculty of teachers, including college professors, teachers with their doctorates and masters degrees and teachers specializing in songwriting and creativity. And our recording engineer and instructor recorded two albums with Bob Dylan.
Q4) What has been the most rewarding part when it comes to teaching kids about music?
When a student discovers his or her own sound and own approach to music, that is incredibly rewarding. It is great to provide the students with the tools to play music, but when they take those tools and create something of their own, that is very rewarding. The times that has happened have been highlights of my life. It is a beautiful thing to see someone use music for self discovery and self expression.
Q5) Most artists are great at being creative, but struggle with the structure needed to run their own business. You seem to have found a great balance. What advice do you have for others who might need help in this area?
Yeah, that’s a hard balance. I personally just do what I need to do for the business, then try to spend my free time with music and working in the studio. Everybody has their own way of doing things. Sometimes the business feels like too much and I fantasize about living in a small house in Sweden, spending all my time writing music and exploring the forest.
Q6) What has been the best tool you’ve found to help promote classes and events locally at Air House Music Academy?
Word of mouth has been the best. I try to bring on established, high level teachers that have a good network of their own. That helps a lot. Then I just promote events through social media and brochures and posters. I don’t spend much money on advertising.
Q7) How do you use your business and your creativity to give back to the community around you?
I hope that our efforts in music education are having a positive effect on the community, both for the students and for the teachers. Also, our record label tries to reach out to talented local musicians and give them a chance to record quality albums. In the past 10 years or so, there hasn’t really been a quality recording studio/record label in Wichita with the aim of supporting creative Wichita music. We are hoping to improve the musical culture in Wichita. We also released a benefit compilation for Muscular Dystrophy and Stem Cell Research that was curated by our friend, Ryan Benton. The compilation included several national bands like Thee Oh Sees, Elf Power and Cave Singers as well as Wichita bands. I also perform around the community frequently with my solo guitar project Francis Moss and my band The Wonder Revolution.
Q8) List three ways you keep creativity fresh in your day to day?
1) I try to work in the recording studio every day. I love making albums and it has become a daily practice. 2) Lately I’ve been writing 15 second micro songs and posting them on Instagram every day. That is a fun way to compose every day. 3) I try to practice or work on my live set every day.
Q9) Between running your own business, producing, and writing and touring yourself you definitely are a busy guy! How do you balance it all, and maintain a happy and healthy home life?
Don’t really know about that! Haha. Don’t have much of a perspective of what is normal in regards to a home life. But my preferred way of spending time with friends or relaxing is to work on music or a creative project. So it’s just a constant part of my life. I think the only time that I get frustrated is when I’m not spending enough time working on my music. As far as the effect on my relationships, I’m not sure. You’d have to ask them. Haha. But I tend to surround myself with other creative people that are also doing their own projects. My fiance Lindsay is a creative artist and raw food chef. She likes her space and creative time also, so we’re a good match.
Q10) Outside of music what is your favorite leisurely activity you do at home with your family?
Pet the cats.
David is a true musician at heart with a beautiful creative process that is all his own. Air House Music Academy and Recording Studio has given him the flexibility to pursue his own process on his own time and schedule. Although we are sure there are days where he’d love to run away from the “business side” of running a business… we think it’s just wonderful how he has discovered a creative way to make a living while doing what he loves.
Through your music, your creative business, and your heart you inspire us David! We can’t wait to see what is next for you and all your musical endeavors.
From the Farm
No related photos.
Our Creatives Near You Series is seriously becoming one of my favorites. Month to month I continue to be inspired and blown away by creatives that are doing what they love and going after their dreams. They are everyday people that I get to call friends and can’t wait to introduce you too!
I have secretly been hoping and praying to feature Krysta for quite some time now. When she instantly replied to my email request I was super stoked! Krysta and I met years ago in Wichita, Kansas. I can’t quite remember if it was through our Church, University, or the fact that she was dating a good friend of mine at the time, but either way we became friends. From the very beginning I remember Krysta as a go getter. She might be tiny in stature, but I promise she makes up for it in wit and drive! Right after college I remember her still struggling to find her creative nitch. She always put her whole self into her work, but it just never seemed like enough. Something was missing. It was at that time Krysta decided to throw all caution to the wind, sell most of her possesions, and jump into a new life in Los Angeles! She went in with both feet and no real plan (at least that is what it seemed like to me!) other then a hunger for change and a willingness to do whatever it took.
Krysta’s been in LA for several years now and thanks to the internet I’ve been able to follow along as she’s met new friends, gotten married, and become the CEO of a branding agency called B!G DEAL BRANDING. Through her blog Stilettos On The Rocks I’ve been able to watch her develop her balls to the walls creative voice (which I love), grow as a business owner and a wife, and become the truly confident woman that you see today.
She’s the real deal folks and I’m really excited to share with you some of her story, her process, how she balances life with a husband who freelances in the film industry, and a few lessons she’s learned along the way.
Q1) What was is it about marketing and businesses strategies that made you want to pursue it as a career?
It never seemed right to say, “I’ve been doing branding since I was a kid.” It’s not like singing or dancing. What I can tell you is that I have a journal entry from middle school where I wrote “What they’re saying isn’t what I’m experiencing. Shouldn’t there be some consisistency?” (Yes, I’ve always been this critical and nerdy.) From that point forward, I would dream about being in the center of the action, driving cultural conversation and finding the most compelling way to get them to the right audience. When I got to college and realized I could actually be graded on strategic thinking and talking, I knew this was the right field for me. That was just the beginning of what would evolve into my absolute love for building stronger brands through leadership development.
Q2) What are the most challenging, and the most rewarding parts about being your own boss?
The most rewarding is meeting the people who are attracted to our company. My team is so kick ass and the culture we’ve created brings in a certain kind of clientele that makes my job so much more stimulating. Quite a few of my client relationships turn into close friendships. I love that. The nature of what we do is so personal that it’s easy to pick up at the end of the process with plans to meet in person and just hang out. The challenging piece is being patient. I fully believe in elbow grease and sweat equity. There are just days when I wish I could snap my fingers and be on the cover of Forbes… that’s normal right?
Q3) How has your “no BS approach” toward life shaped the way you run your business?
Well, I can tell you it serves as a great filter. There isn’t a single person in my life who doesn’t challenge me. That goes for my team as well. I never wonder what they’re thinking and am proud that, as a culture, we are honest with one another on what’s working and what isn’t. I think that openness has attributed to our success.
Q4) You work with clients of all shapes and sizes. What advice do you have for networking and building a consistent client base?
For networking, we started with where we had the most connections and chose strategic aliances with leaders in that industry. Doing trades with them in the early days was a win-win. We not only got goods we couldn’t afford, but also exposure on their platform with our ideal audience that filled our docket quickly.
As we’ve matured, we’ve been more intentional about investing in clients who have networks that will take us to the next level. We’ll do in-person meetings instead of Skype and do what we can to go above and beyond. The more time we spend in their space, the more apt we are to meet their friends. I usually offer to do a free workshop for a handful of their industry colleagues to add value. This is such a natural crowd to step into since our common denominator is my client. They’ve already heard about the process from someone they trust and have seen the transformation first hand. Our clients are great at filtering who they introduce us to, so I’m always honored to be a part of their community. It may be a slow way to fill the pipeline, but we get to be more selective and I feel the experience overall is more transformational.
Q5) You and your husband both work for yourselves. How do you balance running two separate businesses while maintaining a healthy and happy home life?
Uhhh. Great question. I’m pretty good at not checking email or answering the phone outside of business hours. I’m terrible at letting my phone be a distraction though. Hellllooo Instagram! Vince’s career is a little more tricky. If he’s working for a network on a tv show, then he has to use nights and weekends for his other projects. I can say that having scheduled date nights have been so helpful. All of our friends know that Fridays are off the table. That’s a sacred time slot for us. Right now, our motto is quality over quantity when it comes to time spent together.
Q6) How does Vince’s career in film influence yours?
I think it greatly influences the way I think and perceive the world around me. He is highly creative and strategic which helps me see things in an entirely new way. I appreciate his feedback and love the opportunity to get his input on how to craft our message with more clarity. His expertise in that area overlaps what we do in such an interesting way. The unique perspective keeps me from getting tunnel vision and challenges me to the point of ugly crying. True statement.
Q7) How does your business culture and your lifestyle tie you to your home city of LA?
It has been said that L.A. has a way of bringing out who you really are. I never thought I was the entrepreneur type. Disgruntled employee constantly fighting the status quo … totally. Run-my-own-business? Never. I like complaining too much. This city … man … it gets you. There’s a scrappy nature to it that I really connect with. People are constantly hustling and pushing themselves in ways they never anticipated. What I think makes this city different than say, NYC, is that people here know how to relax. The hustle is met with some sort of outdoor activity: beach time, hiking, running, eating at an outdoor café, etc. I’ve come to appreciate that cultural value for balance in this town.
Q8) List 3-5 ways you keep creativity alive in your day to day?
Running is huge for me. It helps clear my brain and lets me go uninterupted for a chunk of time (at least until I get the iWatch!). I also love exploring new parts of the city. I have a colleague I meet with once a month to set goals and explore a new parts of town that we’ve never been to. It’s often centered around architecture, food, coffee and/or some kind of physical outdoor activity. For Vince and I, we absolutely love to travel. Both of us are fueled by weekend getaways. The best combination is a trip to NYC for work and play. It’s a sweet spot of ours.
Q9) What is your favorite leisurely activity you do at home as a family?
When Vince is working for a network, we love our mornings. We get out and run together and then come home and have coffee on the couch with our pups while we catch up on the news. Surprise lunch dates are super awesome when our schedules permit. And when we’re both working from home we shut down at 6, have happy hour and cook dinner together. If it’s not too hot, you’ll find us in the jacuzzi after dinner; Vince with a cigar and whiskey and me with an Old Fashioned.
I love that even with Krysta’s kick ass and take names approach toward life she’s still found a man that can make her “ugly cry”. It just goes to show that there is a piece of realness and vulnerability in us all! Even those so called “tough gals”.
Krysta, I can’t thank you enough for sharing your story, advice, and piece of your life with us. Keep it up girl!
From The Farm
The crazy thing about social media is meeting people online that inspire you, that you get to actually chat with and follow their life on a daily basis, but yet you may never actually meet in person! Tamara Staples is one of those people in my life. She first stood out to Cale and I when we featured her beautiful Chicken Photography as an Everyday Design Blog Post. When I reached out to Tamara to ask for her permission about using her photographs we started emailing back and forth and following each other on Facebook. I love it when you reach out to an artist or maker and they actually have time to engage in real conversations with you. No matter how much traffic your feature may or may not send to their site, you can just tell when someone is genuinely thrilled that their work caught your eye and that you want to showcase it. I immediately felt that response from Tamara and have since then really enjoyed following her work as an artist and a commercial photographer in Brooklyn, NY.
I asked Tamara to give us the low down on what exactly it is she does when it comes to photography and her day to day life as a professional, mom, wife, woman, and friend.
“My usual schedule includes regular photography assignments such as book covers, magazine photo illustrations and other assorted jobs, for instance, a non-for-profit shoot about organic-raised chickens.
When I’m not in the studio, I play mahjong with a group of ladies, run 15 miles a week and enjoy time with my 8 year old son, Emmett and my husband, Bill Newell.” – Tamara Staples
Q1) What was is it about photography that made you want to pursue it as a career?
I’ve loved photography since childhood when I pinned a picture from a box of Girl Scout cookies on my wall. In this photograph, a young girl kneels in the sand behind her tripod and camera, staring out into the distance waiting for something to happen so that she might capture it. This girl struck me as a confident person, the kind of person I’d like to be, who was able to observe life around her in a non-threatening way.
Q2) What are some of the key factors that helped shape and develop your photographic eye?
I’ve always loved Irving Penn as a key source of inspiration, but for me, I need a variety of inspirations. All of life’s rich experiences influence my work.
Q3) What has been the most challenging, and the most rewarding part about being a full-time freelance photographer?
Free-lancing has its ups and downs. At times I’m so busy I can barely keep it all straight, and then there are times when no one is calling no matter how much I reach out to market myself. I can get a little blue, but my husband is always reminding me not to equate my self-worth to the momentary lack of work. The upside of the free-lance gig is setting my own schedule. I have the freedom to be with my family when I want or need to be.
Q4) How have you found balance running your own business and maintaining a healthy family life?
My husband works a healthy 75 hours a week so he’s not able to contribute to the day-to-day domestic duties. My photography hours pale in comparison, but when you add the care of my 8 year old, the domestic chores, my fine art work, marketing, my weekly Mahjong game and a 15 mile-a-week running schedule it can get very hectic. I’m incredibly independent, so it works for us, but not without a lot of juggling.
Q5) As a freelancer what advice do you have for networking and building a consistent client base?
Finding new clients outweigh the actual work by a wide margin, so when I get new business, it’s gold. The best advice I can give for building a consistent client base is to service each individual client with the best you can give, no matter the circumstances. I hire a lot of other free-lancers and if they are on set complaining about other clients, I generally won’t hire them again.
Q6) How has being a mom changed or shaped you as a creative person?
As a parent, I’ve become particularly efficient. And because I adore being a mom, I’m a happier, more fulfilled person. But being a parent is a difficult job. Figuring out how to be a good parent is ever changing, there’s so much to consider. When I go to work, I almost feel like I’m on vacation!
Q7) What are some tips for approaching publishers for a book deal?
There are many ways to get your projects in front of publishers. The most popular way lately is to attend a Portfolio Review. They are seemingly everywhere these days, but beware: they are expensive. However, you will meet face to face with the very people who could help you. Exposure is very important. Submit work to contests and the research to find the right people and contact them directly. I find the shotgun approach works best for me.
Q8) What is your favorite leisurely activity you do at home with your family?
We live in Greenwood Heights on top of a hill that happens to be the tallest point in Brooklyn. This apartment is new to us in that we purchased it in May of 2013. The reason we chose this apartment is because of the large balcony on the top floor with sweeping views of the harbor, the Statue of Liberty, a huge chunk of Brooklyn (including the BQE) and all of Manhattan. Every night after dinner, we rush to the balcony and watch the sunset. This is our favorite family activity. Nothing to do but watch the colors collect in the sky and the lights coming up in the city.
Q9) How do you keep creativity fresh in your day to day?
Lately I’ve been shooting with a tungsten light that will focus. I love how the subject matter will sparkle and I especially like the sharp black shadows that instantly create a sense of design. Most of these images are “experiments” or “tests”, as we call them in the business. I’m showing my clients how this lighting looks great for the right project. It’s so important to try new things, to stay fresh and to challenge yourself.
Now, let’s all take a breath and savor each of these beautiful photographs! I just love the layouts and the way she makes you wanna study and see the art forms in ordinary objects. Truly amazing!
Thank you Tamara for taking the time to share more about your life and your work. I hope our paths do cross Tamara and maybe you can teach me how to play mahjong sometime?! I love card games. We play a mean game of pitch here in Oklahoma!
From The Farm
I can’t tell you how excited we are to be bringing back one of our favorite series; Creatives Near You. Once a month we will be highlighting some of our closest creative friends, or people that we hope to get to know a little bit better, and see how they juggle their creative careers and family life. Some of them are married with kids, while some of them are single. Some of them are working full-time pursuing their dreams, while others are building capital and experience to take the leap and leave their more corporate jobs. Either way, we hope you come away inspired, equipped with some tools that might help you on your way, and the realization that
“creativity” comes in many different shapes and sizes.
It’s hard to believe that I (Meg) have known both Tom and his wife Kristy for nearly 11 years! Throughout that time we’ve shared some awesome and awkward high school prom memories, dorm room drama in college, marriage, and kids… oh my have we grown! The thing I respect about Tom and Kristy is that they have not let married life get in the way of pursuing their dreams. From traveling the country while Tom chased his music career, to up and moving everything and everyone to live in the Northwest, they’ve made sacrifices that although I’m sure were tough at times, have strengthened their relationship and given them so many different life experiences.
It’s these experiences that shape you as a creative being so when I found out that Tom was pursuing a career in the culinary arts I was super pumped to see how it would all develop. Although Tom and Kristy don’t live in the Northwest anymore, they’re a little bit closer to family (which I’m sure the Grandparents LOVE!), and enjoying Tom’s new position as a Staff Chef at All Things BBQ (ATBBQ) in Wichita, KS. All Things BBQ is a family run business that offers professional grills, smokers, outdoor kitchens, accessories, barbeque sauces, rubs, injections, marinades, and fuels. I asked Tom to share a bit more about what new services and products ATBBQ will be offering to customers now that he’s on staff:
“I do a lot of the legwork for our cooking classes; creating and testing recipes, planning menus, shopping and prepping for the classes. I’m also documenting a lot of this recipe creation/experimentation and building content for our All Things BBQ blog, The Sauce. As we move into our new kitchen this month, which is attached to our retail store, I will be able to cook for and talk to our customers on the weekends, and show them what they can create and produce at home with the products we carry in our store. As well as a new teaching kitchen, we are adding an outdoor kitchen and patio, where we can use the grills and smokers we sell in the store and further interact with our customers.” – Tom Jackson
Q1) Describe your process for developing a new recipe?
The internet is an amazing resource for inspiration. I often find myself browsing food blogs, like your friend Ali’s “Gimme Some Oven,” and something will strike me, or send me in a certain direction; be it an ingredient, a combination of elements or a specific technique. From there it’s just using what you know about food and cooking technique, trusting your instincts, and experimenting. Sometimes it’s a disaster. Sometimes it’s a home run. Some other blogs I enjoy are Homesick Texan, What Katie Ate, and the Saveur website. I really believe creativity births creativity, and other folks’ art is sometimes just what you need to spark a new idea.
Q2) List a few factors that played a key roll in the growth and development of where you are today?
Years ago my wife and I shared a one hundred year old home in Grand Rapids, MI with four of my best friends and bandmates. That old house was so cold in the winter that we hung blankets from the doorways and used space heaters to heat small areas. I began baking pizzas and breads from scratch, in part for something to do while home from touring, but also to heat that freezing house. When the band called it a day, I needed to pick a new direction, and cooking and baking seemed to be calling my name. Kristy and I headed to the Pacific NW, so I could attend culinary school. I owe a lot of my growth and passion for food to my time in Portland, OR. I was blessed to spend time at Oregon Culinary Institute and study the technique and creativity of some very wise chef instructors. My fellow classmates became a network of friends and cooks who are so creative and ambitious that it pushed me to want more for myself. I learned a great deal working under a few guys at Ken’s Artisan Bakery, as well. That place really shaped my desire to put out the best product I can, and always put my best foot forward.
Q3) What advice do you have for others interested in pursuing a career in the culinary arts?
Get in the kitchen, and get out of your comfort zone. Learn from others, whether it’s in school or on a line. It’s all about putting in time and effort and stretching yourself.
Q4) How do you balance working a lot of evenings and weekends while maintaining a healthy and happy home life?
This question may not suit my new life well. The beautiful thing about my new gig with ATBBQ is that, for the most part, I don’t have to sacrifice family time for work. This is the first time in about six years that I’m working a “normal” schedule. The toughest part about kitchen life is probably the hours. I’m feeling pretty good about this new schedule, as are Kristy and Thatcher.
Q5) Between you and your wife who does most of the cooking at home? Who does the dishes?
I do most of the cooking, and we both do dishes. She does more than her share of work in our home, and I’d never complain. I’m a lucky man!
Q6) What is your favorite grilling gadget/utensil, why do you like it, and where do you get it?!
ThermaPen. It’s a quick read thermometer for your meats. It’s probably the easiest way to improve your cooking. Hitting the right temperature on any type of meat will instantly make it better. Plus they look pretty sweet. They come in a variety of colors.
Q7) List 3-5 of your favorite family-friendly food related hangouts?
In Portland, a couple of our favorite family friendly places were Fat City Cafe in Multnomah Village and Lucky Labrador Brew Pub in Northwest Portland. Fat City does straight up diner food. It’s all comfort, and all about the fam! The Lucky Lab has killer beers that you can’t buy anywhere else, and great pizza. And my son LOVES pizza, just like his old man. Here in Wichita, we’ve been hanging out at Wichita Brewing Company. Good pizza and beer. Also, The Monarch in Delano. Great from-scratch food, good drink selection, and pretty family friendly during the day.
Q8) What is your #1 guilty pleasure food?!
I don’t know how guilty I feel about it, but I have a hard time turning down a slice of pizza, ha! I guess that’s just pleasure food…
If you are near Wichita, KS look for Tom at Amber Waves, Friday, May 16, 2014. It’s a beer walk and tasting tour through the Delano District. All proceeds go to support Starkey Inc. and ATBBQ will be cooking on the patio while folks enjoy the beer tasting and live music. I’m also really excited about their weekend grilling classes and think they would make a great Father’s Day gift, or fun groom gift for the future!
Thanks Tom and Kristy for letting us into your life a bit and hearing more of your story and about how you got to where you are today. We’re very excited for you guys and glad you are back in the Midwest!
From The Farm
This week we dropped off the last bits of our concrete jewelry and kitchen line at Shop Good in OKC. It was a bitter sweet trip. For the first time we got to see each of our babies and compared stories as new parents. We have walked through a lot of life changes with Audrey and Justin. Shop Good was the first store to carry our jewelry line. From it’s humble beginnings in the Plaza District to it’s move to 9th Street their business has grown into something with full-time employees and an ever growing inventory of products supporting social justice organizations. We are so proud of what Shop Good is today and we can’t wait to see what is next for our friends (baby #2!? ).
This week we are super stoked to be sharing with you another talented and fun loving couple! Not only are they practically our neighbors, living in Tulsa, but they are one super cute and powerful team that truly enjoy working together. In fact, you might have seen some of their fun projects in magazines, blogs, and even TV with their easy DIY’s and functional decor affordable for any budget!
Meet Tim and Kara Paslay with Kara Paslay Designs:
“We do a lot of different creative jobs, all which fall under our business “Kara Paslay Designs.” It is a full time, all consuming business and we love it. Basically, we will take on any job that involves creative design. We do or have done interior design for residential homes, retail design for Anthropologie and other Tulsa boutiques, window displays, we write a daily blog, we host DIY classes, we serve as art directors/set decorators for commercial, TV shows, & movies, and we are in the process of developing our own design TV show! Basically we love creating and will take every opportunity to do so!”- Kara Paslay
Q1) What was the inspiration behind starting Kara Paslay Design?
A1) Kara- Growing up I promised myself that no matter what I ended up doing that I would love it. I refused to work at a job that I dreaded every day. There was a problem though- my college days were focused on playing basketball. Around my junior year, I realized that I wanted to do interior design after my basketball days were over, but my college didn’t offer the major. So, I went about the rest of my college days trying to squeeze in furniture redo projects and small things I could take on in my apartment. After college Tim and I bought a home. Tim took a job at a construction company to learn the basics of construction/building so that we could apply that knowledge to our home and one day our business. Meanwhile I worked at home honing different skills- designing and redesigning rooms to create a portfolio for myself. We looked at our home as a hands on learning university where we could get the education that we needed to eventually start our own business.
Tim- I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do out of college, but I knew I needed to try things to figure out what I did and didn’t like. I took on the responsibility of bread winning while Kara was getting established and now the rolls have reversed a little bit. I still pitch in, but with a better understanding of what I enjoy doing, I am working on some projects that aren’t necessarily making money yet, but will one day be an enjoyable (and hopefully profitable) business of my own.
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.