I blame the Patagonia Kids catalog Jeremy dropped in front of my face as I was sipping on coffee between bites of the the oatmeal (with raisins, peanut butter & cinnamon) he just cooked for me. Without warning and any restraint I found myself flipping through the pages and losing my shit over all the cute kids out and about on Wintery adventures. And the little down onesies? Forgetaboutit.
I closed the catalog – looked Jeremy in the eyes and very seriously said “I’m ready to start a family.”
“Really?” Jeremy says.
“No. Not really. I just wanted to practice what that sounded like out loud.”
The truth is I’m not ready. Not yet. I could be perfectly happy just the two of us forever. But sometimes I can’t help but imagine sipping on coffee while Jeremy cooks an oatmeal breakfast for a little family of three. Followed by bundling a little beeb up for a Wintery adventure of our own. And when I let my mind wander like this I become just a little more baby crazy. I become just a little more ready. Maybe.
My business, Braid Creative & Consulting, has been officially in business for a month now. I’m going to write more about what September has looked like over on the Braid Blog later this week but for now I wanted to address a couple of frequently asked questions about my new business over here.
1. Lots of you have been asking me “What about And Kathleen?“
2. And a few of you have sheepishly asked “What exactly is a brand?”
Well, first off, I haven’t been designing wedding invitations for months now – which made up about 50% of my work flow. I owe you an in-depth post on why I quit working with brides but for now I can tell you a huge part of it was that I wanted to focus on branding small businesses.
Well, then Braid came along – The Braid Method that Tara and I developed is pretty extensive as far as how we work to uncover a brand for big companies – so I kind of figured my smaller And Kathleen projects would just fizzle out. But what I found is that my readers and customers aren’t going anywhere – you all upped your game to match my elevated services. And it’s not just about your logo anymore – it’s about your story – and how you tell it. This is branding.
At this point a lot of you might be wondering exactly what a brand is. You might hear Kim Kardashian’s mom and Paris Hilton talking about their brand and not really know what that means. Basically, a brand is what people see but also what they understand. You should be proud to hand out your business card or display your logo on your door or website. Likewise, you should be able to tell someone in just one or two sentences exactly what it is your business does and stands for.
So, The Brand Starter Kit (developed with lots of help from my business partner, Tara) is my answer to integrating what I was passionate about with And Kathleen into what I’m doing now over at Braid. It’s my solution to not only designing a logo & identity for microbusinesses and/or artistpreneurs but to also at the same time uncover that authentic brand story too. If The Brand Starter Kit is something you’re interested in please feel free to email me at Kathleen@braidcreative.com – I will be happy to send you more information about it.
And if you’re a freelancer / designer who is working on branding projects for your own clients feel free to use some ideas posted over at Braid to help uncover your own clients’ brand story. If you’re not following my posts over at Braid feel free to subscribe now – here’s a link.
• The Freelance Matters series
• Brand Identities (designed by me)
My friends always seem shocked when I tell them I can count on two fingers the amount of times I’ve been to the Great State Fair of Oklahoma. When I was a kid I would hear rumors about “The Fair” – especially the seedy goings-on on “The Midway”. “The Midway” was where the lights would shine bright, teenagers with homemade tattoos would have their hands casually slipped in each others’ back pockets and don’t you dare look a carnie in the eye.
So, this year when my friend Ashley invited me to go to the fair with her I was up for the adventure. Ashley was the perfect person to go to the fair with. With grace, she moved from the $3 corn dog to jalapeno cheddar poppers to an Indian taco drowned in hot sauce and topped it all off with a 32 oz. jug of root beer. And not once did she threaten to puke. She guided me from the agtropolis building (where we admired goats and butterflies) to the agriculture building (where we said hello to huge horses and baby pigs) to the car building (where I watched men gaze at cars with transparent lust thinly veiled in a I’m-too-cool-for-this-car-anyway demeanor) and finally to The Midway.
Somehow, in the middle of the commotion everything fell silent – just like a scene in a movie. It was just me, flashing lights and the smell of fried food. In the middle of thousands of people I unexpectedly stumbled upon a moment zen. I even made eye contact with a carnie and didn’t lose my soul.
The thing about Oklahoma is … sometimes the sun really knows how to say goodnight.
• Jeremy was in Boston. I missed my big spoon.
• I slept in every morning until 7.
• I started practicing meditation for 15 minutes every morning.
• I went to the State Fair with friends.
• I took more photos.
• I had a gallery opening – with all my work on 27 boards. I felt so special.
• I started my guest teaching stint at a University here. I have so much compassion for design students – it’s not easy.
• I laughed about my two design crushes (Stefan Sagmeister & Nicholas Felton) with the teacher – who’s hung out with both of them. She told me they couldn’t be more opposite.
• I had dinner with some of my favorite ladies.
• I now have a publicist and a life coach. It’s pretty rad – I’m excited about both.
• I worked out – even though I really didn’t want to.
• I got a cool ampersand photo in my email from a blog reader – I love how often this happens and I love that you guys think of me when you see ampersands.
• I checked out some office space for Braid.
• I’m going to an all-day meditation thing. I’m learning to be still. Do any of you meditate?
• I would like to watch at least one documentary. I’ve made a new friend who practically makes it her job to watch documentaries that stream on Netflix and she always has new suggestions.
• Maybe rock climbing?
• Sleeping, cuddles and not making my own coffee.
How was your week? What are you up to this weekend?
Photo by Debbie Cramer – thanks again, Debbie!