Entries from October 2012

Lifting the Weight

October 31, 2012

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Tara and I never set out to be entrepreneurs. We never thought we’d work for ourselves, much less each other. We didn’t grow up fantasizing about owning our own business. And when we decided to make the jump we just trusted that we’d build our wings on the way down. Or at least we’d hold hands and crash and burn together – Thelma & Louise style.

Just a few short months after the beginning of Braid we hired Kristin. Truth be told… she got the job because she kind of reminded of us Liz. It could’ve been the short hair and oxfords or it could’ve been the kind of cool calm she managed to maintain through her portfolio review. Now… I can’t imagine Braid without her.

It still sometimes feels as if we’re in a free fall – plummeting towards the earth at a million miles an hour. So when Liz sent us a snapshot of her costume materials the wings seemed all too appropriate.

Visit the Braid blog to see our Halloween costumes – and welcome Liz to our team.
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The Weight of The Work

October 26, 2012

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It’s 10:32pm right now. A cold front came through today so my fingers and toes feel especially cold. I’m sitting in lotus, wearing an oversized wool cardigan, at my breakfast nook table in my only kind of comfortable Herman Miller bucket chair. My favorite Velvet Underground song is playing and Mister Scooty Boots is curled up in Jeremy’s lap, per usual. We’re both illuminated by the glow of our open laptops and we’re nursing hand crafted pale ales out of the bottle. I’ve chewed my nails down to the quick (and damn, I was doing so good about that). It’s the kind of week where I’m employing Jeremy (the guy in grad school who is constantly working on never-ending math equations) to not only calm me down when I start to feel overwhelmed but to actually help me through this late night work session. To help me dot my “i”s and cross my “t”s and make sure my “their”s are “there”s.

It’s been the kind of week where the weight of the work is starting to feel a little heavy for all of us. It’s the kind of heavy where all I can think about is my all-consuming desire to lay in hot sand or zone out to on the couch to a Wes Anderson flick. But it’s also a comforting kind of heavy – like a warm body on top of my own. The kind of weight that reminds me that I’m putting in late nights because I’m in love with my work – and that I have so much to share that I can’t not work into the evening. It’s physically impossible to stop the flow. 

So all of this to say: Sometimes the weight of the work feels a little heavy – sometimes in a good way. Even though I pride myself on keeping my work week to 40 hours or less, sometimes I work late. But it’s because I’ve chosen to build something bigger than myself. And I’m building it with my tribe – with Jeremy, Tara and Kristin. And with all of you. So thank you.

Now might also be a good time to tell you that our new Braid ECourse: Personal Branding: Blending Who You Are with What You Do is open for registration until this Sunday. (I promise I won’t tell you to blend the two by working late into the night – but sometimes that’s just the reality of entrepreneurship.) You can register for a discounted price of $65 if you check out my guest post over at Sarah Von Bargen’s blog with tips on how to blend the personal with the professional.

Photo by my personal paparazzi and member of my tribe, Greer Inez.

A Little Luck

October 24, 2012

First astrology and now lucky charms. Superstition must be the theme of the week. But I think there’s something true to be said for the little things we use to help focus our thoughts and energy. The magic is within us – but lucky charms are great tools for harnessing the power we’ve got.

Here are a few things that help me get my mojo aligned:
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My Everest rocks. As we were trekking the trail up to base camp I kept seeing stacked rocks. I asked our guide, Buddhi, what it meant and he simply said it was for good luck. I collected these rocks at base camp and brought them all the way back to the other side of the world. They remind me to take one step at a time and breathe.

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My action bunny in gold pants. Liz got me this little guy (you guys are following Liz’s blog, right?). He sits at my computer with me and reminds me that life is more fun in gold undies.

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My sunstone. My new client turned fast friend, Claire, got me this sunstone while she was in Sedona. The sunstone is said to energize the second and third chakras – stimulating leadership, creativity and sexy times. I’ll take it.

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My lucky kitty. Tara got me this lucky kitty while she was in Japan last week. And by Japan I actually mean the Japan part of Epcot while at Disneyworld in Florida. This little red cat symbolizes healthy business and healthy children. I’ll take that too.

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What are your lucky charms? Are you superstitious? 


Uncovering Leo

October 23, 2012

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This past weekend Jeremy and I were invited, last minute, to a Halloween party. Okay. I lie – we were invited a long time ago via Facebook but somehow I’ve become completely illiterate in the ways of Facebook – so I missed the event invitation. Either way, it was the night of the party and Jeremy and I didn’t have costumes.

I’ve never needed an excuse to dress up. In elementary school I’d wear a thrifted zip-up jet fighter pilot uniform with combat boots … on a Tuesday. As I got older I would find my outfits inspired by sailors, school girls, and Kurt Cobain. When I was in the 9th grade my next door neighbor was selling all of her old polyester pant suits from the 70s in a garage sale – I took all of them off her hands for a quarter each and continued to wear them for the duration of the school year. These days my outfits have to be able to make me confident enough to survive the post-apocalypse. 

The way I see it, every day is an opportunity to make a statement with what I’m wearing. So when it comes to Halloween, and dressing up, it feels like it’s got to be something really special. And that sentiment either makes me feel lazy and unenthusiastic or it drives me to go all out. This year my already-all-out hair did the hard work for me. All I had to do was pull my favorite article of clothing – a furry vest – from my closet and bust out the bronzer and liquid liner.

Now, I’m not about to become all furry kinky on you guys – or on Jeremy (sorry, dude) – but something about this silly, last-minute costume, felt more like an… awakening. As I transformed myself into a lion I felt as if I was uncovering the Leo I’ve grown in to. I don’t know a whole lot about the stars and the signs but my whole life I’ve been aware that I was born with my sun in Taurus – that I’m supposed to be a bull who is patient and slow, with a love of comfort and ease. And that has never felt quite right. I’m impatient and quick to make decisions. I crave pushing myself, and those around me, out of their comfort zones.

I had my astrological chart read for my 30th birthday in May. The woman reading my chart told me that the Leo Rising in my chart is more dominant than my sun in Taurus. That when I’m reading my horoscope in the back of a magazine I should read what it has to say for the Leo, for that is far more applicable to who I am than Taurus.

And so, my Leo Rising tells me that I like to be the center of attention – that I am idealistic and I like to appear strong, confident and dominant. It tells me that I’m loud and pay attention to my hair – but that I also radiate energy and want to make sure the people I love are alright. My Leo Rising tells me that others may not see me as beautiful, but as I grow up I will develop a regal bearing that will make others feel that I am dependable. It tells me that I want to make things happen and create a stir.

I don’t know about the stars and signs and lions and bulls, but I do know that I feel more me than I have ever felt in my life. With or without a face full of lion makeup.

Clean Start

October 19, 2012

BlueSevenCleanStart

One of my favorite local retailers, Blue Seven, asked me to participate in their raw denim Clean Start Project. The rules:
1. Wear the same pair of jeans every day (or at least 6 days a week) for six months.
2. If they get holes in them patch them up – or let them be.
3. Don’t wash the jeans. You can hang them up to air out, Febreeze ’em or stick them in the freezer overnight to help eliminate any stink.

Blue Seven is tracking the progress of over 60 participants over 6 months. The idea is that each pair of raw denim will emerge with its own personality depending on the life of the wearer. Apparently this isn’t a new concept – raw denim fanatics have been preaching this no-wash method to allow the jeans to fully express their true personality.

When Blue Seven asked me to participate I didn’t hesitate at the challenge. I love finding creativity within limitations. Challenges like these push me to the edge of what I think is possible for myself – and I always discover something new.

At the same time, I’ve recently purged about 75% of my wardrobe. Clothes that I love but never wear. Outfits that were reserved for my old art director self – my catwalk the open office hallway. But who I am now is someone who wants to do more with less – I want my limited articles of clothing to reflect that.

And so… I’m wearing the same pair of jeans. Every day. For six months.

Would you?

Follow the Blue Seven Clean Start project on Instagram: #b7cleanstart and here on their blog.

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