A few weeks ago I met up with the Warby Parker gang, who came over to hang out at our house for a bit, meet the cats, and talk about Skill Exchange. I’ve been a glasses girl since junior high school, when I finally had to admit I couldn’t see the overhead or the white boards in class. I love wearing glasses now, much more than I did back then. I just treated myself to some new Warby frames, and I can’t wait for them to arrive! Click on the photo above to read about our conversation, and catch a glimpse of Lucca’s first bit of press– he popped up in more than one photo. That cat has a huuuuge ego now!
With the newest schedule of Skill Exchange workshops, I wanted to reflect on the evolution of Kate Skill Exchange Design things. Blogging with a cocktail in hand never hurts, right? Over the last year, I’ve learned many many indispensable lessons about event planning, life-juggling and business-juggling. I’m 29 years old, and while I may regret sharing that little tidbit tomorrow, I can’t regret the fact that working for myself has been the best, and most intimidating decision I’ve ever made. I’ve learned that I need support, and I need good advisors to help advise me in areas that I might otherwise stubbornly avoid or ignore. I’ve had to toughen up, but also be more protective of what I’ve worked so hard to build. True, haters gonna hate, but I’ve also learned that the copycats aren’t going to slow me down either.
With the growing network of participants as well as teachers, it is even more important to continue offering interesting, affordable and useful workshops that excite us and inspire us. As Skill Exchange grows, I want to create workshops and events will help us all take steps towards better understanding how things are made, but also, to help support those in the community that have dedicated their careers to practicing traditional and handmaking skills. These workshops aren’t entirely about having fun– they are about supporting makers and small businesses, and revaluing the hard work that goes into making things by hand.
With this new series of workshops, ticket price points are higher than previous events, so that Skill Exchange can pay our teachers, rent space for events, as well as support new and evolving goals of Skill Exchange. I’ve worked extremely hard to ensure that each workshop is still very affordable, and the value of each workshop is higher than the actual monetary cost, because ultimately, I want people to understand the value of the skills and knowledge that our teachers are passionate about.
In the past workshop tickets were extremely low cost, in part through the kind donations of businesses and teachers, and eventually workshops were funded in part by grants. I was also for a time, extremely naive about my ability to keep Skill Exchange moving forward non-stop without help or financial support… but fortunately I’m no longer laboring under that particular delusion! One of the long term goals of Skill Exchange will be to offer a variety of price points for everyone… and yes, I still want to do free events. I just can’t help it. Skills should be available to everyone.
Skill Exchange will continue to evolve and grow, thanks to excellent advice-givers, workshop takers, and continued support from teachers and makers. If you’d like to support Skill Exchange, take a workshop with us. Its easy, and we’re fun. Oh, PS- you’re going to learn something useful.
Over the weekend I stopped into our new favorite shop in the neighborhood for a chat and a quick browse. Schatzi just opened at 791 Valencia Street, inside vintage clothing store Schauplatz. I fell hard for an old medical diagram, and after going home to assess our walls (and convince Intern this was a necessary addition to our home) I went back to Schatzi the next day to pick up the wall hanging before anyone else could grab it.
After a short deliberation, we decided the diagram would be best hanging in the office, where I CAN LOOK AT IT EVERY DAY. Honestly, I know it is a little weird, but the drawings are beautiful and make me feel very happy. Bodies are amazing, especially the lady ones. We’re now calling my office the Ovary Office…. get it? Actually I’m the only one calling it that, Intern doesn’t want to encourage my hilarious jokes too much. Before I get any emails, this wall art is not a clever attempt to share any personal “news”– the only babies in here are kittens or the hand drawn kind.
I recently had the pleasure of working with SF-based PR firm RedBarn PR, to design both a new website and identity. RedBarn PR specializes in working with farm and food entrepreneurs, and small businesses to cultivate connections through authentic storytelling, social outreach and event management. We worked together to create a logo and visual identity for RedBarn that reflects their down-to-earth methods, natural approach, and authentic communication. We even found a way to sneak in a little baby goat into the mix, just for fun. This project also gave me the opportunity to work with the wonderful Zoe Rooney, who was responsible web development. From social media, content strategy, and event development I’ve learned so much already through working with RedBarn, as both a designer, and a client. If you’re in need of a little direction when it comes to promoting your small business, I heartily recommend RedBarn PR. Visit them online at www.RedBarnPR.com.
I haven’t had very much time lately for personal projects, but I squirreled away a little time here and there to design a new rubber stamp. This stamp is mostly for client thank you cards, general correspondence and times when I just need to stamp something. The finished product arrived last week, and I put it to work right away.