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Sometimes, balance, updates

15 Apr

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Over the course of several days, I’ve written, rewritten, deleted and scrapped this post numerous times. I keep second-guessing all my writing topics and fleeting thoughts because… I just keep getting that nagging feeling I should be doing something else. I SHOULD be doing something else. I have a list of tasks that need my attention; a series of errands and production tasks that need to happen today. My attention is divided between my design website relaunch, (several weeks overdue) production and order fulfillment in my shop, and keeping up with client work. Oh and email. EMAIL! I have orders to ship this week, orders to sand and package, a pop up shop to prepare for this Saturday, wholesale orders to deliver, wholesale inquires to follow up on, and a cat that won’t leave my lap, even if it means he keeps getting dumped out of it, every 25 minutes when I need to grab something outside the office. Oh, did I mention I’m working on a new Skill Exchange event scheduled for Mid-May?

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This week I am trying to balance a reasonable amount of work with a reasonable amount of rest. Trying, anyway. I feel as though I’ve got a giant on my back at the moment, kind of like a cat, always watching me.  If I can keep on top of our meals for the week, and keep vegetables from getting hairy and limp in the fridge, that will also be a bonus. Today I sent my very first set of record dividers to a customer in Australia, which felt a little momentous. My product-babies are moving out in the world, to other continents! Another small victory this week? This little mention of my shop in New York Magazine. (!!!)

 

What Blog?

4 Apr

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Record dividers, on repeat. The last few weeks have gone a little like this: Pick up wood at the lumberyard. Drop off wood at the shop. Pick up laser cut sets at the shop. Sand and package finished sets. Haul boxes to the post office. Repeat.

Inventory is moving (yaaaay), spread sheets are filling up, wholesale orders are coming in and moving out, and in-between the constant running around, there have been a few hurrahs like this one. Its good to be busy, but I’ve got highs and lows of worries and excitement, alternating every few days (or hours). I go to sleep trying not to think about the shop, but wake up with dreams of sanding panels, packaging sets and processing orders. Its a lot of physical work, and my brain feels full of lists with tasks to complete. I’m living with post-its directing my day-to-day schedule, reminding me to check in with retailers, ship samples out, buy ink, finish client projects, pick work up at the printer and on and on. Good busy, but busy busy.

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We finally had our first social club meeting of the year, with gals and one gent getting together last weekend for an afternoon of projects and catching up. We all had a different project to work on, a little reupholstery, watercolor experiments, knitting, embroidery thread necklaces and basket-making, and for me, a sewing project I’ve been neglecting for months. The goal for this meet up was to get shit done, and get it done away from the screen. Mission accomplished. Even if its only for a few hours, every few months, it still feels restorative to gather up some gals and work on projects purely for pleasure.

New record divider styles

12 Mar

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The new 2014 record divider collection is finally up in the shop. Well, almost. Ordering officially starts on Monday, but for now, the full collection preview is up on the site. Good things take time, especially if they are handmade. The new line includes sets for 12″ records AND 7″ records and new 6 panel sets for smaller record collections. Since the launch of the shop back in November, we’ve been working on a stencil lettering style that will be gentler on the wallet, but maintains the same high quality and durability of all the products.

For the month of March I’m offering $15 off any new web orders during the month. This includes everything in the shop, including the new collection! For your discount, use the code: MARCHORGANIZED. Offer expires April 1st (no joke!)

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What I’m working on

24 Feb

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The past two months have flown by already. I’ve been wrapping up work on a few recent client projects, as well as some ongoing product development for my shop. I’m just finishing an identity and web project for Midwife Ellie. This project has been a engaging experience– essentially, another affirmation for being self-employed. I’ve been fortunate to find work with clients who are working in fields that are so different from my own, but that I also find so fascinating.

When Ellie first reached out a few months back, I was thrilled to be asked to create a brand new identity for her midwifery practice. Midwifery can have some polarizing reactions and stereotypes for some, and it was an engrossing topic to research and explore as we worked towards developing a modern logo representative of Ellie’s practice and style of care. Midwife Ellie’s new site just launched last week and I’m eagerly waiting to see all the print pieces, currently in the queue at the printers.

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Last week I kicked off a creative project of a different nature, working with a local makeup artist, Nikol Elaine on a fun print project launching in the next few weeks. I’ve also begun working on the relaunch of my website, which will be launching at the end of March. For now, I’ve started documenting some recent projects and peeks at current work over on Dribbble.

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Last but not least…. NEW RECORD DIVIDER SETS! The shop has had some really welcoming and kind press mentions lately, from The Dieline, Selectism, Mr Cup and Under Consideration. If you’re curious, you can read the rest of the mentions here.

I’ve got a handful of new divider sets that I’ll be adding to the shop over the coming week or two. I’ve focused my work on two main goals for the shop. The first goal has been to design some new sets for collectors who are just starting out, who have under 25 records, or have perhaps pared their collection down to the the essentials. 26 dividers can be overkill for some audiophiles who maybe only collect a few artists, or for those who just don’t have the space to store a large record collection.

These new divider sets are only 6 panels instead of 26, but can easily expand to accommodate a growing collection. The second goal I’ve been whittling away at has been to create a line of record dividers with a lower price point. This has been very tricky, with a significant number of (frustrating) challenges along the way. I don’t want to sacrifice quality (or give in to different/cheaper and less interesting methods of production) but at the same time, I know the original collection is cost prohibitive for some. Production costs are very high, but I’ve finally worked out a solution that will help create more entry options for all kinds of record collectors.

Working music playlist

14 Jan

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Now that the holidays have ended, and nearly all of the celebrations have trickled to an end, work has resumed and I’ve reopened my online shop. After a little rest and a good long break from hauling wood and hand-sanding panels, production has begun again.

In honor of new projects this month, plus lots of planning, sketching and big ideas…I wanted to share a collaboratively-compiled playlist that Intern and I frequently turn on when we both need to get work done. Intern made the bones of this playlist back in May for a Skill Exchange event, and since then, the playlist has gone through a few edits and revisions by both of us. This compilation a little bit of everything– some peppy songs, and a few spicy slower songs as well, with Cayucas, Alt-J, Nick Waterhouse and a few surprises thrown in as well.  You’ll need a free subscription to Rdio to listen to the mix, here.

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