All posts by Allison

Studio Updates

The Wonder Jam 4

I thought I’d share a few updates on the studio! We’ve had it for almost two months and has become my favorite place to be! Not only is it a place that can bring about peace + quiet, it’s also a place where people feel comfortable and can collaborate.

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Our friend Danielle came over to create one of her amazing food typography creations while we worked. When it was time to be photographed, I popped over and snapped what I needed.

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Our other friend Tim has been using his talents to give us the most amazing custom addition! We are seriously so lucky. He just installed this shelf/standing desk up at the front. Look at that copper detailing! He also built the table (in the top photo). We found an artist on Etsy to make us that custom metal diamond.

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Overall it’s been really amazing. We’ve stayed within our budget and it’s makes such a difference. I don’t sit in the studio feeling guilty for throwing non-existent money at unnecessary decor. My tips for someone investing in a workspace?

  • Set a budget and stick to it! It’ll never REALLY feel “finished” so take it slow.
  • Go to IKEA for lamps, rugs + frames (so cheap!)
  • Barter + trade for services or items.
  • Invite people in. Even if it’s feels out of the way! Ours doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic but we are intentional about hosting or meetings.

 

Slow Weekends

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Last month we decided to take Sundays off. Sundays have become this little life boat that I end up hurling myself onto and holding onto for dear life. Well, that’s dramatic. My week isn’t a sinking ship but by Sunday I’m in need of a quiet inbox and a day where I don’t have to wear shoes.

Slowly but surely, our Sundays have slowly seeped (retroactively) into Saturday and a real weekend formed. The adjustment reminds me of our trip to Jamaica in 2012. I had a mini panic attack because I didn’t know how to be still or what to do without my laptop. There are times where Adam and I feel the need to defend ourselves if we still want to work a bit during the weekend. It’s still odd to look at my bookshelf filled with unread adventures and know that I could jump in at that very moment.

How do you treat weekday nights and weekends? Do you adhere to a traditional work schedule and use that time to relax/work on personal projects? Do you find yourself working during the weekend to “get ahead?”

*PS If I DO work during the weekend, I schedule my emails to go out Monday morning. It helps keep those two days pretty quiet and sacred. 

In Search of the Perfect Couch

Couch

If you came over to my house, I’d tell you to take a seat. On my lumpy, uncomfortable couch. So sweet of me, right? We bought our couch when we moved into our townhouse in 2012 and it’s seen better days. We snagged it from World Market for a mere $650. We’re high rollers, obviously.

Here’s the deal, I work a lot. I’m not far from being 30 years old. I need an adult couch. And I’m willing to drop some mad cash. One that I can sink into. One where you could cuddle comfortably with another person (aka Adam). One where my dog won’t smash the back cushions down because he is strangely cat-like.

So I’m asking you! Do you have a couch that you love? I need recommendations.

*Couch doodle by me. It doesn’t look that comfortable. The font is Core Circus.

 

Crazy face.

HI

Happy Friday! It’s been one of those weeks. I’m running towards the weekend with full force. Adam took this picture of me and um….it’s amazing. You can see my molars.

What are you up to this weekend?

 

Maternity Shoot

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I don’t remember how I met Ashli but she’s the kind of person that brightens your life. I was so honored when she asked me to photograph her maternity shoot. Alex and Ashli have created such a gorgeous home here in Columbus and they’ll be welcoming their baby girl very soon!

But seriously…she’s glowing.

Spring Uniform

Spring Wardrobe

The weather forecast is looking promising: temps in the 50s and 60s for the next 10 days so I’m hoping that I can bust out my spring wardrobe soon! Last year I shared exactly how I pared down my wardrobe and as the weather started turning warmer, I realized that I pretty much got rid of everything in the purge.

Using the same methodology, I finally nailed down my warmer-weather-wardrobe vibe. Here it is:

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Colors: navy, white, grey, black, tan, light pink, grey. Prints: polka dots, stripes.

We are on a legit budget right now so I sold about $200 worth of my old clothing via Instagram to jump start my warmer weather wardrobe. I ended up using Everlane credit, traded services for clothes with a local boutique + intense online shopping session with ASOS’ sale section (you have to sort through A LOT of crop tops and boxy t-shirts to get what you want) to get a great base. I’ll round it all out next month for my birthday at the outlet mall.

I always aim for timeless, not trendy. It took a lot of willpower to not pick up some crazy printed dress or a kimono. It has also taken me awhile to discern what I’m seeing online (usually a 5′ 10″ model who wears an XS) but now I’m able to look for cuts and fabric that I personally love.

Where do you shop? How to approach shopping? What styles are you loving this season?

 

Meetings. How I Schedule + Prepare

Meetings

The last month has been one of refining processes, contracts and efficiency. We’re a two person team and have many projects happening simultaneously. One things we started to observe was the fact that we were constantly in meetings. Days would fly by and we’d have ZERO work to show for it. Meetings, when executed properly, can be very productive. When meetings are flippantly scheduled without pausing to reflect on a few things, they can lead to a very unproductive week and leave you feeling frustrated.

Here are a few guidelines I’ve executed as an owner, designer + sales person within my own business:

  1. Carve out certain days of the week to meet. I try to schedule all meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays (highlighted in yellow above). This doesn’t always happen but those are usually the days I list when I’m asked about my availability. Why those days? Monday mornings are reserved for a longer meeting with Adam and in the afternoon I have weekly reoccurring calls + a photoshoot. Wednesdays are always the busiest and Fridays are always more pleasant when I’m in control of my agenda.
  2. Prioritize your client meetings. This seems obvious but we found that dedicating two weeks of the month to non-client meetings allowed us to be more available and focused for our current clients. Meetings with potential clients, peers in or around our network, and random coffee dates are scheduled on the 1st and 3rd weeks of each month. Again, we still aim for Tuesday or Thursday.
  3. Set an agenda/itinerary. This is something that I’m still working on. It’s a bit easier when it’s a client because most of our client meetings have a purpose. Even so, we try to establish one topic per meeting and we try to set reoccurring meetings with clients who are on retainer. When we go into any meeting, I have a prepared list going over all of the topics I’d like covered. When you do this you’ll avoid the dreaded, “So what else do we need to go over?” after 20 minutes of small talk.
  4. Let people know how long you can meet. This is something I just decided to do but haven’t really implemented it yet. Lately we’ve found ourselves getting lost in conversation or spending too much time discussing a non-important topic. If I schedule a meeting at 3pm with someone on a Tuesday, I will tell them that I have an hour to meet. Simple as that. I don’t expect anyone that I meet with to keep track of that detail but it sets the tone and allows you to communicate that you can’t spend three hours chatting.
  5. Keep the location in mind and be intentional about it. There are many reasons why I love meeting in our new studio space. It’s comfortable, I don’t have to worry about listening to any other conversations besides my own, we spend less on coffee… the list could go on. BUT there are times when meeting at a coffee shop can keep things more brief. It’s like when you have people over. You have to wait until they’re ready to leave (or you have to start giving social cues that you’re ready to go to sleep). When I meet someone at a separate location, I can let them know that I have to get going or go back to work.

We’re still figuring this stuff out but I hope these tips can help someone else out there! Are you in control of your own schedule? How do you handle meetings? If you want to read more about how we’re trying to batch tasks, check out Adam’s post over here.

 

Partytime.

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The Wonder Jam turns 1 this May and we’re throwing a party in our new space! We’re working with an event planner here in Columbus and I created the moodboard/color scheme above! I’m not usually drawn toward super girly colors or styles. Even our townhouse isn’t too feminine (lots of wood, white, grey and large artwork).

I’m excited to see how it all comes together! Oh and happy April Fool’s Day! My favorite “minor” holiday. I love pranks!

Essentials: Daily

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I’m going to start a new “series” called Essentials here on Be Up & Doing. But it’s not going to be heavily influenced by affiliate marketing or sponsored in any way. You’ll be getting a list of things I honestly consider an essential (and get a little cranky when I don’t have access to them).  The first list will be a DAILY essentials list. Things I use every day (besides my computer and iPhone). Whether I’m in the office, traveling or working in bed…I must have them.

Daily Essentials

  1. After an extremely dry winter, I discovered that Aquaphor’s Lip Repair is the only thing that truly keeps my lips hydrated. It’s not glamorous and it’s like $4 a tube.
  2. Even if I only have 5 minutes to get ready, I utilize these three items: Cils Booster XL Mascara to add a ton of length to my short lashes (it’s a base so you apply mascara on top once it’s dry), Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind concealer for dark circles and Benefit’s BAD Gal mascara.
  3. Every night I take a Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Oil blend. I only trust Green Pastures. It’s a superfood for your skin.
  4. I always have some kind of Moleskine on me. I just filled a small AND a large one so I need to replenish. I also need to figure out a system to keep my Google calendar, notebooks, paper planner + digital note taking all synced up. More on that later.
  5. I’ve searched high and low for a really good grain-free snack for when I’m running around to different meetings and don’t want that nausea/hungry feeling. These Simple Square organic bars are amazing. Not too nutty, not too sweet. I ordered a huge box!

Honestly that’s about it. Essentials aren’t really supposed to be frivolous though…

Sin City. More like sleep city.

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I spent a few days in Vegas last week and while it might be a city that never sleeps…I pretty much squashed that concept with my shoe. We really didn’t do anything too adventurous. I went to bed early, slept 8 hours, woke up and went to the pool, ate well and spent time with my dad/sister.

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We stayed at the Trump and I was so blown away at their amazing staff and customer service. Not only was it a gorgeous space but it always smelled like flowers.

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Trips like this remind me of why I need more siestas in my life.