I haven’t blogged in over three months. That might be the longest stretch yet! A lot has happened since my last post (we’ll expand on that later and no…I’m not pregnant) but for now, I thought I’d share about my newest adventure.
I’m earnestly seeking a hobby. Or three.
Rewind about two decades and you’d find an 8-year-old obsessed with hobbies. I am her. She is me. The term hobbies meant a lot of different things back then:
- I collected things like rocks, stamps, pencils, Pokemon cards and stickers
- I painted
- I played the piano
- I experimented with the camcorder
- I shot 35 film
Things I didn’t do twenty years ago: work 24/7.
Last weekend, I spent a few hours transforming a few faces for a Halloween party. I had a blast and proclaimed to Adam that maybe I had found my new career. He looked at me and said, “NO. You found a new hobby. You don’t need to work more.” And it hit me. I really do need a hobby or two. Hilariously, I’m looking to 8-year-old Allie for inspiration. I can play the piano pretty well. I can paint even better. I haven’t touched my film cameras in years. I still dream of vlogging.
For awhile now I’ve been trying to cram my own version of self-care into a life without space. Sprinkling a trip to Whole Foods and an hour of acupuncture into a work-dominated week isn’t really self-care, is it? It’s self-preservation. I’m much more interested in self-expansion.
That’s why this space got a facelift (again). I’m over the hustle. I’m over the promotions. I’m over the launches. My sidebar’s gone. No more opt-in collecting emails I’ll never use. Business shmisness.
I’m ready to play.
I’ve worked for myself for almost three years now and a lot of my friends have as well. Adam and I started The Wonder Jam back in 2013 and pretty consistently have had interns every spring, summer and fall. They have never been virtual, always in-person. Just recently we brought on an admin assistant/studio manager/project manager hybrid!
As our business (and my fellow bosses’) grows, I wanted to share some tips on hiring and then onboarding people onto your team:
Be really clear about what you need + what they want
When you’re bringing on an intern (disclaimer: we pay our interns a monthly stipend of $200) or anyone in a part-time/assistant capacity, be really clear about what you want them to do. We believe that interns should LEARN and do cool stuff. Not just get coffee. We think that they should gain experience by creating work (designing, photographing + writing) based on real client needs. Our clients don’t always see the work they’re creating, but our interns are able to create work with substance.
Communicate how to communicate
We try to keep our team out of their inbox. We check our email about 3 times a day and can’t depend on emails to communicate small needs or tasks. We also respect our interns/contractors time and don’t feel like it’s appropriate to text them if we need something. It’s okay to shut off everything when you’re off work. Texting takes it too far and can cause anxiety or stress for everyone.
We use Basecamp and Slack to communicate internally. Here’s how we use them:
- Basecamp: We use Basecamp to keep our projects in order. We take info we receive via email and organize it by project. Tasks, documents, notes and logins are all stored here.
- Slack: We use Slack for conversation! It’s an internal chat system (actually, it can be opened up to clients or a community) and we use it to ask for things we need or walk through a project. It’s great because you can talk to one single person as a direct message or create groups of people.
Be specific with deadlines
We have quick turnarounds with our clients and so I make it clear that we aim for faster deadlines. Meeting deadlines is really important in whatever industry you work. Instead of assigning projects or tasks and leaving them alone, I try to say things like “We’ll review this at 2pm” or “Let’s aim to have this done by next Monday.” An intern doesn’t have the ability to see the big picture and know how quickly things move in your business.
Ask them for feedback
Whether it’s about a project with your client or how their time has been, it’s important to give them a voice. Preparing them for future jobs or running their own business is a big responsibility. You rarely do well in any position if you don’t have practice speaking in front of others or sharing what you think!
Any advice for those of us who have interns? Did you have an amazing internship? Why?
This is the most typical post of the blogging world. But IDGAF. I always think it’s interesting to see what’s in people’s houses, purses + studios. Who doesn’t?
I bought this backpack at Nordstrom Rack earlier this year because I hate carrying all the weight on one shoulder. It’s big enough to carry my large camera but not big enough to carry my 13″ Macbook Pro. Pro and con. When we were traveling a lot, it was nice that I didn’t have the choice.
So here’s what was in my backpack. Truth time: I didn’t include all the dirty tissues.
- Current book
- Business cards
- Bite lipsticks (the only brand I wear), Gerard Cosmetics lipgloss and Burt’s Bees
- Mobile phone charger
- Memory card
- Total Babe mirror
- Coconut oil spray instead of lotion
- Nail file
Riveting, I know. I’m pretty sure that Adam had recently went through my bag and threw away all the trash. What a sweet husband. Not pictured (but often in there): headphones and notebook.
Our marriage turned six this summer. I’ve known Adam for ten. Time flies when you’re having fun, running a business, traveling and more. Somehow marriage is the easiest and the hardest thing. I don’t know how it’s possible to be both. But it is.
Adam is so much of what I want to be. Patient, thoughtful and self-sacrificing. I sometimes am baffled that 18-year-old-me knew he would be such a great partner a decade later.
I’ve been listening to Call Your Girlfriend (the podcast) lately. I love the topics, the casual vibes and the ladies. As you get older, you find that many of your friends don’t live in your apartment or down the street anymore. College friends disperse, bffs get jobs across the country and some of your best pals work 24/7 (ahem, me).
I thought it’d be fun to round up a list of fun gifts that don’t cost a bazillion dollars and are easy to ship. We can’t all be Gwenyth Paltrow.
- Weekly planner by Julia Kostreva ($32)
- Invader Shades by Quay ($50)
- Introvert pin by These are Things ($10)
- Lightning Bolt ring by Bing Bang NYC ($58)
- Gold lippy mug by Rachel George ($32)
- Hear No Evil earbuds in gold via Nasty Gal ($20)
- Coffee Scrub by Frank Body ($14.95)
- ET Pin via Valley Cruise Press ($8) they also have the twin/bff emoji pin!
Thinking about buying all of this stuff for all my bffs! Let me know of any other small shops that carry dope products!
While I hope this post is extremely helpful, I also think it’s the silliest thing I’ve done here on my blog. Taking photos of yourself is the weirdest (unless you’re a model…or aspiring to be). BUT I wanted to give you all an idea of what I wear every day because it’s about as simple as it gets. I’m still figuring out what fits my body type best. I’m really short (exactly five feet tall). Every time I meet someone from the internet, they say, “You’re so much shorter than I thought!”
How I’ve Tweaked my Capsule Wardrobe Method
A year or two ago, I discovered the capsule wardrobe method and loved it. It’s become more natural and less focused as time goes by. Back in March (when it was still frozen), I started shopping for spring and summer clothes. I was buying cute little lace shirts, crop tops and lots of maxi skirts. About half of the stuff I was buying online wasn’t fitting right (denim shorts that were twice my size, shirts that were too tight or pieces that wrinkle the minute you sit down).
Once we headed out for our huge road trip in May, I grabbed only a few outfits that I knew I loved. They lasted me two weeks straight on the road and I realized that they all had a few things in common: they were comfortable, they were neutral and they contained a small percentage of spandex or rayon. I like a basic grey/black/white tee + jeans and I’m set.
Kit and Ace recently came to Columbus (the Short North, specifically) and while I couldn’t attend their launch party, I did recently get to visit! The instant I walked in I knew this was my type of place. The interior is minimal and they use copper as an accent. Helllooooo! Yes, please!
It’s already mid-July and I don’t even feel like we’ve had a summer yet. It’s rained for almost a month straight and so on the days we do see the sun, we’re always scrambling to sit outside on a patio, our front porch or open the windows.
Since it’s been raining a lot, I’ve been eating lots of tacos and french fries. And re-watching The Office on Netflix. My daily uniform consists of black tees and my Birks. And I’ve been drinking bourbon lately.
We were in Los Angeles (technically posted up in Venice) for six days. Here’s a list of everything we did. Because who wants to read paragraphs about someone’s trip?
- Spent a few days between Abbot Kinney in Venice and Santa Monica
- A night out in West Hollywood with my best bae Evan
- Hosted an amazing pop-up gallery for our Death to Stock trip
- Hung out with Marissa of Bourbon and Goose and Jennifer of Toast Meets Jam instead of just chatting on the internets
- Drank with Matt Kimberley
- Drove around Malibu because #omghouses
- Photoshoot on the beach for a client
Then we flew back preparing to work like a crazy person due to taking a month off :)
Between our trip to San Diego and Los Angeles, we drove through the mountains and visited one of our clients! Bethany started Primally Pure right on their farm and sells deodorant, lotions, outdoor lotion and lip balm made from REAL ingredients. Their farm, Primal Pastures, is beautiful. We ate fruit off the trees, shot some photos and fell in love with the product we’ll be re-branding.
Plus…PUPPIES AND PIGS!