prancercise-drawing

Do your friends bring out your sillies? Do you bring it out in them?

I say we put on our white spandex and go embarrass ourselves this weekend.

Lip dub a music video. Build a fort. Get a neck tattoo. Whatever! Just make it fun and hopefully memorable. These are precious days and we can’t waste all of them on classy grown up activities.

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It is my pleasure to introduce you to the new Sarah Best Photography!

I met Sarah last fall and I was more than delighted when she reached out to have me rebrand her College Station-based wedding photography business. Since she’s not going to brag like this to you, I have to do it for her: this gal is legit. She is thoughtful, courteous, timely, and downright talented. If you or someone you know in the A&M area needs a photographer, call this gal up.

I knew right away that Sarah and I would have a hoot working together. She not only takes her craft (and herself) seriously, but she’s incredibly intentional with her business decisions. She’s striving to fulfill a bigger picture. That = dream client.

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Sarah asked for something soft, earthy, cozy and simple. She had an idea of what she wanted, but before all that, I had Sarah fill out a branding survey questionnaire that picked her brain about her goals for this brand and her business as a whole. Then we chatted up ideas, and explored different looks, vibes, type and symbols. We chatted by phone, email and text throughout the process. Eventually, we cut the frivolities and landed on a simple branch. It was important that Sarah stay down to earth. Her ideal wedding has beautiful natural light, and probably some succulents and pinecones thrown into the mix. In the end, I designed a new logo + business cards, then she made these snappy USB drives (below). There’s a stamp in the mix, but that pup isn’t pictured.

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Check out Sarah’s blog for chances to win some treats during her launch week. She’s killing it with giveaways. Be sure to like her Facebook page, follow her on Instagram and Twitter. And don’t forget to use the hashtag, #SPBlaunch.

Are you looking to rebrand? Do you believe that life should work around work and not the other way around? Do you believe the journey is just as important as the destination? Yes yes yes? Email me! becky[at]chipperthings.com

*All photos by Sarah Best

petite-shop

I’m so excited to introduce you to Elizabeth of The Petite Shop! I met Elizabeth a while ago when I’d Rather Be Short was getting published.

Elizabeth Bates is the Five-Foot Founder of The Petite Shop, the first online boutique dedicated exclusively to petite clothing for women 5’ 4” and shorter. The Petite Shop hand selects the petite clothing that women would actually want to wear – versus the traditional petite options (you know what I’m talking about)! The growing selection is sourced from well-known premium lines, to exclusive pieces from indie designers, currently ranging in size from 000 through 16.

I’ll start with the obvious. Why did you start the Petite Shop?
I started The Petite Shop for both a personal and professional reason – I saw a need. I probably sound like a broken record, but nearly half of American women are petite. HALF. The average American woman is 5’ 3.8”. People are still so shocked when I tell them that, which always surprises me because so often I’m telling a petite woman. We still think that we’re such a niche, that somehow it makes sense that the fashion industry is largely ignoring us – but we’re not a niche. We’re a huge market that deserves clothing that fits. It’s about so much more than fashion – it’s about feeling like you’re okay just the way you are. That our clothes should fit us, not that we need to fit our clothes. There’s a big educational and behavioral modification component there. We just buy our disproportionate clothing, say thank you, hang our heads, and drive to the tailor where we spend additional money to force our clothes into petite submission. No more!

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Have you always liked being small, or was there a time when you decided to embrace it?
In retrospect, I’ve always been teased about it a bit. Especially in grade school through high school – even by short guys! I don’t remember when I stopped caring about being teased, but it happened. Now I love it – I believe I’m right where I should be in life, and I wouldn’t be here if I weren’t 5’ tall! I’m a pretty sarcastic person, so now if someone decides to tease me for my height they’re going to get toyed with.

What do you wish you could tell your high school self?
I would (too) often forego my social life in high school to work on this school project or that school project. I was a study bug. I always told myself that 1) my friends would understand and still be my friends (they did, we’re still friends!) and 2) if I worked hard then, everything else would be easier in my future.
So, I think I would tell myself I was crazy – striving to achieve goals and fighting to live your dreams will always require hard work. If you’re not working hard, you’re probably not pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. I’d rather work hard at something I love than live an uninspired life.

How has your self-image been affected by doing work that directly impacts empowering other petite gals?
This is a great question! I’m interested in empowering women in general – if I can serve as some sort of role model that’s awesome. Last Fall, I was accepted into a startup accelerator program – I was one of only two women-owned businesses out of 17. When I met one of my classmates for the first time, he asked if I was another entrepreneur’s girlfriend or wife who I happened to be standing next to. I wish that wasn’t the assumption, but at the very least it was another opportunity for me to challenge the stereotype and claim some more space in the business world – in hopes that we can all change things little by little.

What have you learned since opening the shop?
SO VERY MUCH. I think one of the most important things I’ve learned is that the market is still underserved and improperly served. I handpick each item I sell in the shop, and when I go to apparel shows I’m consistently underwhelmed by the petite options available. A line will have amazing things coming out for the next season, and then the rep will whittle it down to what’s being cut in petite – one or two options, in the worst color possible.

I prefer to view this as a challenge versus an insurmountable hurdle – I’ve just had to figure out how to work around the status quo for the fashion industry. This is why I’ve worked with designers on custom pieces exclusive to The Petite Shop, why we launched the Collective (which I talk about in the next question), and why we have even MORE incredibly exciting things coming up in the next few months.

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What are your dreams for the Petite Shop or petite shopping in general?
One of my dreams just came true! We literally just launched our Collective, which is the first comprehensive showcase of indie petite designers from around the United States and even the United Kingdom! You can read about each designer and her inspiration and shop her collection.

It’s hard to put yourself out there as a designer, and even harder to focus on a specialty size niche – these eight women have all done that, and they are who will generate momentum for the petite movement that is truly reaching a tipping point. They deserve a forum and a community to support them, and I wanted to do what I could to help provide that.

As I mentioned above, we have another really exciting addition to The Petite Shop coming up in early Fall – I would love to shout it from the rooftops, but for the time being I can only say to follow #timeforachange for updates!

So cool! Thanks for filling us in, Elizabeth. Your site and collections are beautiful. Can’t wait to see what’s around the corner this Fall. 

Follow Elizabeth on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to take a little shopping trip on the site. 

*Photos courtesy of Elizabeth and the Petite Shop’s Instagram. 

Thanks to the world’s greatest app, I will never forget a day from 2014. I would have put it to cool music, but I’m still deciding on the soundtrack to my life. Thoughts?

In the meantime, download 1SE. It’s the easiest and coolest app. Just take videos on your phone , then pick the second you want to display. If you already have videos, great! It will plug them into the appropriate day. Give it a shot.

Enjoy!

*Note: I noticed it was taking up most of the storage on my phone about six months in. I suggest saving the mashed up videos (like above) to your computer periodically (every month or quarter) so you can clear the space.

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Restore International’s goal is to try to change a few lives for the better. We fight for freedom and human rights, work to improve educational opportunities, and try to be helpful to those in need of a voice and a friend…In 2006 we began working in Uganda in human rights and education.”

This awesome organization was founded by Bob Goff, and if you don’t know who Bob Goff is, I highly recommend you check out his book, Love DoesIt’s one of the best books I’ve read in the last year and has fueled my fire for whimsy and loving people the way Jesus loves me.

Restore International is changing lives in Uganda and India. As in, children aren’t being trafficked and they’re now getting an education directly because of this organization. My friend Jenné “Cool Pants” Blackburn is a warrior woman and I’m so excited about her upcoming journey.

She’s joining the Bob and gang for the Love Does Tour (bike ride from Monterey to San Diego). They’re on a mission to raise $100,000 to help Uganda’s Restore International by providing ”scholarships, text-books, uniforms, medical care and classrooms for future leaders of Africa.”

Any donation goes a long way. If you feel so called, click here to donate and select Jenné as your rider!

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You don’t have to give to Jenné’s fund, but if you do, she’ll send you one of these prints I lettered for her. She watercolored the backgrounds.

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Have an awesome Friday, y’all!

P.S. If you missed my last “Pay what you want lettering sale”, sign up for my newsletter to get first dibs on the next one. Spots are limited, so it’s best to be the first to hear!

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michelle-boyd-photography

Meet Michelle. Michelle Boyd is an Austin-based fine art film wedding photographer and has owned her business for about four years. I met Michelle at the Half Orange photography workshop last fall. Michelle has a gift of encouragement, giggles and of course, photography. 

She’s been featured everywhere from 100 Layer Cake to Southern Weddings and more. She’s worked with Wedding Sparrow on a styled shoot in England, Mayhar and Without Wax.

Michelle says, “As an artist, I am driven in my core by a pursuit of excellence. I believe that film is not dead, and love how it captures light, color, and the intangibility of moments so elegantly. I am passionate about running my business with just as much attention that I give my art, and have hosted workshops on how to run a peaceful, life-giving business specifically made for other photographers.”

Let’s see how this light-capturing maven manages styled shoots and workshops, not to mention keeping up with her own clients…

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Walk us through your day. Not your greatest day, but not your worst. What does a good-to-ideal day look like for you?

5:30 Roll out of bed, shower & wake up

6:15 Personal reading/journaling time

7:00 Make breakfast & coffee for me & my hottie hubs (always a veggie omelette topped with avocado and salsa!)

7:30 Pick up a little bit around the house, do dishes

8:00 Sit down to computer and evaluate the day’s To-Do list, read previous day’s Feedly feed and look at Pinterest for inspiration

9:00 Answer urgent e-mails

9:30 Work time (Generally one or two of the following… edit images, submit weddings, plan styled shoots, update finances, plan blogs, write out workshop curriculum, etc… the list goes on!)

11:30 Cook lunch (usually a protein + veggies, sometimes pasta or couscous)

12:00 Eat lunch with the hubs!

1:00 Computer Work (If I have coffee dates with friends or fellow industry peeps I try to schedule them here)

4:00 E-mail

5:00 Prepare dinner

5:30/6 Dinner and a TV show with the hubs

**If I have portrait session they’re always in the evening, 2 hours before sunset, so the end of my workday and start of dinner time changes depending on the time of year and whether or not I have a session!

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Do you have any boundaries throughout your day? 

 I do! I am the world’s worst multi-tasker, so setting boundaries for my business has been key to having a productive workday. I set very strict business hours for my clients, Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm, and any communication or meetings I have are always set within those hours. My golden rule is never e-mailing outside of these hours- it helps educate my clients that I operate on a schedule, and helps me control my work/life balance a little bit more. I have an alarm on my phone that goes off everyday at 4pm, reminding me that I have one hour to check and answer my e-mails if I haven’t yet. If I were answering them throughout the entire day they would take over my life and I’d never get anything else done! I also generally turn my phone to “Do Not Disturb” during the day… which is why I always fail at group texts ☺

I’ve also found that I thrive in peaceful, quiet spaces. I can’t listen to music while I work (weird, I know!) but if I’m editing images I’ll throw on a movie that I’ve seen 1,000 times, like Pride & Prejudice, for soft background noise. I try to work from my home office most days, although our comfy living room wins out at least once a week.

What is something you’re proud of this week?

I take care of my own business finances, and there was a pretty bad discrepancy between my books (I use Moneywell) and bank account *yikes* But after spending hours of searching and comparing, I found the problem! And yes I did do a happy dance and enjoy a delicious homemade popsicle. ☺

What are some influential blogs or books that you’d recommend? 

Lara Casey Blog 

Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

The War of Art  by Steven Pressfield

Platform by Michael Hyatt

Thanks, Michelle! I’m looking forward to checking out your recs and letting this inspiration put an extra spring in my step today.

Be sure to follow Michelle on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and her blog.

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If you’re a Houston local, swing by Blue Willow Bookshop next Wednesday, July 16th at 7 PM.

Megan (Greetings from Texas) and I will talk about our books, how we found humor in things we cannot control. In my case, height. In her case, cancer + adoption.

Her book, 99 Problems But a Baby Ain’t One, and blog are hilarious. If you don’t already know Megan, get familiar.

Bring your friends! It’s going to be fun.

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joanna-waterfall

I met Joanna at Designer Vaca in Palm Springs last year. She was cool, sweet and I wished I had more time to hang before we left. Currently, Joanna is heading up the The Yellow Conference and running her design business, Waterfall Creative. If you’re a lady designer, I recommend you check this rad conference. It’s a gathering in LA on August 28 and 29th and features a handful of inspiring speakers. Promise Tangeman (Sitehouse), Dale Partridge (Sevenly), Sarah Dubbeldam (Darling Magazine) and more. 

Joanna has worked with Lily Stockman of BlockShop Textiles and Jasmin Star’s ReSTART Live. She’s spoken at Freutcamp and is even working with Aja Brown—the mayor of Compton. This lady is up to big things. Let’s see how she packs her days.

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Walk us through your day. Not your greatest day, but not your worst. What does a good-to-ideal day look like for you?

One thing I really need to get better at is routine. I’m really bad at keeping a schedule for myself, and quite honestly my days are pretty jumbled—not usually looking the same. But here’s an average day in my life!

8:00am: Wake up & cuddle with my cats in bed, read a chapter from the Bible or a book that I’m reading, pray & give the day to God, slowly get up and get myself dressed. (I’m very slow in the mornings!)

8:40am: Grab something to eat, normally some fruit or yogurt. Feed the cats.

8:50: Hop on my bike and ride to my office, which is just about half a mile from my house. It’s a great time to think and mentally prep for the day. Stop by Starbucks (also right next to my office!) and grab my morning coffee.

9am: Get to work, answer important emails, check in on social media, normally I’ll Pin a few things to my Pinterest to get the visual creative juices flowing.

9:30-11am: I work on time sensitive material, mostly revisions and design work from my retainer graphic design clients. I’m normally pretty back and forth emailing clients work during this time.

11-2pm: Work on Yellow Conference stuff. Organizing social media, speaking with vendors, emailing attendees and others who have questions about the comments, preparing content for the Yellow Conference blog, etc.

2pm: This is when I’ll normally head back to my house or to one of the many restaurants by my office for lunch. I will usually be getting my second cup of coffee in this hour as well!

2:30pm: Back to work! This is when I normally dive into the work that requires little interruption, like my more creative branding work. I rarely check emails during this time.

5:45pm: Normally by this time my inbox has piled up again, so I try and go back through my emails and get to as many as I can before I leave the office. I will also try to finish up any other work from my retainer clients that I wasn’t able to get to in the morning. If I finish early, I’ll hit the gym for a quick workout before heading home. (The gym is also on the same street as my office so it’s all very convenient!)

6:45pm: Head out! I will ride my bike back home, feed my cats, pour myself a glass of wine, turn on some music and begin cooking dinner if my husband hasn’t gotten to it first.

7:30pm: Dinner time with Nolan! We talk about our days and try really hard to be intentional about talking with each other and catching up during this time.

8-9:30: My husband and I are both active in leadership roles at my church, and my husband is also currently in school. So depending on what night it is, he has class, or we have Bible studies, small groups and various gatherings happening. So sometimes dinner is quicker than other nights, but a lot of times we have commitments on weeknights. We’ve also been going through Donald Miller’s Storyline curriculum—so on nights we’re free we go through that together.

9:30-11pm: This is wind down time. We either read, watch one of the show’s we’re currently addicted to on Netflix (just finished up Breaking Bad and are now hooked on Mad Men!) or finish up work stuff.

11:30: Bedtime! If I haven’t fallen asleep on the couch, I’m normally pretty tired by this point and happily hop into bed!

Do you have any boundaries throughout your day?

In the evenings, once I get home from the office, I don’t look at emails or work stuff. I try really hard to work fast during the day so I can leave work at work. If I absolutely need to work on something, I wait until after dinner, and after my husband and I have had time to connect. When I first started working for myself I was really bad about that and it was hard on my relationship with my husband. Now I am very intentional about putting my relationship with him before work and it’s been great for us.

What is something you’re proud of this week?

Great question!! This week I’m proud of myself for going to a fancy dinner party I was invited to. I didn’t know anyone going and my husband had class and couldn’t go with me. I really stepped out of my comfort zone and went by myself! I had a great time and met some really cool people, so I’m glad I went and proud of myself for going even when I didn’t know anyone there :)

 

What are a few influential books or videos. that you’d recommend?

I mentioned Donald Miller’s Storyline online course earlier—and it’s definitely something I’d recommend any person go through. It’s a great way to look at your past and plan for the future, defining the roles you play best and seeing how you can live out your best story. It’s really been healthy for my husband and I to go through it together.

For anyone who enjoys food and entertaining (and even if you don’t!), I’d recommend Bread & Wine by Shauna Neiquist—it’s a great reminder how important our relationships are with one another and how food can bring people together.

The Promise of a Pencil is a great read for people who want to change the world for the better and find out how to do it.

Entreleadership is great for anyone looking to run a business.

While I work I love watching Creative Mornings videos and I’m a huge fan of the Joy the Baker podcast :)

I’m currently reading 3 books (I’m not a huge reader, but am really forcing myself to read!) Love Does, #GirlBoss, and Moment Maker. I will let you know how they are but I’ve heard great things!

Thanks, Joanna! Looking forward to what’s ahead for you and Yellow.

Follow Joanna on Instagram, Twitter. Also be sure to follow the Yellow Conference’s blog, Twitter and Facebook. 

 

“You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot—it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.”

Maya Angelou

Happy Friday! Here are a few links I came across this week that I can’t help but share. Have an awesome weekend!

I could watch this video of So Worth Loving’s Eryn Eddy over and over again. Mega inspired by her mission and overall coolness.

6 Subtle Things Highly Productive People Do Every Day (Really really good)

“Adding flowers and plants to an office resulted in a 15 percent increase in ideas”

Megan over at Greetings From Texas is featuring my prints. Head over there and get 25% off!

“You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love.”
—Jim Carrey’s commencement speech (1 min)

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