life as of late has gone a little something like this
ONE I’ve been slowly adding little pieces to our home here and there, which feels nice. I’ve learned that rushing out to buy stuff, just to fill space, doesn’t work so well. ;) Owning a home and making it “ours” has definitely tested my patience on SO many levels. This bowl was found by Michael at an estate sale, and filled with old dried flowers from a previous arrangement we had in the house.
TWO Walter has been in obedience school for EIGHT whole weeks now, and tonight is his graduation! That is, if he passes, of course. All of the puppies have a handful of commands they’ll have to go through, so our fingers are crossed that he’ll decide to obey tonight. He’s usually really good, but just like people – he has his off days. The photo above was from a Sunday walk me and Walter took to practice some of his skills. I can’t recommend puppy classes enough! It’s like night and day from two months ago.
THREE Fall in MN is quickly coming to a close, I can feel it (and so can my allergies). Besides the last of the leaves falling, it’s starting to get colder, too. We’ve been so lucky with a fairly mild fall (temps in the 60′s and 70′s), but of course, winter is coming. As a farewell, Michael and I collected these pretty leaves in Minneapolis over the weekend as we were adventuring around!
My original goal for Rowan Made was to have a fully functioning website up during the fall. But you know, life happen and things change. ;) Although the website is coded and ready to go (behind the scenes), I’ve been working on a few project expansions before actually opening it up to the public. It’s been driving me nuts (I’m so antsy!!), but it’s truly important to showcase projects that will attract the right clients for Rowan Made. It’s taken me a bit of trial and error to discover my true niche, but this launch should help solidify things. Since I’m so excited to show you all everything I’ve been working on, I thought I’d let you in on a little secret project of mine. This is the moodboard for a conceptual rebranding of an ice cream shop here in Minneapolis!
There aren’t any rules that say you can’t work on fake projects, so I’ve taken it upon myself to do just that. I wanted to pick a brand that would fit into my new portfolio and help share the type of work I absolutely enjoy being apart of. And food is a big part of that. ;) The above moodboard takes a modern, yet semi-nostalgic approach to the ice cream shop, while utilizing lots of texture and color to really sell things. If you’re sneaky, you can see a few more sneak peaks on my dribbble account. Cheers to taking matters into your own hands and I hope to share more really soon. The new goal is to launch Rowan Made’s website before the new year arrives. SOON!
I’ve been compiling a bunch of favorite things + brands as of late, some of which are included above. The first one I wanted to mention was Industry Standard jeans. I am OBSESSED. After years of searching for the perfect pair of denim, I’ve finally found them. They fit like a glove, don’t stretch out, and are affordable for the quality you receive. I’m 100% serious about this one you guys and am prepared to slowly replace my denim supply with all of these!! Another brand I’ve been reintroduced to is Someware Goods. I remember seeing their products (home goods GALORE) well over a year ago, but finally checked back in for an update. I am now currently coveting all of the things. Sigh. Feel free to browse everything else below!
photo taken several years back for film class
A few weeks back, I went back into the depths of my own personal Facebook archive to locate a few pictures from when I had shorter hair. And because FB tends to suck you in, I got completely lost in a sea of nostalgia and pre-twitter times. There was this video, in particular, where a good friend of mine and I put together a “cribs” (remember that show!?) episode of our dorm room, appropriately named “The Cove.” And as I watched the seven minute long video of us explaining each and every aspect of our 12 x 18 foot space, I couldn’t help but feel a bit jealous of dorm room Bre. I was wearing flared jeans and an old t-shirt. I had unframed posters and a broken mirror loosely hung up on the wall. And everything looked thrown together, in a homey this is what it is sort of way. At the time, I didn’t think much about aesthetic or what others perceived my “style” to be. I didn’t carefully compose square photos to share online with thousands of people, because social media wasn’t even on my radar yet. My world was small and I was happy.
Over the years, I’ve gotten good at taking short cuts. The kind that feel good when you finally figure them out without sacrificing quality. And coincidentally, I’ve found my work days to be shorter as a result! Win win. Throughout the course of this Be Free, Lance series, I’ve talked a lot about the importance of discovering your process, but not necessarily how to streamline it. And that last part? It’s a game changer. Once you’ve discovered a process that works best for you, think a little deeper. What actions could you take to provide an even more efficient working environment for yourself? Here are a few things I’ve personally found helpful.
01. TASTEFULLY AUTOMATE WHATEVER YOU CAN Email templates are life savers, as I’m sure most of you probably know by now. And if you don’t, check out the “canned responses” gmail short cut (other providers have similar options) for more details! Features like these help us quickly answer common emails and allow us to move on without much pause. While I utilize these myself for frequently asked questions and polite “I’m already booked” responses, I recently developed a canned response that is specifically used for on-boarding clients. What this means is that whenever a new client is signed, I am able to send their first “intro” email in just a few short seconds. This particular email tells them what I need to get started (typically a signed contract + downpayment), explains any homework (client questionnaires) they may have, and goes over any immediate due dates. Without my canned response, these on-boarding emails would take 15 minutes, at least, to draft. The important thing to remember here is keeping things tasteful. Make sure that your canned responses don’t sound overly automated. Personal touches (that only take a few extra seconds to write) are great additions to consider before hitting send on any canned response.