August Inspiration

I'm soaking up every bit of summer before the evenings start to cool down and the leaves turn red and orange. Here are some of my favorite things lately:

SIMPLE MOMENTS

I'm all about dinner parties with friends and family, juicy tomatoes and basil from the garden, and time outside.

EXPLORING

Sonoma's Best - A sweet little spot on the East side of town to pick up sandwiches and enjoy a can of Scribe rose in their back patio. Also love going on a hike in the hills behind Bartholomew Park Winery. 

Hiking trails in the hills behind Bartholomew Park Winery - The Angel's Flight trail starts in a vineyard and winds through an oak, manzanita, and madrone forest. At one point, you'll cross a creek in the middle of a shaded redwood grove and feel like you're in Fern Gully. On a clear day, the views from parts of the trail extend to San Francisco.

 

The Barlow in Sebastopol - Sean and I were on our way to foggy Bodega Bay last weekend for some clam chowder and crusty sourdough bread at Spud's when we decided to make a quick stop in Sebastopol. Reminiscent of the Ferry Building in San Francisco or Napa's Oxbow Market, The Barlow is West Sonoma County gold. This outdoor market is filled with cool shops, local art and inviting wine bars. Great branding too!

 

 

READING & WATCHING

DesignBetter.co by InVision - This is a great resource for designers. It includes a series of online "books" covering topics such as collaboration, processes and design thinking, plus podcasts featuring interviews with design leaders from companies such as Airbnb and IDEO.

Jim Carrey: I Needed Color - An inspiring video about what art means to actor and comedian Jim Carrey. A moving and thought-provoking watch. 

"What makes someone an artist is they make models of their inner life. They make something physically come into being that is inspired by their emotions or their needs or what they feel the audience needs." - Jim Carrey

A book called "You Are a Badass" - I recently finished this book over and found it to be an uplifting, inspiring and funny read if you're in need of a little pick-me-up. 

What the Health, a documentary on Netflix - A shocking look at the American food system. This documentary has inspired me to transition to a more whole food, plant-based lifestyle.

TV Shows - Ozark and Game of Thrones are on the top of my list.

 

 

I'd love to know, what is inspiring you as summer comes to a close?

First 6 Months in Business

This month, Hawk & Bloom hit the 6 month mark. Since starting my business in January, I have learned a lot. I wanted to take some time to reflect on what I’ve learned, what has surprised me and what I would have done differently. I’ll also share some of my goals for the next 6 months.

When I launched Hawk & Bloom, I was driven by the desire for freedom and a curiosity to see if I could build and sustain a successful business on my own. I spent the majority of my career working in-house at tech companies designing digital products that millions of people use everyday. 

I was also interested in working on projects with people in different industries. So far, I've helped a landscape designer plant the seeds for the business of her dreams, an artist open a beautiful gallery in Tiburon, and a fashion designer launch a brand she feels proud to share with the world. I’ve also designed brands, websites and product experiences for clients such as a jewelry business, a gaming startup, and a clothing boutique. 

 

KEY INSIGHTS:

Time is my most valuable resource

One of the greatest challenges of running my own business is managing the hours in the day. As a design shop of one, I wear many hats. Design is just a small part of the work that I do as a business owner. I also handle business development, marketing, project management, and accounting.

I’m figuring out how to make the most of each day and be smarter about how I spend my time. When are the best times for me to do creative design work versus taking care of admin tasks like emails? I tend to get burnt out if I have too many meetings or networking events in one week, so I structure my schedule and allocate my time with that in mind.

We are also faced with constant distractions. Between emails, text messages and phone calls, there seems to be a continuous murmur of "dings" and "pings" in the background. I control my inputs to cultivate focus and peace of mind. It’s all about managing my energy and optimizing myself to achieve my goals, which brings me to my next insight...

 

Self care is #1

The healthier and more balanced I am, the more successful my business will be. In May, I came down with a terrible flu. It was the sickest I had been in years and I couldn’t work for weeks. It was tough because I had to adjust my project schedules with clients. This was a wakeup call to pay closer attention to my body and my mind. I make it a priority to spend more time outside in nature because it makes me happy. I also enjoy going to the Sonoma Farmer’s Market so I can feed myself healthy nutritious foods that will leave me feeling nourished and energized. Yoga, manicures, wine are great for unwinding as well :) 

 

My mission is what drives me

About three months into my business, I already had a few great clients and projects under my belt, but I started to feel a bit directionless. I decided to spend some time working on Hawk & Bloom's brand strategy and brand identity. I discovered a lot and was able to find more focus and clarity in my business.

My mission is my North Star: I am on a quest to help passionate people make positive change in the world by giving them the compass and tools they need to act fearlessly.

 

If I were to start all over again, what would I do differently?

- Protect my time. Spend less of it writing emails. 

- Block out hours in my schedule for working vs relaxing. Don't try to do both simultaneously.

- Prioritize writing blog posts and sharing knowledge. 

 

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GOALS FOR THE NEXT 6 MONTHS:

Live my dream lifestyle and grow my creative business simultaneously

Since starting my business, it has been my dream to work from wherever I wanted. In the last 6 months, I spent a week in Cabo, a week in upstate New York, three trips to LA, and two trips to Tahoe. Switching up my environment and introducing a little adventure and exploration into the mix helps me to create inspired work. I enjoy working from a different location when I can. It reminds me why I’m choosing an entrepreneurial path with an autonomous lifestyle over guaranteed income.

 

Continue to refine my process

It is important to me that my clients have a great experience with Hawk & Bloom, from an initial consultation to the end of a project. I believe in momentum, and I’m constantly looking for ways to streamline my processes.

 

Expand my clientele

I enjoy working with a range of clients, from entrepreneurs to tech companies. I’m interested in solving problems related to health and wellness, lifestyle, hospitality, food and beverage, art and design, fashion, environment and education.

One of my priorities is to book more contract product design projects with companies in San Francisco. I also plan to continue to work with exciting brands in my community to help bring more great design to Sonoma. 

 

 

People talk a lot about “success.” Success is a constantly moving bulls eye, and it means different things at different points in time based on where we are in life. The things that are important to me now are quite different than they were 5 years ago. Right now, success means more than just career. It means being healthy, spending time with my loved ones, meaningful relationships, being around inspiring people who I can learn from, and working on fulfilling projects.


I am grateful to have the opportunity to carve my own path. I’ve just scratched the surface and I’m excited for what’s to come! If you find yourself reading this blog post, I would love to hear from you!