54 minutes | Jan 12, 2017
Emily McDowell: Learning What Works
Today I’m sitting down with writer, illustrator and designer Emily McDowell. Emily has been transforming the stationery industry since 2013 with her “greeting cards for the relationships we really have.” You most likely know her empathy card line that went viral in 2015 and launched her into the public eye. Emily has been killing it over the past 4 years creating cards and products and she’s recently ventured into a partnership that gives her a whole lot more freedom to create. In today’s show we’re going to talk about that partnership, why she made that decision, what she learned in 10 years of advertising, and we also talk about a dance neurosis resume, watermarks, and much more. I'm also offering a couple resources at the top of the show for your online business and have a special announcement!
33 minutes | Oct 30, 2016
Jennifer Orkin Lewis: Daily Painting, Showing Up, & Holding Yourself Accountable
In January of this year I decided to end What’s Your Story, or at least take some time off and rethink the show. Now that I’ve let about 10 months pass, I’ve gotten some perspective about the show, and I realized most importantly how much I missed it! So here I am! Going forward it'll still be the same show, with just a few tweaks. I’ve got some exciting guests lined up, and I'm looking forward to diving deeper with guests on the show about how they grew their business, what steps they took, and how social media and having a presence online has helped them. All with the intent to help you grow and build your own business. On today's show, I’m talking with Jennifer Orkin Lewis, an illustrator based in New York. You might know her as August Wren - which is her business name, and the name she uses often online. Jennifer has gained notoriety through Instagram and within the illustration world (and really beyond) due to her daily painting project that’s now in its 3rd year. I spoke to Jennifer back in December of 2015, and sadly, in January I decided to not move forward with the show. Unfortunately, this meant a bunch of shows I had conducted were left on the proverbial cutting room floor. But this interview always felt so good, and too good to leave it. So thanks to the magic of technology, I'm bringing you this recording as we kick off the season of What's Your Story, and it's an inspirational one! Today we discuss how Jennifer came to her second career as a freelance illustrator -- how she literally willed herself to do it and what that looked like, we also talk in depth about her daily project of a painting a day that's now in its 3rd year, and what it's like to continually show up, even when you don't want to. We also cover how glorious it is to be older with the perspective one gets, Jennifer's community, continuing to learn, and much more. Be sure to check out Jennifer's book, Draw Every Day, Draw Every Way: Sketch, Paint, and Doodle Through One Creative Year.
35 minutes | Dec 16, 2015
Craft Industry Alliance: Community & the Power of Success
Abby Glassenberg and Kristin Link are the founders of Craft Industry Alliance, a membership trade industry organization dedicated to supporting professional crafters, makers, designers, retailers and much more in their business endeavors.Craft Industry Alliance -- or CIA as it’s now refereed to -- is a membership platform that launched this fall. It offers forums, articles, webinars, and much more for their members. They also publish a bi-weekly journal with in-depth business and industry articles both for members and the greater public.Abby and Kristin are both veteran bloggers within the craft industry. They’ve created incredible communities individually, contributed valuable content for years, and supported their communities extensively. Creating and building Craft Industry Alliance was the next logical step for them on their journey online, I was thrilled to hear why they started it, how it’s been, and more.Topics we discuss today are how Abby and Kristin’s backgrounds as educators and bloggers have underlined the importance of sharing information to help other businesses grow and succeed, and how CIA now encompasses those beliefs. We also talk about actually building community, what the platform offers, why it was important to them to pay their contributors, their own tips for starting a business, and how success is an incredible motivator.
29 minutes | Dec 2, 2015
Windy Chien: Exit Strategies, Creative Practice, & the Big Picture
Windy Chien is a product designer and artist living in San Francisco. After long careers at Apple and in the music industry, she launched her business in 2015. Windy offers beautiful, signature items such as hand carved spoons and macrame light fixtures. Launching her latest endeavor has allowed not only the ability to explore, design, and develop products that speak to her and carry her personal style, but its also fulfilled an existential need she had after sitting behind a desk for 8 years. We explore this as Windy shares openly with me about how she made an exit strategy from her job as an editor in the App Store at Apple to fully realize a dream to be a working artist in a way that’s sustainable. We also chat about how her creative practice has allowed her to really refine her personal style within her products and how finding her authentic self within her business has been a constant process. I specifically wanted Windy to come on the show today because I find her ability to keep innovating within her personal and professional life incredibly inspirational. She continues to explore her needs and desires even through serious change and that in and of itself is super powerful. I also admire the way she’s been able to focus on the big picture - which as we all know, isn’t always easy. I walked away with a lot to think about within my own business, and I hope our discussion inspires you to make the necessary plans to move towards your own goals what ever they may be.
31 minutes | Nov 17, 2015
Rosalie Gale: Shower Art, Listening to Your Gut, & Getting Things Done
Today’s guest is my friend and very funny lady Rosalie Gale. Rosalie lives and works in Seattle Washington where she co-owns the shop Ugly Baby and La Ru. Today on the show we discuss how her product Shower Art, a colorful rubber sculpture filled with glitter, came to be. We also dive into feelings and when to really listen — like when every fiber in your being is telling you it DOES NOT WANT TO DO SOMETHING. Rosalie learned this through years of dabbling in standup and we discuss how this really opened her up to paying attention to her feelings. I loved this because I think so often people think they know what’s best for us and we can be swayed by what we should be doing as opposed to what we want to be doing. At the end of the day we’re the one who are in touch with what’s going on and it’s important to honor that regardless of what the larger culture tells us. We also cover how the book Getting Things Done by David Allen helped Rosalie end years of making to-do lists that never got done. She shares with us how the book’s guidance helped her to create projects, how it improved her productivity, and how by breaking down your to do list can actually help you accomplish much more. Lastly we discuss her unexpected reaction when the website Instructables created a step by step process tutorial guiding readers how to make Shower Art, albeit incorrectly.
20 minutes | Nov 7, 2015
Kiva Zip: Micro-loans, Crowdfunding, & Asking for Help
Welcome to a new feature on the podcast! Starting with this episode once a month I’ll be putting together a short episode where I chat with someone about a resource, an organization, or some other entity that I feel may help you explore choices within your life to make your dream a business, or help you focus on making things better for you - what ever that may be. This week's guest is Suzanna Rush the U.S. Operations Manager at Kiva Zip. Kiva Zip is a crowdfunding micro-loan platform that offers 0% loans to small businesses within the U.S. A few facts about Kiva Zip: its lent over $10 million dollars through the platform within the United States through 47 states to small businesses. Seventy-five percent of the loans have been loaned to women owned businesses, and I am one of those businesses! In September, I applied for a loan through the crowdfunding micro-loan site Kiva Zip for $3,000 to buy a new laptop and a monitor. My experience with the platform and the support I received from my community was absolutely incredible. It was also my only option, and I wanted to share this valuable resource with you in the hopes that it may help you or someone you know. We discuss what the platform is, how it works, who it's for, and all of the information you need to get started. I hope it inspires you to pursue your business goals and maybe even support someone else's!
36 minutes | Oct 31, 2015
Betsy Cordes: Impostor Syndrome, Accepting Your Path, & Breathing Life into an Old Book
This week on the show I sit down with Betsy Cordes. Betsy is an artist, an art director, and much more. She lives and works in San Francisco with her husband Chuck, an attorney - together they run February 13, a consulting firm to help artists build and run their business. I met Betsy when I first went freelance in 2012 and started hanging out at Makeshift Society in San Francisco, and I was immediately drawn to how warm and thoughtful she was, as well as completely on the ball. Betsy has done much in her life and has a lot to offer her clients, blog readers, and her peers and I wanted to have her on the show because of this. Today on the show we discuss impostor syndrome, the blog she and her husband write which offers excellent advise on navigating the world as an artist, and we touch on dealing with the overwhelm of social media and her love hate relationship with it, and lastly how she and her family brought to life a family favorite Christmas book through Kickstarter Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn. I think there’s a lot to relate to and learn from in today’s show. I hope you enjoy it!
24 minutes | Oct 16, 2015
Chawne Kimber: Race, Identity, & Social Justice Through Quilting
This week my guest is Chawne Kimber of Cauchy Complete, a modern quilter and a math professor. Chawne is well known within the quilting community for not only her beautiful quilts but for the subject of her quilts. Through quilting and needlework she explores a wide range of political and cultural topics, creating work that addresses subjects regarding race, identity and social justice. We discuss wide range of things; how she got involved in quilting, particular quilts that have caused a stir both online and off and why she made them, and briefly on her creative process. Just a note to those of you listening with children, are at work, or have other people around you, we do talk about Chawne’s quilts that have been inspired by censorship and other cultural happenings here in the US. Nothing super graphic, but we do use profanity, talk about the murder of Trayvon Martin, and use the word rape quite a few times when discussing Chawne’s quilt Todd’s No Baby Quilt. It’s nothing over the top, but I want you to be prepared.
43 minutes | Aug 18, 2015
Dear HandMade Life: Working Together & Making It Work
On todays show I talk with Delilah Snell and Nicole Stevenson of Dear Handmade Life, artists, makers, and entrepreneurs. They’re the women behind Patchwork Show - a bi-annual festival showcasing emerging artists and makers taking place in various spots around California, and Craftcation, a 4 day business and makers conference that takes place in Ventura, CA every year, and as of today they’ve launched 3 online workshops - Craft Show Success, The Home Artisan Bar, and Sketchbook Adventures. I was excited to bring Delilah and Nicole on the show because they are a great example of a successful business helping and enriching their community and doing many different things. Today, we talk about why they do what they do, their passion for empowering their community, what it’s like be in business together and how they make it work. We also talk about being children of single moms and what that has done for us as women and business owners, and as always much much more! Music on today's show is Nectarine by Twin Sister.
36 minutes | Jul 16, 2015
Will Lyman: Frontline, F.O.M.O, & Selling Out
This week on the show my guest is actor and narrator Will Lyman. You will know him best as the narrator of the PBS documentary news series, Frontline, and the voice behind Dos Equis The Most Interesting Man in the World campaign. I grew up next door to Will and his family here in Boston Ma., and I’ve known him my whole life as a neighbor and a friend. So it was extra special to sit down with him and talk to him about his career, experiences, and his feelings around them both. Today we talk about his job as a narrator and actor, and what it’s like to work on such a prestigious and well known show like Frontline. We also touch on working in advertising and a specific experience Will had when a fan criticized him for “selling out” after narrating a BMW campaign. We also discuss what fame really entails, coming to terms with FOMO (fear of missing out), and recognizing that we never miss out on experiences we're meant to have.
59 minutes | Jul 7, 2015
Megan Auman: Building a Creative Career & Brand Consistency
Megan Auman's main focus is her eponymous jewelry line, but as she’s built her business over the years she has learned first hand what it takes to grow a creative business — and she shares that information as an educator through her site Designing an MBA and her classes at CreativeLive. I wanted to interview Megan, because of her tenacity, clear entrepreneur spirit, and her willingness to share what she's learned with other creative business owners. Megan has so much wisdom and experience to offer, and she does so willingly. Some of the topics we discuss on today's show are how her parents support helped her to always go after her dreams of making art for a living, the reality of running a handmade business, being honest with your self around your product, and cultivating brand consistency no matter what the size of your business.
57 minutes | Jun 29, 2015
Katrina Rodabaugh: Mending, Making with Paper, & Micro-Residencies
My guest today is Katrina Rodabaugh - an artist, writer, and crafter who lives in Oakland CA with her two boys and husband. Katrina explores and examines environmental and social issues through her work: from large-scale mixed media installations, to social practice projects, to small handmade craft objects sold in her Etsy shop. In today’s show we discuss Katrina’s 3 current projects. The first being Make Thrift Mend, a personal artist’s protest against fast fashion - will delve into why she got started, as well as specific techniques she’s employs within this project like the Japanese stitching and patching methods known as sashiko and boro respectively, as well as the Japanese sensibility Wabi Sabi, We also cover about her brand new book The Paper Playhouse, a book with 22 projects for families to enjoy while recycling paper, boxes, and more (Its a beautiful book!). Lastly we get into Range Studio, a public art project she and her husband David Szlasa have developed and built creating micro-residencies in the heart of San Francisco for artists. And like all of my interviews we touch on a myriad of topics in between!
56 minutes | May 23, 2015
Courtney Cerruti: Multiple Muse Syndrome & Creating Community Around Art
This week on the show I’m excited to have Courtney Cerruti, maker extraordinare. Courtney is an artist living in the San Francisco Bay Area. During the day she works for Creative bug , an online education platform for arts and crafts workshops, as a set designer and during her spare time she paints, makes, writes books, sells antiques, curates shows and community events, teaches workshops and more. I don’t often use the word prolific to describe someone, but Courtney is just that. Today we’ll talk about all the things she does and how she does it and stays inspires and her own struggles around keeping up. Show Notes: Show notes: 3636 show Jersey Picker's Instagram account 3636 show featured on Instagram Mad Men's creator Matthew Einer's quote on writing Michael McConnell #SocialSketch Creative Bug Rebecca Rinquist Rebecca's embroidered necklace we refer to (Image from Courtney's Instagram account) Rebecca Ringquist’s Embroidery Workshops: A Bend-the-Rules Primer Playing with Surface Design Strike Away show #StrikeAwayShow on Instagram
37 minutes | May 9, 2015
Michelle Tea: Growing Up, Getting Sober, and Reframing Failure
OK, so this week I am so delighted to introduce my guest, author, poet and activist Michelle Tea. Michelle often chronicles her own life while at the same time exploring topics such as queer culture, feminism, race, class, and prostitution. She’s incredibly prolific in so many ways and on today’s show we barely scratch the surface of all she’s done. Michelle and I actually know each other from being teenagers in the punk rock scene here in Boston, we spent a lot of time drinking and doing drugs and although I wasn’t able to include it in today’s show, we’re both amazes we made it out alive. So in many ways it really is a pleasure to sit down with her and discuss her career. On today’s show we discuss growing up, getting sober, reframing success and failure, and so much more. Michelle’s baby Atticus makes a few appearances in the episode today, and because so many of my listeners are mother’s I really thought it was important to actually leave his adorable cooing in. I think it’s a perfect example of how much women get down, and I know many of you will appreciate Michelle both talking about her career while taking care of Atticus at the same time. Let’s take a listen.
31 minutes | Mar 20, 2015
Vaughn Fender: Illustration, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, & Idioms
On the show today I sit down with Illustrator Vaughn Fender. Vaughn and I have been friends online for roughly 6 or 7 years, and it was great fun to sit down with him and learn more about what brought him from his homeland of Jamaica and his illustration style. Today we talk about his work, what he liked to draw as a kid, and his fascination with words and quotes, and as always much more.
30 minutes | Mar 14, 2015
Umar Rashid/Frohawk Two Feathers: Identity, Art, & Retelling of History
Since 2006 Umar Rashid, also known as Frowhawk Two Feathers, has been recreating and reinterpreting a specific period in world history within his work. Through his paintings and sculptures, over the past 8 - 9 years he has slowly developed and built an epic history that begins in 1658 on a continent known within his work as Frengland, France and England reimagined as one colonial super power. This retelling of history will eventually end in 1880. Today we talk about how Umar Rashid has redefined his own personal identity and how that has fed into his work, race and class both within the history he tells as well as around us, and how working within the museum system has helped him to see his work as less of a commodity and more of an educational tool, and as always much more.
36 minutes | Mar 6, 2015
Christina Loff: Marketing, Authenticity, & Consuming Less
This week I sit down with my good friend Christina Loff. Christina works as Channel Marketing Lead for the Photography, Craft, and Design Channels at CreativeLive. We discuss her own career, being authentic online, marketing your own work, consuming fewer clothes, as well as some of her favorite Creative Live classes, and as always much much more!
35 minutes | Feb 24, 2015
Victoria Smith: On Blogging, Seeing San Francisco, & Dealing with Real Life
In 2006 blogger Victoria Smith uploaded photographs of her home on blogger, which was then known as Blogspot and submitted them to Apartment Therapy for a home tour. Not knowing anything about blogs, or the growing trend Victoria realized that this sort of digital journaling spoke to her as the perfect way to combine many of her interests - writing, photography, and interior design. Almost 10 years later that blog is known as sfgirlbybay.com and it is one of the designated stops online for home decor, style, and design. On today’s show we discuss her upcoming book See San Francisco that was shot almost entirely on her iPhone which really speaks to her eye and skill, her big move to LA,the candy coated curated world of social media and dealing with depression. And as always much more.
13 minutes | Feb 19, 2015
Outtake: Ehren Tool
After editing my first interview with former Marine and ceramicist Ehren Tool, I realized I had a few more questions for him. This is a short clip of some of our 2nd onterview - we talk about community, throwing clay in Vietnam, and a couple other things.
40 minutes | Feb 10, 2015
Ehren Tool: A Former Marine on War and Making Cups
On today’s show we talk about how Tool’s experience as a marine has influenced and driven his work, and that no matter how many years go by, his cups that depict and symbolize war continue to be relevant in the world around us. We also discuss why he gives away his cups, the connections and stories they facilitate, and much more.