Overwhelming prospective customers


Have you ever listened to an expert and felt completely overwhelmed with a one-two punch of "I AM LOST" and "How do I even know if this guy is speaking the truth?" When you're an expert at something it's easy to overwhelm others. It's important to remember your audience! Are you speaking to a colleague or a client? I'm SO guilty of this. My thinking? I need to fill this person up, FILL THEM UP, with all the information, the steps, the nuts and bolts. Everything. But here's what I've found. What does a prospective client really want? They want to be able to trust you. No matter what your industry, a client wants to trust that you know what … [Read more...]

#1 website game-changer…professional photography!


Hey there friends! Friday night I had the BEST time organizing a client photo shoot. Now this is the truth, your photos will make or break your website conversion rate. Why? A lot of websites have the same basic layout, header/logo, navigation, large photo, content, and maybe a sidebar. So what sets you apart? It's absolutely not that your colors are turquoise and gray, or that you use chevrons(!), because so does everyone else! PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS separate you from the competition! I can't stress this enough. But you don't have to take my word for it! Just look around the internet. Try searching for a gift on Etsy. I PROMISE you choose … [Read more...]

7 tips for surviving summer as a work from home mom


Summer is the greatest. Pool, kids, vacation, hot weather, relaxed bed times and schedules, ice cream... But if I'm not careful, it can also become a big ball of work stress.  This is my 4th summer of being a work-from-home mom. I think I'm getting better! Here are a few things that help keep my sanity in check. 1. Continue to spend time on your own business. If you only have 1 hour to work, spend 15 minutes on yourself. Clean out your inbox, write thank you notes to clients, plan blog posts. Don't give this up! Even in a pinch. Check out the video for more on this! http://youtu.be/Mo8jwAcvzWo 2. Be where you are. When it's snack … [Read more...]

My summer go-to Chicken Salad recipe to take and share


Hey there friends! So I find myself in this awesome season of life with 2 young children. I really do love it, but some ALL things are more difficult than they used to be. One thing I've found that I know I can do. Share a meal. I mean, we are going to eat anyway, I can totally make double the food. I can. I often sign up to do this for an adoption support group I'm in. So here's my favorite new go-to share meal. Chicken Salad with salad, fruit, crackers and cookies. It's easy. You can make it early, it's cold (bonus land for not having to keep it hot), it's not sloshy, and it fits in zip lock bags. This recipe is so super easy, … [Read more...]

Marsala Office Mood Board


I'm fascinated by Pantone's Color of the Year.  No matter the hue, it always seems to be just the color my design soul was waiting to see.  So when Chairish contacted me about designing a room, I jumped at the chance to try this year's Marsala out in the virtual space. I'm loving the vintage furniture and accessories I found and mixed with new finds from Target and West Elm.  The photography is from one of my favorite inspirations, 100 Cameras.  An organization that empowers kids through artistic expression...I'm on board with that. See links below to shop! 1. Target Curtains 2. Target Bookcase 3. Target Vases here and here 4. West … [Read more...]

Should I even be a blogger?


Some people really need to write. It's their heartbeat. Creative process. Salvation of sorts. I'm not one of those people. At least I don't think I am. I totally get all the reasons I, as a business owner, should have a blog. Not only do I understand them, I PREACH them to every other business owner out there, touting their effectiveness for search engine rankings and content sharing.  But when faced with a pile of work and an every-shortening stint at the computer, writing a new post doesn't "free" me, it gives me anxiety. It's that jittery feeling I talk to my illustrator (who actually does write) about, when you have 18 million things … [Read more...]

Affordable and good online printers


So you've already handed out a wad of cash for custom logos and print designs...which you can sorta look past, since it's a one-time investment. But now you not only need to order on the cheap, but be able to re-order easily, and have your designs look like masterpieces!  As designers, we've worked with just about every type of print shop, from the local mom and pop to the mega online store.  I'm offering up the few that we like best, but here are some things to remember while you search out your own solutions (or have the chance to work locally...our favorite). 1. Check thickness for paper products.  I'm continually amazed by what someone … [Read more...]

Leveraging your profession for what matters


My husband and I always desired to grow our family through adoption, but browsing websites and crunching numbers left me overwhelmed and a little discouraged. Although I fully believe that God equips us for the things He calls us to, hard facts and dollar signs sometimes make the journey seem impossible to my finite mind.  God is bigger, proved faithful, and blessed us with a sweet son in 2011 through domestic adoption. Becoming more involved in the adoption community, I quickly realized that no one has the money necessary to bring home a child.  What a tragedy!  I knew that we weren’t ready for number two, but my care for orphans could … [Read more...]

Why is small business better?


I love that the Internet makes the world smaller and connects me to new friends all over the world.  I can have calls with clients in Canada and The Netherlands in the same week.  But it can also make for OVERWHELMING competition, or at least it feels that way...doesn't it? And as I look at big branding and design agencies with their loads of designers, marketers and content creators; I feel a little in the dumps about our 7 member team. But a call with my team this week, and the resulting quick changes to our offerings and process, reminded me that there are AWESOME things about a small business! Not only can we do well in the market … [Read more...]

Work it out in a modern, colorful office!


To all the haters of boring office supplies. To all the lovers of modern, fun, happy COLOR! No one will think you have their stapler anymore! Check out this fun Pinterest board we are curating and get your office poppin' with style! Follow Great Oak Circle's board Now that's a good office on Pinterest. What's a must-have for your office space? Leave us a note in the comments! … [Read more...]

The Anatomy of a WordPress Site


Navigating a Wordpress website design process can be mentally traumatizing, a total time suck, and completely confusing all rolled into one.  Whether you're dreaming of a fresh start or a first launch, knowing the important working parts {and where they go} can turn confused into empowered! Let's take a look. Different styles for different brands: Why are you online? Do you sell? Products or Services? Are you a blogger? Knowing this first will help guide you to the right style Wordpress layout. Every site should have a well-place logo in the top (usually top-left) space. The tagline (hey here's what we do) should also be near the … [Read more...]

What is branding?


Hi friends! Popping in for a quick post today. It's difficult to run a business isn't it?! And to be responsible for social media, finances, emails, actually working, and...oh...blogging. I think if a blog post was as long as a tweet, I would be better at it! Do you feel the same??? So let's talk about one quick tip and all get back to living our entrepreneur dreams! What is branding? So many entrepreneurs think that branding is their logo design. In part it is, but it's WAY more than that! Branding involves deep exploration of your ideal client, not navy blue and pink color schemes.  It's about the services you offer, the customer who … [Read more...]

DIY: Leather wrap bracelet


I love an afternoon of relaxing and enjoying friends.  It's good for the soul to chat about great loves and difficult struggles, while soaking up the warm sun. It's even better when it includes crafting and yummy organic popsicles from the local stand!  Kelli and I had such an afternoon yesterday. We made these colorful leather wrap bracelets, and I'm totally loving them. The turquoise leather is from Endless Leather, and I picked up the tags, hooks and charms at Hobby Lobby. You won't need everything pictured above for this project...I might have been really excited and grab-happy in the findings aisle...:) I've also included links at … [Read more...]

Logo, Print & Social Designs: Posh Creations


Great Oak Circle is growing! Which is such an exciting {and sometimes overwhelming} process. I'm thankful, I know it's only by God's grace on me and my business partners. Some new and exciting things are in the works, including a more streamlined design process and shorter wait times...whew. Today I'm sharing new designs for Posh Creations, a door decor and more handmade business.  AND...it's in Kentucky, a wonderful state that I once called home. perfect. My design inspiration for this project came from a mix of favorite lime green and black, burlap textures and sassy fonts. The logo needed to be sophisticated and "posh," while … [Read more...]

Happy Summer and Little Black Dresses


Hey blog friends! I know I always talk about the weather, but it's always right in front of me. Right now it's pouring rain outside my Starbucks window. My iced coffee and scone are delightful, and the summer has been grand.  We recently spent wonderful family time in Virginia for a wedding, and have a few more on the calendar this fall.  So instead of working, I'm shopping for dresses...I mean...why not?! I'm in love with the vintage clothing trends, aren't you? Not only because they're awesome, but also because they offer a little more modesty.  I'm no fashionista, so these dresses always make for a pulled-together … [Read more...]