Monday, October 24, 2016

Feather Fondness

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not too fond of birds. Between the pooping on everything, the weird dinosaur connection, and the territorial mockingbirds attacking my sweet dog in the yard, birds are not my favorite of creatures. But feathers...that's a different story.

Feathers are incredible and beautiful. The science behind feathers is fascinating. They are integral to the flight of birds, adapting and adjusting "on the fly." Their color provides some of the most beautiful palettes in nature. The various hues can protect the bird from predators, ward off bacteria, help to attract a mate, and even regulate hormones. Whenever the lines of form and function merge so wonderfully, I'm intrigued.

Bird of Paradise, photo by Robert Clark

Quetzal, photo by Robert Clark

Lyre Bird, photo by Robert Clark

Golden Breasted Starling, photo by Robert Clark

Monday, October 10, 2016

Goals = Opportunities

Sometimes your life gets turned upside-down. It's not always our choice, but we can choose how we react to the upheaval. I choose to focus on the goals and opportunities surrounding the changes in my life. As part of this, I've been thinking a lot about my business: where I want it go, how I want it to grow, and what I want to create. There are so many great resources out there to help with this...and it's time to revisit some of my favorites as I think about my goals for Pele.

As a reader, one of my go-to resources is (of course) a book. Years ago, my friend and teacher gave me an incredible book, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. I consider this a must read for all women in business. She faces the issues of women in the workplace head on, acknowledging all of the factors of education, patriarchy, family, feminism, leadership, and goal setting. It's encouraging to read a successful woman's take on issues that so many women face throughout their work life.

Grace Bonney from Design Sponge is one of my favorite inspirational business women. As part of her 100 episode podcast series, After the Jump, she tackled the topic of "The 12 Things I Wish I'd Known When I started My Business." Starting off, Grace says that she's inspired by her mistakes and things that have gone wrong. They truly are learning opportunities. As I look at my goals for the studio, it helps to be reminded of some of her tidbits of knowledge:
  • Ask for what you want
  • Dream big
  • Trust your gut
  • Learn to say no
  • Be proud and promote
  • Embrace change

Another great goal-oriented business tool I've found helpful is a model by Charlie Gilkey for The 3 Goals of Any Business Activity. He points out that any business activity should fall into at least one of three categories: generating cash flow, generating opportunities, and generating visibility. "As a quick hint, if it’s not clear how an activity in your business leads to one of the goals above, it’s time to determine whether you should continue to do that activity." So true.

As I look at what I've created at Pele and what my goals are for the future, I'm always aware that it takes a village. I'm so thankful to the people who help me reach my goals and bring out the best in me. Mom, Carly, Maryanne, Dad, Gary, all of the great Pele artists, and so many more...I couldn't do this without you! Let's do this.