Category: Camp OMHG

Our Community Treasure Hunt {Part 1}


This month our community has been adventuring near and far to find the every day treasures around us for our first ever Treasure Hunt challenge! Beautiful photos, memories and thoughts have been shared by fellow hunters of goodness and new connections have been made as we get a chance to see what each of us finds most valuable. Forage through this first selection of treasures and be inspired by the loveliness of our lives or search #OMHG on Instagram to see the whole challenge!

If you missed our challenge it’s not too late, grab your treasure hunting list here and go loot your life for all that glitters!

A Camp Fire Tale: The Year I Lassoed My Dreams

A Campfire Tale: The Year I Lassoed My Dreams, Lisa Jacobs for OMHG

A few months ago on my blog I published, If I Knew I Could Not Fail, I Would … in which I listed all the things I would do right now if I knew I could not fail. I forced myself to dream big and think a little outside of the box. I wrote down everything I could think of, but I could only think of four items:

  1. Focus all of my efforts on group coaching
  2. Lead live, in-person workshops for groups of 100+
  3. Host a women’s retreat for 20 creatives
  4. Start a podcast

I was just putting it out there for the sake of putting it out there, to demonstrate how fun the blog topic was. But in response to the article, one of my previous clients said:

You should do those things on your list even if you might fail at one or two.

And she was right. Of course she was right! Not only do I coach next-level business to clients, my own business was built on my passion for growth and expansion. I constantly envision ways to improve and upgrade my day; it’s in my nature. So why hadn’t I gone for these big dreams?

I guess I was just … scared? Waiting for permission? Hoping to be recognized? Looking for a big break? And those things are exactly what I coach my clients not to do. I certainly could not leave my career wish list hanging. It was time for a big dose of my own medicine.

Do you know what I did next?

I went for the one I wanted the most. I began planning a women’s retreat alongside an amazing line-up of inspirational leaders in our field! I’d been dreaming of collaborating with a handful of amazing ladies, so I reached out to them and pitched my idea … and they all said, “YES!”

I cannot reveal all the details yet, but I can ask you to save the date! We’ll be meeting the weekend of February 27, 2015 in the lovely, culture-rich city of Charleston, SC. It’s going to be amazing. Pencil it in on your calendar because you won’t want to miss this event!

I realized that the upcoming retreat answered one of my soul’s cravings. So, I looked to answer more …

What are you truly craving?

Over the course of the next few months, the “If I Knew I Could Not Fail” experiment evolved into this question: What am I truly craving? And one of the biggest cravings I had in online business was for a deeper connection.

I’m a creative business coach, and when I feel a big moment coming in a session – a moment in which my natural intuition is about to align what is out-of-sync in the client’s life, I have to look up into the webcam during the call (away from my client’s face), so that she can have eye-to-eye contact with me when I deliver that important message. Only one of us gets to truly connect during that powerful moment, and since she’s the client, it’s always her.

The screen gets in the way of a real connection. It’s where I look at my webcam so we can pretend I’m looking into your eyes. It’s where I pretend I’m dressed to the nines while I deliver my greatest blog post, when I’ve really just popped out of bed. It’s where I share my sunlit side.

We always envy others, comparing our shadows to their sunlit sides. – Margaret George

I crave a deeper connection, and the creative retreat I planned for next February – where I’ll be able to meet people face-to-face, look into their eyes, and feel the magic in the room – was only the beginning. Here’s what I did next:

I found a place where we truly belong.

I love that I have built my own career from scratch, but truth be told, this work-at-home business can be lonely. I’ve missed building, brainstorming, troubleshooting, and goofing off with my co-workers. I’ve missed the feeling that comes from working partnerships that evolve into comfortable friendships, and I’ve missed feeling like I knew where I belonged.

A few short months ago, I found a place filled with creative connection + co-working opportunities + an abundance of love and acceptance. I’m a little late to the party, but I’ve recently joined the Oh My! community for creatives.

Inside the Oh My! Handmade Goodness community, you’ll find forums (they’re always buzzing), big ideas and projects you can join in on, plenty of opportunity to share what you’re working on, and loads of support and encouragement. There’s even an area where members share discounts, coupons and free downloads with each other (as an example, I share a free copy of my best-selling e-program, Shop Fundamentals).

When I arrived on the scene, I was able to jump right into the discussion, which was all about what we were going to let go of in order to lasso our biggest dreams. The timing was divine.

I developed my dream client.

I’ve coached hundreds of creatives, some of them ideal and some in disaccord, and I’ve learned a lot about who I want to work with along the way. I named all of the qualities and attributes my dream client would have, and then I placed an ad (aka blog post) to find her.

Once she found the post, I let her know:

I think you’re her, my dreamy entre-prowess. From now on, I’m going to gloss over everything else so that I can focus all of my attention on you and your needs. I’m going to write to you like we’re sitting down for a steamy cup of coffee, I’m going to email you love + kindness (just as a best friend would), and I’m going to create services and products that were made with you in mind.

You know, I’ve made some big changes to my line-up this year (such as posting my monthly income for all to see), and that’s changed the face of [my] blog and the depth of our relationship. I think that’s because you’re ready to make big changes, too.

I built a coaching package that honored my natural abilities.

This might have been one of the scariest leaps I’ve ever taken. In May of this year, I decided to give up smaller, yet reliable streams of income to go all in, on my terms.

I developed a “group coaching concentrate” where multiple business owners could learn from one another and support each other’s growth over a three-month period. I called the first running, The Summer Shift, and for a limited number of clients, I offered to monitor their actions and keep a file on the progress they made towards their goals.  I promised to know their businesses as well as I know my own, and to be equally invested in its success.

I didn’t care if it failed; it felt true and right. I believed in it. 

And because I did, the most amazing thing happened: The Summer Shift filled up with dreamy entre-prowesses. My work felt more meaningful and fulfilling than ever before, while my clients saw the progress + results they so desperately craved.

2014 will go down in (my) history as the year I lassoed my dreams.

You know that saying, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.”? Since opening my creative business and making big dreams come true, I’ve become a believer in the “uncomfortable zone.” Even though I often face scary challenges that leave me feeling vulnerable to failure and defeat, the rewards I’ve received have heavily outweighed the risks I’ve taken.

Here’s how to lasso your big dreams:

As we are each in creative business, I’m sure you’ve felt vulnerable about your work and business plan, too. I imagine you know how difficult “putting yourself out there” can be. I’m sure that you can relate to the fear and hesitation that feels inescapable when doing something you’ve never done before … because as creative business owners, we regularly have to try things we’ve never done before.

For the purposes of this article, I looked up the definition of “vulnerable.” From, the three different uses for the word are:

1. capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon: a vulnerable part of the body.

2. open to moral attack, criticism, temptation, etc.: an argument vulnerable to refutation.

3. (of a place) open to assault; difficult to defend: a vulnerable bridge.

I found this interesting because the one I feel most often in creative business is definitely #3: “(of a place) open to assault; difficult to defend.” used “a vulnerable bridge” as an example of the definition, which got me to thinking:

Aren’t our creative businesses just that? A series of vulnerable bridges between where you are and where you want to be?

No wonder we build armor around our dreams, which by the way, is what I used to think I had to do in order to succeed in an independent career. I was taking a leap that NO ONE I knew had ever taken before, so each time I shared my big dreams, they were open to assault and difficult to defend.

This isn’t the first (and won’t be the last) bridge to cross.

Each next step in your creative business brings you to another vulnerable bridge. Even though you’ve already crossed many vulnerable bridges to get to the safe and solid ground you’re standing on now, the next bridge to appear on your path always presents more difficult challenges to overcome. These scary and seemingly unsafe bridges can sometimes make the journey utterly exhausting.

As I was standing in front of my last vulnerable bridge, I pulled a card that read:

Be Open to Love: The intellect employs an interesting strategy to avoid feeling insecure and facing possible pain or disappointment, especially in matters of the heart: It gathers as much information as possible in advance of a commitment. This works up to a point, but it will never be a substitute for gaining the wisdom and understanding that only come out of direct experience.

Your soul’s purpose right now is to learn about love by entering intimate relationships. Surrender control, and open your heart to these lessons. Ignore secondhand opinions and warnings from others to play it safe, and give in to intimacy.

Your soul’s lesson: Stop trying to avoid pain and disappointment by withholding your heart and commitment. Reflect on and decide what type of love you want from others, and then ask for it! If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you can’t expect anyone else to know, so be honest and take your time. If you’re afraid of intimacy or fear rejection, admit it. And don’t give more to others than you feel comfortable with, only to resent it later when you don’t collect the anticipated return.

If you’re facing the next vulnerable bridge in business, you’re sure to love those words as much as I did. You see, just before you take your first steps to cross the vulnerable bridge ahead of you, your mind plays tricks to protect your heart. You then desperately seek reassurance from others, and if you’re anything like me, most of the people you know in the real world can’t comprehend your vision, let alone the obstacles you currently face.

Moreover, if the bridge is especially vulnerable (higher and scarier than you’ve ever traveled before), the “secondhand opinions and warnings from others to play it safe” can stop you dead in your tracks for days, months, even years. And you’ll get stuck there until your desire for what’s on the other side of that vulnerable bridge trumps all, and you just go for it.

Are you facing a vulnerable bridge in your business? And if so, what’s on the other side (the safe ground) that you are so desperately craving? Share your journey in the comments, and let us help you cross that vulnerable bridge!

Adventures in Branding: What is your brand personality?

My friendly web design studio, Aeolidia, is well-known for creating custom Shopify websites for creative businesses – handmakers, designers, and crafters of all types. It is always thrilling when a client comes to us who really understands what her business is all about and what the personality of her business is, but she hasn’t been able to translate that to a logo and solid brand identity. Then we get to start from the start and make it all make sense – usually to the joy and amazement of our client. No better feeling than learning and understanding the point of view of a brand and making it come to life in just the right way.

What does “branding” mean, anyway?

You can think of your brand as the personality of your business. What does your business offer your customer that no other business can? Your brand should speak directly to your target customer, making you THE only choice for them. There are hundreds of options when someone decides to buy a cup of coffee – why are so many people at Starbucks? Branding.

To create a brand for your business, you don’t start with the logo. You start by brainstorming what’s unique about what you do, and putting together a description of your business’ personality which highlights why a customer will want to choose you over others. Once you know what your business is about, you’ll have an effective starting point for making sure your products, your logo, your marketing materials, and your advertising all make sense with your brand identity.

Excerpted from Branding Your Company on our blog

Brand identity examples

Jessika asked me to share some brand identity examples from our studio, and today I have Posie, a shop selling handmade stuffed animal kits, Little Hip Squeaks, makers of adorable graphic children’s wear, and Umba, who empower artist entrepreneurs.

A delicate, cozy logo for Posie

Alicia writes the Posie Gets Cozy blog, and she designs original patterns for sewing, knitting, embroidery, crochet, and other craft projects, and also manufactures kits to accompany her designs. She also sells a small, curated collection of her favorite supplies that are handpicked specifically to help customers make her projects.

She has been in business since 2000, doing it all herself, and the time finally came this year to work with professionals on a cohesive brand identity.

Posie Gets Cozy Logo by Aeolidia

Before we began, Alicia told us:

I want the logo to feel handmade. Since everything I do is handmade, I think it’s important that it feel sort of painterly and natural but still detailed — in an old-fashioned embroidery-pattern kind of way. I don’t want it to feel computerized. All of my embroidery patterns or sewing patterns, whether self-published or in my books, have been done by hand, by me, in black marker, and I will most likely always do them that way. So I want these drawings to have that simple, clean, black-outlined feel. But I also want the elements themselves to feel a little tangled, a little enchanted, and a bit wild. So I also envision having some elements that are not outlined but are more like circles of color that float a bit (I’m thinking about dandelion puffs and seed pods), and lead off.

It was such a delight to bring Alicia’s world perfectly to life! Mariah DeMarco on our team was her designer, and the brand identity includes some of Alicia’s own illustration work.

Learn more about how Alicia runs her business and how it’s grown on our blog.

Little Hip Squeaks’ graphic & handmade brand

It hasn’t been that long, but Little Hip Squeaks’ identity feels like an Aeolidia “classic” to me already!

Little Hip Squeaks believes that kids are fun, and their clothes should be, too! Our aesthetic is for of bright colors and bold prints, with modern babies, tots and kiddos in mind.

In the winter of 2010, Little Hip Squeaks was started at a kitchen table, in a one bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. Originally a side project for founder Amy Richardson, to keep her hands busy during pregnancy — sewing newborn hats for her not-yet-born son, and the new babies of good friends from thrifted t-shirts.

Little Hip Squeaks logo by Aeolidia

Amy came to us with these problems to solve:

The growth of our brand has been pretty major over the last 6 months—although I am a designer myself, I never seem to find the “it” this brand needs to have. Too busy with growing the biz, I can’t focus, or even think of what direction I’d like to take the logo and identity. We are a children’s brand, playful but luxury and sophisticated, so I don’t want to look childish, but I also want to be obviously a brand for children.

We are about to embark on the world of manufacturing, and have a lot of major internal changes for our company—we are also working with several major retailers, and feel that before I invest in tagging/branding I want to REALLY love our logo and brand.

Amy’s designer was Christine Castro Hughes on our team, and she shared,

You gave me great, clear direction: strong typography, curvy, modern, sophisticated, and playful but not childish. Something that appeals to hip, young, modern women.

I created four hand-drawn concepts, each with an accompanying monogram. In order to avoid getting cutesy, I kept the type clean with simple illustrative elements (including one sketch with olive branches, like you requested). I also tried to avoid anything too trendy, like the arrows that I agree are now seen everywhere. I think a logo that “holds back” a little will have a longer life span for you and continue to fit your brand as the seasons change and your business grows.

Learn more about Little Hip Squeaks and see more about this project on our blog.

Umba’s whimsical modern-vintage brand

Founder Lauren Thorp told us:

We started Umba (from a Swahili word meaning “to create”), as a way to better connect makers + consumers in a more dynamic way. As Umbassadors (our team of social-savvy sales reps) gather their network of friends & family in homes across the country at fun and social Trunk Shows, they’re able to effectively share the positive impact that buying handmade has on the makers’ lives.

Umba logo by Aeolidia

Lauren wanted something clean, but with character and unique elements. She was looking for something somewhat vintage, but modern, with a bit of whimsy. She told us that she was a fan of hand-lettering, and her designer, Christine, created this logo with a brush on paper, bringing it into Illustrator to create a vector logo that can be scaled to any size without losing quality.

How do you describe your brand?

If your brand was a person, could you describe her? Can you easily look at a product or design and know if it fits with your brand or does not? Is it time to get clear on what your brand stands for?

We have quite a handful of branding articles on our blog that will be helpful (with more info about the projects above), and I often send people to Why You Need to Start With the Logo when they’re not convinced that their brand identity is worth spending some time on.

I’d love to hear more about the words and images and principles that fit with your own brand in the comments.