graphics for shirts · Onesies · Small Business · Toledo, OH

Toledo Pride Festival This Weekend

This weekend is the Pride Festival at Levis Square in downtown Toledo (on the corner of Madison and St. Clair). Jason and I attended the event two years ago and we’re happy that this year Karly can come along, too. I’m sure she’ll love the parade. That’s happening Saturday at noon. There are so many organizations involved in the parade, and the energy is so high in the crowd as they pass by. Besides the parade there will be vendors and live performances. Come check it out! I’m making a onesie for Karly to wear.

love-onesie

graphic design · graphics for shirts · Heat Press · Onesies · SCORE · Small Business

Rahm Designs, LLC August 2017 Update

I was not feeling well this past weekend, and didn’t get anything done for a couple days. I’m juggling several different projects right now, so it was discouraging to fall behind schedule. However, I’m feeling better now. I’m back at work and slowly tackling projects one-by-one. Here’s an update on Rahm Designs, LLC.

For the past 12 months the Rahm Designs, LLC Etsy shop has seen a 279 percent increase in revenue. From month-to-month it doesn’t usually feel like there’s that big of a change, so it was nice to see the stats over a larger period of time. Most of our orders come from Etsy and I feel it’s the best fit for our items as far as ecommerce sites go, but we still get frustrated with Etsy’s seller’s fees. We also get sales from eBay, but no where near the traffic and sales we get on Etsy.

We will meet with our SCORE mentor as well as the marketing mentor on the 23rd. I have been gathering all of our marketing materials and I’m eager to hear their feedback. It’s been several weeks since we’ve seen our mentor and a lot has happened in the mean time, so we’ll have a lot of catching up to do.

I’m still thinking about the organization of the business. I have many different interests, and I’m not sure what to focus on. Can Rahm Designs, LLC cover several different areas?

I’m excited to be working on some new designs, all of which were ideas from my family. My drawing skills feel a little rusty, but I’m antsy to put out a finished product. It’s been a while since I’ve put out new designs, and I’m excited to show everyone.

There’s a lot of uncertainty in my life right now. My husband has a new job, and my job at the mental health agency might be coming to an end in a few months. While it’s a little nerve wracking at the moment, I believe these changes will ultimately be better for my career and my life. Let’s see what the next chapter holds.

art · graphic design · Small Business

My New Favorite Series on Netflix – Abstract: The Art of Design

Abstract: The Art of Design is a series that came out earlier this year on Netflix, and I was instantly drawn to it. This inspiring program profiles the beautiful and innovative work of 8 designers at the top of their game as they reveal their processes and motivation. This is a must-see for anyone pursuing a creative career. I found their stories fascinating as well as an incredible learning opportunity.

Episode 1

Christoph Niemann talks about his illustrations as he works on a ground breaking cover for New Yorker. He explains the importance of abstraction and shares exercises that help him with the creative process. I have enjoyed trying these exercises myself. He says on a trip to the museum, “The gateway drug is not creating art, it’s experiencing art.”

Episode 2

This episode follows iconic shoe designer and creator of Air Jordans, Tinker Hatfield. Tinker discusses the problem-solving element of design and the importance of creating something meaningful – something that tells a story. He says, “Get out and experience life. Then you will have a library in your head.”

Episode 3

Es Devlin opens up about her successful career as a stage designer. She’s designed for small theaters as well as sets of today’s most famous pop stars and everything in between. She discusses 5 ingredients she uses in her design work, and what it means to fill a void with art. She explains, “Everything’s only going to exist in the memories of people.”

Episode 4

This episode follows Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. He created an inclusive approach to architecture and his work focuses on sustainability and problem-solving. He explains, “The way you realize your dreams is one step at a time.” You won’t believe the clean power plant with a ski slope on top of it.

Episode 5

Episode 5 profiles Ralph Gilles, automotive designer for Chrysler. He says, “Everything should be art.” His designs are beautiful and functional. He calls designers “taste makers” and as he explains, “Taste making takes time.”

Episode 6

Graphic designer Paula Scher is featured in episode 6. She describes design as “existing beyond screens” because “it affects real life.” She’s a big fan of typography. As she explains, “Making stuff is the heart of everything. That drive never goes away.”

Episode 7

This episode follows photographer and cultural provocateur Platon. He still shoots with film and has an amazing way of connecting with people. He always asks himself, “What can I learn from this person?” He has photographed numerous world leaders and everyday people alike.

Episode 8

Ilse Crawford, the successful interior designer, is the focus of episode 8. She considers all the senses in her work, because “we are our bodies”. She explains, “Design is a thought process, a skill, and a tool to enhance our humanity.”

I loved this series and I am grateful to the designers for sharing their work and stories. It was truly inspiring. I am more motivated than ever to learn and discover as much as I can about my own discipline. Time to get to work!

Library · Small Business

Book Review: Free Marketing 101 Low and No-Cost Ways to Grow Your Business Online and Off

I love this book! It’s an easy and sometimes eye-opening read. Jim Cookrum writes confidently, and his advice is bold, practical, and maybe even unconventional. The book consists of 102 short and straight to the point chapters. He’s a big fan of videos and email marketing, and lists tons of helpful websites and tools.

marketing book

Some of my favorite advice:

  • The “irrational habits” outlined in chapter 6 are awesome, and are definitely not what you would think of as great marketing; or at least I didn’t at first.

 

  • Be authentic and transparent, because customers want to buy from a   person.

 

  • Be over the top and go out of your way to please customers, because with the internet, “every customer has a megaphone and an audience”.

 

Even though this book is from 2011, I believe most of the information is still relevant. It’s definitely worth a look for any entrepreneur wanting to grow their business.

SCORE · Small Business

July 2017: Update on Rahm Designs, LLC

I still spend a good amount of time working on Rahm Designs, LLC everyday, but I’ve slowed down a little to concentrate on some other creative opportunities.

My focus is still on marketing. I am reading some helpful books in my free time, and promoting the business on social media daily. I’ve also been sending flyers to local daycare centers. I’m so excited to be meeting with Northwest Ohio SCORE’s marketing mentor in August, that I’ve already been preparing questions for him.

Sales have been up and down, and seem pretty unpredictable. I received a large custom order last week that gave our revenue a boost. Gamer Kids and Baby Pride Wear are still our two most popular Etsy shop sections. In a post last week I shared a coupon code for our Etsy shop to celebrate Gen Con, which will be here in a little less than a month!

Lately I’ve been feeling pretty creative, and I’ve been spending a lot of time writing and drawing. Carrying a journal and sketchbook everywhere I go really comes in handy!

When I started this blog, its sole purpose was to promote Rahm Designs, LLC, but posting every week has shown me a newfound love for writing. I am having fun exploring this interest, and checking out new opportunities. As I mentioned in a blog post last week, I am a new blogger for healthyplace.com. I am co-author of the Recovering From Mental Illness blog, and I’m thrilled to be a part of this resourceful website.

I’m hoping this will be a good month for Rahm Designs, LLC, and I want to thank everyone for your support.