Lucky 13?

This morning I had all of these notifications on LinkedIn and wondered what was up. What’s up is that today is the 13 year anniversary of when I legally made Manic Trout a company!! I really wanted to find an old screenshot of the first Manic Trout webpage from 2003 but I apparently do not document my own web sites very well. I found the files for the 2006 version though, which is crazy to find because when you click on index, the entire old site comes up. Woah. That’s all I’ll say about that, ha! I really am sad that I didn’t think to save screen shots before I revamped the site over the years, especially in 2014…which I really thought I had, so maybe one day I’ll find those. But for now, let’s have a giggle at the ghosts of Manic Trout past and see how many of these you remember?

ManicTroutPage2006_01

The furthest back I could find is from 2006, as this is a screen shot, you need to know that the first image is the “landing page” (remember those!?!) and when you scrolled over the logo, you saw the second image. Keep in mind that Etsy was created in December of 2005 so we’re at the very early stages of the maker movement here.

ManicTroutPage2006_02

We can also refer to that time as the early days, before I understood the concept of running a business, was fresh out of art school and just wanted to make all of the things!!!

ManicTroutPage2009

Next we jump forward to early 2009, I know it was early in the year as I just finished an insane holiday season after having 3 pairs of $10 earrings in the Real Simple magazine gift guide. They told me to estimate that I would sell 2k total pairs of the earrings they ran and I sold 10k pairs which included every style of earring I sold. I was not prepared. Back then, I was still coding the shopping cart into my site with Mals and had to manually process every credit card when an order came. Then if it was declined, email the person who placed the order. I had no where near enough stock as I only had what they advised me to do,  and besides ordering materials and more mailing supplies weekly, I had to bring in my staff from my day job to help in the off hours (they, along with my sister Thea, saved my life that season!). As online handmade businesses were still pretty new, getting lines of credit to process cards was tricky if you were not selling much, so I was allowed to process I think $2k a month at the time and by mid November had already sold $25k for that month. This was however a blessing and a curse though as I was able to take the proof of the orders to Chase and get hooked up for much larger limits immediately. Over all, I realized that I was not in a position for scaling and spent most of 2009 rebuilding so I would never go through the problems I encountered again. This included building a robust new site with a shopping cart that had all the bells and whistles. Which brings us to late 2009.

ManicTroutPage2009v2

As you can see, I was really excited about all of the options that I now could use and deployed every single one of them. (I’m dizzy just looking at this!)

So now Manic Trout has made a name for itself, tasted crazy growth and received a snazzy new website…but something was feeling off. I was feeling like I had outgrown the brand. So I enlisted the help of brilliant duo to rebrand and grow up. The result was to finally let go of the paintings (did you notice those were still on the site as late as 2009?) and focusing on jewelry. The rebrand included getting a grown up logo, starting to design seasonal collections, redoing the packaging and of course a cleaned up site.

ManicTroutPage2010

Pardon the tiny photo, but this was the first version of the new site before the logo and final touches were done. How I wish over the last 13 years I had taken a screen shot of every version of the MT page…it would be a big file, but I really would enjoy seeing them progress. Anyway, the graphic designer finished the new logo and the site became this.

ManicTroutPage2010_02

Another tiny photo…I have no idea why only 2010 are this small. Anyway, over the next couple of years, this site evolved and became less and less pink, as web site styles changed, lines were removed and by 2013 the above site had evolved to this one below.

ManicTroutPage2013

The text bubbles were not part of the design, and from a facebook post or something, but it was all I had from this area…again, kicking myself over that. I was going for a cleaner and cleaner look and really liked how this era of the site looked. But once again, I was facing the dilemma of my jewelry being becoming more mature than the branding. I have talked recently enough about the process that happened next so I’ll skim over it. In short, I hired a brand management consultant to work with me over the past year + to take Manic Trout to the next level. And with that level of course came a new version of the site. I had help on this one from a graphic designer and 3 programmers to each contribute in someway to what you see now if you visit ManicTrout.com and since their help in the fall/winter of 2014, I have kept going and tweaking and changing to make it what it is now. We’ll call this the 2015 because as you can imagine, it never ends!

ManicTroutPage2015

Crazy to think that I made the first Manic Trout page so, so many years ago, but really glad that today’s anniversary gave me a chance to gather all of this in one place. Here’s hoping that this year is the lucky 13!

Continue Reading

Rejection

michael-jordan

One of the realities of being an artist/designer/maker is that in order to sell your work, you have to put yourself out there. In putting yourself out there, you have to be ready to face rejection. The more you put yourself out there, the more chances of selling your work but the more rejection you will have to face. It’s just the way it goes. I’ve discussed with many friends in similar businesses how when they pitch, how often do they never hear back, get rejected and sell and it seems we all have pretty similar experiences. The majority of the time, the process goes like this: you gather a list of stores, editors or whomever and spend a few hours emailing say 10 people (I am using this number for ease of math). Then you usually follow up 2 weeks later with anyone you did not hear back from. Typically you will get a reply from 1 or 2 of the emails over all. Most likely not a straight sale, but at least 1 really promising lead. Maybe 2 more “love it, but not right now” replies and the rest are rejections…almost always by lack of response. To receive 2 replies from 10 pitches within a few weeks of the 1st email seems to be a pretty great rate and what I hope for.

Recently, after a round of follow up emails which contained what I thought was a pretty tight and quick sentence and the original email below, I had responses unlike any other round of pitching. Within 2 hours, I heard back from over 25% of the list. I don’t think I’ve ever heard back from anyone that fast! 1 loved the jewelry, but the store was full, so she added me to her prospects list (this is a solid lead, I can now follow up again with new line sheets when I have a new collection coming out). 5 let me know that I was not a right fit, which is solid feedback, as I was pitching somewhat blindly around the country with only their websites to give me an idea of their style. And 1 gave me the email of the new buyer as she was no longer that person. Besides still being in shock over over how fast so many replies came in, I was also amazed that I was actually excited to get 5 rejection emails. So much of the time you just throw yourself out there and get nothing back, it felt kind of sweet that 5 people took the time to send a quick note letting me know that it was “not me, but them”.

I found myself thinking about how I would have viewed this situation over a decade ago when I first began Manic Trout. I probably would have felt discouraged, although I would have eventually shaken it off (obviously, as I’m still doing this years later). I would not have seen it as such a positive thing though. Now I look at the 5 emails where someone took the time to reply and thought, wow, at least they didn’t just ignore the email and move on. That’s great. I also took it as an indication that this round of follow up emails had a wording and tactic should be used again and maybe the day of the week and time sent were also good for catching shop owners at a time when they can sit down and actually read and reply to emails. All great pieces of information for the next round of follow-ups which I will be doing very soon.

Somewhat along these lines, this weekend I was chatting with a few girlfriends who own businesses and we were talking about there is really no such thing as a “big break”. You need to be constantly hustling, pushing, pitching and trying to get your product and brand out there. It will never end, but it doesn’t have to make you feel bad when you are rejected for trying something. I have been trying hard to get over the fear of approaching people I have no connection to. It’s more a desire to not annoy them than it is of rejection, but so often, I will hold back from reaching out. Understanding that I have something to offer them, that they need products to sell, pitch and use has been helpful in getting over this weird block. It’s also been bringing great opportunities to the table. Having a thick skin in business is essential for sure, but sometimes it takes time to toughen. It only toughens if you keep you trying and failing though. I will sign off the same why I started off, with wise words from Michael Jordan: “I can accept failure, but I can’t accept not trying.”

Continue Reading

The evolution of blogging

blogging-image

Having an online business for more than decade has been a constant exercise in learning and adjusting to new technology. I’m usually pretty quick to accept and adapt, with of course a few exceptions (SnapChat). More often than not, the advancements improve things and I get used to them so fast that I never look back (MySpace). The one exception to this is what has happened to blogs. I started reading blogs close to when they began, back in the livejournal “emo” days of blogging. I started my own blog in the early 2000’s, although thanks to many platform changes, I have no record of anything before 2006 (thank goodness). Besides changing platforms, I have had a handfuls of URLs, names and topics I covered, but I have for the most part just done it because I like to write. About a year ago, you may remember that I decided to finally split the Manic Trout blog off and regrouped as a “life style” blog so that I wasn’t hurting the brand by rambling on about things like deep thoughts and exercise.

Well, when this happened, I began spending more time thinking about what I wanted to write here than actually posting. I thought a great deal about how blogs have become mini magazines. I thought about that I did not want to write articles that fit in with an editorial calendar. That this was a space that I intentionally kept removed from business simply because I enjoyed writing as a hobby. I then started to get really upset because I noticed in my own blog reader, where I gather and read my favorite blogs, that all of the bloggers whom I have followed for years and years because I loved their writing, had stopped blogging. Mainly because they were tired of having to integrate products into their posts in order to earn a living writing, and because oddly, most people who read blogs complain about them doing this. (which is wildly unfair by the way, if you want to read free content, then you have to deal with ads, or your are literally starving bloggers). But they also stopped due to their own burn out over writing constantly on such specific topics. SO anyway, this made me feel like blogging was dead as I knew and loved it and I didn’t really know what to do about this. I am a tiny bit comforted in knowing that I am not alone in these feelings though. The biggest testament to this is the Times article written almost exactly one year ago today.

In the midst of all of these feels, three different people sent me messages that they loved to read what I wrote. This made me fee warm and fuzzy inside and again remind myself that I really enjoy writing and in this non business space, I can do whatever I want. I do not have to have a topic that I obsess over and focus on, that if I want, I can just ramble on. This is not a monotized blog, I have no one to really answer to, so here I am, returning to ramble mode and sharing my thoughts as they tumble out. If however, you take away one important thought from this post, it’s that I miss the bloggers who wrote for the sake of writing, whose words I read every day for so many years that I still crave their thoughts, and I swear that there is an emptiness in the bloggersphere without them.

Before I sign off, I want to share this info graphic that I found about the evolution of bloggers, as it illustrates this evolution so well is cute.

101201-FLOW-BLOGGER

Continue Reading

DIY Planner Perfection

Planner
I cannot help myself, there are multiple calendars in there.
We all know I have an obsession with calendars, but for the most part my addiction to planners has been pretty minimal. Mostly because I just gave up on finding what I wanted, and I’d settle dfor what is available. Really I think this is the entire reason for being so into calendars…but maybe not. They may end up being two separate and intense loves. Last week I was chatting with Renee about the quest for the perfect planner and how I gave up. Renee on the other hand has been diligently searching and searching for years, and refuses to give up…I’m in awe of her perseverance. It made me have a burst of renewed desire to find perfection in planner form and I took to google. I came close with the planners by Emily Ley, but when I discovered that they sold out months in advance, I was over it. Then I started looking at printable pages on Etsy. Which led me back to google, which finally brought me to Scattered Squirrel. I ended up spending a ridiculous amount of time this week downloading and printing pages. Testing them out for a day or two, seeing if they worked for me or not. I stapled different pages back to back to see what order I liked everything in…I may have wasted a bit of paper. But then I began to get really excited. You see I don’t need an agenda style planner…mapping out times is not really what I’m looking for. Its more of the goal tracking/list making that I need to do. But I want to do so on daily/monthly and weekly levels and this just does seem impossible in a preprinted version. Most likely as it will get very large.

Planner2
Two of the pages for days of the week.
As the week has progressed, I have been kept up at night about how I will keep all of this assembled. To test it out, I just stuck it all in a white ½” 3 ring binder. I use them all over the place in the studio, so I had one on hand. I however felt that I needed something bigger…and maybe with a bit more flair! I thought of having it bound, but decided against it as I think the best plan is to remove the daily pages at the end of each month, keeping only the week/month goals in there. This way, the size stays smaller, I can look back and see progress and if I don’t want to track a day (say a day off), I’m not wasting paper. I have also already eliminated pages that I had at first thought I’d use, but after a few days realized I would not. So I imagine that as time goes on, I will be removing or even adding things (there are so many different options to choose from!!!). But for now I am really excited about what I put together. But wait…it get’s better.

Planner3
It’s very hard to photograph a glitter binder, so this photo is the product shot.
I ran into OfficeDepot to grab some ink earlier today and stopped in my tracks because: GLITTER!! Right on an end cap was a sparkly gold glitter 1″ 3 ring binder, with mint interior!! I gasped so loud, a sales associate heard me and chuckled. It’s perfect. (note: I only like glitter that does not shed and this is all contained in plastic, so it is safe glitter). I now have the perfect planner (until someone makes one that like more). Yay.

 

Continue Reading

Deep Thoughts From The Past Week

11255900_774849129278956_1383630923_n

1. Feedback from people that get you and what you do is invaluable. I have had two interactions this week, one with a wholesale customer and one with a magazine editor who both inspired me to make two such obvious, right in front of my face design ideas come to life that I was shocked I hadn’t thought of them before. Sometimes you need that last little push that you get in talking with people who love what you do but are not close to the work.

2. When you are chomping at the bit for opportunities, emails and exciting things…nothing happens. But look forward to a quiet morning and watch out, all hell will break loose!

3. The Austin clothing label, Emily Hallman is closing its doors this month. While the exact reason has not yet been revealed, in a blog post this morning, Emily mentioned that she has had an overwhelming response to this announcement and then adds something to the effect of: where have you all been? There is a very important lesson to be learned here. Brands cannot exist on dreams alone. Money must be made to survive. The word needs to constantly spread to both reach new customers and keep the love alive among the current ones. If you are a fan of a small label, be it fashion, illustration, food…whatever…please keep this in mind when you are on social media. You don’t have to spend money to show support and help make the brand succeed. Simply “liking” their posts can really go a long way!

4. I am currently failing at email. My inbox is winning and yet, I don’t really care.

5. Chia Pudding. I am part intrigued, part annoyed at the hype around yet another “super food” (I get the same way about best selling books, I eventually give into it). Does anyone have a recipe they recommend?

6. This week I finished binge watching X Files, watched a few episodes of the new Orange Is The New Black, cried my way through season 1 of Chasing Life and started season 4 of Scandal. I will sum up my thoughts here with one sentence for each: Once Moulder left, I was over the X files. I really don’t give a crap about Alex and Piper and their relationship and wish less time was spent on it. Sob, sniffle, laugh, sob, ugly cry, smile though the tears. Why are we supposed to care so much about Olivia Pope and her affair with the president, does it interest anyone at this point???

7. If there is one square inch of mud in the back yard, Mora will find it and get it all over herself.

8. Mid July is oddly a very popular time for people I know in NYC to plan trips to visit Austin. I’m afraid to tell them the truth about the weather here then. Hint: it’s hot.

9. I am a much happier person when I work out everyday…even if it’s for 10 minutes.

10. The Entourage movie is great. Not really a deep thought, I just thought you should know that.

Continue Reading

Deep Thoughts on Entrepreneurship and How It Really Affects Your Personal Life

Sierra Bailey, designer and owner of Manic Trout jewelry in her studio.
My happy place

I started Manic Trout in January of 2003. For years, I worked full time as well so I could put all of the income from the business back into it. In 2011, I moved to Austin, TX and took the leap to full time and have been enjoying solid growth since the move. Since 2003, besides building the company, I have gone through a divorce, progressed in my other career to the top position in the field, moved across the country, got married and mothered two dogs. I have been slowly growing the business on a solid foundation with a loyal customer base. There are my deep thoughts on how being an entrepreneur has affected my personal life…

1. Marriage: You should probably feel bad for anyone married to an entrepreneur. Not really kidding on that one. Having the demise of a marriage behind me, I had learned a few hard life lessons by the time I met Adam. Within the first 3 weeks I told him that 1. Manic Trout would always be #1 and 2. That I did not want kids because of that. Not the nicest thing to say, but it was honest. It has not made dealing with my long hours, devotion to work and all the craziness that building a business entails any easier, he just accepted that he was agreeing to this from the beginning. I can’t personally imagine if we were both entrepreneurs. The fluctuating income alone would drive us crazy, but on the flip side, not being married to another entrepreneur means that he really doesn’t get it a lot. Bless his heart he tries though and thats why it works for us. I enjoy being married to someone who loves the corporate life because the steadier aspect of his job helps even out a lot of potential high stress areas, such as guaranteeing that we have health insurance. I think Adam really enjoys experiencing with me the crazy highs…when my work is in a big magazine or in a music video, getting a huge new wholesale account, being contacted and admired by big companies/people, seeing how excited customers are about the jewelry…that become his good news too. He also understands the lows…the days I don’t leave the studio except to sleep, the overwhelmed moments, the rejection (there is SO MUCH possibility for rejection in entrepreneurship), the failures…all the bad moments that I sometimes want to talk about over and over and sometimes don’t want to talk about at all. He has to deal with everything I experience, sometimes both in one day, sometimes involving a lot of emotion. It’s a lot for a spouse to take on, but so are many other things in life.

2. Children: Without getting too much into this topic, I will just say that I personally decided years ago that I really enjoy working all the time. I would most likely resent anyone who prevented me from doing this and therefore felt it was not fair to have a child with this mind set. I know plenty of entrepreneurs with kids who juggle it like a champ. I however felt I had to make a choice, and I made it, it’s my path in life, no regrets. As I said above, I was open with my husband about this when we met, so no surprises there. My mom has 3 more daughters, so she seems to accept it. My dad is back and forth between understanding it and being really bummed that his linage dies with me. It is what it is.

3. Parents: My dad is an entrepreneur, actually his dad is as well and my my moms dad was too.  My mom followed her dream for her profession. I grew up with parents who worked all the time but really enjoyed what they did and encouraged me to live out my wildest dreams. From a very young age on, my dream was to be a designer. The type of designer changed back and forth over the years, but I sold scrunchies to the public at a summer festival in my dads town the summer I was 8 so I think he saw it coming. My mom has gone waffled over the years of wanting me to have I’m sure less stress and has herself stressed a great deal about “my potential”. She still has moments every now and then where she calls me and tells me that she wished she had pushed me into science at a young age instead of letting the pull of the arts draw me in. There were the years she insisted I should be the CEO of a fortune 500 company…which one was up to me. There was a phase when she thought I would be great as a general in the military. The most recent phase was that I should go back to school and become a surgeon, plastics or neuro…up to me which one. Yeah. Sometimes I think that what she envisioned for her oldest child who was in the gifted program with a very high IQ is a bit different than what happened, but it doesn’t maker her less proud or happy for me. I actually just read a great open letter to parent of entrepreneurs over at Inc., its really all very true.

4. Siblings: I am the oldest of 4 girls. There is 16 years between myself and the youngest and 2 exactly in the middle. We are all really living our dreams through our work which is pretty amazing. My 2 younger sisters tell me often that I have been an amazing role model to them and that just means more to me than anything. All 4 of us work crazy hours, although the youngest is a Millennial, so she is much more into the work/life balance than the other 3 of us, as one would expect. I am lucky to be really close to all of my sisters, they are the ones I turn to when the days are rough and when the awesome things are happening. You need a strong support group if you choose the life of entrepreneurship, and they have done that in spades. Thea (my youngest sister) has worked by my side countless times over the years and now works for a jewelry company while in school. Its not the profession that she plans on going into, but she enjoyed working with me enough that she sought it out as an adult. I’m just sad she lives so far away so it’s someone else and not me!

5. Friends: As an adult, most of my friends are fellow entrepreneurs. They’re my tribe. They also have schedules like mine so they are free for lunch at random times. But truthfully, there is no better feeling than sitting at a table with a group of people you feel not only get you, but go through the same struggles as you do. We all end up talking about work 90% of the time and it’s awesome. I do have to add though that it is equally important to have friends who are not entrepreneurs, because sometimes you need to step away from work and talk about things that have nothing to do with work. Just like taking vacations. It rejuvenates you. I try and have a couple of lunches each week with friends, no matter what we talk about, I always leave the afternoon feeling wonderful. Being mostly alone in my studio all the time, it’s necessary for my sanity.

 

Continue Reading

Random Deep Thoughts from The Past Week

I also had a "Deep Doodle" this week.

1. As a designer, there is no better feeling than having customers who not only “gets you” and shows this by buying tons of your work, but want to tell everyone they meet about you. Its really important that these are the people you listen to when they have feedback. Just a small handful of these customers can give you more insight than hundreds of so so ones.

2. As important as it to have these customers, its even more wonderful when you can hang out with them for an hour or so. They make your job magical.

3. When you do hang out with these people, you will never remember to take a photo with them.

4. Anyone who was obsessed with Swatch Watches in the 80’s will probably be a fan of Manic Trout.

5. You should always make sure your underwear is not visible though your clothes before you leave the house.

6. Dana Scully says “I’m a medical doctor.” in every episode of the The X-Files.

7. Two dogs create an alarming amount of hair around the house compared to one.

8. If one does not drink alcohol, its only right that dessert is consumed more often.

9. A month of rain does wonders for plants.

10. Most of the last week has had me thinking one thought though…floods = fecal matter everywhere.

* I not only had all of these deep thoughts this week, but I had a deep doodle too!

Continue Reading

Spring Cleaning: blog edition

New branding at Manic Trout.
The spring cleaning continues!

You know how you sometimes put things off until the breaking point, and then you have a big mess to deal with? Yeah, that happened this weekend with the blog. It started innocently enough, I swear. As Adam and I such slackers with She Says, He Says, I decided it was time to make it a column of Her Daily Muse and get rid of the stand alone blog. In doing so, I made a phone call to tech support to make sure I redirected the domain correctly and inquired why this blog had been so slow. Well, as it turns out, it was due to my being on a really old hosting plan. This is the problem with having a tech based company. If you just move along without keeping up the latest and greatest, you end up being a clunky dinosaur…which the blog had become. So I began migrating to a new hosting method…and then all hell broke loose. Ugh, it was a major pain in the ass, but after 3 intense days, I only lost a few photos and posts, mostly from 2007-2011 so not so bad. Its worth the faster speed and the safe feeling that I don’t have to worry about being out of date for at least a year.  It also motivated me to get back to blogging…partly due to a new spiffed up theme and partly because why go through all of this work to not blog?

With all of the changes going on with Manic Trout, I kind of picked up and abandoned this space. Manic Trout has it’s own blog now and I haven’t been quickly getting the hang of what to do here. Going though the posts from the past 9 years was actually a great way to get me back on track and thinking about what I want to write about. And that’s the main reason that I want to keep Her Daily Muse going, I enjoy writing. So we’ll see how it goes. In the mean time, it’s so fresh and new here! Ahhh, new branding, new collection, new blog…it feels good!

Continue Reading

Top 5 reasons bossy women make awesome friends

Little Miss Bossy

Over the past year, thanks largely to Sheryl Sandberg, Tiny Fey, Sophia Amoruso and Amy Poehler the term bossy has become a hot topic. Mainly for being called out for being a derogatory and sexist term. Movements like Ban Bossy state sad truths such as: When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.”

About a year ago I was called bossy by a woman whom I have know for many, many years and had not seen in at least a decade. It felt like I had been slapped in the face when she said it, especially as she meant it as an insult. All I could think was that I had not been called bossy since I was a little girl, because for my entire adult life, I was no longer considered “bossy”, I was simply the boss. I’m still pissed off about it, and even more irritated that little girls are continuing to be put down for being natural leaders.

As I know so many awesomely bossy women whom I adoringly call wonderful friends, I decided to sum up the top 5 reasons why it so awesome to both be bossy and have bossy women as friends:

1. Time is never wasted figuring out what the plan is because a bossy woman will always step up immediately and make sure one is in place. Note that if more than one bossy woman is in the group, there is never a conflict over this task, bossy woman love other bossy woman, as long as a plan is being made, a bossy woman could care less who is doing it.

2. Bossy women get shit done.

3. If you have a problem or need advice and you turn to a bossy woman, she will make sure that you are provided with the correct information/contact person/place to go. She will usually also take it upon her self to make all necessarily introductions and connections to facilitate this.

4. Need to address a large crowd of people at a moments notice, grab the nearest bossy woman. She most likely thrives at both public speaking and has no problem coming up with a solution to your problem on the fly.

5. In the time of a crisis or emergency, a bossy woman will save your life. She is usually prepared for anything and is known for skills #1-4.

Now go on out there and surround yourself with as many bossy woman as you can and men: if you’re really smart, you’ll marry one!

p.s. were you as big a fan of the Roger Hargreaves books as I was? I never realized there were so many!?!

Roger Hargeaves Characters

Continue Reading

Happy New Calendar Day!!

Rifle Paper 2015 Calendar in the Manic Trout Studio
Hanging over the shipping station

I despise New Years Day. There I said it. The whole, “now is your chance to finally be a great person” aspect of the new year is beyond annoying. As are the goals made that no one accomplishes. Ever. Personally, I prefer to take this one day to reflect on how much I did not accomplish in the last 365 days and wallow in it. As most of the world is hungover, and no one does anything of importance on this day, its a nice time for this type of behavior. By tomorrow, I’ll be back to my effervescent self and ready to take on the world, but today: I grumble.

The 5 of the 6 calendars around my desk necessary for managing Manic Trout
The 5 of the 6 calendars around my desk necessary for managing Manic Trout

The only good part of January 1st is that its the day to break out new calendars. As I admitted last year, I really enjoy calendars. Thank you to Thea gifting me the beautiful Rifle Paper 2015 calendar, I have topped 2014 and now have 7 calendars in the studio. Now that is a reason to get excited today!

The 7 Calendars of 2015
6 of the calendars for 2015

In case you are wondering why on earth I need 7 calendars:

1. Austin Events Calendar: For the obvious reasons, also to see holidays and I mark when I go running or work out with red dots to give me a bit of visual encourangement to fill it up with red dots. It hangs on the wall behind my computer so I look up and see it.

2. Rifle Paper Calendar: An unexpected gift from my sister as she knows how much I love both calendars and pretty things. Its hanging above the shipping station which is useful for obvious reasons.

3. Desk Pad Calendar: A recent obsession after I discovered these last year. Great for jotting down notes for the entire week. Sits on my desk to my right.

4: Single page printouts of 2015 and each quarter: Noted are the dates for design and production according to the PR and wholesale schedules. These hang to my right.

5. Social Media Calendar: I actually made this one out of a covered corkboard, paper and post its. I have blog posts, facebook posts, newsletters, twitter and instagram posts all planned out a month in advnace on this. It hangs to my left above the production calendars.

6: Spiral Desk Calendar from Sugar Paper: Where I pencil in appointments, meetings, workouts, lunches, trips etc.  I have given up on the electronic version, I prefer paper. I also keep a paper version of Manic Trout sales in it, I find it easier to flip though to see how the month is going than opening a spreadsheet. Sits on the top left corner of my desk, open to the current month.

7: Pocket Calendar: I am going back to a paper version of what I carry with me too. I can look through and schedule so much faster in paper than I can in my phone. Hangs out in the studio when I’m at home, goes in my bag when I’m not.

*8: Doesn’t really count as its not in the studio, but we keep a big magnet dry erase calendar on the fridge too with all meetings, travel and important dates. Adam still forgets everything anyway, but at least I can say that it was up there.

Hope you are enjoying New Years Day the way you want to and Happy New Calendar Day!!

Continue Reading