2017 has been exhilarating, rewarding, and at times (if I’m being completely honest) just a tad overwhelming! This was the first year I set legit goals for myself and although I didn’t get to cross every single one of them off my list (still haven’t gone away for a weekend sans-kiddo), I still managed to achieve more than I could have ever dreamed possible. As I’ve been reflecting on the highlights of the year and planning for 2018, I’ve decided, in true “year end” fashion, to put together a year in review re-cap of all the cool stuff I’ve done and have coming up… Because, to be completely honest once again, it’s all pretty eff-ing rad.
I created lots (and lots) of blog content this year, but rather than publish just to publish, I decided to focus on areas that 1) I’d really like to explore more personally and 2) provide my community with real, actionable value. It kicked my butt, but bonus: a lot of it allowed me to feature and collaborate with some women in business I truly admire! On that note, here are two major series I explored:
The “I’m A Business, Woman” series is one of my fave things to work on. They are conversations with cool, entrepreneurial women I love, doing cool shit. In addition to getting to know what makes these women tick, I always make sure that there are real, tangible nuggets of exclusive tips and expert information my readers can apply to make their business better. Here are just a few of the great women I had the pleasure of featuring:
- Carey MacArthur, a photographer and all-around badass whose work is every bit as lovely and full of depth as she is.
- Bryn Johnson, owner and chief career mobility and management officer of the eponymous Bryn Johnson Group.
- Melea Seward, my hands-down go-to for my own marketing and communications needs.
- Anna Savoie, the founder of Passepartout Press, a letterpress printing, silkscreen and digital printing studio in The Netherlands.
- Colleen Star Koch, a career, brand, and life coach for creatives, entrepreneurs, and nonconformists of all kinds.
Another fun category of posts I created for this year is an expansion on my “Mind Your Business” resource series. In these posts, I collaborate with experts on topics that I know my clients need help with, thus providing professional knowledge in an easy-to-digest way. Some noteworthy features included:
- How To Write A Killer Positioning Statement For Your Website: I collaborated with pitch expert Laura Allen to tackle the ins-and-outs of the creation of the all-important website positioning statement.
- LinkedIn Marketing For Entrepreneurs: Executive career coach and LinkedIn expert Bryn Johnson and I created a guide for the best ways to use LinkedIn as a business owner.
- How To Use Yoast for The Best WordPress SEO: Julia Lovallo Chaykin and I collaborated on a step-by-step how-to around using the Yoast plugin on WordPress to achieve the most search engine optimized site you could possibly imagine!
- How to Let Go of “Perfect” and Get Shit Done.: Molly Beane and I talked about something that’s seems to be coming up a lot for both of us lately—the idea that when we give up on the idea of “perfect” we not only get shit done, we often succeed beyond our wildest dreams (and keep reading—she has in spades!).
This year was truly fantastic on the client side; I was lucky to work with a diverse group of business owners (men, even!) and help each of them bring the unique and important work they do to life. It’s impossible to choose my favorites, so here are some random highlights off the top of my head:
Emily Roche is a writer specializing in messaging, writing, and content strategy. It was super exciting to take her brand up several notches so her look finally matches her capabilities. And she let me be super creative!
Wax That is specialty waxing salon and studio in Austin, TX. I designed a completely new brand identity, created a comprehensive style manual, curated and designed their Instagram feed, and designed and launched their new website.
An exclusive invitation into the rustic, colorful, warm, and adventurous life, home, farm, and family of Blue Stallion Farm. The photos are by Rikki Snyder and the custom illustrations are by Hanna Cohen, BSF’s youngest (human) resident. Click through the link above for more vibrant eye-candy.
“Good brand design can be the difference between success and failure in retail; I hired Cody to design From Molly, With Love’s brand identity, website, and packaging because I needed the outside of my products to be just as awesome as they are on the inside. And it was the best financial decision I’ve ever made! Since implementing Cody’s designs, my sales have exploded and we have received interest from investors*; I know we wouldn’t be doing this well if weren’t for Cody’s work.” —Molly Beane
*I’m thrilled to report that Molly’s business has recently been accepted to raise $1M seed round of funding through SeedInvest! This is HUGE!
Allison is a special projects rockstar based in NYC. She takes things from “We should…” to “Done.” I created the overall brand identity and website for Allison who executes development, marketing, and retail-related projects for business owners in fashion, beauty, and fitness industries.
Working Title Collective
This year, I formed (along with Julia Lovallo Chaykin and Colleen Star Koch) a small business advisory board. I cannot tell you how transformative it’s been for me to have an advisory board for my business in this past year; I have the collective brainpower of my group to help me hatch ideas, our regular sessions to keep me motivated and on track, and our private Facebook group to share wins, bounce ideas, and get advice on occasional frustrations as they arise. Check out my post here on how we’ve set this up and get some tips for creating one of your own.
I got to work with Leah Goren!!!
There are 10 “beliefs” that I have for all of my projects and for a while I just had them simply written out on my About Page. I got to thinking… How can I make them really stand out? Make them something I’m really excited and proud to share? And then it hit me, get the amazingly talented artist Leah Goren, whom I’ve admired for years, to create some illustrations that depict my fashion basics and tie them to my business beliefs! It was an honor to work with her to put these together, check them out here!
During my son’s August break, we traveled to The Hague, Paris, and Nice. My whole family got to enjoy the best of what Europe has to offer (while I got creatively inspired and sipped rosé). C’est magnifique! We also took a lot of pics (shared here in this album). Bonus, while in Paris, I was able to cross riding “through Paris, in a sports car, with the warm wind in [my] hair” off my bucket list!
I’m a Wing Woman
This one was a really big goal for 2017… Join a space where I can go to work, be inspired and a part of a community of like-minded women doing good stuff. The Wing was just what the doctor ordered. I’ve been a member for the past few months and I’m happy to report that the people, the programming, the amenities, and the space itself are all top notch—I love it! If you’d like to visit and maybe the excuse to catch up a bit in the new year, let me know!
My (first-generation) immigrant story
I very proudly got to be photographed and interviewed by Teresa Mathew for the BuzzFeed article “How Immigrant Women Wear Their Immigrant Identities.”
Looking ahead to 2018…
Getting things in line before the new year hits and among the most exciting are:
I’m in the in the early stages of four new projects: a travel-inspired fashion illustrator and lifestyle brand, an all-natural hair care company, a social justice organization, and a real estate broker who just so happens to be a Bravolebrity. I’d say it’s already looking like a champion roster for the new year!
Talks & workshops
This is something that has also been on my list to do sometime all year: host a series of talks and/or workshops that provide attendees with actionable strategies and expert insights into branding. I’m working on this in tandem with Julia Lovallo Chaykin and we’re looking to make it happen for real in 2018. If you’re interested in attending something like this, have ideas of things you’d like us to cover and/or present, or know of a kick-ass space or organization that might host, let me know!
My next openings to take on new clients are in late winter/early spring. Thinking 2018 is the right time to take your business to the next level? You might be right! Get in touch with me to schedule an intro call. Would love to hear from you!
Celebrating Loki Loki’s tin anniversary
Bust out the aluminum! Next year will mark my 10th year in business! I’ve worked with so many incredibly passionate and talented businesses and business owners during the past decade and I’m thinking of fun ways to showcase and celebrate all of them and this important milestone in my career. Stay tuned…
Thank you for reading along with this year in review and joining me on this journey; I truly appreciate everyone in this community.
Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season and a smashing new year! It’s gonna be a good one!