05/25/2016

Mystery Film

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Here’s a thing that’s worthwhile: shooting film! I love it when so much time has passed and I forget what was on the roll of film. It’s so exciting! This roll was laying around for almost 2 years before I found it and sent it in.

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It was a true black & white roll of expired film I took to Mackinac City on our way to Pictured Rocks when we got engaged – how exciting! Henry was only 3ish months old, and it was his first trip and first hike! I still remember the little handmade felt green hat he was wearing – I think we lost it on this trip.

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When Steve and I looked through these last night we couldn’t believe Henry’s little face. How his eyes are the same but his face is so much different now. I remember once we were in Munising he made his first smile. I really love taking him outdoors. He has no idea about how much adventure we have planned ahead for him.

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One by one, local photo shops have closed around us, and even recently the drug stores stopped doing in-house film processing. I knew you could send your film out, but I didn’t know where. I finally found a place called The Darkroom and sent in these two black & white rolls along with the 4 disposable cameras that we had at our wedding reception! (Don’t worry, those will end up on Facebook sometime soon I believe).

I’m already almost through a color roll that I can’t wait to send in.

05/20/2016

Creative process + cultivating brand meaning

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“Lively screen printed paper goods” is Worthwhile Paper’s tagline and I really like this little definition of “lively”. I feel like I’m in an everlasting state of personal growth with my business and at this moment I think it’s useful to remember my original intention about my creative process, and also to be open about the meaning behind my brand, so I wanted to write a bit about it!

When I began the process of starting my own design/product-based business I got stumped by a question I saw somewhere: “What makes your products unique”.  I didn’t have a definite answer for that question on the spot, and that was a huge problem for me! I quickly started thinking about what makes my products unique. They are screen printed, but that isn’t the only thing I have that makes them totally unique. We use recycled paper, but so do a lot of people. My designs are hand made and hand lettered, but I’m not the only one making hand made designs. I decided that while the combination of those things make my products special, what really makes them special is the intention behind the design, alongside my personal aesthetic style.

I wrote a mission statement and set this as my intention: To make paper goods that spread happiness with modern, energy-filled designs inspired by nature and feel-good experiences.

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I always keep in mind the following question when designing: “Does this fit in with my overall intentional look & feel?” Another question I ask myself a lot (that I think all creatives should all check in with) is: “Is this idea coming from inspiration rooted in my true self and my own experience, or is this coming from some other subconscious motive inspired by something else, or someone else’s work completely?”

I always think back to this post by Emily McDowell about defining your brand that I happened to read during the beginning stages of starting my little biz (perfect timing). It actually started a foundation for the way I think about designing and coming up with ideas. In the post, Emily talks about creating adjectives that you base your brand or style off of and using them as guide rails when coming up with ideas (Basically, everyone starting a creative product or design-based business needs to read her post!).

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I think coming up with adjectives for your style is a great exercise. The adjectives I would use to describe my brand are Lively, Modern & Thoughtful. I used Lively in my tagline because I think it is the most important and has the deepest meaning of the three. While the visual aspect of design is something I love and think is important, “Lively” is particularly special to me because it’s based on feeling and emotions and not just the way something looks.

I want someone holding one of our cards or prints to feel happy some way or another and to know that the person who designed it really meant it!

Another good source of inspiration on brand development is Aeolidia’s post on having a unique selling proposition. Arianne says “It’s what makes you different from every other company out there. You should be able to immediately tell someone what makes you different from even your closest competitors.” This is a really good read and very on point.

Anyway, I just had these thoughts on my own creative process and identity that I wanted to put out there, and a desire to write a little bit about what “lively” means to me. Thank you for reading!

05/12/2016

Intentions

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I’ve been wanting to create a blog for Worthwhile Paper for a while now that wasn’t just a shop news page. I used to write in a personal blog and really enjoyed having a blog as a creative canvas, but, I let that fizzle out (semi)accidentally. My dorky domain name expired (whoops) and it just vanished. Plus, the last post I did was a re-cap of my baby shower and said baby is now almost two! I think you can do the math – obviously writing in a blog wasn’t my top focus while having a newborn when I had just started a brand new paper goods line to run. Thus, out the window it went. But now I’m feeling really motivated to share more of my self again. So hello, Something Worthwhile – A hybrid of a studio blog and personal space. This is a thing that creates joy for me but hopefully, maybe, a small chance, something I post in here will bring joy to some others along the way as well.

Also, did I not score the perfect domain name?!

Here’s the main thing, I’ve come to realize that sharing things is something that makes me feel both spirited and useful, so this is my outlet to do just that. Along with Worthwhile Paper shop news & updates, the focus of this journal will explore the following topics, hopefully featuring the stories of others along with my own:

+ being an independent maker / small business.
+ adventures & travel – everyday adventures and bigger trips alike.
+ healthy eating / recipes to cherish.
+ art, design, creativity + inspiration.
+ motherhood.
+ personal growth and peaceful practices.

Thanks for checking it out – see ya soon.

-Kristen