I know, Monday's are notoriously awful, right?
Especially when you've spent the weekend snuggled up in bed, reading, drinking coffee, drinking wine, running errands, snuggling back up in bed..well the whole weekend thing just makes Mondays that much harsher, right?
This is what my Sunday looked like:
Gluten free French Toast and a fantastic re-read of Off Season. I also managed to get myself out of bed to shower, but I then immediately put leggings on and climbed back into bed.
Just because I can.
I don't know about you, but I have one pouty bull terrier at home, who is very upset that her humans left her to entertain herself all alone(the horror, right?) and I'm positive that come lunchtime I'll have to bribe her with a cookie to get her to look at me.
She's such a drama queen.
Except, on the bright side of Monday, I have this beautiful, funny, amazingly well traveled, young woman for you to meet.
Oh and she's giving something away. You know, 'cause everyone needs some bribery on Mondays.
And so, may I present....Laurie!
Why did you open your Etsy shop?
My shop has been open and selling items for well over a year now, but I honestly hadn’t done much with it until this past fall. I just had listed some extra letterpress prints of mine and really didn’t push them. After making a set of stamps as a wedding gift for a friend this fall, all signs pointed toward making the stamps available publicly, so I tested the waters on Etsy and listed my first couple stamp designs, which were those made for the wedding, and named after the bride’s maiden name and new surname. I was overwhelmed with the response, initially shocked when I got TWO WHOLE ORDERS in one day within a week of listing the stamps... little did I know, I’d have a day in December that yielded a dozen orders, and had steady sales the entire month. If I’d be getting a dozen orders consistently on a daily basis, I’d probably be comfortable enough to ditch my day job and move over to stamps and Etsy full time.
Is running your Etsy shop your full time job? If not, what do you do?Although it certainly felt like a full-time job during the Holiday rush this past November/December, my Etsy shop is a true side-gig. I love the idea of potentially being able to shift over to it being my main job in the future, and I'm slowly working on growing my shop sales and offerings to help get me there. Spoiler alert: new stamp designs to come, and also looking to add stationery options.
I'm a graphic designer/visual communications specialist for a health system. Which is pretty neat, working in healthcare. Often times, as a graphic designer, the employers or clients are most interested in selling products or ideas that maybe the world could do without, but it feels good to be supporting the health and wellbeing of the community, one billboard at a time.
A small bit of freelance that I’ve just started is being the chalk artist/letterer for a local Belgian Beer Bar/Cafe, gotta love those perks! I really don’t do much other freelance at current though, but am always interested in discussing opportunities, especially when they end up having interests of mine overlap with the project, like this one!
I was also an adjunct professor at a nearby state college for two years. It was an exciting experience, I definitely learned a lot, but at the same time it was draining: mentally, physically, for time, and for my gas tank. I'm glad to have had the experience, but also happy to have my weeknights back to being on my terms. I am involved with my local chapter (UPSTNY) of AIGA, as a co-coordinator for our mentorship program (spark), and am a mentor to two young women through this program as well.
In addition, I’m a homeowner, a rescue puppy (Remi) mama, and a cockatiel (Jonas, Cooper, Cassidy) mama too!
What do you like to do in your free time?Ha! Good one. But in all seriousness, some of the things I do like to do when I get a chance are: cooking, baking, playing with my puppy, working on projects for my house, moving toward becoming a craft beer snob, recently started running, going to concerts, adventures and travel. I really love my neighborhood too, and love supporting the restaurants and businesses that have chosen to be here. I’ve volunteered for the past two years at the beer tasting festival around the corner.
What's the favorite place you have ever visited?
This is a really hard question to answer, because when I was younger my family went on lots of vacations, and rarely were they beach-types of vacations, so before I was a teenager I’d been to the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore among other places. Of course, when we got to the Grand Canyon, 8 year old me exclaimed “we came all this way to see a HOLE IN THE GROUND?”. I was pretty set on wanting to ride a donkey down the canyon, but that of course didn’t happen.
That being said I’m going to have to go with the Galapagos Islands, since I won’t count any travels that I was too young to appreciate. As an ex-biology major in college, I still had an interest in very specific realms of science (and still do). In 7th grade, my science teacher was pretty new to our school, and also the only male faculty member, and definitely the youngest teacher on staff. He was awesome in so many ways, and he had gone to the Galapagos--hearing his stories and the way he talked about the islands planted a seed in my brain about someday travelling there. While in college, I stumbled across a program/class run through our Biology department that was a yearly trip to the Galapagos/Ecuador for 11 days, only open to students and alumni. I pitched the idea to my parents. Note, I was working toward my BFA at this point, having nothing to do with science/biology at all for my career path, and had already turned in to a 5-year student because of my major switch and college transferring. Let’s say it wasn’t exactly a cheap trip, and the cost was quite intimidating. There was no way I had 100% of the money for it, so the idea got pushed aside. Of course, until the next year when they started taking spot reservations for the trip again, this trip to depart two days after my anticipated college graduation. I negotiated the balance of the trip for a graduation present/Birthday present/Christmas present and whatever else I could barter in addition to my own means. After some real talk, I was given the go-ahead to secure my spot, and notably ecstatic.
The trip was for 11 days, 7 which were to be spent living on a boat as we travelled throughout the islands, going ashore during the day, and travelling to the next island in the night, bookended with a pair of days on each side based in Quito, Ecuador. I quickly found out that I was susceptible to seasickness, making most of my time on the boat misery, and my nights were full of a lot of laying down and taking dramamine. The days made it totally worth it though, but I wish I could have completed the journal we were tasked to do as part of the trip -- too hard for me to write when feeling nauseous and icky all the time. We stayed on a boat because the bulk of the islands have no other option, they’re a park, hotels don’t exactly just spring up there, nevermind any sort of inhabitants.
The days on the islands themselves were the opposite of what typically comes to mind for an “island vacation” -- they’re dry, they’re barren, they’re full of weird animals, and you’d be pretty hard pressed to find a Mai Tai. But THE ANIMALS. Namely, the BIRDS. And the SEA LIONS. I never knew I’d love sea lions so much, but they’re seriously like puppies that have flippers. We got to swim with some, and the younger ones basically loved playing around us, taunting our swimming abilities. I could go on forever about all of our adventures there, but somethings that stand out are riding horseback to the caldera of a volcano, then hiking through the adjacent area; swimming with sea lions, sea turtles, and even a baby shark; seeing so many of Darwin’s finches, and the beauties that are Frigate birds, stunning creatures.
|Me & A Pair of Blue-Footed Boobies|
|Frigate Bird - Gorgeous Silhouette!|
|Upside-down-face sea lion|
|Tortoise Traffic Jam! (Mallory here- I died laughing at this one)|
|Fresh Passionfruit! Delicious!|
Anyway, amazing trip, I’d love to go back, but I’m torn about it being that the area is getting more tourist traffic than is good for it nowadays, and I’ve already had my turn. Maybe in 10 years.
What do you think is the most delicious drink?
Are we talking adult beverages here? Let’s break it down: mixed drink - Washington Apple; Beer - most anything Belgian or Wheat-y, nothing too dark, nothing too hoppy. Always happy to try your homebrew!
Non-adult drinks: Juice. Fresh-squeezed orange juice, grapefruit, passionfruit-mango, ugh everything except banana and tomato!
If you could do anything in the world, what would you do?
I think it would start with not being in a basement 8 hours a day 5 days a week. I’d like to do similar things to what I’m doing now, but on my own terms more so. Flexible schedule, flexible dress code, flexible pet policy, and so on. The idea of being fully self-employed and running my own business is pretty scary to me though, especially with a mortgage among other bills looming above me. Ideal day would involve me, a laptop, my puppy, a coffee shop, and design projects to work on with potential of being awesome and gorgeous at the same time. I’d love to get back in to letterpress printing as well.
If your life could have a theme song, what song would play?I’m not sure about just one song, but I’ve got a playlist I’m referring to as my song journal playlist, I’m in progress of writing the personal stories/memories that these songs mark in my life: Laurie's Playlist
Isn't she just wonderful?
I thought you might think so!
Laurie is going to be giving away one personalized address stamp to one lucky reader, but if you just can't wait that long, she's also been sweet enough to also provide a discount code for y'all!
CATOKS20March13 : 20% code, active until April 4, 2013!