Scented IDentity

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Have you ever noticed how a smell can remind you a person, place, or moment in time? It has always intrigued me how memories can be triggered by our senses. Whenever I wear something my mom has worn it smells like her perfume and it makes me smile. One day while wearing one of her shirts my oldest said, “You smell like Mimi.” It made me want to find a scent that would be my own, so when an opportunity came up to take a workshop on perfume and create my own custom scent I was thrilled.

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I first learned about ID perfumes through a FB community post by a friend sharing about her collaboration with Idit the owner. The two tennis mates had created a beach inspired line of diffusers, combining Diane’s loves of the beach and collecting sea glass and Idit’s expertise. The diffusers have been a huge hit in our community!

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Idit started the workshop off by sharing a bit about her background. She used to work for a few big name cosmetic and body care companies, where she gained her knowledge of scents, marketing strategies, and theories about what people like. Hilariously, she  also learned that the most popular lines were actually her least favorites and it made her wonder if there were others out there who felt the same. While at an intense perfume and scents conference she was struck with inspiration: what about custom scents? She was so inspired and excited about the concept of customized scents that she decided to create her own personalized-perfume shop.

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Next, she shared a broad history of perfume to include the Egyptians and Napoleon’s affinity for carting around his custom scent as he attempted to conquer the world.  Idit also, educated us on the differences between eau de toilette, eau de perfume, and perfume, which essentially comes down to how concentrated the essential oils are in each (see what i did there ;-)). Then she tested our senses of smell with a few commonly used oils, only half of which I could identify. It was fascinating! I found myself making connections to what I know about the psychology of color, including the concept that they both trigger memories and feelings! I know, NERD ALERT!

When it was time to create our own scents we learned that perfume is two tiered, the top scent that fades after a couple hours and the base which remains well after.  To create the top tier of our scent Idit had put out several bottles of essential oils labeled with traits or characteristics. She instructed us to select a few traits that described ourselves and then smell them to see what three we were attracted to most. My final three were not surprising creative, innovative, and passion. The other girls selected oils ranging from sexy and romantic, to peaceful and calm. It was hilarious to see what we were all drawn too. Every single mixture was different.

Then we each filled out a personality surveys with questions about our favorite drinks and how we wear our hair. The survey would help Idit to guide us to a good base for our unique tastes. We then combined the three oils to our base selection to achieve our custom scents. It sort of felt like chemistry class with the beakers and measuring, but way more fun!

Idit challenged us to name our scents, which was a bit tough. I landed on Salty Redlines, because my scent ended up being a refreshing, laid back scent like the beach and redlines are a part of the creative process. Of course I was inspired and made a quick graphic just for because.

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The whole workshop was such a unique experience. Idit is lovely, down to earth, inspiring, and engaging. We got along so well that we are talking about collaborating on something in the near future. It is so fulfilling to work with and support other momepreneurs! Thank you again Idit for the fabulous time!

If you are in Israel, I highly recommend checking out her stylish studio and taking a workshop. You can also check out ID perfume on Etsy and follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

Cheers,

kdg

Once a designer, always a designer

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Seriously, you cannot turn it off! Whatever your passion, occupation, or education, you approach the world through that filter. You simply can’t help yourself! I walk into a space and move the furniture around in mind to make the flow better. In daily life I see potential photographs framed and composed. And don’t even get me started on how I see color and how happy it makes me when a group of people unwittingly coordinate.

You may already know that, although I’m a photographer and graphic artist, I went to school for interior design and worked at a commercial architecture firm, STUDIOS architecture, for 6 years before we became an expat family. Those were 6 amazing years for me. I learned and grew so much. I was blessed with fantastic mentors and work colleagues, as well as design experiences that inspired and changed me forever. There are days I’m nostalgic for the old days (and nights), my design buddies, the thrill of the creative process, and working in the city. That said, there is a season for everything, right?

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Five years later, it seems that this season will include interior design again. Thanks to my Mindfulness  buddy, Ms. Stacy, I have been tapped for my knowledge and experience in interior design..a lot. Being the exhorter that she is, she has shared the work we have done together on her house and her fabulous classroom. Thanks to her recommendations, I have space planned a few residential interiors, as well as the office of our Head of School, and consulted on ways to update the Elementary School office.

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Now I’m honored to teach and guide a group of High Schoolers that manage our campus Genius Bar as they design their newly renovated space. (Think student-run help desk a la Apple Store.) So far, we have had three workshops or, as we say in design, charrettes, with their teacher advisor as well as my buddy Brian, the Director of Technology (my guru who taught me the “faux app” trick). The students have been really receptive to learning about the process and it is so fun for me to share my knowledge and experience with them! I will recap our design adventure in the coming months, so stay tuned!

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I don’t know where all this design work will lead me to next, but I’m enjoying the journey and the memories.

On a side note: If you are in a place where you have a set of skills or knowledge that you don’t know what to do with, I say share them. Let me encourage you to volunteer those skills, talents, and knowledge. You never know what could come of it. We believe “stay-at-home” parents, particularly, are an untapped resource. Not only were we all something else before we had little people, those little people have made us better with perspective and, believe it or not, wisdom. Talk about the old days with your friends, your school, your kids, and just maybe it will put you on a path to your new purpose. Be encouraged, we are cheering for you!

with love,

kdg

Creative Spaces {part 1}

My gran is a painter. She raised 4 boys while my grandfather was the sole provider. I think she had the tougher job by far, just saying! They lived in their ‘family home’ for as long as I can remember, from after marriage to well into their 70s I think.

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My gran had one room of the house to herself, it was her art studio. I have the fondest memories of running into that house and the first thing I’d do, once I had greeted the adults was go straight to that room and look at everything. There was hardly any room to actually walk around. Half finished paintings were everywhere, she couldn’t just work on one project at a time, nope she was too busy for that. It’s like all her ideas were trying to escape her mind at once. I remember the smell of oil paint and turpentine. I remember the easels and the brushes in all shapes and sizes, and I remember the paint pallets decorated with fresh and dry paint.

Is was there that the dream was born in me, to one day have my own art studio. I haven’t got there yet. But the dream is alive and is now being shared by my children.

One day it will happen, and in preparation for that I have been exploring all kinds of wonderful art and creative spaces.  Here are a three of my favourite so far.

Oh Happy Day:

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Lia Griffith:

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Something Turquoise:

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And while these are all the spaces that I aspire to, this is where I am at the moment:

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Trusty canine companion – Check!

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Kids art (I’m a mom first) – Check!

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Words of encouragement and Portuguese tiles for inspiration – Double Check!

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Polaroids of crazy times – Check!

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Photos of where our collaboration all began – Check!

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Katie will share her thoughts on creative spaces and her own wee corner in another post, stay tuned for part 2!

Cheers,

la

Creativity Meets Business Class

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When my best friend Melissa and I met at Mary Washington College (UMW, now), she was not my biggest fan. Her first impressions of me are hysterical to us now. Fast forward a decade later she is the chair of the Technology Integration Department of one of the top 10 private schools in the state of Virginia, Flint Hill School. In addition to the amazing things she does in her department, which she shares on her blog (and will with us in the future), she is also teaching a high school business course. Guess who she asked to be one of her  student entrepreneur mentors? Obviously, she is now one of my biggest fans, ha!

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I used to be a Young Life leader, and I do have a huge heart for high school kids, but it has been a little while since those days, so I was a little hesitant. I made it clear that I am a photographer and creative first and a business woman second, but she insisted that her students could really benefit from my experiences and I might learn a thing of two from their insight as well. Challenge accepted.

I had my first video conference with three very considerate and clever young men a couple  of weeks ago. Having the kids at home, it felt like a slightly awkward interview at a nursery with my littles jumping in to say “Hi” to the “big boys”….and that, gentlemen, is what it looks like to be a momepreneur.

Going forward, I will be sharing the experience here on the blog and at the same time documenting the process of merging creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit into a successful business.

The following are the questions they asked me and my uninterrupted thoughts.

How did you create your business?

I started with a Facebook page in Nov 2013. In January 2014 my family moved to Kuwait and I had my first paid session in May. Most of my clients came to me by word of mouth, which has worked over the years, however I would like to develop a strategy in the future to engage more people, as well as transition with me from post to post. I would like to figure out a formula that can quickly establish me, the photographer, in each new market.

How did you fund your business?

I started out using my personal DSLR crop frame camera, Canon 60D and as I gained income I was able to purchase more, and in some cases better equipment, including a full frame camera, Canon 6D, and MacBook Pro, as well as props. On a rare occasion I will purchase items on credit and pay it off as as soon as possible. I try pretty hard not to purchase beyond my means. Dave Ramsey would be proud.

How was your first couple years. Did you make enough money to support yourself?

My first few years were indeed better than I had anticipated, however my business was established as a secondary income for the family, not as the primary financial support to it. That said, my goal evolved from purchasing equipment to adding income to our family.  Although I do believe one can never have enough accessories 😛

How big is your business and have you ever thought of expanding?

DG is solely me, except for when I hire assistants for sessions, and of course when my husband helps me with my taxes and decision making, he is the best CFO/COO ever (and that’s not because he just says yes to everything)! I can’t forget to mention that my husband’s best friend is my awesome attroney, when I need some legal advice. (love you Is!)

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Behind the scenes with Jillian Bellamy assisting

DGRCP is a collaboration with another creative entrepreneur and photographer, Lindy-Ann. Together we have written a photography pocket guide and photoshop guide, started this blog, and we have plans and big dreams for other collaborations. We hope to grow our businesses as well as our community of photographers and creatives.

Why Tel Aviv?

With my husband’s job we move to different posts every 2-3 years. Tel Aviv is our second family tour, after two years in Kuwait.

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Did your military family upbringing help you in creating your business?

Yes. I think it has influenced my perspective on moving my business to new markets every 2-3 years. Rather than seeing it as “restarting” I think of it as “starting fresh” – an opportunity for new experiences, fresh settings, and lovely new clients. In addition to that mindset, Lindy-Ann and I have built a wonderful online Facebook community that keeps me connected to the photogs and creatives we have taught and met along the way.

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I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what ideas and inspiration come from working with these fantastic students. If nothing else, it’s causing me to look at my business from a different perspective.

Sign up to follow along for more creative entrepreneur posts and heaps of colo{u}rful fun!

Cheers,
kdg