What do you do?
This year, I've been focusing on growing PeopleMap, an Instagram Marketing Tool that Daniel and I made while building @madewithmap. I'm also growing ilovecreatives, making fun content with my cat, and collaborating on all sorts of stuff with like-minded brands. Geez. Talk about slaaassshie. Slash slash slash!
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I tapped the internet, hard. I'm self-taught all the way. Looking back, every big step forward in my life came from a side project. My first side project was in college at University of Texas - Austin back in 2006. The path for a McCombs School of Business graduate was to work at a Microsoft, a Dell, or a Deloitte. That didn't feel right. Six months to graduation, I found a few developers on Craigslist and created a portfolio review website for advertising students called Smash the World. UX/UI Design wasn't even invented yet, but that's exactly what I was doing. I loved having a project and figuring out how to bring it to life. ENTP! From there, a few Creative Directors from ad agencies saw that website, didn't subscribe to it (🤦🏻♀️), but offered me a job as an Interactive Art Director. My ECD said, "You are 100% not qualified for this, but I'm going to take a chance on you because you seem smart." Ha!
From there, I worked the Ad Agency world as the "Digital Girl". Essentially, I was the young, hip kid that understood the internet. I think it's just because I surf the internet a lot and wasn't afraid to google stuff. See a theme here?
During that time, I made a website with Daniel called WhatIWouldHaveSaid. Every week, I drew an illustration of a celebrity and you could write what you would have said to them. I think I drew about 30 or so? It made me really appreciate consistency.
I ended up getting a gig as a UX Designer at Activision's Call of Duty because my husband's boss said, "I think you would be a good UX Designer". Thanks Tim! After about three years, Daniel and I built Octofeed so that he could practice his programming chops. After that, I decided to quit my job so we could work on our own project. That's when Madewithmap was born. I started meeting all sorts of fun, creative people and had the idea to build ilovecreatives. And here we are! There's obviously a lot more to this story, but those side projects were the catalysts to all these unexpected paths.
Which one do you wish you could do more often?
I quit freelancing beginning of this year! Man, it's crazy how long that took, but also whoa, not that long. Right now, it's go time. I'm focusing all my efforts on ilovecreatives and PeopleMap.
This year, I would love to make more videos. I want to play around with ways to create content!
Focus on ilovecreatives! I've been freelancing and bootstrapping for the past 2 years and we're almost to the point where I can quit freelancing. I think there's so much potential with it, but I haven't been able to give it the love it deserves. I really love, ilovecreatives. :P
Give us a specific example of how you do your job like a BOSS.
When we started ilovecreatives, the one rule was that I couldn’t ask Daniel for programming help. Eva and I wanted to test out ilovecreatives as soon as possible so I decided to use Squarespace because it's the easiest platform to quickly put together an MVP. The big hurdle was making the ads searchable. The only way to really do that on squarespace was by creating a blog. I played around with the css until I could make blog posts look like ads. Then we “launched” the next week!
For me, it was BOSS level because hacked our way into making a digital thing without technical help. :)
What are you working on right now?
Focusing on growing PeopleMap and ilovecreatives! I'm working on a Squarespace Online Course right now. It's kind of crazy how I was able to bootstrap our companies with Squarespace. I want to be able to show other people how I did it. It's gonna be dope!
We're slowly growing PeopleMap and and ilovecreatives. Also, I'm still bootstrapping our companies with Squarespace freelancing! This year is probably the first year we would make the same income if we didn't quit.
Right now, Daniel and I are working on PeopleMap. We're super excited because we finally started accepting payments. I've been able to meet a lot of interesting brands because of it.
What is frustrating you right now?
I can't believe this, but I actually have more patience now. However, I think the biggest frustration is my own self-discipline. I'm basically learning how to prioritize everyday and say no, but it's super unnatural right now.
My patience. I have so many ideas, but they take forever to execute on. It's just how it goes. I'm getting more patient, but it's something I have to keep in check.
What are you putting off right now?
OMG, same. LOL.
Figuring out scalable marketing strategies for ilovecreatives and peoplemap.
If you could hire someone for $20/hour, what would you have them do to make your day easier?
I'm looking for someone that is an avid connector and outreach aficionado. Someone that is instinctively digital, efficiently charming with words, believes in outreach funnels, and knows exactly who should be on ilovecreatives. Your fast, but not messy. Your pro-active, resourceful, and a generous laugher.
Someone to help me throw events for ilovecreatives. Specifically, coming up with the concepts for events, ideas to market them, find partners, and all the logistics. If you've got event ideas, let me know!
If you could talk to an expert to gain more insight on something, what would it be about?
Ben Pieratt of Svpply. I’m really curious where he will take Very Goods. Also, any bootstrapped SASS Founder or employee that was critical to their growth.
What are all the tools (digital or physical) you use on a regular basis?
I have an obsession with online tools. I try new things all the time. As of late here are my favorites:
Chrome Users and Mac Desktops - I have multiple accounts to manage across social media and gmail. It’s really annoying logging in and out. I create separate users in Chrome for Map, ilovecreatives, and personal stuff. Then I make three separate desktops with branded wallpapers. Put each browser into their desktop and boom! you can easily switch without having to log out. Life changer.
Streak - Email Management. It’s basically like trello within Gmail. We do a lot of emailing for ilovecreatives and it’s great to see what stage the emails are in. Also, I love that you can track opens, create message templates, collaborate, and snooze emails.
Undo in Gmail - Cuz you know...
PeopleMap - I'm always on the hunt for people (even if it's not for growing our Instagram) and that's why we built this.
Harvest - Track time. I use it for my team, freelance work, and I attempt to use it for my personal time.
What kind of opportunities/projects are you looking for right now?
I would love to work with bad ass videographers and writers to make more videos. In 2017, I made a ton of videos just for fun and it was... FUN.
More specifically, I want to do more styled shoots with my cat. LOL. It takes a lot of time to find the right clothes and background so if you can help me with building the set and finding clothes, let's shoot!
Describe your ideal collaboration.
Anyone that has great ideas and can execute. Collaborations are strongest when both parties can do a lot autonomously. Otherwise, I end up doing all the work.
What is your preferred style of working (remote, in-house, on-site, etc)?
Remote with blazing fast WIFI. Although, I really love working at home. No pants, snacks, cat, and great light.
Describe a client/job/partner you would rather not have. What are your deal breakers?
Working with people that complain or blame more than they do. Also, people who aren't realistic about what level they are at vs. where they want to be. Be humble!
What is your rate?
I'm not accepting any freelance work anymore, but you never know... depends on the project. My hourly starts at $150/hr but I can provide a rough estimate for the project.
How should someone approach you about working with you?
Email is the best. Keep it short por favor!
This member profile was originally published on December 2014, updated May 2016, March 2017, and April 2018.