Thank you to the beautiful Gina for asking me to share about my life! There’s nothing I love more then guest blogging for my amazing (and talented) friends. Gina is truly a rare gem and I’m so thankful we stumbled across each other via Twitter several months ago.
My name is Elise Ostermann and I am currently the Art Director at “Hey, Sweet Pea.” I specialize in branding + design and my boyfriend, Scott, specializes in video + animation. Needless to say, we are quite the creative duo!
But we didn’t always own a small business. Up until one month ago I was a designer for SONY’s digital media marketing department in Los Angeles. I was commuting 2 hours a day and away from home 11-12 hours a day. Although I loved being a part of the Hollywood and LA scene I craved the flexibility of my own schedule, I yearned for more creative projects, and I wanted one-on-one relationships with clients. So after 5 months of planning, dreaming, researching, and networking, I made the leap! I quit my day job, left my LA apartment, and took my first big road trip. Landing in Texas wide eyed, nervous, and excited, I officially launched HEY, SWEET PEA.
Oftentimes, people ask what my new life looks like. First of all, my day consists of lots and lots of…sitting. I stare at my large computer monitor all day, sometimes for 10-12 hours straight. I respond to emails, send invoices, design, run our social marketing platforms, have client meetings, and play my music really loudly!
One lesson I learned right away was how important it is to stick to a schedule. When you work from home, it’s easy to lose track of time, spend too many hours on a minuscule task, or work way too hard. That’s why Scott (the man who always looks out for me,) made me a little schedule to which I stick.
MORNING: My mornings start off with some bed making, cleaning, and a hearty breakfast. Scott and I are P90X fanatics, so we love to eat big healthy breakfasts. I pick out a dress for the day (my favorite outfit). Then I walk six steps, plop down at my desk, and spend the rest of the morning responding to emails, sending out our price sheet, corresponding with potential/current clients, and chatting online with my favorite inspirational colleagues. I also look for some daily inspiration on: http://www.thefwa.com/ OR http://dribbble.com/
LUNCH: It’s always important you take a lunch break! I’ve always struggled with taking a break in the middle of the day, but I’m working hard at taking some time off to let my brain/body rest. I usually heat up some healthy leftovers (from the night before) or make a fresh salad. Oftentimes, I’ll lay out by the pool or watch a TV show (yes, I love http://abcfamily.go.com/).
AFTERNOON: I spend the afternoon focusing on design. I have a weekly/monthly schedule to which I try to stick. I love focusing on one project at a time, but oftentimes I am juggling so many clients I have to touch multiple projects in a day. Sometimes I’m designing for a huge corporation, sometimes I’m designing a logo for a small business, sometimes I’m designing a website for a photographer, other times I’m creating artwork for TV shows, computer software, or nonprofits. It all depends on the day and the current clients I have. Some of my work can be found here: http://eliseostermann.tumblr.com/
LATE AFTERNOON: This is when I take a break from the business/design side and focus on HEY, SWEET PEA’s online presence. I’m a huge Twitter/Facebook fan and love interacting with my followers or posting sneak peaks of our current work. Most of my clients come from Twitter and Facebook, so it’s important I set aside time specifically for those platforms. If you ever want to write my company during this time I’m on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/HeySweetPea & Twitter here: @EliseOstermann
EVENING: I always try and take the evening off. It’s hard to leave your work behind when the work is sitting in the next room. The concept “don’t take your work home with you,” isn’t the same for a small business owner. So, I like to make sure and stop working at a decent hour, cook up something delicious (we’re currently loving the recipes over at: http://www.skinnytaste.com/), watch some TV, go on a date with Scott, or work out. If I have to work, I always try to work after I’ve taken a good long break. I also try and go to bed at a decent hour. As a small business owner, and a creative, it’s easy to get burnt out. So I always try to let myself rest, take a break, and recuperate before the next day.
Although the life of a small business owner or a graphic designer may sound o-so-glamorous, it has its mundane and normal tendencies, just like any other profession or schedule. But, the most amazing part is, I get to work from home and I get to design my heart out. As any new business owner would tell you, it’s a work in progress. I’m learning new things every day. I’m making mistakes, but I’m also making huge leaps forward. I’m thankful for this time in my life. I’m thankful for this opportunity. And I’m thankful to Gina for asking me to share my life with you.
PHOTO CREDIT [First Image]:
Margaret Jacobsen Photography
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