Archive for the ‘owning your own business’ Category

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We’re cool parents. Because of a vehicle wrap?

July 6, 2010

When we mentioned that we might be working on a van wrap project for Webkinz, our daughter Amelia (8) lit up the room with her smile. As the vans arrived and we began actually wrapping them…she begged to help (yes, we let her squeegee!). The next day, as we prepared to deliver the first van, she pleaded to go with us, eager to share with the folks at Webkinz that HER pet (the beagle) was on the van. (We think she might have also been expecting an actual Webkinz World to be awaiting her.)

If you have a child between the ages of 5 and 12, you are probably pretty familiar with Webkinz, adorable plush pets that each come with a unique code for online games, pet care, and habitat creation. Our family is no different…in fact, even the grandparents have been known to scam Amelia’s password and play a few games. So, we knew that we might actually be entering the inner circle of cool when we teamed up with this client.

But yesterday, when Amelia was part of a very small group of children invited to the test launch of the Webkinz Road Trip, we arrived. Yep, we’re officially cool parents. And thankfully, Amelia’s young enough that she’ll think we’re cool for a little while (apparently, in about 3 years, not so much).

Here we are, with one of three Webkinz vans we wrapped for Webkinz Road Trip. If you (or your kids!) would like to see what the Road Trip activities will look like, we’ve posted more photos of the Webkinz Road Trip event.

Webkinz van wrap

Every once in a while, we get the opportunity to really share our excitement about our industry with our kids…and it usually comes in the form of COOL clients (and how COOL is it that our van wrap has it’s own cartoon?)!

Are you a family-owned business? Tell us about a client who justified all your late nights and early mornings and made you the cool parents (even if just for a day).

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Something happened.

May 17, 2010

Owning your own business can be terrifying. And being a husband-and-wife company can be even scarier…so much so that sometimes you choose NOT to think about what you would do if “something happened”. As in “what would we do if one of us had an accident?” … “what if one of the kids gets sick?” … “what if we need to care for our parents?” These are serious questions, but honestly, if you let your head go there all the time, you’d pretty much just… well, hide.

Recently, “something happened.” Actually, the day of my last blog post, John was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma…yep, the C word. Cancer. At first, it felt like the world was spinning out of control. Words like “bone marrow biopsy,” “chemotherapy,” and “cancer” circled my head like Pigpen’s dust cloud. What would we do? How would the company work if John was sick? What would our clients think? What about the children?

We decided to tackle this cancer thing just like a fleet decal project…it’s a long-term thing, and it’s hard work, but there’s an end in sight…and you definitely come out the other side! John’s lucky…at his age and stage, his cancer has a 95% cure rate, and involves only 6 months of chemotherapy. It’s still a tough road, but we can handle it. And now we know that every other Friday we have a solid five hours to work on designs!

We’re proud that even with three months of chemo, in 2010 our business has grown about 48% over last year and we’ve hired installation help. Nothing like a little cancer to kick you in the butt to do something you should’ve years ago.

One thing that has suffered a little is the time I’m available to update our social media sites. I promise I’ve not disappeared…just taken a little breather…I’m still here!

And, though I didn’t think it was possible, our partnership and our marriage is stronger. We already organized our lives to maximize family time, but now we appreciate every single moment, with our family and the business. Even when a job is postponed…rather than get disappointed, we now see that as a gift…a moment to reflect and reorganize.

So, do you keep yourself up nights worrying about what might come your way? Don’t. Just know that if “something happens,” you’ll come out stronger on the other side. I would love to hear about a time “something happened” in your life and how you landed on the other side.

If you want to learn more about the specifics of John’s battle and join us as we form a team for Light the Night 2010 in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (to help find a cure!), please visit Team In-Depth’s LTN site. Team In-Depth…stickin’ it to cancer.

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Wedding Vows…Revisited

February 25, 2010

John and Torri of In-Depth Wraps

12 years ago this January, we made promises among family and friends that represented our commitment to a happy life together. But a happy married life is definitely much more complicated than “in sickness and in health,” especially when the married couple runs a business together. Last night, John and I got to talking about the kind of vows we would likely recite today.


I promise to share with you
I’ll let you use my cel phone charger when you leave yours at home, even though I probably won’t get it back later.
I promise to take risks for you
I’ll upgrade my software first, so I can tell you if there are any bugs before you do it.
I promise to try to keep our family healthy.
I will make sure we call it a night … sometimes before it’s morning.

I promise to trust

I’ll not question your classification of vendors, within reason (but if “salon” is in the name, we might need to talk)
I promise to support you

I’ll keep the kids silently entertained when a client calls after school.
I promise to give
up the wireless card when you need it (or buy smart phones so we can both be connected simultaneously).

I promise to do my share

I’ll drive so you can get your work done in the passenger seat.
I promise to be considerate
I’ll keep gas in the car so we don’t run late to a meeting.
I promise to be kind
I will not send all of our high maintenance customers’ e-mails your way.
I promise to empathize
when you’re heartbroken about losing a client you “just knew we had”.
I promise to rejoice
when you get a new laptop before I do (even though I secretly have new laptop envy!).
I promise to be responsible
and charge the camera.
I promise to communicate
I’ll have conversations with you about something other than work.
I promise to make time for us
I’ll put date night on my calendar, and keep that date as I would a meeting with a client.

Can you relate to any of these? Or do you have some new vows of your own?