Posts Tagged ‘In-Depth Signs’

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The Florida Keys – disappearing? A Blog Action Day post.

October 16, 2009

Our family loves the Florida Keys. We are scuba divers and dolphin fanatics (ever seen our logo?) and though we are firmly rooted in Georgia soil, this place not just a destination for us…somehow, it defines us.

From the beautiful ocean views above sea level to the pristine coral patches below it, we love what’s under the water just as much as what’s above it. In fact, we literally spend about 50% of our trips there underwater. And our kids are huge fans too…they spend their year reliving last year’s visit or planning the next trip.

Our family in the Florida Keys last year.

Our family in the Florida Keys last year.

That’s why it’s distressing to us to think that the Keys we know now is changing dramatically; that it might not even be there for our grandchildren to enjoy.

Climate change is the culprit, and the damages are hard to imagine.

If earth’s citizens continue to live life in the same manner, sea level along Florida’s coast could rise as much as 20 inches by 2100; possibly even more if the Greenland or West Antarctica ice sheets break up more rapidly than predicted. A rise in sea level of 12 inches could flood coastal real estate 100 to 1,000 feet inland! <read that, swallowing the islands of the Keys whole> You can read more about the impact of climate change on Florida here and here.

But there is hope – we can reduce our carbon emissions (or energy consumption) to help control climate change. And so many small steps can make a big impact…like recycling, composting, carpooling… even turning off water when you brush your teeth. What are you doing to help save our favorite place?

Information on the science behind global warming
See how you’re doing: Your carbon footprint calculator
Just for KIDS carbon footprint calculator

Blog Action Day 2009
BAD#09

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How to … work from home with a newborn

October 9, 2009

My new friend Chris Jordan recently reminded me of the intricate dance between the schedule of a newborn and that of the baby’s caregiver. The dance is even more complex when the caregiver is also trying to accomplish something outside of feed, change, cuddle.

It has been 8 years since I was at home with a newborn Amelia, writing, designing and editing for a nonprofit….oh yea, and starting a small business called In-Depth Wraps. Because of the way we’ve worked around and actually with Amelia as she’s grown up, she has a greater understanding for what we do, and knows that our business allows our family a bit of freedom – like the ability to pop off in the middle of the day and do something together.

It was a different story with Jackson 5 year ago…at the time, we shifted duties so that I could be more full-time mom, less full-time partner. So, until this year, he didn’t really “get it”. The light bulb has come on, though – now he asks to help squeegee the vehicle wraps in our bay!

So, here are my Top Ten Tips for surviving the first year of working and taking care of a baby. Thanks, Chris, for helping me remember this wonderful time!

  1. When the baby takes nap #1, work. When the baby takes nap #2, sleep. When the baby takes nap #3, work. (Taking a nap midday does NOT mean you’re being lazy; you’re just proactively stockpiling sleep in preparation for what you’ll miss that night.)
  2. When you do put the baby to bed “for the night” (that could mean 7 consecutive hours for the lucky few, but most parents are thrilled with four in a row), hang out with your spouse. You will not realize how much you truly need adult conversation until you spend a few days alone with an infant.
  3. Make business calls with new or VIP clients while the baby naps (if it’s not time for nap #2, and then, go to sleep!).
  4. Make business calls with existing (long-term) clients when the baby is awake. They are more likely to be understanding of the occasional “coo”. You’ll figure out during the pregnancy which clients “talk baby” with you. Those are the ones you call while the baby’s awake!
  5. Eat. Eating is good for you and the baby, because it means more energy to take care of both of you! Don’t skip eating because “you don’t have time” – you’ll only get run down later and be less productive.
  6. It is perfectly fine to work a bit while the baby is awake. The mat for tummy time can be set up right beside your computer.
  7. Take advantage of your slow business times. Whether it’s a day or an hour, try using this time to do something different with your child. Take a stroll in the park. Read poetry. Dance.
  8. Don’t set a schedule. Schedules do not exist right now. Instead, set tasks for yourself, but allow leeway in the time to complete them.
  9. Accept that you may work all day in your pajamas. As long as you don’t go to a meeting that way, you’re good!
  10. Accept all offers of help. This is no time to be proud.
  11. (OK, I had to add one more) Take time to enjoy yourself and your baby. What good is working from home if you can’t have fun?


Do you have any more to add?

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Mixing Family and Business

September 13, 2009

We always mix family and business. It’s just part of our way of life. Someone stops us while we’re out at dinner to talk about our wrapped car…we meet a vehicle graphics client on the way to pick up the kids from school…we meet another client with a family-owned business at the park to talk about fleet decals and let the kids play. Our family is the REASON we do what we do and while our business usually revolves around our family, sometimes our family does have to revolve around our business.

This weekend, it was all about our family, with just a little business mixed in. What a Saturday! Soccer and baseball in the AM (John is coaching baseball)…then the kids and I went to the Old Milton Country Fair (OMCF) and had a blast. What kid doesn’t want to go to a fair, right? Well, it just so happens that we had business at the fair. Perfect match! (John went to South Atlanta to install another MINI roof wrap and met us back at the fair to enjoy some music and a late lunch…from the Smokejack tent of course!)

At the Fair, we saw clients Smokejack and Blizzard Snoballs … and of course the OMCF is a client too. Our kids were thrilled to help take pictures of some of our handiwork. They love to hear “mommy and daddy did that.” In fact, when we passed the Snoball trailer the first time (I was trying to stall for treats until AFTER lunch!), Jackson stopped, pointed, and said “hey – Daddy did that!”

Trailer wrap for fair vendor

Trailer wrap for fair vendor

Cute trailer, right? This was designed – some actually DRAWN by In-Depth! I totally wish I had taken a picture of the kids coming up to TOUCH the trailer. Think we reached their target market?

So, we always tell folks we really don’t do signs. However, there are three kinds of people for whom we WILL make signs. 1) friend or family 2) nonprofits we love 3) existing vehicle graphics/wrap clients. When Belinda and Don with Blizzard Snoballs needed a price board, we were happy to help. And, that way we could help keep their image consistent too!

Menu board that coordinates with trailer graphics

Menu board that coordinates with trailer graphics

AWESOME snoballs too. I had watermelon and peach, Amelia had pink lemonade and bubble gum and Jackson had blueberry and coconut (???). Blizzard Snoballs said they loved being at this fair because it was such a family environment. That’s why we like it too.

Old Milton Country Fair kids hanging on sign

Old Milton Country Fair kids hanging on sign

See? This is actually exception to the rule #1 and #2. The fair is presented by a nonprofit group (the Lions Club) run by our really good friends. We were thrilled to do the publicity banners and event signage for the Old Milton Country Fair. Their theme was “Step Back in Time in 2009”. And the whole point is that it’s a COUNTRY fair…complete with a watermelon eatin’ contest, vintage car and tractor show, old-style checkers, some toe-tappin’ music and more. My favorites are always up-and-cumming country singer EB Reece and Atlanta cover band (and Buckboard house band) Peachtree Station…I can’t get enough of either.

Here’s another shot of some signs we did…these are for the performance area.

The OMCF stage signage by In-Depth

The OMCF stage signage by In-Depth

So, we got to do business and enjoy ourselves at the same time. Well, actually, we do that all of the time. Otherwise, why would we do what we do? I was at a Chamber luncheon this week where the speaker, Branden Lisi, said “If you do what you love, you don’t go to work…you go to hobby.” We’ve been going to hobby for 8 years now. It sure is great when we get to take our kids along with us.

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My brownie made me do it.

July 6, 2009

Our seven-year-old is a Brownie Girl Scout (and a former Montessori kid) and I swear she secretly has the Three Rs emblazoned on her chest like Superwoman. Reduce, reuse, recycle…Repeat! She is saving the world one bottle at a time.

Before kids, we considered ourselves as earth-friendly as the next couple..we never littered and occasionally did a shoreline cleanup. While we’re not composting (who has time for a garden?) or driving a hybrid (though we’ve wrapped a few!), our environmental awareness has definitely been stepped up a few notches lately. We now haul our recycling to the recycling center (no one picks up out in the boonies!), we use the happy little reusable grocery bags instead of plastic, and we find infinite uses for things that were once headed for the dump. I even find myself now carting my plastic bottles home to recycle rather then throwing them away while I’m out (something for which I scoffed at a friend about a year ago!).

So, we were enjoying networking at a Chamber function last month with about 150 local business people when we looked around and noticed all of the bottles and cans people were tossing in the garbage. The little Brownie Girl Scout in my head screamed “nooooooo!” That’s when we strolled over to our favorite Chamber folks and asked if we could bring recycling bins to the Business After Hours events to collect the bottles and cans. They wanted to know how much we would charge! Umm…nothing? We just don’t want to see all of those recyclables in the trash!

So, we set up the first recycling bins at the Business After Hours at Wakoola Water Gardens (if you haven’t been there, it is amazingly beautiful). With no communication about the new bins other than the signs on the side, we got a great response. I’m planning an article for the Chamber newsletter so that people will begin to look for them next month.

AND, our Brownie was very pleased…but not just about the recycling. She was thrilled to rifle through the cans pulling pop-tops…her latest venture in support of the Ronald McDonald House. That little Brownie….

Recycling at the Cumming-Forsyth Chamber Business After Hours

Recycling at the Cumming-Forsyth Chamber Business After Hours

Shaklee distributor Tiffany Moen does her part to recycle at last month’s Business After Hours. Interestingly, Tiffany is a huge proponent of recycling and educates families about getting clean the “green” way through Shaklee’s environmentally-friendly cleaning products.

In-Depth Wraps Recycles

In-Depth Wraps Recycles

The indepthwraps.com Pacifica waiting to unload at the recycling center.

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We work weekends

June 10, 2009

When we say that we work weekends here at In-Depth, we’re not just talking about coming in for a few hours on Saturday. Let’s take this weekend. Between Friday and Sunday, we partially wrapped a race car, a van, a bucket truck, and a pickup truck, traveling from Alpharetta to Jasper. But we’re a FAMILY-owned business, right? So… in between those vehicle wrap installations, we also went to a Girl Scout skating party and a Dizzy Dean kids’ day at Turner Field. It sure is hard for me to type out the theme song to the circus…but “da-da-da-duh–da-da-da-da-da-duh”.

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In-Depth Wraps…a husband and wife team

June 3, 2009

Husband and wife team, huh? So, why haven’t you killed each other yet?

We get this question a lot. Did I say a lot? I mean ALL the time, seriously. Seems like as soon as people find out that we’re married AND in business together, we get that knowing smirk…then they ask.

We’ve been together for 16 years, married 11 years, and we’ve been business partners in In-Depth Signs & Designs a.k.a. In-Depth Wraps for 8. (OK, now that I’ve typed that…wow do we sound old!)

Anyway, maybe it’s the fact that we were friends before we dated, dated awhile before we married, were married a little while before we embarked on this journey we call “the business”…maybe that’s the reason we haven’t killed each other yet.

Baby steps, right? Well, yes and no. You see, there was this other small event in our lives right about the time we decided to start our own business…oh, nothing major, just a BABY! Yes, I was eight months pregnant when In-Depth was born. Our daughter has literally grown up in our business. She wants to learn Illustrator to help us design vehicle wraps. And then our son was born four years ago…he looks at green cars (why green cars?) and says “Mommy, we need to wrap that car!”

So…perhaps we’re just such a sweet and perfect couple? Umm, sadly no. That’s not it. We are sweet…well, wait…the female part of we is sweet.:) But like other couples, we do drive each other crazy on occasion, and we are FAR from perfect.

Maybe it’s the fact that we are so different, we can respect each other’s unique abilities. He’s incredible at business and big picture concepts (like how to manage large fleet graphic projects, which I still can’t get my arms around) and I’m great at marketing and creative stuff like designing vehicle wraps and tiny detail-oriented things like trimming graphics perfectly. (though he’s catching up to me on both accounts…) I’ve always thought that was why we’re still having fun in the midst of all of this craziness (and why we’re both still living). Don’t get me wrong. We still argue…over the normal stuff…and then the business stuff. Hopefully, the funny bits of those arguments will find their way into our blog.

Welcome to our blog. We’re gonna blog about what we know best…running a business together, running a family together…enjoying our crazy life.