Posts Tagged ‘vehicle graphics Atlanta’

h1

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.

Advertisements
h1

Passion…Make the Time to (Figure Out and) Follow Yours in 2010

January 6, 2010

I dig personality tests, leadership style assessments … sociology and psychology in general. I enjoy learning about myself and how I interact with other people, as well as how others interact (though I haven’t made the time to think on this in a long while). So, when our friend Derek from Brandywine Printing asked us to join him in taking the Passion Test, it was a quick yes from me.

It wasn’t anything like what I expected. No vague leading questions, no analyzing inkblots, no filling in tiny bubbles. It was all about what I said…what I want in life, and what is most important to me. Wait, now it sounds like a pointless exercise. I mean, every self-respecting business owner knows what they want in life, right?

Well, sure, I can tell you what I want out of life. But until recently, I didn’t have it laid out for me like my own personal life roadmap. Derek (on his second time taking the Passion Test) says that when he started making decisions based on his passions, he found his mood happier and his life in balance. Balance…with a company, a husband, and two children, I have to say that balance is something to which I constantly aspire. I am truly excited about the prospect of remaining in balance because of following my passions.

As a husband and wife team, we absolutely have to be on the same page…in our personal life and our business life. But I have to say that I assumed that our individual passions would be mostly in line. It took us several weeks to make the quiet time to share our passions (something we are both actually passionate about improving!). And when I looked down John’s list, it was both inspiring and validating to see nearly identical passions.

Us following one of our passions...scuba diving.

We’re living our lives in a way that is aligned with our passions. But now we have a sort of check and balance system as we make decisions. “Does this deserve my attention?” is a question I now ask daily. Will the Passion Test be life-altering for us? Because we were already headed down the right path, maybe not. But if it will it help me achieve more clarity and balance, I’m so on board.

During our session, we learned that only 20% of working Americans are passionate about what they do…if you’re reading this, I hope you’re in that 20%. I’m glad that we’re in that 20%. But if your life is not in line with your passions, how will you find personal or business success?

It’s a new year. Make this one yours. Find your passion.
(What’s yours?)

our Passion Test Facilitator was Michael Van Osch, mvanosch@mac.com

h1

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.

h1

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.

h1

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”.

h1

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.