I love sharing things I have learned over the years to help my clients express their brands more authentically and cohesively.
But it goes both ways! I work on everything from coffee to corporate card programs on any given day, and every single project enriches me in ways I couldn't possibly anticipate. Through my work, I get introduced to some seriously exceptional products, and services, and ideas.
Here are a few amazing things I've learned from my clients that I think everyone should know about.
BREAK OUT THE BUBBLY
It's entirely ok--in fact, it's pretty damn awesome--to drink sparkling wine any time you feel like it. It's entirely ok to open up a bottle of bubbly instead of a bottle of Chardonnay or Pinot Gris on a random Tuesday. After working with Mumm Napa for many months, I have learned that bubbly goes perfectly with sushi, spicy food, pool parties, and french fries. Keep a case or two on hand at all times, and you'll be all set for hostess gifts, school auctions, and spontaneous happy hours. My favorite is Mumm Napa Brut Reserve.
And if you'd like a sensationally delicious, clean-tasting goat cheese to go with your bubbly, treat yourself to some Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog. Even if you think you don't like goat cheese, try it. They are experts in raising goats and keeping the males apart from the females at certain times, which keeps their cheese from tasting, well, goat-y. Honestly, I adored this cheese before I worked on the brand, and I love it even more now that I know their story. (I collaborated on this project with the wonderful Lindsay Pedersen of LCP Strategies.)
If you overindulge in Mumm Napa and Humboldt Fog, which is shockingly easy to do, you'd better pick up some Brooks running shoes. They only make running stuff (which I love), and it is THE. BEST. I learned from team Brooks that you should have a couple of different pairs of running shoes, and switch them up. I prefer the Glycerin for a cushy glide and the PureFlow for a nice minimal feel. And if you need a little more fitness motivation, download the EveryMove app. I get a little spring in my step every time Russell, the CEO, likes one of my photos from my favorite Seward Park loop.
UP YOUR COFFEE GAME
If you have a coffee maker on your counter that's just not doing it for you, get rid of that sucker and pick up a Bonavita BV1900TS, perfected by the wonderful folks at Espresso Supply, in Ballard. It has some fancy engineering inside to brew your coffee at precisely the right time, and at precisely the right temperature, to keep it from tasting weak or burnt. I also learned from these wonderful people that if you think Starbucks tastes like somebody used your coffee cup for an ashtray, try the blond roast.
NOT PUZZLING AT ALL
If you like to do puzzles, don't even think about buying a puzzle that is not a Ravensburger. That is all.
GET YOUR PULSE RACING
And if you are looking to spice up your love life (it is Valentine's Day and all), Pulse might be just the thing for your bedside table. (Shout-outs to Pensar for the sexy industrial design and Range for the gorgeous packaging.)
UPGRADE YOUR WEBSITE
Now on the business side, if your website is slow, looks crappy on mobile, or just generally looks like it was built 20 years ago, you should definitely reach out to Greg Bear at Bear Group. And if you need a design makeover while you're at it, get frequent Bear Group collaborator Hovie Hawk of Design Hovie Studios involved, too.
BOOST YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING
Once you've built your gorgeous website, talk to the lovely folks at Wheelhouse DMG to get people to it through an integrated digital marketing program that's perfectly tailored to your business. Make sure you visit their office, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful spots in Seattle. But if Paul Weinstein or David Kennedy invites you to play Ping-Pong, be prepared to lose.
If you're making a thing, like soap or beauty products or chocolate or Miss Marjorie's Plantain Chips, you'll definitely want to check out the super-cool custom packaging at Guided, who are excellent people and have a veritable wonderland of rad printing machines down in Kent.
NO MORE DEATH BY POWERPOINT
And if you're trying to sell or pitch your thing, or give a talk, or create any kind of presentation, step away from the PowerPoint and the Prezi. You can make mind-blowingly gorgeous presentations in Haiku Deck on your iPad, or even your iPhone, while you're watching Good Girls Revolt. I'm a proud pro subscriber, and it saves me countless hours and is worth every single penny.
STADIUMS OF THE FUTURE
Now we're getting a little more niche, but hey, you never know. If you work in sports or live events, drop everything and give Russ Stromberg of Osmosis a call. Osmosis is a spin-out of Synapse, and Russ and his team are creating the live event experience we ALL want. Using a Husky plush as your ticket? It's already happening.
BANK ON IT
If you happen to be building a credit union or a bank or a university building, you should talk to the friendly folks at Momentum about their unique plan-design-build process.
POWER TO THE PEOPLE
And if you are involved with a utility or any business with underground power cables, or if you just like to geek out on cool inventions, check out what Novinium is doing in the field of underground cable rejuvenation. They have developed a safe, low-impact, eco-friendly process that extends the life of power cables by up to 40 years while preserving neighborhood landscaping and protected natural areas like the Pend Oreille River.
SUPPORT A GREAT CAUSE
Last but hardly least, if you are looking for a high-impact cause to support, consider TeamChild, who has a smart, committed team working hard to break the cycle of incarceration for teens when they most need support to get back on track. The work they are doing helps build stronger, safer communities, which feels more important than ever.