Launched, Learned, Loved in 2019
As each year winds down, I take time to reflect on the year and share it with you guys here. It’s helpful for me to see what went well (so I can celebrate!), what didn’t go as planned, and of course do some dreaming for the next year.
For 2019 I’m taking a page from my pal Kelsey of Paper + Oats and structuring it a bit different. You’ll see what I launched, learned and loved in 2019 — both in business and personally.
Here we go!
1,000+ PDF pages designed — It’s safe to say the shine for designing a functional yet beautiful PDF has still not worn off on us. This year was a record for Spruce Rd. in the page count of PDFs created. Our clients and their customers love PDFs as much as we enjoy designing them!
11 new brands — Thrilled to have welcomed 11 new brands into the Spruce Rd. family! We love creating brand identities from scratch, and this year we had the privilege to design for some fantastic brands. We don’t take it lightly that our clients trust us with their brand’s image, and it’s something we’re always challenging ourselves creatively and enjoying the process.
Here’s just a few of our favs:
20 design days booked — We launched a new service for the first time in 5 years! Spruce Rd. clients can now book a day with our team to knock out your top design priorities. We’ve designed countless PDFs, promos, illustrations, patterns, packaging, you name it. I shared everything about this process with our Share-worthy Design students. Many who have already launched their own day rate service with success following our system!
Here’s a few designs we can accomplish in one day:
750 all-star designers in our signature course: Share-worthy Design (SWD) — Though we work with clients one-on-one through our design services, we also truly enjoy mentoring our fellow designers! We’ve welcomed a couple hundred graphic designers into our signature course + coaching program, Share-worthy Design, this year. Through this program, we teach our peers the ins + outs of running a design studio, and creating share-worthy design for their clients. It brings us such joy to partner with a diverse, passionate and creative bunch of designers!
I completely overhauled SWD and re-recorded almost all the content, added tons of new training, tutorials and templates. Revamping SWD was my big focus this year. I’ve been advised that I could easily “split the course up” into different products, but it’s just never felt right. Especially to past students. When asking my alumni about this, they voted and 100% of the poll said to keep it as a whole, because it’s an entire system that works cohesively together. I agreed, and fully embraced having my “one product” for designers! It helped me really go all in with SWD and pour everything into my program. I revamped the mastermind to focus more on coaching, made the training easier to take action and navigate, hired an audio guy to improve the quality, added captions and ability to double speed the videos, etc. It’s a beefy program, but I still aim to keep it affordable considering the value!
Here’s a few of my favorite new updates to SWD:
Template vault (our extensive brand guideline, over 50 client swipe files, presentation template, discovery template, etc.) It’s all in there!
Design Day Rate Bonus Training: 90 minute workshop walking through every bit of the process of running a successful design day. It’s something I risked and tested this year, learned a heck of a lot in the process, and shared exclusively with my SWD alumni who are already crushing day rates!
Client Psychology: Something not many designers talk about or consider is the psychology behind working with clients. It’s something I’ve studied and payed attention to over the years and finessed it into a repeatable process. The SWD students nerded out over this new training as much as I enjoyed creating it!
Over the shoulder tutorials: At the end of each module I added a section for additional resources + FAQ. In this section I provide loads of over the shoulder tutorials, screenshare videos, FAQs and case studies. It’s so practical and handy.
Managing multiple projects: This is a mystery as designers grow their business! I’ve created a new section all about how to manage several projects (from large branding or web projects to the one off small projects for ongoing clients). It helps designers keep their sanity, while serving their clients well!
Easy structure: Before, SWD felt more like a catch all of several in depth trainings. I’ve restructured it into a 3-part system creating a better flow from start to end. 1) Your Sold-Out Signature Service, 2) Your Red-Carpet Client + Design Experience and 3) Growing Your Premium Design Studio.
New custom WordPress sales page designed by our team for SWD — So amped to have a beautiful + custom sales page designed for our course! I was on Squarespace before for SWD, but WordPress lends itself much better to long-form content and the unique needs of course sales pages. My designer, Ash, knocked this out of the park through custom development and design!
If you’re curious what it looks like, or what SWD is about, you can head to the landing page to snag a 10-minute free training about our presentation method (your glimpse into the course), and you’ll get access to enroll in SWD with a discount to boot.
I’m also opening up live enrollment in February 2020 with a new + improved mastermind.
Growth Tools Coaching Program — After learning from Bryan Harris over the years from his generous free content, I enrolled in his year-long coaching program for course creators. It challenged me and increased enrollment for my course while also growing my email list. I didn’t look at many other coaches as I trust Bryan and his team specifically regarding integrity. There’s lots of voices out there encouraging some shaky practices, and I love that Bryan’s team focuses on serving your students best. Something I can stand behind. If you’re curious about this program and if it’s the right fit for you, just let me know! I’m an open book. I can also send you an affiliate link (same price for you, but I get some income for referring you ;). Thanks for that!)
How to get my baby to sleep through the night — The most valuable course I’ve ever taken — mama’s… can I get an amen?! After back to back vacations, our baby boy (Riley… now 1 years old) regressed and I was back to nursing multiple times in the night. Took this course and night #1 he slept 12 hours! And sleeps 12 hours a night since then. Mind. Blown. Courses work, ya’ll!
How to remodel my home — Ya’ll… this is BIG for me! We bought a house! After traveling back and forth across the country the past few years with kids, I’m thrilled to get settled into a home in Boise, Idaho. We’re almost done renovating the big stuff so we can move in a few weeks. Can’t. Wait.
Here’s a few of my favorite things from this year. Though this might seem random, I always enjoy these types of roundups!
Clean Mama Homekeeping Planner + natural cleaning products: Shameless love for one of our Spruce Rd. clients! We’ve loved designing Becky’s brand + products this year, and she’s won us over with her methods. The Homekeeping Planner is something I’m looking forward to using as we get settled into our new home! So simple and easy to follow, while also encouraging natural cleaning at home.
Strong Girl, Brave Girl: One of my closest designer friends (hey, Kels!) wrote a book about her story, and it was incredible! Even after knowing her so well, I couldn’t put it down. Long story short… the same day her husband asked for a divorce, a couple hours later she found out she was pregnant. It’s the messy middle of being a single mom. Such a valuable read to better understand those in our lives going through this!
These clogs have become an instant staple. Comfy & cute :).
This Instagram account always has me laughing out loud. So silly and light hearted!
Looking behind the scenes of the Hallmark creative team. They do a fantastic job creatively promoting their products. Our team loves this account!
Our favorite interior Instagram accounts (as we dream up new plans for our homes!): @farrowandball (lovely color inspiration), @simplygrove (based in Boise!), @hescottresort (this hotel + branding is stunning), @amandapahls (such a warm and cozy space), @francois_et_moi (beautiful interior, especially this hallway! I’ve also been told we could be twins!), @schoolhouse (beautiful shop) and of course always learning from the lovely @studiomcgee and @em_henderson who have stunning designs + helpful resources.
Moving: As mentioned earlier, I am so excited to move into a house! I’ve moved almost every single year since I was 18 (I’m 31 now), so it’s safe to say I’m excited to get rooted. We’ve moved across the country (TX to NC, NC to ID, ID to TX, TX to PA, then PA back to ID) in just 2 years. With a kid. With only a Rav4 to fit our belongings. I don’t know what we were thinking!! Now we’ve got two sons — Hank (3 years) and Riley (1 year). And much more belongings than what can fit in a car ;). We’ve got a lovely community here in Boise, love exploring Idaho (more than potatoes, y’all!) and a church home. It’s been a struggle moving so much with kids, so I’m excited for this season!
Kids: This past year has been ROUGH balancing two kids, work and remodeling a house. For some reason the jump from 0 to 1 kid felt natural (though still had its challenges). But going from 1 to 2 kids has been a struggle. One of my pillars for Spruce Rd. is transparency… so there ya have it ;). The toddler years are tough as it is, and adding a new babe to the mix wasn’t easy.
Work schedule: I’ve had the same work schedule the past couple years which has been great! My husband works M–W while I stay at home with the kids, and I work Th–F while my husband stays at home with the kids. This schedule has been limiting, which turns out is great for me as a chronic over thinker! It’s helped me streamline even more, cut out tasks/marketing that aren’t producing as much fruit, and focus on what I love most. I find myself wishing I had more time to work sometimes, but honestly I think 2 days is plenty and I’m grateful for it!
Travel: We did some travel this year to visit family + friends in Texas, some day trips around Idaho and a trip to Yellowstone, Jackson Hole and Tetons (it’s gorgeous!!). This may seem cool… but I spent most of my days in our messy apartment, balancing nursing a baby and a mischievous toddler running wild, and struggling to keep my sanity all the while 😅! Looking forward to some travels in 2020! Especially to celebrate our 10 year anniversary (sans kids!).
And there ya have it! So grateful to have you following along our journey this past year.
Happy new year!