Archive for ‘Business’

November 2, 2012

My Blog has moved…come along!

by heatherkp

I’ll be deleting this blog in about a week please head over to my new site HERE to be sure you stay up to date on the latest Design+Organize+Create tips and inspiration?  You will also find all the same content over there.  Thanks for all of your support and I hope you will continue to follow along.

PS.  If you are already a subscriber you should continue to receive my latest posts via email as always!

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November 1, 2012

by heatherkp

I have been dragging my heels, being a perfectionist, procrastinating, making excuses etc. but I made a commitment to myself that I would launch My new website and blog my my birthday!  Finally, that day has arrived!  I’m not very excited about the new decade I’m entering but everyone says 40 is the new 30 so I’m embracing it for what it is.  Head over HERE to check it out!

The ability to start out upon your own impulse is fundamental to the gift of keeping going upon your own terms. . . .  Getting started, keeping going, getting started again– in art and in life, it seems to me this is the essential rhythm.
–Seamus Heaney, poet

Here is a sneak peek before you go there yourself to sign up for the newsletter or RSS feed…

I hope this site will be useful (services and resources!) and inspiring (tips and blog) to everyone who visits it!  My aim is to share the the inspiration I find in life all around me.  I’ll be sharing lots of organizing resources, links, inspiring images and ideas.  Please feel free to share anything here but do so with proper credit please! Speaking of credit where it is due…I have to give a great big Shout Out to Tara Gentile’s Website Kick Start class…I took it not once but twice in order to build this site (also with the help of Studiopress Genesis Theme!)

Since I”m starting fresh I will not merge all the content from my old blog over so (at least not for now) so you can always come back to this content. (almost 3 years of content!).

August 27, 2012

Moving Monday::Web Makeover

by heatherkp

With one move finally behind me I’m about to begin another one (maybe just as big in a different way).  You see,  this here blog has reached capacity…and it’s on the verge of a meltdown!  I’ve been using it for several years with the intent to MOVE it over to my own domain name and website but obviously that hasn’t happened YET!  Ack, I took a class to learn to design my website in late 2010 and got in over my head so I just made some small changes to my blog and kept on posting…until several weeks ago when I started getting notices that I was going to run out of space to post any more photo’s.  Well as you know most of my posts include photo’s so what am I going to do with a blog that I can’t post photo’s to?

Well as luck would have it right around that time I got an email about a new version of this class I’d taken back in 2010.  I saw some changes had been made to make things a bit more simple and clear so I decided to give it another whirl, I’ve got nothing to loose!  Last week I began working on creating my new website and eventually my blog and full web presense will be moved over here.

In the meantime as will all moves, things get hectic and you have to be patient with yourself and take some of the pressure off.  In doing so I’ll be taking a little haitus from my blogging with hopes of being up and running over at HKpowerStudio.com by the end of September.  There, I said it and now I’ve got to stick to my word!  Just because I won’t be posting here doesn’t mean I won’t be around on the web.  You should come over and check out my Facebook Page, where I post tips, photo’s and other resources for organizing, art and design.   I’m also on Twitter,  Pinterest and Instagram all as HKpowers where I share links, quotes, tips and photo’s.

We all need a break from time to time and with the seasons changing, work picking up and some travel plans ahead this is a good time to make some big changes.  I hope you’ll be patient with me and stay along for the ride!

August 13, 2012

Makeover Monday::This and That

by heatherkp

Today’s just a few misc. makeover projects from both our move and clients.  The first is an example of a hall closet that contains some linens and a lot of “medicine closet” items that don’t fit into the bathroom.  We didn’t buy anything for this project, just sorted through what was there, relocated some items to other areas and switched things around into containers that were more functional for each type of item.

We relocated all the cleaning products to the kitchen that were spread between there and the hall closet.  This cleared up the whole top shelf for bathroom and linen related items.  We used appropriate sized containers to hold hand towels, wash cloths, extra personal care items, medicines, make up and first aid items. 

We were able to easily fit all the household cleaning supplies under the sink.  We utilized on container to hold products that could be taken room to room for cleaning in other areas of the house. Moving along to my own house, I fell in love with this chandelier in our Dining room immediately!  Unfortunately I don’t think it had ever been properly cleaned.  And by properly I mean dis-assembling it by removing each crystal and soaking them, wiping them with a soft cloth and brush to get off the years of grime.  This took me almost 4 hours and there are almost 350 crystals but what a spectacular difference it made!

Finally, this is our master bedroom before and after.  It’s a small room and we are not able to fit our one large dresser in here but everything else works well and I love the serene blue of these walls which is almost the EXACT shade of blue we had painted in our MD living room before we left.  I love this room!

October 19, 2011

Working Wednesday::5S Methodology

by heatherkp

I recently learned about a fascinating methodology used in Japan for organizing the workplace.  I have a love of most things Japanese and this methodology is one I feel could be effectively implemented by many business’s or individuals even though it’s primary application seems to be in the manufacturing sector (Toyota and Canon are examples of Japanese companies that have implemented this system).  I tend to better remember systems that employ a simple name mnemonic‘s.  Apparently the Japanese agree!  Here’s how the 5 S Methodology works by the following phases: sorting, straightening, systematic cleaning, standardizing, and sustaining.   I think it’s so simple it’s brilliant!

  • Seiri or Sorting

  • Seiton or Straightening (setting in order / stabilize)

  • Seiso or systematic cleaning

  • Seiketsu or Standardizing

  • Shitsuke or Sustaining (sustaining the discipline or self-discipline)

Main objectives in the 5S methodology include improve productivity and quality.  Another benefit is that this system encourages each person to take ownership of every item and their surroundings.  This is where personal creative participation should be encouraged (weather it be getting the children involved or the employees!)  Health and safety improvements can be included as additional benefits.  As with all systematic changes that individuals or companies may choose to adopt, they must be clearly understood by all participants and there should be clear goals associated with the implementation of such a system for it to be effective.  If you would like to learn more about this methodology check out Wikipedia to start with.  From there you can find many other informative articles related to “lean principles“.

January 31, 2011

Support for Free

by heatherkp
But what about free content?

Image by pr1001 via Flickr

It’s the last day of January, wow can’t believe how quickly it’s gone!

Over the last year (maybe more) there’s been a lot of discussion about the current culture of free and the sustainability of free content.  I first became aware of this discussion over at Crafty Pod and have been reading and participating in the discussion in an effort to help find some solutions to the currently non-sustainable practice of free in the creative community.   Last Friday Diane posted about How she supported some Free in January. I’d like to contribute to this discussion by being more transparent about how I contributed and I’d encourage you to do the same!

I currently am not selling products (that will change in 2011!) but I provide my customers with a service and I hope to offer inspiration and from time to time a free idea, tutorial etc.  I try to support others in return for their free content by way of encouragement, links back to them, credit where it’s due etc. but I’ve always believed that the strongest form of support is the monetary kind.  I believe in the Thriving Artist not the starving artist!

In the past year my income has dropped dramatically but I can still manage to support others in their creative purpose, especially those that inspire me and give so generously of themselves!  So, in the month of January I’ve supported Tara Gentile by taking her fabulous Website Kick Start class (I’ll be rolling out my new website in February!).  For now you can sign up for new class notifications here.

I purchased a gorgeous calendar from Jessica Swift and she threw in a FREE print with the purchase!

Lastly I purchased an amazing marketing bundle from zero 2 illow which included contributions from about 6 different creative contributors including Khristian Howell, Tara Reed and Chris Guillebeau!

All of these creative people offer free content on their sites as well as beautiful products and super helpful services.  Please check them out and support our creative community (especially financially)!

How do you support other creative people who contribute by offering us free content?

January 13, 2011

Book Review::Women, Work and the Art of Savoir Faire

by heatherkp

I finished reading this just recently and LOVED it!  I have read a lot of business books and this one has such a refreshingly different point of view; A WOMAN’S.

Did you ever read French Women Don’t Get Fat?  We if you did, you probably loved it and your bound to love this book also by Mireille Guiliano.

This woman is a powerhouse, she’s the best of French and American cultures rolled into one.  She knows style, has class, is smart, savvy and sexy.  In this book she teaches you a little bit about how to turn all of these to your advantage.  I thought it was great that she talks openly about this not a weakness but a strength!  She admits that the upper echelon of the business world is run by predominately men and tells you what you need to know to turn the fact that you are a woman into an asset.  She shares everything she thinks might help including tips on dressing, entertaining, travel, manners and navigating the politics of business.  This book isn’t just about being a successful business woman, it’s about successfully enjoying all life has to offer you in both your career and your personal life.

December 21, 2010

Spotlight::Our American Textile Heritage~Churchill Weavers

by heatherkp

Advertisement showing the front exterior of the Churchill Weavers loomhouse.

Before weaving begins, a warp or vertical the threads of the loom must be made. Weft threads are woven through the warp threads using the loom and shuttle. ca. 1928

 

Churchill Weaver’s stereocard advertisement, style 15319R.

I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to work for some US textile manufacturing facilities my career, some of which are no longer in existence and some that no longer manufacture in the US.  Starting right out of college I landed a job at one of the oldest and finest Hand weaving mills in the US.  I’m speaking of the late Churchill Weavers of Berea, KY.  Once so valued for their products that the US military spared wool rations so they could weave woolen undergarments for our military men.  It greatly depresses me to see their beautifully woven products now being sold as “rare” on Ebay!  There were a number of factors that went into the final outcome of Churchill’s doors being closed forever but they didn’t go down without a long battle.  Historical textiles from their archives were salvaged and donated to the Kentucky Historical Society.  They have compiled quite an amazing online Archive, accessible to anyone!

Churchill Weaver’s stereocard advertisement, style 15451.

Woven Panel made by Churchill Weavers and Designed by Gerhardt Knodel ca. 1978

One of the valuable lessons I learned working at Churchill is that there is no substitution for learning about business and technical data at a facility that manufactures rather than being miles and oceans away from the products you design.  If you’d like more information on the fascinating history of Churchill, please check out this blog.  A limited selection of baby blankets with original Churchill designs are available here.  I’m proud to share below a few of the items I had a part in designing!

I knew when I graduated from college in 1998 with a degree in Fibers (textile design) that it would not be an easy career choice.  I headed ambitiously into the profession knowing that the beginning of the end (as I had come to understand it) was already in sight.  Shortly after graduating I started seeing the full effects of the “global”market’s influence on the industry.  First the mills began to run shorter shifts, sell off machinery and start to outsource manufacturing to foreign mills.   Within the first 5 years of my career I had gone from designing for high end luxury goods manufactured in the USA to designing mass produced goods being imported.  I had a hard time with the ethics of this but I needed to stay employed and by then I was beginning to see my friends design jobs being eliminated as their companies not only shut down manufacturing facilities but started to hire off site designers and design studios in other countries.  I started to see another trend that was quite maddening.  Before I say more this observation is not singularly in regards to the textile industry.  It is the mis-informed “American way” to throw something way when it’s broken (or just worn out)! So often we don’t er trying to fix it because it seems far easier and cheaper to just start all over.  This is so maddening!  Can’t we learn from those around us who have invested so much time and energy to make something special?  Okay, sometimes new life needs to be blown in but there is often so much we can learn from these establishments.

It was also about this time (early 21st cent) I really became aware of the “Indy craft” movement.  I started seeing all sorts of crafters, makers and designers pop up on the http://www.  In response to this I also saw a few new kinds of manufacturing facilities in the US who were responding to the needs of these independent makers.  I’m speaking of textile print on demand (such as Spoonflower and others) and weaving mills in particular but I’m sure there are lots of other examples by now.  This was very encouraging to me on the one hand but also frustrating because we had already begun to loose so many older manufacturers.  I often think that if the two generations had found a way to communicate with one another some very unique solutions could have come about and kept some companies afloat.  I do think that there are some companies in the industry who did respond in this manner and I see them now as established and valued but also aware of new and upcoming trends.  My request to you is this; if you are a maker, manufacturer, lover of all things handmade and you are working in the US please consider the source of your purchase and support our US heritage of manufacturing. We can’t bring back these historic and iconic facilities but we can learn so much from them by informing ourselves and making the most of our purchases now.

December 8, 2010

In Response to Poppytalk

by heatherkp

Below is the comment I left in response to the latest blog entry over at Poppytalk.  I’ve been following her for a few years now and love how she finds and highlights and supports creative makers.

‘Jan, it certainly has never been simple for artist or truly authentic creators of any kind to keep their work from being ripped off! But, everything happens more quickly with the internet at our fingertips making it so easy to “Spread the wave”. I have to step back and not participate from time to time. I choose very carefully what I will and will not share online, on flickr, on facebook, on twitter, on my blog and soon on my website. This is unfortunate but I think it’s a necessity for anyone creative, you just have to keep a part for yourself and you have to be willing to let other stuff go. In the middle though, there does need to/have to be a way for people who are dedicated to being entrepreneurs! Geeze, life is not a get rich quick scheme people!  Life is about the experiences you make for yourself and those you choose to share with people you care about. That’s it! I’m tired of cheaters looking over my shoulder and looking over the shoulders of my very talented friends! I’m gonna say that again, I’M TIRED OF CHEATERS~WHERE’S THE TEACHER WHEN YOU NEED THEM? What can we do as a creative community to sound off about this? We need to bring a Fever pitch to our voices, together!’

If you are an artist or crafter of any kind please do what you can to stand up for your rights and help educate the media and your customers about copyright infringement.  If every blogger who blogs about creativity floods the web with this subject in a short period it just might be noticed on a larger scale.

August 6, 2010

Metamorphosis

by heatherkp

metamorphosis= transformation or rebirth

I started this blog back in January after many years of fantasizing of starting my own studio. I put blogging aside and even though I have thought over the last 6-7 months about posting here I remained hesitant as I’ve undergone many changes in my life over this period.

At the end of January I lost my job of over 7 years as a senior designer working on custom rug and carpet design. I was shocked, devastated, afraid, excited, angry, hopeful, relieved, worried just to name some of the emotions I have experienced over the last 6 months. It is pretty ironic reading back to my early January 1st entry here. I will still be exploring this process here but will no longer be doing so anonymously.

I realized pretty quickly that this loss was also a wonderful opportunity to make my own dreams a reality. Dreams are funny though because sometimes when you come face to face with them you flounder and don’t know where to begin. I began my metamorphosis by doing a lot of introspection, reading, researching, talking with supportive friends and family and giving myself time to revel in this chance to enjoy my life and recreate it.

As much as I loved moments of my corporate career it had become terribly unsatisfying over the last 2 years as I became bored, unchallenged and lost creative enthusiasm. In hindsight perhaps these were the exact reasons that I lost my job but I also worked very hard and was a loyal employee; something that is becoming more of a novelty in today’s corporate environment.

I decided pretty early on after my job loss that I didn’t want to pursue the same type of career path. I contemplated going into Non-Profit arts, beginning a Non-Profit (which I still aim to do one day), working in a Museum environment or working on a farm. After these ideas of radical change subsided I slowly realized the value in the many years I’ve invested in the world of textile and carpet design. I love so many aspects of design, I love working with clients to create something that evolves from a collaborative vision into a reality.

The process of collaboration is one that I love and am fascinated by. It is something I have explored over the past years as I’ve participated in and organized many collaborative art projects with fellow artist friends. I will be launching a design studio (virtual) with the dream of providing designs that come from a diverse group of designers and artists. These designs will not be trend driven, they will be created by individuals for the sheer joy of the process of creating. There will be designs that stand alone, photography, design collections, designs that are by anonymous individuals and designs that are collaborations between more than one designer. This is an aspect that I am so excited to explore. Please join me here until I launch my website (www.hkpowerstudio.com). For news, sneak peaks, inspiration and bits of knowledge I will share about this process of launching my dream business.


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