I think when most people hear that Jennifer and I started Ink & Well together, they assume we were best friends first and started this as a part of a shared dream we’d had for years. Yes, we were friends before we started Ink & Well, and we totally dreamed of starting businesses, but those dreams weren’t really shared, they just ran parallel to one another. But at a certain point, after we both hit a post-maternity leave wall at our corporate jobs, we sat down together and realized we were both exhausted and depressed enough to actually make something happen. And that’s how Ink & Well was born.
Niki DeLawder is the art director and editor for the Hudson Valley News and Hudson Valley Weekend, as well as a photographer, cartoonist, newly-found needlefelter, amateur lumberjack and constant pet cuddler. She and her wife, Larissa Carson, recently launched a handmade design company, Rhinebeck Domino Company. They live in the countryside of the Hudson Valley with their two dogs, Duck and Goose, two cats, Arlo and Cuda and a Great Blue heron that visits often. Find Rhinebeck Domino Company on Facebook and at rhinebeckdominoco.com. Unlike most of us, Niki has forged her way off the beaten path and the result is a life most only dream of living. Ink & Well is so lucky to give you a peek into her beautiful world.
- By Jennifer Keller
- February 24, 2016
It may come as no surprise, but people love stories. Human beings are natural storytellers—they can’t help telling stories, and they turn things that aren’t really stories into stories because they like narratives so much.
Any true storyteller probably hates the idea of degrading the beauty of a story to sell a product, but from a marketer’s perspective, story is the surest way to capture an audience, tap into the human nature that loves a good story, and gain the loyalty of the story listeners. Too often, marketers miss this opportunity, opting for flashy images or a fast talking sales person to promote their idea or product. Often this seems like the easier approach, but more often, it’s not the most effective approach. Taking the time to develop the story around your product is worth the time and investment. In the end, it will likely resonate more deeply with your customer.
Let’s be real. There are times when your body physically rejects the idea of writing. It’s not just that you don’t feel like it or you don’t have anything interesting to say, you legitimately cannot get anything out on paper that doesn’t sound like, jxysjygdnsf jfdjhvskhlaoj zy.
I actually spent a few years like this. In high school, like most angsty upper-middle class teens, I was a faucet spewing super dark poetry about war and sadness and guns. In college, I had classes forcing me to write. And for a year after, my life was a series of events that begged to be written down. I had a cool job, I was living crammed into a tiny apartment with my best friend, I went to parties, had mind-blowing celebrity sightings, went on terrible dates, and once fell down a four-story escalator while wearing five-inch heels. But then, once I left New York, it was like everything interesting that had ever happened to me stood behind a cement wall. I knew things had happened to me. I knew I had been in interesting situations, but nothing came to me when I sat in front of my computer that wasn’t kjgwkgs dut if,q dqjgf qdgy duqfd.
A new year has begun and with it can come with some big goals for a lot of us. But before you dive in headfirst, set yourself up for success with an app to keep you organized. Here’s a list of several apps to help you with everything from managing your to-do list and balancing schedules to grocery shopping.
This app is perfect those who want to be more organized but find it hard to keep track of all of the meeting notes, ideas and tasks at work. What’s even better is this app will automatically sync across all of your devices, so you don’t have to worry about not having the information when you need it. With features to group notes into notebooks and create a to-do list, this app is a great way to bring a little organization to your work life. The basic version described here is free, and if you find yourself needing a little more help there are additional options you can add for a minimal cost.
Yesterday was one of those days. I didn’t sleep well the night before, I rolled out of bed late, and I just couldn’t get it together to finish a cup of coffee between emails. By the time I headed for the shower, I was running much later than I wanted to for my first meeting of the day. When I walked into the bathroom, I shut the door tightly behind me, ready to use my three minutes alone to cry about being tired. As I stepped under the hot water, I heard a familiar sound. Soft, uncoordinated knocking on the door, and my husband saying to our daughter, “Are you looking for mommy, Maddy?”
Immediately, my brain recognized this as a threat to my schedule. If Maddy toddled into the bathroom with my husband trailing behind her, it would turn my quick shower into a whole thing. Maddy would throw all the shampoo and body wash that was resting on the edge of the tub at my toes. I’d have to pick it all up, my hair would get wet, then the dog would wander in to see what the commotion was about and he’d probably toot because of his chronic digestive issues, thus rendering my delicious-smelling shea butter body wash totally useless. But as I peeked out from behind the curtain and Maddy ambled toward me, arms outstretched, my tense shoulders relaxed. My daughter loves me so much that when I escape for a three-minute shower, she cares enough to search the house until she finds me. And then she wants to be with me, even if it means getting soaking wet.
The world of marketing is ever-changing. With so many new ways to reach people, the last thing you want to do as a marketer is to only stick to what’s worked for you in the past. The key is to continue brainstorming new ways to reach your target market and boldly give them a try. Some ideas will work better than others, but the most successful marketers continue to experiment.
The concept of meditation isn’t new to me. In fact, when I was growing up, my family belonged to a Buddhist temple—my parents were aging hippies and avid believers in the power of meditation. But for me, especially at a young age, going to an hour-long meditation at the temple was like willingly submitting myself to an hour of torture. Everyone would close their eyes and I’d do the same, only to open mine five minutes later. I’d stare at the monks’ shiny heads and then inspect all the gongs, one by one. I’d count people, count the statues in the temple, sing a few songs in my head, see if I could do a cartwheel without anyone noticing, then I’d sit back down, opening my eyes sleepily when everyone else did so they all noticed how good I was at meditating and how spiritually mature I was.
Ali Carr Troxell has spent the better part of a decade as an editor across national print and digital platforms, curating and creating content for publications such as Outside, Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, and MSN.com‘s travel and food channels. She has parlayed her years as a gear editor into a public relations consulting business, Headwaters Collective, on behalf of outdoor brands. She works with Swrve, Xtracycle, WETSOX, Pakpod, and My Outdoor Alphabet. She also currently handles two of America’s most recognized active lifestyle brands, Coleman Outdoor Brand and Superfeet, for Hayter Communications as a freelance PR consultant.
Job Title: Public relations consultant, freelance travel writer