What FoundHERS are Loving this Month

Hi everyone! 

Several months ago I got together with a group of Indy business owners to chat about our various experiences in all things entrepreneur related. We quickly realized we were motivated by our shared love for what we do and also had a lot to learn from each other's unique skill sets. As a result, our little group became slightly more official with the name "FoundHERS," and we decided that, in addition to meeting up every now and then, we would co-write a blog together, taking turns hosting each time. This month, I'm hosting the topic, "What is the best product or service you have discovered recently?" After all, we are constantly discovering new services that make our lives (and business goals) easier! 

 

From Kara Gladish, Big Kahuna, Kahunify

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Did you know 20% of fruits and vegetables don't even make it to grocery stores because they are deemed too "ugly" to sell? A company called Imperfect Produce is fighting back against food waste by delivering these rejects to your door at affordable prices! Previously available in just San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and Chicago, Imperfect Produce is now expanding to Indianapolis! I am very proud of our city, and as a foodie, I can't wait to enjoy such an ingenious and delicious service.

 

 

 

From Kat Rudberg Gordon, Founder and CEO, Crafted Taste

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It can be tough to give great customer service when you run an eCommerce business, especially if you don't have a team to help. While I was happy with my response time with emails and online chat, I was overwhelmed when it came to traditional phone calls. Due to meetings, tasks and an unpredictable schedule, many customer calls were going straight to voicemail. Knowing that this was impacting how customers felt about Crafted Taste, I sought help from Ruby Receptionists. All calls are first directed to their receptionists, where a real live human based in the US greets your customers. From there, your calls are forwarded to you or sent to a voicemail. Knowing that my customers felt listened to immediately was a huge relief! I love that they're super flexible - you can customize your greeting script, provide answers to your most frequently asked questions, set open/closed times, use their app to direct calls to any phone, and they'll even run interference on cold calls/telemarketers.

 

From Maria Baer, Residential Organizer + Party Stylist, The Baer Minimalist

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Each season it is important for me to sift through my wardrobe and determine if anything doesn't quite make the cut moving forward. For those items that are in great shape, I have found Poshmark to be such an amazing tool to re-sell clothing. The seller has the opportunity to choose their own sale price for each item they list, and the buyer covers the cost of shipping. Immediately upon selling an item, Poshmark emails you a two-day USPS shipping label. Print that puppy off, attach it to an old shoebox with your item packages neatly inside and drop it in your mailbox. Easy peasy! 

 

 

From Katie Smith, Founder, Careerable

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Last year I was turned on to the Cultivate What Matters Power Sheets. This is a goal planner that is equal parts self reflection and action planning. After brainstorming your ten goals for the year, you create action plans for each goal and then assign it a month to accomplish it. Every season there is a check in for self, work, family, hobbies, health, etc. so you can get that full picture view regularly. Plus, there are fun stickers to include throughout that say things like, “Make time for this” and “Simplify”. I use this product in addition to my regular day planner where I schedule in appointments. The PowerSheets are all about thinking big about your Why and then breaking down your goals that align with that into actionable pieces. Plus, the pages are beautiful.. and did I mention there are stickers?

 

 

 

From Alicia Zanoni, Artist, Alicia Zanoni Fine Art 

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Tax season as a private contractor has been incredibly daunting. This year I talked with an accountant friend about how to submit my taxes, and he referred me to Credit Karma, a free, online credit service that offers an incredibly simple tax software. At first I was skeptical - after all, free?? What's the catch? But within one day, I had entered in all the needed information to submit my taxes! It was a breeze! In addition to tax assistance, Credit Karma offers investment advice and credit info. As big a fan as I am of these services, I must the simple, colorful graphics of the site design are the main reasons I stuck around at first. There is nothing less intimidating about filing taxes as a colorful illustration assuring you that you're on the right track! But maybe that's just the artist talking. ;) 

 

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for our next post!

4 Entrepreneurs You Should Know in Indianapolis

As I've grown a painting career over the last two years, I've often asked myself, "Why am I doing this?" My once certain, concise answers have expanded over the years. In the first few months of taking the plunge to paint full time, I can hear myself say excitedly, "Because I love it!" "Because art has power to bring social change." "Because I'm too restless for a desk job." How have those answers expanded? Well, I do love to paint, except when painting after painting looks awful, I'm anxious, depressed, and paralyzed by self-doubt. I still believe art has power, but after painting fruit study after fruit study I began to see the importance of very mundane studies that were doing less for the good of our society and more for my technique. Yes, I am indeed still far too restless for a desk job, but I have discovered with great disappointment the incredible amount of email writing, bookkeeping, and schedule-making that has to happen to run a business (who knew?!).

In the midst of this journey, I have been so excited to connect with various other entrepreneurs in Indianapolis. They are brilliant, determined, creative business owners who also experience ups and downs of the daily grind but BELIEVE in their products/services so much. Allow me to introduce you to some of the best I know:

  1. Kahunify - Kara Gladish, Big Kahuna - offers marketing services and strategies customized to achieve your business’s goals, including web design, email marketing, social media, online advertising, blogging, and branding. www.kahunify.com
  2. The Baer Minimalist - Maria Baer, Residential Organizer + Party Stylist helps busy families create organized + stylized spaces and events throughout greater Indianapolis. www.thebaerminimalist.com
  3. Polish Interior and Art Design - Courtney Walker Pope, Co-owner and Lead Interior Designer offers a full service, Indianapolis based firm specializing in all facets of residential and boutique commercial design. www.polishinteriors.com
  4. Crafted Taste - Kat Rudberg Gordon, Founder and CEO, is a cocktail of the month club and gift service. Our luxe cocktail kits are stocked with premium products and delivered direct to your door. www.craftedtaste.com

These business owners are the real deal, folks. Not only do they have what it takes to run a business, they have experienced along with me the unique challenges that come with it. Together, we remind ourselves it is SO worth it, because we really believe in what we do. 

Cheers to following the dream! 

 

Stubborn Hope

 A quiet moment in the gallery. Photo taken by photographer/videographer Rachael Luther (http://rlutherphotography.weebly.com)

A quiet moment in the gallery. Photo taken by photographer/videographer Rachael Luther (http://rlutherphotography.weebly.com)

What does hope taste like? In its beginning, sweet and refreshing. It gives us energy - so much energy in fact that history shows whole systems shaken by it. But what about when hope comes crashing down - when reality commands us to abandon what we had clutched so tightly?

This bitter taste shows another side of hope's power - its ability to shake us as well as our surroundings. Through this series I considered my own memories with hope: Pain when relationships broke and cut deeply. Shame when others saw my excited expectancy met with complete shutdown. Foolishness for thinking something was possible when it wasn't.

These memories have never been sharper over the last 6 months as I've pursued a full-time art career. "Don't get your hopes up," we say, because we know high hope is a far way to fall. And falling makes us ache. 

The last 6 months have been a constant ache. Day after day I arrive at my studio, pick up my brush and hope the work is intelligent, that it matters, that it will impact the viewer meaningfully, and that I'll be able to make enough, price it wisely, and market it aggressively and tactfully.

Most days this has seemed like a heavy burden to carry. I was driving home from my studio one night thinking about this scary, beautiful, powerful idea of "hope" when I spotted a street light towering above, glowing through the fog. Quickly, I took a photo from my car window as cars honked behind. (Sorry, Indianapolis drivers. SLOW DOWN FOR ART OK? just kidding.) The next morning it became the painting that would inform the series "Stubborn Hope."

 "High Hope with a Fear of Heights"

"High Hope with a Fear of Heights"

Fear. Is that all hope is? I began to think about those mornings in the studio. Hope felt like fear, yes, but it was doing something really powerful. It was igniting action. It was a tiny spark, and lo and behold, the gloomy, January grey city of Indianapolis was full of it:

 "Spark"

"Spark"

Hope carries quite a punch. It repeatedly floods the grey monotony with color like a traffic light. In one moment it flashes florescent green and invites us to lurch forward and press deeper into our goals and in the next it screams red and stops us in our tracks.

 "GO"

"GO"

 "Night Blues" (or a rejected art proposal, a flat tire, a big bill, hurt feelings, kick in the gut, lost friendship, YA FEEL?) 

"Night Blues" (or a rejected art proposal, a flat tire, a big bill, hurt feelings, kick in the gut, lost friendship, YA FEEL?) 

 "Morning Heartbeat" ...taken while stopped in traffic :)

"Morning Heartbeat" ...taken while stopped in traffic :)

 "Unprecedented" (Defined: Adjective - "Never done or known before.")

"Unprecedented" (Defined: Adjective - "Never done or known before.")

 "The Next Thing"

"The Next Thing"

 "Doubt, Meet Dream" 14 x 16 inches

"Doubt, Meet Dream" 14 x 16 inches

At its most vulnerable, is hope a deep longing? What if vulnerable desire replaced a wall of ambivalence in our relationships? What if hope has the power to not only ignite our actions in life but our relationships as well?

 "Longing" 8 x 10 inches

"Longing" 8 x 10 inches

Hope in its glorious beauty, the kind that we have to remember and come back to when we are momentarily crushed by disappointment, is excitement so intense you can't fall asleep at night: an idea that seems AMAZING. And yes, you WILL awake with a fire in your soul that can't be stopped, even if that idea doesn't work out.

 "Insomnia Excitement" 8 x 10 inches

"Insomnia Excitement" 8 x 10 inches

 "Wisdom as Mobile Anxiety" 8 x 10 inches

"Wisdom as Mobile Anxiety" 8 x 10 inches

 "Resilience" 8 x 10 inches

"Resilience" 8 x 10 inches

The final element to the "Stubborn Hope" collection is a 7-diptych piece - a reflection on the simple, repetitive process of living each week. Undoubtedly, in both its glory and pain, hope is stubbornly anchored in our souls as long as we are alive, and yet, ironically, we must stubbornly return to it day in and day out.

 "Day In" 7 x 7 inches

"Day In" 7 x 7 inches

 "Day Out" 7 x 7 inches

"Day Out" 7 x 7 inches

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who came out to the show!

Glances: We are a lifetime; we are a moment.

Every big thing is small at some point - even people - when they become forms for a moment in our glance, such as a shiny shoe, or a bright shirt, or two blue eyes. As I walked through swarming crowds of people on the streets of Delhi, India, I felt like my body melted into a big mixing pot of color, honking horns, and flying dust. A feeling of profound insignificance of my face along with all the others weighed on me - or was it profound significance? Each person I passed had a mind full of hopes, ideas, memories and a heart full of love, anger, and sadness. But in each glance I couldn't even take in their entire figure, much less their inner identity. They were only fragmented objects rushing past - a shirt collar, a pair of blue eyes, a shiny shoe. They almost weren't people. How did I appear to them? I wondered. Did they know I was as much a person as they were?

I had forgotten I could be a fragmented form in someone's rapid glance. I had forgotten the people I passed in the crowd were stories, loved ones, multiple-sided personalities, organs miraculously knit together. Each of us are both. 

Motivated by our lifelong and momentary identities seen by ourselves and others, I began to create charcoal portraits of each artist in the residency.

 viewers were immersed among the faces, much like standing in a crowd.

viewers were immersed among the faces, much like standing in a crowd.

On the left of each portrait pair is an exact likeness made with charcoal, reflecting the identities we carry of ourselves. This is the face we watch as we brush our teeth, the face we know increasingly well with each new eye crease, the face that represents cares, hopes, fears, and memories we carry with us always. On the right is a second image, made by placing blank rice paper over the first image and rubbing it with linseed oil to extract some of the charcoal pigment. An obscured copy of the exact likeness, it calls our attention to the image others have of us as we pass them each day.

 Delicate skin

Delicate skin

  Rice paper hung from gold thread, calling the viewer's attention to our fragility and sacredness

Rice paper hung from gold thread, calling the viewer's attention to our fragility and sacredness

We cry out for significance, to be known, and to extend our lifetime. When these desires are met we feel thrive - until the images we hold of our security evaporate in the heat of millions of other bodies existing along with ours. What do we become when we are unnoticed and unknown? - merely a shoe glinting in the sunlight, a shadow passing on the side of a building? Through this installation I have become more convinced than ever of our sacredness: our divine likeness fully known by the God of the universe at all times, and, simultaneously, our crumbling momentary form.  We are both glorified and humbled.