IN REVIEW | the rest of 2015

Long time, no talk. Hi again! I was looking through the blog after a long time away this past week and realized the last time I had an update for you here was FEBRUARY! What!? Lots of things have been going on behind the scenes here, so I wanted to take some time to share a little about what’s been going on, some personal updates, and a little about my goals for Pinegate Road in 2016. Alright. Let’s go!

Since February, I’ve been consistently taking on new work and finishing up projects with on-going clients. We launched the Hello Yellow identity design and blog for Leon’s Furniture earlier in the year. What a FUN project! I loved being able to work with a large brand to help them bring something unique and creative to the industry. Leon’s Furniture is a huge furniture store that sells all over Canada. For those of us in the US, I’d say that they are similar to Ashley Furniture here. Their social media director contacted Pinegate Road to bring a new idea to life — a home inspiration blog. With this they would be able to collaborate with bloggers and designers around Canada to promote their product, but also to give value and inspiration to anyone who stops by. I had a great time working on this fun-filled brand and building out their custom blog design. Happy launch Hello Yellow!

Shortly after the completion of Hello Yellow, we jumped right in to helping Sarah Hearts launch her new brand and experience. I’m going to do a separate post about all the fun stuff happening around this. I seriously sat here trying to write it all out, and was all “this is the longest post ever, cut it out Kelsey.” So there you go. What I can say is that working on this brand was the first clue into how Pinegate Road is going to structure client projects in the future. It was amazing to have a hand in structuring the entire experience for a brand rather than building out pieces and parts.

Personally around this time, I was training for the bi-annual German dancing competition that was being held in Milwaukee at the end of July. We had weeks and weeks of training to perform. Todd and I both performed for the first time and took 51st out of 71! We are both relatively new to dancing. I started last April, and Todd started maybe a year before that. We were competing against dancers who have done this their entire lives! Can I just say how fun and freeing it is to train and work towards something that is not career focused? I’m sure I’ll have plenty more epiphanies over why this is important for any business lady or guy to take part in, but for now…it was just so refreshing to make this an important part of our lives this year.

Starting in March was also when I started experiencing some severe pain…guys beware, this is definitely a lady issue paragraph. Throughout this year I’d been experiencing intermittent, but severe periods and issues surrounding this time of the month. For about 6 months I was pushing it off, thinking it was something I could handle and that it would go away eventually. On my birthday in September, I ended up calling an ambulance because I thought I was dying on my bathroom floor. These past few months have been a series of hospital visits, doctors, tests, and trying to manage full-time work and Pinegate Road work. It was a daily struggle to keep myself focused and emotionally OK as they figured out what was going on with me. I found out shortly after the hospitalization that I had complex ovarian cysts, and that I most likely have endometriosis. They don’t know 100% for sure unless they biopsy during surgery, but they are treating me as if this is what’s going on as almost all my symptoms are pointing to this. I’m still figuring out next steps at this point — surgery, no surgery, wait it out, new diet, etc. I’ve started the flo living program, and am working my way up to making this big transition in my diet. It’s been going pretty well, but I’m still finding ways to make those excuses on why I should have that piece of cheese or bite of bread. As of this week, I can finally say I’m feeling a bit more in control over this situation. I’ve been experiencing the pain episodes about once every three weeks constantly, and I know how to manage them when they come. I made it to work the day after one this time around, which hadn’t been happening before. It was painful, but I’m glad that I was able to make it through and not let this effect my ability to get work done. OK, end sickness rant here :)

This summer I also started working with GORGO Fitness Magazine to redo their identity, website, and magazine. This marked a HUGE step for Pinegate Road, taking on our first retainer client. We have been working with them constantly through their launch, and work with them every month to update their website and design each month’s magazine. This is another thing that deserves its own post, and I’ll be sure to share more about how this has come to fruition.

In other random (happy) personal news, I was able to take a few weekend trips this year. With some of the German dance troup, we went to a family lodge in upperstate New York for a few days in June. So much outdoorsy goodness! I took a mother-daughter trip to Toronto in August to visit our ceramicist friend, Eva Gordon. I returned with so many goodies that are now all around my kitchen. My favorite? A life-size ceramic pineapple that sits on my window ledge by my sink. We also went to a wedding in Colorado last month where we extended the trip to celebrate Todd’s 30th birthday. I had never been to Colorado other than driving through, and it was amazing to be that close to mountains. We brought the Cleveland rain with us, and it was only sunny one of the days we were there. Despite the weather, it was a great trip with so many memories. Next up, Todd and I will be joining his family for Thanksgiving at his brother’s house in Pheonix, and then we will be heading to Montana with my family for Christmas. I think my mom has us snowmobiling to a yurt for Christmas Eve dinner…this will be interesting! Hah. Oh, and Todd and I moved in together! I wrote a newsletter about this decision and how important it was for me to follow my gut with this one. It has been a huge positive step forward for us so far :)

There are a few more projects that are on a dock to launch by Jan 1st! So excited to share what has been going on in the upcoming months. These last couple projects are showing how great it is to work with so many talented creatives with different expertise to bring a brand to life. Yay for collaboration!

Lastly — have you noticed how Pinegate Road has turned from an I to a we? Starting with the Sarah Hearts project and knowing what I had coming up this year, I knew that in order to get it all done, and done well, I needed to bring on some help. I started working with Gwen in March to build out brand elements and to talk through projects. We work together, so taking a lunch here and there was a convenient way to get an in-person second opinion about projects. When GORGO brought Pinegate Road on as their design studio, I knew that there would start to be consistent projects and hours coming our way that needed another helping hand. We brought on Meg, and she has been an amazing and talented addition to the PGR team. It’s been a journey figuring out how to work with multiple people on a project, but one I’m so glad we are figuring it out. I have a lot of lessons learned that I’m hoping to, yes again, share here in another post. I have a lot of work to catch up on myself to make a solid foundation and process structure for the Pinegate Road design team. We have been working with Asana for project management, and that has been great so far!

So that’s a wrap! It’s been a crazy and exciting year so far, and I’m hoping that all the planning that has been going on will make for a smooth end of the year. This planning has been making its way into next year, and I’m happy to say that we have 8 spots open for brand visioning projects next year! If you’re at all interested in working with Pinegate Road to bring your brand to life in 2016, head to the contact page to let us know more about your project. We have specific times scheduled out to start new work throughout the year, so grab a spot now!

Hope you are all having wonderful years, and I’ll catch you all back here soon :)

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