September 21, 2016

FEATURED DESIGN PROJECT: Benefit Invitation Branding & Design

Filed under: Featured Design Project — Tags: , , , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

RSSI Benefit Invitation Design

I worked with Renaissance Social Services (RSSI) to develop branding for their annual fundraising benefit event—which happens to be held right here in my West Loop neighborhood (at Wishbone Restaurant, one of my faves!) Our goal was to express their theme while getting across the organization’s important mission.

I designed the event logo, invitation, mailing envelope, reply card and envelope, and email graphics.

Buy tickets to the event on Sept. 26.

RSSI aims to find safe and secure housing for the men, women and families and to provide them with the services they’ll need to lead lives of health, dignity and stability.

July 10, 2014

Typography in the City blog featured on HOWDesign.com

Filed under: Featured Design Project — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

HOW Design Top 10 Websites for Designers July 2014

Typography in the City blog

 

While randomly browsing the HOW Design website today, I was excited to see a familiar sight: my blog Typography in the City on their July list of Top 10 Websites for Designers!

I started Typography in the City in 2011 as a way to document the interesting typography I came across on walks around my neighborhood. It’s turned into a fun project, as well as a source of constant inspiration for design projects—not to mention wall art for my son’s room and even a children’s book I’m working on.

Follow Typography in the City on tumblr and on twitter at #typeinthecity. Also follow @lsvdesign on Instagram for #typeinthecity updates!

March 10, 2014

Featured Biz Mama: Alexandra Eidenberg of The Insurance People & Friends of Alexandra

Featured Biz Mama: Alexandra Eidenberg

Biz Mama columnAlexandra Eidenberg is the co-founder and President of The Insurance People and an IL 4th District US Congressional Candidate. She has been a licensed insurance agent for over 8 years and educates people about their options and the market so they can make the best decisions for their families and businesses. Her passion to help others is evident in everything she pursues and the networking community of Chicagoland knows her well for her bubbly personality and giving nature.

Alexandra makes insurance fun, inviting and understandable. Her company, The Insurance People, is contracted to over 120 carriers to serve their clients needs. As a brokerage their commitment is to the client and not any particular carrier. You can be assured your needs are the #1 priority. The Insurance People offers products and services to every day families and businesses that want great insurance at the right price.

Many know Alexandra for her community involvement and work with eWomenNetwork, a professional organization that supports men and women in business. She is on the Board of the Small Business Advocacy Council and is endorsed by Stand Up, eWomenNetwork, Founding Moms and more! Alexandra is passionate about the community and helping others. She is an advocate for her clients, colleagues and friends and works hard to ensure that others succeed and have access to needed resources.

Alexandra and I met through eWomen Network. When I recently saw her at a Founding Moms meeting, she had her twin babies in tow. Now that’s a biz mama who can juggle!

Alexandra Eidenberg

Tell us a little about your business/job responsibilities.

I run an insurance practice with two awesome business partners—Carmen and Jorge Londono. We have two locations—one in Chicago and another in Park Ridge. I do everyone’s favorite boring things!  Car, home, business liability, workman’s comp, life, health disability, long term care! You name it, I do all that fun jazz. My personal specialty is health insurance. I love helping people find the best coverage at the right price.

What are the ages/genders of your children?

I have Identical Twin Girls that are 9 months old.

Did you start your business before or after having children?

I started my business before having children. My business is my first baby! Being a business owner has afforded me the opportunity to be a more hands on mom. I am super grateful for it!

How did your business life change after having children?

I work constantly and live life most passionately when working like crazy. I started running for public office while pregnant with the girls.  Working an insurance practice full time, running for US Congress in the IL 4th District and being a mom is fantastic! Our schedule is always full and the girls come first! I often take them along to meetings, networking events and of course along the congressional race they have been with me the whole time—from in the womb dialing to now attending events in our community.

The biggest change since having the girls is that they are the priority and everything else falls in line from there. If clients don’t like it then it is not the right match, if it does not work for the voters then they are not the target constituency—being a mom is #1 and I surround myself with amazing people that support that mission and cause.

Describe a typical workday.

My day starts with a focus on my girls.  I stay at home until 10 am so I can coordinate their wake up, breakfast and getting ready for the day. I get to my office around 10:30 am and kick butt getting as much done for both The Insurance People and my political campaign, Friends of Alexandra.  I coordinate applications, follow up with clients on benefits, claim processing and more, interview with various publications, focus fundraising efforts, check email throughout and of course pump several times to make sure my girls have milk for when I get home around 5 pm.

I cook and feed the girls dinner when I get home.  Mir and Anna love being in the kitchen with me and we have a great time sampling varies vegetarian foods I love making!  By 7 pm they are in the bathtub getting ready for bed and then I repeat this every day Monday through Thursday.  I take Fridays off to be with the girls and work during their noon – 3 pm nap so I do not fall behind on my work.  We all thrive on our routine and love it!

What is one tip you can share with other Biz Mamas?

Get a routine going that works for you! Your kids and spouse will appreciate it and it will create normalcy that you and your business need.  You will likely never get the entire to do list done so focus on the urgent then work down the list to the important. If people do not respect your schedule and how you work then move on to another client that is better for you. Owning your own business is about working with people that see eye to eye with you.  You grow together and thrive together.

More about Alexandra’s campaign for US Congress

I am excited to be the voice of women and small business owners.  My campaign for US Congress has been momentous and thrilling.  Being a mom, wife, small business owner, community activist and leader has given me the strength and joy to take on this level of service for our community. We are looking forward to a big win on March 18th for the Democratic Primary. Please help us win by volunteering, donating and voting!  Women supporting women is the key to us winning. Please vote! Vote to support our rights and help women serve.

Alexandra Eidenberg
The Insurance People, Friends of Alexandra

Chicago IL
www.insuranceppl.com
www.alexandraeidenberg.com
Twitter: @ACEidenberg
Facebook: www.facebook.com/alexandraeidenberg
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/alexandraeidenberg/

September 4, 2013

Featured Biz Mamas: Lindsay Kavet & Jessica Cribbs of Expressing Motherhood

Featured Biz Mamas: Jessica Cribbs & Lindsay Kavet of Expressing Motherhood

Left to right: Jessica & Lindsay with Maria Shriver after their Today Show interview. Opening night of their show in Burbank, CA (dresses provided by Unique Vintage)

Biz Mama columnThis week’s featured Biz Mama(s) are former Midwestern girls, Lindsay Kavet & Jessica Cribbs of Expressing Motherhood. Currently residing in Southern California, these two stay-at-home moms (using the term loosely) manage to each raise 3 kids apiece and put on a popular stage show.

In 2008, stay-at-home moms Lindsay and Jessica conceived the idea for Expressing Motherhood after leaving their full time jobs outside the home to work full time inside the home. Expressing Motherhood is the hit, on-going stage show that has been showcasing people with stories of motherhood onstage ever since. It was the first stage show of its kind to offer a platform for these stories with no acting, writing or speaking background, the space to just get up and share their experience regarding motherhood.

Lindsay Kavet is the Co-Creator/Director & Producer of the show. She also launched FixTheToaster.wordpress.com last summer, a site dedicated to bringing discussion to making our roads safer. Jessica Cribbs is Co-creator and Producer. When she’s not driving carpool or separating fights, she’s blogging about her favorite family-friendly town in SoCal at BurbankMom.com.

Lindsay Kavet & Jessica Cribbs of Expressing Motherhood

Tell us a little about your job responsibilities with the Expressing Motherhood show.

Lindsay and I started the show together and it’s actually been really cool to see how we’ve morphed into the roles we have now. Lindsay is the one who casts and directs the shows and works with the performers on the editing of their pieces, if necessary. We know what works with these shows, and that’s normally no more than 5-7 minutes per performer. Sometimes it takes a lot of work to get amazing stories down to that amount of time…but Lindsay does it very well, without compromising the integrity of the story.

Lindsay and I share a lot of the producing responsibilities on the shows, meaning, the booking of the theatre, networking, social media, blogging, events and such.. And I’ll create our programs and graphics for promotion and such.

What are the ages/genders of your children?

Lindsay: 7-year old boy, 3-year old boy and 2-year old girl
Jessica: 8-year old girl, 6-year old boy and 3-year old girl

How does having children affect your working life, in particular, when producing an on-going stage show?

I can truly only speak for myself on this, but I will tell you that Lindsay and I are both committed to our families and raising our children takes a priority over our show production. There have been times when we’ve both agreed that a show at that time or this time wouldn’t be beneficial to either of us…so we set our show schedules to our family schedules.

Producing a show does affect my life as a mother…I know that I, personally, struggle with the mom-guilt of a preoccupied mind. I would say that having children doesn’t really affect my working life so much…but the working life I want affects my life with my children. And I suppose that’s where my guilt comes in! I do think, though, it’s important for my kids to watch me do things that make me happy.

Describe a typical day when you have a show in production.

(Laughing) We love show days! Typically we’ve had our nails done…for the first time in a long time…and maybe even hair…a new dress or shoes…. Most of our producing work has been done at that moment, so it’s just a matter of showing up to the theatre and putting on a show! Lindsay and I thoroughly have a fantastic time on show days. We are both stay at home mothers, so when opening night comes, we know we’re in for a treat…a little creative break does a mother good. There is work to do on a performance day, sometimes there are sponsors to work with or more programs to order/pick up… we make sure our performers have what they need for a great show, etc. When we take that final bow, the satisfaction that comes with it is just amazing.

What is one tip you can share with other Biz Mamas?

A tip, eh….. Well, from me personally, I suppose my ‘tip’ would come directly from my mother. Before she passed away, she said she wanted one thing for us…’Be Happy. Be A Family…that’s it.” Really, what that means to me is make sure your priorities are in order. The rest will fall into place.

Final thoughts?

Lindsay and I are both Midwestern Gals…we LOVE this part of the country and cannot wait to visit family, friends and just put on an amazing, poignant, entertaining show. We’re looking forward to tasting the best of Chicago…maybe catching a show somewhere in Town and enjoying a Girls “Extended” weekend!

See Expressing Motherhood in Chicago!

Expressing Motherhood will be at Stage 773 in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood from September 19–21. Buy tickets here. I’ll be there! Will you?

Expressing Motherhood

Los Angeles, CA
www.ExpressingMotherhood.com
Twitter: @ExMoShow
Facebook: ExpressingMotherhood
#ExpressingMotherhood

August 21, 2013

Featured Biz Mama: Leasa Navarro of kickSprout

Filed under: Biz Mama,Local (Chicago) — Tags: , , , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

Biz Mama: Leasa Navarro of kickSprout

Biz Mama columnkickSprout is a social community connecting women experiencing pregnancy and motherhood face-to-face in local cities to help navigate the world of parenting. They empower moms to organize local groups, events and workshops to connect families to learn from one another as well as through local experts on topics that are vital to raising a strong family. kickSprout is the place to experience the transition to motherhood & family life together.

Leasa Navarro is co-Founder of kickSprout, managing business development, brand partnerships and daily operations. Prior to kickSprout, Leasa served as an Interior Designer in Chicago. Leasa is a busy mom of 2 and currently lives in Chicago with her husband and two children, 3-1/2 years old and 13 months.

I met Leasa after attending a kickSprout event in Chicago when my son was just a few months old. I loved the kickSprout concept and community and am excited to see the organization grow!

Leasa Navarro of kickSprout

Tell us a little about your business/job responsibilities.

We are a small startup so I am pretty much involved with all aspect of kickSprout. I focus mostly on business development and brand partnerships as well day to day operations. I am also very involved in member support and relationships. I attend as many events and outings I can because one of my favorite parts of being involved with kickSprout is meeting and connecting all the amazing Moms and Moms-To-Be. kickSprout is a social community and we believe that creating a supportive community for moms will create a flourishing community and a better world. We’ll be parents until the day we die and will always have something to learn and give back. kickSprout is not about us, but about the parents and people we want to help and support.

What are the ages/genders of your children?

Daughter 3-1/2 and a son 13 months.

Did you start your business before or after having children?

We started kickSprout when our daughter was around 8 months old and really started because of our own need as first time parents. The moment we brought our daughter home from the hospital (after 4 days in the NICU) and the role of mom and dad sunk in; we quickly realized that this parenting thing amidst all the advice, was going to be much different from what we had expected.

We were the first of our friends to launch into the world of parenting and we were completely lost. We were truly looking for was a community to connect face to face with other parents as well as access to experts to ask our burning questions. We yearned for a community of parents to reassure one another that we were not all going crazy. We wanted to hear, “Don’t worry, we’ve been there before.”

How did your business life change after having children?

As I mentioned we started kickSprout in response to our new life as parents. It is definitely busy trying to balance and juggle everything on your plate running a business and taking care of the family. Even more so with two. I feel am very fortunate though that I am able to be home to watch my kids grow up as well as work on a company that is all about them and helping to make me a better Mom!

Describe a typical workday.

Typical, ha I don’t think I have one of those!! I have a sitter that stays with the kids 2 days a week so on those days I would say I have a more “typical” work day. On the other 5 days of the week I try to squeeze in work and work around family time, nap time, dinner time and doing a lot of work in the evenings. Being organized is key. I wish I could say I was a super organized person but it is still something I work on day to day.

What is one tip you can share with other Biz Mamas?

Guy Kawasaki said his 2 kids are the ultimate Startups and that is something that has stuck with me. There are a lot of similarities in becoming a parent and starting a business, you work a lot for at times little outward reward but both experiences are things I wouldn’t change for the world. It is hard to figure out a balance at times but I know my family is “my” ultimate Startup so as long as they are happy and healthy I have succeeded.

kickSprout

Chicago, IL
www.kicksprout.com
Twitter: @kicksprout
Facebook: kicksprout
Click here to find a kickSprout group in your city

Let’s help kickSprout grow!

kicksprout indiegogo campaignkickSprout has launched an Indiegogo campaign to help them add chapters to new cities. As a mom, I know how important it is to have parent resources and a support system, especially in those early days.

Click here to watch the video and donate to this great cause!

Campaign runs through Sept. 1, 2013

July 12, 2013

Vote for typebaby in the Red Tricycle Totally Awesome Awards!

UPDATE! I’m happy to announce that my baby & kids line, typebaby has been nominated in two categories in the Red Tricycle’s Totally Awesome Awards: Most Awesome Mom-Run Businesses (Chicago) and Most Awesome Clothing Lines for Boys!

Red Tricycle is a fantastic online resource for parents, sharing kid-friendly events, dining, and activities in your own neighborhood. They are in multiple US cities, including most recently my hometown, Chicago.

I’m proud to be included on both of these lists, especially because they include many friends and fellow entrepreneur moms.

Click on one of the graphic below to vote for typebaby! Voting runs through August 15, 2013.

Vote for typebaby in the Red Tricycle Awesome Awards: Mom-Run Businesses

 

Vote for typebaby in the Red Tricycle Awesome Awards: Clothing Lines for Boys

February 27, 2013

Biz Mama: Jamie Russo of Enerspace

Filed under: Biz Mama,Local (Chicago) — Tags: , , , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am
Biz Mama: Jamie Russo of Enerspace

Left to right: Enerspace yoga session, Jamie Russo, and the Enerspace coworking space in Chicago

Biz Mama columnJamie Russo of Enerspace has a lot of start-up experience as well as big co consulting and brand management. Her passion is health and wellness, particularly helping people create a lifestyle that helps them excel at their business endeavors and achieve superior mental and physical wellness. After growing a health services company that became focused on getting employees at large companies engaged in their health, she conceived of this idea to fully integrate work and wellness.  The ability to self-select a work environment through coworking spaces is an explosive trend and she is shaping the ability to choose an environment that fosters optimal well-being. Chicago is the first location. Enerspace will be taking workplace + wellness national in 2014.

I was introduced to Jamie—a fellow West Loop business owner—through a mutual friend. I found that we had much in common, including children around the same age and a love of health and wellness. She loves to talk and write about integrating wellness into work space design and is available for speaking engagements and guest blogging (contact her).

Jamie Russo of Enerspace

Tell us a little about your business/job responsibilities.

I am the Chief Work + Wellness Officer of Enerspace which is a coworking space for entrepreneurs and mobile professionals. The first location has been open almost exactly one year and we just doubled the size of that location so I still wear a lot of hats. I have an outstanding woman running the space now and am trying to shift my focus to growing the business and writing and speaking about workspace design of the future.

What are the ages/genders of your children?

My daughter, Dagny is 15 months old. Our first “child” is a male mini GoldenDoodle named Miles J. He’s three.

Did you start your business before or after having children?

I had wanted to start my own business for a long time. A few years into the last start-up, where I had been the first employee but still not a founder, I was committed to making that happen. I got to a point where I just needed to be more in control of my life, both bigger picture and day to day. That was for me but also turned out to be very important to integrating a child into our family. While working on my business, I also got pregnant with Dagny. A famous Chicago architect once said “Make no little plans” so I forged ahead. I signed my lease in September, had Dagny on November fifth and started the build-out for Enerspace a couple of weeks after that.  I opened for business when she was three months old (and in the hands of an amazing nanny).

How did your business life change after having children?

Before I had a child, I was almost solely focused on career success. I worked long hours (nights, weekends), traveled a lot to meet with clients. I had an end goal in mind but wasn’t enjoying the journey. Now that I have a child, I have an unalterable commitment to doing what I am passionate about while STILL being successful. I just define my own success now.

I believe in working smarter, not longer, and I try to stay focused on designing my work around the life that I want to live vs. (barely) living around my work. This outlook is for my personal happiness, to help me to be a better mom day-to-day and to be a role model for my daughter.

Describe a typical workday.

Due to the nature of owning a coworking space and the stage that it’s in, there is no typical day. When I’m in Chicago, I get up at 5:30, go to Rowfit, then spend as much time with members and networking as I can. When I’m in the Bay Area, I get up at 5 am to get a start on priorities for the day and get organized. I go to CrossFit three times a week from 6 am to 7 am and other days I run sometime during the day to get my Vitamin D and to refocus and stay productive.

My ideal typical day would be: Get up, catch up on news, participate in social media activities, generate some content (blog post, book chapter), work out, make breakfast for Dagny while addressing any time-sensitive things going on at Enerspace. I have someone that runs the space but I am still very involved. Then, eat breakfast with Dagny, drop her at the sitter. Come home, answer emails, work on PR/Marketing, work on business plans for expansion, network for coffee or lunch, continue projects from the morning, catch up on a few personal things, take Miles to the dog park, pick up Dagny. Enjoy a healthy family dinner with my family. I try to doing significant work after Dagny goes to bed to a couple of nights a week. The other nights are spent with my husband planning weekend trips and watching Downton Abbey and Homeland.

What is one tip you can share with other Biz Mamas?

Value your time. If you own a business that you can/want to grow, then think about what activities are taking time away from that growth. Cleaning your house, planning meals, buying groceries, cooking, getting the dog groomed.  Outsource those things.  In Chicago, for $15-$20/hour, you can have a very qualified individual do all those things for you.

The moms that I know that own businesses, and don’t seem like they’re on the ledge half the time, get other people to do these things for them so that they can either make more money or have the leisure time and flexibility that you deserve for working so hard/smart.  If you can bill a client $75/hour, then it makes economic sense to pay someone $20/hour to take your dog to the groomer. Save your down time for value-added activities like enjoying the dog park with your dog, eating dinner with your family, or getting a manicure!  For $100/week you could eliminate your errands enjoy your weekend and maintain your health and sanity.

Enerspace

Chicago, Illinois / San Mateo, California
www.enerspacechicago.com
@enerspacechi
Facebook: enerspace
Enerspace Blog

February 6, 2013

Client Stories: Justin Blair & Company

Filed under: Client Stories — Tags: , , , , — lidia @ 12:55 pm

Client StoriesJustin Blair & Company is a Chicago-based manufacturer and distributor of foot and shoe care products. Their saying is “you use our products almost every day, but don’t know us.” They supply all the national shoe departments (Macy’s, Nordstrom, Nine West, Skechers, Steve Madden, etc.) with their shoe supplies such as shoe polish, foot measuring devices, tongue pads and disposable foot socks. They also market footwear and foot care products to independent pharmacies, DME’s, Orthotic & Prosthetic labs and Podiatrists.

Designs created for Justin Blair & Co.

Justin Bearak is the Chief Operating Officer of this family business supplying foot and shoe care supplies to multiple markets. Justin and I met through a mutual friend and started working together shortly after. We have collaborated on many projects for Justin Blair & Company, including the recent rebranding of their Ralyn shoe care (click to read a blog post about that project).

Justin Bearak of Justin Blair & Company

Tell us a little about your business.

The Bearak family has been servicing the shoe care industry for over 40 years.  Presently, we are the #1 shoe care supply vendor to the industry with high customers such as Macy’s and Nordstrom.  We also have a regional distribution business marketing comfort footwear and foot care products to “medical” style businesses. Recently we entered the health & beauty industry with our NightCare brand of foot beauty products such as our Gel Moisturizing Socks and Intensive Healing Foot Cream (shown above at right).

What do you love best about your job?

Every day is a different day. Because we are small I get to do many different functions that most people don’t get to experience. From designing marketing pieces to human resources, my daily schedule is always unique. Tying this all together is the fact that what I may do today can be almost immediately measured as an impact on the business.

How has your past work experience influenced your current career?

Coming from an engineering/manufacturer career definitely has provided some knowledge that has helped improve and enhance our warehouse activities. I also have learned what large companies do that suppress the ability to get things done, so I strive everyday to ensure that those environments don’t appear at Justin Blair & Company.

What do you like best about working with Lidia Varesco Design?

Lidia is truly a great partner to our business. We have worked on many different product designs and marketing efforts. Her attention to detail makes all the difference.

What is your favorite project that we’ve worked on together?

Our foot comfort line of fitting aids (pictured above at left) is my favorite. Lidia truly understands what we were looking for in the new packaging design. What’s even better is that this product line has experience great success as a result of her designs.

Editor’s note: the Justin Blair NightCare Foot Comfort line was also featured in The Big Book of Packaging, a book featuring examples of successful packaging designs.

Learn more:

Justin Blair & Company

Chicago, Illinois
www.justinblairco.com
Facebook: nightcareproducts

December 31, 2012

Typography in the City: Volume 1 makes a “best of” list!

Typography in the City: one of the best typography books of 2012

My book Typography in the City: Volume 1: West Loop made Creative Bloq’s list of The Best Typography Books of 2012!

The self-published book features photographs of found typography from my West Loop neighborhood in Chicago, including building signage, street signage and “guerrilla typography.” Typography in the City: Volume 1 is available as a printed book and eBook.

Get a sneak peek

See an online preview of Typography in the City: Volume 1 here.

Learn more

Visit the Typography in the City blog and read the inspiration behind this project. 

November 27, 2012

Typography in the City gets some love, both locally and abroad. #TypeTuesday

Typography in the City book Creative Bloq  Typography in the City featured on ChicagoJournal.com

Hooray for urban typography!

I’m excited to share that my “type-spotting” blog Typography in the City and the related book were mentioned in two places yesterday.

Bill Motchan, writer of the Chicago Journal’s ‘West Loop Wanderings’ blog posted an article about my inspiration for Typography in the City—including a photo of one of my favorite West Loop typography spots. Read the Chicago Journal article.

My self-published book, Typography in the City (based on the blog) was featured on Creative Bloq, a blog that delivers a daily dose of design tips and inspiration. Read the Creative Bloq post.

Thanks Chicago Journal & Creative Bloq for spreading the word about urban typography!

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