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Musings on Unreasonable Hospitality

In his book, “Unreasonable Hospitality,” author Will Guidara writes about when its reasonable to be unreasonable. It’s all about the power of giving people more than they expect. Guidara, a talented entrepreneur in the restaurant world, talks about how we treat others. He […]

Finding the Right Keywords to Slay

Are you my keyword? In the children’s book Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman, a baby bird hatches early while his mother is away from the nest. The plucky little guy doesn’t wait. He sets off to find her. One small […]

Facing Change: The $27 Cure

MANY A FALSE STEP IS MADE BY STANDING STILL — Fortune Cookie A friend had moved into a condo about 10 years ago. She rarely had anyone over because she was embarrassed that she hadn’t “fixed it up.” Finally she worked up […]

Making a Leap: Have Faith in Yourself

On an unseasonable rainy morning last month in San Simeon, my friend Mindy and I boarded a bus that would take us up the very long and windy road to the Hearst Castle. As the bus chugged its way up the hill, hanging perilously […]

How to Write a Winning Event Entry

This article on how to write a winning event entry appeared in the September 2022 issue of Special Events magazine. Because it was written for Special Events magazine, it is geared towards the Gala Awards, but the strategies here work for most […]

How to Write Sales Copy that is Not Salesy

When it comes to how to write sales copy, marketers talk about starting by finding your buyer’s pain point. This refers to the issue, challenge or problem that might be keeping that person awake at night. The question for you is how […]

What If We Named Our Fears?

“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” — Mark Twain So many of us live in the kingdom of “WHATIF.” In this kingdom brilliant things happen. But there are also a […]

Creating Content that Connects

Creativity is the ability to find a connection between two disparate things. The farther apart they are, the more creative the thinking. Chris Do, The Futur When it comes to creating content that connects we don’t always get to choose our subject. […]

Lessons from Home Renovation: Part Two

It’s the time of year to look back and assess progress made on projects, goals and big ideas. My biggest project was building a backhouse / rental property, aka casita and there were many life lessons from home renovation found throughout the […]

Creative Inspiration + Chicken Yoga!

I had a completely different blog planned as my first for the New Year. It was all about the ways we can reignite our passion, creativity, and ambition for new and old goals no matter where we are in our lives. You […]

Five Lessons from Renovation

I’ve been renovating a house now for more than a decade. In doing so, I’ve discovered certain truths, five lessons from renovation, that I’ve been able to apply to my business and life. For one thing, 10 years ago I had never considered the fact that I would one day be crawling under a house with a welding torch. But, as I’ve learned, just because we can’t picture ourselves doing something is never reason not to do it!

Be The Cookie: A Marketing and Sales Strategy

What’s been on your plate lately besides turkey? Maybe some cookies? What’s your favorite? A friend of mine loves the digital kind. She says she doesn’t mind being “cookied.” As she explains, when she is looking for a rug online, she loves […]

New Instagram Features

Well, that’s an exaggeration, but your phone can certainly do a lot now that new Instagram features are coming in hot this month. Usually August is sleepy time for marketing news but that’s not stopping Instagram. The app is coming in hot […]

How to Use Reels for Business

New features on Instagram have been coming in hot lately! Reels is one of the latest and you might be wondering how to use it for business. Even though it was introduced by Instagram about six months ago to compete with Tik-Tok’s […]

How to Write Anything Better

All good writing begins here … staring off into space and thinking random thoughts. The next step is to put those thoughts in some sort of format that makes sense to the reader. Yeah, you say, but when I try it’s just […]

To Make the Sale, Tell me a Story

When I wrote that headline — “make the sale” — it sounded slightly dirty. In truth, making a sale is anything but. It’s part of many interaction. Even if we aren’t selling, we are promoting something through the art of story telling.Looking […]

How to Use Awards to Build Authority

When I see or hear of clever marketing initiatives, no matter what the industry, I love to share them. I believe there is always something to learn, even to adopt in our own marketing and brand strategy, from others. This one comes […]

How to Grow Your Email List

With so many ways to connect with our audience, does email matter any more? Why grow your email list? Yes. Yes it does. In fact, many businesses who did well through the pandemic did so because they had a robust email list […]

Fresh Marketing Ideas for Spring

Spring is in the air and so are fresh marketing ideas for planting the seeds of public relations, marketing and client loyalty. Here are a few weird and wonderful ideas I’ve come across. There is something here for everyone to take away […]

Avoid Overwhelm: Be Strategic With Your Yes

It was only a year ago when it was a badge of honor to answer the question “How are you?” with the socially acceptable, “Busy!!” How to avoid overwhelm. We were busy because we were saying yes to what looked like opportunity. […]

Brand Sprint: How to Create a Super Simple Brand Guide

When it comes to branding, there are times when you need a marathon, and times you need a sprint. Marathons are for start-ups, businesses merging, or adding new services. But for those of you who might have created your brand back in […]

Telling Your Story

From new social media apps such as the audio sensation Clubhouse to Twitter’s soon-to-be released Spaces to those “oldies” but goodies such as Instagram, podcasts and newsletters, there is no shortage of places for telling your story, and most importantly, to BE […]

Three Words that Could Change Your Life

If I were to tell you that there are three words that could change your life, would you want to know what they are? What if I told you that you already know them? In his book High Performance Habits, Brendon Burchard […]

The Creative Process: Conquering the Blank Page

WRITE, FIGHT OR FLIGHT? Everybody writes. It could be for personal or professional reasons. It could be a magnum opus or it could just be a social media post (sometimes just as challenging). Whatever it may be, when you start to write, [...]

What’s Behind the Best Deal Ever

You probably have one in your car’s glove box. Or, if you are like me, you have a folder of them, filed somewhere for that day when you might need one. The F.B.I. even found some in the junk drawer of a [...]

All It Takes to Stand Out is 1/8″

Do you ever wonder how some people get started in their careers? I love origin stories and Errol Gerson has a great one. Gerson, who, at almost 50 years and counting is the longest-running professor at ArtCenter College of Design, tells how [...]

Unlikely Heroes

Unlikely heroes are only a step away. This little kitchen stepping stool is one of my unlikely heroes. Over the years, its only purpose has been to support me with zero expectations. It was there when I needed to change a light [...]

Irma Hardjakusumah: A Left Turn to Design Freedom

When I saw this photo of Irma Hardjakusumah and her fierce design squad posed all fierce and fabulous in front of this beautiful dome of color and shapes, I knew it was a story I wanted to tell you. (See credits at [...]

Why Sunsets Matter: Marketing from the Heart

Sunsets matter. All the time, but there is something especially important about them right now. As the pandemic, elections, fires and unrest keep us mired in the middle of a long metaphoric day that seems to never end, a sunset gives us [...]

Carol McKibben’s Creative Journey

This story was first published October 20 in my weekly Brand Therapy Newsletter. This issue was more an article than a newsletter -- a story of a creative journey. I think you'll find this look into the exotic paranormal worlds of author [...]

Six Winning Traits Found At 200 MPH

A couple days ago the LA Lakers won their 17th NBA Championship. It got me thinking about what it takes to be a champion, and what people at the pinnacle of their sport or field can teach us. Here, I focused on [...]

Why I Journal (and you should too)

My years of keeping a journal began as a teenager and was called a diary. My first one was covered in bright floral fabric and had a tiny golden lock with a tiny golden key. I lost the key almost immediately, but [...]

What Leaders Know: Four Business Owners On How to Survive Recession

THEY ARE OPENING THEIR FILES! What Leaders Know About Surviving Tough Times In 2008 and 2009 we experienced the Great Recession brought on by the subprime mortgage crisis. Many lived to tell the tale, scarred a bit by having to crawl back [...]

Forge Your Future: A Sales and Marketing Workshop for Today’s World

Do you do this too? Lately I've been spending a lot of time staring wistfully at photos of minimalist architecture. These days, I can think of nothing more calming than staring out at the Aegean Sea from the terrace of this Greek [...]

Jason Rhee Uses His Creativity to Say Their Names

Sometimes we go looking for a deeper purpose and sometimes it finds us. One Saturday after the death of George Floyd, that purpose – in the form of a moving sea of protestors – found Jason Rhee. Jason Rhee   Perhaps Jason, [...]

Three Macro Ideas to Celebrate Our New Micro World

Micro Events. Mini Pop Ups. Micro Workouts. Mini-Monies. Could the age of Covid-19 also turn out to be the era of the micro life? And would that be so terrible? While living locally, rejoicing in the little things, finding purpose in smaller [...]

COVID Interruptus: Gimme a Song and a Cocktail

I admit it, I'm shedding a tear as I write this. My challenge to myself on April 20, to write a daily newsletter for 30 days or until the end of quarantine is over today, May 19,2020. I thought I'd only be [...]

On Sunday We Cook

On Sunday We Cook was a series from my 30 Daily (for now) Brand Therapy Newsletters.   The generosity of the kitchen. I say that because no one goes into that room alone. There is always the memory of shared meals, or [...]

The One Word YOU May be Missing in Your Marketing

What is the one word you may be missing in your marketing? Drum roll please. Did you guess the word "you?" When crafting a client-facing message for your marketing materials or social media profiles, it’s so tempting to take the point of [...]

COVID Interruptus: The Creation of the Porch Pop Up Experience

The new event venue of tomorrow is ... your home! This story falls under the category of "where there is a will, there is a way." It's in our nature to want to come together and it's in the nature of creative [...]

How To Write Better Copy

Everyone writes. Now more than ever. And even though you might not think you are a writer, I'll bet at some point today you had assumed the position of one -- eyes on a screen, hands poised on the keyboard and looking [...]

COVID Interruptus: SnapBar > Keep Your City Smiling

Smiles are the stock in trade at The SnapBar, a growing photo booth business based in Seattle. The company was founded in 2012 by Sam and Joe Eitzen as a side business to a photography business. In 2015, it had grown enough [...]

Happy Cinco de Marketing Ideas

MAKING LIMONADA FROM LIMONS Today, May 5, 2020, is a good example of when bad things happen to good brands. For instance, the folks at Corona must be crying in their beer. On the other hand, any brand that is able to [...]

Forging Your New Future

If you're like me you are probably are getting a powerful thirst for action to go with all that sourdough bread we've all been eating (well, I have at least). I don't have definitive answers, but I have some good questions which [...]

COVID Interruptus: Kala Maxym Pairs a Pivot with Pinot

In many ways, Kala Maxym is like a minstrel from the days of castles and kings who traveled from town to town to entertain people with a trove of stories and song. She can pick up the thread of a brand, a [...]

COVID Interruptus: EventLA is Killing It With Kindness

Just a scant few months ago all you needed as proof that the spirit of community was all but gone in Los Angeles was get on the freeway at rush hour (which, by the way, was all day). Kindness was but a [...]

Want to Get Someone’s Attention? How to Tell Smaller Stories

When stories are too big, too difficult to grasp, they unfortunately begin to lose their impact. No matter how important, they just get lost. Politicians understand this and here are two great examples of how to tell smaller stories. In the thirties [...]

COVID Interruptus: How Gwen LA Pivoted from a High-End Restaurant to Daily Market

Thousands of bananas. Hundreds of eggs. Bunches of herbs. This is what the customers of the high-end restaurant Gwen LA want today. Just a mere two months ago, customers of the restaurant in the heart of Hollywood, wanted something entirely different. Just [...]

COVID Interruptus: Lessons in Fortitude When Dreams are Put on Hold

The internet has made everything accessible to everyone. This can make it very difficult to set oneself apart in a crowded field such as linen rentals. Bringing out new collections, creating new products is tricky when suppliers are virtually the same mills. [...]

Taking Risks: It’s Not Child’s Play

True confession ... I never played too much with Barbie's when I was growing up being more of a huge-stuffed-frog kind of girl. But I always thought she was a cool chick. Last month I found new respect for her as an [...]

Brand Therapy Newsletter: How to Get Everything You Want in 2020 … Quietly

Its January. Is your inbox like mine this month? Is it bursting with ways to ... Unlock you power! Take control! Get 2020 vision!  Conquer your year! Make more money! We are just starting the year yet seems like everyone is shouting [...]

Brand Therapy Newsletter: What Netflix, Don Draper and a Danish Philosopher Can Teach Us

"Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard Sometimes only the words of an existential Danish philosopher will do and now is one of them. It's 11 a.m. on Sunday as I write this. I'm taking [...]

Brand Therapy Newsletter #7: Hope is Not a Strategy

Had I heard him right? We were at an industry lunch and the cavernous room was loud so it’s possible. The event professional next to me had said that he told prospective clients who wanted to know more about him to simply […]

Brand Therapy Newsletter #6: Attracting Goodness

Attraction. Support. Community. These three traits are so important for business and yet never really taught in business school. It's why I've put these front and center when creating my Brand Therapy Mastermind Sessions starting later this month. Oddly, I've found these same three traits [...]

Brand Therapy Newsletter #5: Echoes in the Canyon

A successful businessman once told me that when he needs to release some pressure from his week, he steals away to a matinee. With his words ringing in my ears, I bought my ticket to a Wednesday afternoon showing of Echo in the [...]

How to Create Instagram Highlight Covers

Instagram Stories are the fastest growing feature on Instagram and provide a fresh way to reach and interact with your ideal client. Lately I've had several friends who use Instagram Stories lament that they disappear in 24 hours. Actually, there is a [...]

Brand Therapy Newsletter #4: Getting Personal

Getting Personal I met Jean-Pascal Lemire through a DM on Instagram. He was interested in talking to me about getting more exposure in the Los Angeles market. When we met later that week for lunch I learned he had just moved to [...]

Brand Therapy Newsletter #3: A Good Night’s Sleep

What about your business keeps you up at night? This is one of those questions I periodically ask my clients. It helps me find solutions for them that are on target. Staying relevant is an answer I hear often, specifically, how they [...]

Brand Therapy Newsletter #2: I Was Wrong

Lessons from My Lunch with the Past I was standing in a sea of thousands of people holding my lunch tray. Dude, total flashback to high school! Like in high school, I was searching for the best place to sit amid the […]

Brand Therapy Newsletter #1: Takeaways from SMMW

Three Takeaways from Social Media Marketing World I just got back from San Diego and Social Media Marketing World. Conferences like this help me stay on top of the latest trends, concepts and developments in social media and put that information to […]

Brand Therapy Sessions 2019

Are you going up?! Absolutely! You’ve promised yourself this is the year for setting new goals and making change happen. I have the answer for keeping that promise and I’m holding the door open just for you. What are Brand Therapy Sessions? […]

Influencer Marketing: A Love Story

Influencers are a driving force for brands looking to grow audience and sales through social media. Like any great love story, when the right brand and influencer connect, it’s fireworks. The search for that marriage between advertising and audience has brands doubling […]

Do You Have Lazy Roots? Time for Deep Marketing!

You may not know this, but I’m an accidental gardener. People laugh when I say that because my last name seems to indicate I might have a predilection, but nope – they’re wrong. That didn’t stop me from always having pots of […]

Are You Making the Most of Social Media Marketing?

Well hiya! Hey, we’re friends, right? And friends share secrets. I have a big one that I just can’t keep to myself anymore. *Deep breath* The majority of people I talk to who want to market their business more online, or create […]

Three Ways to Use Instagram Stories

In summer, I like to take advantage of the slower pace to drink my coffee outside in the garden, quit early on Tuesdays to enjoy a leisurely stroll through the farmer’s market, and to learn something new. Is this you too? If […]

Business Growth Using the Passions that Drive Us

I have spent years working with entrepreneurs to build and tweak their business so they reflect the passions that drive them. From this, I’ve started to compile tips, which I call a little dose of brand therapy, from what I’ve learned from […]

How To Build Your Positioning Statement

A positioning statement is not the same thing as a tagline. A tagline is an external statement aimed to attract an intended customer. A positioning statement is internally facing. It is written to define and inform future marketing initiatives for the team. […]

Finding Our Keys to Success

The world had become a locked car and I’d lost my keys. How could I have misplaced something so important? I didn’t quite know where my keys to success were, but I knew when it happened. It was when I began to […]

Profile: Jose Ramirez on Personal Branding and Sales

Jose Ramirez is a steady presence at industry events around the country. He can be found both at the meetings, and behind-the-scenes of the many association boards he serves on. I see him equally at events in Los Angeles as I do […]

Designer Profile: Irma Hardjakusumah

My first designer profile in a long while! I love to explore the passions that drive us in business and in life, and Irma Hardjakusumah is nothing if not driven by her passion for great design in both. I mean, look at […]

Trust the Bubble: Why I Like Long-Form Content on Social Media

The scene begins … I’m holding a heavy cabinet while my friend checks the spirit level. “It all begins with the cornerstone cabinet,” he’s says. I nod. My yoga breathing is helping me as he levels the cabinet and drills the screw […]

Great Instagram Story Tellers to Follow

It happened when she turned the camera around. It was just a small thing, but at that moment I realized that we really are connected. All we want to show the best side of ourselves and our world we can in whatever […]

12 Instagram Story Tips

Last week I talked about how and why to use Instagram Stories in a more intentional manner. It’s a growing platform for telling people about your business, taking them behind the scenes of your day or your work, or promoting something specific. […]

Three Quick Q’s with Tahira Endean

An event planner. A lover of technology. A champion of the human experience at events. A speaker. A writer. A book author. A friend to all. At her core, Tahira Endean is a natural connector — or as she would say — […]

How To Use Instagram Stories for Business

Instagram stories is my latest social media crush. I love it for its entertainment factor and for the ability to post something quickly and in the moment. I enjoy seeing what friends start and end the day and everything in between. But […]

Five Offline Marketing Ideas

Here’s an analogy I like to keep in mind as I structure a marketing campaign for a client — each facet of the strategy is its own stream. Alone, they might not be strong, but together, they are a force. As in […]

Marketing Case Study: XO Bloom

I love marketing. I love strategy. Good thing because marketing is all strategy. In the roar of today’s deafening marketplace, you can’t say something just once, or even twice. And never in the same way. Marketing today is a series of actions, […]

Settling Into Being Unsettled

The other day, my yoga instructor asked us to “demand more.” At first I found the request merely ironic – that we should be demanding something from a disciple that is calls for surrender (child’s pose). But in yoga, there are always […]

Brand Therapy for the Soul

With a nod to the great motivational speaker and authors, Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul), I offer up a serving of brand therapy for the marketing lover’s soul today! We start with an amuse bouche — a question immediately followed […]

Living and Documenting a Creative Life

I’m a big fan of journals. It’s not just the creative life they document, but our goals, inspirations, and dreams they keep safe. Writing things down is a way to organize thoughts, and they say that those who write down goals are […]

What is Brand Therapy?

Lately, I’ve been inundated with online webinars and workshops for increased productivity, how to use Instagram to sell and growth hacking. Yet, I see none on how to reinvent ourselves. We need reinvention so we stay in step with the world, which […]

June: 5 Cool Things to Love This Month

June. The month of the Gemini, symbolized by the twins. But not all duos this month are identical. Consider … summer solstice + June gloom. And the two birthstones of this month … the smoothness of pearls + the flash and rarity […]

Thought Nomads: Wired for Reinvention

Like our ancient ancestors, we are once again nomads. Not geographic nomads, but thought nomads. We keep our hearts and minds on the move, looking for the next thought or feeling that will make us sit up and take notice. To be […]

Brand Therapy: Reigniting Passion

“Inspiration is a magical thing, a productivity multiplier, a motivator. But it won’t wait for you. Inspiration is a now thing. If it grabs you, grab it right back and put it to work.” – The authors of Rework We begin our […]

White Wine and Organic Radishes

Even I — the queen of esoteric, totally non SEO’d headlines — have to admit, that White Wine and Organic Radishes is pretty much out there! But it will all make sense when I explain how two random searches brought two friends […]

3 Marketing Ideas: How to Be the Happening

Great work comes not from trying to make something happen, but by being the happening. There is a new way to do business that is alive with generosity, ideas and inspiration. We have the ability to ignite and inspire our clients, ourselves […]

Weekend Fuel: Buttercream Botanicals

I came across these cakes on the web site This is Colossal. Just the look of them alone enchanted me and seemed perfect for my weekend fuel column — inspiration that refuels us for the week ahead, like the weekend itself. But […]

Tasty Tips: Building Your Ideal Audience With Instagram

In New Orleans last month to speak at Catersource, I was able to get to the iconic New Orleans institution, Cafe du Monde on my last morning there. It was early and chilly enough to make my eyes water as I walked […]

Marketing Our Passion: Shirtless Moments

How often do we truly see ourselves? I mean, truly see ourselves in a way that moves our soul? It might be difficult and scary, but always, it’s illuminating. And, if we know what to then do with that information, it’s a […]

What It Means to Be Creative Entrepreneur

The guys who wrote my favorite business book of the moment, ReWork, don’t believe in the word entrepreneur. “It’s outdated and loaded with baggage,” they write. They say (rightly so) that there are many people starting businesses who do it because they […]

Marketing Goals 2017: Leading with Heart

We all know what marketing goals are, or at least why we want to create them. Marketing can increase sales, build brand awareness, grow market share, help us launch new products or services, target new customers, enter new markets and … blah, […]

Business Lunch: A Conversation Between Entrepreneurs

Last week I had the pleasure of sitting down with three successful creative entrepreneurs at a joint association lunch meeting between the International Live Events Association (ILEA) and the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel at […]

Three Ingredients For Marketing Secret Sauce

Your Marketing Secret Sauce: The Key Ingredient is You The creative passions that drive us are also often what drive people to do business with us. They set us apart and can be an amazing marketing tool when we put them front […]

Wanda Wen of Soolip: Designing a Mindful Business

I have always been inspired by Wanda Wen, founder of Soolip, the celebrated Los Angeles stationer and fine paper arts boutique. Her work, her store, and her life are fueled by a passion for the simple beauty of paper, letter press printing […]

Home Work: Lessons from the Field

The messiest part of change is not the beginning or the end, but the middle, when you are knee deep in a project that has gone a little sideways and the only way through it is through it. There may be a […]

Building Your Audience on Instagram

“All companies have customers. Lucky companies have fans. But the most fortunate companies have audiences. An audience can be your secret weapon.” — from the NY Times bestseller, Rework When it comes to building your audience — and I don’t mean a […]

A New Beginning: Five Things to Know

Just starting out, or starting something new? A new beginning can happen at any point in our lives and careers. Now there is so much information out there for creative starters, it can be mind boggling to take it all in. Although […]

Passions that Ground Us: Yoga + Creative Entrepreneurs

As much as we creative entrepreneurs live, love and work by the passions that drive us, the passions that ground us are just as important. Yoga is one of those. In the Instagram post above, yoga instructor Lindsey Simpson talks about artistry […]

Weekend Fuel: Flowers!

I love flowers. More than just a weekend inspiration, they inspire me every day with their beauty. Confession: I always have fresh flowers in my office and home. Thanks to Trader Joe’s, this isn’t a budget crusher. But of course, I’m always […]

Kala Maxym: A Passion for Music and Story Telling

As anyone will tell you, when you love what you do, success follows, and Kala Maxym clearly loves what she does. She was able to turn her passion for storytelling, music and wine into a unique and rewarding career. Yet, her story […]

Blue Ocean Marketing: A Strategy for All Seasons

In a small, or specialized market, one big question is: How can a business differentiate itself from its competition? One marketing strategy is to head out to sea. The concept of blue water marketing was outlined in the 2005 book “Blue Ocean […]

Instagram: The Power of Three

Before it was ever called content marketing, weaving a compelling narrative was a passion of mine. Everyone loves a good story, and they will tune in to see how it unfolds. Being a photo driven medium, the story we tell on Instagram […]

Weekend Inspiration #33: Billy Butchkavitz

This Weekend Inspiration features the work of someone who is an inspiration any day of the week — Billy Butchkavitz. For years he has worked with a tight team to produce events for HBO. The cable channel’s after parties at the Primetime […]

Story Telling in Marketing: A Case Study

Content marketing is storytelling through one or multiple channels. Like a great story, content marketing gives viewers a glimpse into your world. It educates, informs and entertains. It gives back. It resonates. It leaves the reader wanting more of the story you […]

Personal Success: What’s Really at the “Top?”

The other day I went running in the hills. It was early morning and still overcast, yet by the time I made it to the top there were already several people there – meditating, playing guitar, stretching and chatting. There was no […]

A Marketing Campaign that Turned the Tables

The message of this marketing campaign was simple — it’s OK to draw on the furniture! In fact, visitors to the AFR booth at the Experiential Marketing Summit in Denver, Colorado, were encouraged to embrace their inner child and get creative on […]

A Bold Marketing Shift at IKEA

It’s always illuminating to see how companies that have built their brand on one look, product or service change direction. For instance, IKEA, known for its strict aesthetic of understated and monochromatic furnishings, has taken a seriously dramatic swing toward color and […]

Meeting of the Minds: Inspiration from Industry Leaders

One thing that we all have in common as creative entrepreneurs is that we crave inspiration. We can find it many places, but the best source we have is each other which is why meetings are so important as a place to […]

Stone on Stone

Whether life grinds you or polishes you depends on the material you are made of. Growing up, my brothers and I always were drawn to the beauty of rocks we’d seen in the gift stores at national parks – shiny, impossibly smooth […]

Weekend Inspiration #28: FIDM

Every year, the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles holds the FIDM Debut which is both a graduation runway show for designers at the top of the class, and a showcase of the school to prospective and new […]

The Originals: King Dahl

“The Originals” is a series of mini profiles on people who are original in thought and style; who set an example through their actions; who inspire. The first in this series is event designer King Dahl, a man that lives and works […]

Weekend Inspiration #27: Butterflies are Free

Last week Luxe Linen held its annual Luxe Launch in Los Angeles. The event was a showcase of the company’s linen collections in action. Design teams were chosen by the linen company and RaycePR. Each designer was asked to interpret a specific […]

Life Lessons: The Up Side of Down Force

Life lessons come from places we least expect. For instance, “the road” has provided many life lessons for artists, wanderers, and writers attracted to its romance — the travel, freedom, personal journeys. To be sure, that is one part it, yet there […]

A Grammy After-Party Strikes a Soothing Note

The Grammy after-party hosted by Universal Music Group and produced by production designer Krislyn Komarov, and producer Mary Hill from Krislyn Design and Production was a tonic for those 1,000 jangled souls who arrived at the Ace Hotel, flush from a long […]

Fueled by Mandy Diaz: Designer Profile

To Mandy Diaz, a sofa is not a sofa, but a piece of art. A stool is not a stool, but a tree trunk. A balloon is not a balloon but a unique food delivery system. You get the picture – to […]

10 Ways to Optimize Your Showroom Design for Sales

The New Year is a great time to review many things, including your marketing efforts; evaluating not only how well your story is being told, but how well it’s being received across all our marketing channels. For many event professionals, showroom design […]

Growing into the New Year

Perhaps mushrooms are not the most fanciful of topics amid the light and sparkle of the holidays, yet as we begin to enter the New Year, there is a lot about them that can inspire our own growth. Natural recyclers of the […]

Eddie Zaratsian: Reading Tea Leaves

Life is nothing if not random. Sometimes it seems that tea leaves might be just as accurate at predicting what our next steps will be as anything or anyone we consult. And yet, when Eddie Zaratsian throws a tea party, not one […]

Marketing: 10 Tips To Telling Your Story Better

Fashion fades, Coco Chanel said. Only style remains the same. That style translates to our brands. As businesses, as people, we all have our own brands. Everything we say, do, wear, eat, and drink goes into marketing our style, turning it into […]

Pitch Perfect: Mastering a Craft

What does it take to master a craft, be it event planning, designing, wine making, painting, or making cakes? I got to thinking about this while at an event at Steinway & Sons, one of the world’s most prominent manufacturers of high-quality […]

A Month in the Life of an Event Producer

At the GenUin Summit, a two-day event in the middle of the Special Olympics in Los Angeles, Carl Bendix is making his way through crowds of people to get to the stage. The event has gone well, and well-wishers are saying so, […]

Weekend Inspiration #23

This weekend inspiration is a unique art-driven product launch of the new Glade line of scented candles. The Originators and Chief Creative Designer Deb Roth were one of several teams brought in to interpret the scents of Glade’s new line of candles. […]

A Perfect Day

We get by with a little help from our friends, or at least we used to. Lately, people have been getting a little help from people they barely know. A friend of mine recently hired a life coach to help him decide […]

Embracing Burnout as a Catalyst for Growth

In Southern California, we have officially entered fire season. Growing up here, I have witnessed many brush fires, some that came so close to my home or office that ashes have darkened the sky and covered lawns and cars. When the smoke […]

Fuel Profile: What Drives David Merrell?

Vibiana transformed for a corporate event. There are few people you meet in life who instantly feel like a friend; who won’t judge you or wish ill of you even as they are compete ferociously with you for a project, an award […]

Five Truths About Making an Emotional Connection With Your Brand

We respond differently to a VW camper than we do to a Ferrari because one hits us right in our heart, while the other is a more distant, cerebral connection. Emotion is a huge part of making a connection whether through marketing, […]

Be A Force of Nature!

“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not […]

Fuel Profile: King Dahl

In many ways, the improvisational style of jazz is at the heart and soul of the business of event design and production. Certainly King Dahl, executive director of event design at MGM Resorts Events, would say so. In fact, both King and […]

A Business Lesson: Sugar Coated

This imaginative and truly gorgeous Willy Wonka themed event pictured here inspired me to revisit the classic book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Wonka was a great marketer, but he had something bigger in mind when he ran the contest that would […]

Branding David Arms: The Artist’s Way

Hope and stillness. Quiet and light. These are the themes that run throughout the art and life of David Arms. That story — what David believes, who he is and what he creates — is contained (for the moment) in a 900-square-foot […]

The Art of Sales: Renderings

Creative entrepreneurs sell the invisible every day using words, ideas, and passion. However, there are times when more is needed. Artist renderings tell the visual story. They literally become the art of sales. “If it’s a job I really want, or the […]

Pivot: Finding New Scenery

What would you start today if you knew you could not fail? It’s still spring and yet in Los Angeles the unseasonably hot air is already thick with the scent of jasmine. The leaves on the trees have filled in and the […]

Three Reasons Why Print Matters

[ezcol_1half] Printed marketing material matters. I know you don’t believe me in this era of digital communication but why print matters has to do with the fact that we are tactile beings. We rely on sight and touch for information; the sensory […]

The Lesson of the Pizza Man

Hollywood Boulevard is iconic. Its legend is built on glamour and hope. Yet, the reality is that those famous pink terrazzo stars that line the sidewalk never move. They don’t change, shine, or twinkle. They remain fixed where the cement dried years […]

Life is a State of Mind

Can we be successful by simply just being there? In his book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell says showing up (over 10,000+ hours) is a big part of who is successful and who is not. Woody Allen has said that 80 percent of life […]

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