Monthly Archives: March 2017

The Month + Links: February 2017

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: February 2017

THE MONTH

I feel like this year is already speeding by at a record pace (which is why I’m just getting around to posting a February recap) and I’ve been so focused on work that I haven’t gotten out much to enjoy the world around me. How are you feeling so far?

The trade-off is that towards the end of 2017, I have a few big things to look forward to including a 3 week trip to Italy, Spain and Morocco! I’m pretty excited about traveling with my Aunt Shannon, who’s an art history buff and getting schooled in all the things I missed on past trips.

I’ve also been struggling with any semblance of balance so far this year. Projects at the studio have increased and what was once a slow time in the beginning of the year is now packed. While I’m extremely thankful for that, I’ve also had a lot less time to sleep (and blog).

The truth is, I’ve missed you guys and I’ve missed having the chance to share as regularly in this space but I’m keeping a handwritten list of post ideas that will roll out as I have more time.

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: February 2017

Here are some things I’ve been thinking about over the last month:

1. Self-Care

Self-care has always been a hard one for me. I’m very much all or nothing when it comes to work, life and adventures and often, I forget to slow down and take care of myself. I booked in a deep tissue massage on Monday and it kind of changed my life. My masseuse, Danielle was observant and not afraid to speak her mind (“Shauna, your posture sucks!” was one particular nugget of wisdom. Haha!) I booked my next appointment on my way out because sitting for 12+ hours a day definitely has its setbacks.

2. Style Goals

A few weeks ago, I was having a late night chat with Gala about personal style and it occurred to me that there were things I wanted 15 years ago and was STILL thinking about! Over the next few days, I kept coming back to an internal dialogue: what would it mean to buy less cheap, low quality stuff and instead focus on investing in those special, high quality items that wouldn’t end up in the donation pile after a year? What would it mean to own less, but feel great in everything I wore? Since then, I’ve done another closet clean-out and invested in a few things I am beyond obsessed with. I’m more inspired to get dressed up in the morning now instead of reaching for the same black jeans and tees.

3. Black Pants Brigade

I love a good pair of black pants and while I’ve been wearing the BDG Twig jeans for the last decade (black, high rise and come on, they have my nickname!) I was on the hunt for something more polished but still affordable and comfortable. Enter these pants. I’m actually wearing them now! Beware that they run a size large so if you want to get a pair, order down (trust me on this).

4. Being Present

There have been times this year where I’ve been weighed down by the news (and rage tweets from you-know-who!), deadlines, feeling out of touch….and when that feeling creeps up, it’s important to set down the phone, close out your email and focus on the here and now. Last night, I left work early and walked around a mall with Joey and then we went out to a nice, long dinner. Breaks are so important. Staying in touch with the people you love is important. Watching your squirrel eat tofu is important. Laughing at your dog’s bed head is important. Those small, everyday moments are what all add up to a life you love.

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: February 2017

So, that’s a taste of where I’m at right now. Let’s dig into some links….

THE LINKS

• A podcast I’m loving these days is Freakonomics Radio which explores the hidden side of everything. I love how in-depth the episodes are — they go far beneath the headlines and rumors to come up with concrete answers.

• How do you survive when nobody really gets what you do for a living?

7 things Robert Smith has promised to release this decade….and hasn’t. Haha!

• Only the most beautifully designed cookbooks will do.

• A look back at New York City in the 1970s through a wonderful collection of photos.

• Some teens are realizing that social media and being connected 24/7 isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and are taking a break.

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: February 2017

• When someone goes on a long-winded tirade about the couch they hate, it’s worth a read so you don’t make the same mistake!

• Another podcast I absolutely love is Death, Sex & Money. As you can guess from the title, it focuses on all the big questions and hard choices that people usually leave out of polite conversation but think about all the time.

Enter your birth date and see how the world has changed in your lifetime. Pretty cool!

• I recently discovered The Real Real and am obsessed. What I love about this site is that all the designer goods are previously owned which brings the prices down dramatically and it’s all authenticated. Plus, they run sales all the time. Need I say more?!

• Back in 2000, Amazon ran a contest asking their customers what they thought the best books, movies and albums were. How has it held up?

• Why do some people lose their minds when they’re hungry?! There’s a science behind it.

• Where you choose to live depends on so many different things and it’s interesting to read about why people live where they do.

• Wow! An architect turned an old cement factory into his home.

• I love this simple list known as The Creator’s Code. Timeless advice.

• For those that are worried about Ruth Bader Ginsburg outliving the Trump administration, get a load of her workout routine — this ain’t no joke!

• How to hail a taxi around the world.

• What do people actually eat for lunch?

• Check out this video of every New York Times front page since 1852!

10 steps to setting up your creative business.

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: February 2017


Photos: 1. My desk yesterday morning with some Naomi fierceness. 2. Admiring the shelves in Good Coffee. 3. I love this little corner. 4. My office is all brick with open rafters so it gets super cold…which is a great excuse to wear this coat! 5. Another desktop shot — I probably have 10 magazine subscriptions going at the moment!

What I Wore: Cruella

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Cruella

It goes without saying: this coat is my new obsession. It’s a modern day nod to Cruella Deville, don’t you think?!

As much as I dread cold weather, the longer I can wear this before Spring finally hits, the better. I’ve been wearing it over all my basics including these jeans paired with a black scoop neck bodysuit and a jaunty little knotted scarf. I love looks like this because for the most part, they’re made up of basics I already have on-hand with one special piece added, like a cherry on top!

So, let’s talk about this location: Canteen serves some of the best fresh juices in town! I LOVE their all black exterior, too.

At the moment, I’m feeling the graphic jolt that black and white bring to the table (forever and always!) and neck scarves instead of chokers. They’re slightly warmer in this weather and add polish to a simple t-shirt and jeans combo.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Cruella

Current inspiration: Striped Nuuna notebooks. Vintage Brigitte Bardot photos. Urban Outfitters scarf. Canteen. Fluffy faux furs. Refined, modern type.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Cruella

I go through stages where I tend to put off personal style in an effort to be efficient and get things done but what I’m realizing is that a great coat, a little scarf and shoes other than sneaker wedges don’t take any more time to add into a look when you’re getting ready. Those small shifts can add a dash of glamour, even if you’ve really just rolled out of bed!

I have some more fashion finds I’m excited to share with you in the next few weeks — and it feels good to be inspired to dress up again after such a long, dark, dreary Winter.

2017_NUBBYTWIGLET_STYLE_CANTEEN_1


I Wore: Faux fur coat, Nasty Gal (sold out). Bodysuit, Forever 21. Scarf, Urban Outfitters. Jeans, Guess. Boots, Populaire via Yoox (sold out).

Creative Chronicles: Managing Negative Client Feedback

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: Managing Negative Client Feedback

Let’s tackle one of the hardest parts of owning a service-based business today: managing negative client feedback.

I’ve talked about the negative feedback that comes along with sharing your work publicly but negative feedback from clients can sting on a much more personal level because they’ve sought you out and hired you for your expertise.

Even if negative feedback is very rare, it can stick wth you much longer and really affect your mindset. I’ve heard stories of fellow designers wanting to throw in the towel completely or change the direction of their business after negative feedback. It can make you question everything.

Before digging into tips that can help you manage negative feedback, let’s take a trip down memory lane. Long before I was a graphic designer, I worked in retail for about 5 years selling shoes and it taught me a lot about working one-on-one with a variety of personalities.

As a salesperson, negative feedback is inevitable. Sometimes, you’ll have an off day and a customer will complain that you weren’t friendly enough, though you can’t pinpoint what actually went wrong. And on others, an irate customer may take out their aggression on you when you can’t accommodate a return, through no fault of your own.

After being in a few of these situations, it became obvious to me that when someone is upset, getting upset in response and throwing negative emotions back at them is like squirting a bunch of lighter fluid on a fire! Instead of fighting fire with fire, the first step you can take is to stay cool, calm, and collected (even if you’re dying inside).

I can vouch for this tactic working in even the diciest of situations. I once had a mentally unstable person swing a large metal shoe horn at me when she didn’t get her way but because I didn’t add negative emotions into the mix, she eventually ran out of energy, gave up and put it down. After an interaction like that, everything else seems like gravy!

Here are 5 tips to help you manage negative feedback like a pro:

1. Being honest about expectations clears up a lot of misconceptions.

An upset client often boils down to a simple disconnect — they’ve misunderstood the process and feel lost but don’t know how to communicate that. One game-changer with my business has been clearly stating a general process in our media kit. Once they’ve signed on, I attach a PDF process sheet to their email for every step and this usually answers all their questions while letting them know what to expect. Giving your clients a clear framework of what happens when will put them at ease.

2. Lending a sympathetic ear goes a long way.

As a client, there’s nothing worse than feeling misunderstood. Even a simple miscommunication can come across totally wrong over email. If this happens, get on the phone or Skype as soon as possible and clear it up. Taking the initiative is important and it shows that you care enough to make things right. After a quick chat you’ll be able to pinpoint where things went wrong and put together a plan to move forward.

3. It’s not always about you and the work.

This is the hardest one to understand because it’s not rational. On the very rare occasion when a client has really blown up and I can’t pinpoint where the anger is coming from, I take a step back and remind myself that it may be a side-effect of something else that’s happening in their life. When this happens, I think back again to my shoe selling days — whenever a customer was really upset, after talking to them at length, it never really was about the shoes. If this happens to you, talk to someone you trust to get it all out before responding because throwing negative emotions back at a client will accomplish absolutely nothing.

4. If you notice the same issues with multiple clients, use a feedback sheet.

I learned this tip from Paul Jarvis. Remember, a lot of your clients are new to hiring a professional designer and it can be hard to know what kind of feedback you find helpful. How much should they give you? How many directions should they choose? They’re not mind readers and what you think is common sense is all new to them. With Project Prescription, we added a feedback guide that teaches clients how to give you the feedback you want. This is another simple way to put clients at ease.

5. You can’t be everything to everyone.

This is something I’m still learning on a daily basis. There will be clients who you connect with from the first call and become deeply intertwined. Projects and feedback naturally flow with very little effort. And then, there will be the occasional client, who despite your best intentions, is impossible to please. Sometimes, it’s just not meant to be and cutting ties is necessary.

If you find yourself at this crossroads, remember that it’s not about letting a client down but instead caring enough about them to know that you’re not the best fit for what they want. If you find yourself in this position, take the experience and funnel it into providing the best service possible for the clients you do click with.


It’s your turn: have you received negative client feedback and how did you handle it? Did the situation turn out as you expected?