Tag Archives: personal

What’s Your Personal Mission Statement?

Nubby Twiglet | What’s Your Personal Mission Statement?

A mission statement is a company’s purpose for existing but I like the idea of individuals having them, too. Do you have one?

For the last year, my friend Joey has been working on a personal project where she takes a photo of a different person every day and then asks them a handful of questions. The excerpts go here and I’m always most intrigued by their personal mission statements. I feel like these few words can speak volumes about a person. Some are self improvement focused while others are focused on changing the world at large. Either way, they’re always inspiring and remind me that we each have goals, dreams and passions that hinge on changing ourselves and our surroundings for the better.

As I sat next to Joey a few weeks ago while she interviewed one of her subjects, I wondered aloud what my personal mission statement would be. It came to me pretty fast:

Work hard and play hard.

No matter what I’m doing, I give it my all. When I’m working, I’m focused on creating the best possible solution. I want to put work out into the world that that not only stands the test of time but makes my clients happy. The second I’m off the clock though, I want to play hard. I want to explore whichever city I’m in at that moment, snap photos with family and friends and hit a mix of the nicest restaurants and dive bars alike. I want to soak in as many experiences as possible.

What about you?

What’s your personal mission statement?
What does it say about you?
Do you feel that it keeps you on track and gives you direction?


Photo: Diane and Mike. Playing hard for me often requires confetti and jumping on beds. ;)

Northern Exposure: Adventures In Canada

I had so much fun exploring Canada with Kat and Gala and this video shows some of the more colorful times we had as we worked our way from Vancouver to Calgary.

Between jumping up and down in a rainbow-colored crosswalk to late night dance-offs to Mark Morrison and rocking wax vampire fangs (!!!), we definitely made our own fun. And, as the days rolled on, our antics definitely got wackier. Haha.

P.S. I am still laughing about the fact that we had to sweep up our confetti! Oh, Canada!

My Search For A Signature Scent Is Finally Over

Nubby Twiglet | My Search For A Signature Fragrance Is Finally Over

When it comes to fragrances, I want to smell like I’m on vacation.

Let me explain: maybe it’s asking for a lot but with just one spritz, I want to be transported to a tropical white sand beach.

In the past, as much as I searched, I never quite nailed that feeling so I resorted to keeping things very basic. In the sixth grade, I wore Vanilla by The Body Shop every day. By eighth grade, I’d upgraded to CK One (ah, the 90s).

And beyond that, I’d pick up something here and there every few years. If I was in a perfume shop with friends, I’d grab a few tester vials but never committed — nothing ever really felt like my “signature scent,” the one that I couldn’t live without.

I just resigned myself to thinking that as much as I loved beauty products, I just wasn’t a fragrance kind of girl. My beachy fantasy would have to stay just that — a fantasy.

That just changed, though.

As I was wandering through downtown Portland with my dad over the weekend, I spotted a (new to me) store: Alder & Co. As I walked in, I was met with the most intriguing mix of housewares, flowers, stationery and beauty products (trust me, it all somehow works in this setting).

Nubby Twiglet | My Search For A Signature Fragrance Is Finally Over

Lined up in the corner was Coqui Coqui, a line perfumes from Tulum in the Yucuatan Peninsula. I was intrigued because I’d never seen the line in person before — and that simple labeling with the palm trees? Beautiful. The perfumes are hand-blended in Valladolid, one of the first colonial towns in the Americas and are used at a handful of spas throughout Mexico.

I picked them up one by one and landed on the last bottle: Coco Coco. That was it. Totally it. Eureka! I bought it on the spot. If there ever was a beach-perfect scent, it’s this. It’s like lathering up in Hawaiian Tropic but not gross and greasy — it’s coconuty but cleaner, simpler and very luxurious.

So, my scent search is officially over. I’ve met my match!

Nubby Twiglet | My Search For A Signature Fragrance Is Finally Over

But while we’re on the subject of scents, I have one more thing to share with you: Love + Salt Hair Mist. Once again, it smells like the beach. For ladies like me who don’t wash their hair every single day, this spray is wonderful. It gives your hair that clean, fresh smell with hints of pink salt and coconut oil. With just two spritzes in your tresses, this will also have you feeling like you’re on vacation (and who doesn’t want that?)

Full disclosure: I designed this packaging for Branch client Olivine without ever sniffing the fragrance but my gut told me it needed to be unfussy, golden and beachy. And unlike most hair products which are in plastic bottles, this is housed in glass. It’s pretty enough to leave out on your dresser or vanity! Get yours at Anthropologie — or, try out the tester size.

So, that’s my scent story! It took me until I was 32 to find that special fragrance but I am so glad it finally happened.


I’d love to hear: Do you have a signature scent? How did you discover it? And, how did you know it was the one?

New Media Kit and Offerings: Advertising and Sponsored Posts Are Now Available!

Nubby Twiglet | Shauna Haider Media Kit

I’m pretty excited to have a brand new media kit available for Nubby Twiglet. It’s only been about…five years?! I’ve been preaching about the benefits of media kits for ages but personally, I always felt like I was in a state of flux, somehow unable to commit what I was all about to (digital) paper.

But then I realized it was just an excuse — I was being commitment-phobic because writing about yourself and what you do is difficult! It’s easy to procrastinate because there’s always something else you can do instead, like penning a new blog post. ;) This weekend, I finally powered through, putting together an 18 page media kit about myself and this blog. It feels great to finally have it done and ready to go!

Nubby Twiglet | Shauna Haider Media Kit

Nubby Twiglet | Shauna Haider Media Kit

Nubby Twiglet | Shauna Haider Media Kit

Advertising

The big news is that I’m offering advertising packages again. I’ve had various forms of advertising on Nubby Twiglet since the very beginning but last year, leading up to the launch of Branch I cut it all to put my focus 100% over there. In the meantime, I’d been filing away dozens of requests, many from creative, independent companies I had immense respect for and finally felt it was time to reintroduce sponsorship options. If I can help you get the word out about your offerings, that’s fantastic.

Packages now include banner ads, sponsored posts and giveaways. Preference for ad slots is given to small businesses and creatives.

Let’s Work Together

If you’re interested in partnering up on a campaign, please email me at studio @ nubbytwiglet.com and I’ll forward you my media kit which includes rates and packages.

Thank you for your continued support of this blog and for adding your voice to the conversation both here and on social media. Here’s to another seven years! -Shauna

Project Spotlight: Gala Darling

Nubby Twiglet | Project Spotlight: Gala Darling

Today, a project Branch partnered up with Gala Darling on went live. A full year in the making, this was the most comprehensive project we’ve ever worked on to date! You can click through and see even more of the process here but I also wanted to take the opportunity to talk about the more personal side of things.

Gala and I met on Live Journal back around 2002, both in our early 20s, both not quite sure where we were headed. I was working in a mauve wallpapered corporate office during my summer breaks from college, helping the accounting department with their filing. Shortly after that, I moved onto working in a shoe store. Gala was working a string of unfulfilling retail jobs. I loved reading her posts oversharing every detail of her life, which at times sounded like a made for TV movie.

I didn’t really know anything about blogs outside of Live Journal at that time and in 2006, she was the first person I knew who made the leap over to her own, self-hosted domain. If I remember correctly, she even linked me in her first-ever article about fashion advice for recovering goths (haha).

Still not quite sure where things were going for me (I had just started my design program), I read her blog religiously every single day while standing around at my shoe job, killing time. It kept me inspired and gave me hope that I could find a way to just maybe get into design studios and ad agencies and find my spot in the world.

During the spring of 2007, I flew to LA for a Courtney Love concert (oh, the stories I have!) and spent the afternoon hanging out with my friend Star, who also knew Gala. Star said blogging was going to blow up big time and I needed my own domain. I mean, I had that already but no self-hosted blog. Star happened to be the best developer I knew. Thanks to her persistent pestering, this blog was launched later that summer.

Gala and I read each other’s blogs but we’d never met. Finally, we were going to be in New York at the same time. We spent an afternoon exploring the city together and it was so natural, I felt like I’d known her my whole life. We had different accents and were from opposite sides of the world but everything else was basically the same.

Nubby Twiglet | Project Spotlight: Gala Darling

We both had other friends that were into blogging. To be fair though, we weren’t just “into blogging”…we were full-on obsessed to the point that our nonstop discussions around the subject would have driven anyone else completely nuts. We found that bond with each other and carried that through our friendship.

I watched Gala’s blog take off and flourish and evolve. When we first started blogging, most people didn’t yet view their blogs as a full-time business. We came from the era where blogs were a place to share personal stories and snapshots — they weren’t the slick money-making, marketing machines we often see today. And because of that, most of us quickly cobbled together our own branding, if you could call it that. There wasn’t a whole lot of thought behind it at the time.

For Gala, things really started shifting when she began launching digital products a few years ago. I saw her business grow way beyond “just a blog” and when that starts to happen, there needs to be more consistency.

Last Spring, we finally started discussing what she needed to do to have that added polish while keeping the branding feeling rooted in her personal style which included a love of fashion magazine-inspired type, fuchsia and an obsession with “snail mail.”

It’s been inspiring sitting back and watching Gala put all the pieces of her new look to use, from the branding to the blog to the product graphics — she’s always had such strong content and cohesive branding is the ultimate cherry on top.

Congratulations, Gala. I am so proud of you!

More visuals can be seen here.

New Interview: Creative Diaries

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Diaries Feature on Breanna Rose

I’m so excited to share that today, I’m featured in the Creative Diaries series over on Breanna Rose discussing what an average day is like working at Branch. As you can imagine, no two days are exactly alike but hopefully this will give you a much better idea. It’s not all glamour and kicking back reading fashion magazines (I wish!) but totally worth the hard work.

This feature was also a great excuse to take some updated photos of my workspace as well. Click on over to read more!

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Diaries Feature on Breanna Rose


Top photo: Made U Look
All other photos: Shauna Haider

A Reminder For Designers: Search Out And Define Your Niche

Nubby Twiglet | A Reminder For Designers: Search Out And Define Your Niche

Most of the early professional design work I did revolved around sports. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, it’s pretty obvious that I’m not a person interested in sports. At all.

I really enjoy working with creative small businesses, especially those with a focus on lifestyle and beauty. These niches have long been my passions but when I was first starting out, like most designers, I had to take whatever jobs I could get. I needed a steady paycheck and there’s a lot of consistent, well paying work to be found connected to sports. So, that’s what I did. I did a lot of work for sports-focused brands and campaigns for the NBA and the NFL.

While the work I did professionally wasn’t a perfect fit for me personally, it got me out of my little, perfectly styled bubble. I learned how to design based on specific style guidelines. I learned how to quickly knock out massive production files. I learned that design wasn’t all about me or my personal vision. I learned how to work successfully in a team environment. Overall, these assignments made me a better designer.

But still, my dreams were rooted in those other worlds. Those brands felt very far aways as I worked late nights on sports-focused projects. What I quickly realized though is that when I left these freelance gigs for the night, they didn’t define me. I had a design & lifestyle blog I was obsessed with posting on, I had stacks of fashion magazines sitting in my home office and beyond that, I didn’t have to share the projects I did to make a decent living in my personal portfolio.

My portfolio could be comprised of whatever I chose to share.

I started really narrowing down what I showcased in my portfolio, knowing that what I shared would draw in more of the same. While I didn’t share the NBA All-Star campaign I worked on for three months straight, I did share the branding and magazine I did for Rock n Roll Bride. While I didn’t share the NFL campaign that I spent two months on, I did share the media kit for Veronica Varlow. Slowly but surely, I was able to cultivate an image and a focus. And, the work I wanted did follow.

Spending your days on projects you’re not completely into on a personal level might seem grueling but the thing to remember is that the “cool” brands you want to work with don’t always have the biggest budgets. Still, these are the projects that can really define your portfolio. For me, working on the big-name sports projects allowed me to take on those smaller budget dream projects and get my portfolio more focused.

It took me about five years of slowly building my portfolio with the right mix of projects. I now run Branch full time working with the types of clients I focused on courting early on. A lot of them have been long-term relationships we’ve slowly built as their budgets increased. We’ve grown up and evolved together.

From the outside, it can seem like everyone else has it together, working with a roster of exclusive, dream clients but that’s not always the case. This post is a reminder that the path to finding your niche, then courting the people you want to work with and then getting to a point where you can charge enough to make a living isn’t easy. There is no magic bullet. The new catch-phrase I hear everywhere is “work smarter, not harder” and while that’s a great mindset, in the beginning, you’re going to have to work extra hard to build the portfolio and relationships you need to draw in those dream clients. There are no shortcuts.

Carve out your niche, that place in the industry that makes you really happy. Build relationships that matter. Only share your best work. Over time, the pieces will fall into place.

P.S. If you need a little help landing those dream clients, my post about creating self-initiated projects may be helpful.

Designers: How long did it take you to find your niche? What was the turning point for you in your career? And, do you now focus on that niche full-time?


Photo: Made U Look.