Oct 11 2018

Local Business Profile: Lindsay Kandra, Three Peaks Wellness

Upswept client Lindsay Kandra believes that movement and mindfulness can transform your life. She created Three Peaks Wellness in Bend, Oregon with two goals: to work as a counselor with individuals who want to explore a more holistic approach to mental wellness, and to be a consultant with with movement and wellness professionals who want to better guide their clients who deal with mental illness or trauma.

Using movement to support mental health is a key part of Lindsay Kandra’s vision for Three Peaks Wellness.

Lindsay was generous enough to candidly answer some questions for us, so we could share a look into her experience as a midlife career-changer and new small business owner. The exchange that follows has been edited for clarity and length.

Upswept Creative: I’m curious about your process of deciding to make a career change, and then also the practical considerations to enact your decision.

Lindsay Kandra: I was a practicing lawyer for thirteen years and never felt a sense of purpose and satisfaction in my career. It was something that I was good at, and it brought in a good income. But I never could shake the feeling that I was an expendable cog in a dehumanizing system. I survived breast cancer 8 years ago and believe that years of physical and emotional stress contributed to being diagnosed at such a young age (32). I knew I needed to transition to a career [where] it was important that it was me, personally and uniquely, doing the work.

I was drawn to mental health because the impact that a therapist has on a client depends so much on relationship, and the connectedness of relationship depends on the unique qualities of therapist and client. In therapy, how you show up really matters.

This biggest practical issues I have faced throughout this process have been developing a new relationship with money, and developing an entrepreneur’s mindset. Six years ago, my annual income was six figures. Now, I am dealing with the financial stressors of being a newcomer in a profession not known for its income potential. The growth I’ve experienced has been painful, but I do feel like I’m living a life more congruent with my values.

UC: What are some challenges that have come up in creating Three Peaks Wellness?

LK: Overcoming the (often paralyzing) fear of being a solo business owner. I have a vision for how I want my business to look in five years, but the steps to fulfilling that vision seem overwhelming at times. I recently wrote a Nelson Mandela quote on the whiteboard in my kitchen: “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” I want the development of my business to reflect my hopes for growth in myself and in my clients, not the fear of scarcity and struggle.

“I recently wrote a Nelson Mandela quote on the whiteboard in my kitchen: ‘May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.’ I want the development of my business to reflect my hopes for growth in myself and in my clients, not the fear of scarcity and struggle.”

I’m also learning to be better at asking for advice and for help. I have so much to learn about marketing and finding clients, but so many people willing to help out and make referrals–if I am willing to reach out.

UC: What are some goals you have for the future of Three Peaks Wellness?

LK: My ultimate goal is to have a thriving therapy business that isn’t bound by the constraints of the traditional therapeutic work environment. I work with clients on evenings and Saturdays and can do sessions through videoconferencing. I also offer sessions from 30 to 90 minutes, to fit the scheduling needs of individual clients.

I am developing crisis trainings for personal trainers, yoga teachers, and studio owners, and want to work with fitness businesses to develop trauma-informed business practices.

Over the next year, I will be developing a series of five-minute movement meditations that anyone can use when stress escalates, along with workbook for the client interested in learning about how to hack into their bodies natural resources for mental health.

UC: What else are you doing now, something related or totally not related?

LK: Totally not related: I raced cyclocross competitively for ten years prior taking a few years off to heal an injury and go back to graduate school. I am going to dip my toe back into bike racing this fall, but just for fun. I’m also looking forward to a lot of fall mountain bike riding and catching up on true crime podcasts.

Related: Over the winter, I will be getting certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and attend some additional trainings on body-centered therapies.

 

Thank you, Lindsay, for giving us more insight into Three Peaks Wellness! We enjoyed working with you to develop your logo, branding, and website, and we are excited to watch your business grow.


Jun 07 2018

Nellie McAdams is Safeguarding Oregon’s Farmland

One of my favorite things about client work is getting to know a little bit about each person we work with, and what makes them passionate about the work that they do. Uncovering and connecting with the story of their work is a key step in creating authentic design. It’s also just fun to learn new things, such as these figures about Oregon’s agricultural land:

  • Oregon is 25% agricultural land
  • In the next 20 years 64% of that land will change ownership as the current generation of farmers retires
  • That comes to 10.5 million acres changing hands, potentially irreversibly affecting Oregon’s natural resources, economy, and culture

Working Together for Working Lands

Portlander Nellie McAdams has made it her business to help protect those 10.5 million acres from development. In 2017, we worked with Nellie and Maggie Sisco to develop an infographic to explain succession planning and working land conservation easements that speaks to farmers, the general public, and decision makers about  the threats to farmland and how we can all help farmers safeguard their land against development.

Farmers comprise less than 1% of the population and, even for the motivated, Nellie says it can be difficult to break into the industry without a family connection. Startup costs are high, margins are low, and both the weather and the markets can be unpredictable, making farming for a living a challenging proposition.

Nellie’s professional background in environmental law and agriculture, as well as her lived experience growing up the daughter of a hazelnut grower, places her at an ideal intersection. She can relate to parties on all sides of farm succession.

Nellie McAdams chatting with Team Upswept. Photo by Sarah Giffrow.

Nellie says she was drawn to the farming lifestyle for personal reasons. For her, working the land is deeply gratifying, as are the natural connections with land and community, and she feels lucky to be set to inherit her father’s land when he’s ready to retire. For her, a farm is not only  a commodity to be bought and sold, but also an heirloom and natural resource. Both sentimental and practical in nature, it farmland more difficult to divide among successors than a typical business or estate.

When we met last fall, Nellie was splitting her workweek between her own farming training, and her outreach and program development work. In partnership with several organizations, Nellie leads programs that support a retiring generation of farmers with succession planning. They’re also building support for the next generation of Oregon farmers to help them gain the business and land-management skills they’ll need to succeed at farming.

Our Safeguarding Oregon’s Farmland infographic is at work for these three organizations

The Oregon Community Food Systems Network is a collaboration of 40 nonprofit organizations and allies dedicated to strengthening local and regional food systems to deliver better economic, social, health and environmental outcomes across the state. They provide networking, information sharing, research, education, training, planning,  fundraising, and more to participating organizations in pursuit of their vision: that all Oregonians will have meaningful access to healthy and affordable foods that are grown and processed regionally in an environmentally and economically resilient food system.

Rogue Farm Corpsmission is to train the next generation of farmers and ranchers through hands-on educational program and the preservation of farmland. They do so by offering practical training programs and farm succession planning and access to land workshops.

The Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program(OAHP) was passed by the 2017 Oregon State Legislature to help address the challenges of preserving farmland from development and helping farmers pass it on to the next generation. The program provides voluntary incentives to farmers and ranchers to support practices that maintain or enhance both agriculture and natural resources such as fish and wildlife on agricultural lands. OAHP was developed by a collaborative of organizations representing natural resource conservation and agriculture, including farmer and rancher representatives.

Good Design for Farmland

When Nellie and Maggie approached us to develop the Working Lands infographic, their “rough draft” was in pages of notes that  looked more a grant proposal outline than a snappy single-sheet infographic for public consumption.

The first phase of our work was in helping them and their stakeholders narrow down the scope of the document and refine the language to be concise, direct, and effective. Using color, typography, simple icons, and an intuitive content structure, we were able to communicate a lot of information into a relatively small space while maintaining a visually appealing and user-friendly look. After we completed the final product, Nellie told us that the development process of refining the images and talking points helped her better communicate about the issues in the rest of her work.

What makes you passionate about your work? Team Upswept can’t wait to hear about it, and work with you to reach your ideal audience and grow your business. Click to Get Started and schedule your consultation with us.


Dec 07 2017

Creating Better Together

Team Upswept Loves Local Businesses

If you follow us on social media, then you probably already know that we love partnering with and supporting other local businesses. We feel so grateful to work in this diverse community of Portland creatives, and we hold a deeply-rooted belief that if the service or the product doesn’t already exist, we can create it! Like so many Portlanders, we place a lot of value on supporting businesses with local roots, who aren’t afraid to try something that hasn’t been done before.

Pride-ified Books with Pictures Logo by Upswept Creative, 2017

Just like residential neighbors, the members of our creative neighborhood tend to face similar problems — whether it’s sourcing a sustainable material at a workable price point, or increasing studio rent — and we find that everyone feels stronger when we can face those problems together. We may not all be collaborating on every project, but keeping active in a network of other designers, artists, and entrepreneurs helps nurture those neighborly ties. And the knowledge-sharing is pretty great, too. When someone that you trust does the research to find a new printer, for example, and shares that knowledge, business gets better for everyone.

Partnering with and shopping at local business is also important to the local community, because money invested here stays here. There’s no better way to know for sure that the person who made your clothes is earning a living wage in a safe work environment than to ask her, which you can do when you shop local. It’s pretty neat.

Co-working Community Hubs

Whether you are a hobbyist or own a business, want to learn new skills or tools, or just need somewhere to get your work done, we are rich workspace resources. Here are a few of them:

The Perlene | A membership-based Social Club and Workspace for a diverse and ambitious community of women. The Perlene offers both dedicated desks and shared co-working space, not to mention a robust array of fitness classes, workshops, and social events. theperlene.com

We launched Carolyn Hart’s new e-commerce website earlier this year.

TenPod | More than just a place to rent a desk, TenPod comprises three comfy, pretty co-working spaces around Portland for those who want to rise up from their basement offices and cross-pollinate with other good people. tenpod.org

Portland Apparel Lab | PAL is a member-based makerspace and collaborative knowledge-sharing community for sewn-goods, with an in-house design support team. portlandapparellab.com

ADX | Art Design Portland is a hub for collaboration where individuals and organizations make and learn. ADX has a makerspace, learning center, and custom fabrication shop in SE Portland. adxportland.com

Independent Publishing Resource Center | At the IPRC, individuals can access tools and resources for creating their own independently published media and artwork. iprc.org

Local Businesses We Love (Go Buy Their Stuff!)

Portland is overflowing with smart and  beautiful products made locally by our hardworking neighbors. Here are some of our faves:

Books with Pictures | Radically inclusive comic book store in SE Portland that just launched a subscription service, so you can your fix no matter where you live. bookswithpictures.com

Carolyn Hart Designs | Ready-to-wear women’s clothing line, Focused  on fit and design to wear from day to evening.  All production is made by either designer or production houses in the PNW. carolynhartdesigns.com

Tori Tissell of Storiarts screen printing in her home studio.
Tori Tissell of Storiarts screen printing in her home studio.

Hubris Apparel | Beautiful and wearable clothing for real life in  sizes XS – 3X. hubrisapparel.com

Left Turn Clothing | An alternative athletic wear company that specializes in team uniforms, merchandise, and custom designs for men, women and juniors. leftturnclothing.com

Rose Temple | Fashion made in Portland Oregon for nonconformist women. rosetemple.com

Storiarts | Clothing and accessories that celebrates the intersection of fashion and literature. storiarts.com

Union Rose | Montavilla boutique that carries only artisan and locally made products. unionrosepdx.com

Creating Better with You

As Upswept Creative expands our service offerings and grows our team, maintaining our connection to the vibrant local independent business community is a priority. We want to be here to help others grow their passions into their livelihoods here in the Pacific Northwest.

If that sounds like you, drop us a line or fill out our Pre-Consultation Questionnaire and we’ll get back to you with swiftness and enthusiasm to schedule your free consultation with our team.

 


Aug 17 2017

Put the “Pro” in Creative Professional

At the beginning of August we introduced Janet Price, a Portland makeup artist we love. Janet had so much great advice for achieving professional success that we thought it deserved more than one blog post!

Process and technique can sometimes be hard to communicate to the average person, when you work in a creative field. Part of the puzzle is finding a way to educate your audience about why your service is particularly good or special. But, as a longtime professional makeup artist, Janet has learned a few other important ways to build trust as a creative pro.

Keys to Professional Success

Salamander Boy - creative professional tips
Salamander Boy. Makeup by Janet Price. Photo by Gary Norman.

Janet credits her success as a professional to the following three keys:

  1. Be Dependable and Honest. Janet says it’s critical to show up on-time to do the thing you are committed to do (ie Don’t be late to your job!). Just as important, she says, is being honest about what what your skills are as well as what you can’t do — in contrast to the popular fake it to make it mentality, Janet has always been clear and open about what she can do well and what would be better left to someone else. She says she’s never felt penalized for declaring her limitations.
  2. Do Good Work, Stay Current. Do a good job, of course, and continually push yourself to keep building your skills. Don’t rest easy on your current skill set or position.
  3. Don’t be a weirdo! While Janet is always herself on the job, she says it’s important to remember that she is not the focal point of the job. With anyone you work with, employ discretion, refrain from gossip, and respect the privacy of others.

Being A People Person

Getting close enough to another person to apply makeup to their face can be a very intimate act, especially if her clients aren’t accustomed to it. Janet says that some people are more comfortable with this than others, and often one of her first tasks in beginning a job is to establish rapport with her subject.

Creative professional tips - Makeup artist applying makeup to a woman's face
Janet Price at work. Photo by Gary Norman.

Indeed, Janet is very easy to talk with, whether that initial conversation is about the shade you like to wear on your lips, her love of Marilyn Monroe, or your opinion of animals with people names (Janet’s house cats are Greta and Sammy, so she’s all for it). Rapport is very important, Janet says, and she usually has to build trust with the people she is working with very quickly, especially with film and television jobs when the pace of the work is quick and time is usually short.

Diplomacy is important, too — sometimes the person who gets makeup is not always the client to whom Janet is responsible, and she must balance the needs, wants, and comfort of both client and the person whose face she is painting.

Sometimes Janet is the only makeup artist on the job with full creative control, other times she works as an assistant on bigger projects, when it’s her job to execute the vision of an art director. The more players in the game, the more great communication, personal rapport, and professionalism need to be spot on. Her approach is to emphasize each individual’s unique beauty and work in partnership with talent, production, and crew.

Oh, the Humanity!

Whether you are a makeup artist like Janet Price, a fashion designer and small business owner like Tori Tissell, or any other creative professional, you know that the work is more than making a great product: at some point you’re going to have to come out into the daylight and talk to other humans. Janet Price makes it look easy, and with her advice and some practice, we know you can too!

What’s your next creative venture? Let’s talk about discovering your authentic and compelling brand story that will help you connect with your ideal audience. Start your branding project by scheduling a Free Clarifying Consultation with Team Upswept.


Jun 22 2017

Local Business Spotlight: Tori Tissell

Tori Tissell, founding owner of Storiarts, maker of literary soft goods, has the kind of internet success story that entrepreneurial dreams are made of.

It started with a personal project. For holiday gifts in 2011, Tori created her first run of book scarves — an excerpt from Pride and Prejudice silkscreened onto a square of super soft, off-white (think the pages of a classic book) fabric. She gave most as gifts and listed a few for sale on Etsy.

Tori in her home workshop cutting material for a scarf.
Tori Tissell cutting out some Alice in Wonderland in her workshop.

Tori had been living in Portland since 2008, when she moved here in pursuit of a career in fashion design. She was working four days a week at an office job in the dental field, and worked on her creative projects with her time off. The book scarves were the first item she’d put up for sale on the peer-to-peer e-commerce site, which focuses on handmade and vintage items.

As a fashion accessory, the scarves were a perfect statement for Tori and some of her friends. One of the things that she likes about designing wearables, in addition to the utilitarian aspect, is that “no matter what, what [a person wears] expresses aspects of one’s personality.” A self-identified bibliophile and introvert, Tori liked that she could spark connection over one of her favorite things though her apparel choices, and keep her neck warm in our cool PNW winters, too.

Screen printing a scarf with Maya Angelou’s poem, Still I Rise.
Screen printing a scarf with Maya Angelou’s poem, Still I Rise.

The Pride and Prejudice scarves sold quickly on Etsy, and Tori received many requests for more. The scarf got shared on Pintrest as well, further boosting interest. After three months, Tori was able to leave her office job and make scarves full-time.

Rising Action

Since 2011, Storiarts has expanded their catalog to celebrate more than 27 titles on scarves, fingerless writing gloves, t-shirts, pillows, and baby hats. Staying rooted in the Pacific Northwest is a key value in the company, and most of their products are printed, cut, sewn, warehoused, and shipped in Oregon, with some milling and cutting happening in LA. All of their products are handmade in the US, even though production has scaled up quite a bit since Tori made everything by hand in her garage. Now that the manufacturing is off her plate, Tori can focus on design of new products, as well as drawing all of the illustrations for their scarves, writing gloves, and t-shirts.

Though Storiarts was born through e-commerce sales and continues to sell through several online retailers, it wasn’t long before they expanded into sales at brick-and-mortar stores. The Library of Congress shop was the first to approach Tori about carrying book scarves, and today you find them in the New York Public Library as well, along with dozens of other libraries and boutiques across the US, and in Australia and New Zealand. 

To Be Continued…

Woman reading a book outside a coffee shop.
Amber modeling a lightweight summer scarf outside of our neighborhood coffee shop.

Upswept Creative does much of the marketing photography for Storiarts, from clean product shots to lifestyle photography like this one featuring Amber Nicotra, wearing a new scarf from their Spring 2017 collection. 

We love working with Tori and her co-owner and husband, Chris. Their company embodies so much of what we value in working with independent businesses — from their commitment to keeping it local, to the thoughtfully-crafted, pleasantly nerdy products they sell.

What’s your next creative venture? Let’s talk about discovering your authentic and compelling brand story that will help you connect with your ideal audience. The first step to schedule a free clarifying consultation is clicking ➡︎ here. ⬅︎


Apr 13 2017

Portland Business Spotlight: Katie Proctor, Owner, Books with Pictures

Portland’s Katie Proctor is on bold mission to bring comics to everyone. Her nearly year-old shop in the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood, Books with Pictures, has quickly become a community hub with an explicitly inclusive mission: to be a space that is welcoming to people who love good stories without regard to age, race, sexual orientation, gender expression, or disability status. We loved collaborating with Katie in creating branding assets for the shop in support of that mission, and we’re such big fans of her shop that we wanted to shine a light on our favorite local comics seller.

Books with Pictures Logo by Upswept Creative, 2016.

On Radical Inclusivity

The shop — it’s spacious layout, bright lighting, and friendly displays — the diverse stock, and Katie herself are all tuned towards making entry into comics an easy and stress-free experience, making it OK for adults to not know anything about comics when they come in, or for parents to come in to get a comic for their kids and not know what they are looking for, or should be looking for. You don’t have to feel like you are already part of the “in” crowd, is the thing. Because at Books with Pictures there is no “in” crowd, just folks who like to read books and connect with each other about it.  

Heroes are for Everyone Sandwich Board
Recently shared on Books with Pictures Instagram Feed

Katie says that comic books have forever been full of stories of misfits overcoming the things that set them apart from mainstream culture to find their own power, and there is a lot happening in terms of diverse content, identifiable storylines for people who feel like outsiders. Most of her customers are new to comic book stores, and it’s clear that a big part of Katie’s passion is in creating a safe and welcoming space where there’s a book for anyone who comes into her shop, whether they are looking for the mainstream offerings, or something else.

Katie has a diverse background which includes information design, bike advocacy, biomedical ethics, sales enablement programs, computing cultures, and history of science. She has been reading comic books since since adolescence, but really got into them after having children, who are five and seven now.

On Being So Much More Than a Bookstore

Katie Proctor Headshot
The One and Only Katie Proctor. Headshot by Upswept Creative, 2016.

It’s a daring thing to open a brick-and-mortar bookstore, but Katie says the key to being successful and vibrant is to be a resource for the community that it can’t get online. In addition to carrying the less-mainstream titles (Yes, she has more than one book for kids in which the princesses fall in love with each other), a big part of this mission is fulfilled by the many events the shop hosts every month.

There is some kind of lecture, signing, panel, or class every Wednesday night, Yarn with Pictures, a monthly knitting group, as well as events and programming in partnership with University of Oregon, Portland State University, and Helioscope Studios. In keeping with her community-oriented theme, Katie is excited to foster synergy between our city’s comics luminaries and its up-and-comers.

Books with Pictures is the kind of local business we love to work with, one with a clear message of inclusivity and positivity that makes a real effort to be present in the community it serves. Katie Proctor has built something beautiful for all fans of comic books, and we are proud to highlight her talent and hard work.


Apr 02 2015

When April Fool’s Jokes Become Smart Branding

Business branding may seem like an odd stage for pranks, but I can’t help appreciating the creativity that April Fool’s Day seems to bring out in some parts of the internet–especially now that businesses are taking part in clever ways. Instead of being a terror-inducing and mean-spirited occasion, it can become a neat project for the business and a smart move for their brand to have some harmless fun with an April Fool’s Day joke.

Because we love Portland businesses here at Upswept, I’m taking a look at a few local, independent businesses who had a bit of extra fun with their April Fool’s Day.

Ground Kontrol “Artisanal Artcade”

gk-artisanal-artcade
This April Fool’s Day homepage shows what Ground Kontrol might be like if it got a makeover from the staff of Portlandia.

Portland’s own “barcade” Ground Kontrol, normally offers you pints after 5pm, plenty of classic arcade games to keep you entertained, and a dramatic interior with gaming-inspired details. You’ll see sleek seating and tables with lighting elements inside, Pac-Man tiling in the bathroom, and a general atmosphere that makes you wonder if you’ve stumbled onto the set of TRON.

On April Fool’s Day, however, Ground Kontrol unveiled a parody version of their web site with a sharp change in direction: “Ground Kontrol Artisanal Artcade” traded contrast-y, retro-modern design for wood grain textures and old-timey type, and their homepage copy boasted a fancy new menu and craft cocktail menu, and a “de-modeled” interior that rolled back their futuristic look to its original, 1900s-era architecture.

Why it works for their brand: Ground Kontrol is one of the places that makes Portland unique, but much of what the world thinks of when they think of Portland is the opposite of what Ground Kontrol offers: people in flannel shirts, riding fixies, eating an artisanal vegan/gluten-free lunch from a food cart you probably haven’t heard of. 😉 Any good parody is born from a love of the thing being parodied, though, so this ends up being a clever way for GK to say, “no, really, Portland, we like being here.”

Fort George Looks to Purchase Anheuser-Busch InBev

I couldn’t help but giggle when we saw this April Fool’s Day press release from local beer crafters at Fort George Brewery. When Anheuser-Busch InBev recently purchased Elysian, another local brewery, there were plenty of alarmed and horrified reactions. With that in our recent collective memory, Fort George’s April Fool’s Day announcement that they were looking purchase InBev made an amusingly perfect response to the buyout of Elysian. The announcement shared quotable lines about their proposed buyout, such as, “‘Bud Light Lime-A-Rita would definitely fill a niche Fort George does not serve,’ explains Jack Harris, co-owner and brew master at Fort George.”

Why it works for their brand: I’ve sampled many a Fort George brew in the past, and uniquely-delicious beers like their Hellcat Trippel prove their far-from-macro approach to brewing. With this fake announcement, Fort George gets to poke some fun at big corporate beers, and remind us that they’re happy being a smaller brewery, and committed to creating beers the best way they know how.

Powell’s Discovers an Exciting New Author

A look at Blue, Minnesota--a made-up book release from Powell's Books.
A look at Blue, Minnesota–a made-up book release from Powell’s Books.

The folks at the world’s largest bookstore definitely planned ahead for this April Fool’s Day: if you were following Powell’s Books on social media yesterday, you saw multiple postings creating buzz and excitement surrounding a new book called Blue, Minnesota: reportedly the first novel ever written by an exciting new author, Todd Furlong.

The team at Powell’s gradually unveiled the joke throughout the day, sharing photos of their staff enjoying the book, and even a Q&A with the author. As the day went on, things got weirder–the author photo featured a suit-and-bowtied body with a cat’s head, and pages of the book were revealed as being nothing but a series of meows. Finally, in the late-afternoon, the Powell’s Facebook page announced, “BREAKING: We’ve been catfished. Todd Furlong’s new novel Blue, Minnesota is in fact just a series of meows transcribed by his overzealous owner.”

Why it works for their brand: Powell’s had a chance to play with the online buzz machine, by generating excitement about something goofy, silly, and 100% made-up. It’s a cute reminder of how easily we can get swept up in the “hottest” new Thing Of The Moment, but underneath that, Powell’s is also reminding us: they’re excited about books, and they want you to be excited about them, too. Even when they’re written by cats. 😉

If you parked near Sizzle Pie, you may have gotten a parking ticket with a surprise inside: it's a couple for a free slice of pizza!
These parking tickets held a surprise inside: a coupon for a free slice at Sizzle Pie!

Sizzle Pie: Parking Tickets with a Surprise

Portland purveyors of pizza deliciousness Sizzle Pie did a great job of taking a shocking prank and turning it into a happy ending. Little yellow envelopes that look nearly identical to the ones the City of Portland uses for parking citations appeared on cars parked near Sizzle Pie locations.

Upon closer inspection, however, there are telltale signs that this is no ordinary parking ticket–like the, “Pizza Alert System Headquarters” address on the front. Pranked victims then pull out the citation, and see a slip of paper formatted like a City of Portland parking citation… but it’s actually a coupon for a free slice of pizza!

Why it works for their brand: This might be my favorite prank of the day: it’s good exposure that will stick in the memories of locals, and it works because what looks to be bad luck turns out to be a good gift. Sizzle Pie won’t shy away from a bit of mischief, but really, they just want Portlanders to enjoy delicious pizza. The down side? We seriously hope those who were hit by this prank took the time to look at the ticket, rather than throwing it away in anger and missing out on the payoff.


Dec 26 2014

Doing It!: Catching up with Portland’s ethical jeweler Valerie Kasinskas

SLG_2495
from our photoshoot with VK Designs, for the “Dark Sparkle” collection

An interview with Valerie Kasinskas from VK Designs

I’m a big fan of VK Designs–in fact, I look at something Valerie made every single day. How come? She made the wedding rings for my wife and I! Valerie’s unique style really resonated with my wife’s elegant and naturalistic style, while being simple enough for me.

We at Upswept Creative thought this made a great excuse to catch up with Valerie, Portland’s ethical jeweler, and see what she has been working on since our photoshoot together, as well as getting some more insight into how she got started.

Q: How did you get started making jewelry?

VK: “I studied and received my BFA in Metalsmithing in 2006. I studied everything from blacksmithing to goldsmithing and worked both large and small for quite a few years. Little by little, the sculptures got smaller and smaller. In the last 5 years, I have been focusing more on the smaller scale and creating mostly custom, bespoke engagement and wedding jewelry.”

“While in school, I began questioning where the metals and materials were being sourced from in the year 2001 and found very few answers. Over the years, I began digging deeper and slowly building a network of trusted suppliers and like-minded jewelers. I am proud to work closely with a wonderful group–Ethical Metalsmiths. We are continually working towards educating, sourcing ethically and transforming the industry.”

Q: What are a couple of your favorite pieces that you’ve designed?

VK: There are so many pieces that I just adore that it is hard to pin down! Each piece is custom, personal and such a strong symbol that represents the client in a visual way. I recently created a custom wedding ring set for a couple, using Fairmined gold from a mine that I work directly with in Peru, and even had the honor of visiting this same mine last year. (You can read about the experience here.)

FAIRMINED-20k-VK
Custom 20k Fairmined gold wedding ring set by VK Designs

My clients had traveled in Peru together, and the significance of being connected to and knowing where the gold was from was very important & powerful for them.

Q: What you feel is unique about being an independent jewelry maker in Portland?

VK: I feel that Portlanders really are not typical consumers on many levels, and that also includes their desire for meaningful and personal jewelry. I work with many clients that have very unique and beautiful styles, styles that we infuse into their symbolic jewelry that they are proud to wear. Portlanders are inquisitive and want to know where their food comes from, as well as where their gold comes from!

I am proud to have the most amazing, aware, and creative clients.

Q: What’s next for you and your jewelry line?

VK: I am very excited to continue sourcing ethically, creating one of a kind pieces and want to create more with Fairmined gold and Fairmined silver in 2015. My co-designer (and twin sister), Rachel and I will be featuring Fairmined silver designs in our 2015 line for the Dark Sparkle Collection in 2015 as well. For more info about Fairmined metals, visit fairmined.org.

 


Jul 30 2014

Doing It! PDX Fat Fashion Collective

Summer Strut emcee Carla Rossi - Portland fashion photographer
Summer Strut emcee Carla Rossi

Summer in Portland brings us some of the most awesome fashion runways this town has to offer, and we’re pleased as punch to be trusted photographers for some high-profile shows! One of our proudest fashion photography bookings this summer has been shooting the runway for Summer Strut, a fashion show produced by the PDX Fat Fashion Collective, that boldly put plus-size women at the center of its focus, with an all plus-size lineup of designers.

Summer Strut was a truly splashy show, emceed by the scintillating Carla Rossi, and it showed eye-catching plus-size fashions that broke the 3X barrier, and runway models who brought the fun and the fierce in equal doses. It was a very body-positive show that pushed boundaries, both for clothing design and for what’s wearable in the plus-size realm.

Best of all, this show was only the beginning for the ladies of the PDX Fat Fashion Collective! These lovely ladies took few minutes to chat with us about the beginnings of the Collective, the Summer Strut runway, and what’s next for them!

Shiny, popping swimwear by Size Queen Clothing hit the stage at Summer Strut.
Shiny, popping swimwear by Size Queen Clothing hit the stage at Summer Strut.

UPSWEPT: Tell us a bit about PDX Fat Fashion Collective–what is its mission, and how did it come about?

PDXFFC: The collective is the result of many conversations about our frustrations with plus-size clothing options, and the way they are presented to us as consumers. The three of us are independently involved in fashion in different ways and wanted to build something that we could be excited about.

We’re in a really great upswing for fat fashion right now, where all of a sudden, there are many more options beyond the standard 00-14, BUT most of those options are a combination of being unethically produced, minimal in size range (3X and below), and just plain boring. We wanted to bring together local designers who we not only think are incredibly talented, but who also are interested in and capable of producing clothing in extended sizes.

UPSWEPT: What were some of the challenges of putting together Summer Strut?

PDXFFC: Surprisingly, there weren’t any major challenges for us. We had plenty of designers and models that wanted to work with us. The venue was extremely helpful through the entire process. Probably just trying to stay on budget, and making sure we got the word out were the most problematic issues.

a Summer Strut model works fashions by Copper Union.
a Summer Strut model works fashions by Copper Union.

UPSWEPT: What were some of your favorite parts of producing the show?

PDXFFC: One of our absolute favorite parts of the show was showing people–the folks who attended, as well as the thousands of people who we reached through social media–that you can adorn your body in styles that make you feel amazing, regardless of your size. I loved how diverse the designers were. We had everything from vintage-style tea dresses to holographic monokini rompers, and it was incredible to see gorgeous girls with an array of body types and sizes looking incredible.

UPSWEPT: What do you have up your sleeve next for plus-size fashionistas in Portland?

PDXFFC: We want to include more gender-free and masculine of center styles in our future events, and presumably this will include a Summer Strut 2.0 next year. For now, I’m personally focused on establishing relationships with more local and independent designers, and securing a presence for fatshionistas among Portland’s creative scene. Ultimately, I want to challenge more designers to include us in their brands. We love fashion, we live for a selfie, and we have money. It’s foolish not to.

Portland fashion photographer – Portland branding design – Upswept Creative


Apr 09 2014

Fashion photography for Clair Vintage Inspired Spring/Summer 2014

There are some clients that make us stop and think, “Is this REALLY my job? It’s too good to be true!”. Alyson Clair, from Clair Vintage Inspired, is one of them.

We recently had the pleasure of collaborating with her on her Spring/ Summer 2014 collection lookbook. Alyson creates garments for a wide range of body types. From full-figured to skinny her silhouettes are always flattering and stylish with an emphasis on fit.

Amelia, and her fur-child Bambi, were nice enough to let us invade her local Boutique located in NE Portland called Amelia. The bright natural light, stark white walls, and unlimited supply of swoon-worthy jewelry made for the perfect shoot. Throw in some tropical blooms supplied and styled by Upswept Creative + adorable senior citizen dogs, Max and Bambi, and we were set!

We had a blast working on this Collection Session and can’t wait to make more fashion magic with Alyson!

portland-fashion-photographer_clair-spring-2014 portland-fashion-photographer_clair-vintage-inspired-spring-2014 portland-fashion-photographer_clair-spring-summer-2014 SLG_7060_social

 

Shoot Location: Amelia
Makeup/ Hair: Heidi Cuthbert
Models: Cheryl and Coco
Floral Styling: Upswept Creative

Portland Fashion Photography – Portland Web Design – Upswept Creative