June Life Update

Really bumping now! Taken at 30 weeks pregnant.

Really bumping now! Taken at 30 weeks pregnant.

Can you believe it is already July? Time seems to be zooming by. It is good to remind myself of this as it still seems like a long time before I get to meet my little guy - even though I know it is really only 4-5 short weeks. In general June treated me pretty well. The month started out a bit rough, I was having really bad insomnia and coupled with the itching I felt like I was losing my mind. At 27 weeks I received a steroid shot to help the baby's lungs develop in case I went into pre-term labor. The shot was like a miracle drug for 2.5 days - I had so much energy, a strong appetite, and the itching had almost vanished! It felt so good to feel like myself again, even if it was just for a short time.  After the steroid wore off the itching came back with vengeance for a few days but then luckily settled back into a more manageable state.

Since then I have had a few spikes in terrible itching, but in general June has been so much better than May in the itching department. The drugs I am taking seem to really be working and have lowered my Bile Acid and Liver Panel levels dramatically (these are the indicators for ICP). When I was first diagnosed with such severe levels I was fearful that my levels would never go down, but luckily that hasn't been the case! Now my condition is not in the severe category so I can probably wait till 36-37 weeks to deliver rather than at 34 weeks. I go in for Non-Stress Tests (NST) twice a week that help to monitor the baby and make sure that everything is alright. Even though it is annoying to schlep to the hospital so much, knowing the baby is doing well gives me a lot of peace of mind. 

This month I celebrated my 27th birthday by taking a one night staycation at a beautiful castle-like old hotel in downtown Berkeley. While very short, it was so nice to break out of my routine and spend some quality time relaxing with my husband. I really wish we could of had a real babymoon, but hopefully we can do a nice relaxing vacation once the baby is a few months old (I can dream right ;)). 

This month I also opened my shop (buy some candles and help support my maternity leave!), wrote a personal post about my dreams for the future, launched a collection of cards for Punkpost, headed into the very last finishing stages of all my client projects, started to set up a nursery nook, and attended a full day birthing class.  

This next month is all about tying up loose ends, resting, and nesting. I have no new client projects (feels soo weird) and will mostly be spending my time working on candle orders, blogging and updating my portfolio with my finished projects, going to dr appointments and NST's, and getting the nursery nook and loft all ready for baby. I am hopeful that my itching and insomnia will continue to be mild this month, but I do know that things get tougher as your baby grows and discomfort increases. But with the discomfort the excitement will only increase too as I get closer and closer to actually giving birth!

Thank you again for your continued support and for reading this little 'ol blog. It means so much to me!

Xo, Jess

Allison Walsh Branding

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Hello! I am very excited to show you the final branding that I created for Allison Walsh. Her website that I designed launched last week and I am really proud of how everything turned out! Allison is a warm, passionate, and caring woman that has been a pleasure to work with. Her goal with this endeavor is to create a supportive community of vibrant and brilliant women (wildflowers) - and to help them build their legacy businesses and cultivate their wildest dreams. This community is called The Wildflower Uprising and I will show more of that branding later on! 

From the beginning Allison wanted her brand to evoke comfort, kindness, and authenticity. She wanted the brand to have a sophistication that is still relatable - and for it to feel feminine, though not overly so. Part of what I love about my job is the challenge of creating this kind of balance. The moodboard I made early on for Allison really led the way as we created the rest of the branding. I enjoyed working with the pop of yellow and muted pink, and really loved creating her minimal but still personable logo. Take a look below to see my branding build-out, and be sure to check out her website to see everything in action! 

Such a wonderful project and I am very excited for Allison! This is her passion project and I think it is going to be such a success :)

Hard to believe it is July already! I am planning a June re-cap post for this week!

Xo, Jess

Dreaming about the Future

Recently I have been thinking a lot about the future. A baby on the way will certainly inspire such thinking. You start to imagine what your life will be like in 5, 10, 15 years, and you start asking yourself a lot of questions -- What will my child be like? What kind of career will I have? How will my relationship with my husband change? Where will I be living? Will I be successful? Will I be happy? There are so many thoughts, questions, and scenarios running through my head in the lead-up to baby. In general I enjoy thinking about these things, I like to imagine the future, and picture myself happy and successful in the years to come. Sometimes of course I get anxious with all these thoughts - but mostly dreaming of my future is comforting.

My future dreams have not changed all that much over the years. I have always dreamed of living in a city, having a creative career, being happily in a relationship, and starting a family. I am living that dream, but I am starting to get a bit more specific about what I want from my career and life. This is my most recent dream scenario for 5-ish years in the future. It will be fun to look back on this post in a few years ;)

In five years this is how I imagine my life:

My family and I will be settled into a city, most likely a new city, since San Francisco is so unaffordable. We will live in a wonderful townhouse that has room for our family to grow and a little backyard, but is still very much a city home and convenient to public transit, shops, and restaurants. My son will be entering kindergarten, he is happy and healthy and cute as can be. My husband will have a job as a professor at a wonderful university. He will hopefully be enjoying his research and working hard to build his lab and legacy. We will have made a nice community of friends, other young parents, creatives, and intellectuals. We will host dinner parties and go to picnics in the park. We will go on weekend trips, and always be saving and planning for international adventures. Maybe we will have another addition to our family, or one on the way ;)

As for my career, my latest dream is to open a brick & mortar and run a more tangible business. As much as I love freelancing, I don't know that I can do it forever. Recently I have been dreaming about pivoting a little bit from my graphic design career and have been thinking about what it would be like to own my own storefront business. Something that many people don't know about me is that I have always been very interested in the art of massage. Starting way back in high school I thought about going to massage school and giving massages as a way to earn extra money in college. Of course that never happened but I still think about it. I don't think I would like to actually be a masseuse but I am interested in the industry of relaxation.

My dream right now is to open up an intimate and relaxing wellness spa and gift shop. In the back of the shop there will be 1-2 beautiful massage rooms, and in the front will be a wonderfully curated shop and art gallery that is also a relaxing space to hang out. I am not a hippy-dippy person at all - but I am very interested in creating a safe space where people can come and relax and relieve some of the stresses of their life. Of course as a designer, I can't help but think about how I would brand and design the shop. I see my target audience being women in their late 20's - 40's, who desire a relaxing space but are not interested in the more hoity-toity and overly expensive type of spas - but also want an upgrade from cheap foot spas and the like. Instead they desire a serene but also a bit more quirky/creative space, a place they can instantly feel comfortable in. In my more romantic big vision ideas for this shop, I imagine creating my own product line that focuses on wellness types of goods and beautiful gift items. I also imagine the shop being a gathering place for fun creative events, small exhibitions, book clubs, and interesting speakers.

Of course I know that owning a brick & mortar of your own is not all fun and games. There is inventory management, scheduling, employee management, cleaning, and so much more. But I am also excited for many of these things - and in a few years I think I will really be up to the challenge. I love the idea of having a tangible businesses that is not just an online notion. I want to meet my customers and be involved with the local shop community. Getting a massage and having a spa experience is not something you can buy on amazon - and so it is an industry that will never be crushed by online suppliers. And that is why not only is creating a relaxing spa/shop a dream of mine - I also think it is smart business-wise. At least I hope so!

Okay, this post got really long! But it has felt great to write out my ideas and dreams for the future. I know life is unpredictable - and knowing myself, I may have a completely different dream in a year! But in any case I know that in 5 years I hope to be happy, healthy, and creatively fulfilled. 

Do you dream of opening a brick & mortar shop? Or if you have, do you have any advice? 

Xox, Jess

P.S. Thank you to so many of you for supporting my new shop! Hope you will pin some of my products and share with your friends :)

June Letters Workshop is open!

This has been a long time coming! I am so excited to officially launch June Letters Workshop today - my newest shop venture that focuses on hand-made goods. I started making candles as a hobby about a year ago and really fell in love with the process. As I enter my last few weeks before baby comes - I wanted to spend my time doing something I enjoyed. 

June Letters Workshop was born out of a love for creating with my hands. Each candle in this collection has been hand-painted and hand-poured with care in my Oakland loft.

This collection of candles and art prints are inspired by the deep and soothing color blue. These past few months as I have been going through this difficult pregnancy - I have found myself drawn to this cool hue. Something about blue has captured my imagination and awakened my creative spirit. I also decided to start this shop as an outlet for me to create with my hands and to make something tangible. I love that candles provide comfort, warmth, light, and a sense of calm. It makes me happy to think of my candles in the homes of others. I hope you enjoy this collection and consider bringing a little 'blue' into your home. 

I had so much fun working with my friend Chelsey on this shoot. She was so kind to offer up the use of her beautiful studio, wonderful styling skills, and time! Some people just have the magic touch - and she is definitely one of those people! See a selection of the photographs below! And be sure to check out my shop.

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Hope you enjoy my new collection. Can't wait to start hand-making orders :)

Xo, Jess