Archive for the ‘Designer’s Notebook’ Category

Sneak Peek: 2014 Spring/Summer Window Display.

A little sneak peek of inspiration behind the newest window display to come for this Spring & Summer.

betsy and iya_Summer 2014 window display

***Photos from our Pinterest & Instagram pages***

Putting an asymmetrical spin on a traditional Finnish craft and adding some colorful touches to welcome the flourishing seasons and a new chapter in the betsy & iya book of Awesome. It’ll be up in a few days, so come check it out!




***Song of the moment: ***

Inspired by: TED TALKS “What’s It Like To Hear Color?” By Neil Harbisson.

I wanted to save this TED Talk for our next staff meeting but I couldn’t wait! It is absolutely awe inspiring. I don’t want to give away too much, but the speaker, Neil Harbisson, was born without the ability to see color–now before you drop your jaw and say “What?!” it’s called Achromatopsia–and with some ultimate cyborg action Harbisson now lives with a camera attached to his head that sees color and transmits it to his brain through sound waves. Long story short: Harbisson hears color.

I found this talk through the TED Talk Radio Hour: “Extrasensory“¬†episode. I really suggest listening to this talk as well as the watching the video, they both have nuances that tantalize the eyes & ears.



Did you watch it? Wasn’t it amazing?!?! Harbisson has accomplished something that humans didn’t even realize could be accomplished because it’s never crossed our minds. One of my favorite parts about his talk is when he says, “knowledge comes from our senses,” and it’s so true! We don’t realize how our senses have cultivated our lives and the way we perceive things and learn. And what if we went further than hearing color? What if we started to taste music, or smell through touch? So many possibilities! Just mind boggling. Any other words I try to write won’t do this talk justice, so if you haven’t watched it yet please do. :)



***Song of the moment: Sound & Vision covered by The Sound and Cake***

How to Survive 6 Years in Business: (hint) teamwork.

(Whilst I was writing this post, I felt the grooves come on. Will caught me. It doesn’t feel right not to share the little raw-state video of the whole scene. Thanks for helping me keep my groove, dear friends).

Here we are again. Another year has passed, another reason for me to deepen the well of appreciation towards all that surrounds this little business: you (our precious customers, supporters, etc), our family, our friends, our employees. I am constantly in awe of you. Frankly, I don’t really know how the well could get any deeper. But it does, every single day, it goes deeper and deeper.

Think of me as the woman who sat alone curious about what to do with her life, confused about where it was going, broke, with really nothing at all to lose. She stumbles upon this idea in her head and turns around to see what tripped her. She walks back to take a closer look, picks it up, and puts it into her pocket. She takes it home, puts in out on the table and stares at it for awhile. It’s kind of weird looking, but she immediately likes it. Then she decides there is nothing to do but bring this thing to life. She builds a tiny little place (it’s suuuuper cute, btw) to protect the little thing, water it, watch it grow. All the while, not really understanding what it is. Then with every ounce of her being, she believes in it. A couple years pass–she’s almost singularly focused on keeping this thing alive. Unsure of what it really is or wants to be, she knows without a shadow of a doubt, that it’s meant to be. One day, she turns around and sees miles and miles of people standing right there with her, some were there all along, some have just joined; her heart swells so much, it nearly explodes.

Today, we celebrate 6 years in business, yet it feels like an eternity—but the kind of eternity I want to live in. With the space expansion nearly complete, hitting the 6 year mark, adding new team members, losing old ones, and the ideas getting bigger and stronger, I’ve been reflecting on how and why we’ve gotten here–to this magical place of business, love, and friendship. Lately, I keep coming back to the parallels between what I spent years going to school for and how that translates into our business. My official MFA title is: Master of Physical and Ensemble-based Theatre. Learning how to work successfully as a group of people with a common goal was at the crux of our training. It takes a great deal of patience, respect, determination, communication, support, and admiration to work successfully as a team. But when you find it, when it really clicks, it becomes indestructible.

If we could strip down all the things that have lead up to where we are now, at the very core you would find teamwork at its best. You would find a give and take, a kind of jazz: a call and response, an elevating partnership, you would find support and compassion, one falls and the other is there to catch them. This teamwork begins at an individual level, extends to my incredible partnership with Will and ends with all of us coming together as one big team. Hands down, our business does not do what it does without this team.

Entering our 7th year of business, here is a little bit of unsolicited advice I want to leave with you:

  • Seek out those partnerships that will elevate your lives to the next level.
  • Make a team you are proud to be a part of.
  • Hire your weaknesses (thank you, Sara Blakely).
  • Don’t believe you can do it all: you can’t and that’s okay.
  • Ask questions, ask for help, pull your own weight.
  • Open up: you’ll be shocked to see what happens when you do.
  • Be courageous; be compassionate.
  • Have a blast. It moves way faster than you think.
  • All things must pass (thank you, George Harrison).
  • Find gratitude in every little thing that you do.

You guys! Thank you, again, for being here. Thank you for holding our hands, pushing us forward, sticking around, cheering us on, crying with us, laughing with us. Thank you for your hugs, your high fives, your words, your support, thank you for spending your money–your hard-earned, representation of your best efforts–with us. Thank you for being here. We see you standing there and man oh man do you look good.

We love you. Truly.



P.s. Today we are celebrating quietly; but lookout for our huge blowout of a party when the expansion is complete. It will most likely be in May. And it will most likely be the most awesome party we’ve ever thrown. Soooo many surprises already in the works. I. Can’t. Wait…to share it all with you.

***Song of the Moment: All Things Must Pass, by George Harrison***

Inspired by: TED Talks.

Every week we have a staff meeting to touch base on any pressing issues about the company: new procedures, production updates, upcoming events, etc. But every other week one of us get’s to show a TED Talk to the rest of the group. Usually it’s something inspiring and thought provoking. I look forward to this every other week so I thought I might as well share them with all of you! I found this talk, given by George Monbiot, about “Rewilding,” while listening to the NPR TED Radio Hour–if you like Podcasts please subscribe to this one, it’s life changing!!

The reason I wanted to share this talk with you all is because of it’s semi-hidden-semi-obvious message that everything is connected. We must always be conscious that the decisions we make, large or small, can result in a domino effect. Something as small as complimenting a co-worker to make their day a little better, or as serious as not letting your friends drive under the influence (haven’t we all heard that speech?). Know that as tiny as we are compared to this ever-expanding universe, we are all connected in some way.




***Song of the moment: Life on Mars? by David Bowie***