The Matsumoto Studio sisters also introduced me to Think All Day, and I’m excited to have them here today talking about their journey! I love hearing from creative duos, it gives Danielle and I both so much inspiration!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS :
K – We love the flexibility of enjoying a sunny day or a fresh snow and recharging, even if that means working over the weekend instead of during the time we played hooky. We also feel extremely fortunate to have built lasting relationships with so many clients over the years; in addition to treasuring the projects and collaborations that let us really get to know them, watching their successes and seeing their businesses grow is such a treat.
J – Kristin and I both like to travel a lot, so being able to control our own work schedule (and having a partner to help pick up the workload when you are out!) has been an incredible gift. Being in charge of our own daily tasks and duties is extremely empowering, but it’s taken us both years to get into the flow of balance with it—it’s really easy to let the work day creep late into the night, so it’s nice to have one of us remind the other to quit for the day.
FAVORITE CANDY/TREAT :
K – A craft beer or cider (favorite of late being Tieton Cider Works Washington Apple) is my top choice. I’m also a sucker for French pastries.
J – I have a drawer of dark chocolates stashed in my desk, lately have been devouring pints of Sea Salt Caramel Talenti Gelato (it’s hot up here!), and I’ll never say no to a latte.
WHAT’S A RECENT FAVORITE FIND :
J – I just returned from a trip to Nairobi, Kenya and was floored by the textiles and patterns! My favorite treasure from the trip is a black and white woven cotton and leather backpack (perfect for my laptop and weekend escapes!) I just discovered Frankie Magazine and am totally digging it. Sylvan Esso is also on repeat this month.
TELL US HOW YOU GOT STARTED WITH DESIGN :
K – We both studied visual art and art history on opposite ends of the country (Columbia University, New York City/Kristin and University of San Diego/California, Jackie). When we met in 2006, we started working together in Santa Fe, an incredibly creative small city with arts and culture thriving in every corner. From the first, local clients responded to our style, and we took on jobs for everything from stationery and websites to logos and packaging—we’re so thrilled to have grown into a multi-disciplinary design studio, now with clients from coast-to-coast.
WHY DO YOU BLOG : We like to share with our clients and friends that we are real people having good adventures! Our blog is our sketchbook/travelogue of sorts.
ANY ADVICE FOR FELLOW ENTREPRENEURS :
K – Stay organized. Don’t let the (less fun) administrative tasks pile up and bury you; it’s hard to stay in business if you don’t prioritize the, er, business side of things along with the creative aspects. That being said, I think moments for letting my mind wander are just as important—a spa day, some time in the garden or a run with the dog, exploring our clients’ shops, orchards, galleries, coffee, wine-and-cheese-tastings, live performances, all those wonderful things.
J – It’s really easy to get into a funnel and lose perspective when you are working for yourself or at home. Remember to look up and honor yourself every once in a while (pedicures don’t hurt)! Also, tools like Asana and Passpack will help keep you sane.
WHO’S A FELLOW ENTREPRENEUR YOU’RE CRUSHING ON RIGHT NOW :
J – Ah, there are so many inspiring designers. I’m often listening to Sprit and Haven’s beautifully curated 8tracks mixes while working, we get fueled by Anthology Magazine (I know that’s not one designer, but hey?), Victoria Vu from Paper & Type has a lovely peaceful aesthetic, Moorea Seal’s jewelry and blog are spot on, we’ve been following Molly Hatch’s ceramic career since meeting her at SOFA NY four years ago, and I love following Austinite (I’m a Texan at heart) Go Forth Creative’s work.
K – We’re excited to take the Skillshare Hand-Lettering class by Mary Kate McDevitt soon; we love her work!
TALK TO US ABOUT WORKING AS A DUO :
J – We’ve realized how rare it is to find a partner who you can not only respect and work with on a professional level, but be really close friends with, too! Often criticism and critique can be challenging to discuss between designers (and friends!) since the work so often blends the lines of personal and subjective, but we’ve managed to cultivate our language and perspective of each project for the client rather than ourselves, and I think that’s why we’ve had many wonderful long-term clients. Kristin has so many strengths in areas where I lack, and I think the balance of our teamwork has created a really strong foundation for Think All Day as we grow (our team now includes our advanced programming genius, Susan Harkey, to fancy up our websites’ features).
K – Working as a pair helps us delve into a much bigger and better design conversation for each project. It’s great to have each other to bring in a fresh perspective whenever we feel stuck, and I can’t say enough how lovely it is to have a partner in crime to celebrate (or commiserate) each week’s work. I think trust—on responsibilities, design taste, business input—is key to building a partnership. We are so lucky it’s always come naturally! Living and working remotely (I’m still in Santa Fe, New Mexico, while Jackie is now in Yakima, Washington) relies on that trust and makes for some nice visits, too. We try to hike, bake pies, visit goat farms, and watercolor together about six times a year (oh, and work some while we’re there).