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    Running a Brick & Mortar Shop

    Running a Brick & Mortar Shop

    Hello from the Windy City!
    Hard to believe my mini midwest vacay is almost over! If you don't already know, I've been participating in the Chicago Design Museum's pop-up shop event, happening now until the end of the year. They've put together an awesome opportunity for small business like mine to test the waters on a brick and mortar space with limited risk. Aviate Press is one of 5 spaces in Block 37 that will be rotating out every 1-3 months, so keep an eye out for the rest of the pop-up vendors if you're in the Chicago area and be sure to check out my neighbors CHCG, Galerie F, and Mercer & Winnie! So, now that I'm living my trendiest, healthiest, most true life here in Chicago, I wanted to share some things I've learned along the way. So, here it goes!

    Lessons Learned, Part 1 

    Everything takes 10 million times longer than I think it will - including this blog post
    I suppose this is something I already knew, but it's so very apparent here. I'm constantly trying to improve the structure of my work schedule, but it seems like most days it doesn't go according to plan - big surprise. One thing that has worked for me is scheduling out time for deep work, something I learned about thanks to this episode of Hidden Brain - Definitely check it out if you like Podcasts that will change your life!!

    When it comes to work, I'm a loner

    Little known fact about me: I love working from coffee shops (like you didn't already know that). But it's not just for the caffeine; I've learned that I'm a lot more productive when I'm working solo. It's super helpful for my workflow if I'm able to start the day at a cafe or get to my store early to knock out a few things before people start shopping.

    I can make friends!

    This was one thing I was pretty nervous about before moving here. I only knew like 3 people in Chicago before the move and I hadn't had to go through the awkward song and dance of making new friends since college - that's a weird thing to say, "since college." Anyway. Turns out making friends isn't as hard as I thought; All you have to do is look lost using public transportation! I made one friend while trying to get to a book shop in Logan Square, but happily ended up at the beach instead - I took the bus in the opposite direction of the book store. Oops! Also, side note, I had no idea Chicago had such beautiful beaches! 

    Butts are still in style, y'all.

    I recently added some new products to the Aviate Press line, which includes enamel pins. By far my most popular pin has been the butt pin. People have been grabbin those butts left and right. But in a totally respectful way. You can grab some buns here, if you're interested. Here's a lil discount on me: buttsarein

    Asuh Dude? Huh???
    Only ONE person has understood this card since I've been here. ONE! Usually it's like half and half when I go to markets, but here in ChiTown, the odds are against me. Most people have just picked it up with a confused look and then I have to awkwardly explain it to them. Please, if you haven't been introduced to Asuh Dude, watch it here. But let it be known, it is pretty dumb.

    NO KETCHUP!!! - said one angry Instagram user

    I didn't know this about Chicago until recently, but apparently it's a sin to put ketchup on your hotdog. I learned this after receiving some backlash from a postcard I designed with a hotdog that said 'Chicago' with ketchup on it. I had no idea I was being so controversial! I have since changed the postcard to mustard, but honestly I am much more of a ketchup person. #sorrynotsorry Check out the postcard here. So, I hope you enjoyed Part 1 of Lesson's Learned. Stay tuned for more knowledge being dropped here in a few weeks. 

    Current Girl Crush: Frida Kahlo

    Current Girl Crush: Frida Kahlo

    Today I am struggling to get to my to do list because I can't stop thinking about my recent trip to Mexico (thanks mom and dad!), where I sipped on margs while attempting not to get sunburned.  I can't seem to get Frida Kahlo out of my head either. I met Frida’s gaze almost everywhere I went…her vibrant spirit still breathes through the streets of Mexico. She finds you in the colorful shops along the coastline and on the walls of the open-air seafood restaurants. I even caught her staring at me in the hotel bathroom.
    There is something about that gaze; her deep, dark eyes follow you, bring you into her paintings, and then into her world.  You can tell there is something more to this lady than her unibrow and flowery hair - she has quite a story, which you should def. learn more about if you haven't already.
    I’ve learned a lot from my girl Frida Kahlo. Not only from her artwork, but from her words of wisdom. I love her fiery spirit, her passion for love and for art, and her ability to overcome tragedy. In honor of one of my biggest inspirations, I now have two Frida prints available in the shop!

    Current Girl Crush: Maira Kalman

    Current Girl Crush: Maira Kalman

    I visited Maira Kalman's "The Elements of Style" exhibit at the Frist a few summers ago on my Birthday. After passing through the busy animation exhibit and moving right into a brightly lit room full of still illustrations, I appreciated the life inside each of Kalman's colorful paintings even more.
    *Picture via Mairakalman.com
    Each painting in the exhibit is inspired by lines from the authoritative American English writing style guide The Elements of Style, by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, which was republished in 2005. Kalman illustrates paintings to lines like, "well, Susan, this is a fine mess you are in" and "every window, picture, and mirror was smashed." What a brilliant idea, to bring some color (literally) to a pile of dry sentences from an English writing style book, meant only to be examples of how to speak and write in proper English!
    *Picture via New York Times
    Maira Kalman, who says she "daydreamed" her way into NYU in this TED Talk from 2007, is a writer of children's books, a frequent contributor to the New York Magazine, and, of course, a famous artist. Her artistic style is whimsical, witty, and simplistic. I love that she does not color inside the lines and that she incorporates images from her own life into her work.
    Another fearless female artist I will add to my list of inspiring people.