Monday, October 08, 2007

How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Part 5 (finally!)

I bet you were wondering if I’d ever get back to it, huh? Sure you were. Well it ends on a good note.

In August I got a call from a woman at my church whom I’d never met who said she’d heard I was interested in starting my own web site design business, and she had a business proposition for me. I was a little confused and a little intrigued. I didn’t remember saying I really wanted to start my own business, more that I was doing web sites. I guess that’s a fine point of distinction. Anyhow, we agreed to meet at the park because we both have kids, and we started talking.

Turns out she’s a graphic artist and is friends with a photographer. Both of them wanted to go out on their own and start a design studio but felt they needed a third person: me. Sarah, the graphic designer, had already come up with a logo and a name. Think Studios.
I went on line and found that was already taken so we ended up with ThinkStudio3, which I think is way cool anyway.

Angela and Sarah know everybody. Through their connections we got our first job photographing a pilots’ reunion. I happened to bring my video camera and decided to make a movie. You can see it here (let it load before trying to play it). It’s not great, because I ended up having that gall bladder issue in the middle of it, but it helped us realize that we wanted to do video along with photos for any events we do.

As it turns out, one of the couples at our church just bought a building downtown and turned part of it into an art gallery. Through some bartering, they’re leasing us a really cool office space in it. So we will be part of the artistic community.

The past couple of months we have had to make a lot of decisions. We’ve met with some business consultants who were so impressed with our little video and web site that not only have they recommended us to their clients, they’ve asked us to do some work for them. We’ve generated a lot of interest while trying to build the proper foundations of the business at the same time. Feels a bit like trying to build an airplane while it’s flying.

At this point, we’ve decided we don’t want to do run-of-the-mill stuff. We want to do unique and creative things. We’re doing web sites, marketing plans, events, and something unique called a Legacy Project. Think of what Ken Burns did for the Civil War, baseball, and jazz. We’re hoping to bring that combination of photos, history, and technology to individuals and families. We want to record their history the way Ken Burns recorded America’s history. I should have a sample online soon to show you.

So, that’s what’s keeping me up and nights and keeping me from my writing. I just absolutely love it. I never could have articulated it before but it is my dream job. I’m getting to use both of my degrees (history and business administration) and all my widely varied artistic experience. Only God could have orchestrated that. And he brought me together with two amazingly talented women who I’d love to hang out with, regardless if we were business partners or not. Every time we’ve had a business meeting people have remarked at how much fun our meetings are.

Our website’s not completely done yet. It keeps getting interrupted by potentially-paying work. But you can check it out at


Jeanne Damoff said...

Jen, this is absolutely fabulous! I am so excited for you!! As soon as I post this comment, I'm going to check out the website.

This post makes me really happy. I want to jump up and down. :)

Keep us informed as doors open and plans fall into place.

Love, Jeanne

Georgiana said...

Congratulations! I'm so glad you found your dream job! Isn't it amazing how God works, even when we don't really know what our desires are? Happy for you!

Heather said...

this is awesome! the website looks even better than before--and haven't i seent that salt shaker filled with fruit loops before?
i'm praying the train keeps moving on this track.

Elaina M. Avalos said...

Jen..I'm so happy for you! Very exciting. Congratulations on the business. It was great to read a little bit more about it. I'm looking forward to taking a look at the website.