cait +tiff


T / happy monday / fear, creativity and a tale of two platforms

And we’reeeeeee back!!!  And instead of last year’s status of sickness and flight, we’ve got both feet firmly planted on soil with Tiff in Cambodia and Cait getting as many corners of America that she can fit into her pocket.  2015 was a year of exploration for both of us and we’re excited to get 2016 started with getting our ideas out there and sharing all the steps we’re taking to get there.


I gotta say, 2016 is already starting really well.  There’s already a bit of a theme going (though the theme song has yet to reveal itself).  With one of my favourite, most adventurous and accomplished of ladies visiting me when the new year chimed in, I decided that this year would be about taking risks. This would mean defying the fears that stopped me dead in my tracks in 2015 and in general, being a bit bolder.  So I decided to drive a motorbike up a mountain.  The kind of mountain with hairpin turns, sometimes steep hills and declines I’m not accustomed to in flat flat Phnom Penh.  And this was at speeds of up to 80km/hour (you’re talking to a person who’s usually a cyclist and will only go up to 30km/hour on my scooter).  It was an exhilarating ride.  We drove up to a point where you could see Vietnam and beyond.   And it was at that moment, I knew I had crossed over.

So this year, I’m making resolutions of being more accountable, of working with the integrity I believe I had in my previous career, and to finish projects I’ve promised others and set for myself.  Those are the values I’d like to live by and the ones I think would really help to push me along as I delve into this new era of my life.  And after listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s wonderful guidance, I set some assignments for myself.  The first of which is to launch my personal website.  A portfolio of sorts.  The work I really wanted to focus and share with others.

To put that plan into action, I’m currently squaring off two different web platforms; one very well known.  You know it. The one that is supporting pretty much every podcast out there.  The other a little more obscure and niche driven.  I’ve created sites that are a bit different from each other.  One that really focuses on the photography, and the other providing an overview on the visual design, storytelling and branding work I want to achieve.   Here’s how they look right now:

tiff---squarespace-vs.-formatFormat and Squarespace are wonderful sites that can allow me to accomplish different things.  I’m still unsure of which one I will pick in the coming days.  I switch sides quite often.  But I’m looking forward to the feedback I’ll be getting from my Braintrust (more on them later) and the advice I’ve already gotten.  Watch this space for the big launch in the next two weeks to see which one I’ve chosen.  In the meantime, check out these little vids on what Format and Squarespace are all about.

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C / a little push


I am done with school at Central Saint Martins, and I head back to Phnom Penh in less than a week. I can’t really tell how I feel about it yet, but I think its somewhere between “Hooray! I get to see people I love” and “Dear God, please don’t let me lose this feeling.” It will be a huge transition, bigger than moving to London, because I don’t exactly know what’s next. I like having something on the horizon, and it’s all haze right now. I don’t love it.

In order to not freak out completely and burn my passport, I am looking for a little push and advice. Now, for those of you who know me, you know very well that I hate advice. I will take advice from exactly 4 people. It’s not because I think I’m smarter than everyone, it’s because I’m crazy stubborn. That being said, Little Miss Stubborn Pants needs a bit of help these days.

This is about my billionth “fresh start” in a new career. Let’s call my CV “diverse.” I am trying to dig in and focus on a direction, but finding it difficult to do so in a field that is, quite literally, riddled with shiny objects. You know Dug the dog from the movie Up? That’s me when I look at fashion jobs; I find something I like, I’m really into it, and then I “SQUIRREL!” (If you don’t get this, watch the clip.)

Because I am bad at asking for help, I have looked for it on the internet. It’s easier that admitting it out loud, and easier to go back to when you really need to hear something again and again. Here you go:

  • My dad told me to read What Color is Your Parachute about 5 years ago, and I am finally doing it. Now if you click on that, be warned that the website looks like that guy is definitely selling a food processor on TV. It’s not a good website. But what is in the book so far is valuable. The first edition was published in 1970, as a guide to job hunting and career changes. It was designed to veterans look for careers after leaving the military, and for those that need some help changing careers and re-directing passion. It’s revised annually, so the information is up-to-date and relevant.
  • Go ahead and make fun of Eat, Pray, Love as much as you want, Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast, Magic Lessons, is monumentally lovely. The podcast goes alongside her book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, and she talks to human women about finding and diving into what they are passionate about. I think she’d be a wonderful person to have at Thanksgiving.
  • Kate Arends from Wit & Delight wrote this piece on vernacular and how putting yourself, and other people in boxes, stifles creativity, acceptance, and collaboration. I think letting go of labels that we put ourselves in is really helpful, and for me, it lets me learn from people around me and not judge myself too much.
  • Tiff, in her great wisdom, sent me this article a few days ago and its a great read. BOF asked seven new-ish designers to give advice for creatives. My favorite line is from Christopher Kane, quoting Louise Wilson “There’s always someone better than you. It’s just human nature. So really work with what you have and prevail at what you’re good at, but don’t try to do everything because you’ll burn out.”
  • Mindy Kaling always has something good to say about growing and changing. She’s a funny lady, but also crazy insightful. I like her interview with The Guardian from a few weeks ago, where she talks about perspective, loss, and the importance of being kind.

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