Songs That Make You Dance

Impromptu dance parties are happening more frequently at casa swissmiss these days, with disco light and all. And I find myself constantly looking for new songs to add to my playlist.

What’s *the* song that will get you off your feet and onto the dance floor? Let’s start a YouTube-Link-Comment thread? YES?

Happy weekend!

Favorite Job Interview Questions

Hiring. It’s a skill. One gets better at it the more you do it. I’ve hired around 20 people over the past 3 years. And just slowly but surely I keep getting a sense what works and what doesn’t.

I have realized that sitting down at a table for the interview is just plain awkward and so I’ve started going for ‘coffee run interviews’. I pay attention on how the candidate treats the barista, if he/she offers me the sugar etc. The little things. Also, when walking side by side, a conversation flows more naturally.

While I have the setting figured out, I am still working on my list of ideal interview questions. One of my all-time favorite one is “What’s your secret superpower?”

What’s your favorite interview question? If you’re not someone that is hiring, can you remember a question that made an impression?

Question for my readers: ERP System

erp

I am currently researching ERP Systems for Tattly. Talk about growing up. ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planing.

Research in this space is quite overwhelming, especially, when you’re a small shop like me, but with ambitions to grow and eventually having multiple shipping locations around the globe. There are the big known systems like Netsuite, Sage or Microsoft Dynamics but I am hoping to stumble across a well designed system that is the Justworks equivalent of ERP systems.

It is our goal to have all facets of our operations in one place to handle our order, inventory and warehouse management. As well as function as our CRM system, help us track our financials and overall planning.

I was hoping that some of you, might have some insights and have gone through this decision process as well. If so, anything you’ve learned along the way? Any word of advice?

(Obviously, my over-ambitious maker gene just keeps thinking to build my own.)

Female Entrepreneurs

Female Entrepreneurs

Whenever I hear conference organizers talk about how hard it is to find interesting female speakers, I cringe. Would you mind to help me add to this list of female entrepreneurs?

Melissa Miranda, Tiny Post
Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr
Jen Bekman, 20×200
Alisa Volkman, Babble
Soraya Darabi, Foodspotting
Stacey Ferreira, co-founder of My Social Cloud
Debbie Millman, Sterling Brand
Julia Hartz, co-founder Eventbrite
Robin Chase, co-founder of Zip Car
Lauren Bush, Feed
Jennifer Hyman & Jenny Fleiss, Rent the Runway
Alexa Hirschfeld, co-founder Paperless Post
Jessica Jackley, Kiva
Cindy Gallop, If We Ran The World
Jerri Chou, The Feast
Grace Bonney, Design Sponge
Linda Avey and Anne Wojcicki, Co-Founders 23andme
Ping Fu, Geomagic
Leah Busque, Task Rabbit
Louise Fili, Louise Fili
Paula Scher, Pentagram
Jessica Hische, Hische Empire
Lexy Funk, co-founder Brooklyn Industries

Obviously this list is just a start. Help me grow it by adding a comment below with female entrepreneur names and the company they started! Thank you!

iStockPack

Team Tattly is currently researching packaging and POS system ideas. I just stumbled upon iStockPack, a site that lets you to download vector files of packaging templates.

Question for my readers: Are there other similar resources out there that you can think of? Thank you!

Question for my readers…

During an interview last week I was asked a question that had me stumped: “What are some tools for people who want to project a strong personal brand but can’t afford to hire a graphic designer?” Is there a tool out there? Did anyone ever write a basic DIY post on this that could be used somewhat universally? Any suggestions anyone? I find it an interesting problem!

Question for my readers: Morning Songs

Kevin and I are researching songs with catchy lyrics entailing the word “Morning”. Any songs that come to mind and we should add to our list? Would you mind to share them in a comment below? Thank you so much!

Time for an Email Charter

Chris Anderson (of TED) is declaring war on in-boxes with this recent blog post. He is asking use to help start an Email Charter. I am nodding in agreement.

As I have expressed before, I am quite frustrated with how we use email. I know, I am not alone. I have declared email bankruptcy and explained in another post how email has become my primary source of guilt. I currently have an auto-responder set up that has the sole purpose of setting expectations low. Here’s what it says:


Hi there,

This autoresponder is an attempt in setting expectations right. Fact is: I get too much email and can’t keep up. My inbox has become my primary source of guilt.

I promise I will try my best to get back to you as soon as I can. If your email is super-crazy important, meaning the internet might implode if I don’t write back, then please resend your email in a day or so, if you don’t hear back.

Waving from Brooklyn!

Tina – ready to change the way we use email


The overall response to the auto-responder has been positive. Of course, I get an annoyed comment here and there, but it has helped me feel less guilty. Also, people have proven to be more understanding, less annoyed with my late or lack of reply. It’s obviously not an ideal solution, but better than nothing.

What do you think of Chris’ idea? And his proposed rules?

Question for my readers: White Wooden Floors

G and I bought a new apartment (yay!) that we now have to renovate. We are in total researching mode and I am obsessed with the idea of white-ish wooden floors. And this is where I am reaching out to you, my readers: Would you be able to direct us to pre-finished white-ish looking wooden floors similar to the ones pictured above? I am sure lots of my Scandinavian readers will have tips. I hope to find a wooden floor manufacturer that carries a similar type of flooring here in the US.

By the way, the image above is from Unplggd. It is Lotta Agaton’s home and it’s making me swoon. Click here for more images.

Personal Side Projects…

I am researching side projects for an upcoming talk and was wondering if you can think of any personal side projects of fellow designers and developers that I might forget:

I am thinking of projects like my CreativeMornings or Teuxdeux. Then there’s Coudal’s The Deck, JewelBoxing and Fieldnotes. And then there’s Frank Chimero’s The Shape of Design, or Jessica Hische’s Daily Dropcap, Squared Eye’s Patterntap and so on.

What side projects would you add to the list?

Custom Lapel Pin

Has anyone of you ever had a custom lapel pin made? If so, is there a company/service you could recommend? I am thinking about having one made for CreativeMornings. Please add your recommendations in a comment below. Thank you!

Digital Tools helping in going Paperless

Based on my question from two days ago, I would like take the conversation a step further by asking the following:

What tools do you use (or know of) that help us in the quest to go digital and say goodbye to paper?

Here are some of the ones I use on a daily basis:

JotNot iPhone App, basically a scanner in your pocket. Email your photos as a PDF, back them up with various different services like Evernote or fax them. Fantastic app, highly recommend it to turn that receipt, that you might otherwise lose, into a pdf and store it in your files.

Don’t own one yet, but it’s on my wishlist: Neat Receipts Scanner and Filing Software.

Online based Project Management Tool Basecamp keeps me from printing out documents, knowing they are all up there in the cloud, always accessible.

Dropbox. Best $10 I spend every month. All my files, always synced on my various computers, at all times. As well always accessible on my iPhone and iPad. I have all my files on me at all times, at a click of a button. No need to print anything. Ever.

Google Docs. I used to bring a print out of my Class Rooster to class every week to keep track of attending students. No longer. I now log onto my Google Docs account while in class, check the boxes and save. Voila. Done.

What services do you use? Or dream of? What services does your company use to help you go digital?

Question for my readers…

So, the other day I was talking with a friend of mine about the overall desire to go paperless. More and more companies try to print less in their day to day business but reality is, that a lot of large companies, are far away from going paperless. We are 8 people in our studio, 8 different businesses and hardly anyone ever prints anything here. (I am in charger of replacing the toner, so I know!) My friend told me that in big companies, paper still rules.

So, we were thinking about solutions. What are specific steps companies/yourself are taking to go paperless? Are devices like the iPad helping? Are collaboration technologies the solution?

Can you tell us how you do it? What your company does to get you to print less? What works?

I am wondering…

I am currently trying to consolidate all of my backups, re-organize all my work and personal files, photos, music, videos etc. As I am going through my stacks of harddrives I am realizing that my kids will eventually inherit a mountain of data.

What will they do with all these files? Will I have to go through eventually and pick the good stuff and save them as ‘your mom in a nutshell’ folder? Or a ‘best of’ folder? Seriously, I find it overwhelming to deal with my own data of 15 years plus. How will they feel looking through it all? Should I handle my data the same as how I handle my ‘stuff at home’ – ‘active file only’? Well, that doesn’t work if we want to go down memory line every now and then, right?

Do you ever think about what your kids will do (or not) with all the data we’ll pass on? And is there data that shouldn’t be passed on?

searching for swiss design destinations

Jenny Lee, a swissmiss reader is about to travel to Switzerland, asked me the following question:

As a designer and avid type fan, I mainly associate Switzerland as the mecca of European design. Are there any places you suggest that are a must for a designer to visit?

Any swiss readers out there with some insider tips?

Do you have a swissmiss story?

I am currently working on a short talk for the upcoming swissmiss birthday bash as well on a book proposal and have the following question for you:

Do you have a swissmiss story? Did I cover a product/idea/design of yours and it impacted your life? Did a post on my blog inspire you to pursue an idea/dream you had? Did a post of mine kick off a new side business that turned into your new fulltime gig? …

If you, or anyone else you know has a ‘swissmiss story’ please have them email me.

Yay Internet!

Question for my readers…

I just asked my twitter followers if they had any SLR Camera Bag recommendations. I am looking for a SLR Camera bag that can hold 1-2 additional lenses and that is not too clunky, yet stylish!

Wow, the links have been pouring in. As it is virtually impossible to see all replies in one place (unless one uses a distinct hashtag, which I didn’t do) I am asking the same again here. Please add your suggestions below. I’ll make a round-up post later on.

Thanks everyone!

Classified Ad Crowd-Sourcing

I am participating in a silent auction event with the Type Director’s Club and it’s our task to re-interpret an existing classified ad.

Would you like to submit a classified ad you come across and think would be fun to typographically translate into a poster? If so, please submit your suggestions as a scan/image (link to flickr or similar service) in a comment below or email it to me at submission@swiss-miss.com.

If your submission gets picked, you’ll get a mention on the poster! Please note that it needs to be a real existing classifieds ad that I will have to submit alongside with the poster, so please keep it!

Thank you!

Question for my readers: Letterpress Studios

Two days ago I put out this tweet asking for Letterpress studio recommendations:



A lot of my twitter followers asked to share the responses I got. So here they are. Feel free to add more in comments below.

Studio On Fire, Minneapolis
The Mandate Press
Skylab Letterpress, Kansas City
Earl Kallemeyn, Brooklyn
Coeur Noir, Brooklyn
The Mandate Press, Salt Lake City
LetterPressLove, South Dakota
Brown Parcel Press, Athens and Brooklyn
Peter Kruty, Brooklyn
Gilah Press, Baltimore
Letterpress, Austin Texas
Cranky Pressman, Salem OH
Sideshowpress, Charleston South Carolina
Lead Graffiti, Newark Delaware
EM Letterpress, New Bedford MA
Precious Bugarin
Wolfe Editions, Portland Maine
Black Stone Press, Vancouver
Boxcar Press, Syracuse
Bowe House Press, Richmond VA
Pointed Press, Swarthmore PA
Two Paperdolls, Wayne PA
Kyle Van Horn, Baltimore
Cinnamon Kiss Paper Studio
Moontree Letterpress, Brooklyn
Haven Press Studio
Mamas Sauce
Clean Wash Letterpress
Lucky Duck Press

Question for my readers

architecturfirm

Dear readers, I am looking to find architecture firms (or design firms in general) that managed to successfully incorporate a blog into their site. Do any come to mind? Would you mind to leave urls in a comment below? Thanks so much!

Extreme Crowdsourcing

crowdsourcing

Two nights ago, G and I were discussing potential boy’s names for our little unborn son. I spontaneously said: “Why don’t we ask the twittersphere for some ideas?” Within seconds of posting my quest for a cool 4 letter boy’s name suggestions came pouring in. We just sat there refreshing Tweetie and couldn’t believe the amazing and most of all international name suggestions we got.

Crowdsourcing at its best!

I would like to extend this experiment to my blog readers. Have any cool suggestions for a rather unique 4 letter boy’s name for our unborn son? If so, indulge in this extreme crowdsourcing experiment with me and share in a comment below.

Again, the only condition: it has to be a 4 Letter Boys Name.

Question for my readers:

question

What ConversationStarter Tag Question would you like to see answered at on one of our upcoming CreativeMornings?

Question for my readers:

Do you know where I can view some of the original 1971 Big Apple Tourism Campaign posters here in the city?

A 1971 campaign to increase tourism to New York City adopted the Big Apple as an officially recognized reference to New York City. The campaign featured red apples in an effort to lure visitors to New York City. It was hoped that the red apples would serve as a bright and cheery image of New York City, in contrast to the common belief that New York City was dark and dangerous. Since then, New York City has officially been The Big Apple.

Why is New York City called the “Big Apple”?

Question for my readers:

teacher

Next week I’ll be starting as a part time teacher at Parsons The New School for Design here in New York. (Yay!) My goal will be to educate a group of approx 12 students about web design and give them an introduction to designing and planning a site. I am (cautiously) excited and humbled by the learning curve that’s ahead of me, never having taught before.

Are you a professional teaching part-time? If so, what advice would you give someone like me who starting to teach? What was your biggest teaching epiphany? I would love to hear your experience!