My idea is officially alive in the Kickstarter world. Every moment leading up to the time I posted my campaign was anxiety filled, but also extremely invigorating. In a way I’m still just as nervscited as last week. I’ve never wanted to see something come to life so much! In class on Wednesday, we did check ins and I was sure that I was going to go a different route. I had decided on a poster that was a tribute to Chicago, my hometown. I figured I had a large enough network of Chicagoans and should easily be able to raise $1000, but that didn’t excited me. I wanted to create something that allowed me to create harmony between the short deadline, the just “put yourself out there” advice I’d been getting, and my own excitement. For some reason, the Chicago poster did not seem to find that harmony, so I went back to the drawing board. 
On Wednesday night, I started prototyping the WWBS cards and had no idea what I could come up with. Maybe I would create a few and decide they too were not enough to keep me excited. Nevertheless, I proceeded knowing that whatever I ended up selling had to be something I 1) wanted for myself 2) would be proud of even if it failed. I stayed up rather late, messing around in Illustrator until I had a general direction that I was satisfied with. By about 1am I was extremely excited about my prototype and probably a little too eager to get it on Kickstarter. On Thursday, I had every intention of not going to bed that night until my campaign was up, but that didn’t feel right. I was applying unnecessary pressure to myself and I decided to take a step back. 
By Friday, I could barely pay attention to other things, as I knew this had to be the BIG DAY! Friday evening I decided what my plan was. I was going to finish my prototype, post my Kickstarter campaign, turn my phone off, and cook something new. The last two things on the list were probably the most important as they allowed me to get out of my own head and away from any feedback that came my way. I quickly began feeling antsy about possibly missing emails or Facebook comments, so I decided to turn my phone back on and face the music. To my surprise, I was greeted by numerous notifications, all representative of the positive feedback I had received. It felt good to know that other people like my idea as well. 
I awoke Saturday morning to emails about new backers and they definitely served as positive reinforcement. Every chance I get, I email a blogger or DM an Instagram account, asking them to repost my cards. Promoting my campaign has been the most challenging part, but I hope to be featured on some blogs this week. I’m also considering new ways to promote my campaign, possibly starting another Tumblr where I blog things related to my cards. I’m not totally sure what innovative tactics I’ll use to market my campaign just yet, but this part feels like it will be one of my biggest takeaways, because I have never really had to promote a product. I, for one, am quick to tell others that I am not a salesperson, but this has to change. I don’t want to change in the “used car salesman” salesperson way, but in a way that allows me to communicate the value of my product and my ingenuity. I want people to know who and what they are supporting, so I’m taking all lessons on the Art of Promotion
As I enter my 3rd full day of my campaign, I am still very nervous about how I will reach my goal, but I’m hopeful and eager to learn all that this experience can teach me. 

Week 1 Mood: Nervscited

This past week was my first week back in school. It felt like it took me the whole week to get readjusted to going to school and work, but after this long weekend, I should be good to go! 

This semester has been regarded as the most difficult by most of the 2nd year students in my program and so far it’s living up to that. Typically that kind of description scares people but for some reason it makes me soooo excited, well nervscited (nervous + excited), hence the title. I’m nervous and excited about what is to come in the next 14 weeks. I’m so ready to be challenged and I think this semester will do the trick. 

Beyond the rigor I think I’ll experience this semester, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the $1000 project, as I’m sure it will be the source of my nervscitement for the next 3 weeks ( why 3 weeks you ask? Only because I have to make $1000 by February 4th O_O) . As insane as it sounds, I’m so happy the project won’t be looming over my head for 15 weeks, surely that would be worse. Not to mention the fact that a “glass half full” approach is the only way you make it through something as crazy as this. I’m also eager to prove to myself that this can be done, and by me at that. Perfectionism, over thinking, and sure-ness aside, this will get done! 

All that side, since I’m on this crazy deadline I’ve been trying to be even more observant of the things around me, in an effort to come up with a good product. Some ideas I’ve had include (wait, before you read them, let me make it clear that this is a NO JUDGEMENT ZONE):

  • #fail: poster dedicated to people who failed and then succeeded
  • Startup Trivia: trivia card game about startups
  • Random Acts of Kindness: whatever I decide to make, backers can’t buy it for themselves, it has to be for someone else
  • Love letters: idk what I had in mind, but I want to send people love letters, brighten their days…maybe this is in tandem with random acts of kindness
  • Women’s empowerment journal: think notebook with quotes from Beyonce, Oprah, Mindy Kaling, Lena Dunham, Amy Poehler
  • 20somethings journal: I saw this video and wondered what I could do to help 

These are just a few of the ideas I had and I’m determined to pick one asap. Until next week….




It Was All a Dream...

Below is an excerpt from my statement of purpose for graduate school. This statement allowed me to document my transformation from a person who allowed fear and discomfort to keep me from my dreams, to a person who chases the uncomfortable in search of growth and happiness. 

On June 15, 2013, I woke up at 3:54 am with a feverish need to clear my mind. It was in that moment that my fears and dreams collided. I sat up and began to type a note in my phone, “I am a people pleaser! I am extremely focused on how I can exceed the expectations of others. This often has a negative connotation, but I don’t see it that way. After all, everyone deserves to have their socks knocked off. I consider ‘people pleasing’ to be my take on user experience but for me it goes beyond interfaces and technology. I want to create products, content, designs, and strategies that allow the people who are most important to me, users, family, and friends, to enjoy the ultimate user experience, life!” These words have guided every decision I have made since that night.

From middle school to undergrad, my career aspirations changed from becoming a lawyer, to a psychiatrist, to a consultant; mostly as a result of my desire to represent the underserved, understand how people think, and solve problems. Each time I changed my professional goals, I further suppressed my desire to pursue a career in the creative industry, because I feared the reactions I would get after telling people I wanted to pursue design.  As a result of my fear, I pursued a B.B.A. in Business Marketing; a degree that was as close as I could get to being creative without wandering into the land of ‘starving artists’ as I commonly heard people refer to the design world. As a teenager I did not know  the meaning or value of my ability to find beauty and interest in various subjects, but in retrospect I realize that there is a way for me to fulfill all of these aspirations through design.

After interning in consulting and in branding/marketing, I chose the former as a result of being afraid. I couldn’t bear to explain to people why I had given up an opportunity to have a secure salary for at least the first two years of my “adulthood” nor did I know how I’d deal with myself if I passed up job security and ended up unhappy. Less than a year into my role as Federal Analyst at Deloitte Consulting, I knew I had made the wrong decision and wondered how long I would allow myself to continue on this fear-driven trajectory. There was no defining moment that made me realize this, I was just finally ready to be honest with myself about my passions and about the fear I had allowed to take over me. I wrestled with myself thinking about how I should have majored in design or communications in undergrad, but that didn’t change the fact that I needed a path into the design world. Furthermore, my internal battle negated the value of the analytical skills, software development methodologies, ux/ui skills, and client relationship management experiences I had accumulated while serving various clients. On that June 15th morning, I embraced the fact that design, creativity, and strategy are at the core of who I am and that I won’t be happy until I incorporate these things into my work. The three facets together allow me to tackle any problem and that is what I am passionate about, tackling problems and delivering meaningful solutions. My experiences at Deloitte and my degree in business prepared me for the professional aspect of any career, but I am now seeking experiences that will further my creative and making abilities.

For me, design is about creating experiences and products that make people elicit emotion, and being able to change the lens through which I see to create for people I do not know. Similarly, technology is not about the end product, but about ways in which we can use the end product to realize things we once imagined. I imagine a time when kids’ video games allow them to see themselves in potential careers. While I am an avid Playstation and Grand Theft Auto fan, I would have loved to be able to simulate a character who was a designer, or a businesswoman, or a police officer, and really come to know all the careers that exist beyond doctors and lawyers. Even more, I imagine a platform where my two little sisters can have an idea for a product, business, or service and crowdsource resources to become teenage entrepreneurs. I admire those little girls because their abilities to pursue their interests and express their feelings are things that I am just learning and when I grow up, I want to be just like them. I find the most inspiration in watching children interact with one another and with adults. They are candid, playful, genuine, and observant; all characteristics that need to be brought back to the forefront of human experience, all characteristics that I will bring to my design work.

DM Takes NY

Everyone has been asking me to document my journey, so I’m doing it! I want to share what I learn, experience, and love about school, design, NY, and life.