Meet The Brand: Julie Likes Food

When Julie's personal branding request popped into my inbox, I knew two things immediately: that I was so psyched to take on this food-centric project, and that Julie and I would kick it off immediately. As a former Denver dweller, I loved that Julie's Instagram presence centered on the Mile High City's food scene. Even more, I was excited to learn that Julie was moving toward using Julie Likes Food as her overarching personal brand while reworking her namesake website.

With that, we got to work!

The brand identity for Julie Likes Food reflects her one-of-a-kind personality: loud, vibrant and unique, but also feminine. Reflective of her love for red lipstick, denim and leather jackets – oh, and let's not forget – a delicious, fresh stack of burgers.

After reviewing two rounds of brand concepts, Julie landed on a final logo that features a hand-drawn font along with an accent mark that pays homage to Instagram – perfect for her social media-loving brand.

I had such a great time designing Julie's loud and proud brand, which was a departure from my previous work that dealt with neutral color palettes and girly, soft designs. Take a look around and learn more about Julie Likes Food's brand below, and keep up with Julie at her site and on Instagram.

Lindsay Scholz | branding and social media designer for creatives, personal branding example, how to create a personal brand


How To Deal With A Change Of Heart In Your Career

Career change tips, change of heart in career, how to change careers

I’ll never forget the day that I’d finally made up my mind: I was no longer going to pursue a career in journalism. Teary-eyed and exhausted from a 10-hour marathon of editing, coaching and managing my college newspaper staff, my fiery passion for seeking the truth and reporting it had dimmed and snuffed itself out.

I felt like a failure.

I felt that all I had worked for led to a dead-end. That I’d wimped out on “real” reporting and was selling out to the dark side of writing 140-character tweets and quippy Instagram captions. Yes – I referred to social media as the dark side back then!

Since that day nearly five years ago, I’ve made more changes of heart in my career than I ever expected. I traded my dream of New York City for the Midwest. I said ‘adios’ to PR and advertising, and hello to social media and branding. And now, I have my sights set on relinquishing my grip on the daily grind of corporate life for a more balanced, giving, heart-filled career.

If you’ve ever had a moment in your car, or in the shower, or in your bed at night alone wondering, “What happened to me? I used to be the best. My career used to seem so promising,” you’re not alone, friend.

Here are a few ways that I’ve dealt with going through a change of heart in my career, and what I’ve learned along the way:

Truth bomb: you’re allowed to change your mind.

This one took me the longest to come to terms with, but it’s also the most true. Who you are now likely isn’t who you were 5 years ago – or even one year ago! – and this life gives us the grace and freedom to change our minds whenever we’d like to. For so long I held onto the notion that it was expected of me to move to New York City, land a job in magazine journalism and work from sun up ‘til sundown. My heart deviated from this, but my stubborn ego wouldn’t let go of my former dream

"This life gives us the grace and freedom to change our minds whenever we'd like to."

What work sits well with you soul and brings you joy? Go do those things, even if it’s wildly different than the ideal career that you’ve held so highly in your mind. Surround yourself with new acquaintances in that new industry or job you have in mind so that you can learn and breathe in the new path that you’re willing to explore.

Prepare yourself for the opinions of others – and let them slide.

One thing I’ve noticed is that as soon as you exit your comfort zone and begin to explore the why and how behind the change of heart in your career, a lot of unsolicited opinions will likely be thrown your way.

“I don’t see why you’re not staying in your industry – it’s practical and secure.” “Why would you leave a company when you’re this close to a fully-vested 401k?” “But you’ve studied your whole education to become an accountant! It doesn’t make sense to change now."

Only you will know when it’s time to make a career shift, and only you will know the right path to take. For far too long I let the opinions of others affect the way I made decisions in my career, and looking back, I regret not going with my gut and taking that lower-paying role with the amazing opportunity for growth and creative freedom, even if it didn’t mean immediate financial satisfaction. Listen to your gut: it will never give you an opinion that will let you down.

"Listen to your gut: it will never give you an opinion that will let you down."

Unapologetically journal your journey.

I’m a natural-born writer – words are my thing. During the change of heart in my career, channeling my negative and anxious energy into my journal was just the outlet I was looking for. A huge part of acknowledging your changing feelings toward your career path is by giving life to them, and journaling is a great way to get all of those confusing, scary emotions out in the open.

For me, journaling my journey during the unexpected change of heart in my career helped lead me to the conclusion that I sought the approval of others far too much in my career, and I was striving to please my peers, family and coworkers far too much in former roles. To this day, I still struggle with seeking the approval of others before myself, but journaling opened my eyes to that habit and I’m extremely aware of it.

If you’re currently grappling with an unexpected (or timely!) change of heart in your career, these words are for you. Find comfort in them and know that your story matters and your work matters. The corporate ladder doesn’t – and will never – define you, nor will taking the leap and exploring new work that truly brings you joy.

Have you ever dealt with a change of heart in your career? How did you recognize it and move forward? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

How To Be Entrepreneurial In Your 9-to-5

How to be entrepreneurial in your 9-to-5, entrepreneur inspiration, entrepreneur tips

I’ve had a side hustle since I was 8 years old. Yes, 8.

I have the faintest memory of schlepping around handwritten magazines that I created in elementary school on the playground, each costing a pretty 5 cents each. I sold a few until word got out and I was quickly reprimanded by a teacher.

WHAT?! I was just exploring my entrepreneurial desires, c’mon.

Ever since then I’ve had several creative outlets that have served as platforms for businesses, including photography and writing - and now social media, branding and design - all while holding down a 9-to-5.

If you’re anything like me, the urge to create, innovate and do the dang entrepreneurial thing all day long is real. If if you’re also like me, the need to hold onto your full-time job right now is just as much of a reality.

So what gives?

I’ve pushed myself to be more entrepreneurial in and out of the office lately, and it’s been an incredibly eye-opening and fulfilling experience. If you’re yearning to take more control of your full-time and side hustle careers, keep reading for a few of my personal learnings on how to be entrepreneurial in your 9-to-5.

Throw out your bulleted list of “job duties.”

I’ve never been a fan of job descriptions. To me, they’re boring and are rarely ever characteristic of the actual job at hand. Looking at my current full-time job description, it would look something like this:

- Owns strategy, management and execution of all influencer marketing efforts
- Responds to all inbound social media comments
- Manages organic and paid content strategy for Instagram

Snore. What do these things really mean, and how can you take them above and beyond?

When I started my current job, our influencer marketing efforts were at a standstill and it was my job to get them back up and running - and fast. I had no idea where to start, and I didn’t even know who our ideal influencers were. I delved into Instagram and quickly discovered that a lot of influencers were already talking about the brand that I work for organically - so why not reach out to them, thank them for their praise and bring them on as paid partners in a campaign? I did exactly that, and influencer impressions and positive brand sentiment has been on the rise ever since. I’ve even been able to jump-start the first ambassador-type program that my company has ever had, all thanks to taking the leap into the unknown and discovering our brand advocates.

Case in point: your job description isn’t going to be a roadmap to success. Sometimes, you have to just wing it, try different things out and see what sticks. Take a boss mindset whenever you’re assigned a new project or initiative, and you’re sure to excel.

Welcome challenges as an opportunity to flex your entrepreneurial muscles.

Confession: I don’t like conflicts. Whether it’s disagreeing with a team member on a project or having to send revisions to a vendor, I cringe at the fact that we all just can’t get along all the time. However, with every professional challenge I’ve faced, important lessons and solutions have been discovered in the process.

In my last job, I helped with the marketing efforts for a gorgeous boutique hotel. We frequently comped hosted stays for media personalities and bloggers, but it was challenging to measure the ROI of these stays. Even moreso - how can you ensure that a blogger has a great enough time with you to talk about it?

With that in mind I reworked the program to include an informational welcome packet and list of preferred deliverables so that it was a win-win situation for the hotel and media. Ever since, I’ve welcomed challenges and love to problem-solve at the benefit of my workplace.

Contribute your side-hustle skills to your full-time work.

This is the biggest, most important one for me. You already know that you have the mind of an entrepreneur - so why are you hiding your amazing talents from your workplace?

When I first began my current role, I shied away from sharing the fact that I managed a successful blog and freelance business outside of work. I thought that if my mind wasn’t 100% into my full-time work, that my boss wouldn’t think that I was committed to the job.

I offhandedly mentioned to my boss one day that I enjoyed design and branding outside of work, and was then able to leverage those skills within my full-time job to begin designing assets for my company to use on social media! Now, I’m not only helping my team with content, but I’m also adding to my side hustle skill set at the same time. I feel happy in control of my career knowing that I’m more than just a list of predetermined, bulleted job duties - and you are, too.

How are you going to be more entrepreneurial in your full-time career today? I want to hear how you’re going to make it happen in the comments below!

Meet The Brand: Outdoor Beginner

When my dear friend Laura of Outdoor Beginner approached me to help her concept a brand for her blog, to say I was overjoyed was an understatement! Laura and I first connected in the summer of 2014 before I took the leap, packed my car full of the only belongings I owned and ventured out West to live in Denver.

Over the last few years, Laura has worked hard to grow her blog and create fun, educational content that makes exploring the great outdoors a little less daunting for beginners. From knowing what to wear the first time you go hiking to mountain biking tips, Laura covers it all from a beginner’s perspective.

Prior to concepting her brand, Laura was clear in that she wanted to incorporate earth tones and a non-script, hand-drawn font into her new look and feel. Armed with this creative direction, I got to work!

I wanted to incorporate the adventurous essence of Colorado-living into Laura’s brand - because nothing beats it. With this in mind, I worked to include Denver’s coordinates subtly into Laura’s brand, as well as mountain details as logo marks.

The end result? A simple, stand-out brand that radiates meaning, purpose and utility. Laura ended up selecting the rectangular logo as her primary brand, and kept the circular and mountain-influenced marks as secondary logos.

Outdoor Beginner brand identity | brand identity, brand design, logo design, branding yourself, branding business

When I look at Laura’s final brand, the words “adventure,” “outdoorsy,” and “nature-inspired” come to mind. What words come to mind for you when you look at Outdoor Beginner’s identity?

Leave your thoughts in the comments, and check out all brand concepts below!

Outdoor Beginner brand identity | brand identity, brand design, logo design, branding yourself, branding business

I see you DIY-ing your brand while juggling a million other things. Fuzzy logo files, font pairings that don't look *quite* right and a color palette you don't love: you deserve better. If you're ready to get branded, click here and let's chat! 

My Home Office Tour...And How I Designed It On a Budget!

Home office decor ideas | Lindsay Scholz | Brand and social media designer for creatives

When Paul and I were in the process of purchasing our first home last winter, having a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom setup was the end goal - and that’s not because a nursery is coming anytime soon! It’s because I’ve always dreamed of having my own home office, and one that I could design and make my own.

Once we moved in, I knew that the second guest room with all of those tall sunny windows was destined to become my office. I moved my existing desk in, and...that’s about it. After moving from Atlanta to Denver to St. Louis in the span of three years, I had to downsize my belongings and my “office” setup was looking a little grim.

Until I started doing what I do best: bargain hunting.

With a little elbow grease and creativity, I was able to design a home office that radiates my ideal aesthetic for under $300, complete with all of the little touches that make it feel like home.

Wondering how you can do the same for your work-from-home space? I’m sharing a few of my favorite home office decor tips and bargain steals below!

Home office decor ideas | Lindsay Scholz | Brand and social media designer for creatives

Thrift stores are your best friend - for select items.

Ever since I was young, I’ve loved the rush of unearthing an unforgettable find in a thrift store. Over the years I’ve thrifted some of my favorite pieces: the perfect $2 black sundress, impeccable $8 Italian leather oxfords and the $3 quote art print that now adorns one of my office walls (originally $20 at Urban Outfitters, what?!).

Thrift stores are great for home office decor bargains like picture frames, floor planters (I thrifted the awesome seafoam-colored number in front of my window) and even unused and sealed office supplies like folders. However, I wouldn’t recommend them for items like rugs and office chairs, which may be harder to clean and inspect for defects prior to bringing them home.

Home office decor ideas | Lindsay Scholz | Brand and social media designer for creatives
Home office decor ideas | Lindsay Scholz | Brand and social media designer for creatives

Art prints are expensive. Print yours instead!

I love a good gallery wall, and have had one in my home ever since I moved into my first solo apartment four years ago. Art prints can be expensive, so my favorite wall decor hack is this: I would buy cheap, basic frames from IKEA (these here, to be exact!) and would print out inspirational art prints that I either designed or would stumble upon on Pinterest.

Sure - these prints aren’t quite the same quality as framed and matted art prints, but they do the job for now! If you’re looking for great photography to print out for your walls, I can’t recommend Unsplash enough. All images are free domain, high-resolution and print-ready.

Home office decor ideas | Lindsay Scholz | Brand and social media designer for creatives
Home office decor ideas | Lindsay Scholz | Brand and social media designer for creatives

Embrace your inner minimalist.

Personally, a home office space with clean lines and lots of natural light is what gets me in the ready-to-work mindset. Embrace intentionality when designing your home office space, and ask yourself: “Will that armchair that I’m tempted to buy and sit in the corner add purpose to my work, or is it just another piece of furniture that I want to buy?” Less distractions around you means more time to crack down and focus on the work that matters most to you.

What would your *dream* home office look like? Describe it for me in the comments below, or show me on Instagram!