Meet Eva! The smart girl from Sycamore Street Press

Smart Cookie Alert! You are going to love Eva Jorgensen! Eva and her husband, Kirk  run a stationery company called Sycamore Street Press. I love the look and feel of their brand. In this interview, Eva explains how a  family trip helped them define a vision for their business and their lifestyle. I heard her on a panel at ALT Summit and she really impressed me. The entire panel impressed me, but I loved the practical marketing application that Eva uses as she pins on Pinterest! She shares it in this interview so tune in!! P.S. She also talks about her instagram “look and feel” which I think is totally working! You can follow her on instagram @sycamorestreetpress . Eva has the sweetest spirit, she is someone whose personality really matches her business!





Clearing up the fog


I have to share what has happened to me in that last couple of months. Maybe if you are on a foggy part of your own journey my story might help. You may or may not know that I tucked my paint brushes and aspects of my creativity away for a bit while I started Smart Creative Women. I am not sad that I did this because I found my voice and creativity in a completely new way tackling technology, talking to other creative people and helping creatives get clear with where they were headed. I even put together a course that helps you crystallize it, all the while my internal motor was buzzing inside me asking myself how I was going to express myself next. I knew that the answers were on the inside somewhere.

For all of you that have listened to me lament,  question and ask myself what makes sense for me, thank you. Smart Creative Women gets me so excited that I feel like I am jumping up and down on the inside but I also knew that I wanted another aspect of my creativity to make me feel the same way. I was advised to just create, tricky when your day job takes an enormous amount of time. So I set out to sketch and sketch. I applied all the principles in the Smart Creative Style course and it was enlightening. I learned things about myself that I was so excited to uncover. Little pieces of my personality started to make sense like never before.

Here is where my story might help you, IT DID NOT ALL HAPPEN IN AN INSTANT. I am an expert and pulling apart ideas until they are no longer recognizable. I am hard on my own  ideas because when I do commit, I get seriously focused. I also know what it’s like to stick around in “indecision land” for too long. Feeling like you have not hit the right note can leave you feeling like you are in a fog.

One of the main lessons in Smart Creative Style is to trust yourself. If you are in a foggy place and you are not quite sure when the fog will lift, I will offer advice that my mother always gave me, follow your peace. I recently broke down what peace felt like for me and  it was, follow your inner jumping and down girl.  Essentially, the best piece of advice my mother could ever give me and is to trust myself.

I am at a point now when I have a lot of opportunities coming at me. It is exciting for sure, but it can also add to the fog. I also feel like I could be successful and profitable at many of those opportunities, but some of them came with a nagging little voice on the inside that had me asking “Why? Why would I follow that path?” This would lead me to my next line of questioning, “What is your end goal?” OH! THE FOG! Was I not sure or where my goals too lofty?  I completely get that fog is a total bummer, but let me encourage you to keep showing up even if you are not sure what is “next” for you. So many of us keep looking for outside voices to help us out which I think can be fabulous, but it can also make you feel like a hamster on a wheel. While I do believe pieces of programs and courses offer wonderful solutions, you are eventually going to have to trust yourself when it comes to making decisions about your future. Which, if you know me also means you are going to have to love yourself, and quiet those critical voices in your head.

YOUR ANSWERS WILL COME, maybe not all at once, but tuck all your ah-ha moments into your heart and trust that there will be a moment when you will know what to do next and you will see a clear path for yourself. The fog will lift and you will know your next move. Trust. 

So what does this have to do with my own fog lifting? Mine comes in the form of getting my “non tech” creative bug back. I am so full of ideas that the days are not long enough and I am jumping up and down on the inside! (Which, Mom, is my version following my peace!) This is one of my inspiration boards for my next act:



Your love and what to do with it


Happy Valentine’s Day! Who and What I am into this Week is love. Love is a word that is used and used and then used some more. We love our spouse, our children, our jobs, our passions. Sometimes spiritual leaders try to break down the word love into it’s early language interpretations. It’s still love and no one really needs to tell me that I love God differently than I love a new pair of shoes. What I do think is that a word in the English language can be used so often that it loses its punch or its impact. We certainly have found about 1,000 different ways to express that something is “cool.” Rad. Wicked. Sick. Can you tell I live with teenagers? We always seem to stick with the word love but can that word have less impact if it is tossed around too much?

What other words could we use to express the word love? Cherish. Adore. Worship. Worship has all sorts of connotations to it, does it  make you a bit uncomfortable? Ok, then we will move on.  We can delight in someone. We can express our affection towards them. We can appreciate them. We be even be enchanted or delight in someone.

Today on this Valentine’s Day, I am giving you two challenges! 

Number 1: Express your love to someone using a different word than love.

Number 2: Express your love to yourself.

What? Monica, now you are just getting goofy. I don’t think so. We have all crossed paths with people that are miserable and carrying a degree of self loathing. Not a happy experience, right? It is easy to slip into a mental space of disregard for ourselves where the voice of our inner critic has expressed itself more often (and why is that guy so loud?) than our inner cheerleader, our inner mentor. How can you expect to cherish the people in your life, or even the God that created you if you don’t LOVE yourself?

Today (ok, tomorrow too)  I want you to be enchanted by your own allure, embrace your talents, take joy in your humor, your tenacity… whatever YOU need to love about yourself and just express it. Say the words out loud, write them down. Whatever it takes to create an impression, a jolt, an impact on you. Then go and love the people around you using new words, new expressions that make an impact on them.

Everyday should be Valentine’s Day.



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Jenn Louden gives tips on listening to your true life!

I love Jenn Louden because she is a practical yet  so so thoughtful. Jenn has written  6 books on well being and personal wisdom.  She talks about your minimum requirements for self care-this is a TERRFIC concept. This is NOT a list of goals, but what you need to be content and at peace especially when life is coming at you pretty fast! She has written a new  book, The Life Organizer to help you stay on track! It is a fabulous way to keep  a list of checks and balances so you can show up for your own life in the best possible way. It is NOT about being perfect. (Ack! Been there, tried that!) You have to tune into this talk. Jenn calls it “laying out breads crumbs back to yourself.”  Hello?!!!! We need bread crumbs back to our true selves! Jenn talks about trusting your instincts so you know that I am all over this conversation!  I could go on and on…. but you HAVE to listen yourself. This will be a salve for your soul today!!!




It is SCW Anniversary Week: Here is what I have learned!

Celebrate good times, come on! (insert Lionel Richie tune) My age might be showing on that tune choice but I am having a moment a celebrating the start of my profitable 3rd year at Smart Creative Women!! This has been the most pleasurable hard work that I have ever done!

In this video, I share what I think has been my biggest take away SO FAR in interviewing all these creative women. It is a big picture key and one of the reasons I put together Smart Creative Style. I want YOU to be able to unlock the key for yourself!! I want you to be zooming along in all your creative endeavors. I want you to understand who your audience is AND how to reach them AND communicate your own personal aesthetic all at the same time because IT CAN BE DONE!!

TUNE IN to today’s video to see what I mean!

It is not some magic pill that you take or some formula that you follow, but there are key things that will get you on track and we cover them in Smart Creative Style. It is Creative Business 101 that won’t put you to sleep and will give you any missing pieces to your look and messaging for your business. You can register here!

The course starts tomorrow, if you are on the fence-check out what Kathy Weller had to say about the course!! This is a terrific post about what the course did for her. If you haven’t seen her site makeover (prompted by Smart Creative Style) You have to check it out.


Have you seen the 2 new “who’s” I have adding their wisdom to the course? Alyssa Thomas from Penguin and Fish and Emily McDowell! I love that the guests I have inside the course are on board with helping you figure out YOUR OWN PATH!  You can read what the last group of  women said about the course here.

Tom Henell, my live in marketing guru, is adding his wisdom and perspective that is game changing! Khali Whatley skyped in all the way from Australia  for several videos to help you understand how big brands think-she is enlightening for sure! The combination of big business tools and real live creative business owners is magic. AND you can’t forget that it is really FUN and about YOU. You won’t come out of this course with a particular look or someone’s style or formula. I totally get that you need your own path!! This course can help you uncover just what that path is!

Your personal style+A plan of action=Happy, authentic YOU! You can register here. I can’t wait to meet you  inside the course!



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Creative Director of Peter Pauper Press, Heather Zschock

Since I am headed to the NY Now (formerly the NY Gift Show) to judge the Louie Awards this week, it only seems appropriate that I have Heather Zschock on as my guest today! Heather is the Creative Director at Peter Pauper Press. Remember how I said creative directors are busy, busy and are not sitting patiently waiting for your art and darling ideas to land in their mailbox? Well, Heather proves that BUT I found out that she does hope that you have some darling  ideas for her!

What I really liked about this interview, was realizing just how much designing and creativity Heather gets to do on and off the job. In this interview, you’ll hear about Peter Pauper and what they are currently looking for. You will also get a glimpse and a hard working creative mom (insert sick child home from school-you will get a glimpse of him towards the end!) The reality is that no matter what your job or title, moms are just making it work.  Women everywhere are as excited about meeting you and learning about your creativity and you are theirs. I think hands down, Heather has got to be one of the nicest Creative Directors in NYC! I am so excited to have you meet her! Tune in!


Heather is creative is ALL the areas of her life, she has even authored a couple children’s book with her sister, Martha, who is a popular illustrator Runs in the family!


Above are more projects from Peter Pauper, one from Mary Beth Cryan who I have interviewed! 


What is your visual story?

Does it reflect you? Does it say what you need it to say to sell your goods or services?

Most importantly, does make an emotional connection with your audience?
Those are a lot questions for a solopreneur to answer! We live a in a VERY visual world and at this point your visuals either ARE your brand or a big part of your brand.
Are you even sure of what your own visual story is?

One of the big missions in Smart Creative Style is to lead you through some out of the box exercises that challenge you. They are designed to evoke emotions within yourself and to help you discover what is original to only you!

As creatives, we are almost always telling a visual story. It can be eye opening to discover  what sort of visual stories you are drawn to. You need this information as you decide how you will tell your own. An example might be to look at these two pieces of art, one by Renoir and one by Hopper and to ask yourself which one appeals to you more and why? Composition, lighting? The noise that one might be making or the quiet that the other represents?


Smart Creative Style is NOT a course that says do this step 1, step 2 and you will be an overnight success! Ack! We have all bought into that (ok, maybe just me) The course is designed for you to set aside some time to uncover what makes YOU tick and then lays out different ways of thinking so you can present what resonates with you to the world. The lessons come into your mailbox 2 times a week for 6 weeks. It will take about 2-3 hours a week of  actual lessons and the “discovery” part is what you decide to do with it, but I will say, the exercises are  like dessert! 

This is a course about YOU! It is a creative business 101 lesson plan that will force you to follow your own story. I KNOW better than anyone what it is like to show up in my business because I was following the money trail, the easy trail and the-if-she-can-do-it-why-can’t-I  trail.

Oh my! It is so easy to fall into those traps.  It is time to bring your unique voice, style and aesthetic to what you are doing.
Every time I met a creative woman, she has a unique story. It is amazing! What is happening is that often it is not being communicated in a concise manner. For us to truly have an impact on others, we have to understand ourselves and what we are trying to accomplish. We need to know what we LOVE and why. We need to get rid of doubt and fall in radical love with ourselves, our taste, our story and our businesses!

If you have got it in you and if the time is right, join us! Class starts Feb 11!

 Here is a completely different example. These are 2 photos that are enticing you to create a recipe using ice cream. The first one has a human element with coffee being poured over the desert and they other doesn’t even have spoons present. Does the human element appeal to you? Maybe you like one image simply because you like purple and it has nothing to do with the ice cream at all.


Here is another example, with 2 black and white images of striped one piece bathing suits. Neither image clearly shows the models’ faces. The bottom  represents a defined era and the top image leaves you guessing as to what era it might be from. (It is a present day photo, but could pass as from the 70′s.) Maybe you like one the top shot because it is outdoors.

Which image appeals to you the most? Obviously, when you look at these images there is not right or wrong answer, it is simply about what speaks to you. Understanding what resonates with you and why can unlock a treasure trove of information and inspiration inside yourself that no one else can lay claim to! That is the joy of discovery and application that we uncover in Smart Creative Style! It is SO exciting to me. It can be just what you need to give yourself and your business the love and attention it needs! You can register here.



FUN,  right??  Self discovery SHOULD be fun! Working on your business, while hard work, should be fun too! This is how I designed Smart Creative Style, as a FUN, exciting way to explore your creative business!

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