We haven’t always been digital content creators but we’ve always been creatives with a penchant for all things digital. Five years ago, our daughter Beatrice came to be. We fought hard to get her and we won big. She’s an awesome kid and has transformed our lives…yada, yada, you know the rest. As is the case with kids, there are “isms” that we didn’t exactly plan for. At the age of 6 months, upon shoveling that first spoon of num num num baby cereal into her, Beatrice began to swell and grab at her throat and broke out in hives from head to toe. Her allergic reaction sent us to hospital in an ambulance. Seeing one’s six-month-old strapped to a gurney is not a sight one soon forgets. Lucky for us, Beatrice was quickly cared for and returned home with us that day. Lucky for us, she was immediately sent for allergy tests where we discovered the host of allergies she had including anaphylaxis to nuts. It would have sucked to discover that on the fly. But, there went my plans to head back to work at the end of year one. Daycare just wasn’t an option.
About a year later, in the midst of trying to figure out how to make ends meet as a single income family, the company my husband works for restructured and it looked for a time like we would both be unemployed. Can you say PANIC BUTTON? As it turns out, Greg was very fortunately recalled the next day and will shortly celebrate his tenth year working at the now thriving tech company that is officialCOMMUNITY.
But that was never going to solve the totality of our situation. And the fact is that being a stay-at-home-mom, while so full of extraordinary moments, was not going to be enough to keep me going on a professional level. One income, was not going to cover the growing needs of a growing child. One income, was not going to sufficiently keep me in retail-therapy and it certainly was never going to pay for our collective wanderlust. And even with my work as a professional actor, I was still going to need something that could really engage me in the down times of which there are many.
So, we took stock: our skills, our passions, our interests and our goals. What could we do that we could eventually turn into a business to help sustain us, not only now but to put our livelihood back in our hands for the long term. I’ve spent over 20 years working as an artist across many disciplines; acting, writing, photography, design, painting and illustration. Greg is also a professional actor, director and educator. Not only do we share passion for technology and all things digital but Greg has been working in the field coming up on a decade as I mentioned earlier.
So, as I continued to practice art in all forms, I began to take coding classes to up my design game and I started blogging. I had no idea what I was doing but we knew we needed to start getting content out there to figure out how it all worked. It was a silly little blog but it taught me a lot about social sharing and getting brand engagement. I scored some free merch along the way and the site also served to get me freelance writing gigs. I created two children’s books and figured out how to self-publish one of them. I’m not happy with where they’re at yet but they are a solid work-in-progress. I started learning everything I could about branding, (a journey I started a decade ago as an educator and professional actor), marketing and social media. These days, I’m very focused on screen and TV writing which fulfills me both as an artist and as a content creator but that’s another story.
Meanwhile, Greg started upping his game. He had already been deeply involved in online brand management, social media and client management but he began to take more of an active role in Facebook advertising, business development and sales. He now crunches the numbers around here.
So flash forward to this time last year. Beatrice started school. Wow. Did that fly by or what! I suddenly found myself with time during the day and that’s when we decided to pull the trigger. We launched Bespokably (take 1). I had been doing a web course about launching digital businesses and the very first module had to do with validating your business. Ie. Before you put any resources into it figure out if people are willing to pay actual money for your service or product. Ok, we thought. Put it out there and see. We created a monster site with the biggest service menu you’ve ever seen because we didn’t know what people actually needed. It wasn’t exactly pretty but it got the job done.
We started getting inquiries which generally sounded something like “what is it exactly that you guys do anyway”? And that was good because it forced us to answer it over and over again. In the beginning we answered quite badly but over time, the answer clarified and when it clarified enough, people starting hiring us. Digital content creators. Who knew?! Well, a few people did. Read on.
When we came across this July 2015 article from Forbes we knew we were onto something if for no other reason than it helped to validate us within the context of a tech environment.
“That ‘Useless’ Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech’s Hottest Ticket”
“What kind of boss hires a thwarted actress for a business-to-business software startup? Stewart Butterfield, Slack’s 42-year-old cofounder and CEO, whose estimated double-digit stake in the company could be worth $300 million or more…And he’s far from alone. Throughout the major U.S. tech hubs, whether Silicon Valley or Seattle, Boston or Austin, Tex., software companies are discovering that liberal arts thinking makes them stronger.” ~George Anders (Forbes Online)
With a little more digging, we were able to see the trend developing and figure out that we had landed smack in the middle of a new idea; use artists to create your digital content because they know how to tell stories. So here we are (take 2) .
Bespokably . We create custom digital content for your brand so that you can focus on your business.
We’ve created a nifty little Explainer Video to help you understand more specifically what kind of content we can create.
This blog is going to be used to jam on content trends, items that reflect our own manifesto which you can see on the Bespokably home page, small businesses that are hitting this entrepreneur thing our of the park, doing the custom thing well or anything else that strikes our content-related fancy. If you are a solo-preneur, small to medium sized business or larger industry that engages in digital content, we hope you’ll join us for the ongoing discussion by joining our mailing list or following us on our social media channels. Most importantly, if you know anyone who has content needs, we hope you’ll send them our way.