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Monday, November 18, 2013

Custom Canvases from the Working Girls!

Creating art is such a wonderful feeling, but it gets even better when you take that art and customize it for your own wall! That's exactly what Jodi and I did this last weekend. We have new art pieces that will be arriving soon and we enjoyed it so much, we thought you might too! That's why we took several of the canvases that we liked, and decided to offer them for sale in our store. Let us know what you think, we are always creating new art so if there is a theme that you would like to see, we may end up designing a new canvas!

Customized Canvas Chandelier by Working Girls

Customized Canvas Blessed by Working Girls

Customized Canvas Explore by Working Girls

Customized Canvas Hot Flash by Working Girls

Customized Canvas Merry Merlot by Working Girls

Customized Canvas Family Vineyard by Working Girls

Customized Canvas Big Daddy by Working Girls

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Art of Trust

We can't believe it,  this week we are participating in the last week of the Declaration of You Blog tour. The Declaration of You! is written and designed by fellow artist friends Jessica Swift and Michelle Ward. We want to give a great big shout out to these two wonderful Working Girls and their awesome team for coming up with the book and blog tour idea. It's been a lot of fun and we we're thrilled and honored to be a part of this wonderful creative process.

So this week it's all about trust and that can mean many things to many people. For us, Trust is about knowing that the art we are bringing into the world is worth designing and sharing. If it cheers someone up, makes them laugh or even turns a bad day completely around, then we are accomplishing our goal. Choosing a career in Art Licensing is not always easy, there are times when our artwork and written ideas are rejected and that never feels good. But the truth is, we believe in what we are doing and whether you are a yoga instructor, hair stylist, first grade teacher to licensed artist, it's important to always have your own back and be your own cheerleader. Believe in what you are doing, believe you are making a difference. What you do does create positive changes in peoples life and adds value to the world. 

It's hard to believe that just a few short years ago, Jodi and I were sitting around her kitchen table with just a dream of this business and now it's a reality. It's taken us to London, Atlanta, and New York and more than likely we'll be visiting China within next 12 months! We didn't put any limitations on what we could do, we just focused on what we wanted and trusted the creative process.

Artist Jodi and Writer Tonja in London

Basically it all boils down to this, don't ever let anyone tell you can't do something. If the dream is in your heart then with enough effort, work and dedication your ideas can and will become reality. We've brought 3,000 products into the world, some were easy and some took years but at the end of the day, our belief and trust in our abilities is what made it happen. If we can do this, you can too, your only task is to do it your own way in your own style! We wish you much success on your journey, here's to your continued success! 

Jodi and Tonja

Monday, July 15, 2013

It's Only Money Honey

So this week we are back participating in the Declaration of You Blog tour. The Declaration of You! is written and designed by the talented Jessica Swift and Michelle WardThis week it's all about MONEY!

I guess you could say we've learned a thing or 20 about money since starting on this art licensing journey about five years ago. We want to share three pieces of advice that we've discovered and I think it's at least partly why we've been so successful, landing over 3,000 products on the market. 

# 1. You can Start Your "Creative" Business without blowing up your life!

What we mean by that is when Jodi and I first started to make a go of art licensing, we were both still working for other people. Jodi was doing design work for a company with QVC ties and I was working a 9 to 5 job. This allowed us to keep bringing in a somewhat steady paycheck and at the same time start to build a porfolio. It takes time and money to build your client list, develop your brand, and attend and follow up on trade shows. Too many times artist contact us and say "Okay, I've quit my day job, now what?"  To which we usually reply, "See if you can get your job back!"  

Look we are all for following your hearts desire but the reality is NO ONE want to do business with someone that is desperate for money, so do yourself a favor and put a little money aside so you are not in panic mode when you launch your business.

# 2. Define what your services are worth, and then uphold your own value.

We really think this is important, whether you are designing jewelry for etsy or producing artwork for license, it's up to you to set the prices. Early on it's tough because you "really, really, really" want the deal and may be tempted to slash your prices but don't do it! When you believe that what you are creating and bringing into the world is unique and special (and it is) then it's easy to stand your ground and hold firm to your value. You may lose a deal here and there when you don't cave on the price, but the people and companies that value what you do will come back again and again. The key to any type of abundance is authenticity, no one can ever be better at being you than you and it only makes sense that you should declare and claim your own value.

# 3. It's not really about the money.

This is a hard concept for some people to grasp but the truth is it's all about how you expect the money to transform your life. A lot of times it's hard to get excited about an affirmation like "I am making $25,000 this month." It sounds great on paper but really what does that mean? It becomes much more tangible and real when you work toward something with the attitude, I am excited about this project and then with the money I plan to take my family on a beach vacation, buy a new car, pay for my kid's college etc. Money is like air, it's flowing, it's everywhere, you can decide to make a little money or a lot of money. Either way, it does not take away from another artist or another project. There is plenty to go around so dream big and soar.

Would love to hear your thoughts about business and money, it's a fascinating topic and one we continue to explore and expand upon. 

Have a super week! 

Jodi and Tonja

P.S. We'll be on vacation next week so it will be a bit quiet at Working Girls central.  We're both vacationing with our families on beaches in California. The Working Girls are looking forward to spending a week as the Vacation Girls! 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

You can write in Style.. with Working Girls custom Labels, Checks and Checkbook Covers!

We are so excited to have partnered with Check Advantage to bring a number of new Working Girl styles to a check near you. Dale and the entire staff was so wonderful to work with and we're excited to see these new images on covers, address labels and checks. You can pick them up over the Check Advantage website!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Power of Intention

Declaration of You Tour

Surtex follwup is still in full swing and we hope to have a fresh line of products to debut soon. It's so exciting to work on new projects with new companies and expand and explore new options with our existing manufacturers. So this week we are participating in the Declaration of You Blog tour. The Declaration of You! is written and designed by the uber cool Jessica Swift and Michelle Ward. It's been fun to be a part of the blog tour and discover new artists, writers and general creative types and read what they have to say on various subject.

This week it's all about INTENTION! This is one of the subjects near to our heart and we actually have a formula we use over at Working Girls central. Don't freak out, there will be no algebra test at the end so here it is:

(h) I + (c) A = (d) Outcome

huh? Okay here it is simplified.

(heart) Based Intentions plus (correct) Action = (desired) Outcome.

What's a heart based intention? It's an intention that doesn't come from your brain. It's an internal push or a desire to create, manifest or somehow bring to life in a 3rd dimensional reality. Let's say you want to get in shape, your brain could set the intention all day long to eat carrot sticks and go to the gym, but if that is not centered in your heart guess what, you're going to end up doing just about anything other than your intention (like matching your husbands massive pile of black sox to watching back to back episodes of the Housewives of New Jersey). Or surfing You Tube for funny videos about procrastination like this one!

That's why it's important to find the joy and the fulfillment in setting your intention. Both Jodi and I are very busy, and exercising is not our favorite thing to do. But Jodi loves getting out of the house sometimes and going to see her friend Grace who just happens to be a fabulous pilates instructor, that intention works because it's coupled with friendship and a change of scenery. I don't like exercise either, but I do love the outdoors and happen to live in a community with a resort style pool, thus I end up going to the pool and swimming, much more appealing to me then throwing some 10 pound barbells around in a testosterone filled gym.

These same rules apply to business. The only intentions that really matter are the ones you set that you are WILLING to follow through on. Which brings us to the second part of our equation.

(h) I + (c) A = (d) Outcome

Intentions must be coupled with (correct) Action.

Correct action often involves things that aren't too exciting like phone calls, sending out email newsletters, follow up, and even, dare we say it...collecting on accounts. Early on, we might have had some grand ideas that we just set our intentions, work on our lovely little projects all day, and wah lah,  all this magic happens with our products lining the store shelves and money oozes from our bank account.

But alas, there is no creative/intention/magical bypass. The creating is a lot of fun, but equally enjoyable and sometimes challenging is the selling, the collaborating, the building and tweaking process. We are still perfecting our processes but one thing is clear, taking the (correct) Action is key to having your intention fulfilled.  

When our action doesn't lead to our desired result, we view it as an opportunity for corrective action. In five years, we've had to course correct within our business more than once. While not fun, we found the experience to be very educational. As Oprah likes to say, "When you know better you do better!"

So that's the formula. Hope it inspires you to create something grand and do what only you can do, bring something authentically yours into the world. Here are a few of our own most recent intentions, we'd love to hear yours too, so don't be shy. Well behaved, mild-mannered women rarely make history you know!

INTENTIONS LIST - Summer 2013 

To launch a collection of books with a publisher that makes people laugh  - we've done it once so far!
Create patterns and images that make their way to fabric, scrapbook paper, and crafting supplies.
Put our Working Girls images on products sold throughout the UK.
Develop some art images perfect for computers, iphones and skins.
Create a collection of Working Girl tabletop and gift items available in boutiques.
To travel out of state with family enjoying rest and relaxation.
Enjoy and appreciate our new Working Girls SUV and Car. 


Jodi and Tonja

Come Join the Fun!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Power of Enthusiasm + Action

Hello All! We hope you are having a fantastic start of your summer. Things have been jumping in the Working Girls Design, Inc studio here in Las Vegas. We enjoyed a very busy week in New York for the Surtex show and are busy, busy, busy with follow up and excited to bring you some fresh, new cool Working Girls Designs soon!! And speaking of cool, have you heard about the new book The Declaration of You! It's written and designed by the very talented Jessica Swift and Michelle Ward. The book also has lots of really cool contributors including one of our favs the very funny and super smarty - Danielle Laport.
So to celebrate all these fabulous women and their sage advice, we are going to be jumping in with our two cents on certain topics. This week it's all about enthusiasm, and we have a few gems to share about the topic.

First, if you're going to start your business whether it's selling art or opening a hair salon, you're going to need a big healthy dose of enthusiasm. Your ideas and dreams are unique to you, and if you have the desire to express yourself uniquely in your business, then it can become not only a  reality, but an uber successful venture too. And how cool would that be, to live like a rockstar in your own chosen profession and 100% in charge of how you shape and grow your business.

Now, in addition to enthusiasm, you're going to need to have a big dose of taking regular ACTION steps to reach your goals. We meet artists all the time and they want to see their artwork on products, they want to see their creations line the store shelves and we say creating the artwork is the EASY part. In addition to creating the art, you'll need to do a lot of legwork and very unsexy things like art licensing tradeshows, cold calls to manufacturers and walking the gift shows in Atlanta, Dallas, Las Vegas or New York. We've done all those things. It took time, capital and hard work, but wa lah - we've also put over 2,000 products on the store shelves in cool places like Bed Bath and Beyond, Steinmart, Staples, Cost +, JC Penny, Fred Segal and Barnes and Noble to name a few.

Our guess is that when Jessica and Michelle had the idea for the book they were very enthused about it! But that's not nearly enough to bring a successful book like this to market. What you may not see is all the hours they spent creating it, gathering content, proofing it, and finding the perfect partner to publish the book! For success to happen, you've got to schedule in time, maybe a lot of time, to turn all that enthusiasm swimming around in your head, into a 3rd dimensional object like a book or product.

Book Available July 2013
Now another funny thing about enthusiasm is that it really helps to have a partner. Working Girls is made up of Jodi the artist and Tonja the writer, we have different levels of enthusiasm and push and pull each other forward. Likewise, Michelle and Jessica co-created their book together. It's not necessary that you have a partner to keep your enthusiasm up, but it sure does help to have another living soul that believes in your project as much as you do!

 Last thing, we love this little gem of a video by best selling author Kelly Corigan.
 We know when you are enthused about your project you want to share your ideas with a spouse, sibling, parent, co-worker, friend and maybe even a stranger, but recognize that early stage investors are rare!! If you have a strong vision, keep moving forward with it, you are bringing something fabulous into the world and that means you may hear a few "I don't get it" or "That won't work" from friends and family. That's okay, keep going anyway, because when you feed your enthusiasm with ACTION and keep bolding going in the direction you desire, that's truly when the magic happens! We would love to hear about your next big aha project, and how you plan to keep your enthusiasm in full swing.

c 2013 Working Girls Design.

We wish you all the best!

Jodi and Tonja

Come Join the Fun!