My passion is design – I love helping people bring their ideas to life. I have been in the industry since 2002 – which sounds like a REALLY REALLY long time. I did take a couple of breaks from working as full time designer while I owned a couple of my own businesses – but always kept my foot in the door. I could never just give it up. It was my hobby and my career.

If you would like to start a project or need to bounce some ideas – please feel free to give me a call or send me an email.

Graphic Designer by trade and passion

How did I get here...

1996

SASS – Salmon Arm

Graduated with a my GED ready to embark on the journey of life. Here we should note that my dream was to go to art school but I managed to get into a fight with my art teacher Mrs Tucker in grade 11 over my technique in clay sculpting – apparently I didn’t do it right. It was a big deal to her and created a lot of friction. You might ask why would tell you this… My 17 year old self did not believe in creative restrictions nor did she have the foresight to know that quitting art 11 was going to seriously hinder the post graduation chance of being accepted to ANY school with the resemblance of art classes. Lesson learned.

1996
1996-1999

DeVry Calgary

Since my art career was thoroughly derailed because of my disagreement over clay sculpting, I decided to move to Calgary and complete my bachelor of science in business operations. This, it turned out was one year of grade 12 repeat and one year and 8 months of courses that covered business basics, marketing, law, accounting, public speaking, as well as production planning and inventory control. Some useful stuff here. A good foundation to build upon if nothing else.

1996-1999
1999 – 2002

SMED

My first real job besides working retail and food service while attending DeVry was at SMED. Here I was hired to apply my production and inventory textbook knowledge. I was barely 20 and knew it all. I was eager to do and learn. Too eager – bored out of my mind actually. I landed in a job that was responsible for planning production for all metal production that went into the assembly of custom furniture. With a little skill and logic I modified processes and thus taking a job that used to keep someone busy for 6 days a week to only taking 3. I was bored. SOOOO bored in fact that I quite a really well paying job that was super easy to go back to school. This time for something I really wanted to do…

1999 – 2002
2001 – 2002

Multimedia Classroom

I finally found a program I could take that would teach me about the programs I needed to learn to get creative. This was so long ago – youtube and online courses did not exist. I owned many trial CD’s of photoshop and quark and illustrator – but my attempts always ended the same way. In a pile of tears. I could just not figure out how to get started. This one year diploma course was my answer – FINALLY. I gave notice at work – but was asked to stay while I went to school. (Here was naiive me secretly hoping I would be transferred to the graphic design department once I completed my course – NOT)

2001 – 2002
2002 – 2003

Short Stop Foods

Remember that really good paying job I had… this wasn’t it – I took a huge pay cut but was fairly happy in my position as Marketing Assistant. My boss let me dabble with the creation of a few flyers and coupons here and there – why to this day I have no idea – looking back they were horrible – But thank you Tim Rhodes for letting me do what I loved. Over time I managed to talk one of the employees of the print shop we used for printing our materials, into tutoring me. I was in heaven! I admired Todd. Sooooo much. I tried, I failed, I practiced more and failed less, I learned so much.

2002 – 2003
2004 – 2007

Domino’s Pizza Salmon Arm

I got married, moved to Salmon Arm, and we bought the local Domino’s Pizza Franchise – he made the mistake of saying he wouldn’t mind moving to the Shuswap. It really didn’t matter that he meant in maybe 5 or 10 years down the road. So we bought ourselves a job – it was one of the hardest jobs I have ever had. I was at work 12-14 hours E-V-E-R-Y single day for 6 months. But I got to use some of my newly gathered design experience. I was happy.
Making pizza was fun, and after the initial shock of being a business owner and being in charge of 10+ employees at the age of 24 all things considered it turned out well in the end. Unlike a lot of food service businesses in the Shuswap we managed to sell this one at a decent profit and moved on.

2004 – 2007
2008 – 2009

Pink Cherry

While we still owned the Domino’s Pizza we decided Salmon Arm really needed a place where you could just sit and have a cup of coffee and a piece of chocolate cake after 5PM. So we started renos on the location that to this day is still the Pink Cherry. I was happy this time I got to create the whole concept, image and menu. Hard work – yes, rewarding – absolutely!! And if it wasn’t for Patrick I probably would have quit on day two of being open. I was EXHAUSTED. I did not want to do this anymore. I cried and proclaimed I was not going back another day. – sanity prevailed he did convince me to give it another shot after a good night’s sleep and boy am I glad I did. For two years we owned that little gem of a coffee shop. It was busy it was fun. We proved we could do it!

2008 – 2009
2010-2017

The Urban Think Tank

After the Cherry sold I worked free lance for a little while and eventually started The Urban Think Tank – I wanted to print and make – not just design. Steep learning curve it turns out. I bought a large format printer – something I dreamed about for years. I know most people dream about traveling the world – I really wanted to own a large format printer. Turns out they were scary as heck! I owned it for almost two months before I worked up the nerve to try to print anything… believe me FEAR is real.

Eventually I found Melissa – the best person I could have ever found to work with. We made an amazing team! She took over a lot of the creative work while I focused on the production side of the shop. It just worked. But I desperately wanted a break so I made the decision to sell my shop and continue as an employee for a while.

2010-2017
2018 – Present

Ink & Tools

I finally got a break – I now work from my home office. I still love the creative work – but am able to do it without the overhead. It let’s me refocus on the things I really love. Designing. Making. Living.

2018 – Present