Creativity is just connecting things.
— Steve Jobs

Tag Archives: kids

Introducing the Hallmark Kids Collection Website

Hallmark research finds a discrepancy between how much moms think they encourage their kids…and how much kids say they receive.

To bridge that gap, Hallmark launched Kids Collection, products designed for parents to show their love, encouragement, understanding and acceptance of their children. The cards and gifts are designed for school-aged children in kindergarten through high school.

My goal was to help families to visualize the product line in their homes and enhancing their relationships. To do this, the site embraced a hand-made visual treatment.

Ultimately, the website has been warmly received by consumers and retailers.

Read the official press release.

See more in my portfolio.

Halloween In Kansas

Our super friendly neighborhood put on an amazing Halloween event for the kids this year. It all centered around a scary hay ride that took kiddos up and down the streets, some of which, were decorated by volunteers from each. Melissa and I did the cul-de-sac near our house, and I thought it turned out great. Later, when it was dark, a neighbor and I put on some scary costumes and surprised the hay riders as they passed our house.

Spooky Cul-de-sac:

Halloween 2009

My Halloween Kiddos as Peter Pan and Wendy:

halloween munchkins

Greener Pastures

As it turns out, I did find a new job. I’m at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, Missouri. Technically, the company is located in Missouri but we now live in Kansas. On this side of the road, it’s Kansas. The other? You get the idea.

Anyway, we’re slowly adjusting to this new environment. We chose to lease a place for 2 years instead of buy. Hmm, Matt’s not motivated to buy* a house lately? Go figure!

Realistically we only had 4 days to find a place, and this was the best of the lot. It’s certainly a nice house and neighborhood, but we’re just not able to determine if this is the final destination.

The job is good and nuts at the same time. Tons of massive corporate change plus a bad economy makes for alot of freaked out people making interesting decisions.

Melissa and the kids are trying their best to assimilate and meet as many neighbors as possible. It’s not easy but luckily they are all quite cute, which I’m certain helps in their efforts. 😉

When I explain what I’m doing in Kansas, I say imagine if a big tsunami rose up out of the Great Lakes and just washed us to Kansas. That’s what it feels like. We had to sell our house in a short sale. We said goodbye to the investment we put into it, all of our friends and family, and fled the flood.

We feel eternally grateful for Hallmark lining up at the right time like it did. It really was an amazing feat and we will never forget it.

Luckily I’m in a great position to bring my expertise to bear in ways that I didn’t imagine prior to accepting the offer. Many things are in the works and I can honestly say that I can see some really impressive developments coming from Hallmark.

I’m excited, inspired, and most of all, tired.

I wish my Detroit comrades only the best and consistently say great things about the auto industry when asked. We truly didn’t bring this cataclysmic change upon ourselves and the outside world needs to understand that. They like to think the domestics just weren’t selling well, therefore they are having hard financial times. The national media has done an amazing job casting this as a sales issue rather than a complicated financial industry chain effect.

Other than work, I’m listening to the audiobook of Craig Ferguson’s “American On Purpose” and it’s great stuff. I’m hoping to set up a band here, but I know that’s really just crazy talk. I can’t even imagine the logistics of such an effort with everything else I have going on.

Been a Long Time, Been a Long Time

I don’t normally post about my career but kinda feel compelled to. I was laid off last week and it’s weird. I’m shocked because I really thought Digital was a strategic advantage and direction for my company, especially in the Detroit market, where clients just refuse to pay for anything that could be misconstrued as an elaborate production. Digital is theoretically cheaper but that’s only true for so long. Once you get deeper into creative and integration with other platforms, costs typically go up.

Regardless, I’ve been away from the blog for a while now because I’m searching for a new job. My net is cast over the whole U.S. right now and while I prefer Silicon Valley, Chicago and the East Coast, I’m entertaining all offers that could lead to a bright and stable future.

I just spent hours rewriting my resume into the early morning and really think it paints a clear picture of who I am, what I’m interested in producing, and how I think. I hope an employer sees it the same way. 😉

In the meantime, I’ve put my house up for sale . It’s really bizarre to see it listed but I have to. The Detroit market is devastated and frankly, everyone here thinks they’re next to be laid off.

For now, I’m spending time with my family by taking Elise to ballet classes, rocking Miles to sleep and rubbing Melissa’s feet/letting her sleep in/keeping the house neat to help relieve her stress. I so hated to give her the news of my layoff after the year she’s had in the hospital with a high-risk pregnancy and premature delivery.

When Melissa and I decided to move back to Michigan in 2000, we knew it was a risk. There just aren’t as many places to work here as other markets. We’ve had fun in Michigan, met tons of great neighbors, and worked with some fabulous people along the way. But by far, the best thing has been having our kids with our families around to share in that experience.

I will post any updates to the search here. I wish everyone in Michigan and all connected to the auto industry all the best. It’s unnecessarily brutal out there due to circumstances that were really beyond any of our control.

Time to get back to making Miles smile.