We started a video blog this week - or vlog if you will. I mentioned last week about ‘embracing discomfort’ as a mindset for taking risks this year and I’m happy to report I’ve gone straight to the deep end. I’ll start at the beginning - which was 3 days ago…

My husband Matt, jokingly said that we should design an awesome beach umbrella. We go to the beach regularly over summer and are pretty proud of our beach kit - which we have a beach trolley that gets tetris packed with everything we’ll need for the day. The only thing missing is a decent beach umbrella. We looked around but nothing really stood out. This lead to a quick conversation in the office kitchen about how we might go about making our dream umbrella. Normally the conversation would end there but it sparked something…

We have a company called Masse that we are in the process of rebranding and launching. Masse works with designers and architects of all sorts to help build custom pieces of furniture and products. It can be anything from tables for a cafe to slick vanity units for trendy bathrooms. Most of the work Matt does is using timber but in this rebranding exercise we discovered its the process we are really into. Helping take an idea and transforming it into a tangible thing is thrilling.

So this flippant conversation about a beach umbrella ended with us deciding we are going to make one. At least get it through to the final prototype phase so if anything, we’ll have an awesome beach umbrella. There are a few perimeters I had to insist on before we start... We can only work on it on our lunch breaks (so 1 hour a day for the three days that we are in the office together) and the budget, at this stage is $0. Limiting, yes but we are so time poor at the moment that we are crazy for even considering taking on this project!

I slept on the idea - or didn’t sleep at all because I had this overwhelming thought that this is a bigger opportunity than just making an awesome beach umbrella. Yes, it will be an excellent way for us to research, source and use materials that are outside of our repertoire but it will also give us the chance to record and critique our performance and process over the whole project. Dolly Parton used to record everything she did so she could watch later on and see how to improve her performance. Chris Do suggests recording your sales pitch with clients so you can go back and see what you could do differently to improve the call. We have a project that doesn’t even have a drawing yet and we are the clients - what better place to start?!

So (somewhat reluctantly) we decided to have our project meetings in front of a camera. I have no video editing skills at all but after a 5 minute iMovie tutorial I manage to edit our first meeting down to 7 minutes and that's it, We vlog now.

I think the 'podcast of the week' is very important to the steps taken above. I’ve started to binge listen to “How I Built This with Guy Raz". There are (nearly) 100’s of super inspiring interviews with successful entrepreneurs and business owners about how they got where they are today. So far, all of them have some kind of epic failure or disaster that forced them to pivot or change direction for the better. It has given me that extra push to do something that I’m pretty sure we are going to fail at many times before we get it right - if we even do! But starting the vlog has meant we are now accountable. I hope at least a few people subscribe to come on this journey with us.

Video of the week
Making a product - The Ultimate Beach Umbrella. Ep.1
Podcast of the week
Allbirds: Tim Brown & Joey Zwilinger
Font of the week
Domaine Collection designed by Kris Sowersby

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