What’s in a Business Name – Why Pretty Much Rocks

“When you find an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue.” —Josh James, Omniture CEO and co-founderLong before I opened my business, I knew I wanted to own a business in which I created beautiful things. I’m such a collector of skills and a lifelong learner that it was hard for me to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with my business. I enjoy making things, crafting, designing, photographing, and so much more. How on earth could I possibly narrow it down?

Whenever I would talk about it with my husband, I found myself telling him that I wanted to do Pretty Much everything. Then one day, it struck me – why not call my business Pretty Much? Then, I could do pretty much everything! So, about 3 years before I ever opened my business, I knew exactly what I wanted to call it. I liked the way I could play with the name. I could create Pretty this or Pretty that. When somebody asked me what I did, I could tell them Pretty Much everything. The more I said the name out loud, the more it felt right. Pretty Much always seems like an answer to a question, too! I find myself using the phrase all the time. Why wouldn’t I name my business Pretty Much?

As time continued by, I started to wonder if it would ever be THE TIME. You know, the right time to stop everything in my life and open a business. I started to get discouraged because life just kept on happening and more times than not, I found myself carried on in other directions. I was always too busy, too tired, too involved to worry about setting up a business. but then, in September 2013 something happened. The world stopped spinning around in crazy wild busy circles. I stopped, took a few breaths, and sat down on the couch to rest. This literally happened, and in a way it also figuratively happened.

In September 2013 my life changed in many ways. I got sick, went to the doctor, and got told to stop going to work. It was time to sit still, time to meditate, to think, and to dream. I couldn’t go to work, and I could barely do much of anything, but I could sit and dream. That’s exactly what I did. I dreamed about what I wanted to do. I pretty much just wanted to craft and create. I pretty much just wanted to stop working my life away at a job I hated. I pretty much just wanted to make pretty things, make people happy, and make my life more enjoyable. I decided to plan it all out. I had the time now, why not get started.

On January 1st, Pretty Much was officially born and open for business. Pretty Much became real, and I was pretty much ecstatic. 9 months later, my baby is still growing. It’s still morphing into the business that I want it to be. Each day I make conscience decisions to make the business better than it was the day before. Pretty Much is a work in progress as most small businesses pretty much always are, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

Three years before I opened my business I knew I wanted to do pretty much everything I could do. As I know that is not a very specific business identity, I narrowed that down. What makes me happy in life is celebrating. I am happiest when I am celebrating life, celebrating accomplishments, people, friendships, holidays, and most of all love. I decided that when it comes to celebrating, that’s where I wanted to focus my time and energy. So when those doors opened, Pretty Much was a business based on celebrating. I am focused on celebrating pretty much all of life’s wonderful moments and creating pretty much anything and everything to make it easier for people to celebrate those wonderful moments. Pretty Much rocks because it is a business all about celebrating, throwing confetti, happy dancing, and being lovely. It is pretty much the best business that I could possibly own!

Monday’s are Magical – Pink Hair Don’t Care

As some of you probably know by now, I recently colored my hair pink. It was a decision many, many years in the making, and the right time was finally now. Although I certainly don’t feel that I must defend this decision, I do have an explanation.  Even my husband is on board with my #pinkhairdontcare choice! Pink Hair Don't Care  Coloring my hair was something I had always wanted to do. To be honest, the first memory I have of colored hair was actually done on a dog. I thought it was so cute, and I really wanted it for myself, however, it never really made sense. Under the roof of my parents, I probably would have been grounded until I was 50, and after graduation and my move to California, I was still trying to figure everything out and get a decent job. It had always been impressed upon me that “normal” was the only way to be if I wanted a good job and “normal” did not include colored hair.

The first time I ever went crazy with my hair, it really wasn’t crazy at all. I was with my gal pal, Charlie at the mall and found some Mohawk hair product. We went straight back to my place where I proceeded to give myself a short Mohawk and die it so black that it almost looked blue. Since I was in the army at the time, I had to cut it in a way that I could wear it down at work, so I didn’t get in trouble for the cut, but I did get in trouble for the color which I had to immediately change. Here’s a picture of me growing out the Mohawk:

Mohawk Hair After that experience, I stayed inside the lines for the most part. I only used hair colors that were basically natural until I got out of the military. Then, I decided to put one small streak of hot pink in the front of my hair. I liked it, but it didn’t last long. Again, the boss wasn’t pleased, so I had to get rid of it pretty quickly. About a year later, I decided to go blond. It wasn’t very pretty on me. Going from a dark brown to blond overnight produces an ugly warm blond color in my hair that just wasn’t attractive. After a few months, I went back to normal. Then, a few days later, I decided to put a few streaks of blue and purple in my hair. That was a lot of fun until again, I got a corporate job and the boss frowned upon my colorful hair. Back to normal again!

Are you beginning to see a pattern here? It seems like every time I do something fun with my hair, my boss gets mad. For some reason, colored hair is frowned upon, and those that have colored hair get strange glances from people wherever they go. I almost feel as though colored hair is more horrific to the average boss than a body full of tattoos. At least that’s how it feels!

However, I have found myself intrigued by both tattoos and colored hair. I’ve never seen either as a bad thing, or looked at either with a raised eyebrow. I love when I see someone with tattoos or colorful hair. I think it’s beautiful. For the most part, I don’t even think that they do it for attention. I think they do it because they can and because they want to. Everyday people wear their favorite color clothing, drive their favorite color car, and decorate their homes with their favorite color, so why must it be so taboo to color your hair with your favorite color?

Back in June I announced my new, full-time job – working for myself from home as the CEO and Creative Director of Pretty Much (See that post here). I no longer had a corporate job in which I had to keep the boss happy. I was finally in charge and could do what I wanted with my hair. I’d been waiting forever for this opportunity, and I was pretty darn excited. I talked to my husband about it, and even he was on-board. So, just before we left for vacation, I went in and had my hair colored pink. I had a professional do it to ensure that despite the wild color, it would still look good and wouldn’t look tacky or trashy.

pinkhairdontcare2 pinkhairdontcare3My thought process, and the argument I used to win my husband over on the idea was that if I were given the choice between two different creative professionals to decorate my wedding and create my stationary, the first one I would check into would be the one with pink hair over the one with regular brown hair. I’m not saying that brown hair is bad or boring or that you shouldn’t have it, but I know from my personal experience that pink hair defiantly makes a create statement and brings out my personality.

So far, after nearly two weeks as a pink headed lady, I still love every inch of the pink. I still feel confident in my choice as well. It makes me really happy to know that there isn’t a single person that can tell me to change it or to fix it. I love that I can have pink hair. In a way, you might say “I left my 9-5 for this!”


From Entry-Level to CEO in a Day

Yesterday I woke up expecting to return to my “day job” for the first time since September. I’ve been recovering from a pretty crazy surgery in which the doctor repaired a hole that had formed in my inner ear. It’s been a roller-coaster ride – almost literally. Half the time I feel as though I’m on a roller-coaster while I simply sit on the couch in my living room. Let’s rewind…

My “day job” or the job that I have in order to afford the mortgage payment is a pretty interesting one. If I were to break down my job description into one sentence, I train soldiers to maintain and repair unmanned aircraft (drones if you are into Call of Duty). I used to fly them myself, but now I just do the dirty work! As most people in my field attain their training from the military, my position is considered Entry Level despite over 6 years in the field, nearly 3,000 flight hours, Instructor certification for flight and maintenance, etc, etc. I was the low man on the totem pole.

How does a high school cheerleading captain, color-guard captain, pep club member, founder of the Spirit squad, student counsel treasurer, honor-roll student, art club member end up training soldiers to fly drones in Iraq and Afghanistan? Yeah, I have no idea! I often wonder that myself. I especially wonder how all that happened while I simultaneously studied/ taught photography, studied Interior Design, studied Graphic design, and visual communications. Somehow despite my right-brained creative self, I managed to also be a complete science/math nerd and get ahead in a male-dominated world.

All this time I have been sitting at home recovering from the craziness of my inner ear problems, I’ve been contemplating this all more and more. I’ve been thinking about the things that truly make me happy and the things that I really love to do. I started to spend my free time creating decorations for weddings, designing logos for small businesses, and trying to figure out how I could possibly do this type of thing all the time.

Fast-forward to last week, when I finally got the okay to start working from home at my “day job” again. I was finally in the later stages of recovery where I would be able to sit in front of a computer and re-establish all of my certifications through reading technical manual after technical manual. As much as that sounded like pure torture compared to making pretty things every day, I knew it was going to pay the bills and I was prepared to jump right back into that life again, but then the phone rang.

In a matter of minutes I went from that entry-level position studying manuals and technical language, to being unemployed. They no longer needed me. I wanted to cry…and then I realized the reason that I wanted to cry wasn’t because I had lost my day job, but it was because I was finally free from my day job. I was finally free to pursue my dreams of owning a business; free to work from home, to create pretty things, and to love what I do for a living! In that moment I realized that I wasn’t an unemployed mechanic. I was the CEO of an incredible Design business called Pretty Much, and my dreams were coming true!