Room Study: 01

Room Study: Living Space / Little Bison Studio

Before the launch of Little Bison Studio, I took a little time to reflect on what my plans were for this blog and which series I wanted to keep around and… what we could do without. Some of your old favorites will surely be back in the weeks to come and a few new reoccurring posts will be added into the mix as well. My hope is to create a cohesive blogging + sharing platform that showcases everything we are passionate about – design, style, interiors, life, and inspiration.

Right in the midst of planning and preparation for Little Bison Studio, my husband and I packed up our apartment in Wisconsin and made the long twenty hour trek to Texas where my husband will be attending graduate school for the next few years. The whole moving process is kind of what sparked this new column. After finding our (nearly) perfect place, I finally had a blank canvas to adorn with all our accumulated goods. We wanted our new space to be bright and airy, something our old place lacked were windows and now we have many! This meant we were able to bring in more plants and greenery, which we both enjoy having a little piece of the outdoors inside with us. Playing around with the use of reclaimed wood, texture, and use of pattern helped put the finishing touches on our organic modern space.

Becoming a #GIRLBOSS: 05

Becoming a #GIRLBOSS

With a full week of the new year behind us, I decided we would start 2016 off right with a little re-launch of one of my favorite mini series, Becoming a #GIRLBOSS. It wasn’t until the holiday season (and being stuck on plane for a few hours), that I began to write down a few more takeaways from Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS. One thing that really stood out to me is that we should view everything (in this case business) as a work in progress. Sophia mentions to never assume you’ve done your best the first time around. There’s always room for improvement and we should constantly be challenging ourselves and tweaking what isn’t working. Sometimes you just have to jump into the pool without testing the water first. Sure it can be scary and the final outcome can be uncertain, but sometimes the risk is well worth it in the end!

The New Little Bison Studio

Little Bison Studio Little Bison Studio / ipad
Some of you may remember, a little over a year ago I shared that I would be stepping away from using my name and would be launching a new studio, brand, and website. In order to grow my business and expand beyond myself, I knew it was time for a complete change. After a long (and somewhat draining) process of trying to come up with a new name, it kind of just came to me, and the rest started to fall into place. For the longest time Little Bison Studio has been this small glimmer in the distance. Through this whole process, I knew I wanted to get everything just right. I spent a good portion of the spring and summer months mulling over the design for this site and going back and forth a lot. And, finally, in the fall we began development and well, here we are!

From the start, I wanted a hand-selected team of designers I could collaborate with. I just wasn’t sure when the time was going to be right. In order for a business to successfully grow and thrive, stretching yourself thin is never a good solution. So, as things with the new studio started to pick up, I decided to just go for it. If you’ve had a chance to take a look around, you’ll notice that there are a couple of new faces around here so I thought I would take a minute to give some introductions.

Cassie and I met a few years back while attending design school. We became fast friends and have become pretty inseparable. Not only do we have similar design tastes (amongst other things), she has an eye for detail, and a passion for building unique brands. Tom, who some of you may already know, has stuck by my side as my web developer ever since I first launched Holly Marie Designs. He and I also became friends in art school, during a late night drawing class, and soon after, had many of our core design courses together. He has a great creative eye and is a talented designer and skilled developer. I believe that both of their design asethics are a good match for Little Bison Studio and I am so happy to have them partner with me on this new creative journey!

Little Bison Studio / instagram quote
On the blog side of things, I spent a good amount of time trying to hone in what I envisioned for this creative space – deciding what should stay, what should go, and what series I want keep moving forward with. Of course I plan to continue sharing moodboards, in-progress work, and featured projects, because it is the foundation of this studio. Some of your old favorite will be back, but in a slightly more refined format. I also have a few upcoming projects and collaborations I am excited to share with you, but in the meantime, feel free to follow along on social media – instagram, twitter, and facebook!

Lastly, I want to hand out a few thank you’s – first off, a big thanks goes out to Tom Wilz for the development of this website + blog. Kirsty Gungor for shooting our Little Bison photoshoot over the summer as well as Mary Ellen Skye for her skilled styling and lifestyle photography.

Sienna Moon Sneak Peek

Sienna Moon / Following Our Breath, Following Our Heart tee Sienna Moon / Raised on Rock 'N Roll & Dreams tee Sienna Moon / Under Her Spell tee

I was too excited to wait a few more days, so I thought I would share a little bit of where I’ve been and why things have been a little more quiet around here than usual. As you may already know, I have been working on a huge project that has been hush hush for the past few months and in just a few short days, all will be revealed!

I’ve been working with the LA-based clothing company, Sienna Moon; designing tee’s for their upcoming summer collection and assisting the shop’s owner various day-to-day happenings. The shop inspired by bohemian vibes and the calm, cool, and collected California style. Jamie Michelle, Sienna Moon’s owner, strives to keep all things eco-friendly + ethically made, which I am excited to say that almost all of the tee’s in the new collection will be organic or hemp!

I am sure Jamie will be sharing more over on Sienna Moon’s instagram over the weekend, in case you’d like to follow along! And this post wouldn’t be complete without giving props to the wonderfully talented photographer behind a few of these images. Jessie Alexise has shot for Sienna Moon five previous times and she envelops the brand oh so well! It’s honestly been a true dream to be a part of this whole experience and just so happens to fit my niche perfectly!

Mixtape 17: Little Bison

mixtape 17: little bison

Hey guys, I was looking back at some of my most recent posts and realized that it has been a long time since I last shared some music with you. Well, this playlist has been a long time coming + I have been secretly adding to it for month and months. This is my most listened to playlist on spotify and is a good, hearty collection of everything that I love. It’s great for long car rides, when I am deep in work mode, or just hanging around. I am not exactly sure when I’ll be sharing another mixtape, but this one keeps on growing (217 songs + counting)! Feel free to give it a listen via the link below, and if you have any musical artists that you think I’d enjoy, please share some of your faves in the comments. Enjoy!

Becoming a #GIRLBOSS: 04

Becoming a #GIRLBOSS: Lesson 04

As we move forward in my #GIRLBOSS series, I am SO happy to finally touch on a topic that really hits home. Finances. One of the things that has prevented me from freelancing full time is the money side of things. As we all know, business has it busy seasons and it has is lulls, that’s just how it goes. Things are great when you can barely keep your head above water because your workload is so full and you appreciate those downtimes when they come. But they can also be quite scary if you aren’t financially ready.

As I’ve mentioned before, Sophia paid close attention to every detail when it came to her business, because it really had bearing on how successful her company would be. As she stated in her book, Nasty Gal went from making $150,000 a year to $150,000 over lunch! It’s astonishing to read that Sophia built her company with zero debt. Credit cards, loans, and borrowing money can make you overwhelmed and buried in bills. So if you don’t have the money to spend on that new flat screen TV, then don’t. Taking the time to manage your money can really have a domino effect on how the rest of your life plays out. It’s important to not neglect the small things, because it may prevent bigger and better things from happening to you.

Although I may be a few years away from completely working for myself, this chapter has really helped me to see the importance of taking control of my finances in order to ensure a successful life. So far, what lesson best speaks to you and your creative life?

Becoming a #GIRLBOSS: 03

Becoming a #GIRLBOSS: Lesson 03

A few weeks ago I started this new mini-series as I made my way through Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS book. I tried to nail down my major “take-aways” from the book and thought I would share with you my thoughts how we can become more successful creatives and entrepreneurs. If you missed my last post in this series, I talked about being a dream chaser and how a “you don’t get what you don’t ask for” disposition can really, sometimes, play in your favor. Today’s tip is a little simpler than that, and I’ve spoke on the idea many times, but this just really solidifies it even more. When Sophia first started selling clothes on eBay, she treated her customers like they were her friends. She made her MySpace a friendly place and always was on top of responding to the comments she received. This was where she was able to gain feedback and really listen to what her customers wanted, which helped pave the path she took with her business.

Let’s get a little discussion going! If you’ve been reading along (or have already read) please share some of your thoughts on the book in the comments below, I’d love to hear what tidbits are helping shape your creative journey!


Becoming a #GIRLBOSS: 02

Becoming a #GIRLBOSS: Lesson 02

Last week I started this new mini-series that I felt tied in well with my usual Wednesday freelance posts. As I (or we, for those who have decided to join me) make our way through Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS book, I thought I would share with you my thoughts on how she built her company and what we can learn from it as creatives + aspiring entrepreneurs. Last week I discussed the the importance of the fine details in order to set yourself apart amongst your competitors and paying attention to how your process is working for you and your business. And today we move forward with a lesson on obtaining dream clients…

As part of Sophia’s process of giving the customer more of what they wanted, she attended her first trade show in Las Vegas. She approached Jeffery Campbell’s booth, someone she wanted to work with, and was turned down pretty quickly. Not taking no for an answer, she showed them Nasty Gal’s website, so they could see what she was all about. Sophia’s “you don’t get what you don’t ask for” mentality played very much in her favor and now is one of Jeffery Campbell’s biggest clients.

After posting the first part of this series last week and receiving many comments + tweets, I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed the first part of my #GIRLBOSS series! Keep’em coming!

Becoming a #GIRLBOSS: 01

Becoming a #GIRLBOSS: Lesson 01

In spring of last year, one of the books I couldn’t stop hearing about was #GIRLBOSS written by Sophia Amoruso, the founder, CEO, and creative director of Nasty Gal. Over the holiday I finally got my hands on a copy and I haven’t been able to put it down! Sophia writes with such wit and really illustrates her story (which includes dumpster diving, minor theft, and run of the mill day jobs). As I dig deeper + deeper into this book, I am constantly inspired – it’s hard to believe that Nasty Gal started as a small eBay shop selling vintage clothing! I truly believe that no matter what your aspirations are, we can all take something away from this book. Although I am not quite finished yet, I thought I would make this into a mini-series (I’ve been vigorously taking notes while cozied up on the couch reading). I’ve decided to put a little freelancer spin on things and use what I’ve learned to better myself + my business, so here it goes…

One of the main things that really stuck out to me (and, was kind of a no-brainer) and that was to be completely thorough with your business. When Nasty Gal was a simple eBay shop, Sophia paid close attention to every detail – item descriptions, photography, and shipping just to name a few. It’s the minor details that will make your business stand out amongst the rest. Also, she was aware of what items sold, and what didn’t and made a conscious effort pursue what worked and let go what didn’t. If something turns out to be a flop, just keep moving forward.

If you have read, or are currently in the process of reading #GIRLBOSS, I’d love to hear your take-away’s + thoughts and maybe we can get a fun little discussion going in the comments!

Mixtape 16: Stay Alive

mixtape 16: stay alive

These first few days of fall have been quite busy for me, so I thought I’d ease myself back into the work week with this mixtape I created for you guys. Lately the freelance biz has picked up and I don’t see myself slowing down anytime soon (which has it’s upsides + downsides). I’ve always been good with time management, so as long as I get to find a few moments to take a deep breath (or two, or three) I should be fine. And, I should have some new work to show you guys in the coming weeks – can’t wait to share! In the meantime, feel free to listen to today’s mix via the link below. Enjoy!

Listen with Spotify

01. “While You Sleep” – Boom Forest
02. “Stay Alive” – Jose Gonzalez
03. “Riptide” – Vance Joy
04. “Let Her Go” – Passenger
05. “Whirlpool” – Sea Wolf
06. “More Than Life” – Whitley
07. “Fire Escape” – Foster The People
08. “No Way” – The Naked And Famous
09. “Vampire” – Frances Rose
10. “Disappear” – Mikky Ekko
11. “Sunrise” – Hannah Cohen
12. “Breakers” – Local Natives
13. “Ride” – Cary Brothers
14. “Always Gold” – Radical Face
15. “Creature Fear” – Bon Iver
16. “Your Bones” – Of Monsters And Men
17. “My Silver Lining” – First Aid Kit