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Ampersand Design Studio

We thought it was high time we share a little update about our crazy lives and what's going on with Ampersand Design Studio as of today! (Beware this is going to be a long and totally honest post, so grab your coffee and stay with us if you can.) So, owning a small business is hard. No one told us it was going to be easy, but the balance (or imbalance) and constant feeling of juggling too many things at once can get overwhelming at times. This is one of those times. Between the blog, the etsy shop, licensing contracts, graphic design work and beginning our preparation for Surtex 2013, we are feeling like we are drowning in to-do lists. Yet, simultaneously, we are genuinely excited about what the future holds. And believe us, we know that it is a good thing that we are so busy, so we don't want this to come off like we are complaining in any way, we just want to be honest about our current state of affairs.

We're gonna break it down a little bit:

THE SHOP: We hope you are all aware that we just launched our first designer line of iphone cases, but, working with a new manufacturer always poses new challenges, so we're busy working out the kinks! It's never quite as easy as it seems like it might be. We're also thrilled that the Wells Prints (originally done with Jess LC), Love Series and Ampersand Signature Series are continuing to sell! We love our little online shop and really have a passion around designing products, but it's also a lot of work to run a shop!

GRAPHIC DESIGN: We are working on some really exciting projects, some with old friends and some with brand new clients! We're working on a range of things from identities for exciting start-up companies to packaging for a high-end new fragrance line! And yes, we'll be sharing all of those projects as soon as they are complete.

PRINT & PATTERN: For the licensing portion of our business, we attend a trade show in NYC once a year called Surtex, and that show is coming up in MAY. Eeks, as in the the show will be here in 11 weeks. We have a LOT of prep to do to get ready for that show, not to mention working hard to keep up the licensing contracts that we were so blessed to get from last year! We hope you've seen our patterned notebooks and notecards in a local store near you, and are ready to entertain this spring with our monogrammed melamine plates and platters! Also, our first fabric line will be in stores at the end of this month! We can hardly even imagine walking into a fabric store and seeing our collection there! On that note, we're in the process of working on our second collection of fabric by the yard which will be a much different look than the first one. We're going to try to share more in-process photos with you of all the steps we take to get a fabric collection made. We might've underestimated the amount of work that goes into each licensing contract, not to mention the legal and business side of it all, but we love it.

THE BLOG: Oh the blog. We feel a bit like the blog is the child that has been forgotten. We LOVE the blog. But lately, we know that we have not been giving you a ton of really inspiring, original content, but we promise it is coming! We're going to be introducing some new columns (and stopping some old ones) and we're going to put a bit more of a schedule on the blog so you might know what to expect – and quite honestly, it will help us to have a game plan on what to post when we sit down to the computer! We also wanted to announce that Ampersand Design Studio is now accepting sponsors! This is the place that we share inspiration on art & design, pattern & textiles, fashionable living for your home and closet,  recipes and DIYs, and great mom & kid products and ideas!  We are currently offering sponsored posts, featured guest posts and banner ads. All sponsors are personally selected by us and we would never promote anything that we would not personally buy or use! We are seriously so excited to share the  fun new collaborations we have been working on!!! PS, Sign up for our RSS feed if you want to be sure to catch all the fun stuff happening!

So, as you can see, with these four categories of our business, we are juggling quite a bit, especially for only working part time....can you see why we are feeling a bit overwhelmed? Are any of you small business owners feeling the same way? We'd love to hear how you balance it all!

So... what are we going to do about it, we've been asking ourselves?

Well, over "winter break", we were lucky enough to have Allie on board for a short internship. This proved to be one of the best decisions we've ever made! Allie was incredible and such a great asset to the Ampersand team. We realized how valuable it was to have some help from crazy-talented people that are ready to learn! This leads us right into another big announcement: We are looking to grow the Ampersand Design Studio team and hire an intern, or two, to share our little company with! Are you interested? Details are below!

If you've made it this far down in the post, thanks for staying with us....we hope it doesn't sound like we are complaining, we are so grateful for all the work we have, but we are trying to avoid the inevitable breakdown that we are headed for if we don't learn how to ask for help. joking. sort of. ok, not really.


Ampersand Design Studio is hiring!

Part Time Studio Assistant & Social Media Intern

We are looking for a motivated, creative and detail-oriented Studio Assistant Intern to tend to administrative tasks in our office, manage and coordinate our Etsy shop, collaborate on design projects and assist with our social media marketing.

If you are interested in learning about the ins and outs of running a creative small business by jumping in head first, this could be a great fit for you! This is a 3–6 month internship (unpaid) for those interested in design and social media. 5–10 hours per week with a possibility for additional (paid) hours on occasion. After completing the 3–6 month period, paid positions for further assistant/ design work will be considered. This job has the potential to evolve.

DUTIES include:

Office & Shop Assistance: • Assist with running our online shop including correspondence, manage orders coming in, pack and ship orders, drop off at post office, and follow up with tracking confirmations • Manage and order office supplies related to the etsy shop • Customer service: attend to questions and comments from customers via phone and email. • Occasional errands • Assist with styling and photography related to the shop

Press/Marketing: • Social media updates and promotions (Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest) • Write/edit one blog post per week and contribute ideas to blog editorial calendar

Design: • creative brainstorming & ideation • collaborate on graphic design, surface pattern design or illustration projects • assist with client presentations, digital and physical mock-ups

QUALIFICATIONS: • a laptop computer with Adobe Creative Suite loaded and access to transportation (some hours we will work together at our studio, some hours can be completed off-site) • highly-organized, detail-oriented, and great at prioritizing and multi-tasking • interest in design, creative style, social media and trends • great understanding of typography, balance, and color • Strong writing and communication skills (on social media and email correspondence, we’d like you to have a professional and friendly tone) • Fun, personable and confident and adventurous • An enthusiasm for the Ampersand Design Studio brand story and products •  WordPress blog knowledge is a plus • Active user of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other Web social platforms • An interest in photo styling & photography

The position could start as soon as March 15th, 2013 (flexible)

Hours: 5-10 hours/week, collaborative hours would take place Mondays & Fridays within the 9am - 5pm timeframe

Sound Interesting?

Great! If you think you are a perfect fit for Ampersand, fill our the application (which you can download HERE) and attach it in email along with your resume, and a link to your portfolio and send it to hello{at}ampersanddesignstudio.com with subject “Internship Application.”