Category: Thoughts I’ve been thinking

Post Grand Opening Thoughts

Post Grand Opening Thoughts

I’m not sure I can say it enough, Thank You.

Thank you to everyone that took time out of their schedules to come see me.

Thank you for climbing the stairs to check out my office space.

Thank you for supporting me and sharing in my excitement.

Thank you for coloring amazing pictures! You definitely made them pretty.

Thank you for traveling long distances to see me.

Thank you for the office warming gifts. They were a great surprise and I love them!

Thank you for helping to break in my pinball machine. It was great to see the amazement as you played a game.

Thank you for all your help in making last night a great success.

And finally, thank you for helping me to realize how big of a deal it really is. When I rented the space, I was simply renting it to move everything out of my apartment and have a place to concentrate. It is exciting and still a little odd to think that I am a business owner in Ames, Iowa. With others being excited and proud, it helps me to realize that it is a great thing. The dream of becoming my own boss seemed like such a far off goal and the fact that I might be able to accomplish it, is a little scary, but in a good way.

Thank you to you all.

Thank you to everyone that gave me words of encouragement, helped critique a project, was there with dinner or drinks when I needed them, helped me move in, helped to calm me down when I was freaking out about getting everything done, shared my business with their friends or family, and have helped me go down this path of owning k.ray design.

You are all amazing!

View a few photos from the Grand Opening >>

What would be your dream job?

What would be your dream job?

I have been asked this question a handful of times this past week. Not sure why…maybe its just a good conversation starter. Whatever the reason, this question has made me think.

What would be my dream job? What do I want to be when I grow up?

Answer: I have it already. And I don’t want to grow up.

I know, I know, that sounds so cheesy. But seriously, I’m already doing what I love. One of my goals in life was to be a respected designer and work with my own clients. While I know I will always have room to grow, I am already on my way to achieving this goal. Now, when I say I don’t want to grow up, please do not mistake that for immaturity. I mean it as, I don’t want to grow up and live in a world where I stop trying to figure out, ‘what I want to be when I grow up.’

Recently, Matthew McConaughey gave a speech at the Oscars explaining who he chased. His answer was him…in 10 years. He would never reach himself in 10 years because at 20 he would want to be him at 30, at 30 he would want to be him at 40, and so on.

This is exactly how I see my dream job. I might not ever truly reach anything, but I know I will always be on the right path. As of right now, I am chasing the dream to grow my own business and work for myself. I know that is a few years away, but my dream job is working towards that goal. I also want to be an Art Director and manage a team of amazing designers. Again, I know I have a lot to learn before I reach that point, but my dream job is chasing the work I need to do to get there.

So, now when someone asks me what my dream job is, I can tell them, “I already have it.” Sure, the grass might be greener somewhere else, and there are other cities that are more exciting, and I could probably make more money, blah…blah…blah… But to be honest, I love Ames. I love Iowa State University. And I love my office space downtown. I don’t need a big city or a bigger paycheck to work towards a goal. (Although, at times, I have thought about running off to Chicago…but come on, who hasn’t day dreamed about being in another world?)

This is me, at my dream job:

k.ray at the office

What does your dream job look like? Are you there?


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

I always love the holiday season! So many people are so happy and generous. When I shop on main street, I hear, “Merry Christmas!” as you would in one of those holiday classic movies.

It is the time to give and be with the people you care about. I realize it can also be a very difficult time of year for people. I understand loss and feeling alone but remembering what I do have in life really helps!

This is why I would like to share a few of my favorite things about 2013…

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1. I accomplished most of my goals for 2013

Last January, I wrote a post about the goals I had for this past year. I am happy to say that I have accomplished most of them! (Still working on donating things to Goodwill)

2. I opened my business…officially

This fall I noticed a posting for an office downtown Ames that was available to rent. I posted the idea of it being the new location for k.ray design on my Facebook page and received so much encouragement! I checked the place out, talked to the owners, talked to my family and friends and made the decision. I was going to rent an office.

I’ll admit, I was crazy nervous but also crazy excited! I had the funds. I had the furniture to fill the space. I have always wanted a studio space for all my art supplies and books. And this seemed like not only the place, but the time. This is my last year of my twenties. I have a steady job already. I have no huge financial obligations in the foreseeable future so why not take this risk? The worst thing that can happen is that I spent all that rent money for a year only to realize it didn’t work out. Oh well. Only 1 year of my life. And what if it does work out the way I want? Then that would make this the best year yet!

3. My family is growing

I have to be thankful for them. And just because they are #3 on this list, does not mean they are not #1 in my life. They are my biggest fans and supporters and I’m honestly not sure what I would do without them. This past year, I gained another nephew and couldn’t be happier! I love being the aunt that gives kids ridiculous things like candy, a puppy, and something that makes noise. Oh, and of course the occasional art supplies.

4. I not only reached my goal of swimming 25 miles, but competed in the Masters State Swim Meet

Every year there is a midwest-wide swim meet for Masters swimmers. This year, we competed at Grinnell for the Breadbasket Zone Championship. My younger sister, her husband, and I traveled to the swim meet to enjoy the day of fast races, lots of treats, great friends, and amazing times!

I love swimming. It is what I have done for the past 15 years and I do not see myself giving it up anytime soon. And I love that my sister shares my same passion! Swimming with her makes it that much better.

I will admit, I didn’t train as extensively as some people there but thats ok. With the Masters, swimming is all about fun and hanging out with friends. We are not competing to see who gets the best time or wins the gold. Its just a time to get together, swim a few races, maybe take home some medals, and stuff your face with delicious food after.

Even though I didn’t train as much as I probably should have, I still came home with a medal in each of my races! AND, my times were just as good, if not better, than 2009 when I was swimming at least twice a week with the Milky Way Masters! I was VERY happy with how the meet went!

5. Continued to travel and meet awesome people

I was fortunate enough to attend the HOW Design Conference yet again and love the people I meet there and the things I learn. Seriously, this group of creatives is amazing and I am forever grateful to be apart of it.

I also continued to travel to see friends and attend weddings. I have had a blast! Thank you to everyone that has hosted me this past year and let me hang out with you for a few days. Recently, I took a trip to DC and that might have been my favorite thing so far. I saw the museums, the Capitol, and ate at delicious restaurants. The tours, the history, and the change of scenery was much appreciated! I felt like I had refreshed my creativity. Traveling is the best thing to do when you feel as though you’re stuck. I leave town any chance I get and hope to see a lot more places in 2014.

Thats it!

I hope you all have an amazing Christmas and New Year. Or, if you celebrate a different holiday, I hope that it is peaceful and joyful. I will be taking time off from design and social media to be fully present at the holidays with friends and family.

Thank you for reading and for your support. Talk to you soon in 2014!