My blogger images is full.

My life is full. I'm done blogging.

I'm going to go enjoy that full life.

Find me at www.jessiemariestudio.com.

Money Map

Exercise: Make Your Moola Map
"Begin getting a handle on your financial picture by identifying your income and expenses... [L]et's get a visual inventory of where your money comes in (income/sales) and goes out (expenses/costs) by making your Moola Map." - Right-Brain Business Plan, page 106

It is very fitting that this exercise landed when it did. Every year around this time Jarrod & I review our personal budget & this year is no different. Before I post the Jessie Marie Studio Money Map I want to tell you a little story about our personal finances.

We found out that we are not living within our means. Those pesky once a year bills, like car insurance, have come due. For a second year in a row we've had to dip into our savings. This would be fine if we have been saving money throughout the year. We haven't. Our savings was created during the glory days of two incomes & no kids. Over four years ago now. It really is amazing how long the money has lasted. But since the money won't last forever we sat down & created a zero-based budget to start 2013 off with. A budget that accounts for those one time payments & even replenishes our savings a little bit each month. It's going to be really tight. All the more reason to look at how we can increase our income by making Jessie Marie Studio successful.

And with that I bring to you the Money Map for Jessie Marie Studio. I've removed the numbers to keep things confidential. Next up filling out a spreadsheet. Fun times!


Consistent Marketing

"Next, you'll need to decide how you're going to engage with [your customers]." Right-Brain Business Plan, pg 87

A couple of weeks back I wrote how this fall I have started using a plan that compartmentalizes when I do my marketing tasks for Jessie Marie Studio. Even though I use a variety of marketing mediums, the one I have used since the beginning of 2007 is an email newsletter.

The newsletter started off being sent monthly from my gmail account to a small list of friends & family. It has become an HTML email sent out quarterly to over 300 people through Campaign Monitor. The content has changed slightly over the years, but the readers have always gotten an update of the creative work I am doing.

I believe this consistent marketing medium has helped my business gain traction.


Read the most recent newsletter here.
Sign up for your own quarterly copy here.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Take a minute and focus on everything you have been blessed with this year.

I am personally thankful for my deepened relationship with Jesus, my amazing husband, my energetic daughter, my new son, my extended family, my CU family, my friends, our cute rental home, good food & days filled with sunshine.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Project | Revolution Packaging

Before becoming a Mommy Freelancer I worked at Horizon Hobby, Inc. I created advertising, packaging and everything in between for Radio Control toys. One of the final projects I did was to rebrand a heli accessory brand called Revolution. I found out recently that the packaging that was proposed in the concept stage is not only being used almost fully in tact, but has won an award! See the insert from Facebook below. It's the rotor blade packaging on the top right.



What is the clear vision for Jessie Marie Studio, LLC?

Finding the answer to this question is like looking through the refractor at the eye doctor & being asked "which is better A or B?" You may be able to read the letters at the other end of the room through both A and B, but B makes them perfectly clear. You didn't know B existed until the optometrist flipped the lens in front of your eyes. And then she asks, "which is better B or C?" C is crisper than B was. How can this be? B was so beautiful until C came along.

Finding a clear path for your business to follow is like that. You have to be open to new opportunities. Have the confidence you made the best choice with the information you had. And know that choice has the chance to change in the future.

Last week during my monthly Ideas + Soup get together I presented the progress I have made on my Right-Brain Business Plan. Much like going in for a yearly eye appointment. I needed help figuring out who to focus my marketing efforts on. After a discussion with Katie Martin, from CU Speech Consultants, I created the following tiers of clients:

Graphic Design :: Primary

Small Bussinesses & Start Ups especially Work-at-Home Mothers

cards below

Small Businesses & Start Ups | Front

Small Businesses & Start Ups | Back

Especially Work-at-Home Mothers | Front

Especially Work-at-Home Mothers | Back

Graphic Design :: Secondary

RC Companies
Technical Illustration
Prepress Opportunities

no cards used since these aren't the kinds of clients I am actively seeking

Photography :: Primary

Young Familes

card shown below 

Young Families | Front

Young Families | Back

Photography :: Secondary

Mature Familes

no cards used since these aren't the kinds of clients I am actively seeking

After deciding who I was going to primarily target I decided I am going to create a refined elevator speech for those clients. Plus, my plan is to make a handout that talks to those primary groups. Hopefully both of those things will continue to bring clarity to the business I'm creating.


Project | The Rheticus Forum 2012-2013

St. Andrew's Lutheran Church and Campus Center asked me to work with them again this year to promote their lecture series on faith and science. Last year we created the brand look, ie. distinct colors, type usage & repeated design elements. This year we used the established branding, but updated the name from Faith & Science in Dialogue to The Rheticus Forum.

The poster for the entire 2012-2013 lecture series.
A bulletin insert will be created for each speaker to send to local churches.
A flyer will be created for each lecture to be used on the University of Illinois campus.
A program cover will be designed for each lecture to be used the day of the event.

As well as doing design work for the project, I also made a marketing plan to help the client know when to do what. The plan for the lecture tomorrow night is below. If you are free & in the area you should really head over for the event.


Customer Portraits

Right-Brain Business Plan Exercise: Collage Your Perfect Customer Portraits

"Flip through magazines you think your potential clients might read. Find pictures of people who represent your perfect customers. Look for images that evoke their lifestyles. Cut out words or phrases that describe what they are like or what their needs are." page 81, Right-Brain Business Plan

Cadence & I sat down and did this exercise together.

Below are my target market cards to add to the value cards & the mission statement card.

Small Business/Start Ups Front

Small Business/Start Up Back

Work-at-Home Mothers Front

Work-at-Home Mothers Back

Non-Profits/Churches Front

Non-Profits/Churches Back

I haven't finished my Young Families card yet for the photo shoots I offer. I am planning on using my own images for that one. So it will have images like these ones or some of these on it.

Cadence's cards are below. She loved making them!

Cadence's Cards. She only did one side on each.


More this Christmas

I was sitting in a worship planning meeting for my church last week I found out the theme for the advent sermon series is "More."

More? I cringed. Christmas starts for our family Thanksgiving weekend & runs until the weekend after Christmas. The influx of toys & holiday calories is already giving me an anxiety attack.

But then I listened. More hope, more peace & most of all more Jesus.

Jesus. The guy who started this whole Christmas thing. Why not focus on Him?

Jesus was a relationship guy. He poured his life into His followers. Why not follow His example? Give gifts like conversation & a helping hand this year instead of toys & neckties. Who knows, maybe we'll start 2013 richer & skinner.

And closer to being like Jesus.


Happy Halloween!

Unfortunately, our little pumpkin, Gavin, was napping during dress up time.


Fall Photo Shoot Highlights

After the initial Capture the Moment photo shot, I've had the opportunity to photograph more families this fall. A couple celebrating their 18th wedding anniversary, a family with a new baby and an energetic family of four. I also used my new capturing skills this past weekend while Cadence enjoyed a corn maze & trick or treating with her cousins. Enjoy a highlight photo from each shoot.

If you are interested in scheduling your own Capture the Moment photo shoot by Jessie Marie Studio (think Christmas gifts!) the prices are below.

Capture the Moment Photo Shoot Pricing
$150 for 1 hour & an edited CD of photos (up to 5 people* & 1 location)
$200 for 2 hours & an edited CD of photos (up to 5 people* & 2 locations)

*$5 for each additional person


Marketing Jessie Marie Studio

Moving onto Chapter 4 of the Right-Brain Business Plan.

Read the chapter. It's all about marketing. Exactly what I do for others.

I have found there is a fine line between spending too much of my limited time marketing Jessie Marie Studio & doing my clients work. This past quarter I finally came up with a plan that compartmentalizes when I do my marketing. The most genius move I've made in regards to time management.

You may not understand the chicken scratch above, but this magic calendar has kept these blog posts coming, Facebook statuses filled & the quarterly newsletter published.

Since I'm always a girl who loves her goals. Below is the playsheet from Chapter 4 of the Right-Brain Business Plan.


Buy Photos. Fight Human Trafficking.

Anyone who has been following my work over the past year knows about my Morning Meetings. Time outdoors with God & my camera. Last week I announced a local show where Morning Meeting photos taken at Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve are being shown. This week I'd like to announce a Featured Artist spot with ART for FREEDOM where 30 Morning Meeting photos have been donated to raise money to fight human trafficking.

Buy one, two or all the photos and 100% of the proceeds will go to Remember Nhu, a non-profit organization that saves at-risk children from being sold into sex slavery in Asia and assures freedom and provision: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Head over to the ART for FREEDOM website to make your purchase today. We thank you. Our missionary friends, Beth & Brian Woods thank you. And most of all the children thank you.



Right-Brain Business Plan Exercise: Create a Business Self-Portrait

"Here you'll be creating a Business Self-Portrait by looking at your own strengths, challenges, and opportunities... Sometimes it's hard to hold a mirror up to yourself, so why not ask for help from ... customers... trusted friends or colleagues." pg 66-67 Right-Brain Business Plan

First, the Self-Portrait exercise gave me a list of questions to answer about myself & my business. Going through the questions helped further clarify my brand & my services.

Next, I was to ask people to fill out one of two surveys. (If you haven't filled one out yet please do. You can find them here.) The kindness & encouragement from clients, friends & colleagues was enough to make a girl blush. And the constructive criticism was oh-so-helpful.

Then I thought to myself, "What do I do with the answers?"

Make word clouds of course! The more times a word is used the bigger it is. A pretty awesome way of seeing a slew of answers visually.

own answers to the self-portrait questions.

What three words would you use to describe me and/or my work?

Clients Question: What benefits did you receive from working with me?

Friends & Colleagues Question: What would you say are my natural gifts, strengths and passions?

Make your own word cloud at www.wordle.net. I'd love to see what you come up with! Please post any you make on the Jessie Marie Studio Facebook page.


Morning Meeting Photography Show

A select group of Morning Meeting photos taken at Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve in Mahomet, Illinois will be on display starting this week thru December 31st at the Museum of the Grand Prairie.

Morning Meeting 032812 8099

Morning Meeting 120711 6340

Morning Meeting 041812 8422

Morning Meeting 010412 7037

Artist Statement for the show:

For the last year Jessie Scheunemann has been having weekly Morning Meetings with God & her camera. She would start her work day as a freelance graphic designer for Jessie Marie Studio, LLC in quiet time & then head out into Lake of the Woods to capture God's beauty. All the photos displayed here are from these meetings.

You can see all past & future Morning Meeting photos at www.flickr.com/photos/jessiemariestudio

Jessie lives in Champaign, Illinois with her husband, Jarrod, and her two children, Cadence & Gavin. The Scheunemanns own & operate Jessie Marie Studio, LLC, travel here, there & everywhere & spend any extra money they have on concert tickets.


For Sale!

The four photos shown here are matted & framed 8 inch by 12 inch prints. They are being sold for $40.00 each. There is also an array of unmatted 4 inch by 6 inch photographs you can purchase for $1.50 each. You can see the photos in this album on the Jessie Marie Studio Facebook page.


Please take a survey.

You can be a part of the research phase of The JMS Plan!

Have you had work done by Jessie Marie Studio? Then fill out the "for clients" survey below. Are you a friend or colleague? Then fill out the "for friends & colleagues" survey that starts below that. Thank you for your time!



Next on creating The JMS Plan: Define Your Competition

My family is competitive. We eat fast. We were all active in at least two sports in high school. We turn every board game from Candy Land to Monopoly into the Super Bowl of board games. You could say my competitive nature is genetic.

I love winning.

I hate losing.

However, I have learned to grow you need to win AND lose. Winning creates a positive momentum. Where losing builds character.

On any given day I can win or lose. Did Jessie Marie Studio score a new project? Win! Did that spelling error not get caught before it went to the printer? Loss. The secret is to celebrate the wins and to learn from the losses. And the mark of a successful business is to ultimately win more than it loses.

To compete successfully you need to know who or what you are competing against. Below are two lists of competitors for Jessie Marie Studio: the Internal Competition & the External Competition.

Internal Competition

Hourly Goals
10 billable hours per week
16 hours worked per week

Giving Goals
10% of all profits
Right now we are saving up the giving money to use for an ART for FREEDOM Gala in Spring.

Daily Goals
I have an the iRewardChart app on my iPhone for Cadence. She works for things like trips to restaurants, movie nights & extra bedtime stories. I set up a user for myself & I'm working for some Tom's shoes.

Quarterly Goals
Every quarter I set aside time for a quarterly retreat where I review the past quarter & set goals for the next. I get most of my structure for this from The Accidental Creative. This is usually accomplished in an afternoon at the library. My Hourly, Giving & Daily Goals come from that time. There are some other things I look at as well, but I won't bore you with them here.

External Competition

Design firms in town
ML Studios
Surface 51
Single Stereo
List of U of I preferred vendors
In house designers
Freelance designers
"Your Nephew"
Recent Graduates

Photographers - in CU
Missy Larson
Shannon Anderson
Holly Birch Photography
Steve Hale
Wright Photographers

Photographers - outside of CU
Pam Strohl
Kim Kedinger
Brooke Waala

I personally don't get the kick-em-in-the-knee-and-take-em-out feeling when I list out other designers & photographers I'm up against. I see the good ones as teammates who push me to the next level. And the bad ones, like "Your Nephew" who can make you a logo for free, annoying & not worth my time worrying about.


Happy Hippo

I recently found this book I made in grade school. Pretty awesome.