It seems like yesterday I had just returned from summer vacation and yet the stores tell me that Halloween is coming right up (they're also telling me that Christmas is around the corner, too, but that's another story!). I'm guessing I'm not the only one that has felt this "Fall Frenzy" - that's my friend Pauline's expression for the flurry of activity that seems to characterize the fall. Whether you have kids going back to school, teenagers off to college, friends starting new jobs after the summer, clients rushing to complete projects before the end of the year, it really feels like everyone is running at a frenetic pace!
Here at Zelos, we definitely felt over-zealous at times. Our new arrivals had to be unloaded and packed up to ship off to Amazon, we had to shoot pictures of our care packages, samplers and meal kits, orders always have to be sent out (thankfully!), and extra gift boxes and ribbon ordered for the holidays. A couple of weeks ago, I knew I needed a breather because I felt my brain was losing all its creativity. So I followed a technique that I used to practice often when I was working as a designer...and I certainly couldn't afford to stay stuck with no creativity left! The idea is to do something totally unrelated to your actual task and then reap the benefits of the creative juices coming back.
It's not easy to break away when you're feeling under pressure but we really do have to force ourselves and remember that it will pay off. In the past, I used to rely on my kids to distract me with their sports and activities and day-to-day problems. But we're now officially empty-nesters and I was at a loss - I realized I needed to figure something out on my own. Luckily, we are blessed in Cincinnati with beautiful art museums, filled with works of truly rare beauty, and were the perfect recipe to beat my Fall Frenzy.
My first stop was the Cincinnati Art Museum, which was hosting a fascinating exhibit, "Kimono: Refashioning Contemporary Style". It was a beautifully-curated exhibit with influences starting in 1870 until today. I never realized how much kimonos influenced western fashion and I loved seeing clothes from some of my favorite designers that I'd never seen before, like this Channel kimono-inspired coat. Now that was a rare beauty!
I also went to the CAC, my little oasis of intellectual and visual stimulation. I've written in one of my early blog posts about my volunteer work with CAC and even now, when I can't volunteer as much, I still rely on this museum to jump start my creative juices. The exhibition, "A Cabinet of Anticipation", by Japanese-American artist, Saya Woolfalk, did not let me down. The pieces were extremely complex in technique and artistry, and the visual designer in me got so excited with the combination of static visual with video, the beautiful, theatrical, costumes and the positive energy it radiated! More than anything I liked the subject matter, that of cultural hybridity. It really resonated with me, being someone who has lived in and called home three different continents, and having adopted elements from all of them somehow in my life, including food of course!
The musuem run was a huge help and we've been inspired to launch several new things on our site, like Meal Kits, Full-Size Samplers. But I have to admit that my biggest inspiration was having my girl back for her first visit home since she went off to college. I was so glad that her visit coincided with Blink, a one-of-a-kind light and projection event that takes place in Cincinnati in October. It is a free 4-day event that transforms the city into beautiful, live pieces of art with light projections on buildings that are created by local artists and artists from all over the world. This October Blink welcomed a lot of new murals by renown street artists such as London Police, Galo and Vhils.
Walking the streets of Cincinnati made me think of the first Blink two years ago. My exceptionally zealous friend Pauline, and Zelos's fairy godmother, was visiting from Brussels and it was during that trip that we decided to take the plunge and launch Zelos after a summer of playing around with the idea. Blink made me think of our journey, and what a journey that has been, as Zelos has grown into something fulfilling and wonderful....and thanks to each and every one of you!
It has felt good to occasionally step out of the Zelos whirlwind, even for just a few hours, and to immerse myself into something different. Not surprisingly, this small exercise brought clarity to my mind and renewed energy, which I hope you can see in our work.
Let us know how you manage the Fall Frenzy...your tips will be super helpful as we head into the Hectic Holidays!! And enjoy a little glimpse at Blink!
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