Top 5 Memorable Moments of the Last 5 Years

“90% of businesses will fail in the first five years” – everyone i told i was starting a business, 2009

That stat is crazy and it’s enough to freak you out. Having some incredible people around was a huge help – many of whom are closer to me now than ever. It feels good. Either way, looks like I’ll be soon hearing about some cautionary stat about some illusive ten year mark, because as of August 3rd it’s been 5 years since I started out! *cue the confetti gun*

There are too many people to thank and so many people that we’ve yet to meet. It’s all pretty exciting. I look forward to the years ahead and hope they’ll be as rewarding and satisfying as the first five.

In the spirit of 5z, here are our Top 5 Memorable Moments in 5 Years as voted on and tallied by myself and the team:


I started out on Pippy Place, in a shared space with two of my clients/former employers. Once I had four people crammed into a room meant for one, it was time to make a move.

On a cold Friday evening, Steve, who had joined me early in the game, stuck around to pack the office into a U-Haul and drag it into the basement of a house I had just bought.  Later that night, we sat in the parking lot of Wendy’s and laughed about the future of working out of my house on Darling Street. Spoiler alert: operating a business out of one’s house isn’t for everyone.

Sometimes life goes crazy and you decide in less than a week, to pack up your entire operation and, in 48 hours, move into a groovy space above Sun Sushi on Duckworth with the crowd at MusicNL (best roomies ever). Denise came on board that fall. I should have known that she’d lead us into a space crunch as the team bumped up another three people within the first eight months. Once again, we were busting out of our space and had to consider a new location.

Enter beautiful Bates Hill, where we are today. One year in September. Our recent Great Fire post highlights what happened the first week after we moved in.  After 4 locations in 5 years, I’m really hoping we can stay where we are for a while. We love the open loft space, as well as our neighbours and our co-renters. Holding as many meetings in the Gypsy Courtyard as possible is a nice option too.

Where will we move next? I try not to think about it. haha


You can teach skill but not character. I love that one. So true.

Take Steve Brinston, who was called when my screen went blue and I thought I was going to lose my mind. I was so impressed with his calm reserve and ability to bring my Mac back to life, I asked him to come in to do some work, as he wasn’t only an IT wiz, he was a great designer to boot. He’s still with me today. Sean Quinn wasn’t far behind – a wicked creative talent.

Dave Lane, who I can talk about for hours, was soon in the office daily helping me with websites and projects. While the size of the projects we work on are far bigger nowadays, we still have a blast bringing them to life. Denise came on board in September  – which we had only been planning for 8 years or so.

Jackson McLean, Lauren Smyth, and Jon Howard soon followed. Once we moved into Bates, Melissa Hogan and Jacelle “Jacelebrate” Blagdon joined the team. Who’s next? Time will tell.

I’d like to thank Catherine, Sarah, James, Leanna, Nicole, John Paul, Melissa, Sheldon, Jessie, Erika, Arron, Kieran, Chris, Li, Sheena, Shawn, and Taylor – great people who have worked with me or spent time with us on work terms. Each of you has taught me a lot and helped me grow. So much love.


Ever stay for two days straight to get a job in over the finish line? I did. More than once. I don’t recommend it.

Sometimes you’ve gotta bite off more than you can chew and then chew it. Dale Carnegie said that. He’s a bit of a hero. His ‘little golden book’ still sits on my shelf at work. I read it to myself sometimes when the latest mission impossible rolls in.

Thank God for what scares us into heaven.


The Business Association of Newfoundland and Labrador was a group I had heard about in the years leading up to starting the business. This 30 year association of business owners and in-company leaders was an intimidating entity. But, thanks to Denise, a past-president of the association herself, a spot became available and I joined.

Three years later, I became president, during some real transitional times for BANL. We overcame our challenges, thanks largely to the executive who help make it all happen.

I’m thankful to be spending my second year in the role and for what I’ve been able to contribute. The members though, are what make it worth while. We have a diverse and grass roots membership who confide in each other and help move one another forward. We share the reality of life in business and come together to celebrate that opportunity all year round.I look forward to the future of The Business Association and what it will grow to do for our local business community.


We are. We so are. But isn’t everyone? Well, no – and we know this because the ones who dare to take care of their own brand expression live to experience the rewards of a consistent and cross-channel approach when ‘getting out there’ …you know, that thing people hire us to help them do?

We were putting ourselves last, over and over again. Rocking our client’s social strategy and brand refresh, with a new landing page and blog to boot is easy for us. Doing it for ourselves? Not so easy.

BUT …when we finally developed a content strategy for us? Things got good – fast. Our blog? Booming. Our social channels? Bumpin’. And the engagement with our clients, friends and potential clients? It’s up, way up. And in turn, the leads? They’re coming in thru the site. This is exactly what we do for our clients – and now, finally, we’re applying our winning recipe to ourselves. It’s a whole lot of amazing – and thank god, because otherwise we’d be closing down and I’d be going back to school for pipefitting.

Well, there you go, a long-ass blog from me about a few fav moments in our time at the Design House. So much has changed, but when you boil it all down, all I know today is all I knew then: working with companies we love and helping them to brand better is the dream and it’s coming true, everyday.

Here’s to earning the opportunity to do more of what we love for those who need it!

Looking forward,