Volume 20 | January 23, 2019
We Make People and Companies Happier by Bringing Them Together
Our year's gotten off to a good start and we hope yours has, too. There's a lot of hiring activity going on and the economic news for Columbus looks good from what we've been hearing.

This is a candidate's market, meaning that unemployment is low and wages are moving upward. It's always tough to find great candidates. Now, it's even harder. We can help you. Let's talk!

In this issue:
  • Don and a motorcycle sitting in a tree...
  • Blow Halley's mind and drink from her mug
  • Michael has ideas in his sketchbook and lamp parts in his closet.
Proust Pop Quiz
Don Lee is the President/CEO of Horizons [Companies] , a multi-media development company. Their studios are some of the best and most unique in the country. Think "horse stables dripping with technology." Actually, you don't need to "think" it, the building they're in is an old barn built years ago by an eccentric millionaire. All of it is powered by solar energy.

It was fun to see Don over the holidays at a party we both attended. He's funny and quick to share a laugh which is always great to be around. As we talked, our conversation delved into a bit of business. He has plenty to share about his adventures, both professional and personal, but he put the focus on my business. He got me thinking differently about challenges I'm facing and shared his thoughts on the potential future opportunities that I could pursue. Kind, smart and creative...it's how he rolls. And motorcycles. Always thinking of motorcycles. Don takes the quiz this month.

When and where were you happiest?
Riding motorcycles.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Touring on motorcycles.

What is your current state of mind?
I wish I was out riding a motorcycle.
Friends in the Biz
I love to hear about all of the good things going on with the unique people who are a part of my life. New roles, great ideas, accomplishments and whatever else that gives me a kick are celebrated and shared here. 

Halley Immelt Is a mom, a potter and a graphic designer. Being a working mom can be stressful and she knew that her most effective outlet would be something creative which is how her pottery business, Ice + Dust Pottery , got started. " I have a fulfilling career as a graphic designer, but I really missed working with my hands and creating something with a little more permanence," she said. "I took a lot of ceramics courses in college and at the time I had been following a lot of potters on Instagram, and I saw how they were leveraging social media to promote and sell their work, and I thought it would be something I could pull off." Pottery isn't a cheap hobby, so her initial goal was to just make enough to allow her to have fun in her studio. But, then she started to gain a littler more traction than she expected saying, "I've been at it a little over a year now and I'm in awe at where it has taken me."

Making pottery requires focus and a steady hand. Halley said it forces you to be slow and deliberate. "So, if I'm coming into the studio frazzled or rushed, I won't make great work. When I make time to be in my studio, I feel like I'm a better mom and a better graphic designer."

But now that things have taken off, she says the reward is that she's been able to make people happy with what she's doing. "It blows my mind that on any given morning, there could be hundreds of people enjoying some coffee from a mug that I made. I'm so grateful that people have connected with my work and made it part of their lives."

Ice + Dust is at a point now where it's demanding Halley's full attention which presents a problem because of her other commitments. "I love graphic design as much as I love making pottery, and I don't know that I would ever be comfortable with the idea of switching which creative avenue gets the most of my attention. But I love the challenge of fitting both into my life."

Halley currently has a few new wholesale relationships in the works, craft shows throughout the state booked, and a lot of exciting new designs coming soon. "I'm also working on a run of logo mugs for a few local businesses that I'm super excited to release into the world."

You can check out her work at her Etsy site or go to her Instagram @iceanddustpottery
To see her design site, go to halleyimmelt.com
Halley is pictured above (photo credit: Megan Leigh Barnard )

Michael Iles is the designer behind the lights, lamps and chandeliers in the pics you're seeing. Check out his Etsy Shop, Stuff Made By Michael . He's also a graphic designer with Nationwide and teaches design classes at Columbus State.

We had a fun lunch talking about his side hustle and how it all came to be. "My wife and I love to decorate with a mid-century/eclectic look and we are super picky about everything, especially lighting. So when we wanted a new chandelier for our entryway, we found some DIY blogs on chandeliers and I gave it a try. I built that first light and really enjoyed the whole process of designing and building my own creation. I'm a graphic designer, so I sit in a cubicle and stare at a computer screen all day long. So, it's really nice to work with my hands and have a physical product in the end."

Michael doesn't need to make any income from it so he doesn't feel an pressure to please anyone else. Plus, as Michael emphasized, "it's so nice to have a creative outlet where I can do whatever I want." So what's the reward? "I've made a few sales and a lot of people have "liked" my lights on Etsy, and that just feels like icing on the cake."

Without the pressure, I wondered what he wants to do from here. "I have a lot of ideas for new lights in my sketchbook, and a bin of lamp parts in my closet. I just need time to build them and add them to the Etsy shop! One thing I'd like to do is add some DIY listings to the shop. The idea is to have my supplier send the parts straight to the buyer and they would follow my instructions to build the light. The benefit is that I could list the lights for way cheaper and skip the building and shipping steps on my end."

Can we talk about the name? " I started worrying about picking the perfect name, and then decided that the whole point was not to worry and just have fun designing lights. So I went with the first lame thing that popped into my head."

How about a last piece of advice? "I would like to reiterate that it’s good to have a creative outlet outside of your day job. It should be something you enjoy that doesn’t need to generate income. And if no one likes it, who cares?"
Cochran Executive Search | (614) 620-9620 | chris@cochranexecutivesearch.com CochranExecutiveSearch.com