What I Do In My Time Off and Other FAQ's

What I Do In My Time Off and Other FAQ's

How did Lemon and the Sea get it's name?

Long story short, God gave me this name very early in my business (like, before my business was even a real thing) and I've stuck with it ever since. For more details, check out this post all about the story behind the name and how Lemon and the Sea got it's start.

Who do you work with?

We love working with creative women with a heart to serve. It doesn't matter is you are in a "creative" industry as long as you're willing to think about the box and push past what's "normal." We've worked with wedding professionals, interior designers, authors, bloggers, accountants, dance instructors, and even an agronomist and we've loved them all! If you have a passion for serving others well and want to build a business that supports the life you want to live, we're on-board for that!

WHAT IS BRANDING, EXACTLY?

Your brand is you, especially if you’re running a one person business. It’s what you’re about: your values, your message, and your approach. Branding is how you present yourself to the world: through email, social media, blogging, and anything else you do. Design takes all of that and makes it visual. This can include your logo, your color palette, your website, or your print documents. Your design should match your brand, not the other way around. This is why I take so much time to get to know you and your business before I jump into creating.

WHY DO YOU ONLY DESIGN WEBSITES ON SQUARESPACE?

I love Squarespace! I want to make things as easy as possible for you as your business grows and you need to update your website. Squarespace makes updates and changes super easy. I can set all of the visuals in place and you don’t have to worry about a new page or blog post not matching the rest of your site. It’s easy to use and works really well because you never have to worry about plug-ins or updates. Squarespace also has a great customer service if you ever have questions.

WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?

I’ve been creating and designing since I was old enough to hold craft supplies. I knew that I wanted to pursue a career that allowed me to combine my love of creating with my passion for organization and helping others. I attended Clemson University and studied Architecture, where I learned a lot about design in general. My favorite part of every project was playing around with concepts and figuring how to mesh beautiful design with practical experience for each different client. After graduating, I took a job working for a family run business where I handled everything from everyday administrative tasks to updating and photographing products for their online store. I was able to design for every aspect of business from email marketing graphics to real estate advertisements, from product photography to website additions. When the time came to relocate for my husband’s career, I was excited to have the opportunity to take everything I’d learned and the projects I’d done to build a business that allowed me to design for people who are just as passionate about what they do as I am about my own work.

Do you have kids?

Okay, maybe this one is mostly from people I meet in person, but I do get asked this a lot since my husband and I have been married for 4+ years now. The answer? No, we don't have kids, but we do have a goofy little dog named Gambit who hangs out in the office with me every day. Check him on Instagram at #gambittheweshi.

What are your business values?

We believe in serving well. We believe that we’re all at our best when we’re serving others with our talents and skills. That’s why we focus on creating processes that make communication easy and work efficient.

We believe in meaningful projects. What we do matters. That’s why we choose projects that we can execute well and that speak to our mission and vision. And you should too.

We believe in authentic design. Design should be a reflection of who you are, not what’s trendy or normal in your industry. We aren’t afraid to think outside the box.

We believe in family time. You know that idea that you have to hustle all the time? We believed it too for a while. Then we learned that we’re at our best when we can invest in the people who matter most - our friends and family. So we take time to make them a priority - and you should too.

We believe that growth is important. We love continually learning in growing, both in business and personally. We’re always testing out new systems and making investments in our future.

What do you do in your time off?

What time off? Just kidding! I've learned the hard way that it's important to make time for myself and my family if I want this business to be sustainable.

When I'm not working, I love cooking dinner with my husband, binge-watching Netflix, hanging out with local creatives and my church life group, and spending time exploring Virginia. I'm a big reader, so I always have a book by my bed and I'm all about DIY projects for my house.

My favorite shows include Criminal Minds, Veronica Mars, Firefly, and Gilmore Girls. My most watched movie is probably Legally Blonde (my sister and I watched it everyday for an entire week once), and my favorite (non-business) podcasts are Myths and Legends, Crime Writers On, Casefile, Generation Why, Invisibilia, and These are Their Stories.

Want to know more about me? I'm always sharing behind-the-scenes stuff on Instagram.


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Lemon and the Sea is a brand and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creative women who have a heart to serve others grow their businesses so they can focus on what's most important - family.   I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a business that genuinely represents who they are.


The World Needs Your Story

The World Needs Your Story | Lemon and the Sea: Your story is so important to your personal brand s because it share the bigger message behind your why and connects with your audience.

Remember when you had to give presentations in school to practice your "public speaking skills?" You would get docked points for saying "um" too much (which my sister has pointed out that I do), you were graded on making eye contact, and you had to keep up with your time so it wasn't too long or too short.

For many of us, both speaking and listening was a nightmare because everything was so robotic and formulaic. Looking back on it now, the torture of giving and listening to speeches wasn't because the information was boring, but because there was no story behind it.

Story is a driving force.

The best speakers share stories to engage their audience and connect the dots of their message with the real world. If you've ever listened to a really good sermon, you know the pastor will combine personal stories and his Biblical teaching.

Without those stories, you would just be listening to a list of dos and don'ts. (And you'd probably be trying hard not to fall asleep.)

Story is a driving force for any message - whether it's for a presentation, a teaching moment with your kiddos, or a business. People want to know that you've been there, that you understand, and that you aren't just spouting facts with no real purpose behind them.

You have something unique to share, even if you don't think you do.

Your story - how you got to where you are now - is unique. It may not feel like it (I mean, there are a surprising number of graphic designers who started out in architecture), but even if the basic building blocks of your story are similar to others you've heard, you have something no one else does - your perspective.

It's like when psychologists have a group of people all watch a video of the same car accident. The facts of the accident may all be the same, but each person saw it a little differently (which is why eyewitness testimony isn't very reliable, but that's a whole other topic).

So even if you're in a crowded market like design or photography, your story gives you a unique viewpoint on what you do and why you do it.

Your Story Informs your why

We talk about finding your "why" a lot as creative entrepreneurs, but it isn't always as easy as following a formula.

Your "why" isn't some vague reason that you pull out on the home page of your website - it's part of your story. For example, my "why" is to help other women build businesses they love and that let's them focus on their families. I didn't come to this because it seems nice, but because I've worked for businesses that I don't believe in, done jobs that take me away from my family, and I've decided to build my own business in a way that's different.

I believe that God has brought you to this place and time for a reason. It may not be clear yet what that is, but He's developing your story so you can share it with others.

Someone needs your story

It can feel like you're shouting into a crowd when you're trying to reach your dream clients and share your message and that turns many of us off of even trying.

But I promise you (and I can do that because I've seen it) that someone out there is watching and listening to your story. You may not be aware of them, they may never reach out to you, but they need to hear your story.

Maybe they are a few steps behind you and want to learn. Maybe they're going through something similar to your experiences and just need the encouragement that this too shall pass. Or maybe they're at the very beginning of a new path and they're struggling to find their own voice.

No matter what, even if you're sharing your story with only one person, it's worth it. Because it does make a difference.

Want more information about how branding affects your business?


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Lemon and the Sea is a brand and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creative women who have a heart to serve others grow their businesses so they can focus on what's most important - family.   I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a business that genuinely represents who they are.


My Favorite Non-Business Books that Have Impacted My Business

My Favorite Non-Business Books that Have Impacted My Business | Lemon and the Sea: I'm sharing some of my favorite books that have impacted what I do and why I do it in my business.

When I was in high school, I spent hours every week in the library. Most of the year, I had swim practice after school, but there was about an hour between when school let out and when I had to get to the locker room. So everyday, I would grab my book bag, and walk down to the public library, and read by myself for an hour before I had to jump into the pool.

If you've spent any time with me, you probably now that I love to read. I carry a book (or now my Kindle) with me everywhere I go in case I can find a few minutes to read a few pages of a good book. My favorite part of my job as a lifeguard was that I was able to read on rainy or cold days. And the thing I miss most about having a regular 9-to-5 job is the time I had to read during lunch or at the end of every day.

Now that I'm running Lemon and the Sea, I have less time to read (I listen to a lot of podcasts while I work), but it's still one of my favorite activities. Books inspire and refresh me more than anything else because I can get lost in someone else's world and learn about my own.

Why I don't Love Business Books

When I first started Lemon and the Sea, I would read every business book that someone recommended. And they taught me a lot. But over time, I realized that I was consuming so much information and filling my entire day with business - I had no time to relax and step away from the hustle. So I decided to intentionally stop reading business books except on very rare occasions and then only a little at a time.

Because reading is so impactful for me, I'm better when I read for escape and pleasure instead of education. Sure, business books have there place, but when you're always thinking about your business the way I am, it's nice to get away from it every evening.

What I've learned from my intentional step away from business books is that my business is impacted just as much by non-business books - the stories, lessons, and characters all have something to teach me.

Today, I'm sharing some of my favorite non-business books that have impacted my life and business, as well as what I learned from each.

The Magnolia Story

by Chip and Joanna Gaines

If you haven't read this book yet and you're a fan of Fixer Upper, I highly recommend it. I love watching Chip and Joanna interact on their show because they're so real (plus I love the open floor plans and white kitchens), but it's easy to think that they have it all together all the time. This book gets into their story and how God has lead them to where they are now.

I was reminded of so many lessons I've learned in my own business and encouraged to know that I'm not alone in the sometimes messy, sometimes scary, always a blessing journey of being an entrepreneur.

Find it here.

Hissy Fit

by Mary Kay Andrews

This book is why I decided to pursue architecture and spend my time "abroad" in Charleston instead of traveling to Italy or Spain. It's also where my love of refinishing furniture and interior design was solidified. These are some of the lessons the book taught me:

  • do something you  love, even if it doesn't make sense
  • find people you can depend on
  • historical architecture and antiques are awesome!

Find it here.

Just Listen

by Sarah Dessen

This was one of my favorites in high school and I've shared it with my sister a few times as well. Sarah Dessen really knows who to write stories that relate to what every teenager is experiencing and capture some amazing life lessons.

This book didn't have as much of a direct impact on my business, but it did teach me the importance of getting to know someone's story before jumping to conclusions. As I work with clients in all different industries, I love hearing their stories and how they got to where they are now, because each is unique.

Find it here.

Gone with the Wind

by Margaret Mitchell

Yes, I'm aware that this book is a little controversial now, but I still enjoy it. My mom gave me this book to read sometime in middle or high school and I've read it at least 5 times since (I had to buy her a new copy because I read the one she had so many times it fell apart).

What I love about Gone with the Wind isn't so much the circumstances as the characters. Scarlett's story has taught me a lot over time (and I've gone from really disliking her to admiring her and back a few times).

  • You can do hard things when you have to care for the people around you
  • There is value in the place and family you came from
  • Taking care of yourself isn't always going to look the way people want it to, and that's okay
  • Don't be afraid to pursue the things you're good at

Find it here.

Christy

by Catherine Marshall

I recently read this book again after years of seeing it sitting on the shelf and it spoke to me in so many ways. Christy's story isn't something I can directly relate to (I'm not teaching children in the food in the midst of illness and feuds), but it served to remind me that while God's plans don't always make sense, but they are worth following and that God will provide in amazing ways if we simply ask.

Find it here.

Of course, every book and every story has something to teach us, so this doesn't nearly cover all of my favorite books. These are a few others that I return to over and over:

Tell me: what are your favorite books that have impacted your business?


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Lemon and the Sea is a brand and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creative women who have a heart to serve others grow their businesses so they can focus on what's most important - family.   I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a business that genuinely represents who they are.


Why Your Brand Needs to Reflect Who Your Are

Why Your Brand Needs to Reflect Who You Are | Lemon and the Sea: Your brand is so much more than a color palette or logo - it's how you share what you do and how you work. And when your brand is authentic, it's easier and more enjoyable to work in and grow your business.

Your brand is so much more than a color palette or logo - it's how you share what you do and how you work. And when your brand is authentic, it's easier and more enjoyable to work in and grow your business.

Authentic is a big buzzword right now and it's gotten muddled up in lots of ways, but to me, being authentic means that you are being yourself - no faking, no pretending - in everything that you do. Sure, you should probably dress up to meet with clients instead of wearing your yoga pants, but there is no reason to wear a suit if that's not what you spend most of your time in.

As creative business owners, we spend most of our days in our brands.  We're always representing our message - on social media, in our content, while networking, during client communication - so it's vital that your brand be authentic to you.

Your Brand is Sustainable

So why is an authentic brand important? Because it's much more sustainable over time than a brand that doesn't fit you.

When your brand reflects you, it's sharing your bigger why, your message, with the people who are coming into contact with you. It's something that you can talk about for hours because you're passionate about it.

Your brand shouldn't be something you chose because it's trendy or seems like it's what people want from you - those brands fail quickly because the people behind them don't really believe.

And when your brand message is true, you have so much more flexibility in what you're doing because the why stays the same. You can go from offering one-on-one services to courses, or move from client work to education because the basis for what you're doing never changes.

You Brand Supports You

I recently had a meeting with a potential client who is a little different than the people I normally work with. It would have been easy to change my brand and my process to make myself fit into what I thought they wanted, but instead I decided to stick with what I do best. When they asked me to send a proposal, I spent a little time tailoring my sales slides to their needs, but I stuck to my message, my way of working, and my brand.

I'm sure they weren't expecting a teal and gray document full of branded images because most design proposals are fairly boring Word documents, but I knew that if I booked this client based on a proposal that wasn't authentic to my business, I would be starting our working relationship out the wrong way.

The best part of running your own business is getting to decide how you want to work. You set the hours, decide how communication will take place, and set the schedule so that you can serve your clients well. And your brand should support that.

You do a disservice to your potential clients and yourself if you change your brand to fit what you think people want in order to book that big client or attract that wholesale account you've been eyeing.

When you stick to your message, you're going to attract people who believe in what you're doing because they know why you're doing it - and they'll respect you because they know that you're an expert.

Your Brand Doesn't Dictate Your Life

When your brand reflects who you are, it fits into your daily life. You don't have to worry about having the perfect house or always wearing stilettos if that's not you. It also means that if you want to have a Tutu Tuesdays just because you love wearing tutus, you can because it's a part of your brand.

An authentic brand also allows you a lot of flexibility in your business. You don't have to follow industry standards or do what everyone else is doing - you get to decide what works for you. You can shift and change as your business grows and as you learn more about what you're truly passionate about.

And when you show up as yourself in your brand, people know what they're getting when they meet you. We all know people who act one way in front of certain people and another when they're somewhere else (personally, I think that would be exhausting). When you're always putting on a front, people don't get to know the real you - the one that will come out in client meetings or late night emails. But when you're true to yourself from the very start, people feel like they know you before you even meet.

What is your message?

If your brand isn't feeling like a good fit, ask yourself a question.

Is it my brand visuals or my message that aren't authentic?

I've found that often when I'm struggling to feel like my brand reflects who I am, it's has less to do with my logo or color palette and more to do with the fact that I've lost my why.

I want to be known for helping my clients communicate who they are through brands and websites that are authentic, for a process that makes it easy for them to get what they need so they can focus on what's most important - family, and for educating and empowering my clients to have control over their brands.

And it's those three things that help me decide what services or products to offer and how I work to serve my clients and myself best.

So, what is it that you want to be know for?


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Lemon and the Sea is a brand and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creative women who have a heart to serve others grow their businesses so they can focus on what's most important - family.   I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a business that genuinely represents who they are.


Stop Sharing Your Squarespace Password - How to Set Permissions

Stop Sharing Your Squarespace Password - How to Set Permissions | Lemon and the Sea: Step-by-step instructions for giving permissions to contributors, designers, and assistants

In a digital age when sharing passwords is common for running an online business, it can be a little scary to give that information to someone you haven't known every long and may have never met in person.

As a Squarespace website designer, I work with many clients who are already on the Squarespace platform, but are ready to hire a professional to make updates or finish their website design because they are overwhelmed. And almost every time, the client asks me if they should give me their Squarespace user name and password.

Luckily, Squarespace makes it easy to give someone access to edit and update your website without sharing your login information. This also means that it's easy to remove someone from your website if you stop working together without having to change your password.

How to Give Permissions

First, log into your website back-end so you can make changes. You will need to have Administrator permissions to add anyone else to a Squarespace website.

Stop Sharing Your Squarespace Password - How to Set Permissions | Lemon and the Sea: Step-by-step instructions for giving permissions to contributors, designers, and assistants

In the main menu, navigate to Settings.

Stop Sharing Your Squarespace Password - How to Set Permissions | Lemon and the Sea: Step-by-step instructions for giving permissions to contributors, designers, and assistants

Open the Permissions tab and choose Invite Contributor.

Stop Sharing Your Squarespace Password - How to Set Permissions | Lemon and the Sea: Step-by-step instructions for giving permissions to contributors, designers, and assistants

Enter the new contributor's name and email address and assign which type of permission they have. Once you save this information, they will receive an email from Squarespace notifying them that they have been invited. Then, they can either log in to their existing account or create an account.

Stop Sharing Your Squarespace Password - How to Set Permissions | Lemon and the Sea: Step-by-step instructions for giving permissions to contributors, designers, and assistants

Depending on the type of Permissions a user has to your website, they will see different options in the menu limited by what they have access to.

Updating Permissions

If you have given someone access to your website, you can always remove them or change their permissions. To do this, go back to Settings > Permissions and click on the user's profile. A box will pop up allowing you to modify or remove permissions for that person (unless they are the owner of the website).

Working with Multiple Squarespace Websites

If you have been granted permissions on multiple Squarespace websites, you can navigate between them without having to bookmark each site individually. When you log in to one website, click on your profile image at the bottom of the menu and a list of all the websites (live and trial) that you can access. Then, choose the website you want to work on and it will open in a new tab.

Types of Permissions

  • Administrator - this gives the user full permission to access and change everything on the website. When I am designing a website, both I and my client have Administrator permissions.
  • Content Editor - this allows the user to edit website content, but not to change settings. This is useful for allowing a virtual assistant or copywriter access to your content without worrying about them changing the settings.
  • Billing - this lets the user update the credit card information on file for processing payments to Squarespace.
  • Reporting - this gives the user access to the website statistics and reports. This can be useful for a VA or social media manager who wants to see which pages are the most popular and where visitors are coming from.
  • Comment Moderator - this allows the user to edit, approve, and add comments as a contributor and website administrator instead of as a website visitor. A VA who helps to monitor and edit comments can be allowed access to the comments without needing to adjust any settings.
  • Trusted Commenter - this lets the user bypass comment moderation, meaning that their comments are automatically approved. This could be useful if you have a business bestie or tribe who regularly comments and you trust.
  • Store Manager - this allows the user to receive store notifications via email, manage custom orders, and edit website content, including products. If you want to have an assistant help you manage orders, they will need to be given Store Manager or Administrator permissions in order to receive order emails and update products.

How I Use Permissions with my Clients

When I'm working with a website design client, I get access to their website one of two way - either I create the website as a trial version myself (and am the owner of the website) or my client invites me to their already existing website.

Either way, as a designer, I need Administrator permissions so that I can add and design pages, update the website styling, and add any custom coding. I also recommend that my client has Administrator permissions as well so they can get used to the back-end of their website before it goes live.

As an Administrator, I can also give permissions to my team members if they need access to the website without the client needing to worry about it. This is really helpful for the copywriter and social media strategist who are a part of The Lemonade Collective. It also means that I can set up my client's VA, office manager, or blog contributor for them.

If I've created the website, I will transfer ownership to my client once the final invoice has been paid and the project is complete. Then they can choose to leave me with access to their website to continue offering on-going support or remove me if they no longer need my help.

Are you using Squarespace Permissions with your clients or employees?


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Lemon and the Sea is a brand and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creative women who have a heart to serve others grow their businesses so they can focus on what's most important - family.   I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a business that genuinely represents who they are.