Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August Smmidge-sation: Pink Lemonade Company

Smmidge-sation will be a profile series of people I know (or get to know) who are doing super interesting, creative (and othewise) projects that are allowing them to Do What They Do - a Smmidge mantra.  First up just happens to be an old classmate of mine - Kelli Mitchell - hope you enjoy!

As many of you know, I grew up in a really small town outside of Abilene TX, called Baird.  I'm really proud of my heritage there.  I had a great life growing up, and always fancy myself as really lucky to know the people I know because of my life in Baird.  One of my classmates for, well, really my entire life (preschool - 12 grade give or take) was Kelli Dean. .. Kelli Mitchell now. . .  I have really fond memories of birthday parties, sleepovers and slip-n-slides at her rock house on the corner lot, with carport and screen door - oh!  And the coolest kitchen cabinets.  Yep - when you grow up in a small town you grow up using your imagination!  And Kelli certainly is drawing on her vivid imagination these days.  Her web/graphic design business, Pink Lemonade Company and photo editing business Pink Lemonade Photo caught my eye when I started noticing all the buzz on facebook surrounding some of her cheeky, funky, sweet, and hilarious photo edits.  People were going crazy over her work and I had to know more!  Here is our Q & A:
Smmidge: Place of Birth?  PLP:Jacksonville, Texas.  (I Moved to Baird when I was two years old). 
Smmidge: Current City and Occupation? PLP:Abilene, Texas. Day job: Ringmaster of the three ring circus that is my household.

Smmidge: Creative project/business name and service/product offered.
PLP: Pink Lemonade Company is the “official name”. I have two sites. My first site is which houses my web design and other graphic design services. (more to come!)
My other site is  Photo editing - kids, families, loved ones. And [now] I have had requests to do other projects as well, such as gig posters and blog headers.  I take photographs and give them a hyped up edit.  It is interesting that some of the pictures you think are trash shots end up being really cool. I am able to extract unwanted elements and add funky little bits to create a completely new photograph.  And [now] I have had requests to do other projects as well, such as gig posters and blog headers.
The photo editing has taken a new spin. I still do edits for individuals but have also started working with a photographer and dear friend, Christa McClellan, of Moonshine Photography. We share a lot of passion about this and have some really cool ideas in store.   
Smmidge: How did you start Pink Lemonade Photo and why?
PLP: The photo editing (and Pink Lemonade Photo Project on facebook) was actually a random middle of the night thing. I [updated] my [FB] status late one night, in the midst of a little bit of boredom and insomnia, and said something like “I’m bored. Send me your pictures and I will edit them.” I had about 10 photos sent to me in about 5 minutes. I got those edited, sent back to their owners, and it was crazy. People really seemed to respond well to it. I started getting requests to do more pictures and it just went from there. 
Lots more after the jump!

SmmidgeWhat do you enjoy the most about the work?

PLP: I really can’t single out one thing that I like about it. To me, the whole process is nothing more than completely fun. From talking to the person about the photo, to incorporating any personal details and seeing the image unfold into something new. I have had the privilege of doing several tribute pictures and I always taken aback when someone asks me to memorialize a special family member through my photo editing. I consider it a huge honor.
Smmidge: Have you always been a creative?  Did you need training or extra school to start up?
PLP: I guess I always have been creative to some extent. My mother wanted me to go into graphic design when I was younger and I went into the medical field instead.  But she was right and I found myself frustrated with the inability to use creativity in that line of work. When my second child was born, I was able to stay at home with her and found time to go back to school. I am finishing up my degree in Information Technology with a concentration web design.  Through web design, it has opened up a lot of other doors. The lesson in this, kids, is always listen to your mother!

Kelli Before
Smmidge: Most influential person in your life
PLP: My family as a whole is influential to me.  The idea of family is important to me and I have been blessed with an incredible one. Strong, supportive, and never ending.

Voila!  Kelli After
Smmidge: Your muse?
PLP: As cliché as this sounds I believe, to my core, that life is beautiful. So I find inspiration in a myriad of things -whether it be a Billie Holiday song I’m rockin’ out to, a magnolia bloom in my neighbor’s yard,  or my three amazing baby darlings. True creativity is a spiritual awakening and to be your best creatively, you must be completely aware to the amazing things life is handing us. 
SmmidgeDo you draw on your roots, your past, in your work?
PLP: Very much so.  I am big believer in appreciating the past and I find the best things in life come from the simple things.  When I was growing up in Baird, life was slow and simple.  I think of the downtown area in Baird a lot because it had such a small town charm about it.  I have always liked vintage before liking vintage became cool.  My grandmother had so much “old stuff” from the past in her house and I could have looked at it for hours when I was a kid. I have kept as much of it as I could and it is now in my house today.  
Smmidge: What’s in a name – why "Pink Lemonade Company”?
PLP: This, again, refers to the simple, slow days. My grandmother always had lemonade for us (cans of Country Time) and I love the color pink so it came together from there.  
SmmidgeWhat does the future hold for you – for PLP?
PLP:  I will keep cranking out picture edits for as long as people want them which hopefully will be for a long time to come.  I can honestly say there is nothing more I enjoy. 
Smmidge Dirt - let's get the juicy stuff: 
Fave Magazines?I read several online “magazines” such as Veerle’s blog, Smashing Magazine, and Speckyboy.
Fave ice cream? Ben & Jerry’s Willie Nelson Presents Peach Cobbler.  It’s cathartic.
Fave drink? Pink Lemonade, of course. Okay not really. Although I always have it in my kitchen, I am a hardcore  Diet Dr. Pepper fanatic. 
Fave movie? Meet me in St. Louis Smmidge: Crazy - me too!  Shared past, kindred spirits. . . ? hmmm. :)
Fave daily activity? Sitting down with my pen tablet, my various graphics software, and creating something. 
Fave band or song? Bill Evans or any Texas Country, depending on my mood.
SmmidgeAdvice to others in creating a business or following your passion?
PLP: My mother told me one time that if God gives you a passion for something, and you pursue it, you can’t go wrong.  It’s planted in your soul for a reason, so follow it. 

Thanks so much to Kelli (Dean) Mitchell for sharing some wonderful details about the fantastic Pink Lemonade Photo and Company - We'll be following you and your continued success!  For more great befores and afters and more info on PLP - be sure to check out, and friend them on Facebook!


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