06.29.2016

Behind the Design – Adele Stewart

Learn a little more about the crew ‘Behind the Designs’ with our newest Q&A series. Next up up is our Senior Project Manager, Adele Stewart. Get to know her a little better!

Q: Give us some insight into your morning routine!

A: 6:15 (after hittin’ the snooze button a few times) and take my dog Jackson (“Jack”) out on a walk. Then I’ll take him back home and go on a quick run or walk by myself. I’ve stopped taking him with me because he LOVES to stop and sniff everything, and when I run I cannot be stopped! When I get home I shower and get ready before heading out to work. Even though I get my bags packed and lunches ready in the evenings, I still can never manage to get to the office on time – Pittsburgh, your traffic pattern bewilders me.

Q: Three apps that help with you work…ready go!

A: Pinterest – I get a lot of campaign ideas and insights from Pinterest. Often times, I will create private boards for clients and develop a campaign for each client based off of what I see.
iTunes – I purchased Apple Music back in October, and I have no regrets. It builds recommended playlists for you based off of your interests and I can listen to ANY song. It’s basically the same as a Spotify Premium membership, but I tend to like their recommended playlists a lot more. Music can either make or break my focus, so I have to choose my tunes wisely in order to be productive!
the Berry – the Chive’s sister site. I know that it can sometimes be a distraction, but it gets my mind right when I begin to find myself thinking about things other than work. I’ll allot myself a few hours to get work done, and then I will check out a Berry post for a laugh or an inspirational post. Actually, sometimes they give me ideas for our clients. Our Good Highdea campaign for Glass Gone Wow on 4/20 came from Berry inspiration.

Q: What music do you listen to while you’re working?

A: I actually pride myself on being able to find the right music for the right mood. House chill or oldies in the AM, Acoustics or symphonic in the afternoon. Anything you can sing along with or dance to leads to way more distractions.

Q: What’s your dream job (besides working at Sparq =] )

A: I’m a dreamer. If I could, I’d dabble in everything from event planning to acting. Currently working on a way to incorporate all of my passions into one complete – and possible – career. Everyone at Sparq is really supportive in the pursuit of all of our dreams, which is not something you come across every day.

Q: If you could sit down and have a hour-long conversation with any person alive or deceased who would it be?

A: My dad. He lived in Pittsburgh for most of my life, so now I am constantly trying to remember places we went to and people he knew. Places feel familiar, I’m just not sure if they actually are. Plus, I’d kill for another one of his guitar lessons I took for granted as a child.

Q: Who is your idol in the business world? Why?

A: Oh, Beyonce. I think I have always admired her ability to invest and create. I remember when she appeared in a Pepsi commercial alongside Britney Spears and Pink (I think I was around 12 years old at the time), and I just grew a strange attachment to her. Pepsi had their pop princess, the rebel Pink, and the incredibly fierce and fiery Beyonce who shreds through her part so seamlessly that you wondered why they even chose the other two. I wanted to drink Pepsi after that, and let me tell you, Pepsi to me tastes like acidic, liquid garbage. Apparently, this Pepsi deal was a multi-year one that raked in $50-million dollars. This money was also used as an investment to fund her future projects including her fashion label House of Dereon, and clothing lines with H&M and Topshop. She plans every aspect of her tour campaigns – audio, visual, and more, AND oversees her own image. She also has made it a point to remind everyone that success didn’t happen overnight. She has worked very hard from childhood to get where she is today. I aspire to be like her, and I am well-aware of the hard-work and networking that goes into it. I think whether people like her music or not, she should be recognized a business magnate within the branding industry, that has hustled to get there – it’s truly something to respect.

To learn more check out our team page!


The individuals at Sparq Designs believe in quality, and are huge advocates of setting ourselves apart from the competition. We do not believe in a cookie-cutter approach because we feel it’s more important to stand out in a crowd and we want our clients to do the same. We get excited about turning a concept into a design, developing a web presence, writing and optimizing content, and creating a buzz around a brand. Meet more of the team here.

06.22.2016

Behind the Design – Kait Roth

Learn a little more about the crew ‘Behind the Designs’ with our newest Q&A series. Next up up is our Vice President of Digital Marketing, Kait Roth. Get to know her a little better!

View More: http://jennahidingerphotography.pass.us/sparqwebsitephotos

Vice President of Digital Marketing, Kait Roth

Q: Give us some insight into your morning routine!
A: I wake up & head to the gym, more recently i’ve been in to doing yoga & spinning but I have to workout to get my day off on the right foot. I always eat breakfast and drink copious amounts of black coffee. I head to the office, drink more coffee & tell everyone good morning; then try to catch up on news and any industry related updates and make my to-do list when I get to my desk.

Q: Three apps that help with you work…ready go!
A: I use Instagram & VSCO for visual inspiration when I feel like i’m running out of creative ideas. I follow hundreds of accounts on both apps who have such a unique way of seeing & designing the world. I also use Sunrise multiple times a day, it combines all my various calendars & social media apps to stay organized with meetings, appointments, & events. I’d be lost without it. Last, is 8tracks.I use it for finding new music & listen to music constantly when I’m working.

Q: What music do you listen to while you’re working?
A: I love all genres of music, but currently my artists in rotation are Sylvan Esso, Chet Faker, & Alt-J.

Q: What’s your dream job (besides working at Sparq =] )
A: My dream job would be to get paid to travel around the world & rate coffee shops on my blog. I’ve only given one 9.9/10!

Q: If you could sit down and have a hour-long conversation with any person alive or deceased who would it be?
A: J.D. Salinger

Q: Who is your idol in the business world? Why?
A: Much of my career path has been influenced by my dad the infamous Dr. Roth. Whether he is aware or not, his influence gave me a true love for the entrepreneurial spirit, and he loves to learn and gain new experiences. He taught me the value of creating and fostering relationships and is one of those people who, to this, day tells me he “doesn’t know what he wants to do when he grows up.” My passion for what I do and love for my job is a direct result of his guidance. Just don’t tell him I actually starting taking his advice! 😉

To learn more check out our team page!


The individuals at Sparq Designs believe in quality, and are huge advocates of setting ourselves apart from the competition. We do not believe in a cookie-cutter approach because we feel it’s more important to stand out in a crowd and we want our clients to do the same. We get excited about turning a concept into a design, developing a web presence, writing and optimizing content, and creating a buzz around a brand. Meet more of the team here.

06.15.2016

Behind the Design – Jim Blundo

Learn a little more about the crew ‘Behind the Designs’ with our newest Q&A series. Next up up is our Vice President, Jim Blundo. Get to know him a little better!

Q: Give us some insight into your morning routine!
A: My morning begins by getting my son out of his crib. From that moment forward, you will have to consult him on our “routine” (I’m not sure how clearly he’ll be able to communicate this but I’m a pretty good translator for him so we’ll do our best).

Q: Three apps that help with you work…ready go!
A: Pipedrive – Awesome sales tool that tracks prospects/leads from beginning to end of the sales process.
Basecamp – I use it to organize daily tasks that needed to be completed for clients.
Twitter – There is no better way to stay current and staying current is vital to the sales process. You can read some of my old blogs to understand why I say that.

View More: http://jennahidingerphotography.pass.us/sparqwebsitephotos

Vice President of Sparq Designs, Jim Blundo

Q:What music do you listen to while you’re working?
A: I listen to whatever the office has playing. I am not a “pass me the aux” guy so I just accept whatever everyone else is listening to.

Q: What’s your dream job (besides working at Sparq =] )
A: My own talk radio show.

Q: If you could sit down and have a hour-long conversation with any person alive or deceased who would it be?
A: My grandfather.

Q: Who is your idol in the business world? Why?
A: I don’t look up to any specific person. I just admire people who are authentic and don’t let accepted norms affect who they are, what they say, or how they behave.


The individuals at Sparq Designs believe in quality, and are huge advocates of setting ourselves apart from the competition. We do not believe in a cookie-cutter approach because we feel it’s more important to stand out in a crowd and we want our clients to do the same. We get excited about turning a concept into a design, developing a web presence, writing and optimizing content, and creating a buzz around a brand. Meet more of the team here.

06.08.2016

Behind the Design – Nick Brucker

Learn a little more about the crew ‘Behind the Designs’ with our newest Q&A series. First up is our President & fearless leader, Nick Brucker. Get to know him a little better!

Q: Give us some insight into your morning routine!
A: I am not much of a routine person because I like switching things up and staying fresh. Some days I will make breakfast, other days I’ll make a smoothie, some days is straight coffee. My biggest goal is to get to the office as fast as I can and get the day started!

Q: Three apps that help with you work…ready go! 
A: Spotify, Google Drive, MySEOTool

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

President of Sparq Designs, Nick Brucker

Q: What music do you listen to while you’re working? 
A: I stick to “Good Vibes” playlist on Spotify or whatever is on the  Top 50 charts.
 

Q: What’s your dream job (besides working at Sparq =] ) 
A: Honestly, I’d be cool with working at a surf shop in a beach town in Florida or California. I would like the stress free atmosphere and the nice weather all year long. But then I think I would end up getting bored and starting up a business of my own anyways.

Q: If you could sit down and have a hour-long conversation with any person alive or deceased who would it be? 
A: Steve Jobs

Q:  Who is your idol in the business world? Why?
A: Right now I have been following Michael Lastoria a lot (CEO of &pizza). He is a great brand marketer and I like to see the new, modern and edgy stuff that he is doing. Everything that he puts out has a “cool” appeal to it.


The individuals at Sparq Designs believe in quality, and are huge advocates of setting ourselves apart from the competition. We do not believe in a cookie-cutter approach because we feel it’s more important to stand out in a crowd and we want our clients to do the same. We get excited about turning a concept into a design, developing a web presence, writing and optimizing content, and creating a buzz around a brand. Meet more of the team here.

06.06.2016

The Problem with Success

When you think of success, what do you imagine? Maybe success, to you, is a person – maybe it looks like your friend who has the perfect job, perfect apartment, and a perfect personality that you just can’t seem to “outshine.” Or maybe success is an irrational standard you’ve set for yourself based on someone else’s creativity. Our propensity towards comparison can skew our perception of success and inhibit our ability to find success in our jobs, our friendships, and our family lives.  Specifically, there are three problems that can skew our perceptions:

  1. Success is subjective.
“You do not determine your success by comparing yourself to others. Rather, you determine your success by comparing your accomplishments to your capabilities.” – Zig Ziglar

All to often, we as human beings compare our apples to someone else’s oranges. Often unconsciously, we look for people in similar situations as us and compare an aspect of our lives, or our whole lives, to theirs, resulting in a sense of unworthiness diminished in their bright shining spot light. But we forget too quickly that what success looks like to us is not what success may actually be for us, which leads us to the next point: success is undefined.

  1. Success is undefined.

A few years back, I started a wedding and portrait photography business that challenged me both creatively and organizationally. I had been working with other photographers for quite a few years before then and couldn’t wait to get started with my own business, so when a young couple approached me about photographing their wedding, I was over the moon excited. As the wedding date approached, I decided it would be a good idea to start looking at other wedding photographers’ work to get a clearer vision for what type of style I would want to start creating in my work, what sort of files I’d be expected to deliver to my clients, etc. At first, looking through other’s work was helpful. It gave me inspiration for shots, and helped me figure out what style I might want to move towards shooting in. But soon, a half hour of scrolling through wedding photography blogs turned into an hour. Then two hours. Then nearly five hours later, I slammed my laptop closed, frustrated by the shear volume of beautiful work that I knew I would in no way be able to even come close to for my first wedding. I was frustrated, upset, and felt unworthy to shoot the sweet couple’s wedding who had so graciously offered me the opportunity. Actually, I was so upset with my lack of experience and expertise that I almost called off the gig less than a month out.

The problem was that I was using other people’s success to define my own, when in fact, I should have been the one defining my own success. I looked at what the other photographers were creating and producing, measured my work against theirs (without taking into account how long they had been photographing weddings for, their individual skill set, and their backgrounds) and decided that I sucked compared to them. It led me down a road of comparison, which continues to test my perseverance to this day. Though I continue to struggle with using other people’s work to define my own success, I’m continuously learning to set my own standard and goals for my own success, and to only compare my new work to past work. If I’m improving where I want to be improving, I’m successful. Besides – who, besides myself, can define my success?

  1. Success looks a lot like failure.

Can I just be completely honest for a second? I hate this third point. I considered leaving it out because I really just didn’t want to deal with it being a reality. But I think this is one of the most important and fatal problems we experience when trying to reach success – success looks a LOT like failure. Like, TONS of failures, all of the time, in every way you can possibly imagine. When I first started my business, I was under the assumption that if I was meant to do something (and be successful doing it), things would be easy. Everything would fall into place. Everyone would encourage me, applaud my attempts and my creations, that my clients would be easy to deal with all of the time, that nothing would ever go wrong – what a messed up view. Here’s my most current perception of success:

success-sketch_opt

Photo credit: SelfMadeSucess

As Thomas J. Watson so eloquently puts it, “Would you like me to give you a formula for… success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You’re thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all… you can be discouraged by failure – or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember, that’s where you’ll find success. On the far side.”

How would you define success? Is your perception of success skewed due to comparison? Begin to determine your own success by creating goals and milestones that will keep you motivated and moving towards your own version of success.

 


Jenna Sasala is the lead Graphic Designer at Sparq Designs, a web development and online marketing company in Cranberry, PA

Jenna Sasala is a Marketing Account Manager & Designer at Sparq Designs, a digital marketing agency in Pittsburgh. Learn more about her, here. If you have questions about building a relationship, contact the  Sparq team today.

Follow Jenna on Twitter,  LinkedIn & Instagram

06.01.2016

Meet Junior Graphic Designer Chad Parise

Meet the latest addition to the Sparq team, Junior Graphic Designer Chad Parise! 

Junior Graphic Designer, Chad Parise

Junior Graphic Designer, Chad Parise

Q: Where did you attend school and what did you study there?
A: I attended Kent State University where I majored in Visual Communication Design and minored in Photo-Illustration.

Q: What’s your dream job?
A: My dream job would be to become a photographer for National Geographic or Animal Planet and to travel the world.

Q: At which store would you like to max-out your credit card?
A: 5 Guys…

Q: Which storybook/cartoon character do you relate to?
A: Harold from Harold and the Purple Crayon, he just shows how limitless creativity can be.

Q: What’s your favorite part of the digital marketing industry?
A: I love the endless possibilities; you can continue to push the boundaries. It seems like the most crazy, out-of-the-box ideas become the best ones.

Q: What  Hogwarts house are you in?
A: Gryffindor, it said so in my prophecy. It also said the Emma Watson is my future wife but that’s still in the works.

Q: What was your favorite TV show when growing up?
A: Seinfeld and The Office, there is no one better than Michael Scott.

Q: Do you have any strange phobias/fears?
A: heights & mashed potatoes.

Q: What is the best thing you’ve crossed off your bucket list?
A:  Swimming with sea turtles and traveling to Italy.

Q: Favorite artist to listen to when you’re designing?
A: Any type of house or techno music. I’m really into Avicii or Shabba.

Q: How do you stay caffeinated ?
A: I don’t really drink coffee… but scoops on scoops of C4.

Q: What is your favorite part about working at Sparq?
A: Honestly everyone who works here. The atmosphere makes you get up and want to come to work, and that is truly hard to find.


At Sparq Designs is an Online Marketing Company in Wexford. Our office is located just 20 minutes north of Pittsburgh. Our team’s marketing expertise lies in branding, web development, search engine optimization, and social media management for businesses and clients of all sizes and throughout the world.

Learn more at www.sparqdesigns.com