I had the great pleasure of meeting Amanda Larsen, Amy Ehmann and her business partner Tina Furjanic (Design Lotus), Sharise Williams, and Allston Wise at Darlington House in Washington, DC last night. After getting over the excitement and slight strangeness of seeing each other in person for the first time after only communicating digitally for almost 2 years, we took over the Circle Bar, distributed Minted printed gifts, and got down to the business at hand – talking about how much we love design and stationery and how to make Minted better (with a fair amount of mommy talk thrown in for good measure – every single one of us were moms).
First, to answer the question many of you are thinking – Does Amy Ehmann have as much energy as I think she does? The answer is “Yes!!” Amy is one of the most positive, dynamic people I’ve met – very charming, persuasive, articulate, and has her mind totally in the right place, which is how to help people and things get better. No wonder she has had such a big impact on Minted’s community.
Talking with these designers was like drinking from a fire hose of incredible ideas. We received some good hard feedback, like ‘don’t request a design on Friday and ask for it on Monday’. Sorry about that, everyone, we’re not going to make that mistake again. We received great feedback on new UI experience ideas: 1) allow me to sign up for a notification when new designs are submitted to the challenge by other designers, so that I can check them out, 2) provide an option to show/hide the designer so that I am not biased when voting, 3) allow consumers to create profile pages so that you can differentiate between bona fide customers’ comments versus friends and family comments. We got a good sense of what new products people would like to work more on.
Overall, this was a transformative experience for me, as I understood more the impact Minted is having – for example, that interaction on Minted is leading to actual, real friendships in the offline world where designers are calling each other up on the phone or meeting up in person. This goes even beyond what I hoped for when creating Minted, which was to support the professional development and discovery of talented independent designers, and create a meritocracy where what matters is one’s talent and hard work.
But more on that later in my next post… it is late here in DC (2:08am) and I will sum this experience up by saying that I am feeling incredibly privileged to be working with the Minted community of designers.
MORE AFTER THE