I met Joanna at Designer Vaca in Palm Springs last year. She was cool, sweet and I wished I had more time to hang before we left. Currently, Joanna is heading up the The Yellow Conference and running her design business, Waterfall Creative. If you're a lady designer, I recommend you check this rad conference. It's a gathering in LA on August 28 and 29th and features a handful of inspiring speakers. Promise Tangeman (Sitehouse), Dale Partridge (Sevenly), Sarah Dubbeldam (Darling Magazine) and more.
Joanna has worked with Lily Stockman of BlockShop Textiles and Jasmin Star's ReSTART Live. She's spoken at Freutcamp and is even working with Aja Brown—the mayor of Compton. This lady is up to big things. Let's see how she packs her days.
Walk us through your day. Not your greatest day, but not your worst. What does a good-to-ideal day look like for you?
One thing I really need to get better at is routine. I’m really bad at keeping a schedule for myself, and quite honestly my days are pretty jumbled—not usually looking the same. But here’s an average day in my life!
8:00am: Wake up & cuddle with my cats in bed, read a chapter from the Bible or a book that I’m reading, pray & give the day to God, slowly get up and get myself dressed. (I’m very slow in the mornings!)
8:40am: Grab something to eat, normally some fruit or yogurt. Feed the cats.
8:50: Hop on my bike and ride to my office, which is just about half a mile from my house. It’s a great time to think and mentally prep for the day. Stop by Starbucks (also right next to my office!) and grab my morning coffee.
9am: Get to work, answer important emails, check in on social media, normally I’ll Pin a few things to my Pinterest to get the visual creative juices flowing.
9:30-11am: I work on time sensitive material, mostly revisions and design work from my retainer graphic design clients. I’m normally pretty back and forth emailing clients work during this time.
11-2pm: Work on Yellow Conference stuff. Organizing social media, speaking with vendors, emailing attendees and others who have questions about the comments, preparing content for the Yellow Conference blog, etc.
2pm: This is when I’ll normally head back to my house or to one of the many restaurants by my office for lunch. I will usually be getting my second cup of coffee in this hour as well!
2:30pm: Back to work! This is when I normally dive into the work that requires little interruption, like my more creative branding work. I rarely check emails during this time.
5:45pm: Normally by this time my inbox has piled up again, so I try and go back through my emails and get to as many as I can before I leave the office. I will also try to finish up any other work from my retainer clients that I wasn’t able to get to in the morning. If I finish early, I’ll hit the gym for a quick workout before heading home. (The gym is also on the same street as my office so it’s all very convenient!)
6:45pm: Head out! I will ride my bike back home, feed my cats, pour myself a glass of wine, turn on some music and begin cooking dinner if my husband hasn’t gotten to it first.
7:30pm: Dinner time with Nolan! We talk about our days and try really hard to be intentional about talking with each other and catching up during this time.
8-9:30: My husband and I are both active in leadership roles at my church, and my husband is also currently in school. So depending on what night it is, he has class, or we have Bible studies, small groups and various gatherings happening. So sometimes dinner is quicker than other nights, but a lot of times we have commitments on weeknights. We’ve also been going through Donald Miller’s Storyline curriculum—so on nights we’re free we go through that together.
9:30-11pm: This is wind down time. We either read, watch one of the show’s we’re currently addicted to on Netflix (just finished up Breaking Bad and are now hooked on Mad Men!) or finish up work stuff.
11:30: Bedtime! If I haven’t fallen asleep on the couch, I’m normally pretty tired by this point and happily hop into bed!
Do you have any boundaries throughout your day?
In the evenings, once I get home from the office, I don’t look at emails or work stuff. I try really hard to work fast during the day so I can leave work at work. If I absolutely need to work on something, I wait until after dinner, and after my husband and I have had time to connect. When I first started working for myself I was really bad about that and it was hard on my relationship with my husband. Now I am very intentional about putting my relationship with him before work and it’s been great for us.
What is something you're proud of this week?
Great question!! This week I’m proud of myself for going to a fancy dinner party I was invited to. I didn’t know anyone going and my husband had class and couldn’t go with me. I really stepped out of my comfort zone and went by myself! I had a great time and met some really cool people, so I’m glad I went and proud of myself for going even when I didn’t know anyone there :)
What are a few influential books or videos. that you'd recommend?
I mentioned Donald Miller’s Storyline online course earlier—and it’s definitely something I’d recommend any person go through. It’s a great way to look at your past and plan for the future, defining the roles you play best and seeing how you can live out your best story. It’s really been healthy for my husband and I to go through it together.
For anyone who enjoys food and entertaining (and even if you don’t!), I’d recommend Bread & Wine by Shauna Neiquist—it’s a great reminder how important our relationships are with one another and how food can bring people together.
The Promise of a Pencil is a great read for people who want to change the world for the better and find out how to do it.
Entreleadership is great for anyone looking to run a business.
Thanks, Joanna! Looking forward to what's ahead for you and Yellow.