Behind the Scenes with Jo Klima of The Darling Tree

07 23 2013

Jo is a “web designer, illustrator, and chief idea gardener” over at The Darling Tree. With an extraordinary knack for organic, finely detailed, and feminine designs, Jo strives to provide her clients with a brand identity inspired by their ideas, purpose and spirit – a work of digital art they’ll keep loving for years to come, as a perfect representation of the soul of their business.

Jo also loves to teach bloggers how they can create their own custom designs and enjoy the experience of infusing their online spaces with more of their personality with the Your Darling Blog design workshops.

Jo is giving us a sneak peek Behind The Scenes of her business today…

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Tell me a bit about your business:

My love is design. I help creative individuals and businesses with branding and online design that is a true reflection of their business, passions and purpose. I also love to teach bloggers how they can create their own custom designs and to enjoy the experience of giving their own online space more of their personality, which is why I created the Your Darling Blog design workshop.

Describe your typical day/week schedule.

My routine is still pretty flexible, I start and finish work at different times depending on my work load and when I feel like I need a break, but I am working on creating a more balanced work routine. I have regular bootcamp and yoga sessions during the week. I always try to keep weekends work-free, and generally computer-free.

How do you plan and organise your time?  What are your biggest challenges with this?  What tips can you offer?

When I made the change to self-employment and working from home my routine quickly evolved into working late into the night and easily being distracted by the internet since there wasn’t any boss looking over my shoulder. It took me a while to realise that even though you have the freedom to work when and how you want to, it’s still important to have some type of routine so that you focus when you need to, and create enough time to enjoy other things outside of work. To help with this I limit my time on social media, implement the Pomodoro technique when I become distracted, and leave at least one day of the week free of assigning any new tasks so that I can catch up when I need to.

What are your essential office tools?

My iMac is the most important tool for me – of course without it (or computers in general) my business or the design profession wouldn’t exist. I use a simple to-do list notepad and lots of coloured pens as I’ve always preferred writing down my schedule and tasks on paper.  I’ve tried apps but I always go back to paper! I use Harvest for invoicing and time tracking which I love.

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Are there any websites or apps that you’d recommend to other entrepreneurial women?

Skillshare is a great place to learn some new creative skills. It’s probably a favourite for most people but Pinterest is the perfect place to create a visual board for your next dream project. And the Focus Booster app is super helpful in implementing the Pomodoro technique if you don’t own a kitchen timer.

Describe your workspace and how it integrates with your working style.  How does it motivate/focus your work?

My office is in the sunniest room of our house, it’s bright and lovely in the mornings which makes it my favourite room. I have two tables, one for the computer and other typical desk accessories. The other with paints and brushes, pens and pencils, various types of paper and sketchbooks. I am always switching between the two. If I need a break from the screen I can just scoot over and play for a little while. I have lots of books and prints I love around the room also for inspiration.

What book has most inspired you?

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau is a great reminder that you can use the skills you currently have to create something of value to other people and get it out there as quick as you can. [Tweet “”It’s far better to improve on something than to let that inner perfectionist stop you from ever putting your work out into the world” @thedarlingtree (via @emmagwillim)”]

What’s your typical working lunch?

I generally make something quick and simple like a toasted avocado and cheese sandwich, but since I work from home sometimes it’s just what is the fridge at the time. I like to eat my lunch, and breakfast, out on our front deck in the sun and have a moment to relax and enjoy being outside.

And how do you switch off once the working day is done?

I love to read, paint or catch up on the latest episode of Dexter, True Blood or Game of Thrones that I have recorded earlier.

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What makes your life sparkle?

I am grateful for the opportunity I have to work with and help other amazing women create their dream online spaces, my lovely little family who love and support me in everything I do, fabulous and funny friends, and getting outdoors and exploring the world. [Tweet “”I am grateful for the opportunity I have to work with and help other amazing women create their dream online spaces” @thedarlingtree (via @emmagwillim)”]


For more on Jo, her work, and to check out her blog, step on over to The Darling Tree– or wave hello on Twitter or Instagram!


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#GlitteratiSocial: how creative entrepreneurs get and stay motivated

07 19 2013

This week we’re chatting about motivation: How do you get it?  How do you keep it? And how can you up your game?  The Twitter chat starts at 5pm…

See you there, Emma x

the skinny

Glitterati Social is a weekly get-together for creative female entrepreneurs.  Each Friday between 5-5.30pm (GMT), Emma Gwillim hosts a live Twitter chat focused on a nominated topic so that the Glitterati community can share their experiences, offer advice, build new relationships and encourage one another to design a life and business that sparkles. #GlitteratiSocial

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Secrets of my Success: Kismet Lola Mussa of Kismet Lola London

07 18 2013

Fancy yourself a little arm-candy?  This week’s Secrets of my Success interview is with the gorgeous Kismet Lola Mussa, the talent behind Kismet Lola London.  Her Middle-Eastern-inspired jewellery line is so gorgeous, you’ll be wanting to show off your summer skin with one of her beautiful handmade designs. 

Want to know the secret of her ever-so-stylish success?  Read on…

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What is your title/position?

Owner and designer at Kismet Lola London

What has been the ‘defining moment’ that set you on the path you’re on today?  How did you get to where you are now?

I wouldn’t say there has been a particular defining moment. It’s about having passion, being inspired and making those things you dream about a little bit more real. (Click to tweet it)

Tell me about your vision/goals for your future.

It sounds so cheesy but ultimately I want to be able to say, at any given moment, that I’m content doing what I love. My goals and visions are bound to change and grow, they have no limits. (Click to tweet it)

What has been most effective for you in your achievements so far, in turning your goals/visions into reality?  Where do you start?

Being productive. Unfortunately (or fortunate sometimes) I’m not one of those people that will write down a clear strategy and then work on it. I’m the opposite. I throw myself in and then think ‘oh no, I need a plan’. Its different for everyone I guess, but I need to feel like I am doing something, not just talking about it.


How do you stay motivated and inspired?

To keep motivated and inspired, I feel I have to be open to the world. Inspiration can be found in the unlikeliest of places.  As soon as you start to cut yourself off from anything, you are losing out. I love ‘me time’ just as much as friends and family time, I love exploring and doing new things but I also love chilling with some YouTube in the garden. There is nothing better than having dreams and belief in yourself. They should bottle it!

What has been your biggest lesson learned?

Never Give Up. It’s so true that everything happens when it is meant to, so keep striving. (Click to tweet it)

What have been (or still are) your biggest fears and challenges, and how do you overcome them?

Oh if I was to list my fears, we’d be here all day. But I’ve kind of started to realise that having these fears is part of what drives me to achieve my dreams.  I just get on with it and make it work.

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What do you believe is the secret of your success?

I’m constantly growing and learning so I don’t really have any secrets. However, I’m generally very determined once I put my mind to something. It also helps that I’m quite stubborn.

What 3 tips would you offer ambitious women reading this?

Believe you can do it, and then do it. No one else will make it happen for you. (Click to tweet it)

Be nice – it counts for a lot. (Click to tweet it)

Always carry flats, you never know when you will need them.

What book has most inspired you?

I don’t have just one… Different books have inspired me in different ways: they’ve made me laugh, given me faith, given me food for thought.  For me, it’s about drawing from different places.


All images via Kismet Lola London

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The Wealth Files: Why the yellow brick road to riches is NOT about the money, honey

07 17 2013

Do you want to be rich?  Like, really rich?  Just how rich do you want to be?  

OK, so on the yellow brick road to riches, you need to:

– Make a commitment, to break through the money ceiling that limits you, and declare what you want to achieve – your big money goal.

– Let go of your out-of-date money rules 

And then… what?

– Forget about money altogether

Yes, you heard me right.  Forget about it, at least for a moment.  Money isn’t the raison d’être.  Just like chickens, goats and grain that went before it, money is a symbol.  Achieving your money goal isn’t simply about seeing a super-healthy bank balance.  It’s about what money, this symbol we covet, can enable you to be, do, have.

So, let me ask you this: when you achieve that big money goal, what exactly do you plan to do with it?  What will you be doing?  Who with? Where will you be? How will you feel? What will life be like?

Think of it like a bucket list.  If it came to the crunch, if your days were numbered, what would be top priority?  How would you be spending your time?

Get crystal clear on what the focus of your money goal is.  What motivates it?

I’d love for you to share the focus of your money goal: what is the life you want to create?  Share in the Comments below.

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Tools of the Trade: Download the budget planner

07 15 2013

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” – Benjamin Franklin

And the great Mr F’s words are especially true for the financial planning of your business.  Accounting and sophisticated planning are to be left to the experts but having a plan for your business is a must.  Financials, not my strong point.  Organisation, on the other hand, is.  Today, I’m sharing a copy of my budget planner which you are free to download here.

I’d love to know what you think in the Comments below.  What’s your attitude to planning the mulla?


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On the menu for the #GlitteratiSocial… Watermelon & Strawberry Cocktail

07 12 2013

Are you ready to taste summer in a glass? Today’s recipe for the #GlitteratiSocial, a Watermelon & Strawberry Cocktail created by She Knows, is sure to be a refreshing way to end the week.

You will need:

  • 2 cups watermelon, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, diced
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 cup ice
  • 2 to 4 shots of white rum

To create:

  1. In a blender combine watermelon, strawberries, coconut water, agave nectar and lime juice and pulse until smooth.
  2. Add one cup of ice to the blender and pulse until the ice is crushed.
  3. Divide between four glasses. You can optionally add one shot of rum or vodka to each glass.
  4. Serve immediately with a straw and garnish with strawberry slices or citrus wedges.

Join the #GlitteratiSocial get-together on Twitter today at 5pm (BST). Today’s topic is “what ding are you making in the world?”. What is the one big message you want your customers to get about you and your business?

I hope to connect with you later x

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