This spring I changed my business name. People ask why and I provide the short answer, "It is easier to remember". But the real answer is that I am different and my business goals have changed. This is a new beginning for both me and my work.
Just so we can be clear, PBJ is an acronym for two things:
PBJ = Photography by Janene (it's time to own my art!)
PBJ = Peanut Butter Jelly (easy to remember and kid-friendly)
Everyone was telling me that my building needed a sign: my friends, family, clients and the Eudora City administration. So I collected estimates on what I thought I wanted. I drew pictures of what might work. I dug through the internet to see what others had done.
But it all changed one day in a town hall meeting (folks need to attend these if they can). They were talking about Chad Musick and his work on the sign east of Eudora off K-10.
I quickly wrote Music in my notes and determined to find him. I dug around Facebook and found J & S Metal Art. This is the work of Junior and Sharon Musick who are creating metal arts to market at local craft shows. It felt like a lead so I messaged them. Little did I know how important their son Chad, his wife Shaun and their business Metalneck Creations would become in establishing my PBJ Studio identity in our business community.
In our first meeting at the studio, we talked about my goals as a photogra pher and the image I wanted to present. I showed them where I thought the sign could go on the building. After settling on a price estimate, I emailed the logo. He came out a couple more times, brought samples of different types of metal and discussed some additional ideas we both had for creating shadow and impact. If I had an idea, he was willing to do what he could to make it happen. The entire process was really quite simple.
When everything was settled, I was invited to come and watch it all happen. Chad creates his designs in the Musick Family barn; a place where metal becomes art. It is clutter and rust. It is fire and water.
The laser sparked and within a minute I could identify the first letter.
Tears filled my eyes. It was more than the intense light (or just being hormonal) -- it was seeing something I'd dreamed up from imagination, birth into a beautiful and solid reality.
On the morning the sign was to be installed, I wrote Chad an email --
This sign means so much more to me than you could ever imagine. Today, the waiting is over. Seven years of learning and yearning to be all that is possible for business and photography has come. From now on, I will walk, and talk, and be, and see all that is possible.
Today, a sign will be placed on this building that i walked past for 7 years and dreamed of it being a studio. A sign that says that all things are possible when we wait and pray and seek and trust.
It will not be easy. I will work harder than I ever have and push myself out of my comfort zone into a place filled with new and wonderful sights and sounds.
I will stretch. I will grow. I will fill this space I've been given.
Thank you for making this a reality. Can you tell that I'm just a little bit excited?
And Chad's response --
Congratulation on the next step of your journey. I hope the sign meets your expectations of the symbol it represents.
Did this sign meet my expectations? Not at all.
This sign blasted far past what I imagined! It is such an amazing example of what is possible in our community when we work together. Thank you Metalneck Creations, thank you Musick family, thank you clients-friends-family who have been there with me on this often-time difficult, yet so rewarding, journey.
I am here, doing what I love, and succeeding in it, because of you.
Please Note: Chad doesn't accept hugs from overly-emotional business owners after a sign installation, but his wife, Shaun, is available to do so.