I have two beautiful redheads - Gingers as I like to call them. They are my world and I am their mama bear. Don't get me wrong - I'm not a helicopter mom. I want to see my kids fall. I want to see them fail. Most importantly, I want to see them get up. I want to see them get up and be pumped to try again. I want their zest for life to come from failing because it means they are working hard at getting better. No different than when they were on their back trying as hard as they could to roll over on their belly. Did they stop because they couldn't do it? Or when they finally got to their belly and pushed themselves up to try and crawl. Did they stop then? What about when they finally got to crawling and then realized they could use their feet to walk. Did they stop there? NO! They got up every single time and have been running ever since. So really, we are succeeding all the time. We succeed because we fail. We all do it. Every last one of us knows how to fall (fail) and get back up. It's hard wired into our brains. How else would we survive? Remember this: First. Attempt. In. Learning.

 The first card/poster written by my 10-year old. Spot. On!

The first card/poster written by my 10-year old. Spot. On!

So what does this have to do with a couple of gingers and a mom? Glad you asked. I started ginger+BEAR with my daughters for a few reasons. First of all, words are powerful. They can ignite a passion within you. They can remind you of a favorite memory. They can make you happy, sad, worried, excited, mad, the list goes on. But, what I love about words more than anything is their ability to inspire. Inspire you to keep going. Inspire you to believe. Inspire you that you can do it. These are the types of words we focus on in our home. We don't worry about the failures, rather, we focus on the inspiration to be a little better than the day before. We do this by talking, communicating, understanding, believing. We do this by choosing the positive over the negative. We do this by sitting with our feelings, understanding their purpose and then moving on. It's not all Unicorns and Rainbows. Life is messy and unpredictable. It can throw you for a huge loop without any warning at all. And when it does, because it will, will you be ready to deal with it? Will you allow yourself to be agile to work through it? 

With inspiring words being the main reason for starting this business, I also want to teach my kids what it means to work at something. I thought it would be a great way for them to use their words to create something special, while learning how business works. From concept and design, to hard costs and time, to fulfillment and customer retention. They write in their journals and the ideas they come up with are genius. The few products we've added in the shop are written by them. I helped with designing, but they wrote all of it. This mama bear is proud already and we are just getting started. 

 My 7-year old wrote this in my idea journal. Mind blown. :)

My 7-year old wrote this in my idea journal. Mind blown. :)

Lastly, doing something with my daughters that might help them find their own success in life is rewarding. It's collaborative and fun to see what they are thinking. It's a glimpse into how they perceive the world around them and what ignites their spirit. I am sure we will have a lot of failures along the way and we say, bring it on! Why? We know that each time we fail, we get right back up to make it better the next time. And the more we strive to be better, the more we grow. A simple concept with lots of heart. We hope you enjoy our work and most of all share it with those around you. Because maybe, just maybe, we might inspire you too.




Bold. Loud. These words resonate with me. They ARE me. 

For decades I used to temper my boldness in business. Quiet down so as not to disturb or offend. It's an interesting social experiment when you look into how we all act differently in each situation presented to us. When we're younger, we do exactly as we are taught because we appreciate our elders (at least Gen X does!) and we want to learn from their experience. As we come into our own, we find our style and voice. Then, something happens in your mid-40s where comfort really starts to settle in. You learn how to set boundaries. You state your truth. You learn how to not own other peoples shit. You learn how to be YOU - just YOU! And it ROCKS!


The image above is part of a project I've been working on for a few years that started out as one simple greeting card for a friend. The response was awesome and the encouragement started to flow in with statements like "you should really sell your cards!" 

I've always had a creative side and being in the advertising and marketing field for my entire career (almost 25 years! Damn where has the time gone!?), creativity is just part of your day. You cannot read a magazine, walk through a shop, or watch a show without thinking about branding elements, logo design, product and packaging design, the list goes on. My role has always been to work on strategy, develop business programs, manage agencies, cross-collaborate with teams and launch it into the market. I've never really thought about building a card company or lifestyle brand. I've always been happy consulting  with businesses and organizations on how to do these things. 

But the encouragement kept coming in. So, I went for it! When I started my Etsy shop with one card, I just thought it would be fun to learn the platform, see if people would find it and honestly, use it as a creative outlet for myself. I had all the tools to create and produce high-quality cards in my office. I was able to create them on-the-fly and print on-demand. I still do (design, print, trim, score and package). There was no risk and it's a lot of fun. But I started to think of really funny, snarky, in-your-face kind of cards. Because, you know, I'm BOLD. I'm LOUD! I even changed the name of my site from CiaofornowDesigns to CHEEKYBOOM (because branding is everything, right?) I needed to speak to what I was doing and stop trying to be corporate/buttoned up. I'd design one and show it to my husband or friends. They'd shake their heads belly laughing but there was always this sense of "oooh,.....will people be offended, the swear words might be off-putting..."

Fuck that. I did it anyway. One by one. I just started adding more to the site. And day by day I got orders. I was receiving orders from all over the country and I wasn't even doing any marketing! Oh how I love the Etsy platform for that! I've got a lot or work to do but I'm going for it. All in. And it feels good. I am being me. I'm not asking anyone for permission. 

So here's the thing...and you have heard this before....BE FUCKING YOU! BE ONLY YOU! You are the only one. You are unique. You have a purpose in this life. Your gut will always tell you what it is. You just have to listen. Drown out the outside noise. Don't worry about what other people think. Just do your thing and do it without censoring yourself. There are always people out there who think like you and will appreciate what you're doing because you are being yourself. And you will probably be an inspiration to them too. You still gotta respect your elders and know your audience, but you HAVE to be YOU! Awesome, bad ass, fucking wonderful YOU!