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We spill all of our magic beans (aka strategies) for working and living creatively here in, The Gooseberry Review, our monthly letter series.

BUSINESS & CAREER

TORONTO BRANDING PHOTOGRAPHER: ASHLEE FROESE PERSONAL BRANDING SHOOT

The beauty of a personal branding shoot is that it can be anything you want it to be. There are no rules. There is no right or wrong. There is only unlimited imagination that comes to life through creative styling, dynamic lighting, powerful emotion and tailored hair and makeup that accentuates the real you — this is the recipe Gooseberry cooks up for every branding, commercial and fashion photoshoot that we embark upon in our downtown Toronto photography studio! For Ashlee Froese’s personal branding photoshoot, we went for bold, fashion-forward, chic, strong and feminine! Here are some of the results if you’d like to see! (more…)

TORONTO PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO: WELCOME TO GOOSEBERRY STUDIOS QUEEN WEST STUDIO

On January 1st, 2019 Gooseberry moved into its new home — a beautiful sun-drenched space located in the heart of the fashion-forward Queen West neighbourhood. Today we’re absolutely delighted to say that the decorating is done, we’re all settled in and ready to show you all the details if you’re interested! Keep reading for the full Toronto photography studio tour! (more…)

TORONTO BRANDING PHOTOGRAPHER: GOOSEBERRY STUDIO’S 5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Five years ago I was on a subway headed home, trying desperately to keep my composure as I moved further and further away from the job I then considered my dream. I arrived at my apartment and took my dog to the park where, at last alone, I broke down and sobbed on a somber picnic table, a swirl of panic, disappointment and shame ricocheting through my thoughts. I had been laid off that morning and my career was suddenly an all-consuming black hole of doubt.

Faced with the decision to move cities and rebuild (again) or take a stand and try to avoid having to ever work for another corporation, I decided to open a teeny photography studio, then called LLB Creative. And I was terrified.

At the time, being your own boss wasn’t trendy. At the time, people didn’t understand what I was trying to do. At the time I felt a deep embarrassment for not being a part of the corporate career path that I had studied and trained so hard to be a part of. I faced a constant onslaught of questions: “How are you possibly going to make enough money?” “80% of all start ups fail you know.” “Photography is more of a hobby though, right? Nobody really makes it work professionally.” Needless to say, for a long time I was drowning in a sea of doubt.

What a difference between then and now. Now, half a decade later, after more work than I can possibly describe, that photography studio is called Gooseberry. It is a joyful, bustling place with lively commercial projects, an on-going agenda dedicated to exploring creativity, three full-time divisions (photography, branding and an art print shop) and daily adventures of all shapes and sizes.

I cannot believe that year five is here and because I’m an introspective sort of person, who loves to document life’s various milestones, I thought it would be fun to put some of my biggest business lessons learned through experience down on paper. So here goes, in no particular order: (more…)

TORONTO BRAND MANAGER: 12 MUST-DO ITEMS TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS STRONGER THAN EVER IN THE NEW YEAR

Ah, the end of the year – it’s a magical time! Not only do we get swept away by the excitement of the holiday season, but our creative brains also start thinking ahead to all of the wonderful things we hope to accomplish in the new year. (Hi, my name is Laura, and I’m a goal setter – you?)

In order to give your business the best start in the New Year, there are a number of tasks I always recommend tackling either before you sign off for eggnog and sugar cookies or first thing when you get back. This practical to-do list will help you kick off 2018 stress-free so that you can channel your refreshed energies into new exciting projects. (more…)

TORONTO BRANDING PHOTOGRAPHER: HOW TO MAKE MUNDANE WORK TASKS INSTANTLY MORE FUN

Whether you’re your own boss or working for somebody else, we all have those pesky ‘I have to do this but I really really hate this’ tasks that at the end of the day just have to get done. Perhaps book keeping is your nemesis, maybe sending out contracts and invoices isn’t your jam, or maybe returning endless emails gets you a bit down.

Whatever your despised action item is (and be honest, we all have them no matter how much we love our jobs), we’re happy to report that we’ve come up with a tried and true strategy to turn those frowns upside down and restore the fun to work; all aspects of work! (more…)

TORONTO BRAND MANAGER: 5 BUSINESS SECRETS TO HELP YOU SUCCEED

I remember bringing my business license home like it was yesterday. I poured myself a cup of tea and I sat down at my breakfast bar while the piece of paper that declared I was going to attempt to be my own boss trembled in my hand. Running a business seemed out of reach, mysterious and other worldly. I remember wondering, desperately, how others made it work? What were their secrets? Today, if you’re interested, I would like to share five of my personal secrets for running my business. (more…)

TORONTO BLOGGER: WHEN IS IT THE RIGHT TIME TO REBRAND YOUR BUSINESS

You created a business. You nurtured it. You watched it grow, but then something shifts. You realize, with a pit of dread forming in your stomach, that the brand you worked so tirelessly on no longer suits you and you’re left grappling the question, “How on earth can I rebrand without losing what I’ve already built?”

Rebranding can be an intimidating process, but it can also be a healthy development for a growing business on its way to new levels of success. However, there are a few things that I would recommend keeping in mind to help make your rebrand as effective and efficient as possible. (more…)

TORONTO FASHION BLOGGER: HOW TO SET (AND ACHIEVE) GOALS

toronto fashion blogger

The tantalizing sense of possibility that lies in the fresh year ahead is intoxicating and it’s easy to get swept away by that warm and fuzzy feeling when setting your goals.

Creating goals that are attainable is something of an art form in and of itself, and while there is no right or wrong way to go about this, here are some tips that I’ve gleaned from my years running my own business that I hope will help you to achieve yours. (more…)

SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE: 6 SIMPLE WAYS TO HUSTLE TO SUCCESS

toronto branding photographerThere is a buzzword floating around at the moment on throw pillows, coffee mugs, notebooks and tote bags, and that word is ‘hustle.’ However, being told to simply ‘hustle’ as a piece of advice for success can be overwhelming. So today I would like to offer a few personal tips to help answer the burning question, “How exactly do I hustle to help my business succeed?” (more…)

SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE: HOW TO FIND CLIENTS

toronto wedding photographer

One of the most important aspects of running a successful small business is bringing in clients, but doing so can be a tricky matter. Here are a few ways to go about finding (and securing) those elusive customers.

HOW TO FIND CLIENTS TIP #1:  ADVERTISE MINDFULLY
Perhaps the most obvious strategy is to advertise. In the most basic of terms, getting your business in front of more eyeballs increases your likelihood of selling and there are dozens of ways to go about advertising. You can invest in sponsorship opportunities, print ads, web ads, online giveaways or tradeshows (to name a few) in an effort to connect on and off line with your potential market. (more…)