John Sayles (of J. Sayles Design in Des Moines, Iowa) stopped by the Eleven19 studio to talk about being in the design industry for over three decades.
But first things first – pork chops and vodka! For those who have never been, the Iowa State Fair is huge – HUUUUGE – and one of the top attractions is the Pork Tent J. Sayles Design worked on. That, and Jalapeno Pete’s just down the fair grounds (which is also a Sayles design). So, how big is the fair? Pete’s will go through 130 kegs in one night, and 5-6,000 pork chops are served up per day. Like I said, it is HUGE. Speaking of which, I missed it again this year, and really should not have. Next year. Let’s go with that. I need to visit the butter cow before 2019 ends (I remember seeing the Butter Superman, as well as Butter Harry Potter, so 2006 and 2007 must have been the years I attended, oh 2019 Fair, you cannot come soon enough).
Now, for the vodka, and it is SWELL. After years of doing design work for others in the beverage industry (which he still does for places like Peace Tree Brewing), John decided to take the advice he gives out to clients, and put it into his own vodka company – and thus, SWELL Vodka was born. We talk about the first three years of running a second business, and what is involved, and regulations, so many regulations.
We also talk about how design can lead to changes in housing for the homeless, doing work for hundreds of clients over the years (including a 5-times platinum Lynyrd Skynyrd album), some student advice, and more.
Bre Phelan is starting up a cat cafe in Omaha! In just a few months, Felius opens in downtown Omaha, and we talk about opening a cat cafe, starting up a non-profit, and of course her current day job of revolutionizing banner ads.
In an effort to find a different way to give back to the graphic design community (as well as giving back to the public relations and marketing communities as well), they created a free program for the college students in the area. Over the past five years, I have spoke at a FORGE panel, attended most (if not all) of the final class panels / portfolio reviews, and spoken with many of the students about their experience. It was only a matter of time before we had a podcast talking about this great program.
Lynn Schneider (who came up with the idea of FORGE), and Sarah Bergeron (a former FORGEr, and now on the other side of the FORGE) join us to talk all things FORGE, and where it’s headed next. Cody Fenske (a former FORGEr himself) joins me to co-host. Enjoy.
John Henry Müller is definitely a household name in the Omaha Design community. His involvement with such things as Big Omaha, The Mastercraft Building and the I Live in Omaha project are simply legendary around these parts. So when the news hit the presses that John’s famous web-shop “What Cheer” would be leaving the world of client work, and entering fully into the startup world – we at 36point knew we needed the inside scoop.
Turns out that John, along with his buddies Alex Gates and John Hobbes are gonna be taking the helm of a dog-enthusiast related start-up called PACK, based in San Francisco. (In fact, since this podcast was recorded – Mr. Müller announced, perhaps, the biggest news of all: he’s actually moving to San Francisco! Read his announcement HERE.)
Undoubtedly, Omaha is gonna miss this pillar of creativity and innovation – but if we know anything about John, we have not seen the last of him and his influence here in the Silicon Prairie. Please enjoy this light-hearted and candid interview with a pretty swell guy.
Every year AAF Omaha hosts Meet the Pros – an awesome two-day conference that brings top-notch professionals from all around the region and country, to inspire the next generation of designers and advertisers. One of this year’s pros was Stefan Mumaw – prolific author and frequent guest on The Reflex Blue Show. We invited Stefan to a morning podcast at the colorful Eleven19 headquarters in Midtown Omaha – just blocks from the Scott Conference Center.
It’s always a pleasure chatting with Stefan – and this time he had a lot to chat about:
- His talk at Meet the Pros
- His new Book (Creative Bootcamp)
- His talk at the upcoming HOW Design Live Conference in San Francisco.
- Meeting Gary Busey
Please enjoy this lively conversation with this inspiring designer – and long-time friend.