meet rose: the graphic designer

Rose is the free spirit behind Bittersweet who is on the constant hunt to create a simple & beautiful life. She believes in making things happen and treating others with kindness. Born with an eye for design, she is grateful to get her Mac on each day.

image by Scissortail Stories

image by Scissortail Stories

"As the youngest of eight kids in a small Oklahoma town, creativity allowed me to have a voice when I'd otherwise be lost in the crowd. With so many siblings and my parents' super strict budget, sporting events and piano recitals were out of the question. Instead, we transformed sticks into fishing poles & put on theatrical productions in homemade costumes." 

Creativity has always played a huge role in my life from a very early age. I was always the quiet, artsy girl who could draw really well. My brother talked me into going to college for engineering, so I took his advice. It only took a few months to realize that path wasn't for me, so I switched over to the art department as soon as I could.

After dropping out of college mid-semester of my senior year, I moved to Austin, TX to follow my dreams. Being young and naive, the next few years weren't quite as dreamy as I thought they'd be. Instead of landing a full-time gig at a fancy marketing agency, I ended up waiting tables for longer than I'd like to admit and took out a huge personal loan for a failing design studio. My next (itty bitty) paycheck bounced, and it was time to hit the drawing board again.

While browsing the Craigslist ads one afternoon, I noticed a local photographer’s need for a second shooter. I saw the company’s beautiful images and knew I wanted to be a part of it. Just HOW I was going to do this, I wasn’t quite sure, since I was a designer, not a photographer. On a whim, I made a quick phone call to the photographer and learned I was the only person to call out of the hundreds of email responses they received. Several cups of coffee later, I was designing photography goodies and marketing materials instead of second shooting, which was exactly what I'd hoped for all along. It didn’t take long before other photographers started contacting me about my work, and Bittersweet was born.

meet thomas: the marketing man

After spending 20 years in the restaurant world, Thomas traded in his chef coat for fuzzy slippers & boxer briefs. He taught himself everything he knows about social media and marketing and soaks up information like a sponge. Tommy Cakes, as we call him, loves a good IPA and can usually be found surfing the net for random shit when he's not working.

Three years ago, if someone told me I'd be leaving the restaurant industry to work with my wife, I would have thought they were crazy. I have always been a stickler for rules and appreciate the structure provided within the corporate world. That being said, I always knew there was more to life than what I'd experienced working for the man. That, and I was tired of smelling like a grease trap at the end of each day!

"Starting out as a dishwasher many years ago and working my way up to become General Manager of a large restaurant group, I was comfortable in my role and had never explored other outlets."

When Rosie suggested that we pay off our debt to achieve a more flexible lifestyle, it was difficult for me to see the bigger picture. What I didn't realize then is how much value would be added to our lives when we blended our personal & professional lives. By getting rid of our meaningless stuff and downsizing to a small apartment, we were able to reach our goals and live much larger than we ever had before.

In October of 2014, I quit my cushy corporate job and dove head first into entrepreneurial life. While the design industry was completely foreign to me, I had done quite a bit of external marketing for my restaurant in the past. The one-on-one engagement made all the difference in the world when it came to driving sales, which translated surprisingly well to our design business. I read every article I found on technology & social media practices and did my best to create my own position within Bittersweet. 

Two years later, I have never looked back."