"WE'RE A TEENY TINY COMPANY. IT'S JUST THE TWO OF US TRYING TO RUN A BUSINESS WHILE KEEPING UP WITH A BABY & TWO CRAZY DOGS."
ROLE: 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.
"As the youngest of eight kids in a small Oklahoma town, I was always finding new ways to creatively express myself. With so many siblings and my parents' super strict budget, sporting events and piano recitals were out of the question. Instead, we found ourselves putting on theatrical productions in costumes made of brown paper bags, household items, and whatever we could find at the time."
Creativity has always played a huge role in my life from a very early age. Eventually, I started incorporating my napkin drawings into professional, digital designs.
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.
ROLE: SOCIAL MEDIA & MARKETING
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. My job was more of a routine than a challenge, which wasn't necessarily a bad thing."
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."