Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Featured Follower: The Photography of Mara Aspinall

I was actually given the opportunity to assist Mara Aspinall, the former CEO of Genzyme who is now starting her own company, with her photography business. My advisor at my internship with Tufts this summer introduced us, and as an artist and business minor she wanted to solicit my help in getting her photography out there. Above is one of my favorite pieces, "Soaring High", which is representative of all the texture in architecture work she does.

Though I have been pretty thinly spread this summer, I am helping her out and having my mother assist her while I'm abroad, so I can pick up again when I get back. She's a great natural talent, and I find her "hands-off" approach to her images to be similar to my taste when it comes to my work.

Her website is, and I recently got her going on etsy:, just because the checkout process is much easier to her site and gets a little more traffic - I'm a little concerned right now about the price point, but it's a start!

She has some stunning flower images - the colors are amazing, even more so in person. (That's my only criticism of selling photographs online - something gets lost in translation.)

Her images are available in various sizes, 4" x 6"s to 20" x 30"s -she ships them all over, and she has a custom framer. Contact Mara or me if interested in getting your own print!

Below is my favorite item, only because I'm such a notecard person. Included are 6 notecards and envelopes tied with a golden string. Check it out on etsy!

Check back next week for the next featured seller :)

Michael Scott from Dunder Mifflin: Model Entrepreneur

Okay, I know I'm not the only one who LOVES this show. (The Office)

I have been in touch with Brian Shin, the CEO of Visible Measures, as a part of my Entrepreneurial Leadership Department Internship this summer. I came across his blog, and was reading this post about how the incompetent Michael Scott is an excellent role model for entrepreneurs. Are you as doubtful as I was? That Michael Scott could never and should never be in any sort of leadership position? Maybe, maybe not -

Here's an excerpt of the blog posting, "Top 5 Things an Entrepreneur can Learn from Michael Scott, Dunder Mifflin", and please visit Brian's blog to read the whole thing; he's got some really interesting, easy to read posts that I find both relevant and enjoyable as a small business owner.

"Here are the top 5 Entrepreneurial Lessons that I have learned from Michael Scott:
  • Love your customers – there is an old saying about business: “Love your customers, not your customers’ money.” Michael Scott shows a consistent focus on his customers over the years. For example, he routinely remembers small details about his customers’ personal lives eg. a daughter’s allergy or a story about a fish that a client caught. If you look at the success that great customer-centric companies such as Zappos have had, much of it can be traced back to their obsession on customer satisfaction. In fact, the company that recently acquired Zappos, Amazon, has long had as their key company mantra, “To be the best customer service company in the world.” That just gives me chills :)
  • Love your employees – Michael Scott sincerely loves his team. With respect to tam building in a startup, there are tons of schools of thought ranging from “if they don’t hit their numbers, shoot ‘em!” to “this is a family and we’re in it together forever”. There are certainly tough decisions to be made along the way as a company grows and evolves, and making changes is hard. But keeping employees best interests at the center of your evolution as much as possible will help keep the culture and the vibe right. Just ask Michael Scott.
  • Love your company – how many of us love our companies as much as Michael Scott? The guy is a frickin zealot for Dunder Mifflin! When he served as a guest lecturer at evil Ryan’s business school class, he left the room after saying in response to a doubter of Dunder Mifflin’s viability, “Dunder Mifflin is the future!” His passion and loyalty to Dunder Mifflin is something to sincerely admire."

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