The overly-organized Sam here! And I wanted to write this blog to help those of you out there who are in my position. It all really started for me on March 13th, you would think…oh Friday, the 13th, but hey, I was born on Friday the 13th, that doesn’t scare me!! I started to realize that it was highly likely that I would be spending at least 4 weeks home with my kids and anyone who knows me, I do not sit at home and do NOTHING well. So I went into action, I started on Pinterest and then once schools started shutting down I found all kinds of things to get ready for homeschool!
So, the very first thing I did on Friday, was head to Barnes and Noble for some books to read and the workbooks for 1st & 3rd graders. I personally found the Brain Quests ones to be great. They feature all subjects so we weren’t just working on Math or Reading. The next step for us was to go to Michael’s because you have to have an Art class, right! I am not the most creative person, funny working at Pixel Labs, but I believe creativity and imagination is one of the best things to have in life.
I let the kids do whatever they wanted, they spent way more time on screens than I would usually allow, but technically it is still Spring Break and I needed time to prepare. I have read and heard it so many times that kids thrive on routine, well that is good because their Mama does too! So that was my first step, I searched for a schedule to follow and the one I found was from kiwico.com/kidsathome. They had their schedule, but a blank one for me to make for our kids.
This was day one for us, we didn’t stay right on schedule, but it was a great way to keep the day moving without the kids saying they were bored. Since it was St. Patrick’s Day we had a St. Patrick’s Day theme for them all day long. All my worksheets were found on Teachers Pay Teachers: I found this website a few months ago and love it because you can search by Grade, Subject, & Price. There are tons of free items which is so great! I am going to try to get different themes every other day so that we keep things fresh and this site has helped me find all kinds of fun items.
Another thing that I was invited to was the QuarantinED for Iowa Parents & Caregivers on Facebook. How amazing that people are making groups to help others in this difficult time. I have always thought teachers are amazing, but they are even more amazing in a time of crisis! They are setting up groups and posting ideas online. I have tons of former employees out there that are teachers and looking to help parents that are at home, trying to keep the kids educated plus work.
Take care of yourself as well!
I know that I am personally more tired than I have been in a while. My anxiety is higher with everything going on in the world, but I am leaning on my people! Not to get sappy, but Zach has been amazing! He is making sure our employees are taken care of, getting them all set up for remote work in a very short time. He is talking with our clients to make sure they are getting what they need. And he is always here for us at home! He is truly the rock of the Everman family!
Does COVID-19 have you working from home? Check out our latest blog post to learn some tips on how to do this effectively!
To see how we’re working during this time check us out on our socials!: Linktree!
Every year, this is one of my favorite posts we put out. It’s one of the best times of reflection because I take the time to look at the progress we have made as a company. Usually, this post comes a little earlier in the year, but it’s here, and it was so worth the wait.
This video here is what we call our Pixel Zeitgeist. We started this last year because I wanted a way to show the growth we have as a company every year. A reminder of the faces that make Pixel, Pixel. When I started the company in 2014, this was not part of the plan. But if life has taught me anything, plans change and evolve. They turn into something bigger than you could ever imagine. I couldn’t be more proud of the team we have at Pixel Labs and I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunities our clients have given us.
In 2019 I was fortunate enough to be nominated as one of the Cedar Valley’s 20 Under 40 recipients.
The basis of that nomination was our internship program and what our team is doing to develop creatives, marketers and aspiring entrepreneurs. Our program has evolved so much since it’s conception into an experience that creates quick and consistent feedback on skills. The internship has led to students improving their skills at incredible rates throughout their time with us. We have seen so many of our interns and past employees go on to do amazing things. While I know we only play a small part in their creative development, it’s hard to ignore trends. But hey, maybe I’m biased. I’ll let you decide.
In 2019, we traveled just as much as 2018, we produced more content than ever, we developed processes internally that will set us up for future growth, we have seen team members take on unexpected leadership roles, we saw a significant increase in interest in some of the innovative spaces we have been working in for a few years, our live streaming capabilities were improved, we worked with tons of new clients, we hosted 5 interns and a high school job shadow, the list goes on and on.
So to each and every one of you who have touched Pixel Labs. Thank you! 🙏❤️
You all mean the world to me and I can’t wait to see what we all do in 2020.
-Zach Everman CEO
If you want to see more of us check out our Linktree!
When I was first asked what I am thankful for, I instantly thought of my family and my husband. There are also so many other things I am thankful for, that it was difficult for me to narrow down. I began thinking of my interests. Something that I do almost every day is some form of graphic design. Whether that be designing social media posts, newsletters, posters, small animations, illustrations, etc. Designing is something I love to do and helps define who I am.
While I was a college student working toward my bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design, I loved learning about the history of graphic design. It was so interesting being able to see how much design has evolved. Design can even be found over a million years ago in caveman carvings. If you are interested in reading a brief history on graphic design, I would suggest this article: https://99designs.com/blog/design-history-movements/history-graphic-design/
There is such a rich and ever changing history of graphic design, and it has made me thankful to live in the 21st century with advanced computers, affordable design programs, fast reliable internet. The design world has expanded so much in my twenty-four years of life. Some things went from being non-existent, to a daily part of almost every designer’s life.
While design has constantly changed throughout history, I truly do believe it has changed more in the last twenty-five years than in the last few centuries
It used to take designers days, weeks, or even months to create something from start to finish. Now, it can take as little as hours or minutes. While I love where design has come from, I am truly grateful to be alive in a time where design has grown in leaps and bounds! It’s an exciting time to be a designer or in the creative field!
I’m always thankful for the experiences life has given me. Whether it’s good or bad I know everything happens for a reason. Though it may sound odd, I might be more thankful for the bad experiences. While I enjoy the good experiences and they make me feel better about myself, the bad ones are where I feel like I can grow. A bad experience is like life critiquing your work. It usually makes you feel unsure of yourself and you kind of wish you never did it. Ultimately these are the experiences I look back on and think about most. Sure they might be negative at first, but positives tend to come out of them. They allow growth and give you the knowledge to know how to live a better life. The good experiences to me are there to reward you for the sacrifices you had to make or for correcting a mistake. These experiences work together and I’ve found that acknowledging these things can help build a better life.
I’m thankful to be able to call many places my home. My parents have also provided me with a place to call home. With a roof over my head and a place for me to feel safe, my parents do all they can to give me that stable home. But what about the homes that aren’t so stable? My friends have always opened their doors to me. In high school allowing me to stay the night as we played board games all the way through college where we catch up over breakfast.
I say these homes aren’t stable because like myself, my friends have also started to explore their own lives. It seems as though we are always moving around, which makes me wonder how these places can ever be considered a home? Until I realized my home is where I feel safe and where I can make memories. It might change from year to year, but I know the door is always open. From my parents who I know exactly where they are to my friends who I’m always asking for an address. Both types of homes are important and I’m thankful for them. Because without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.
As a kid, I always looked toward more talented people for inspiration or guidance. Whether I was learning the next trick I would take on with my skateboard or how to create a certain style in the videos I was creating. I was always sure there was someone that I could learn from. I was always looking for mentors with skills that would help accelerate my abilities in anything I did.
By now I had kind of given up on my grades
This mentality was carried through college as I leaned on my then-girlfriend, turned fiance, now amazing wife, as I struggled through classes. She was my mentor that helped take my plummeting GPA from a measly .92 to around 2.9 just in time for graduation. I had aspirations that I didn’t feel would be dependant on my GPA and by now I had kind of given up on my grades. I really just needed to get my diploma. Her support none the less meant the world to me and has continued into everything we have accomplished together.
The first professional mentor I had was Aaron Smock. Whether he knew it or not, his creative talents inspired me ever time I came into the office. I dissected the things I wanted to learn. I’d pull him from his work to show me things I could not figure out on my own. His mentorship combined with my ability to learn software quickly lead me down the path of motion graphics. A muscle that to this day, even as CEO, you will find me flexing from time to time.
The beginning of my business career
When it came to business, I had exactly zero formal training or education in the practice. I knew the basics of what Google could teach me. That wasn’t going to cut it though if I wanted to take Pixel Labs to the level of creative success I had imagined. This is when I met Dan Beenken at the UNI Small Business Incubator. He challenged every idea I had, ever expense I thought I needed, and pushed me towards building Pixel Labs properly. He introduced me to some of the most important mentors I would have as I started to grow Pixel Labs. Laurie Watje, Patrick Luensmann, Katherine Cota, Trace Steffen, Derek & Jessica Balsley and countless other people who had been doing it well before me.
I am thankful for each and every one of the mentors I have had throughout the years. 🙏
I’m thankful for each of their talents, guidance, and patience throughout my numerous calls, emails and texts. Without you, I would not have the business skills I have today. I can not stress enough, no matter how good you think you are, put your ego to the side and find people you can learn from. This sort of humility will lead to a growth you never thought possible.