Featured client: Concept Wood Design

We are pleased to show you CurlyRed's newest fully custom and responsive Wordpress website project: Concept Wood Design, a Maryland wood shop for lovers of natural wood creations. 

From CWD's website: We select wood from the best available for the project. We strive to capture the wonder and beauty of nature’s gift to us. We specialize in conception to final product. A work in design and function for every item crafted. Our specialties include installed cabinets and casings to furniture and implements.

Concept Wood Design's pledge is: From our shop to your home, we deliver our creations without reservations. You will be satisfied with the product made for you.

Concept Wood Design delivers:
• Onsite design and layout
• Handcrafted wood finishes
• Domestic and imported hardwoods
• Hand selected figured woods from regional saw mills
• Uses reclaimed lumber and hardware
• Traditional and contemporary design work

In order to showcase this beautiful work, we wanted to use full-size imagery, woodblock typography, and an earthy color palette. The end result is a website almost as eye-catching at Concept Wood Design's work! If you need an bold, one-of-a-kind website for your business or non-profit, please don't hesitate to contact us.


More chances to see Kendall speak, all over Maryland!

Happy Thursday, everyone! We’re excited that M. Kendall Ludwig, president and principal designer, will be presenting on the following dates:

1. Friday, April 28th, 2017, 2pm. Kendall will be presenting at the Power of Possibilities Summit on “How to Create a Dynamic and Powerful Website.” This talk will explore the different options one has when creating a new website, and things every website should include. Kendall will also talk about the crucial steps in the process of creating a website that's user-friendly, responsive, easy-to-navigate, visually compelling, and drives the viewer to a call-to-action. This talk is perfect for business owners or heads of organizations that don't yet have a web presence or are considering a re-vamp of an existing website. The summit will take place at Garrett College.

2. Wednesday, May 17th, 7pm. Kendall will be presenting at “PechaKucha” at the Cornucopia Cafe in Grantsville. PechaKucha Night, now in over 900 cities, was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. Kendall will show 20 slides for 20 seconds each and discuss. This event is open to the public!

3. Friday, June 16th, 8:00am –11:30am. Our friend Andrew Rose has invited Kendall to speak on Instagram on as part of Baltimore Business Journal's Social Media Seminar Series. This event will be held at the Sheppard Pratt Conference Center at 6501 N Charles St, Towson, MD 21204.

We hope you can make it out to one of these events!


Monthly Pinterest: Our new kitchen/living space

We had moved into a truly spectacular home. It's in excellent condition and has so many interesting architectural elements and Victorian charm. We knew when we bought it that there were a few cosmetic changes we would want to make, but we’re handy folks and ready for the challenge.

This winter we began our first big remodel project—tackling our kitchen and adjoining living room. Here are some before photos for your reference:

As you can see, the space is large, has some really unique brickwork, tall ceilings, and wonderful natural light, thanks to the plentiful windows. But the busy wallpaper, amount of furniture, and old rug and carpet were doing the space an injustice. And frankly, the wallpaper needed to go ASAP—it was giving us headaches! 

So we began by clearing the rooms, and started the PAINFUL process of removing the wallpaper. My goodness. The living room was an addition to the house, so it is drywall, but the kitchen (and rest of the house) has plaster walls. The wallpaper put up a heck of a fight, but we were able to get it down with a LOT of elbow grease and a mixture of water and fabric softener (bonus: made the rooms smell fresh and clean!).

Next, we decided we were going to paint the kitchen a solid, warm mustard yellow (Pirate's Treasure from Valspar), and then re-wallpaper the living room with this modern, abstract woods print from Home Depot. In order to get a great finish in both rooms, we re-mudded and sanded the walls (again, a TON of elbow grease required.) But the paint job came out great, and we were able to keep the existing trim and brick paint colors:

The wallpaper is next on our list. After that's done, we will move on to repurposing our existing furniture and finding the right accessories (and eventually, replacing the carpet with wood flooring). 

We created this Pinterest board, and the look we're going for is rustic meets kitchy. We want the kitchen espeically to have a vintage feel with perhaps some old tin food cans and signs, while the woods wallpaper in the living room with hopefully give an airy but cozy space for curling up with a book or cup of coffee. Stay tuned! We'll post "after" photos once the space is complete (or at least, complete for now!). Enjoy our inspiration:


Things that are true about acting AND business

by M. Kendall Ludwig, president and principal designer, CurlyRed

Tonight is opening night for a production called Almost, Maine at the quaint playhouse Our Town Theatre in Oakland, Maryland. We're even featured on the cover of the local newspaper!
photo courtesy of Our Town Theatre (I'm on the bottom left!)
A few months ago, notices for open auditions came across my social media stream, and I thought, “Wow. It's been ages (6 years, give or take) since I've been on-stage. I miss it. Maybe it would be good for me, to meet some new people in this new town, and give me something to do on these cold winter evenings.” And that was the extent of my thought process before walking into auditions.

In the past 6 weeks, I feel like I've learned so much about acting as a craft. Then I began wondering how much of what I've learned on-stage translates to running a business. Here are some things that are true about both acting AND business:

1. Humility is key. This is my first attempt at performing in a non-musical, which meant that I really did have a ton to learn: pages of lines to memorize, working on facial expressions, learning to convey and shift from one emotion to another, learning how to make dialogue with another actor flow easily and naturally, and so on. It would have been easy for me to waltz into that first rehearsal with a huge ego given my past experience, but that wouldn't have served me, my director, or my fellow cast members at all. So I tried to keep my mouth shut, ears open, and asked for feedback regularly.

2. Unbiased opinions can be game-changing. My mom (who has directed theatre in the past) was in town, and I asked her to come to one of our rehearsals, when we were running through my toughest scene. This particular scene has the largest range of emotions, going from sadness to irritation to full-on rage. I was completely unsure of how to approach this scene. But right after rehearsal, my mom was able to give me verbal cues and moments to watch for, and even helped form an overall trajectory in my mind from where I needed to start emotionally and where I needed to end. Her comments were immensely helpful, and I'm extremely grateful she was there.

3. Building relationships and trust take time and consistency. I knew no one in the cast or crew at that first practice. No one knew me or my story. This was in some ways refreshing, but also daunting, considering how intimate acting can be. I needed to gain the trust of my cast, espeically my co-star Cory, with whom I share all 3 of my scenes. This required asking questions, being open and transparent about my own life, making the occasional silly comments, and simply trying my best to be kind and considerate. Now I think of everyone in the cast and crew as a friend of mine, and what a blessing that is! 

4. Practice doesn't make perfect, but it does build strength. Learning my lines was WAY more difficult than I imagined it would be. Perhaps that's because I'm 35, or just out of practice. But the only way I was going to become confident in knowing my part inside and out was hours and hours of practice. There's no shortcut, but now that I've completed the hard work, my roles have become almost muscle memory—I no longer have to panic about what line comes next, it's just there, waiting for me.

5. It's all about listening and genuinely reacting. This was what makes a good actor. Knowing my lines was essential, but then as soon as I did, I needed to “forget” my co-star's lines. I need to pretend like I have no idea what he's going to say or do next, and instead, really listen and react to what he's saying as if it's for the very first time. Man, it's so hard. And yet, that's what the authenticity comes in. My ultimate hope is that what I do on-stage will be so believable, that for a moment the audience will forget that they are watching me, and only see the characters I play.

Set for Almost, Maine | photo courtesy of Our Town Theatre
In my 10 years of running CurlyRed, I've seen so many of these things to be true about owning a business as well. Humility and willingness to receiving feedback from others is essential to my growth. Building relationships the right way has served me very well. Practicing my craft keeps me on top of my game. And really listening and reacting with integrity helps me do my best work for my clients. For those who are in the Western Maryland area, please come out and see me do some serious acting! Reservations can be made here.


Featured Client: The Institute For Integrative Health

It's hard to truly articulate all of the amazing things our client, The Institute For Integrative Health in Baltimore, does. So instead, we'll share how they describe themselves on the website:

“Despite great advances in medical knowledge and technology, chronic disease affects one in three Americans, leads to 70 percent of U.S. deaths, and accounts for 75 percent of health care costs. The United States spends twice as much as other modern nations on health care, yet the health of Americans is poorer and our lifespans are shorter.

To provide an environment for innovative thinking and action that will help to reverse this crisis, Brian Berman, MD, founded the Institute for Integrative Health in 2007. A charitable nonprofit organization, the Institute aims to create a wellness and medical model to shift our society’s focus from managing disease to promoting lifelong health.

Valuing the power of interdisciplinary collaboration, we pursue bold ideas that challenge the status quo and use cutting-edge science to understand the dynamic processes that affect our well-being. We incorporate this insight into actionable programs for individuals and communities.”

Quite noble work, right there. So we were delighted to begin working with Robin Yasinow, Imani West, and the entire team at TIIF. Over the past few years, CurlyRed has designed annual reports, invitations, newsletters and flyers for TIIF. Working with them has been a delight. We truly love creating good design for organization that has done so much good. Here are a few of our favorites from the past few years:

If you're looking for print design help for your company or non-profit, please contact us!


Upcoming presentations, right here in Garrett County!

Over the past decade, M. Kendall Ludwig, president and principal designer of CurlyRed, has done a decent amount of public speaking about design, branding, marketing, and owning her own business.

In the next few weeks, you'll have two opportunities to see Kendall present (if you're in the Western Maryland region—or just feel like making a long road trip):

1. Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 at 8:30am. Kendall will be presenting to the Greater Oakland Business Association (GOBA) on “Why Social Media Needs to be Part of Your Marketing Plan.” The meeting will explore what social media options are out there, what simple steps any business can (and should) take to get started, how to make a plan to be most effective online, and how to avoid time-consuming social media mistakes. Any business owner or organization director with questions or concerns in regards to social media should find value in this presentation. The meeting will take place at the Oakland City Hall. 

2. Friday, April 28th, 2017, Time TBD. Kendall will be presenting at the Power of Possibilities Summit on “How to Create a Dynamic and Powerful Website.” This talk will explore the different options one has when creating a new website, and things every website should include. Kendall will also talk about the crucial steps in the process of creating a website that's user-friendly, responsive, easy-to-navigate, visually compelling, and drives the viewer to a call-to-action. This talk is perfect for business owners or heads of organizations that don't yet have a web presence or are considering a re-vamp of an existing website. The summit will take place at Garrett College.

We hope to see you there!


Monthly Pinterest: Everything Zelda Fitzgerald

Is anyone else just in love with the Amazon series “Z: The Beginning of Everything”? Christina Ricci and David Hoflin (playing Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald) are both magical and compelling. It’s just so easy to get wrapped up in their lives: the fashion, the art deco style, the blissful words they wrote, the jazz music and flowing champagne.

We’re feeling inspired and wishing we could attend just one all-weekend-long party at Gatsby's mansion. 

good design for everyone