ALC, AIDSLIFECYCLE, Lifecycle, AIDS/Lifecycle, Custom kits, bike kits, silence is death, silence equals death, silence = death, jakroo, shespoke, bike kits, custom bike kits, design, bike kit design, custom kits, black lives matter, hiv awareness, aids awareness, hiv, aids

Design + Marketing: Custom Bike Kit for AIDS/LifeCycle Ride

design

SheSpoke is one of the few all-female bike crews that complete the 545-mile AIDS/LifeCycle ride down the coast of California each year to raise funds and awareness in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

When it came time to design their cycling kits, we felt it important to focus on women. During our research, we found that 81% of the women diagnosed with HIV are women of color. 

To strengthen what became a message of solidarity, education and support, we decided to team up with cyclists-of-color team the Brown Brakers, who were also participating in AIDS/LifeCycle. With the two team’s powers combined, we agreed on kit objectives below.

Objectives:

  • Create a kit that pays tribute to the original SILENCE = DEATH triangle
  • Print key statistics about women of color affected by HIV
  • Incorporate #BLACKLIVESMATTER to highlight that this is a present-day fight
  • Design a bold kit that stands out against the masses
  • Unite the two teams under a cause that impacts our community
  • Bring awareness to the fact that women and minorities are disproportionately affected by HIV

ALC, AIDSLIFECYCLE, Lifecycle, AIDS/Lifecycle, Custom kits, bike kits, silence is death, silence equals death, silence = death, jakroo, shespoke, bike kits, custom bike kits, design, bike kit design, custom kits, black lives matter, hiv awareness, aids awareness, hiv, aids

Results:

  • Designed and produced a total of 12 units: three bike jerseys with each one of the two team’s logo on the sleeve (and each with a different statistic below), one bike vest, one pair of bib shorts, one pair of bike shorts, one pair of arm sleeves, one bike hat and one bag. Statistics used on bike jerseys:
    • One in four people with HIV in the US are women.
    • 81% of the women diagnosed with HIV are women of color.
    • Black women are 16 times more likely than white women to be diagnosed with HIV
  • Sold over 70 units of clothing to over 35 people  
  • Worn by the CEO of the SF AIDS Foundation, who gave the team a shout out for recognizing how HIV/AIDS impacts women and people of color
  • Extended the shop to be open indefinitely so other riders could purchase the kit – there was a lot of interest was a lot of interest
  • Created a follow-up HTML email for post-kit purchasers to keep awareness and support alive (74% open rate)

Email marketing, marketing automation, mailchimp, html, email best practices, digital marketing, email subject lines, CTA, CTA buttons, online marketing, digital marketing

Design Project: Race Medals for Team Cancer Sucks

design

Team Cancer Sucks is an endurance sports community on a mission. They race to raise funds that help cancer patients access the medical care they need to live. When one of the founders AJ lost his own battle to cancer, the AJ STRONG run began.

This year was the 3rd annual AJ STRONG run, and Team Cancer Sucks wanted to make it more official. Professional bibs, timing chips, options to run virtually…and dope medals for finishers.

Team Cancer Sucks is iconic for having the boldest, freshest kits and swag on course, so the medals had to follow suit. When WARCAT was tasked with the project, we knew we had to do right by them.

We mocked up few designs and shared them with the team – and only needed to do one iteration! Unheard of in design-land. Details below.

Objectives:

  • Produce a medal for the 3rd Annual Run that captures AJ’s “BE ABOUT IT” ethos
  • Ensure design complements the existing bold, fresh, colorful Team Cancer Sucks brand
  • Create photogenic medal so recipients post and promote on social
  • Honor the race purpose, AJ and our city on the medal without overcomplicating design

Results:

  • Designed, produced and shipped 200, bold 3 ½” diameter circular spinning medals, awarded to local and virtual finishers
  • Race participants posted tons of photos (examples below) on social media
  • Medal design was so well received it was extended into the race shirts
  • Approached by other race producers about designing their medal

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WARCAT helped on the AJ STRONG medals, but the Team Cancer Sucks brand creates its own amazing kits to help decrease the financial burden on families living with loved ones with cancer. Check them out.

Design Project: Custom Triathlon Kit for Rare Bird Athletics

design

After a several years of Team-in-Training, a few San Francisco-based athletes were ready to create their own thing. Named Rare Bird Athletics, they wanted a cycling and triathlon kit to easily spot each other riding over the Golden Gate Bridge or running through the Presidio.

The driver for this kit was that several of the members were training for Ironman Canada and were itching to represent on the course. The team wanted the kits to feature distinguishable markings, be consistent with the existing brand and unify the multi-sport athletes under one look.

The team wanted the kits to feature distinguishable markings, be consistent with the existing brand and unify the multi-sport athletes under one look.

As you can see from the final designs below, we leaned heavily on the bird theme.

Objectives:

  • Create cycling, triathlon, running gear and swag
  • Use the bright brand colors to draw attention to the rider, but black and patterned “plumage” to add a sleek but boldness to the kit
  • Let the design speak for itself/avoid unnecessary verbiage
  • Create a kit that flatters many body types
  • Design for extensibility for future product lines

RAREBIRDBibsPelotonRAREBIRDArmWarmersStdRAREBIRDTriShortsCompRAREBIRDBikeJerseyFondo

RAREBIRD BAG

Results:

You can view all currently available Rare Birds items for purchase on the Jakroo store. This project was completed by WARCAT: Cliff Warren and Lola Catero.

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What’s Missing from your Career? A Ritual.

Career Advice, professional development

Advance your career, strengthen your character.

A few years back, I was at an inflection point in my career. I was content; I loved my boss and the whole leadership team. They were genuine mentors and model leaders. To this day they are my benchmark because damn, they were good.

But on the other hand, I wasn’t growing anymore. After a few years, the time had come for a change. I was antsy and ready for a new challenge.

My eyes no longer lit up when people asked what I did. I wanted them to.

So I set out to find a new challenge. But I didn’t want just a “new” challenge, I wanted to find the right challenge. Where to begin? I needed a compass, a grounding point to provide direction. At the advice of a great human in my life, I thought about what I value most in my own life and career. I wrote down what ultimately became my “value set” and identified companies that seemed to fit. Despite this industry-agnostic, seemingly random list of companies–they shared a mission, morals, and culture that aligned with my values.

I began interviewing. I had been down this road before, but for first time, I felt truly prepared. Even though my search was dictated by something very personal, when it came to moving forward with a company or not, my decisions were cut-and-dried. I was driven by my pre-determined values; I knew what I wanted, and so did they. Either I fit, or I didn’t. No tears necessary.

The contrast was notable. This time around, the notion of “being rejected” didn’t even enter my head. My once laborious, draining job hunt became nothing of the sort; I was just executing my plan.

During my search, I remember catching up with a friend who at the time was seriously working the dating scene. She said she was about to go on a first date with a surgeon! She desperately hoped the surgeon would like her. I remember thinking, but you don’t even know what kind of person they are.

Self-awareness can go a long way, whether you’re selecting a company or a companion.

My tedious but but tearless search finally led me to a company that did make my eyes light up. Over months of conversations, I vetted the vision and the company. We were a match. I joined and found myself challenged in a way I’d never been, and loved it. I was learning and growing quickly. I worked a lot and didn’t even notice. I was all-in.

Time to get comfortable, right? Not quite; every experience offers a lesson, but only to those who work for it. Every so often I revisited my values, my guiding compass, my concrete benchmark. I gave myself performance reviews. By keeping this consistent ritual, I found a direct correlation between how well I navigated by my values and how fulfilled I felt.

Guiding my career by my values has not only advanced my career, but has also strengthened my character. When I feel fulfilled, I am successful. It is then that I am the best version of myself, and that’s also good for business. Cha-ching city.

To high-school students, new grads, and professionals mid-career: I invite you to reflect not on your desires or future goals, but on your consistent values. Think of the moments you felt most fulfilled. The challenges you overcame to get there. Think of the moments you felt dissatisfied, the times you fell short. Ask yourself why you felt that way. These answers will help you create your very own, one-of-a-kind value set (built-in compass included).

Everyone has different goals and priorities. What motivates you may not motivate me. You do you.

If you think this post is as inspiring as my mom thinks it is, then you are probably wondering, how? There are many great people and places to turn to, and the internet has your back. To dip your toe in, below is a DIY at-home starter kit.

Values-Driven Hunting | What you need

  1. Answer the questions below. Stream-of-consciousness only. Pairs well with wine.
  2. Forget about them. Let a week go by. (No, you’re not procrastinating. Don’t feel guilty.)
  3. Revisit and refine your answers. Add clarity. You might see some themes.
  4. Prioritize them into a list. Be realistic about which you value most, and put those bad boys at the top.
  5. Tape them to your mirror. Evaluate your current situation. Pinpoint where you are feeling fulfilled and where you aren’t. Ask yourself why.
  6. Rinse, repeat, and ritualize. From here on out, this is your tough-loving, truth-telling guide to fulfillment. Use it well and reference it often.

Focus Your Scope | Q&A, with yourself

Think about moments that triggered strong emotions for you (happy, sad, peaceful, anger, frustration, love, hate, jealousy, etc). Why did you feel those emotions in those situations?

  • Example: “I was so happy to see my colleague take challenges head-on and thrive.”
  • Interpretation: I feel good when people around me are being supported and empowered to learn and grow. I value empowering communities and supportive environments.

When you last felt torn or conflicted about something, why did you feel that way?

  • Example: “I felt torn when my boss and CEO had differing opinions on a project I managed. I felt like either way I went, I was letting someone down.”
  • Interpretation: I want to be relied on to execute a project. I want to add value to the company. I feel fulfilled when I can focus on accomplishing goals, not office politics. I value leadership teams that work together to accomplish a clear company vision.

What frustrates you at work? Why does it frustrate you?

  • Example: “I am frustrated at work when people lie and gossip behind other people’s backs.”
  • Interpretation: I value honesty and integrity, and people focusing their energy effectively.

What are 2–3 of your greatest accomplishments?

  • Example: “Traveling the world to experience different cultures, to expose myself to different opinions and ways of living.”
  • Interpretation: I value being able to understand and appreciate others and being in-tune with the world we’ve created. I don’t want to work in a vacuum; I want to create something meaningful.

What are 2–3 of your greatest failures?

  • Example: “I knew the metric I was supposed to deliver on, but felt pressure to cut corners to deliver on time. Not only did I miss deadline, I under-delivered.”
  • Interpretation: I was unreliable when I didn’t have to be. In order for me to reliably deliver, I need to be in an environment where I feel trusted and supported.

What are traits that you admire in others?

  • Example: “Managers who act as effective cheerleaders for their team, not as controlling dictators.”
  • Interpretation: I feel most productive when I’m part of a collaborative team that has the support to rise to their best selves. I value leaders that build teams they trust.

Finally,

What is your personal elevator pitch?

How would your trusted friends and mentors answer that question?

BOOM. Look at you, reflecting and all, crushing life like the beast you are. Now you have specifics. You know the things (or people) that positively impact your life. You know the things (or people) that don’t. It is up to you to decide what you want to keep doing, and what you want to change up a bit.

You have values, you have focus, and now you need a ritual.

Respect the Ritual | Incorporate it into your life

Randomly reflecting during your morning commute on how well your job aligns with your value-set counts! Intentional monthly evenings filled with wine and reflecting is better. Dedicating your findings to paper is best (chart below). Do what works for you. Send yourself calendar invites, make a pact with a friend, give yourself a reward afterwards, just do what works. But do it, and do it habitually. You can’t change your future until you know where you are today.

To help you move forth with value set in mind (and on mirror), here are a few things that have helped me add meaningful rituals to my journey to career fulfillment.

Hope this advances your career, strengthens your character, and brings you to a place that celebrates the person you are.

This will show you the areas where your values are being upheld, and where they are being compromised. Focus on the areas in need of change.

Lessons from (Ironman) Louisville

exercise, Ironman, Triathlon

During a race, my goal is to have fun. I’d rather finish in last place smiling than finish first with a sourpuss attitude. My goal wasn’t different for Ironman Louisville. I learned a lot this weekend in good ol’ Kentucky and crossed the finish line thanks to a group effort from some very special people. Below are lessons learned/things that got me through the race: