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In Good Spirits

Tequilish Travis


A little salty at times, but keeps you smiling.

aka la margarita

Liquor of Choice: Sauza

 

Ingredients

2 ounces blanco tequila
Juice of 1 whole lime
½ ounce triple sec, preferably Cointreau
Salt for rim
Orange wedge, for garnish

Preparation

Salt highball or footed glass rim. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add tequila, lime juice and triple sec. Shake. Pour, with the ice, into a highball or footed glass. Garnish with wedge of orange (Travis thinks limes are lame).

Where FoxFuel Gets Them

Cinco de Mayo

 


 

Live from Nashville, it’s Saturday Night!

When we were recruited to help out with the ADDYs, our first question was “do we get extra drink tickets?” … then we realized we’d just been invited to throw one of our favorite Nashville parties of the year, so we signed on the dotted line. 

At first, we tossed out the usual party theme ideas:

  • Enchanted Kingdom
  • Under the Sea
  • Casino Night
  • Joe’s 8th Birthday Party
  • The Avengers

Then we started to move past the high school prom vibe
and flexed those creative muscles a bit:

  • Laser Tag
  • Rave
  • Giant Game of Twister
  • Carnival where every tent is just a dunk tank with an
    ADDY-nominated CEO in the drop seat.

Then we spotted a tiny plastic hand that had fallen into a dusty corner, and we just knew just the prescription for our fever.

And so was born the 2017 ADDY Awards

 

AAFN_AAA-2017_FB-Promo-Deadline1

 

We spent the next several weeks watching Matt Foley’s motivational speeches and brushing up on our ape tit trivia. We got the shipment of cowbells and Spartan pom poms, so we’re just about set.

Hope you’ll join us for a night to remember.
Check it out.

WE ARE SO FREAKIN’ EXCITED

so-freakin-excited

6 Ways To Protect Company Culture

by Mary Timaeus

“Culture” is a bit of a buzzword for organizations right now, particularly for creative agencies. Leaders and HR managers throw the word around a lot, but based on the experiences the FoxFuel friends and members have had in other companies, most are missing the mark.

FOXF_Culture_Blog-Art

We’ve found that when talking about company culture, organizations focus on the perks – free coffee, afternoon cornhole games, people in furry mascot costumes passing out beer – and those things are great, in fact, we have most of them at FoxFuel (still working on the fox costume). But those aren’t the things that establish good culture. All the perks in the world can’t make up for a petty coworker, a disrespectful boss, or a lazy team. Good culture is not rooted in perks, it’s rooted in values. Trust, respect, encouragement, etc. – these are the things that will make the difference for a team.

Now these can also turn to buzzwords pretty quickly, so we have a few practical ways to put them into action and facilitate strong culture in your company:

Do small stuff often.

Go to lunch together on Fridays or do a one minute plank at 4 p.m. every day. Doing small things together makes the big things like retreats and holiday parties more comfortable and genuine. Think of the small things as ice guards, keeping the vibes warm and cozy so icebreakers are never needed.

Stick with what you know.

Sometimes it’s fun to switch things up, like trading Friday lunch for a game of laser tag. But on the regular, it’s best to stick with what you know works. Is your office more into games and music? Don’t try to force them into kickball simply for the sake of shaking things up. Keep rolling with the good stuff till the appeal rubs off, then try something new.

Laser eyes at laser tag.

Laser eyes at laser tag.

Be inclusive.

Does someone have a dairy allergy? Have a few vegetarians around? Maybe there is Muslim on staff or several team members with families. A company picnic with burgers and pepperoni pizza at 6:30 p.m. on a Tuesday night during Ramadan probably isn’t the best way to bond. Sure, you might not be able to cater to everyone’s needs, but do your best to be considerate and as inclusive as possible.

Build traditions.

It’s the continuation of traditions that keep people together over years. Maybe you have some turnover, but the fact that you have a Thanksgiving meal together every year allows those who have moved on, those who are new, and those who have been there from the start to feel connected to each other and the foundation of the company.

Celebrate together.

We all have lives outside of work, but colleagues usually spend more time together than they spend with friends, roommates, significant others, etc. It’s important to bring life’s milestones into the workplace and take the time to celebrate together. Whether it’s a full baby shower or a simple grocery store cake, celebratory gestures let your coworkers know that you value them beyond their ability to get you that report on time.

FoxFuel baby shower.

FoxFuel baby shower.

Maintain healthy communication.

There’s nothing more disappointing than planning an amazing party just to have everyone walk around on eggshells or pair off into corners. The practice of healthy communication and feedback loops can prevent such instances and ensure that everyone feels comfortable to enjoy the party with each other.

Well, what are you waiting for? Go make your team not hate each other.

 

 


 

All You Need To Know To Be A Great Intern

by Kelsey Greer

It was the summer of 2014, and home I went to Knoxville, Tennessee for my last summer of studenthood before plunging into the professional world. I ended up with two amazing internship opportunities working for HGTV in the creative department and at Designsensory, a moderately sized and very successful design shop. Through that experience as an intern, and my more recent experience as an intern-herder a supervisor, I have a few tips for students who want to make the most out of their internship and avoid making people angry.

Kristofferson

I’m writing to you, dear student, because I care. I want you to be the best you can be at the thing you’ve devoted the last four years of your life to. College is hard and stressful at times, but keeping your end goal in mind—an amazing career, a life of travel, starting and supporting a family—gives perspective to hard work.

I am so thankful for all the nights I stayed up until 4am in the art building at MTSU. It taught me to do whatever it takes to get a project done. I’m thankful for all the showers I neglected to take, stinky as I was, because I couldn’t tear myself away from the computer screen. I’m happy that my design professor made us do 200+ thumbnail sketches, all with different mediums, so we’d learn that the best idea isn’t always the first idea. I’ve been where you are and I care about the up-and-coming designers and creatives. There’s room for all of us at the top, so why don’t we help each other up? A rising tide lifts all boats (cliche alert).

So here we go—how to be a great intern:

Askin’ All Them Questions

There are no dumb questions, only dumb people who don’t ask questions. You get smarter by asking questions. Questions show you care. Questions show you’re trying to understand the task at hand. Never be afraid to ask. If someone gives you a mean answer, let their attitude issues roll off your back and look for the truth or value in what they’re saying. Ask questions.

Time After Time

It takes no skill to be on time. It takes a little planning and a little luck sometimes—especially in Nashville traffic—but not a whole lot more. People notice when you’re the eager intern who’s always ready 10 minutes early. Don’t disrespect yourself or the job by being late. Be on time.

Talk to Me, Baby

If, God forbid, you are running late, let your supervisor know! Communication is essential to be an effective intern and employee. Let people know what is happening around you and to you so you can do your job better. Send an email. Make a phone call. Send a carrier pigeon. Communicate well.

“Don’t point that gun at him, he’s an unpaid intern.”
—Steve Zissou

What’s Wrong With Being Confident? Oh-oh-oh

Admittedly, this is the hardest one. It’s really easy to feel worthless when you’re in a room full of people you admire with skill sets way more vast than your own. But remember, you are an intern there for a reason—they chose you! You are there to learn and to be challenged. Remember all the late nights and hard work you’ve put in at school. That is your training. Maybe this is your race. One of the most encouraging things a creative director has said to me was, “You have infinite skill. You can do this.”

You have the knowledge, just put it to use! Along with being confident, speak up and offer ideas. You are creative and smart, and by golly, people like you. You bring a different perspective to the game and can offer ideas and solutions that no one else can. Be confident.

Call Me Beep Me If You Wanna Reach Me

Keep in touch with the people you interned with, they may become your employers or coworkers down the road. Twice a year, check in with your old supervisor. See what’s been going on at the company, and if you want to work there, see how you can offer help. Don’t only stay connected with your intern supervisors, but also stay connected to your old professors. I got my first professional design job from a someone my college professor connected me to.

You’re in this internship to learn from real world experience, but you’re also there to make connections with people with more experience and know-how than you. You should buy your supervisor lunch or coffee if you want to learn more about what they do. You can learn so much from having an intentional conversation with someone who’s further down the road in their career, and these opportunities don’t always come up while on the job because work can get in the way.

Another group to stay connected with: your classmates. They can offer more support and information than anyone out there. They know your station in life and what you’re going through. They’ll let you know when they hear of an open position. Stay connected.

Life Aquatic

Work Work Work Work Work

You’re an intern, not the president. Get down and dirty and don’t expect to do glamorous work all the time. Working hard at the little things can show that you’re worthy of working on the bigger things. Here at FoxFuel, no one is too good to unload the dishwasher—our Chief Creative Officer, one of the partners and founders of this company, does it almost every day! At a small business like ours, it’s an “all hands on deck” situation. If a client is coming in and the table needs to be wiped off, someone wipes the table. It’s not about pride or your fancy position at the company. It’s about taking pride in the company and doing whatever it takes to make it work. Do the dirty work.

Teach Me How To Dougie

Lastly, and most importantly, be teachable. No one knows everything. There’s always a different way, and sometimes a better way, to do something. If you start to think you know everything, you are sabotaging yourself. You will stagnate. You will alienate yourself. Let others help you reach a higher potential. Don’t shut the door to growth by thinking you know best. Don’t take direction personally, but take it seriously. Be teachable.

 

So there it is. The secrets to success. Show us what you’re good at. Apply at FoxFuel, apply at that dream company. But one note before you go…you are accountable for what you get when you walk away from an internship. If you don’t seize the opportunity, no one is going to hand it to you. So go get it!

P.S. you should probably apply to be a FoxFuel intern!
Marketing
Content
Business Operations
Photography
Design
Videography

FoxFuel is Looking for Interns to Join our Family of Creatives

DSC_9944

We believe creativity is best when it is simple, honest, and based on strategy. Through collaboration with our client’s experience and our marketing expertise, we make relevant and powerful connections with an intended audience.

As a FoxFuel Intern, you’ll have insight into all the inner workings of a fast-paced, small agency. We do everything from branding to marketing strategy to web development. We value hard work, great ideas, and team spirit. If you’re looking to gain experience, make connections, and aren’t above wiping down the conference table and making coffee, a FoxFuel Creative internship is for you. Read a little more about how to not suck at being an intern.

Which position are you interested in? Give it a click for info on how to apply!
Marketing
Content
Business Operations
Photography
Design
Videography

 

Nice to Meet You: Drew Beamer

Role at FoxFuel:
Art Director

 


 

What’s Your Favorite…

Tennessee thing?
Right now, fall weather. In general? I think our state is shaped nicely.

T-shirt?
Size large please.

Thing to do away from the computer?
Hangin’ with the family.

Podcast?
Tough question. I’m into three right now:
Don’t Get Me Started by Dan Balser, department head at The Creative Circus. 99% Invisible by Roman Mars. All the stuff you didn’t know about other stuff. My Brother, My Brother and Me by the McElroy Brothers. Stupidly hilarious improv.

Line from a movie?
“In the Year of our Lord 1314, patriots of Scotland – starving and outnumbered – charged the fields of Bannockburn. They fought like warrior poets; they fought like Scotsmen, and won their freedom.”
—William Wallace, Braveheart


All About Drew

If you were excommunicated from the design and advertising world, what would you do instead?
I’d freak out and then go to culinary school.

What is the most frustrating question, comment, or feedback you get related to work?
I don’t necessarily have one single comment or phrase that always comes back. I do get frustrated when I have higher aspirations for a client’s brand than they do. That kills me. Or they may say that they want to really push their brand and when you do, they’re too scared to execute it.

Do you collect anything?
I have a larger-than-normal collection of Wizard of Oz Christmas ornaments. I think I was really into it as a kid so my family just started always giving me a new ornament around the holidays. We have around 40 of them at the house. Sometimes we have a small tree just for them.

What is something on your bucket list?
Visit Thailand—the jungle, the cities, the beach, all of it.
Also, to make sure that my kids don’t grow up to be assholes. That’s a big one.

What’s something that someone would be surprised to know about you?
I seek the approval of others heavily. I’m not sure why, but at least I’m conscious of it. Which means I can choose to do it or not. Sometimes I have to force myself to not give a shit about something or someone for the sake of my own sanity.

Do you have a motto?
“Take it simple.” I stole it. You can steal it too.

What are you most proud of?
My kids. They’re amazing. It’s tough with 3 under the age of 6, but if I were to look at my work or any other part of my life, there is just no comparison. They are by far the coolest things I’ve made.

What inspires you? How do you stay inspired?
Visual overload. I have to consume things – advertising, art, design, music, fashion, architecture, typography, culture, films, industrial design, woodworking – anything that looks or sounds interesting is on my radar.

Traveling is one of my go-to things for inspiration. You can’t ignore things that you haven’t seen before. If everything is new, it’s so much more rich in your mind.

Solo time is also handy. Sitting and people watching on a street corner that you don’t visit often is good. It allows your mind to shut down so it can actually process ideas for a hot minute before you get another email.

Would you rather drink all your food from a baby bottle or wear visible diapers for the rest of your life?
Are we talking diapers on the outside of the pants just for show? Or under the pants with a little bit of diaper sticking out at all times?

It doesn’t matter I guess. Either way, I’d say diaper.

I like food too much to have it all in liquid form.

drew

Five Things I’ve Learned About Growing

by Drew Beamer

Growth is a strange thing. It can be both the easiest and most difficult part of your job. It can happen on its own or need a little push. It can be fun and challenging or it can be stressful and full of anxiety. Growth can show up right in your face or it can sneak on you months later.

foxf_blog_growth

Understanding growth is all about perspective. Sometimes you have it and sometimes you’re flailing hopelessly, waiting for something to catch you or slow you down so you can make sense of it all.

I’d like to explore five aspects of growth in this post. These examples stem directly from my job in advertising, but I would imagine they apply to just about any career.

1. Chickity-Check Yo Self

There are so few things in your life that you have complete control over, but your attitude and impact on your work environment is one of them. I’ll start this section off by saying that I forget this daily. I let the “Me” thoughts through when the “We” thoughts are what I should be projecting. It’s something I’m working on.

We have control over how we show up to work, how we approach a project, how we deal with a less-than-ideal client situation, or even how we handle difficult people that we work with. Growth in this area isn’t easy. We’re inherently self-centered in our thoughts. It takes a lot of practice to calm that 5-year-old inside and bring the adult to the table. The “We”—the team, the work, the company, the client—is so much more important than the “Me” that we all have inside. If you can remember that, then you’re already on your way to gaining the critical perspective that we’re all seeking.

2. Know Thine Peeps

Unless you’re involved in the hiring process, you probably don’t have much control over who you work with, which means you’ve got some work to do. In order to get the best results from your relationships at work, you have to know your team.

Knowing your team isn’t possible if you don’t spend time with them. If you don’t know that they’re a natural introvert or that they’re easily distracted, then you won’t know how to make the most of what they have to offer. You don’t have to be best friends (sometimes it helps, sometimes it hurts) but you do have to understand one another.

Sometimes this knowledge comes from conquering difficult assignments together, from company-initiated events (which I highly recommend), or simply through small snippets of personality that are gathered over a long period of time. Just keep in mind that the sooner you know them and they know you, the sooner both of you can start to push each other to grow.

3. Embrace The Chaos

The work we do is messy. It’s complicated. It’s subjective, and it’s difficult to comprehend sometimes. But as Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.”

The tv spot, the outdoor board, the website, the integrated campaign… these aren’t the work. They are the results of the work. They are the delicious steak that resulted from the proper raising of the cattle, the honed skills of the butcher, and the culinary experience and education of the chef. The work is what comes before the thing you put in your book—that is where you should focus your efforts.

For me, this is where most substantial and recognizable growth comes from. It comes from difficult clients, new partnerships, and being pushed outside of your comfort zone. Lobsters are an excellent metaphor for this growth, as the amazingly bearded Rabbi Dr. Twerski explains.

I’ve learned that when you experience adversity in work, it helps to think back on successes you’ve had in the past. Remember the perfect tenderness of the final product and remember the work it took to get there. Then, snap back into the now and recognize that you are right in the throes of the work. Remember that you will make it through and that with time, all of the sharp edges will soften. The more you commit yourself to the chaos of your work, the more you benefit. You have to be willing to be exposed and to fail if you ever hope to succeed.

 “The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. Accept That You’ll Find Fame And Fortune—Just Not Yours

Clients come to you for ideas, for expertise, and for you to help them make money. As a creative, sometimes it’s easy to confuse your own goals and growth with theirs. Just keep in mind that clients aren’t there to bankroll your dreams, they’re there because they want your help to reach their goals.

In order to grow, it’s important to be able to recognize the small wins when they come along. The client won’t always love what you love or appreciate your work. In fact, most of your work will never see the light of day. Real growth comes from being ok with that and finding joy in the pieces or ideas that do make it.

So take the small wins for what they are, let go of the reigns a little, and recognize the nature of the relationship between you, the client, and the work. You’ll not only grow creatively, but your perspective and value to your company will grow as well.

5. Gettin’ A Little Somethin’ On The Side

In short, have a side project. I believe that there are two types of side projects with two distinct growth paths. One grows deep and the other grows wide. It’s the classic principle of the T-shaped person. If you haven’t heard of that, check it out here.

Side projects that involve only you will help you grow, but inwardly. For me, they have always been either the technical honing of a skill or study of our craft as creatives.

In contrast, side projects that involve more people and different skillsets will help you grow outwardly. These projects are great because they push you to look at the same problem from someone else’s core skillset or perspective. How would your partner approach your part of the problem? How would you approach theirs? Share your ideas, push each other, and have fun doing it.

Thoughts For The Road

Look at where you are. Are you growing? Are you stagnant? Are you reaching your goals too easily? Are you not reaching them at all? Do you even know what the the hell they are?

If you want to keep pushing yourself, think about your attitude, your partnerships, your work, your client relationships, and your side projects. Are there spots where you can reflect, evaluate, and improve? Chances are, that’s a yes. We all can.

At the end of the day, no one will care about your career, your skills, or your personal growth as much as you do. So get after it.

Nice to Meet You: Mary Timaeus

Role at FoxFuel:
Operations Specialist

 


 

What’s Your Favorite…

Mode of transportation?
Walking

Happy place in Nashville?
Percy Warner

Technology-less activity?
Long meals with good friends

Sport to watch?
College football

Thing right now?
Holistic health

Dance?
Anything the Rockettes do


All About Mary

What is the most frustrating question, comment, or feedback you get related to work?
“Anyone can do that.”

What is something someone would be surprised to learn about you?
I laugh when people get hurt.

What’s the greatest bit of advice a parent or mentor has given you?
Live open-handedly.

What’s your catchphrase?
“You do you.”

If you could host a talk show, who would be your first guest?
Ellen DeGeneres

What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled?
That’s almost impossible to answer! I’m going to pretend you asked for “ONE of my favorite places I’ve traveled,” and I’ll go with Nepal. The scenery is unreal, and the people are just as beautiful.

Would you rather have a cartoon face with human body or human face with cartoon body?
Human face with Ariel’s body, because what girl doesn’t want a tiny waist and mermaid tail?

Nice to Meet You: Mary Ellen

Role at FoxFuel:
Developer

 


 

What’s Your Favorite…

Nashville restaurant?
Taqueria del Sol (I worked there during my musician days)

Musical instrument?
Piano. Complex jazz chords on a grand piano make me melt.

Line from a movie?
“Samsonite! I was way off!”

Thing to do away from the computer?
Thrift store shopping, yoga, writing, hanging with my orange cat, Christopher.

Item of clothing?
My gold and green party shoes. They are vintage and pretty worn out, but when I tried them on, my feet fit perfectly. It was meant to be.

Memory from school?
Performing the role of “Peter Pan” in my 8th grade musical – we got to fly while singing!


All About Mary Ellen

What inspired you to do what you do?
I have a strong need to create. For my first five years in Nashville, I fulfilled that need through songwriting and musical performance. Then I learned JavaScript and found that I could write code all day and design responsive websites through computer programming, and it feels intensely creative.

What is the most frustrating question, comment, or feedback you get related to work?
When people ask “Can you QA this? I need it done in 30 minutes.”

What’s your go-to karaoke song?
“I Will Survive.” Something about Santa’s Pub at 2 a.m. brings out my inner Aretha.

What’s something that someone would be surprised to know about you?
I’m nearly fluent in Japanese. My major in undergrad was Japanese Language & Literature. I lived in Tokyo for a semester and fell in love with the culture.

What are you looking forward to the most?
Short-term, probably my wedding next spring. Long-term, traveling and exploring more countries around the world.

What is one of your proudest accomplishments?
Touring with my band, Melon & The Mayhem, and releasing three albums of original songs.

Would you rather be on a survival reality show or dating game show?
Survival reality show, absolutely. As a developer, I’m very resourceful. I also grew up between two brothers, so I can fend for myself. And I could survive barefoot forever.

MaryEllenSilly

Help Wanted: Seeking Account Executive

ae-job-2

Well well well, look who we have here. We’ve been waiting for you…

FoxFuel Creative is looking for an account executive with 2-3 years of agency experience and a knack for getting it done.

Overview

We need you to be very detail-oriented for the sake of both our clients and our internal team. You’ll develop marketing and brand strategies for your assigned clients and ensure your team is equipped to deliver to client expectation on deadline. You will become an integral part of our process, tasked with building real relationships, with both new and current clients.

“Yes, I love it. Give me the deets.” – You

The Deets

We’re looking for someone with:

  • 2-3 years agency account management experience
  • Impeccable communication and organizational skills
  • Proven creative problem-solving skills
  • Growth-oriented mindset

As an Account Executive and member of our Account Strategy Team, you will:

  • Interface with the agency departments to move projects through on behalf of the client, including preparing insightful creative briefs for a variety of projects along the way while working closely with the creative and development teams
  • Maintain daily contact between the agency and the client under the direction of the account supervisor or CEO
  • Be completely destroyed in several rounds of pasagi
  • Work closely with the creative and development teams to produce estimates and manage projects
  • Inform account supervisor/CEO regularly of account progress for all assigned clients
  • Passive-aggressively comment on how little space is available in the refrigerator
  • Champion our creative product by actively participating in creative concept sessions on behalf of the client and providing input/approval of all creative work prior to client reviews or presentations
  • Actively seek to understand the client’s brand/business/products/services/industry in order to serve as an advisor on behalf of the agency and readily identify opportunities for growth with existing clients
  • Actively seek to understand the agency’s brand/business/products/services/industry
  • Be publicly reprimanded for leaving your terrible attempt at art on the Etch ‘N’ Sketch in the conference room
  • Assist in researching and writing client proposals, insight & strategy development and the ongoing creation of effective marketing communications including strategic advertising & media plans that connect back to clients’ business goals
  • Effectively present, sell and defend all agency work/proposals to clients
  • Manage client billing in conjunction with operations and contribute reporting as needed
  • Be congratulated for actually reading all 14 things listed here

Interested? Shoot your resume to mary@foxfuelcreative.com.