In Good Spirits

 

Classic, reliable, and oh so refreshing.

aka mint julep

Liquor of Choice: Four Roses Single Barrel

 

Ingredients

10 mint leaves, plus a sprig for garnish
1 1/2 teaspoons superfine sugar
Seltzer water
Crushed ice
2 1/2 ounces bourbon

Preparation

Place the mint leaves in bottom of old-fashioned glass and top with the sugar. Muddle until the leaves begin to break down. Add a splash of seltzer water, fill glass 3/4 full with crushed ice, and add the bourbon. Top with another splash of seltzer, stir, and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Where FoxFuel Gets Them

Rolf & Daughters

 


 

Investing in Young Creatives

Each year, the American Advertising Federation of Nashville puts on the Student ADDY Awards, honoring some of our city’s most talented and promising young creatives. Naturally, we are allll over that.

We support these students in two ways:

1. Sponsoring awards at the Student ADDYs.

This year’s entries were awesome. We are so glad we didn’t have to judge and just got to watch them get cool trophies. This year’s winners:

Best of Show – $500 scholarship and crystal trophy

Austin Reasonver
Muji Ad Campaign
Magazine Campaign
Nossi College of Art

Muji 3

Judge’s Favorites – Crystal trophy

Grace Pavlic
Beast
Illustration
Watkins College of Art, Design & Film

beastlowres

 

Chris Fornal
The Birds of Astrobrights
Packaging
Watkins College of Art, Design & Film

20170218_135946 1

 

Matthew Eason
Hop Tamale’s
Integrated Brand Identity Campaign
Middle Tennessee State University

Hop Tamale 2

 

Jake Kennedy
Lumen, the Lights Out Buddy
Packaging
Watkins College of Art, Design & Film

Lumen

 

Rising Star – $500 scholarship

Grace Pavlic
Watkins College of Art, Design & Film

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We liked these guys so much that we invited them to sit with us at the big kid ADDY Awards the following Saturday. It was pretty great.

See full list of winners.

 

2. Mentorship through our internship program.

When it comes to creativity, there’s only so much you can learn in a classroom. We give them real-world experience, creative freedom, and guidance that pushes them to see creativity in new ways. We also haven’t made anyone cry yet, so we’re doing pretty well.

Are you a creative student? Do you know a creative student? Do you know someone who looks young enough to be a creative student? Send them our way. We’re always looking for stellar interns to join the team.

Apply now!

 

Hutzel really loves getting his picture taken.

Hutzel-AAF

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

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.

Good, Free Fun

Between beach vacations and eating out, summer can get expensive! So we asked some of our team about their favorite free summer activities.

Hammocking

Rachel’s Pick

Find two trees and string up a hammock. Whether it’s an ENO or a good old-fashioned rope hammock, you can’t beat swinging in the shade on a hot summer’s day.

 

Drinking Mojitos Under The Sun

John’s Pick

Pick some mint from your garden and grab your favorite glass; it’s time for porch-sitting and booze-drinking.

 

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Pool Time

Travis and Drew’s Pick

A day spent at the pool is a day well-spent. Also, the only proper way to enter a pool is by cannon ball.

 

Spikeball

Colton’s Pick

What happens went volleyball and trampolines meet? You get spikeball.

 

Boating and Grilling

Amelia’s Pick

This one requires a little cost up front, but if you’ve got a boat, nothing completes a day on the lake like a cookout with friends.

 

Hiking

Cody the Intern’s Pick

Get away from the city and hike through the woods. There are plenty of trails within an hour of Nashville.

 

Trail Running

Erica the Intern’s Pick

If hiking is too tame for you, lace up your shoes and start running. Just don’t trip on any logs.

 

Catching Lightning Bugs

Henry’s Pick

“I love how catching lightning bugs with the kids leads to a fork in the road. We either find a shoe box, build a habitat, and spend hours studying the bugs. Or, we let all the bugs go and diverge into a game of night time freeze tag or kick the can.” – Henry

 

Picnicking

Mary’s Pick

If you’ve never had a picnic with your friends at the Love Circle, what are you even doing with your life?

 

Swing Dancing

Kelsey’s Pick

Every Saturday night in Centennial Park, join a crowd of dancing fools for Big Band Dance.

 

Car Shows

Michael’s Pick

Motor on over to a car show this summer. Marvel at these feats of ingenuity and artistry. You’re sure to have a wheely good time. There’s a fun, free show in August in Chattanooga if you feel like gettin’ outta town.

Nashville’s Best Donuts : Happy National Donut Day

Today is National Donut Day! So we got a giant inflatable donut, stuffed our faces, and took some pictures. We also scoped out the Nashville donut scene so you can skip straight to the good stuff…

donut-FoxFuel-800

Five Daughters Bakery

Both adorable and delicious, Five Daughters’ donuts will put you into an instantaneous sugar coma as visions of sugar cane sprinkles and locally sourced ingredients dance through your head.

We’d recommend the 100 Layer Donut, of which one FDB superfan said, “It’s like America and France made slow sweet love and had a pastry baby.”  … Je t’adore, our little French-American bundle of joy.

Learn More | Take Me There

DSCF4248

Shipley Do-Nuts

Okay, so these aren’t exactly local, but they’re just so darn good. Lawrence Shipley, Sr. created the recipe back in 1936 when they sold for 5¢ a dozen. Always hand-cut, and always served hot, Shipley Sr.’s “do-nuts” took over the south, growing to what is now a franchise of more than 190 stores. Can’t get that 5¢-a-dozen price tag anymore, but that same gooey goodness stuck around.

Learn More | Take Me There

Utterly Nash

Best compliment to a sugar high? A caffeine buzz, obviously. Utterly Nash serves up its tasty concoctions next to the aeropress and organic fair trade dark roast chocolate-covered espresso beans. Now hold on, they don’t crank out your average glaze and jelly sugar rolls – this some classy dough. Lemon Thyme Caramel, Poppyseed, Luxardo Cherry… prepare to question everything you’ve been brought to believe about donuts.

Learn More | Take Me There

Fox’s Donut Den

You’ve seen the dancing lights; the ones that call you out of the fury-inducing Green Hills traffic that forever clutters Hillsboro Drive. A moment of sweet relief sweeps over you as you walk through the doors and into something resembling a glitter-bombed diner. But they’re not serving Reubens and malt milkshakes with extra Oreo pieces, oh no…they’re selling your childhood memories. Chocolate sprinkles, bear claws, apple fritters, and so many perfectly bite-size little donut holes…Fox’s Donut Den has your joy to go.

Learn More | Take Me There

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Donut Day Calls for a FoxFuel Fotoshoot

 

4 Tools For Perfectionist Copywriters

There are two kinds of people in the world: the normal kind and perfectionists. Some of those perfectionists happen to be copywriters. This is a unique creature found in the creative wild, often driving its cohabitants to fury with constant grammatical corrections in the office chat thread and single-word changes to the document that’s already been approved by all other parties.

If you happen to be one of these mystical creatures, we have a few resources you’re going to love for reasons no one else in your office will understand…

Grammarly

Grammarly is a beautiful app that analyzes your writing and offers you the recommended edit as you type. And that’s not even the best part… Each week, you’ll get an email with your Grammarly Insights outlining your activity, mastery (accuracy), vocabulary, and most common mistakes. (That idea you just got for an office competition to see who has the best Grammarly report…ya we had it too. Don’t be discouraged when you find you’re the only one who understands the glory and honor of impeccable grammar. We get you.)

grammarly

Note of Caution: The only beef we have with Grammarly is that it doesn’t work in Google Docs. We do a lot of our writing and collaboration there, so it’s a pretty big bummer for us.

RhymeZone

This nifty little site will give you rhymes, almost-rhymes, homophones, poems, lyrics, quotes, it’ll even sift through the works of Shakespeare to find your term.

The Most Dangerous Writing App

Perfectionists by definition want what they create to be perfect, typically before anyone else sets eyes on it. Trouble is, that mindset makes “rough” drafts a bit challenging and can chew up time faster than you can say Jack Robinson. The Most Dangerous Writing App doesn’t allow for perfecting your copy, it limits you to just enough time to word-vomit your thoughts onto the page. If you take too long, your brilliant phrases are gone forever. It will frustrate the hell out of you the first 129 times you use it, but you’ll learn to love it and it will save you beaucoup time in the long run.

WritingApp

OS X Dictionary

Don’t know what “beaucoup” means? Or looking for a word that means the same thing but doesn’t look like a typo? If you’re on a Mac, highlight that word and give it a Command+Control+D.

boom

That nifty little popup gives you the definition, synonyms, and a snippet of the corresponding Wikipedia article if it’s available. You can also right-click the highlighted word if you’re still catching up to the key command craze.

(If you’re not on a Mac, dictionary.com is cool…)

AdWords Keyword Planner

Writing for web? Then no one will see your perfect copy unless you keep Google happy and to keep Google happy, you have to feed it keywords. Lucky for you, the AdWords Keyword Planner makes it very simple to determine the most common search terms related to your product or service.

Another Note of Caution: Google is smart and your readers are (probably) smart. Cramming keywords into your copy for the sake of keywords will not end well for you. It’s important not to sacrifice the quality of your content for a list of keywords. But you already knew that because you’re a perfectionist.

There you have it. We hope these tools will help to appease your neurotic perfectionism. Go write great things.