Practically speaking, we’re a group of writers, designers, account executives, tech workers, analysts, and strategists. Philosophically speaking, the answer is a little more complicated. Who are any of us, really?
We’ve given it some thought, and here’s where we’ve landed: Who We Are = What We Choose.
That’s not to say we all can just “choose” to be awesome. Rather it’s to say that our choices—good and bad—define us. Therefore, we choose carefully.
to be an antiracist
and inclusive company
that advances a culture of diversity
and equity in our workplace
and our lives.
to work with clients who share
our values and want to make
the world a better place.
to do bold, risk-taking work
that makes us and our clients proud.
to be honest,
even when it’s uncomfortable.
to be kind.
to never sacrifice any of this
for a few extra dollars. Ever.
By “our people,” we don’t mean “our loyal subjects.” Rather, we mean it in the same way you might when you refer to your friends or your brothers and sisters as, “My people.” Without further ado, here are ours.
I once wrote a shoe company script for John Madden that included the line: “At the end of the day, my dogs are really barking.” One time Peyton Manning made fun of me for wearing “denim on denim.” I once made $150 for writing “Free stickers inside!” for a Fruit of the Loom underwear package. A client once fired me for pointing out to his administrative assistant that you don’t need the extra “e” in “judgment.” I was the high scorer on the Butler Soccer club (two goals) as a freshman in 1977 and Butler Frisbee golf champion in 1978. Once a year, I get to sing on stage.
I have been called many things: passionate, demanding, smart, crazy, decisive, bossy, ambitious, stubborn, curious. One thing I’ve never been known for is being content. I’m at my best when I have a goal and a plan to get there. Take the time I wanted to have “Michelle Obama arms.” I hired a personal trainer, bought weights and a medicine ball, studied macros, planned a weeks’ worth of meals and workouts every Sunday, and asked friends to hold me accountable. Man, my arms looked good.
With all this Type A energy, you might be surprised that I preach an 80/20 rule at work. Plan for 80% and be open to opportunities the rest of the time. As Ferris Bueller says, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
I was walking on South Beach in Miami. The weather was a perfect 75 degrees with a cool breeze coming in off the ocean. The sun was just beginning to rise over the horizon. I was by myself with my feet in the surf. As I walked down the beach, I saw a man in the distance sitting at the edge of the water. He was in an old lawn chair with a TV tray in front of him. As I got closer, I noticed he was typing on a laptop sitting on the TV tray. I walked up and asked what he was doing. He looked up and said, “Designing a website for a client.” That’s when I knew I wanted to be a developer.
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life. Awakening from the stupefying effects of the vice of over-industry and the deadly apathy of luxury, they are trying as best they can to mix and enrich their own little ongoings with those of Nature, and to get rid of rust and disease.”
– John Muir, Our National Parks
I have a general rule to not spend money on T-shirts with logos or promotions on them. If you’re going to be a walking billboard for a company, the shirt should be free.
That being said, there are a few exceptions:
1. The T-shirt is the best way to promote a cause you believe in—a measly bumper sticker won’t cut it. Then, sure, go donate your hard-earned cash and wear that shirt proudly.
2. You yourself created the epically sublime art proudly adorning the preshrunk, organic, cotton-blend tee. Shirt-folio™ for the win, my friend.
3. The T-shirt is in another language and you have absolutely no idea what it says but you’re willing to roll the dice on it. Caveat emptor, fashionista.
Vlad, Von B, Chud, Chadley, Chaddicus, Chadostradamus, Chadosaurus, and Chadanardo Di Caprio. These are examples of how hard it is to come up with a nickname for someone whose real name has one syllable.
So, for everyone’s convenience, call me anything (just not Shirley). I’m a coffee-addicted wanna-be mixologist with a thirst for art, music, motors, tattoo history, and narrative. When I’m not designing, illustrating, or staring into the void, you might find me playing video games with my buds, trying to develop the next classic cocktail, or submerged in the current TV show I’m watching.
Fun fact: If you see me in shorts the world is ending.
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”
-Maybe Proverbs 17:28, Abe Lincoln, and/or Mark Twain. Not quite sure. Really, I’m just introverted.
I directed my first film at age eight, using bedsheets for backdrops and my gap-toothed friends as actors. As the ultimate triple threat, I wrote, directed, and acted. Tyrannical or displaying leadership skills, you decide. Eight-year-old Caitlin might be impressed that she’d grow up to work with director Spike Lee, pass classes at the New York Film Academy, direct a capstone short film, and be featured on CNN and PBS. While my early material wasn’t Spielberg quality, and I missed the nomination for any Oscars, those shaky first films are proof that committing to bombing when you’re young is the key to creating anything good.
“People used to ask me why I always wear black. My response to them was that the people are what add color to my life; no need to clutter it up with my clothes, too.” – Diane Keaton
You’re probably thinking, “What is this girl doing quoting Diane Keaton—she’s a little off her rocker.” Agreed. However, black is my favorite color. You’ll see me wearing some form of black almost every day. It’s a classic, a color that goes with any outfit and situation.
Growing up, my mom used to dress me in big, pink dresses, the kind held up with tulle beneath the skirt, my hair in bouncy curls from sleeping in sponge curlers all night. She created the ultimate girly girl, and dressing me in bright colors only amplified my loud, bubbly personality.
But if I had a dollar for every time a friend sent me the meme that reads “It’s such a beautiful day outside, I think I’ll wear black,” I’d be rich. Wearing black didn’t begin as a conscious choice, but somewhere along the line I’d had enough: Enough with the pink tutus, and enough with uncomfortable nights spent sleeping in hair curlers. So I’ll stick to Diane Keaton’s mantra, and let my relationships add the zest to my life.
One of the best pieces of advice I ever received is soap is soap. You can use Pantene Pro-V to wash your body, and a Dove bar to wash your hair. As long as it lathers up and smells good, it can get the job done. Don’t let the mythical limitations of soap ruin your ablutions.
I’m an expert at avoiding people, but insist on establishing a personal connection with every cat I meet. I aspired to be a teacher when I was young, then realized I’m not good with kids. I have the attention span of a gnat, but sometimes I read books cover-to-cover. I hate being cold and I hate being hot. After reaching a state of zen in yoga class, I listen to Drake as loudly as I can. I love Indianapolis, but I don’t like Indiana. I’m weird, but I pretend to be normal. I’m always trying to improve myself, but I wouldn’t change a thing.
Moms know best. When I was growing up in Marion, Indiana, and asked mine about choosing a career, she told me to pick something I’d be happy doing for 50 years. That seemed like an eternity back then—well before iPhones, kombucha, and microbreweries.
I love a good story so becoming a journalist seemed logical. I covered everything from government and crime to culture and sports for several daily newspapers before that business shifted and so did I—into another gear. Literally. I went to work in racing, specifically the communications department at the IndyCar Series, helping other journalists tell stories about race car drivers and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Now I’m shifting again, into a writing and producing role here at Well Done. While I’m sure these changes weren’t part of what mom imagined when she answered my question long ago, she was right. Stories come in endless forms and I’m happy to tell as many as possible before my 50 (ish) years are up.
I called the Milan-Malpensa Airport at least six times in two days before I was reunited in the Room of Misfit Luggage with my precious in-case-my-big-suitcase-gets-lost bag. I might be a little Type A (I’m underselling it), but I like to think of myself as determined and driven. I love to be organized–even my lists have sublists. Office supplies make me happy. I have more notebooks and pens than one person should own. That said, I do remind myself to take time to relax every once in a while with photography, face masks, and episodes of Real Housewives, Full House, and Chef’s Table.
I am a product of the Indianapolis Public School system. During my 13-year tenure I experienced several (retrospectively) amusing circumstances. Among many other things, I was hit in the back of the head with a snowball in 10th-grade French class, I was punched in the face by a girl in 9th-grade history class, and on my first day of middle school, I was jumped in the bathroom by a hulking beast of a boy in front of most of my classmates. But there were things that happened that I’m thankful for, too. Things that helped shape who I am today. Things like being hit with a snowball, punched in the face, and beaten up in the bathroom.
Knows the prepositions in alphabetical order
Yelled “Carolina in My Mind” with 50,000 people after UNC won the National Championship
Listener of Crime Junkie daily
Inclined to run a Ragnar Relay by the end of the year
Elevator pitched to Martha Stewart, literally in an elevator
Medalist at the state, sectional, and national levels in multiple swimming events
Indulges with Key lime pie and red wine
Has (accidentally) walked into Jennifer Lopez’s cabana and stolen her kid’s seashells
Obsessed with Andy Cohen and every show on Bravo
Known as Ky, KyKy, and Smiley Kylie
When I was in first grade, my aunt (a Delta employee) rigged a contest, which allowed me to interview swimmers Pablo Morales and Summer Sanders for an article in the airline’s in-flight magazine. My classmates helped me do the research and come up with the questions. I interviewed Sanders and Morales at NIFS, before shooting free throws with them on the basketball court. I couldn’t believe these Olympic champions were so generous with this six-year-old they had never met, just for a feature in a stupid magazine. I have been addicted to talking to interesting people and sharing their stories, ever since.
My early career aspirations, in chronological order: cheerleader, veterinarian, English teacher, graphic designer, journalist, web developer, travel writer, and social worker. I’m now doing none of those things. But I’m pleasantly surprised every day by how much I enjoy (and am actually pretty good at) research and data and spreadsheets. I get to use most of the foundational skills of the aforementioned jobs in my current role (except maybe animal care), so I may have struck vocational gold. I’ve sung on the stages of Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House, I’m moderately obsessed with light fixtures, and, according to a Pantone test I took once, I have perfect color acuity.
When I was young, we didn’t get to sit at the adults’ table during family gatherings without learning to play Euchre with everyone else. And if you think they went easy on the kids, you’re sorely mistaken. My great grandpa, Jack, was the best I ever played against, only partially because he was known to give his team free points with his elbow if you didn’t keep an eye on him. I give a lot of credit for who I am today to those years playing with him, including a competitive spirit that greatly outweighs my athletic ability, an attention to detail, and unmatched skills at the Euchre table.
If you’ve followed all the rules, the reality is
you’re doing something that someone else has already done.
Be a sponge. Absorb the rules, but don’t forget…
In 1997 the Chicago Bulls went 72-10 and won an NBA Championship. The only team to win that many games, including a championship, ever. Most consider that Bulls team the best in the history of basketball. Growing up in central Illinois, they were my team.
What my 12-year-old self didn’t know was the full extent of how that team achieved historic success. The team comprised a motley crew of vets and rookies, shooting specialists, foreign players, Hall of Fame superstars, and a pink-haired rebounding guru named Dennis Rodman. All orchestrated by a zen-like coach.
What I learned is that team dynamics and tolerance matter, whether it’s dribbling a basketball or launching a large campaign.
My first name is Abigail. I was named after my great-grandmothers, Abilonia and Gail. My dad used to call me Peanut because I was born so small. As I got older, he started calling me Bean Head due to its apparent shape. My college girlfriends call me Little Abbie. My relatives call me Abs. I wish it was because I have great abs, but I like dessert too much for that. My husband’s friends call me Abbie Bear. My husband calls me Baby Doll after a comment my father-in-law made before we got married. I told my husband that was not going to be a thing, which just cemented the nickname. I should have known better. On the days when I go too long without food, he calls me Crabbie. I love people and I’m socially awkward. You can just call me Abbie.
A few things you should know about me:
My personal brand can be summed up in three words: babies, board games, and community. (I guess that’s four?) I am super grateful to be mom to two headstrong preschoolers. To my partner’s dismay, I play lots of obnoxiously long strategy board games. And I love serving the Indy community: I am on my homeowner association board and recently coached U5 soccer in Pike Township’s grassroots community league. I also spend my summer months obsessing over Indy City Futbol, as a front-office official and mediocre winger. Lately, this has resulted in too much Diet Coke and coffee consumption, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Here are a few things to know about me:
I confidently laid down the wooden tiles and began adding up the score. The spurious word gave my Scrabble partner and I triple points—and catapulted us to victory.
We stared stone-faced across the table, bluffing our two 12-year-old opponents into accepting defeat. Even though “rebug” isn’t a word, my chubby cheeks were cute enough to convince anyone that it was.
In fifth grade, I was crowned the Indiana School Scrabble Champion, netting a comically large $500 check and an invitation to the national competition in Boston. I captained my high school Brain Game team to victory on local television and earned all-state honors for international extemporaneous speaking. I’ve spent hours developing resolutions for Model UN committees. Yes, I’m a massive nerd.
Fortunately, my approximate knowledge of many things has proven useful in my career as a public affairs and public relations consultant.
I’m an old soul. Not as in “wise beyond my years,” but more like this: I prefer a bedtime of 8pm, and I love naps. I like watching murder mysteries and 60 Minutes. When I attempt to use the self-checkout line at the grocery store I fail miserably every time. I’ll leave you five-minute voicemails of no importance, and I’m learning to knit, and, seriously, I love naps.
But when I do shed my grandmotherly exterior, you can find me exploring this beautiful world, spending time with my amazing fam-bam, taking photos (mainly of my cat, Otis,) or attending a local music show.
I wrote my first cookbook at the age of seven with the help of my grandmother. To be fair, I also wrote a compilation of loosely rhymed poetry, a hand-illustrated bunny Bildungsroman, and several short stories. That cookbook was a tour de force. It included five recipes with introductory thoughts and drawings and featured a frangipane tartlet.
Back then I didn’t know the proper path to becoming a cookbook mogul was through culinary school, restaurants, or a TV network. Instead, I pursued a career in writing, marketing, and nonprofit development. But I’ve been subjecting my husband, family, friends, and occasionally my dog to recipe testing for my second cookbook ever since. The sophomore hit really is as tough as they claim.
When I was younger, my parents converted our garage attic into an art studio for my mom. I logged many hours up there with her, drawing and listening to John Mellencamp CDs. Eventually, I recognized so much of what I found exciting in the world could be traced back to thoughtful design—and that led to my degree from the Herron School of Art + Design at IUPUI. Now, the good fight against mediocre design is simply a way of life.
If I’m not designing, you might find me tinkering around with furniture making, enjoying a drink with friends, watching The Office, or dodging the occasional Nerf dart fired at me by my roommate.