Personality Prints

Personality Prints: Erica Herrmann of Doggie Delights

Today I am so excited to introduce you to Erica Herrmann who is this week's Personality Prints interviewee. Erica owns Doggie Delights and create amazing cakes and cupcakes for dogs here in Pittsburgh. You may have seen the cake that she created for Lola and Lucy's styled doggie birthday party. We get to see behind-the-scenes in her cake making process and hear about what inspires her. Shortly after our session her sweet pup Nico crossed the rainbow bridge. I am glad that I got to meet him, and capture the bond that they had. 

Erica Herrmann, owner of Doggie Delights in Pittsburgh, PA

Tell me where you can be found (web, Fb etc)

www.doggiedelightsonline.com
www.ericaherrmann.com

Tell me a little bit about your business.


I started Doggie Delights about 8 years ago when I wanted to order a birthday cake for my dog but couldn't find one! I love to spoil my dog so I thought others may want to purchase birthday cakes for their dogs also! Doggie Delights was born :) It also gives me the opportunity to donate to local dog charities regularly. $2 from every cake is donated to a local dog charity....the charity is often chosen by my customers via my facebook page! Last summer, I also began working as a full time health and fitness coach! I found myself feeding my dog the best of the best but wasn't doing the same for myself and my family. In an effort to lose weight, get healthy and feel better I became a Beachbody coach! It has afforded me the opportunity to help hundreds of women change their lives and feel confident in their own skin again!

Tell me about your pets. How did they come into your life?


Nico, my 8 year old German Shepherd aka first born son :) I've always been infatuated with German Shepherds and their working ability. When I finally bought a house, the first thing I wanted to do was give a dog a forever home! I grew up with dogs my whole life, so my college and apartment living days really had me missing them. When I found Nico, he was 7 months old.....I didn't quite realize at the time what I was getting into haha! I wouldn't trade him for the world. He was unlike any dog I've ever had. He didn't leave my side, would do anything for me and actually loved ME more than food!!!

Do you and your dogs (pets) share personality traits that has helped you in life/business?


Nico and I are extremely passionate, focused and driven! Nico came from working lines, so its only right that he had a job! I was his job. :) Nico knew what I was going to do before I did it.....sometimes before I even knew I was going to do it! He had an amazing sixth sense of picking up on how I feel. Those same traits are at the core of both of my businesses! I would not be successful in either if I wasn't passionate about what I do. I love helping dogs and I love helping people....being able to do both, from home, is a dream come true! Sometimes I need to pinch myself and say....is this really my job?? .

How does your pets support you and or inspire you and your business?

I looked to Nico for inspiration in many ways....I admired his focus and his drive. He kept me on my toes and of course he loved to taste test my cakes!!!

Do you have a favorite quote that you live by?

"If you can DREAM it, you can DO it!!" Walt Disney

What a gorgeous cake! Guess who got to devour it for her birthday. To be continued...

What a gorgeous cake! Guess who got to devour it for her birthday. To be continued...

Personality Prints: Sinclair Jewelry

Today I have the great honor to introduce this week's Personality Prints interviewee, Brandy Sinclair of Sinclair Jewelry, and her three bunnies (Chewey, Betty and Fluffy) and two cats (Simon and Pasha). I met Brandy for the first time at the beginning of this year at an entrepreneurial mastermind, and was so captivated when she told me that she helps people time travel. You see, she designs and makes historic jewelry that is out of this world.

Brandy learned to draw when she was young, and used to help her elderly grandfather make drawings for his inventions. Today, she posts a new jewelry design on Instagram every single day. Each piece, a work of art. Once she transforms the drawing into reality her husband Brian, cuts the perfect stone and prepare it for Brandy's custom designed pieces.

Together they participate in PENNSIC, Pittsburgh Ren Fest and many other festivals each year. After visiting Brandy's workshop I have to say that I have never seen a more inspiring workspace. I hope that you'll enjoy getting to know the Sinclair Family, and a peek into a day in the life of a historic jewelry maker.

 

Tell me where you can be found (web, Fb etc).

Website: http://www.sinclairjewelry.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SinclairJewelry

Instagram: https://instagram.com/sinclairjewelry/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sinclairjewelry/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RabbitDance

 

Tell me a little bit about your business.

The aim of Sinclair Jewelry is to make jewelry that connects you to the past. We base our pieces on surviving jewelry in museum collections, and from what we see in period portraits. I do the research, the designing and the metalwork. My husband Brian does the stonecutting and bead drilling, but I'll often ask for his input during my parts of the design or fabrication work.

We can usually be found selling our work at reenactment events through the SCA, but we also sell at a lot of craft and art fairs in and around Pittsburgh.

Tell me about your pets. How did they come into your life?

Brandy: Chewey, Betty and Fluffy are the current three in a long line of bunnies. We lost Lucky, Chewey's husbun, very suddenly at the beginning of the year. Chewey was devastated, as we all were, and she stopped eating. Since not eating can lead to stasis, which is fatal in rabbits, the next day we took her to the Western PA Humane Society on the North Side. It was Saturday, so they were having their bunny romp and we were able to see if Chewey wanted to find a new friend amongst their available buns. To our surprise, she didn't want another husbun and instead picked out a pair of sisters, Betty and Fluffy, to bring home.

As for the buns, Chewey is the bravest of the three, and will readily give out kisses. She's also the most prone to mischief because she's the best jumper and an escape artist. But she knows how to turn on the cute, and that no matter how much trouble she gets into we can't be annoyed at her for long. She's always up for nose rubs and cheek scritches, too.

Betty is the sassy one, and what she lacks in fluff she more than makes up for in attitude! She loves to play Tug with her wicker toys, and will growl and shake them when she finally yanks them out of your hand. She likes to loaf next to us and get ear scritches while we read.

Fluffy is, well, incredibly fluffy and one of the most laid-back bunnies I've ever met. She's not really into toys but she does like to dig and shred boxes. Her favorite thing (aside from eating) is to lie in a cool place and have you pet her for as long as your arm can tolerate it.

They all get along with the cats, which is good because Simon likes to jump into their pens and nap with them.

Brian: Pasha first entered our lives as a stray kitten in the neighborhood. Our cat at the time, Bentley, had taken to defending her from other strays by hissing dramatically from the porch above them. His threats worked, and soon we were able to take Pasha to the shelter where she stayed for 3 weeks until she was healthy enough to go home. Since nobody claimed her and she wasn’t microchipped, we jumped at the chance to adopt the first cat that Bentley ever got along with. We quickly found that she’s a very happy, loving cat who will cuddle and hug, demand you play music for her, and ride around on the shoulders of people she trusts. She’s also very fast, and when chasing a string you sometimes will hear her feet squeak on the hardwood floor. It sounds like a basketball court.

Simon joined us a few months ago. We went to shelter and, like they say, you don’t choose the pet, the pet chooses you. As soon as Simon was in my arms, he hunkered down and didn’t want to leave. An hour later we were home with one of the strangest cats we’ve ever known. We first began to suspect something when we learned how much he loves to play fetch. We found the perfect ‘fetch toy,’ a #3 blending stump, and had to buy a dozen of them because they’d get full of teeth marks and come apart. Then there’s the way that he follows us around the house, or chases his tail. And he doesn’t meow, exactly. It’s more of a gravelly ‘meurr.’ Mornings are great though, because he’s very patient and lovey when I wake up, at least until I get downstairs to where the food bowl is. Then it’s “Meurr! Meurr! Meurr! Meurr!” like a grumpy old man until he gets his breakfast. I love it! But the best is his fur. He has such wonderfully soft, thick fur and he loves pets. If somehow I'm destined for Death By Tribbles, I hope that the tribbles feel like Simon.

Do you and your pets share personality traits that have helped you in life/business?

Brandy: Oh, yeah! *laughs* If there's something in a bun's way, they will go under it, around it, over it or just chew and dig their way through it until they get to what they want. In humans that's normally called "stubborn," but I prefer "determined" or "tenacious."

We also wear our hearts on our sleeves. We have terrible poker faces.

Brian: If I had to say that there’s any major personality characteristic that I share with my cats, it’s knowing when to take a nap. That’s been a critical thing for me and the success of my pursuits because of my life-long battle with depression. Previously, I would fight the depression and the lethargy that comes with it by working 16 to 20 hour days. Unfortunately, the severe sleep deprivation only made things worse and I would often crash for days at a time, sleeping a ton and having no motivation to do anything. Everything would fall apart. Maintaining a healthy amount of sleep, along with medications, have helped bring me back from the depression. It’s still a struggle though, and I often find myself needing to stay up later than I expect. Being able to hug a kitty and say “OK, I need to sleep for a bit,” is another soft, fuzzy, and critical part of maintaining my mental health so that I can keep working.

How does your pets support you and or inspire you and your business?

Brandy: In addition to all the bunny tenacity, they also know how to relax and play. I can't walk by a bunny without at least talking to them for a bit, which usually leads to pets, which sometimes leads to a spontaneous bunny break. The buns also keep me happy, because no matter what goes wrong at the workbench, I just can't be in a bad mood when I look at them. I mean, those little wiggling noses and bright, curious eyes and big fuzzy ears - They're just so cute! I can't help but smile.

Brian: The animals all play an important role in helping me not work all the time. But when it comes to working, the biggest is Pasha. She has the most important job, which is laying across my shoulders while I’m cutting cabochons. Sometimes she takes breaks from that (it’s a tiring, and sometimes wet, job) and curls up on the wool blanket I’ve set in the windowsill on the other side of the cabbing machine. When she’s not helping with the cabbing, she’s frequently on basement-spider duty or keeping a sleepy eye on the rocks I usually have strewn about. Whatever the tasks at hand, she’s always excited to follow me into the basement* and it brings a smile to my face each time. But when it comes to not working, she and Simon are always there for me when I need them, curled up, fast asleep, and someplace where I can hug them for as long as I need.

*Simon’s afraid of the basement, but he’s always happy to keep me company at my computer.

Do you have a favorite quote that you live by?

Brian doesn't have a quote, but I do. My favorite quote is a line from Doug Wright's play about the Marquis de Sade, "Quills". The Marquis says to the priest, who is trying to keep him from writing, "Where there's a will, there's a way. And a maniac is matchless for invention."

 

Personality Prints: Blue Daisy Floral Designs

Today I'd like to introduce this week's interviewee Stephanie Kirby, owner of Blue Daisy Floral Designs. Stephanie and I recently collaborated on a photo shoot together with Biggies Bullies to help adoptable Bailey find a forever home. Stephanie created the most amazing flower crowns, wreaths and corsages for the photo shoot, and I decided that I wanted to document a part of a day in the life of a floral designer. I hope that you'll enjoy getting to know Stephanie and her dog Thor as much as I have.

Tell me where you can be found (web, Fb etc).

Web: www.thebluedaisyfloral.com

Facebook: The Blue Daisy Floral Designs

Instagram: @thebluedaisyfloral

Tell me a little bit about your business.

The Blue Daisy Floral Designs is a floral studio specializing in weddings and events. We love Love! Our focus is to provide unique, creative design and one of a kind service to all of our clients. The studio is located in the North Hills but we serve all of Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas. At The Blue Daisy, we also believe in the positive power of flowers and strive to share it whenever possible, whether it be through design classes, open houses, or simply sharing bouquets with someone who might need a smile.

Tell me about your pets. How did they come into your life?

Thor is our (almost) 3 year old Pitbull who just recently came into our family. We adopted him from the Animal Rescue League here in Pittsburgh and we couldn't be more in love with him! He enjoys snuggling, giving kisses, playing with his tug toy, and going for long walks around the neighborhood.

Do you and your dog share personality traits that have helped you in life/business?

Thor enjoys getting to know people and is happy to make them smile. Doing what I do- my greatest joy is seeing a bride light up when she sees her bouquet for the first time. He is a reminder to enjoy the little and the big moments and that you have to stop and sniff the roses, even if you walk past them every day.

How does your pet support you and or inspire you and your business?

Sometimes the days of prep and designing for weddings can be stressful! So much to do in so little time. Thor makes me laugh at his silly ways of sleeping on his bed in the studio and also begs me to get outside for a break and breath of fresh air- which is usually just what I need to recharge and get the creative juices flowing again.

 Do you have a favorite quote that you live by?

"Work without love is slavery." -Mother Teresa

Personality Prints: PointBreezeway

Today I am so excited to introduce you to my wonderful friend Lauren Inserra who is this week's Personality Prints interviewee. Lauren and her dad Dennis owns PointBreezeway - a true event space gem in the heart of Point Breeze. If you're looking for an intimate space with lots of character, look no further. 

Earlier this year I asked Lauren if I could come over and document the space, and their resident dog Riley, who is just the cutest pup. It's amazing to see what Lauren has accomplished in a year, and when PointBreezeway recently celebrated it's one year anniversary they launched the PointBreezeway Patio Project. You've got to watch the video! 

I hope that you will enjoy getting to know Lauren as much as I have, and I promise that you will fall in love with this space.

Tell me where you can be found online. 

To find out more about Pointbreezeway visit: www.pointbreezeway.com, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PointBreezeway, Instagram: @pointbreezeway, and Twitter: @pointbreezeway.

Tell me a little bit about your business.

I have recently converted my childhood home to a pretty amazing little venue. Our house sits on Reynolds Street, right by the Frick Park Market in Point Breeze. We host anything from homestyle weddings, showers and rehearsal dinners to business retreats, networking events, benefits and cast parties! In addition, we proudly open our doors to local musicians, chefs, dancers and performers of all kinds!

The response to PointBreezeway has been incredible! I’m so excited to share the history and the beauty of our space with everyone I can. My goal is to preserve the history of the building (born as a utility barn in 1880 then becoming a tavern/speakeasy and a Tea Room in the 30s and 40s) and to create a thriving family business. My dad still lives upstairs…a true family affair! One day there will be a deck wrapped around the second floor of the house..and everyone in Pittsburgh will have to stop by and overlook Frick Park with us. You can hold me to that.

Tell me about your pets. How did they come into your life?

Riley is actually my dad's dog...but I claim him as my own. He's the best sidekick! Riley was a foster dog that my dad brought in to our lives years ago...he's obviously made himself at home.

Do you and your dog share personality traits that have helped you in life/business?

Riley is the most loving little guy in the world! All he wants to do is snuggle when I arrive. He also shares his love with everyone...I do the same!

How does your pet support you and or inspire you and your business?

Riley is a hot topic around PointBreezeway. When potential clients meet him...they always want him to make an appearance at their event. He makes our venue all the more homey! He's so loved by everyone and he has a quirky and contagious personality...just like my business!

Do you have a favorite quote that you live by?

“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.” Kurt Vonnegut

Personality Prints: The Good Dog Club

Today's Personality Prints interviewee is Lisa Johnson, owner of The Good Dog Club in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Whenever we go out of town our dog Alice stays at her home. I couldn't ask for a better dog walker as she treats Alice as one of her own. We met for a portrait session at Frick Park right around Halloween last year with her son Davion, who had dressed up as a Ninja for the occasion, and their pups Buddy, Jake and Mister. 

Tell me a little bit about your business.

The Good Dog Club, where any pet can be a good dog is a latchkey companion animal caregiving business. We provide services ranging from daily walks, group romps, and socialization work for dogs, to dispensing medication and providing for basic needs of any pet. We board dogs, do overnight visits, and anything in between, always seeking to adapt to the needs of the family and their pal(s).

Tell me about your pets. How did they come into your life?

My Buddy, who passed last year, came into my life the same year I adopted my son after that sweet face won my heart at the Animal Rescue League. Buddy was my gentle alpha who didn't tolerate nonsense and had an amazingly gentle way of straightening bad dogs out. Our chocolate lab, Jake, is my son's dog. He was an unclaimed stray found at about 3 years old, unneutered full of himself when we took him in. It took a full 6 months to convince him that every single ball encountered didn't belong to him, regardless of who was playing with it! Mister is our yorkie poo, a teenie tough guy/lover who was purchased from a family found on the internet. He was the tiniest puppy I'd ever seen, arriving with motorcycle grease from his previous home in his hairdoo!

Do you and your dogs (pets) share personality traits that has helped you in life/business? 

Buddy was the most amazing dog to work with as he never met a dog he didn't like. He had a clear sense of right and wrong and, within those parameters, everyone was a friend to him. He always had a really calming and direct way with other dogs which set the tone for many group romps over the years.

How does your pets support you and or inspire you and your business?

The name, the Good Dog Club, comes from time spent with my beloved Ruby, mainly in Minneapolis. In our large circle of friends, I would put the call out for a meeting of the Good Dog Club and it was on! We'd head to a local park or lake and let the dogs run free! Seemed the perfect image for a business that seeks to promote joy and well being in the lives of our companions.

Do you have a favorite quote that you live by?

Excuses disempower self, action is cure. I lifted that from the bathroom wall at Film in the Cities in St. Paul, Minnesota 30 years ago!