Taking Risks and Leaving New York to Build a Family Publishing Business, with Bryony Gomez-Palacio of UnderConsideration — The Busy Creator Podcast 84

The Busy Creator 84 w/Bryony Gomez-Palacio

Bryony Gomez-Palacio (@BryonyGP) is a co-founder of UnderConsideration, an all-purpose publishing and design business based in Austin, TX. Along with husband Armin Vit, Bryony publishes several blogs including Brand New, Quipsologies, and FPO, in addition to publishing several books, and hosting the annual Brand New Conference.

Armin was a guest on episode 3 of The Busy Creator Podcast back in Februrary 2014, making this chat an unofficial sequel. In the intervening years, Bryony and Armin have refined their workflow, taken new risks such as planning a version of the BNConf in Amsterdam, and still manage to balance family life with new creative endeavors.

In this conversation, Bryony discusses the origins of UnderConsideration and how she and Armin transitioned out of their New York design roles, moved to Austin, and managed to create a viable business in spite of a few close calls financially.

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Show Notes & Links

  • Bryony is one half of UnderConsideration
  • Armin Vit, the other half, was an early guest on The Busy Creator Podcast
  • Bryony describes herself as a “content generator” for graphic designers
  • Bryony & Armit work from home, in the converted master bedroom
  • Armin wakes up early to write his blog posts; Bryony wakes up early to get things done and kids ready for school
  • The first Brand Nieuwe Conference in Amsterdam is taking place in June 2016
  • VAT
  • It’s still a hassle to sell internationally, even selling books to Canada
  • Bryony had to pay customs fees for a baby’s onesie
  • The BNConf is UnderConsideration’s main source of income, but only occurs once per year
  • HOW Live, FUSE, AIGA … other design conferences
  • Eventbrite
  • Bryony and Armin were living in Brooklyn, working at Addison and Pentagram, respectively
  • For about two years, they worked in their basement, taking care of the baby
  • Mommy brain” makes it tough for new mothers to focus or to rapid-switch between modes

“We were living in a city that had a lot to offer, but living within a 10-block radius.”

—Bryony Gomez-Palacio

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  • Bryony was home-schooled on a farm without electricity for two years

“It took me two years to be able to say ‘I live in Austin, TEXAS’.”

—Bryony Gomez-Palacio

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You would need around $7,320.33 in New York, NY to maintain the same standard of life that you can have with $4,400.00 in Austin, TX (assuming you rent in both cities)

“We need to be very, very efficient. We don’t have time to procrastinate and explore.”

—Bryony Gomez-Palacio

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“We spend a lot of time at design school in order to make pretty spreadsheets.”

—Bryony Gomez-Palacio

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“One thing we always fear is stability & stagnation.”

—Bryony Gomez-Palacio

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Tools

Techniques

  • Integrate your workouts with other errands (e.g. biking the kids to school)
  • Find someone “on the ground” if you’re doing business in a foreign country
  • Plan, perhaps using a spreadsheet that spans 20 years
  • Split your household income between one full-time and one freelance salary
  • Plan your move based on where winter can reach you
  • Divide business duties based on who can handle interruptions (admin/finance vs. creative)
  • Keep it real when providing design feedback, especially to your partner!
  • Collaborate on a spreadsheet or document, concurrently even
  • Stagger which marathons/half-marathons you run as a couple; two partners training can be overwhelming
  • Use running time to work through problems

Habits

  • Keep a structured daily schedule (down to the minute)
  • Explore where you can multi-task to be more efficient
  • Work at opposing standing desks for easy collaboration
  • Don’t get attached to designs or ideas; move away quickly if something is not working
  • Integreate your home and work calendars; keep it sacred
  • Don’t work on weekends

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About Prescott Perez-Fox

Prescott Perez-Fox is a New York-based graphic designer and brand developer with 15+ years experience in branding, packaging, graphic design, and web design. He runs The Busy Creator.