Clients that Change Your Life and Well Being

The year of 2009 didn't start out as I had hoped. I had lost one of my largest clients to a corporate takeover and was worrying about how I was going to pay the bills, and I had four impacted wisdom teeth surgically removed. Then that spring I came in contact with a client who would have an effect on me more than just giving me another creative project for my portfolio.

First, I need to begin by explaining how passionate I am about my work. Passion is always present in my projects. I very rarely come across a project I'm not 100% passionate about. When I work on a creative project, I can feel passion pumping through my veins with every click of the mouse. I even keep a notebook beside my bed for those "ah-ha" moments that hit in the middle of the night—then I find it really hard to go to sleep because the ideas keep rolling through my mind. Anyway, you get the point—I love my work.

When I first met with Ann, I was very curious about her products—what they were and how they worked. Over the next several months she "wowed" me with her knowledge and insight and her eagerness to constantly learn more. More importantly, I saw that same passion I have for my work when she talked about her business mission. She wasn't just there to sell her products, she wanted to teach the general public that we do have alternatives that work. Aromatherapy and alternatives to medicine were things I knew little about. I embarrassingly admit, until Ann "educated" me on the benefits, I was ignorant and oblivious to these ideas. I thought aromatherapy was something for free-spirited characters or simply for spa customers that wanted to relax/meditate, and alternative medicine was for uncivilized tribes of peoples. Little did I know that my newest client was about to change the health and well-being of myself and my family.

I created the new brand/identity for Wingsets, the new product labels for every product line she carried, the marketing materials, the website, the email campaign graphics...I'm sure I've forgotten something. She even had me rebrand and redesign everything for her Bugz Off! products. One type of project that makes me glow with passion is one that becomes systematic. Everything goes together and flows together, from logo, brochure, business card, website, flyers, all looks professional and represents the product as it should. The quality of Ann's products made designing for Wingsets even more enjoyable and satisfying, because while I knew I could make the brand look good, the product and person behind the brand was even that much better.

Through the process I learned more than I expected and gained a lot more than some snazzy portfolio piece. Ann taught me about the benefits of pure essential oils and "aromatherapy," how to spot good product versus bad product. She explained how these oils have many amazing benefits, including anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. She also discussed with me how damaging synthetic drugs can be for a person, something she had seen firsthand the many years she worked as a registered nurse in a hospital. I had no idea that the baby lotion I used on my kids could very well have been harming them, or the health and beauty products I bought could be damaging for me or my kids. Of course, I'm not one to buy into anything until I've actually tried it. This is where the life-changing moments began to unfold.

After I had just recovered from a second shingles outbreak, my family was hit with "Swine Flu" the fall of 2009. I immediately contacted Ann and said, "What should I do?" She replied with a list of to-dos and products that could help us. We started using aromatherapy diffusers in our house and bedrooms at night and started to see progress. In 2008 (pre-Ann), my kids had upper respiratory issues ranging from croup to pneumonia and bronchitis almost every month. That fall and winter my kids were on more antibiotics, cough medicines, and decongestants than you could imagine. They were always sick, and my oldest would spike fevers of 104 that lasted for up to three days! In the fall and winter months of 2009—after we started introducing Ann's simple products into our home—I saw a huge turnaround. Granted, we still got sick and we still had colds and coughs, but I was amazed how I could control symptoms and shorten the duration of our illnesses by simply following Ann's suggestions—something doctors really never shared with me. My oldest daughter hasn't spiked a fever of 104 since I started using essential oils in my home. Their nighttime coughing when they have respiratory illnesses are almost nonexistent, a complete turnaround from the year prior.

The more I saw these products actually work the more I began to believe. I got shingles for the third time in October and again went to Ann for advice. She sent me a great oil to use to help reduce the outbreak of sores and control the symptoms. I still took my anti-viral as recommended by my doctor, but I steered away from the nerve drugs they tried to prescribe me. Instead, I used the oils. This time I had no sores with my outbreak and was able to control the discomfort and nerve pain without prescription drugs, both of which I credit to the essential oils and products I used from Wingsets. I used the oils again with my fourth outbreak of shingles…same results. I've continued to be awed by the effectiveness of Ann's products, most recently when my husband got his arm trapped between the flatbed of his pickup truck and the tire when the handy-man jack slipped. After x-rays confirmed he had no broken bones, the doctor instructed him to take anti-inflammatory doses of Advil for a while and to plan on his arm being sore for about a month with bad bruising developing. He didn't take a single Advil, and I put some Spicey Muscle Oil on it that night and the next morning, and that next day he was using his arm like nothing had happened! I continued using the oil on him for several days. The bruising was minimal and within a couple of weeks of his accident he had single-handedly put up 1,250 square feet of drywall on the ceiling of my new studio. I could talk for hours about my experiences with aromatherapy products and essential oils, but I will stop because my blog article is turning into a college essay and I need to get to bed.

As a small business owner, I feel it is important that small businesses like Ann's can continue to educate people on their options and provide products to consumers that are safe and natural. The government and FDA already make this very hard for these types of businesses. My personal opinion is that there is a lot of handholding going on between the government, FDA, and large pharmaceutical companies. Ann must be very careful how she advertises a product's attributes on her website, even though I know firsthand that it works and works safely, and there is research to back it up. She's recently been informed that someday even customer testimonials about a product could be considered illegal if the customer claims the product did something "great" for them, and it could result in shutting down her website if not removed, regardless of her "politically correct" disclaimers posted on her website. That sounds like a freedom of speech restriction to me. Ann can sing to her heart's content about a specific essential oil and what it can do for a person (many are research-proven), but in the future, if the FDA gets its way, she might not even be able to link that explanation to a product that uses that essential oil.

Does this "regulation" have anything to do with the effectiveness or safety of her product? No. It has everything to do with control and monitoring over products that could eventually take the place of many prescription drugs which would be devastating to the pocketbooks of those in the pharmaceutical industry, doctors included. Why aren't these products more well-known, more used, more "out there"? For the same reasons Ann has to tiptoe around her website. Also, pharmaceutical companies can't patent essential oils because they are natural products. If you can't synthetically create and patent a product, you can't really make a lot of money from it.

I would like for you to take a moment and consider all of this. Then make your way over to the petition named Oppose HR 5786: Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 that is at the bottom of this article. Do yourself and future generations a favor by signing it. Ann and businesses like Ann's all over the United States will greatly appreciate it. While the name "Safe Cosmetics" may sound like it is helping consumers, it truly will make it harder and near impossible for the small businesses that really are trying to help us to do so. The big companies that produce synthetic products will be the only ones to be able to afford to abide by these regulations, due to their monetary resources. Here is a great blog article from Aromaweb that discusses more about the impact on small business like Ann's.

In short, sometimes in the design business we happen across those projects and clients that do more than make our creative juices flow—they truly leave a mark on you. Did I know this when I started working on the Wingsets' projects? No. But as time went on I discovered that this was way more than just a project filled with passion to me. This was a huge, life-altering, eye-opening project, and a true act of the man upstairs. I really believe God gave me this project, so I felt it was very important to share this story. I hope you pass it along.

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