Sponsor Spotlight: Haley Schultheis of The Studio Digital

This past year, we were lucky to work with Haley Schultheis of The Studio Digital. Haley came on board as a sponsor of the sale to help us understand the breadth of FELIZ- what our message is and how to convey it best. The sale, like most businesses, has a lot to offer and many ways to do it but only so many hours in the week. Where to start? Well, Haley has a skillset honed for making creative businesses like ours shine. Below, we talk about how she marries the technical and the creative, how she landed at that intersection, and how she feels about social media cleanses. Let’s all go on one now.


The Studio Digital offers a wide catalogue of services, can you tell our readers some of what you specialize in?

Some of our services include: digital and brand audits, SEO assistance, digital ad campaign management, content strategy, strategic partnerships, copywriting, consulting, and email campaign management. We work closely with clients from all different backgrounds to understand whether they are seeing the digital results they are hoping for via their websites, sales, social media, etc… After that’s established, we really dig into their digital presence (and any numbers and analytics we can get our hands on!) to see what’s working, what’s not working, and what could be better. Once we are confident things are in a sturdy place, we develop a customized digital marketing strategy and prioritize based on whether they are handling the execution (and we’re assisting) or if we are stepping into a more in-depth role.

Is there a traditional job title that it all falls under or have you created a new one for yourself?

I don’t believe I could find an exact job title at a company for what I do - particularly if it were at a large marketing firm as things are often so segmented. Because I’ve worked with many startups and worn a variety of different hats, I do think I’m well-balanced when it comes to tech and content experience. Usually, someone considers themselves to be either content creator/social media marketer (think experiential) or someone who can manage the more technical aspects of a website (SEO, digital advertising, etc.). And, the two best work together. For instance, search engines have their own rules and preferences and if they aren’t followed, it can dramatically impact organic search results. It’s my job to constantly stay current on what these are and make sure that it’s well communicated with the individuals I work with.

Can you speak a bit about your work history and how it has impacted your current line of work?

Right out of college, I went to go work for Mark Cuban companies - HDNet and HDNet Movies. Ever since having that particular job as my first post-college work experience, I knew I could never have a standard desk job. Though I was working in marketing, as an English major, I missed writing and wanted to find a way to stay in practice, so I started a blog in 2008 that led to incredible interviews (Neiman Marcus is headquartered in Downtown Dallas!) and opportunities to start creating content for other retail and lifestyle brands. I worked for a variety of Dallas shopping centers and retail brands, building out and managing their social media channels, email marketing lists, and managed advertising campaigns and sponsorships. Through this work, I experienced both the creative and technical aspects of marketing early on and continued to learn ways to maximize the exposure of the content I was creating. This certainly impacted my love for understanding the data and strategies that can impact different aspects of a digital brand. For instance, when you are launching a new product or promotion - what are the best ways to do that? And on what channels? Do you need to advertise? If you don’t have an advertising budget, what are the options? These are all questions that I love to work with clients to answer.

Tell us a few case studies for ideal clients, who is best suited to working with a (insert job title).

Haley Schultheis with Anna Jones and Melissa Hemsley

Haley Schultheis with Anna Jones and Melissa Hemsley

Marketing Director or Marketing Managers - I often work with marketing managers or marketing directors at companies who don’t seem to be achieving the goals they are hoping for digitally. These individuals either don’t see themselves as experts in a particular area, have exhausted their knowledge, are frustrated, or simply don’t have the manpower to devote to it. In many of these cases, I’ll start with an overall digital and brand audit to make sure that there’s isn’t anything technologically responsible for these issues (particularly something that could be an easy fix) before we proceed. Examples: Not showing up where they’d like in Google Search results, growing their number of website visitors, having a high website bounce rate, testing campaigns, etc.

Business Owners (of all sizes) -  I have worked with a variety of businesses, both large and small. Whether it’s creating and managing an entire marketing strategy or simply advising a client on where to best use their own time and budget when it comes to marketing efforts, I support businesses in a variety of roles. For instance, recently, a new client’s website was being penalized in Google Search Results because the imagery on the site was extremely large. We remedied this issue and it made a significant difference. Examples include: hoping to increase website sales, when a client isn’t optimizing all relevant and available platforms to reach their goals, when a client isn’t sure if something they are doing is worth their time, fixing a website that’s confusing to a user (can they find what they’re looking for easily?), when clients don’t have the budget for a new website, but want to make their current website better (cleaner, quicker load time, etc.). Or, if they simply feel stuck, we review best practices and next steps.

In what state do clients come to you? Are they market-savvy, or focused on their work with blind spots towards their marketing needs?

50% of my clients don’t want to worry about marketing and trust that I stay educated and current in the field. They usually hire me to manage, develop, and execute their marketing strategy. On top of content marketing, this often includes running their advertising campaigns and making sure the website stays current when it comes to SEO and other necessary structural updates. On average, these clients want to know marketing is taken care of and just want to see that goals are being met (with monthly or quarterly reports).

Haley at the  Cherry Bombe Jubilee  with Mimi Sheraton

Haley at the Cherry Bombe Jubilee with Mimi Sheraton

The other 50% of my clients are more in-tune with marketing. Sometimes, it’s even difficult for them to justify hiring a consultant. However, they too may not have the time to give the areas of concern enough attention, particularly if they are a smaller business. These clients are often confused as to why something is happening or not happening in the way they’d like or want to see increased results - faster (be it sales, website traffic, etc.). Or, some of these individuals are simply overwhelmed and want to understand where their energy is best spent and where they might potentially need help. In these cases, I often come in as a consultant and help them with a prioritized action plan or come in and assist with an item they don’t have time to do, but that we find is important.

The best advice I can give is to not panic and to work with someone you can trust. Referrals are valuable. Even if I don’t take work in a particular area (like graphic design) or offer a service a client desires, I have an esteemed network that I trust for those types of client work. Utilize your networks to make big decisions, but don’t be afraid of making them at all.

It all seems the most important which can be overwhelming, but maybe something often rises to the top. Do you see a common area for improvement with your clients or out in the world?

I think a major question for most brands and companies to remain strong in 2019 and beyond is reviewing one’s relevance. What is your true purpose? Why are you here? Who are your audiences and how do you or your business serve them? When this is well communicated and understood then it can surface in all other messaging and platforms. You want to communicate with potential customers and clients in all ways that are available to you and make sense for your company or brand and, be open to changing and evolving - technology doesn’t wait for anyone to catch up. Just because you’ve done something one way and it’s working - still doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily the best path. And, there are always relatively painless ways of testing new ideas out there, don’t be afraid of doing so!  For example, most email campaign management software allows you to send email campaigns with two different subject lines (along with other differences). If there’s a good opportunity and not a make or break it promotion, give it a try and see what has the best open rate.

Is there a brand that you think executes their story and experience perfectly?

A few of my favorites are Monocle, Glossier, Garden & Gun, and Goop. The most interesting thing to me about all four of these brands is that they’ve executed and told their story so beautifully in digital and/or in print, and then opened stores and restaurants after the fact. These brands are growing and touching so many different areas. Monocle has a shop in London, Garden & Gun has a store in Charleston and a restaurant in Atlanta, and though they started as online companies, Goop and Glossier have a mix of pop-ups and stores around the globe. When you can have such a significant brand impact digitally that there’s demand for the physical - you’ve mastered both engagement and the total brand experience. For their followers- Instagram, newsletters, blogs, playlists, products, conferences, events, collaborations, books, and podcasts weren’t enough. That’s not to say that through not having a physical space you’ve not achieved success by any means, but the simple fact there’s a potential or continuous demand for more than what you currently offer is rewarding in itself. In an era where there’s often gloom and doom stories when it comes to brick and mortar retail, this e-commerce transition to brick and mortar trend is fascinating to follow.

We’ve loved working with you and getting some perspective on the ever-changing world of digital and Print marketing. Can you shout out another profession or field that works to support small business creatives?

This past year, I leaned heavily a local business networking group called The Circle. It was wonderful to talk through big decisions and/or problems with other local small business owners while learning and growing with each other. There’s an array of professional groups in Austin - from Boss Babes to Creative Ladies Night. If you can’t find one that’s a good fit, you could even start your own. And, I find the FELIZ community to be extremely supportive of each other as well!


Can you recommend a book or resource that has helped you build your business or offered inspiration?

One of the most impactful books I’ve read recently was “Small Giants” by Bo Burlingham. Success is so often equated with growth. If you don’t grow into a big company, you are not successful. This book deeply questions that belief and brings together a strong counterpoint that puts confidence into growing into a size or staying at one in which you (still) do your best work and are happiest. Often growing too fast or unnecessary growth leads to the unhappiness of employees and a blurred mission or purpose.

Otherwise, when I’m in need of inspiration or a quick boost, I love flipping through The Authentics by Melanie Acevedo and Dara Caponigro and Linda McCartney: Life In Photographs.  I also love giving out a copy of Heart Talk by Cleo Wade as a gift and the audio book is calming too (it’s great for reducing stress during a traffic-heavy car ride).


Where can we catch you on a sunny Sunday in Austin?

I have been trying to get into gardening as it’s creative, but the antithesis of screen time (with soil-covered gloves and hands). I’m still in the stage where I get super excited when something grows and survives. It’s also helped me unplug, which I’m trying to be even better about this year. Sarah Senter of The Medicine Kitchen has a Five Days Away program (with limited screen time) that I participated in last summer. It really helped put things into an even greater perspective and I was able to prove to myself that it can be done. I think there’s added pressure being a small business owner, freelancer, or entrepreneur - an anxiety that you always have to be on and available. And, it’s really not healthy for you or your business when this is the case. Another outlet is going to Auditorium Shores with my husband and our two dogs. It almost always leads to the dogs needing a bath directly afterwards - but it’s worth it.

Thank you Haley for helping us navigate this crazy digital world! Want to learn more about The Studio Digital? Thinking you could use a hand in getting the word out about your business? Click over to her site and get started.

Sponsor Spotlight : Loot Rentals

This season, we’re partnering with Loot, which means we’re having a killer party to kick off the sale. The welcoming party is Wednesday 12/5 from 6-9pm and hosted in the *new* Loot showroom (available for parties, workshops, and more). The space is full of warmth from the handmade details, vintage and new furnishings, and good vibes. Loot has certainly grown from the first time we visited them at their little warehouse and tiny office space in East Austin 5 years ago. We wanted to hear a little bit about how these two hard working ladies have since quintupled their team and got to where they are now, the kind of business that defines the Austin aesthetic and of course- is at all your favorite parties.

Loot has grown quite a bit since the beginning. Can you tell us what your first office was like and how that compares to the new space?
Well, when we started the business 8 years ago we were co-renting a 300 square foot studio in Flatbed where we met with clients and were housing our furnishings in storage units across the city. It was not very efficient to say the least. We poured everything we made back into the business for the first 2 years and were able to grow into larger warehouse spaces as the business grew. In our 5th year, we found our current space boasting 14,000 square feet (tripling our previous digs). We always wished to have a showroom where we could meet with clients and make them feel at home as soon as they walked in the door. After 4 months of renovations, we were able to move into our new home in July of 2015. We actually have a large breakroom/kitchen now (upgrade from a dishwasher and mini-fridge in a closet!), 3 office spaces (we used to all share one room), natural light (!), and a loft space for our retail shop, Loot Finer Goods.

Your new headquarters offers more storage, have you been able to introduce new inventory or pursue new ventures because of it?
We have probably tripled our inventory and in process of moving into new warehouse space next door! We have been able to fill the demand for bulk quantities of unique pieces, allowing us to increase our capabilities in the corporate events sector. We can outfit a party or conference for 500+ people now! Having space to grow has been necessary in our expansion.  We introduced Loot Finer Goods, our lifestyle shop last August where clients can shop our custom creations, vintage finds, and French workwear or enroll in one of our craft workshops. Home Staging has been a new venture in the past year as well and one that we are very passionate about.

Loot Finer Goods

Loot Finer Goods

Chunky Blanket workshop

Chunky Blanket workshop

You’ve been able to host workshops - the Chunky Blanket workshop has been so popular! Do you have future workshops in the works?
Yes, we love offering workshops and seeing customers use their talents to create something they will cherish. We open up our showroom and feed everyone dinner and allow time for getting to know one another. It’s so much fun and a great way to meet new friends. We are excited about a new workshop that will take place on Jan. 6, 2019 where a Erin Mursch, a certified KonMari organizer will discuss how to declutter and organize your space the KonMari way. We anticipate that this will be wildly attractive for people after the holiday season ends.

Rhoda and Anna

Rhoda and Anna

Is there a dream event you’d like to see in the new space?
You know, the age old question “If you could have dinner with 3 people, who would they be?” … making that dream come to fruition for a special someone and using our space to host it. For us, right now we’d love to host Beto, Willie, and Lambert at our table.

The term “work wives” is being redefined to describe partnerships just like yours- can you describe some of the ways your distinct personalities work together to make Loot thrive?
Well, on top of being work wives, we are also sisters-in-law, so our lives are more intertwined beyond the workplace. We know each other beyond the workplace and understand the family commitments and home lives we are each trying to achieve. This allows some forgiveness of each other when we have family commitments that take us away from the workplace like maternity leave or family health issues. But when you think about it, we do spend more time with each other than our individual families which does make it  seem like we’re really married.

Do you think there is a “must have” personality trait for running a small business? Are there members of the Loot team with an unexpected but critical trait for keeping it all running?
A passion for the hustle. First, you must have passion for the company and what they stand for. Second, you must be able to see opportunities for growth, harness your passion and hustle to execute a plan to achieve your goal. Everyone that we hire embodies both of these traits.

Is there a vendor you’re excited to shop and get to know at this season’s FELIZ?
Oh man, tough question. There are so many folks that we are excited about. However, Circle and Line is a maker we have admired for some time but have never had a chance to meet, so we are really looking forward to getting to know her at the sale! Her sculptures are so inspiring.


A big thank you to Loot and all FELIZ sponsors. You all make the sale the best it can be.

See you at the pre-party Wednesday, December 5th. and don’t miss the sale Sunday December 9th 11-6pm at the Palm Door on Sabine.

Sponsor Spotlight : Cocktail recipes with Campari + Big Swig

And now, we present What You’ll Be Sipping At FELIZ. Big Swig and the Campari group is a returning sponsor to the sale and are represented very well by Espolón Tequila and Wray and Nephew Rum. Another returning sponsor, Better Half designed the cocktail menu for the pre-party and the sale. They really went above and beyond, but who’s surprised, have you been to that place? Everything is A++. But back to WYBSAF- we’re excited to offer you a Hibiscus Paloma and This is Ricky! If you know the story behind the name “This is Ricky”, you win a free one on us (they’re all free). Want a refreshing drink sans alcohol? We’ll have all 3 flavors of Big Swig chilled and at the ready.

Without further ado, here are recipes to make all your parties better.


Hibiscus Paloma

A classic cocktail made even better by swapping the grapefruit soda with fresh grapefruit juice and a bit of hibiscus syrup. More tart and refreshing than the original and a warm weather favorite. And cold weather, too let’s be honest.

2 oz Espolón Tequila
1.5 oz Grapefruit juice
.5 oz Lime juice
.5 oz Hibiscus syrup
Top with
Big Swig Sparkling Water
Garnish with salt rim and lime wheel

Pour everything but the Big Swig into a shaker. Shake til there’s a bit of frost on the outside of the tin and pour into a salted glass over fresh ice. Maybe you have cool square cubes like Better Half? All the better to keep your ice from melting too quickly and diluting your drink. The good folks at BH are pros.

Enjoy the Hibiscus Paloma at the pre-party and the sale.


This is Ricky

More rum, please. Winter in Austin means darker flavor profiles but still refreshing drinks. It’s likely going to be in the 70s all week! So here we are with a rosemary rickey.

2 oz J Wray Jamaican Rum
1 oz Lime juice
.25 oz
Pomegranate Molasses
.5 oz Simple Syrup
dash Aztec Chocolate Bitters
Top with
Big Swig Sparkling Water
Garnish with rosemary sprig and lime wheel

Combine first 4 ingredients in a shaker. Shake til there’s a frost on the outside of the shaker and pour over fresh ice. Dash chocolate bitters and top with Big Swig Sparkling Water. Garnish with a lime wheel and rosemary sprig. Tip- give the rosemary a swat to release aromatics.

Enjoy This is Ricky at the sale.


A big thank you to our sponsors- Campari, Better Half, and Big Swig.

You all make the sale the best it can be.

*Explore past cocktail recipes for Watermelon Margaritas and Aperol Spritzes.

See you at the sale Sunday December 9th 11-6pm. And don’t miss the pre-party Wednesday, December 5th.

Sponsor Spotlight : Better Half Coffee and Cocktails

Better Half - AKA FELIZ offices


Much of FELIZ has been planned from a booth at Better Half and at this season’s sale- you can enjoy cocktails designed by these brilliant folks. They are coming back to the sale as a sponsor, graciously bringing the Better Half experience to the Palm Door for FELIZ. What’s the Better Half experience? Super friendly people making super tasty beverages that combine flavors you’ve never considered but make so much sense when they hit your lips. We’ll share a cocktail recipe in the future, but something you just can’t nail at home is their food. An A+ time to experience it is during their happy hour bc ….

All kinds- Beef, Chicken, and Veggie

All kinds- Beef, Chicken, and Veggie

Their burgers are $5.

And their burgers are some of the best in the city. The beef comes from 44 Farms in Cameron, TX, the chicken patty is ground in house, and they have a veggie patty, too. All $5 during HH.

…and that’s not all

Canned beers are $3.

Better Half stocks some of the best and weirdest beers in the city and almost all local. I don’t know what the Terpene Dream from Hops and Grain is but at $3 I’ll take it and probably love it.

So the HH schedule:
Every day (a rare weekend happy hour!) 3–6pm
And drink specials 9pm–close.
*Closed Mondays

Better Half is great for eating-meetings as you can get just about anything. From coffee to n/a drinks, to the best cocktails and food that addresses all diets. Maybe share the burger and their generous seasonal salad? Nice people and well-appointed digs. We’re very into it and excited to welcome them back to the sale!

All this for $17.

All this for $17.

Eat where the Toyotas eat.

Eat where the Toyotas eat.