Design Ranch 2018
My first Design Ranch was a transformational moment in my life so much that it spurned me to volunteer for the next iteration. For Design Ranch 2018, I took on the dual roles of Sponsorship and Branding Chairs. I worked with some of the most talented people in our industry and the most heartfelt volunteers. Through the process, I found out new things about myself, which translated to the branding and overall Design Ranch experience. This was truly an experience to cross off my personal designer's bucket list.
Your Home Away from Home
Design Ranch isn’t one of those slide-and-lecture “big conferences,” it’s about putting down your mouse, getting your hands dirty and reviving your creative spirit. The goal is not to teach you the latest fad or tech trick. What your clients and businesses need more than ever is you, at full creative power, doing your best work, so we’d rather you go home with something a little more timeless: a fire in your belly and a fresh take on design that can only be achieved by unplugging and gettin’ a little dirty.
This all takes place in beautiful Waldemar Guest Ranch, Design Ranch’s host. Boasting 693 acres, you could say it’s a big as hell and half of Texas. Established in 1926], it is deep in the rugged Texas Hill Country overlooking the banks of the Guadalupe River. The sprawling grounds, winding river and wooded trails invite you to lounge in the grass, play horseshoes, go swimming, canoe, play tennis or take to the trails on foot or by horse. This is your home for the next few days.
Making an Authentic Mark
For the brand, I was really excited to work with personal friend and award winning designer Drew Lakin. His hand-made style really lent itself to the overall Design Ranch brand, and his love for the outdoors and natural sense of freedom made sure the look and feel was authentic to a Texas ranch.
While being a non-digital concept, we still needed to advertise and have an online home for the brand. The website was a huge help in keeping people informed and on launch day, we sold out in less than 8 minutes. Our Webmaster, Jessica Tremblay had our online presence on lockdown as she was slinging pixels and posting social.
We wrangled the finest crew of artists in all the land. The workshops aren’t about pushing pixels or exporting files for a presentation, but instead, challenging oneself with something new and possibly discover something about oneself. This crew of workshop leaders had campers inspired before the weekend was through. Our Workshop Chair, Courtney Ryan made sure all our workshop leaders were the right fit.
Above All, HAVE FUN!!!
When campers were in between workshops, they had plenty to them entertained. So whether you want to kick back and relax or put your boots on and dance, we had it covered.
We had everything from yoga sessions each morning and an open coffee bar to get people moving. There was also swimming and canoeing in the Guadalupe River. In the afternoons, we had archery or horseback riding sessions or a game of kickball, a revered Design Ranch tradition! We also brought professional ropers who showed us how to lasso like a real Texan.
In the evenings, we had campfires for a beer and a s’more, and starry night guides and telescope. Even more, we had live entertainment by DJs and bands direct from Austin, the Live Music Capital of the World! We cut a rug to some two-step, cumbia, oldies and mariachis as the sun went down. After hours, we had the Vinyl Lounge, another Design Ranch tradition brought to you by Lewis Carnegie.
Special thanks to Jessica Tremblay & Cathy Tremblay for their photography contributions