Fresh Website Design: Emerald Sky

Owned and operated by three sisters in Texas, Emerald Sky creates adorable t-shirts and apparel, but was being operated on a third-party retail site. As the business grew, the sisters realized they really needed an easier-to-use platform for keeping track of inventory, and a more automated ordering system for their customers, complete with a seamless and secure payment system. We also thought they should have their own logo showing prominently and most importantly, the site should be hosted at their own domain for branding purposes (how can you build a customer base if your customers aren’t really dealing with your brand, but with your storefront on a big e-commerce platform instead)?

The solution: First, we secured Emerald Sky’s domain, www.shopemeraldsky.com and then we designed a custom e-commerce site, hosted by Squarespace. The shop is organized by category (womens, kids, or mens apparel, or non-apparel accessories), and within each product design, there are various colors and sizes and various quantities available of each size/color at any given time. This way, the owners can enter in a product color and size set when they do a printing run of a design, and the shop will stay automatically updated as products continue to sell. Another great tool they’re enjoying is setting up their order reply emails so the site automatically sends order confirmations to customers and then they just have to check in and click a button once the order is fulfilled and the customer is notified their order is on the way. The Emerald Sky owners can even create discount codes in a matter of seconds to run a promotion.

As another of our web design clients recently said, "You can limp along on your own or get a first-class product that will take you to the next level with Green Apple Lane." See the full review here

We know the ladies at Emerald Sky are loving their new website and we couldn't be happier with how it turned out!

Why we recommend Squarespace:

There are very few small businesses that truly require a site built from the ground up, which can cost up to and even more than $10,000. For everyone else, a designer is usually hired to build a site using a platform like Wordpress or Squarespace and customizes the features from a template. These are the two platforms we use the most because they enable the small business owner to handle their own site updates, photos, and blogs easily (which is a constant process for a small business), unless the owners would like to delegate those tasks to us as well, in which case we’re happy to make updates. For an e-commerce site, it doesn’t get more simple than Squarespace, which uses Stripe as its payment processor – seamless for you, and for your customers. Green Apple Lane is a recognized Squarespace Circle Member and developer, meaning we’ve built tons of sites on this interface and we know the ins and outs as well as anyone. Sure, it’s a user-friendly interface, but A) if you don’t know all that it’s capable of doing, you might not know what to look for, and B) what might take you 20+ hours of time to figure out, might take us a fraction of that time, and as a fellow small business owner, I know you're all about delegation!

Whether you are just starting out with a new business or you're a maker who's ready to skip the big commerce platforms and truly call the shots in your own online shop, we would love to build your new website – reach out here and let us know how we can be of service!

Feeds & Reads We Love

We wanted to take a moment this week to share a little behind-the-scenes look at where we gain our motivation and what media we take in to keep us inspired to create fresh new designs for you!

Our jam:

• clean design.
• combining masculine and feminine type and design elements.
• COLOR. Bold brights, muted neutrals, dreamy pastels, high-contrast black, crisp and clean white, even electric neons – we simply love color.

IGs for Inspiration

The work in these feeds is astoundingly diverse – fine art, embroidery, textiles, crystals, baked goods, wool felt paintings (it's a thing!), interior design, urban street art, naturescapes, macrame, carved stamps for printmaking, floral design, toymakers – you name it. These artists are at the tip top of their crafts, in our humble opinions, and we love watching them work! Positively inspiring.

Top left (9 squares): @wildhumm Top right (36 squares): @begoodnatured Bottom left (9 squares): @thefoxisblack Bottom right (9 squares): @hol_fox

Top left (9 squares): @wildhumm
Top right (36 squares): @begoodnatured
Bottom left (9 squares): @thefoxisblack
Bottom right (9 squares): @hol_fox

@begoodnatured
@thefoxisblack
@wildhumm
@hol_fox
@mokuyobi
@able_ground
@meandering_mari
@elsielarson
@abeautifulmess
@swallowsanddamsons
@thejungalow
@cloud9fabrics
@wildplumco
@cinderandhoney
@mountroyalmint
@theydrawandcook
@finktoys
@geninne
@artworkbylie
And of course you're already following @greenapplelanedesigns right?

Quotes to Note

#truth

“You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“And still, after all this time, the Sun has never said to the Earth, ‘You owe me.’ Look what happens with love like that. It lights up the sky.” – Rumi

"Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages you've had." – The Great Gatsby

“Anxiety is fear with negative anticipation. Excitement is fear with positive anticipation. You control which one you see.” – Mastin Kipp

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

“The first week at August’s was a consolation, a pure relief. The world will give you that once in a while, a brief timeout; the boxing bell rings and you go to your corner, where somebody dabs mercy on your beat up life.” – The Secret Life of Bees

"I am a firm believer that you cannot do epic shit with basic people. We just can't. My time is valuable." – Pum Lefebure

Work-Related Reads

No matter your industry, these books will motivate you to do whatever it is that you do best:

Do the Work, Steven Pressfield
Who Moved My Cheese, Spencer Johnson

These books are more a bit more specific to those in creative fields:

Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert
Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon
Show Your Work, Austin Kleon

Any other reads or feeds we need to know about? Let us know!

Inspired Women

Organized by the Women's Alliance of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, the Inspired Women Luncheon is the largest and most lovely event of its kind in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We are excitedly gearing up for the biggest and best event yet, and we're ecstatic to serve as the graphic design sponsor for the third year in a row! 

This luncheon is so much fun and sells out early every year, so the committee moved it to a venue large enough to handle all of the fabulous inspired women who wish to attend. Also new this year is our esteemed speaker, Carrie Wilkerson ("The Barefoot Executive") – watch a few of her social media feeds or short videos and you'll be hooked on her sweet personality and savvy business sense, too. The sixth-annual Inspired Women Luncheon will take place Friday, November 4, 2016 at the Arlington Convention Center – can't wait to see you there!

Fresh Graphic Design, a La Carte

You’re here because you love our fresh designs. Maybe you’re thinking that you might want a new logo design soon, an updated website, or maybe you’re ready to launch your new business for the first time. Branding/rebranding your business or redesigning your website requires some investment and is usually an important decision you don’t come to swiftly or lightly. When you decide you’re ready to take the leap, we will be here and would love to help you develop your business, but in the meantime, we wanted you to know you can still work with us to help grow your brand right where you are now, with what you already have. 

Green Apple Lane can design social media graphics and campaigns to help expand your online presence.

Green Apple Lane can design social media graphics and campaigns to help expand your online presence.

Beyond fresh logo design and websites, we love designing graphics for social media (just a handful or a whole campaign); creative print collateral like brochures, stationery, flyers, media kits, rack cards, etc.; business cards; and even ads for print publications or blog sites.

How our a la carte design services work: contact us here about the projects you have in mind, and we can email you our price sheet and let you know an estimate of the design time the project(s) will take us. We charge an hourly rate for design time, with just a 2-hour minimum retainer to get started, and once you’re booked, we’ll keep you updated on our remaining time as we begin emailing you proofs! Super quick and convenient so you can start making small steps right away, and launch a fresh new look once you’re ready. Let us know what’s on your mind and how we can help!

Fresh New Logo Designs


Amber Louthan Photography approached us to rebrand her business after she outgrew her original personal photography brand from long ago. She wanted to stick with muted ocean tones and was open to seeing some watercolor brush lettered options as well. We are so in love with the final product – a gorgeous, simple, clean design that will also double as a great borderless watermark on her stunning photos!



We also recently completed a logo for Classic Stainless, Inc., a custom metal fabricator in Dallas. Their specialty is kitchens, but they also create custom counter tops, grills, and cabinets. They have been doing gorgeous commercial and residential work for years, but never developed a professional look for their brand. For the logo, we obviously wanted the letters to look like steel and the business owners were also open to a bit of a 3-D effect. We opted to keep the full business name in clean, masculine type, and finished things off with metallic screw head graphics in the corners. What a perfect representation of the business and what they do best!

Client Spotlight: Marcoot Jersey Creamery

When we were approached to design a new website for Marcoot Jersey Creamery, we jumped at the opportunity. What could be more fresh than a family-owned dairy farm in Illinois, America's Heartland? Amazingly, we had the opportunity to try nearly every product Marcoot offers in their online store and their quality, craftsmanship, and pride in what they do is evident in every crumble of deliciousness they produce. The relationship turned out to be a great fit for all of us!

Their previous site was pretty basic. It was... "fine." It had a lot of text confined to just a handful of pages, which scrolled on for quite a while. It served a purpose - a home for the farm on the web, and provided lots of info. But the seventh generation of the Marcoot family was ready to take their family farm to the next level design-wise AND wanted to be able to sell their farmstead cheeses online (e-commerce was something beyond the scope of what their original site could handle, to say the least). And finally, they really wanted a site that was user-friendly enough that they could take over themselves and make updates of new products, events, blog posts, etc. and not feel they had to continue paying someone to make those updates forever (I got the feeling they had been burned in the past). Enter Green Apple Lane!

Luckily, they had some really gorgeous photos of their farm and their products, mostly taken by Izehi Photography, so we wanted to make those stunning images the focal point of the product line. The Marcoot sisters (Amy & Beth) also wanted the site to give off a chalkboard look and feel, much like the full wall chalkboard featured in the farm's country store. The last, and perhaps most important, feature was the organization of the vast 30+ page site. Everything needed to function seamlessly, of course – we kept the navigation and the page layouts simple and clean, and let the cheese do the talking.

In addition to the website design, we were able to assist the Marcoots with transferring old and securing new domain names and hosting, simplifying their previous situation dramatically; assist with setting up new email accounts associated with the new domains using Google apps; we provided hand-chalkboard-lettering on the homepage images to fit with the overall theme of the website; and finally, we designed a fresh and clean brochure to coordinate with their new look.

In the 13 months their new website has been live, they have shipped online orders to 25 states including one Canadian province as well - talk about expanding your customer base! We couldn't be more proud of our work with Marcoot Jersey Creamery and hope to continue to count them as clients (and now, friends) for years to come.

Open, for Business

We are beyond thrilled to announce the launch of Green Apple Lane, a new graphic design firm rooted in fresh logo design, hand-lettering, creative print collateral, and web design. For a complete list of the MANY products and services we offer, please see our Services page. 

We would love to serve your business' design and printing needs, whether you're a "solopreneur" just starting out in your own venture, or a seasoned pro ready to freshen up your company's look. We bring our designer’s eye and over 10 years of marketing expertise and education to the table on every project so you can keep doing what it is you do best, and let us help take your business to the next level. Let us know how we can best be of service!