Jeremy Picker is the Creative Director and CEO of AMB3R Creative, a Colorado-based merchandise design firm with over 20 years of experience in the fashion industry.
Jeremy has helped launch and grow merchandise for major label brands and is passionate about creating retail quality merchandise for the non-profit sector to fuel fundraising efforts and expand awareness. His client list spans from churches to restaurants to corporations, and he designs apparel for Podswag. Podswag is the merch side of Stitcher and Earwolf, doing work for some of the most popular podcasts today including Conan O’Brien’s, Lavar Burton’s, Bill Nye’s and more.
Jeremy is also a cancer survivor and a co-founder of ÉSTAINE, a high-end accessory line to support cancer education. We chatted with Jeremy about his creative process, how Daylite has helped streamline his business, and lessons learned while fighting cancer and building a successful business.
Challenges with growing a business
In 2011 while Jeremy was battling cancer he was also battling for his business. He and his business partner split up and he almost lost his business. At the time he had a team of three people and they had hit their capacity. Jeremy wanted to take on more clients and projects but the team wasn’t set up in a way to handle the workload – they had hit their max. Things were slipping through the cracks which sometimes caused upset clients. The stress of it was getting to Jeremy as he was constantly taking his work home with him.
Part of this challenge was because of the manual work involved. When Jeremy started the business they hacked it through pen, paper, and spreadsheets to keep track of where they were with clients and what needed to be done next for projects. Eventually, they upgraded to using Basecamp but still struggled with a lot of manual work. Jeremy needed a way to create a template for projects and tasks so the process was more streamlined and automated.
It was when Jeremy heard about Daylite through a manufacturer he worked with that things started to change.
“Before Daylite we were bursting at the seams as far as managing projects went. We couldn’t take on any more. We needed something to streamline how we manage clients, companies;and track all the work for projects so we grow not just sustain our business. That’s what Daylite did for us.”
– Jeremy Picker, AMB3R Creative
How Daylite helps Jeremy and his team increase their capacity
Manage incoming leads and clients
When a prospect or client is interested in AMB3R’s services, they fill out a Wufoo form on their website. This form comes in through an email. Jeremy’s team use Daylite’s Apple Mail Integration to create the client and project in Daylite right from the email so all the info is organized in one place. They also create follow-up tasks with reminders using Daylite’s Apple Mail Integration so they remember to touch base with the client.
After filling out this form, the client is automatically sent a survey where they answer questions about what they like and don’t like. The survey results are linked to the client and project in Daylite as a form so Jeremy’s Designer has all the info they need.
Streamlining projects and tasks
When Jeremy started using Daylite he saw how he and his team could create templates for their projects to eliminate manual entry and save time.
“Within a week of using Daylite, we were able to handle more business in less time.”Jeremy Picker, AMB3R Creative
Jeremy and his team use Daylite projects and pipelines so they have a template for each type of project and package for clients. They create a pipeline for each template that includes the necessary stages and steps within each stage so they don’t have to create a new checklist each time they start a new project.
For Jeremy’s team, it doesn’t matter whether it’s 5 shirts or 5,000 shirts for a client, they still have to follow the same process.
For example, a Full Package includes the following steps:
- Fashion Dev & Pricing
“Moving from using spreadsheets to using Daylite was a lifesaver! Now we just select the project pipeline template we want and the tasks auto-populate.”Jeremy Picker, AMB3R Creative
Since using Daylite to manage their clients, projects, and tasks, Jeremy and his team have been able to quadruple their project workload over the years while keeping their team small and lean.
“Daylite ramped up our capacity. It took us from being able to manage 50 projects to 250 projects with a similar staff size.”Jeremy Picker, AMB3R Creative
Daylite has helped Jeremy and his team to increase the number of clients and projects they manage, without having to hire more people.
“I don’t want to grow for the sake of growing. I want to stay lean and achieve more with the team I have. I want to stay a boutique and keep the team small in size but manage more clients and projects. Daylite helps us do that.”Jeremy Picker, AMB3R Creative
Jeremy and his team no longer have to think about what needs to happen next or worry about details slipping through the cracks because the template for the project is set in Daylite and all the details are shared with the team.
“Daylite is a second brain that helps us know what to do next. We don’t have to remember every detail or where we left off.”Jeremy Picker, AMB3R Creative
With everything organized in Daylite, Jeremy and his team have less stress and don’t have to mentally take their work home with them.
“The nice thing about Daylite is my team can go home at the end of the day without stressing about what to do next or remember every detail of a project. It’s all laid out in Daylite for them when they start the day.”Jeremy Picker, AMB3R Creative
Jeremy often gets new ideas for his business while he’s driving in the car. Using Daylite on his iPhone, Jeremy will create a new note or task so can capture the idea and come back to it later.
“Daylite helps me keep track of my thoughts and visions for the future. Whenever I get an idea I just jot it down in Daylite so I know it’s there and I won’t forget about it. I always say that my thoughts are butterflies and Daylite is my butterfly catcher. The iPhone app is great. While driving I can create new tasks so I won’t forget because I get a lot of ideas when I’m in the car and I don’t want to lose them.”Jeremy Picker, AMB3R Creative
Now that Jeremy’s team has streamlined their process and is working efficiently, Jeremy is freed up to focus more on making strategic connections with companies and partners on LinkedIn and promote his business through his podcasts, Fashion Fridays, and a new podcast he just launched, Ink & Thread.
“Having a team with defined processes in Daylite allows me to focus more on doing the things I love that will keep my business moving forward.”Jeremy Picker, AMB3R Creative