Q+A: A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life: Q+A with Jackie Ayres

In the latest installment of our Columbus Creatives: A Day in the Life series, we talk with Jackie Ayres, the creative mind behind Dyetology. 


Hi, I am Jackie Ayres the designer and founder of Dyetology. Dyetology is a line of unique, hand-dyed accessories and apparel using natural fibers. I live in Westerville with my husband, 12-year-old son, and 2 Boxers. We landed in Columbus in the late 1990’s when my husband got a job with the Columbus Police Department. I feel blessed to be living in such a wonderful city! It has a vibrant art scene, embraces and supports entrepreneurs, has many great colleges, amazing job opportunities. I could go on and on. I love being part of the community and giving back. In March of 2017, I started a mission program with our socks when I found out that socks are the most needed clothing item in homeless shelters.  I knew I could help since socks were already a part of the Dyetology line. We do a buy one, give one program with our socks. Last year we were able to donate over 500 pairs to Faith Mission and their sister organization, Choices. I hope to double that number this year. This has been one of the most rewarding things I have been able to to do with my business. (see pic of socks, see pic of me at Faith Mission dropping off, picture of my husband and son helping package up the socks, and a picture of myself and McKenzie Hopkins, the Manager of Volunteer Services at Faith Mission.  



After getting my son off to camp (in the summer ) or to the bus stop during the school year, I love to grab a cup of coffee at Java Central in Uptown Westerville. They have the best espresso and coffee around. Try a Cortado which is shots of their rich, carmel-ly espresso with steamed half and half….you won’t regret it. In addition to the coffee, I start my day by reading a page out of a daily devotional. I find this ritual keeps me grounded and reminded of what is really important, especially when things are super busy and I am juggling a lot.


Dye time. After catching up in the morning on emails, blog posts, anything on the “business” side of things I go downstairs to dye. My dye studio is downstairs in our basement so I don’t have far to go!  I dye most days of the week to keep up with orders and stock for the 15- 20 art shows/festivals I do a year. Each piece is individually dyed and unique in its own way- no two are identical! 
Since I work from home and it can be really easy to not get much activity in, I take the dogs out at lunch for “our” daily walk to get some movement in our day! 



 I’m trying to get better balancing work and my family time which means not working into the night. It’s hard when you are a business owner and work from home- it can be challenging to have boundaries between work/home life.  I try to get in a work out most days of the week in the evening. I find my evening workout is a good stopping point for work and the start of family/personal time. We have everything thing we need to work out at home with a gym set up in the basement and the garage. I love to workout in the garage and will do so most of the year until the heater in the garage just can’t keep up with the Ohio cold.


My husband and I don’t get out on a lot of dates, but when Pearl Jam is on tour, we follow them and do big dates! (see pic of us in front of Pearl Jam sign at Wrigley)  We are getting ready to go see them in August for 2 shows at Wrigley Field and we are taking our son this time to see Pearl Jam for his first time. Fun fact, my husband and I just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this week and we saw Pearl Jam for the first time as a couple back in 1992 and that’s something we have continued to do! 

Follow Dyetology

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

A Day in the Life: Q+A with Laura Roccaforte

In the latest installment of our Columbus Creatives: A Day in the Life series, we talk with Laura Roccaforte, a baker and cookie decorator extraordinaire of some of the coolest and most adorable cookies we've ever seen! 

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My name is Laura and I am the face behind Bakes by Lo, a cottage home bakery that specializes in custom decorated sugar cookies. I grew up in Cleveland in a small suburban city where my high school days consisted of multiple art classes and my home life included watching and helping Mom bake whenever we could. My love for both of these carried into college, where I took more art classes for fun and “procrastibaked”, AKA baked when I should have been studying. After graduating, I thought: Why not combine both of the things I love so much? Eventually, Bakes by Lo was born and I spent every minute outside of my day job baking up cookies for friends, family, and soon enough, actual customers.
Today, my husband and I reside in Hilliard, just blocks from our local Whit’s to satisfy our daily ice cream cravings. :) 



My best days start with a workout. My favorite: an early-morning run with the sunrise. It’s the best kind of meditation; it’s quiet, I can release my thoughts, breathe deep, and wake up with the world. It’s the best way to clear my head before the day really begins and it becomes filled with cookie ideas and to-dos.



I try to keep my workday as routinely as possible. Early in the week, my day consists of standing in front of my trusty blue Kitchenaid, Tiffany, while she mixes batches and batches of dough to be made. Later in the week, my day consists of decorating the baked cookies. I like to think of my cookie as my blank canvas, and my icing as my medium. The cookie that takes 30 seconds to eat may have taken 3 minutes to decorate. A lot of love goes into each one! 


Did I mention I love ice cream? Any chance we get, AKA almost every night, my husband and I are biking, walking, driving to support our local ice cream parlors. Whit’s, Handel’s, Graeter’s, you name it, we’ve enjoyed it. In the midst of this great city, Columbus also has great metro parks that I love exploring. It’s the perfect way to escape from the bustle of the day (and work off that ice cream). I’ve lived here for 7 years now and there is so much to see and I never get sick of seeing it!

Follow Bakes by Lo!

To see more of her amazing cookies, including some she made for us! 

Instagram || website

Meet Our Team Series: Co-Creator, Kristen Harris

In the latest installment of our Meet Our Team series, we talk with Kristen Harris, one of our Co-Creators. Kristen, a CCAD alum, enjoys listening to podcasts, knitting, and of course spending time with her two dogs. 


Hey there! I’m one of the founders of Portfolio Creative. Back in 2005 Catherine and I had this great idea to connect creative talent and companies who needed them and decided we were the people to do it. I’ve had a couple of different careers (so far) but always seem drawn to work that involves creativity and solving problems.

Where am I from? Here. I grew up just outside of Columbus; my family is originally from Van Wert in northwest Ohio. I came to CCAD for college and, despite big plans to move “somewhere exciting”, never left. I’ve watched Columbus become that “exciting” place to live. It has been really fun to see our city change over the years–I remember when people called it a “cowtown” but now we’re on every “cool city” list imaginable.


My mornings usually start with a dog snuggled in bed, unless he’s whining for food because my husband is not already up. We have two dogs; Rusty’s a lab mix and Holly is a greyhound. I’m sure that you can see Rusty is not underfed, but he must have food before anything else can happen. After that, I get going with a little breakfast. I’ve been into matcha lattes lately or, when I’m feeling really ambitious, a scrambled egg and some fruit. If I’m meeting someone for breakfast that’s another story–bring on the yummy omelet or a Bizmark donut from DK Diner.


At work, every day is different which is part of what I love about my job. On any given day I might be meeting with internal team members, helping a client or one of our talent, connecting with someone in the community, or working on a new idea to make Portfolio Creative even better. I’m all about constant improvement and believe there’s always something we can make better! In general, I focus on the internal operations of our business; I love a good spreadsheet and get oddly excited about processes.

I’m mostly a tea drinker but do like to have a cup of coffee in the afternoon. I’ve been adding coconut milk instead of cream lately–it’s so delicious! When I need a brain break I put in earbuds and take a quick walk around Grandview Yard while listening to a podcast. Favorites include How I Built This, Revisionist History, Beautiful Anonymous, Balanced Bites, Boss Files, So Here’s My Story...okay, I listen to a LOT of podcasts.



Unless I have the occasional work event, at the end of the day I head home to Clintonville and catch up with my hubby and aforementioned dogs. The dogs take us for a couple of walks every evening; they treat getting us outside like it’s their job. Beyond that, downtime is spent reading, crafty things like knitting, other creative projects, or conjuring up new ways to help our clients and talent. I seem to get the best ideas when I’m thinking about something else!

Meet Our Team Series: Co-Creator, Catherine Lang-Cline

In the latest installment of our Meet Our Team series, we talk with one of our Co-Creators, Catherine Lang-Cline. Catherine is one of our fearless leaders who enjoys karaoke sessions in the car with her daughter, traveling, and being involved in the Columbus community.


Hi, I’m Catherine Lang-Cline and I am President and Co-Creator of Portfolio Creative. My journey into this business starts with a fine arts degree from Northern Illinois University. Illinois was where I grew up and started my career as a graphic artist. The fates delivered me to Columbus, Ohio, where my first job here was as a freelancer with Bath & Body Works. This is where I eventually met Kristen Harris, my business partner. After a number of years of working with LBrands, and in my case, freelancing around town, we conjured up the idea to help the creative community find creative people easier and from people that understood the business. Currently, I live in Upper Arlington with my husband and daughter, mostly because I found a post-modern ranch that desperately needed me to save it.



I’d love to say that my mornings start out very leisurely, but it is typically a march of packing lunches, getting dressed, and getting hair done. My daughter and I have a lot of hair. Amp that up even more if I need to get to a board meeting or client meeting first thing in the morning. In the background at my house, you can either hear NPR or The Amazing World of Gumball, because my daughter is obsessed with Gumball. Car rides to camp or school can sometimes be impromptu karaoke sessions. Everything typically runs fairly smooth because I have it timed pretty well but if one thing upsets the schedule, we have a scramble on our hands. Weekends are much more leisurely, as I get to sleep in and then exercise my past-life experience of working at a pancake house to whip up something special.


My work day is all day because it is life, not life balance, you piece together all of it in any way that works. Some of that discipline comes from owning a business. Some of that comes from me loving what I do. Sometimes you leave work at 4 PM knowing that you will be back on the computer after homework is done and everyone is tucked in. I love keeping it flexible and attacking things when you are up for the task, it’s just more effective. I also love jamming as much as I can in my day then getting home exhausted. It feels like I have accomplished something.



My hobbies are working on boards. I know that sounds weird but that is where I spend a lot of my spare time and I love it. I love that Columbus has accepted this business so openly and with that, I want to give back in return. I serve on the board for the Greater Columbus Arts Council so evenings involve attending events that support artists in the community. I also serve as the Past-President of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Columbus Chapter, because mentoring and supporting peers is very important to me. Then I also serve on the board for the Columbus Chamber of Commerce because if you want to get things done, you have to know the right people. With that said, every single one of these groups are amazing to work with. They all feed my soul and hopefully, I can help the community in return.


Other hobbies include a range of things including raising an awesome daughter, painting, travel, and reading. I used to have a full-on motorcycle that I rode all over the country but stopped riding when texting and driving became popular, so traded that in for a Vespa, which is still fun, but at much slower speeds. I treasure experiences over things, so the more I do for the community, my family, and myself, the happier I am.

A Day in the Life: Q+A with Annie Doherty

In the latest installment of our Columbus Creatives: A Day in the Life series, we talk with Annie Doherty, who works in Marketing Production at Abercrombie & Fitch , going jeeping, and finding good Happy Hours in Columbus. 


Hey! I'm Annie Doherty - a print nerd and paper enthusiast by day, and modern calligrapher by night. I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio- graduated from OSU with an English degree, with a focus on creative writing. Somehow, I jumped into the print industry right out of college and have loved it since. I started in a print shop in Westerville, Ohio learning the ins and outs of printing. Since then, I have worked in Marketing Production at LBrands, Nationwide, and now currently Abercrombie & Fitch. When I'm not at work, I am either in my studio, out getting muddy in my jeep, or binge-watching Netflix. My husband and I eloped in October 2018 on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville, NC. We love to go on adventures and thought, why not get married on a mountaintop and surprise everyone?! We live in Grandview and can often be found at Knotty Pine since it's a short walk away. 


I am NOT a morning person until I've had my coffee. People laugh if I show them the number of alarms on my phone because it takes so much effort for me to get my day started! I'm usually running late but refuse to leave without making a giant cup of coffee. Breakfast is usually a quick yogurt or a handful of lucky charms. On the weekends, my husband will graciously bring me coffee in bed before he starts his day. (I know I am very lucky that he does this- but he also knows I may never get out of bed without it!) You can also usually find us brunchin' at Knotty Pine on the weekends (if we're not out camping or jeeping!). They have a killer $5 Bloody Mary bar and $2 mimosas! Can't beat that!



My afternoons are typical since I work in an office, but my team makes an effort to always take a lunch break. It's easy to get swept up in the craziness of retail marketing - but so important to make sure you're eating and letting yourself recharge for rest of the day. That said, my lunches are usually whatever I can throw together when I'm running late for work in the morning. I'm (unfortunately) gluten-free, so I can't always depend on buying food in the cafeteria at work. Plus, I'm super cheap! My most common lunches are gluten-free corn dogs or gluten-free waffles with peanut butter. I know, you're jealous. 


Afterwork, I try to get in a quick workout before dinner. I try hard to cook, but I also LOVE finding good happy hours in Columbus. I'm that person you text when you're looking for the best deal of the day. After food, I get to work in my studio. I was able to turn our third bedroom into an art studio where I do my hand lettering, artwork, and writing. I'm currently in the middle of my second 100 Day project which means I'm definitely spending time in the studio every night. Working in my studio is my biggest tool for fighting my depression and anxiety!

However, If I really have no desire to cook and can quickly get my side hustle work done, my typical evening deals week would look like this:
Monday - Woodlands Tavern for Monday Funday
Tuesday - tacos at Local Cantina
Wednesday - pizza happy hour at an undisclosed location (can't give away all my best secrets!!)
Thursday - $5 tank nachos at Ethyl & Tank
And still looking for a good Friday night deal! 

Follow Annie! 

Hand Lettering Instagram 

A Day in the Life: Q+A with Melissa Jackson

In the latest installment of our Columbus Creatives: A Day in the Life series, we talk with Melissa Jackson, designer by day and a teacher by night who enjoys spending time with her family and going to CSCA events! 


Hi ya! I am Melissa Jackson, I design at Root Insurance by day and teach at Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD) by night.

Originally from a small town near Cleveland, I moved to Columbus in the late 90's. After spending many years downtown in a fantastic loft, my husband Joel and I packed up and now live in a mid-century ranch in Upper Arlington. Our family grew to five with the addition of our kids Tilly (6), Duke (2) and pup Kiley.


My mornings always start with coffee and podcasts, usually Up First from NPR. Then I walk my daughter to school and head downtown to the Root office. Breakfast is usually on the go from my house, but worst case the office is always stocked with bagels! On my way into the office from the parking garage, I can be found on my phone playing Pokémon Go or Animal Crossing Pocket Camp. Then more coffee as soon as I get to my desk!


Afternoons at Root start with a catered lunch on the first floor of the office. Then it is time for our creative showdowns where we share our work with the entire creative team. We share feedback and then get back to work making kick-ass work. I will usually throw on a podcast like My Brother, My Brother and Me or Reply All.



My evenings are family time, we keep our kids busy with activities like Girl Scouts, crafts, gymnastics and playing dinos. If we go out to eat Northstar Cafe, Tai's Asian Bistro or Hound Dog's are top of the list.

Two evenings out of the week I teach a course to Ad/Graph students at CCAD. The class is all about networking, preparing portfolios and taking the students to industry related events. One of my favorite nights is when we go to the Columbus Society of Communication Arts (CSCA) events. As a past president and current board member, I love sharing CSCA with the students. I gain so much inspiration from my students, local events, and my design peers. I am ridiculously lucky!

Follow Melissa! 

Instagram | Behance | LinkedIn  


A Day in the Life: Q+A with Emma Deane

In the latest installment of our Columbus Creatives: A Day in the Life series, we talk with Emma Deane, a Copywriter at Abbott Nutrition.


My name is Emma Deane and I live in Grandview with my husband, Stephen, and our hound dog, Billie — who we rescued from Pets Without Parents in Clintonville. Stephen — who is Payroll Manager at Nationwide — and I are newly married and approaching our one-year anniversary on April 22, 2018. 

I grew up in Lisbon, Ohio and moved to Columbus in 2008 to attend The Ohio State University. I graduated from OSU in 2012 with a bachelor’s in Strategic Communication. I started my career with Nationwide and then moved on to OhioHealth and Cement Marketing before landing on my current role with Abbott in February 2016. A copywriter, I work on the Pedialyte brand writing for social media, website, digital ads and campaign ideation. Social media being my favorite. (We recently won a Silver in the Direct Marketing, 3D/Mixed – Single Unit category at last week’s Addys.) 

I visited Europe for the first time this past November. With my best friend, we hit Glasgow, Edinburgh, Paris, and London in 8 days. Edinburgh and Paris were my favorites!


My mornings consist of me smashing the snooze button — not really a morning person. My commute to work is fueled by whatever music I’m feeling at the time — currently Khalid, Post Malone, and Lorde, in preparation for her concert on March 31 — or podcasts (My Favorite Murder and Lore).



My afternoons change week to week but mainly consist of writing assignments or meetings. My office consists of community music, a “Stranger Things alphabet” wall and a windowsill full of plants. 


My evenings change week to week as well. I typically come home to cook dinner for my husband and I. Cooking is one of my biggest passions — I’ve been cooking since I was 12 and find it to be a great stress reliever and creative outlet. 

I generally grab drinks throughout the week with friends or coworkers. My favorite watering holes are St. James Tavern, Oddfellow’s and Meisters. I’m a big fan of local craft beer, namely CBC IPA, Land Grant Stiff Arm, Seventh Son Humulus Nimbus and Great Lakes Burning River.

In the summers I play sand volleyball at Woodlands Backyard one to two times a week. I’m a big sports fan, all Ohio teams: Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Indians, Ohio State Buckeyes and Columbus Crew. Other hobbies include reading or catching flicks at Grandview Theater. The best thing I’ve seen recently is Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

I’m not an official member of any local groups, etc., but I’m a big proponent for women’s rights locally and nationally. Empowering women and educating men in this regard is very important to me. 

Any other time is spent working on freelance projects. 

A Day in the Life: Q+A with Lindsey Billingsley


In the latest installment of our Columbus Creatives: A Day in the Life series, we talk with Lindsey Billingsley, a Senior Digital Designer at DSW. She loves staying active whether it's rock climbing, running or playing ultimate frisbee! 

Hello! I’m Lindsey Billingsley and I’m currently a Senior Digital Designer at DSW but have worked at various agencies in the past. I live in Grandview, but I’m hoping to buy a house in Clintonville in the next year or so.


I’m a big advocator for breakfast! I make sure to eat a solid breakfast every morning, usually including some homemade bread. On the weekends I love to venture to Knotty Pine for breakfast, but Big Mama’s breakfast burritos are my heart and soul. I can’t focus if I’m hungry so breakfast is a must. I’m the resident coffee hater in my office but I still love caffeine. Once I’m in the office I always crack open a Diet Coke before starting to sift through the unavoidable bulk of emails. Once I’m through those I always make a to-do list for the day (I love having a do-list). 



I generally try to pack my lunch but sometimes I’ll grab a Mediterranean chicken wrap from my office cafeteria. I like to pack lunches with lots of protein and healthy fats to keep me full longer. I usually hit my stride in the afternoon and can accomplish a lot right after lunch.  



Evenings are different every night for me. I’m involved in a lot of sports and every night I can be found either playing ultimate frisbee (my first love), soccer, running, rock climbing at Vertical Adventures or working out at OrangeTheory Fitness. I love spending my free time designing jersey’s for my teams and helping Columbus Ultimate Disc Association organize their leagues as their Social Media Coordinator. I usually have at least once freelance project going on and sometimes even paint pet portraits on the side. I try to make dinners too but I more often have dinner out with friends. I’m addicted to Bibibop, Big Mama’s Burritos, and Yats. Eventually, I crawl into bed to dream until I do it all over again!