One of the core values of 407 is collaboration and how two minds can be better than one. Inspired by that, we thought it would be fun to introduce you to other movers + shakers who are doing what they do best - together. We've asked our duos to each answer the same five questions. This way we can see their thought process individually and the overlap.
Today, we're pumped to introduce you to the first couple (in life + business) in your dynamic duo series: Cody + Lexi, of State of Mind Studio.
Cody and Lexi are two creatives who fell in love through their passion of photography and art. In 2014, they started State of Mind Studio because they knew they did not want to live the typical life of a creative college grad. Aka: Find a job at an agency. They wanted to have the freedom to leave and travel whenever they wanted and to pursue their passions and ideas. They felt trapped by the idea of working for someone else’s agency and making work for other people. I think this is one reason we've fallen in love with this duo - the story of how we got to where we are today are is strangely similar.
How do you collaborate together?
Lexi: We currently collaborate together by running our entire business! Both of us are skilled in each area, but we tend to focus on what we are best at. Cody is great with film, animation, and photography. I am great at social media, blogging, graphic design, and photography. All of the projects we work on together are never just a solo endeavor, one of us will either design/edit and the other will give constructive feedback and or help through stuck points.
Cody: I am a photographer and videographer and Lexi is a graphic designer. Currently we are working on a 100 animated icon challenge in which we design an icon and then animate its action. This helps us both learn and further develop our skills.
Why did you decide to become a duo versus doing what you do solo?
Lexi: We decided to become a duo because we are both creative and we definitely are a great TEAM. We especially love to bounce ideas off each other and get equally excited about some of the ideas we come up with. We are lovers, best friends, and business partners. This makes it easy to work together because we don't hold back. We are honest and give each other great constructive feedback.
The idea to work together first sparked once I (Lexi) decided to quit my graphic design job and start my own freelancing business. That soon turned into Cody helping out and giving me ideas/feedback about my projects. One day while on a hike in the Columbia gorge we thought, what if we started our OWN creative studio instead of working for someone else? We immediately started talking about a name, what it would be like, what we would stand for and making business plans. This ignited our creative flame and we have been working on our business for a little over a year now.
Cody: We each hold a different set of skills which pair nicely together. Typically whenever I don't know how to execute an idea, Lexi fills in whatever information I need. Especially for type. I find myself constantly needing her eye for type in my projects.
What’s one challenge you have you faced in collaborating?
Lexi: One challenge we face is that we are also in a relationship and working with your partner can be VERY rewarding, but also very challenging at times. We've been together for about 5 years and also have lived together for 3. Our business is in our apartment living room and sometimes its hard to separate work and life. With every relationship comes conflict and sometimes we can bring it with us to work if we are having a bad day. We are definitely more likely to argue about something in our business because we have a closer relationship than most business teams and are more honest about how we feel about things, but we also know how to resolve conflict and move on.
Cody: I'd say also us being together is challenging, but also rewarding.
What's surprised you the most about your collaboration?
Lexi: The one thing that surprised us most is how much our opposite personalities balance out in our work life. Cody is definitely more laid back, calm, and lives life in the moment. I on the other hand, am more of an analytical, worrying, planning type of person. So some days when I'm stressing about something Cody will come in and remind me that everything is OK, that there is nothing to worry about. Cody is more spontaneous and then I will come in and make sure to plan everything and make sure things go smoothly. It's a great balance!
Cody: I'm surprised at how much we have taught and learned from each other by working together.
Who’s your favorite dynamic duo? Fiction or nonfiction. Why?
Lexi: I think our favorite dynamic duo would have to be Allie & Adam Lehman from The Wonder Jam. I used to work for Allie when she was at Death To The Stock Photo and just fell in love with them! They are seriously so kick ass with their business and they are a great husband and wife team. We aspire to be as kick ass as them someday.
Cody: My favorite dynamic duo is Mario and Luigi. I have a love for classic video games and they are the best duo!
Thanks so much for sharing your duo story with us, Cody + Lexi!
To hear more from this duo - head over to their home on the internet, Nomad. A collective space dedicated to inspire and help brave entrepreneurs and creative travel their own path.
The two currently reside in rainy Portland, OR and enjoy wandering through any new place they can find. Their loves include road trips, camping, the great outdoors, fitness, attending concerts, and of course earth's living angels; DOGS. We hear a studio mascot is coming soon!
Go follow along with their adventures on Instagram. We're anxiously awaiting the arrival of puppy pictures filling our feed!