Friday Fun! Get to Know Steve the Bear

Meet Steve – Schipul’s Resident Polar Bear

If you’ve perused the Schipul staff page, you may have noticed some nonhuman Schipulites in the mix. One of those such team members is Steve the Polar Bear.

Get to Know Steve!

Schipul’s unofficial mascot is the Polar Bear. And when former Operations Manager April Kyle (now April Nassi!)  was looking for a visual reminder to set on someone’s desk when it is their turn to take kitchen duty – she followed suit and purchased a stuffed polar bear and named him Steve.

He has been a part of the Schipul tribe ever since.

Steve’s Many Outfits

In true Schipul fashion, we want to make sure Steve is taken care of in his time here with us. It is my duty (and privilege) to keep up with Steve & maintain his growing wardrobe, which over the years has grown to include outfits for summer, Christmas, business meetings, and of course Halloween.

Steve’s Wardrobe!
Steve Ready for a Round of Golf
Geek Chic Steve

Steve’s Newest Outfit

Steve’s newest outfit is a special one. Schipul is about to celebrate our fifteenth anniversary as a company! And what is more fitting for a fifteenth birthday than a  quinceanera? Appropriately, Steve’s latest frock is a mariachi outfit complete with sombrero and maraca!


Read more about Steve (and all of the Schipulites!) at!!

Friday Fun: Schipulite Superstitions for Friday the 13th!

Happy Friday the 13th!

Today is Friday the 13th – known as an unlucky day  – but we’re not scared! In honor of today as Friday the 13th, we’ve collected some superstitions from some of the Schipulites. They range from holding your breath while driving by a cemetery to how to choose (and not choose) a potential mate!

Did you know? Fear of Friday the 13th is called  friggatriskaidekaphobia

We asked the Schipulites: Do You Believe in Superstitions?

Check out our video interviewing the Schipulites on their superstitions.

Schipulite Superstitions for Friday the 13th! from Schipul – The Web Marketing Co. on Vimeo.

Happy Friday the 13th! We hope it’s not too scary!

Friday Fun: Eye Candy, Ahoy! Six Beautiful & Current Trends in Web Design

Here at Schipul we kinda sorta REALLY ❤ website design. And as a designer, I love spending hours scoping the internet in search of beautiful sites that push the envelope in terms of skill and creativity. I’ve come up with a list of six of my favorite popular web design trends (for designers and non-designers alike!) to catch a glimpse of what’s out there on the web and maybe give   some ideas for anyone thinking about updating their own website!


#1. Scrolly-Scroll

Scrolly-Scroll is what I like to refer to for sites that seem to go infinitely horizontally or vertically with content built onto just one page. The navigation of the site will not direct you to another page but will take you somewhere else on the homepage. This technique is definitely not for everyone (especially for folks that have a lot of content on their page) but for people with minimal content and a need to stand out from the crowd, Scrolly-Scroll is a fun site option for navigation.


#2. Illustration Skillz

Site Illustration is a growing trend with site design and can be done in a variety of ways – vector graphics, simple hand illustration, collage,   water color effects. The possibilities with illustration are endless but it’s also important to note that some website illustrations can get too overwhelming and distract from the content. Strong and memorable sites are able to find a happy balance with their illustrative graphics and the content of their website.


#3. Texture Love

Texture is something many designers are beginning to frequently use to add more depth to their layout. Whether texture is   just the background or to various elements of the website like buttons, a logo, the navigation, etc., adding texture to a website can make the site feel more personable, tangible, and welcoming.


#4. GINORMOUS Images

For a minimalist effect some site designers go for large images on a page with small navigation that sometimes almost seems secondary. Sites that use large graphics and backgrounds are visually eye catching but may not be the best for navigation and sites with large amounts of content to share. Some sites with large graphics and backgrounds like to add a dynaminc element which changes out the picture periodically, giving the viewer more eye candy.


#5. Type Treatment

Some site designers like to completely shift their focus away from graphics like large images or illustration and focus solely on typography to make their design stand out. This sites give prominence to type by making large words and numbers the sole feature of the layout. Adding texture and using specialty fonts (aka NOT papyrus or comic sans) help draw the viewers eye to the beautiful lettering.


#6. Color Minimalism

Some websites have a minimum color scheme to achieve a certain aesthetic. This simplicity can be nice while others may view the layout as dull and not “pop” out as much as colorful websites. Color minimalism is definitely a personal preference, just like all the other trends I mentioned earlier, and should be used only if it matches the content of your site.


Feel like I forgot to mention a web trend you love? Drop a note in the comments and let us know which trends you’re really loving right now!

Friday Fun: Get Up,Get Moving!

When did the word “athlete” become a label? Or maybe its just always been and we had not taken a moment to notice.

What does it take to be considered an athlete? Running in a marathon?  Competing in the Olympics?    Winning a medal?

Maybe its none of the above. Maybe it is all.

In my opinion, anyone who gets out, is active AND especially has passion, can be  considered  an athlete.

People exercise for various reasons: weight loss, healthier lifestyle, feeling/looking better..
Whatever the reason, those people have a passion to be able to  succeed  in something they have set their mind too.

And guess what?!? Yes, some people  exercise just  for fun!

I recently started getting into workout regimes such as Insanity and P90x. These are the programs that everyone sees on infomercials and usually thinks “HAHAHA, yeah right, NO way!” And Guilty as Charged, I was one of those people.

Which brings me to my next and last point: The 2011 Metro Dash

A 30 element obstacle course that tests physical and mental limits.

Never have I ever ran a marathon, much less a  triathlon…and much less even thought about doing the MS150 (props to the fearless  Rodney)  so this will be something new, challenging, and fun!

Trying something new is scary, thoughts of failing can be even more daunting but in the end, accomplishment really is a warm, fuzzy feeling. You never know what you can do until you try. Don’t knock it ’till you try it!


Friday fun post: Pearls of Wisdom

Photograph by Brian Potter


Quotes Build Culture

Part of the culture here at Schipul is to “Learn and share knowledge”, and one of our favorite ways to do that is sending a “Quote of the day” out to our entire office. In fact, we love quotes so much that we have an entire page dedicated to quotes. Sending out and make quotes a part of your company culture can lead to some quotes of your very own! Here are a few “Schipulisms” you may hear when you come to visit us:

“New guys don’t have names.”

Servant leadership is a key consideration when we hire at Schipul. In Ed Schipul’s article “What are People Paid for?” he talks about how doing small tasks relates to how someone will handle a large task. With that in mind, we affectionately refer to a new hire as “New Guy” as they learn the ropes and take on servant leadership style tasks.

Quoting around the office can also help instill core values. Here are some more Schipulisms that do just that:

“Security is #1”

“Trust, but verify.”

“Ease of use changes behavior.”

(As a side note, we never miss the opprotunity for a good “That’s What She Said” around the office 😉 )

Quotes can Inspire, Motivate, and Deepen your Understanding of the World Around you.

He has achieved success
who has lived well,
laughed often, and loved much;
who has enjoyed the trust of pure women,
the respect of intelligent men
and the love of little children;
who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;
who has left the world better than he found it
whether by an improved poppy,
a perfect poem, or a rescued soul;
who has never lacked appreciation of Earth’s beauty
or failed to express it;
who has always looked for the best in others
and given them the best he had;
whose life was an inspiration;
whose memory a benediction.

Bessie Anderson Stanley, 1904

That inspires me. It encourages me to stop for a second and really think about what I am reading. How do I measure my success? Are my priorities in the right order to accomplish some of the beautiful truths laid out in this quote? I can confidently say that if I had not read that today, I may have not thought about these things.

How to Write a Good “Quote of the Day” Email

So, now that you’ve gotten inspired and are ready to craft an email that will inspire everyone around you, let’s take a look at some handy tips from our very own Ed Schipul about how to compose a great quote of the day email:

  1. It should be positive.
  2. It should be a concise encapsulation of a concept that helps people.
  3. It should be able to stand alone without further explanation or editorial.
  4. It should do good.
  5. It should be simple in words, although frequently quite complex in thought.
  6. It should be in the default font if possible to keep it consistent and emphasize the words, not formatting.
  7. It can come from *anyone* within the company. Or even a friend outside.
  8. Feel free to copy external people if you think it will be a positive thing for all.
  9. It should be FUN and make you feel good sending it out.

Things to avoid, although this is hard, but try to avoid.

  1. If you have to say “I am sending this quote out because….” or “xyz situation made me want to send this out….” then it is NOT a quote of the day. Those are emails with related quotes in them really, right?
  2. Snarky and mean spirited humor is frequently quite funny, but it is NOT quote of the day material. Those are joke emails, not QoDs. OK?
  3. Delete your footer. Anything that creates visual clutter is bad. So remove ALL text of the email except the quote, the author and perhaps link the author name to the source of the quote.

Here is an example:


Subject: Quote of the Day – Resourcefulness

“The defining factor is never resources, it is resourcefulness.” – Tony Robbins



Note the subject consistently starts with exactly “Quote of the Day” so people can create inbox rules to save or file them.
Note there are two spaces above and two spaces below the quote. This makes it stand out visually both when you open the email and on Outlook preview.


Finally, check out this presentation by Enjoy Work to get you started with some awesome quotes:


Guru. How to end misery at work!

View more presentations from

Want more quotes? Check out our Schipul quote page!

Friday Fun: Red Bull Illume Exhibit is a Great Date!

The Red Bull Illume Exhibit made its U.S. debut in Houston. The exhibit runs now through Jan. 17
Photo by Tristan Afre at Red Bull Illume Houston. Check out more photos by Tristan on flickr!

Grab a date and head to the Red Bull Illume exhibit at Discovery Green (Schipul client) this weekend.

I’ve been ranting and raving about it like a crazy woman since the event  made its U.S. debut in Houston last Friday. And I’ve been twice since – and I’m planning a third trip this evening. It’s that good.

Red Bull Illume is a worldwide action and adventure sports photography competition.  More than 22,000 images were submitted to the contest of which 50 finalists were chosen by a panel of 53 photo experts.  The photos from those finalists are the Red Bull Illume exhibit.

Where – Discovery Green Park in Downtown Houston

When – 6-10pm each night through Jan. 17

Price – Free – absolutely Free. You’re welcome.

The Scene – 50 photos aligned in neat rows on 4-ft tall illuminated displays; a DJ and free Red Bull with beautiful Discovery Green as a back drop. Priceless.

How to do it right –

  • Make it a date ! The cold weather gives you  are reason to get close. The photos give you something to talk about. The music makes great filler for potential awkward silences.
  • Grab a free copy of the program. It’s pretty and features a print of each  photo, the photographer and the story of how they got the shot.  (For my photography nerds – the technical details for each photo are included as well (Camera, Lens, ISO, F-stop and Shutter Speed) – I’d faint if the histogram was included.)
  • Dress warm with cozy shoes – it’s chilly this weekend in Houston and the exhibit is on the lawn.

The Annual Schipul Christmas Sweater Attractiveness Contest


Congratulations to our winners for best sweater and best caption!

Sweater Contest Winner: David Stagg “The Elf Playboy”

Caption Winners: Chilly- 1st Place | Nicole – Runner-Up

2011 Christmas Sweater Contest Winners

We here at Schipul don’t believe that Christmas sweaters are tacky. In fact, we’re of the opinion they’re just as trendy as Hammer pants, neon-on-neon, and JNCOs.

In honor of our attractiveness (and, really, our complete inability to be impartial in choosing the most attractive outfit), we’re putting it up for you all to vote on. Help us decide our winner! Peruse the candidates and vote at the bottom. Leave a comment with a caption of your fave Schipul sweater for a chance to win a $15 Starbucks gift card!

David Stagg – The Elf Playboy

Dstagg as "Snowball the Elf"

David Stagg pranced in here with quite the vest this season, sporting multiple active Santas in a variety of sleepwear. Under the vest is quite the cozy cream sweater embossed with iron-on presents trimmed in fabric paint, and a large forest green Christmas tree made of ribbons, rubies and red bows. And to top off what is soon to be every girl’s fantasy, a hat with cut-out felt elf ears, a single jingle bell and lovely hand-stitched embroidery that reads, ‘Jingle This.” – assume what you must.

Aaron Long – Bad Santa

Aaron Long as Bad Santa

Aaron Long has taken a more traditional approach this December with the ever so popular cherry red coat and Santa hat. As you may have guessed, the suit is carefully lined with soft, white fabric leaving many to believe his presence is that of an angel. Bringing a more modern feel to the garment, he has added a silver zipper from the chest to the neckline which only solidifies the fact that everyone loves a good zipper. While he has foregone the beard this season, we believe that his golden salt and pepper locks have made up for his lack of facial hair.

Courtney Pemberton – Grandma Coco

CP as Grandma Coco

Courtney Pemberton has channeled her inner grandma this Christmas and opted for the classic red cardigan with two sequined, embroidered snow globes. Each snow globe has been carefully sewn to tell a story about a jolly man named Santa embracing his best friend Rudolph…who of course, can stand upright due to his sweet dancing skills. Adding a bit more pizazz to the garment are 20 fabric-glued snowflakes accompanied with individual brooches that include a dog holding a bone, an assumingly drunk Santa Claus, 2 bears playing footsy and a cat tangled in Christmas lights. To bring the outfit together, a Grinch T-shirt resides under the cardigan and of course, the beloved Trapper hat has been placed upon the head for final effect.

Ben Gillin – Creepy Christmas Neighbor

Ben Gillen as Creepy Christmas Neighbor

Ben Gillin in channeling his inner redneck this year wearing a somewhat smoked, cherry red, house robe. You can’t miss this flamboyantly styled A-line hem with Santa Claus, candy canes and gum drops galore lining the inner fabric. The hood reflects an Avant-garde mood and is a perfect addition for fetching the newspaper in the rain. If conservative is more your style, this outfit offers flexibility with a built-in belt to keep everyone guessing at all times.

Derek Key – Wise Ol’ Candy Cane

Derek Key as Wise Ol' Candy Cane

Derek Key is relating to young and old alike this season with his hand woven sweater vest accompanied with an abnormally small pocket detail. The sweater comes just above the belt line proving that this garment can be purchased at 10 and worn till you’re at least 35. Iconic images of sailboats, stockings and Christmas cheer add just enough spunk and that abnormally small pocket – well, it’s perfect for holding pennies.

After you vote – leave a comment with a funny caption of the Schipul sweater of your choice. The Schipulites will pick their favorite on Tuesday, December 28th and send off a $15 Starbucks gift card!