One of the perks of my job is technically not so much a perk as a feature. I do a lot of research. I love research-if this were previously unclear-and it’s probably my favorite aspect of any kind of writing and narrative building I do. I also enjoy leveraging unconventional sources for research whenever possible whether for academia or business.
One such unconventional source that has been particularly helpful as of late: my friends. Why cite a faceless stranger on a given topic, when you can go directly to someone you know is an expert in that field? Through a live discussion with a friend you may even find answers you didn’t even know you were seeking. Friends are the best consultants.
How thrilled I was, then, to recently come across two independent opportunities that demanded the expertise of two of my friends. In each case there was no question as to who or what could better serve the needs of the project. Plus, given a choice between giving credit to someone I know and someone…else I’ll go with the former.
The first: Halloween was on its way and I needed a themed cocktail recipe for an infographic. Sure, I could have come up with something based on my past experience bartending, but I knew I could come up with something better with the help of my former bartending and cocktail collaborator, Kj. I called her up and over the phone we developed a sparkling concoction with blood oranges, perfect for Halloween.
Within a few days of calling Kj, I found myself developing a piece on the different ways an overworked employee could manage stress. Shortly prior to this, my friend Jonathan launched a new Reiki studio, Ruach Reiki, in Ballard, WA, just north of downtown Seattle. What was a succinct way of describing Reiki that was accurate and relatable to interested parties? With one call to Jonathan, a key bit of research was secured.
A few weeks later, I had the privilege of playing consultant to Kj who approached me about helping out with a series of cocktails themed to the chapters of her friend Erin Blakemore’s book, The Heroine’s Bookshelf, which just celebrated its one year publishing anniversary. After a series of emails, shared Google docs, and a Skype call, Kj published The Heroine’s Barshelf, a menu of 12 cocktails, each inspired by female literary figures and their unique stories. The book comes out in paperback on November 15th.
At this point, it’s really only a matter of time before Kj and I open a bar. In the meantime, if you need custom cocktail recipes, consult us.
Bonus Tip: Kj and Jonathan are also my go-to experts on Yankee Candle. Most desirable scent-combinations, most appropriate scents for every time of year, best practices on burning, in-store exchanges, accessories and more. Check out Kj’s “What Yankee Candle Means to Me” series, now in its 12th installment here.