Every morning as I walk my children to school I take a peek at the wonderful window display at One Girl Cookies. I love everything about this bakery down to the aqua hued walls, patterned wallpaper, cut crystal globe lights and vintage details which are all perfectly suited to my Brooklyn neighborhood. Blown up vintage family photos and a hand painted family tree adorn the walls of this carefully-curated shop.
As a designer, it is so wonderful to see so much care put into the overall look of the bakery down to the sepia-toned letterpress business cards. And let’s not forget the cookies, cupcakes and their signature whoopie pies-simply divine. What makes this bakery the most inviting are the owners, Dawn Casale and Dave Crofton. From the moment, they opened their bakery down the block from my house their warm smiles have made One Girl Cookies a neighborhood favorite.
You may ask where I am going with this story (my husband asks that a lot) but I will get to my point in a moment. One day, as I passed by the shop I noticed their Thanksgiving pie display and in particular a whimsical sign sitting beside the pies. I had never seen signage like this at the store so I decided to inquire who had done it. It turns out it was the handy work of Felix van Dam & Winneke de Groot, two graphic designers from Holland, living in Brooklyn for a while.
What was even more interesting to me was that they were designing for barter. On their website, they say, “We like the idea of trading. We want to design in exchange for food and goods. We can provide people with design, and people can provide us with their expertise.”
Dawn explained that Winneke & Felix actually emailed her about a window she had up prior to the Thanksgiving window. It was one that featured their social media hashtags. They explained their concept and what they were doing and asked if they could take that window one step further. Since she was getting ready to install the Thanksgiving pie window, she asked if they would be up for that instead. They enthusiastically agreed. She then sent them some general information about their pies, the ordering process, as well as a few details regarding what other elements would be in the window. She left the rest up to them.
A few days later they delivered the sign. Dawn loved that it added some pops of color and had a true handmade quality that was reminiscent of her sweets. In particular, she thought the font choice was fun and particularly eye catching. For the barter portion of the deal, they ended up with a bunch of sweets and coffee drinks when they visited. Unfortunately, they were not in town long enough to give them a spot in one of their classes.
Next time you are struggling for a creative spark (or some work) why not think about a trade. If I can get some One Girl Cookies for my designs I certainly would take that deal.