Lessons from Swiss-Miss

Swiss Miss

Lydia Damon and Astrid Chow with Swiss Miss Tina Roth Eisenberg at SXSW 2013.

I remember the first time that I read the swiss-miss blog (Tina Roth Eisenberg?s wildly successful design blog) the year that I graduated design school. I had scored an amazing internship at a letterpress custom print shop in Pittsburgh run by an amazingly talented proprietress. We discovered the swiss-miss blog in our pursuit of like-minded designers obsessed with type, clean graphic design and witty copy. We were immediately hooked and have been ever since.

Fast-forward seven years to SXSW 2013, where Eisenberg took the opportunity to lead the full auditorium (more people than the total population of her childhood village of Speicher, Switzerland) in a wave that she recorded and planned to send back home to her parents who still live in Speicher. Having grown her ?side-project? blog into several very successful projects (Creative Mornings, the TeuxDeux App and most recently Tattly) Eisenberg presented her ?Eleven Rules I Live By? which included such gems as ?Invest your life in what you love,? ?Don?t complain, make things better,? ?If an opportunity scares you, take it!? and ?Be someone?s eccentric aunt.? Those familiar with Eisenberg?s swiss-miss brand were delighted with her familiar infectious enthusiasm in her presentation. Eisenberg?s stunning visual presentation, which included several well-executed animated GIF?s, allowed the audience to feel as if they had been transported to her innovative Studiomates collaborative space back in DUMBO Brooklyn.

One of the best stories she told was based on her lesson ?Don?t complain, make things better.? Her daughter had come home from a birthday party and asked her to apply a temporary tattoo to her arm that she had received in her goodie bag. Eisenberg was horrified by how ugly the temporary tattoo was and faced her self-proclaimed choice: ?If I find myself complaining: do something about it, or let it go.? In the case of the temporary tattoos, Eisenberg took her frustration and created something new ? Tattly temporary tattoos. Working with several talented illustrators and graphic designers she saw the opportunity to create temporary tattoos for children and adults that utilized witty hand-drawn messages and sweet silly images that are full of delight.

After Eisenberg?s talk, we were able to meet her and thank her for her continuing amazing contributions to the design community and to female designers. I told her that we had a small group of talented female designers who had been sent to SXSW and asked her if she had any advice for, to which she simply said, ?Just keep at it.?