The Fresh Exchange Blog

This space began from an honest place of desiring to create and have a space to explore all that it means to be a creative entrepreneur. In late 2009, Mike and I (hey I am Megan by the way) were in a place where Mike was working an agency job he wasn’t in love with, and I was beginning my dream of being a freelance graphic designer. Neither of us felt creatively fulfilled by what we were doing and we felt we needed a space to use as our creative playground. We felt we needed a space where we could catalog what inspired us, the struggles of growing as a creative, and a place to share our travels. On a cold day in November 2009, I penned our first post to The Fresh Exchange. Since that first post we have said this place would remain a space of passion, honesty, and inspiration. To this day it still remains that. Here at The Fresh Exchange, you can see deeper inside our journey as a husband and wife who are creative entrepreneurs living, traveling, and pursuing the art of crafting a life that is fulfilling and that gives back to the creative community we love.

As we have grown this space over the years, much has happened in our journey. In 2013, our career paths came together and we took on the challenge beginning a business aa husband and wife. As designers, tastemakers, photographers, and creative directors we combined our skills and passions to build, Wild Measure, our brand building studio that is focused on creating meaningful brands looking to tell an authentic story. We felt called to share our vision and skills with brands we loved and people we believed in. Today you can find us adventurously creating with companies like Over, Mcclure’s Pickles, White Whale Bold Mixers, and other lifestyle brands looking to make a difference in the everyday life of their customer.

Together, Mike and I are striving to make this space a place where our readers feel inspired to chase their dreams, live a beautiful and fulfilling life, and find honesty in a world where sometimes we forget to allow it in. Being a creative entrepreneur is extremely rewarding but it is a journey. We feel The Fresh Exchange is our space to share our journey with the world. For us this space is our wild measure. We hope you enjoy!

Megan Gilger
Mike Gilger

FAQS

We receive a lot of questions in emails about so many things from how we create our content, business advice, how we run our business, how we got started and so on. Because of that we wanted to share some answers to the most Frequently asked questions so we can get you at least some answers and to minimize some of our inbox intake. If you don’t see an answer to your questions, we would love to hear from you! Ask away we do love to answer :)

ABOUT THE BLOG:

How do you create your imagery for your blog?
I create everything for the blog in Photoshop and Illustrator. As a designer these programs are used daily and almost more comfortable than anything else I use on a day to day basis. In fact it is common for me to dream and solve design solutions in their programs…kind of a second language to Mike and I both. Everything I create is just out of how I feel at the moment and expressing that through type and images. Mike takes 90% of the photos you see on the blog. From time to time I will use images that I have taken with my iphone while we travel, hike and explore to avoid lugging around a larger camera with us. Then when we return home who ever is putting together the post will be in charge of the graphics. We predominately use all hand drawn type. The process varies from drawing them digitally in illustrator to drawing on paper and scanning what we draw. All of this either done in Illustrator and Photoshop. The process changes almost daily as it all depends on what we feel like within the moment. For all the photos Mike will edit them in Lightroomwith the VSCO filters.

What is your camera setup?
For all of the images on The Fresh Exchange Mike uses either a Canon 5D Mark II or Canon 5D Mark III. All lenses are from Canon as well. Personally we like the 50 mm, and 35 mm. We also use our iPhones a ton! For more info on what Mike suggests check out his post on the Camera Essentials for Bloggers and Creatives.

Where do you get your fonts?
As I explained about 90% of the fonts I use are actually my own handwriting that I create. Creating my own type came out of frustration with font searching and what I knew I wanted in my head so I decided to just begin creating type myself. It is actually quicker and I am usually happier with it than if I spent money and hours searching. If you do see a font that is not done by me most likely you can find it on typography.com these are my favorite fonts hands down. Worth the money. See the above answer about how we create our content on how I create my own type.

Can I purchase your handlettering anywhere?
No I have thought about this and though I have many many inquiries about price I feel it is something that is very much who I am and do not currently plan to sell the fonts publicly. Currently you can find some of my hand lettering that you can use within the iPhone app, Over. There you can find a pack of my graphics so check it out! I do work on commission though. Feel free to email me for prices if you feel my lettering will fit your design or branding.

Are some of your posts sponsored?
Yes, we do use affiliate links and partner with brands to create content. When possible we do indicate which posts have been sponsored, but no matter what our opinions are 100% our own. We work hard not to bombard you with side bar ads and to choose brands that naturally fit within our lifestyle without being forced. We say no more than we ever say yes, because we value the content we place here every day and we value each of you. That being said, a blog does have costs as it grows. In order to maintain this space and provide inspiration to you every day we have had to find a way to keep the doors open and lights on. If you ever feel that you find a sponsorship out of alignment we would love to hear from you about why and what felt off to you. We create here not to make money, but to offer something to the creative community, to collaborate, to have an awesome time, to share our knowledge as business owners, and more than anything to inspire you to dream bigger, create more, and explore the world.

How is your blog built?
Our blog runs on the WordPress platform and is a custom designed site that is tailored to our needs and what you each love. We privately host our blog on a dedicated server currently, but are preparing to relocate it. If you are looking for a custom designed site I would be more than willing to recommend some great designers to you to get in touch with just shoot us an email.

ABOUT US:

Where do you live?
Mike and I used to live in Traverse City, MI with our 2 dogs, Nellie (golden retriever) and Tucker (cavalier king charles spaniel). Recently we relocated to Raleigh, NC not because we needed out of Traverse City, but in order to grow our business we needed to be more centrally located. We currently are planning to make North Carolina home base but will still spend large periods of time in the Northern Michigan area. We wrote a post about why we decided to move here.

Do you have a city guide for Traverse City?
We just began working on this, but you kind find info here. If you want very specific recs feel free to get in touch and I will send you my giant list!

Have you always lived in Northern Michigan?
No I was born here but then moved away and actually lived in Kentucky for a while and in Southern Michigan. I moved back after college. Mike is from Houston, Texas originally and I pulled him north after we met in College in Kentucky. We have spent long periods of time outside the country as well.

What are you doing when you are not blogging?
Mike and I own a brand building studio called Wild Measure. We work with the risk takers of the world. We love meeting brand new companies and existing companies that are ready to take a leap in to a different and emerging market and help set them up as the next big thing. We currently still have our website under construction because of the influx of work. The blog is the best way to keep up with what we are creating. We hope to launch a full site in Summer 2014.

I still have questions, can I email you?
Yes, we really try hard to respond to every email, but many times our clients take priority over personal notes. We love every email and read each one and though it may take us a month we will do our best to get to your email as soon as possible. Know that our delay by no means we do not care or have not read it. We love hearing from each of you.

Speaking

We have had the privilege of teaching and speaking to many amazing creators, builders and makers. For more information please contact us.

  • Alt Design Summit / 2013
  • Alt Design Summit / 2014
  • Circles Conference / 2013
  • DesignerVaca / 2013
  • Brand Market / 2014