I’ll be honest, there are days when I’m not feeling very creative. Some days I’m bored at work. I make the same sandwiches, the same cookies, the same soups all the time. Sometimes I just need to switch things up and try something new. What do I do when I’m not feeling very creative or inspired?
Sometimes I just need a change of scenery. I go somewhere new. It’s usually a café across the border that I’ve never been to before. I bring a notebook and just sit with a coffee and dessert and write down whatever ideas pop in my head. A lot of times it’s just an ingredient that I haven’t used in a while, and that sparks a new recipe that I’m excited about serving at the cafes.
Another thing I like to do is walk around Chapters and look at the cookbooks. There are so many creative people that have done so many cool things with food; it’s inspiring for me to look at pictures, read stories and get ideas.
I also like to listen to podcasts. Sometimes coffee podcasts, sometimes business podcasts – they give me a fresh perspective and help me to look at things differently.
Lastly, I love to travel. It’s not something I get to do as often as I would like, but I’m fortunate that I get the opportunity to travel more these last couple years. Prior to opening the cafes, Kyle and I travelled a lot. We took a lot of little weekend getaways to get ideas for the café design, menu and atmosphere we wanted to create one day. We explored different cities and drank as much coffee as possible before getting sick (that actually happened a few times!).
I think it’s important to constantly be learning and growing. The next time you’re eating out with friends, try a restaurant you’ve never been to before. Read a book you would normally never be interested in. If you find yourself buying the same ingredients every time you go to the grocery store, it’s time to branch out, friend. Buy a vegetable you’ve never cooked before. Try adding some new spices to that bland steamed broccoli you cook every Tuesday for dinner.
Life is short and it’s meant to be enjoyed. Do something that inspires you.
Today, I used my day off to visit Will Leather Goods in Detroit. Originated in Eugene, Oregon they now have eight locations all over the country. The Detroit store is aesthetically beautiful and the smell of leather is so warm and welcoming. I immediately picked out at least four leather purses that I want to buy, but I resisted the urge... for now.
They have a small coffee bar near the back of the room. They get their roasted beans from Tailor Coffee Roasters in Eugene, OR. It's a great place to sit with a book, chat with a friend, or get work done.
Here's a quote I took from their website... I think it best embodies the vibe there...
"Each Will Leather Goods retail space provides a unique experience in its own way. Will (the founder of the company) said it best, “When people walk into our stores we want to inspire them to think, dream and feel good about themselves.” For us, inspiration starts at with a recently finished coffee mug. That’s why you’ll find an espresso machine in the majority of our stores. We want people to come in and feel comfortable, like they are shopping in their living room."
So, if you're looking for a little inspiration, maybe a change of scenery, or even a new leather purse; I recommend Will Leather Goods.