In late 2018, we partnered with the Ohio Farmers Market Network to kick off a three-year project to help drive more shoppers to local farmers markets. Out of that project, Grow Eat Ohio was born, along with a soon-to-come farmers market trail guide. Over time, it became clear that the core organization really needed a website to centralize their farmer-focussed mission, while Grow Eat Ohio focused on consumers. OhioFarmersMarketNetwork.org needed a home (and a logo, and copy and, and, and…)

This meant getting a full branding and website-creation process going within an already established relationship. That’s rare for us! Usually branding and websites are contract-based with very clear beginnings and ends that run through an established pipeline. With this, however, we had a chance to flex our team’s muscles in a unique way. The result was an uber-collaborative process that, in a miraculous turn of events, entirely eliminated our co-founder + lead designer, Allie Lehman, from needing to do anything.

I cannot stress how significant and telling that little anecdote is. As Allie and Adam have discussed many times on the podcast, early phases of The Wonder Jam revolved completely around Allie and her talents. Even just a couple years ago, Allie was still running the website show from beginning to end. I was building the sites, but she was still project managing even when she had no creative tasks to do. She’s always been great at this part of the job, but it was wildly inefficient.

Nowadays, we have Dayna on top-level project management. I’ve stepped up to be more involved earlier, then I completely take over the process once the site is under construction.  But Allie is still usually cc’d on everything, even after she’s finished the branding and site design.

With OFMN, however, the alternative process created tasks that other people kept just getting done. It started with one of our summer teammates (or “paid intern,” if you want to be crude about it) Abby Zimmerman. Abby designed this whole vibe that powered the rest of the process:

I wanted to give a nod to farming and agriculture but also modernize it in a new way that would set OFMN apart. I loved the way the logo and graphic elements ended up looking like an arial view of a field with their sharp lines, geometric shapes, and monochromatic color palette. — Abby Zimmerman

Meanwhile, Adam and Dayna were involved in weekly meetings strategizing the new site’s goals and content. I popped in and out of these meetings just to make sure it was grounded in the site’s structure and possibilities.

It’s been really fun to be a part of the process from the very beginning and be able to see this project blossom. I also enjoyed getting to see more of our team involved than usual! — Dayna, TWJ Project Manager

Caitlin swooped in to help write and edit all the words.  

Once the copywriting begins it’s essential I get my pieces and parts moving as quickly as possible, so we can be efficient with design and development (otherwise, I quickly become deemed the “bottleneck” of the project—a label I’d prefer to avoid). Having clients who are responsive is key. This project was all about organization and timeliness—without the OFMN team, this wouldn’t have been possible. — Caitlin, TWJ Copywriter

Then it all came together when Erika took Abby’s branding images and Caitlin’s words and put together full mockups of all the website pages. The design process was super smooth because we already were thinking about website structure for weeks.

Designing is always easier when I’m given all the right pieces. I’m suddenly armed with an arsenal that will not only make a well designed website, but one that is backed by my teammates who specialize in each area. I just take all these elements and arrange them visually. — Erika, TWJ Designer

Erika and I went over the internal pages before the client approved (Allie was technically there, but I swear she contributed next to nothing), and then I was off to the races, building it out in WordPress. We hit a really unique flow as a team, and the results speak for themselves.

Being able to deliver all of that without needing Allie to be involved is, for our plucky small business that was at one time essentially Allie, Inc., a big milestone. We are so proud of our team (except for Allie, who clearly hasn’t been pulling her weight….)!