Backstory on LA.

So remember that trip to LA back in February? Well, it finally happened and the campaign is live! And? The client?
I've been a fan of Square for a long time. I actually remember being introduced to Square at one of the Lunch and Learns hosted by Custom XM, at this particular luncheon, Hot Dog Mike was talking about how he got his start, how he used social media to push his business and how he used Square to take charges while being mobile. While listening to him talk, I went to squareup.com and signed up for a scanner to plug into my phone. 
I used that for the first year of my business, then switched to using my iPad. Last July, I saw that Square was giving away five of their new Square Stands to business owners who entered the contest using the hashtag #WeStandFor. I uploaded a photo of Lauren playing with some of our sugar cookies and then forgot. 

Until I got a phone call from Square saying that we had won! During our talk, it was posed that Square often uses actual businesses/business owners in their advertisements and would I be interested in potentially being featured in the future. I said sure, thinking that they would share my Facebook page on their Facebook page or something like that. Maybe retweet me on Twitter.
I never dreamed that I would get an email saying that they wanted to fly me to LA and have my photo taken by Jill Greenberg along with 11 other business owners from all over the country.

Here is my photo.

They asked me for a quote to put with my photo and (as I was previously a writer, ha) I gave them multiple options to choose from. This photo is currently on their homepage, squareup.com just scroll down to see myself and two other business owners. (Seriously, the jewelry chick was so cool.)

The shoot itself was a pretty amazing experience. They told us it was a closed set so we weren't allowed to leak any photos on twitter, FB or anything like that, hence this post comes four months after the fact.
I've been on set before, but I was always behind the camera, not in front of it. And everything I was involved in was a bit smaller scale. Seriously, this place was huge. We were at Milk studio in LA, we were shooting stills for Square, Sean Penn was across the hallway (not sure what he was up to, I just know that as soon as I went all paparazzi on him he went back into his studio. Ahem.) and they were also shooting Bulgari in another. Someone told us that for every million dollars in product they had on set, they had to have an armed guard. While I was there, I saw three. Whether or not that's true, I don't know, but holy crap. I kind of wanted to just sit in that lobby and watch everything.

Where we were shooting was huge. No, HUGE. This was the view from the green room upstairs. The space continued to the right where hair/make up was set up, as well as wardrobe. To the left was out to the lobby. 

 Here's a closer shot of of the set up, one of the other business owners was getting her photo taken. There were so many cool people from all over the country. I honestly can't believe they picked me for something like this. Seriously, everyone was SO cool. They all had unique looks, awesome personalities and very cool businesses. I was all 'I sell cupcakes.' (OK FINE, I KNOW I DO MORE, BUT STILL!)

Here I am in makeup. It was still early in the day so I was still in the OMG, I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M IN LA BEING PAMPERED phase. Hair was clipped up with a tissue to keep it from falling.

Then it was finally my turn in front of the camera. They messed with my hair. A lot.
I think the funniest part for me was when the photographer got upset that my eyelashes were too full. YES. I have never been accused of having lush eyelashes. 
Jill (photograher): What's up with her eyelashes? 
Make up girl: Um, what do you mean?
Jill: Why are they so dark? It's distracting.
Make up: Um, I don't know. That's just how they are?
Me: I'm not naturally a red head, so that might have something to do with it.
Jill: Go take off the mascara.
*go back to make up and remove it*
Jill: They're still really dark. 
Make up girl: *helpless* I don't know!!! We took it all off.
Jill: Even the bottom lashes?
Her: She just has a lot of lashes!

Which, of course is funny to me because once at Clinique I asked if there was anything else I should get and the lady said my lashes were thin so I should get some lash building primer. 


I'm not usually good in front of a camera. I'm like Chandler, I don't know what to do with my face. I did not really think about all of this when I agreed to do the shoot. Thankfully it worked out. But don't get me started on how I'm smiling funny so only half of my teeth are showing. 

Overall it was an amazing experience and one that I'm truly thankful that I got to do. I love that it's for a really cool company. One that not only helps me in my day to day, but also one that I was already so passionate about. Seriously, I can talk your ear off about Square. The fees are low, there's no commitment and they just keep adding extra perks that make it easier to run my business. Did you know that in addition to the swiping, they offer a free register app that is highly customizable (including personal photos for items) as well as a built in loyalty app so I can reward my customers when/how I see fit? They've also rolled out a new Square capital program where small businesses can borrow money and then pay it back as you take charges. That's amazing. The newest thing I've seen is that they have a way to talk to customers about their experience privately and prevent negative reviews from making their way online. One of the newest features has been a lifesaver. We currently use Comcast which has very spotty service and it will frequently go out and we have to swipe and reswipe until it comes back online, the customer has to wait for us to reboot the system. Now Square works Offline an will finish the charge once service is restored so the customer doesn't have to wait. Thank you!

**Outside of the quote that is attached to my photo, all of this is just stuff that I wanted to share. Square doesn't know about this post (but I'm sure they will find it).