Currently in: Lifestyle

Generation Startup Screening

Big goals for 2018? Get inspired by a documentary screening about young entrepreneurs in Detroit: “Generation Startup”. Screening at 6 pm at the Freda Ahenakew Library.

“An exhilarating and uplifting look at entrepreneurship.”
— Arianna Huffington

Jill Ferron   |   January 22, 2018

Island Treasures

O hey there! It’s Friday, and you know what that means, right? Pants are optional tomorrow morning and more importantly it’s also time for another round of ISLAND Treasures! This week we present to you a mixed bag of goodies that range from design tools, to music history, all the way back around to product management resources! Fill up your fanciest coffee cup (Mine says I’m with stupid and points to the boss) and follow along!

Cody Schumacher   |   January 19, 2018

What’s up this week (Jan 15-21)

Alright, this is the first post about fun things we’re likely to be doing this week in Saskatoon. Whether it’s music, film, sport or social event, you’re likely to find one or more of us at these this week.

 

Monday 15

It’s the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour night! The 2017 edition of the Banff film festival tours the world to present its top contenders. If you’re into mountain sports and adventure you’ll love this. We’re looking forward to the 2.5 Million (22mins)  where American skier Aaron Rice sets out to ski 2.5 million vertical feet in the backcountry and Above the Sea (16 mins) where Chris Sharma goes deep-water soloing on the island of Mallorca.

Screening at 7 pm at TCU place.

 

Wednesday 17

“What’s Hot in Health & Technology”. Sold.

H.O.T is a social gathering by the Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce with four guest speakers from hospital foundations in Saskatoon, including Brynn Boback Lane from the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation (website created by Island 😉 ).

It’s at Rock Creek from 4:15-6pm. There’s a cash bar, attendance is free but please register as it’s limited to 50 people.

 

Thursday 18

Want to mix with local female entrepreneurs? There’ll be food, drinks, and good conversation, featuring Terri Sewell, Owner & Partner of SPARK Creations and Bookings. It’s from 5-7 at Village Guitar & Amp, no need to register.

 

Friday 19

It’s the night for sports, with this one dedicated to our developer Chase who is a pretty serious Lacrosse player. The Saskatchewan Rush face the Buffalo Bandits at the SaskTel Centre at 7:30 pm, tickets are still available!

 

That’s it! Let us know if there’s something we’re missing out on. Until next week!

Jill Ferron   |   January 15, 2018

Island Treasures

Welcome to another edition of Island treasures, we’ve been gone a little while but we promise we’ll be better at passing along these little gems more often in 2018. If you’re new to this, Island Treasures is a curated list of the coolest new things we’ve implemented into our day-to-day workflow or even just simple tools things that make life a little bit easier!

3Things

Being as it is a new year, the first thing we found is the world’s simplest tool for reminding yourself to get s*** done in 2018. 3Things conveniently lets you type the 3 most important things you want to be reminded to do this year…and best of all, they promise not to send you anything else! For example, on my 3Things list is:

  1. Learn to Swim. I figure your late 20’s is the sweet spot for learning this skill
  2. Eat Better. Currently I’m on week 2 of a pescatarian diet and haven’t had a beer in 3 weeks. PLEASE SEND HELP…I MISS 9 MILE AND CALIFORNIA RANCH RIBS.
  3. Try not to buy more dogs. I currently have 2 and apparently my wife doesn’t want to be married to the guy with one of those belt leashes..but I dunno I think Daniel Radcliffe would disagree.

Cody Schumacher   |   January 12, 2018

PechaKucha in #YXE

Hey, for all you creatives (and non-creatives), we invite you to check out this upcoming event in Saskatoon: PechaKucha Night Volume 1

Some of Saskatoon’s best creatives will be delivering short presentations consisting of 20 slides each shown for 20 seconds.

Andrew Scott   |   November 23, 2017

The Importance of Side Projects

Employee side projects have always been a bit of a contentious issue for business owners as the inherent worry is that employees will be drawn away from focusing on their regular tasks. This worry makes sense on the surface, but we (and many more before us) think this is the wrong way to approach it, especially while working in a creative field.

So why do we encourage side projects? To be honest they just serve as an outlet that so many creative people need to have, it gives them freedom to explore ideas that may be too “out there” for clients, and above all else it helps good employees realize you care about their life and interests, not just how they can make you more money. And even then, by allowing your employees to explore their own unique ideas we believe they can learn and leverage these new skills when working on in-house projects. This helps everyone, boosts office morale, and helps fight off burnout.

So now it’s time to see what encouraging employees to pursue side projects looks like in action, not just theory.

Meet Howard & Lloyd

Our designer, Cody Schumacher, has been working on a Made-in-Canada clothing company, and it’s launching at the end of the month. His idea is to deliver the best products he can, while keeping the company simple from the get-go:

  • design what he wants – no one providing direction
  • how he wants – no rules, remember it’s not putting food on the table
  • work with as many other creatives/artists – learn from peers
  • while working with manufacturers across Canada – Why not? No financial pressure to reduce costs by ordering from overseas

If you are interested in learning more about Howard and Lloyd, visit them online at howardandlloyd.ca. Also for you YXE folk, we are sponsoring the launch party, and it is set for September 28th & 29th at our favourite neighbourhood brewery 9 Mile. Check out his event on Facebook.

Launch Party

Andrew Scott   |   September 15, 2017

Our New Year’s Resolutions

1. Drop the bad habits

We all have them. When you’ve been building websites, or doing anything for a number of years, you’re bound to pick up some bad habits. The first step in dropping a bad habit is to identify it. That’s why we’re always doing code reviews, and reviewing each others work on a regular basis. We also have a formal review session every week, and after the launch of each website. These “retrospectives” focus around one question: what can we do better?

2. Shed some weight

Every website we build, we want to be as lightweight as possible. This keeps webpages loading fast so your users don’t get frustrated and move on to the next site. We accomplish this by minifying our code, and optimizing images based on your user’s screen size. In addition to this, we’ll continue to follow our “less is more” approach, keeping our designs light with white space, and organizing sitemaps in a simplified manner.

3. Learn something new

One of our core values is humility, which means we are never done learning. In 2017 we’re setting aside specific time for self-improvement. This means we’re taking online classes through websites like Skillshare and Treehouse. We’ll also be bringing back our knowledge sharing sessions called “Island Talks”. This is an opportunity for any of our staff to present to the team about anything related to websites, design, marketing, or anything else relevant to our work. Keep an eye out as we’ll post them to our website as they happen.

4. Sleep more

For the past couple of months we’ve been working with Sleepwell Consulting, providing them with a redesigned website and new branding. We’re fortunate enough to learn from every client we work with, and the value of quality sleep was a lesson I for one needed to learn. The tradeoff in productivity, quality, and efficiency during daytime hours far outweighs any work done after the fifth cup of coffee late at night.

Andrew Scott   |   January 4, 2017

Website Developer Needed

Island is looking for a website developer to join our team. The ideal candidate is a self-starter who cares more about blowing clients away than the bottom line. If you’re looking for a position with room for learning, growth, and the ability to contribute in all aspects of a business, then drop us a line.

Andrew Scott   |   November 22, 2016

Top 5 Horror Movies

When I’m not building websites, I like to relax by watching a good horror flick. So in the spirit of Hallowe’en I thought I’d share my list of top 5 horror movies.

Andrew Scott   |   October 31, 2016

Island Treasures Saskatoon Edition

islandtreasures-01

For this edition of Island Treasures, we thought we would share some of our favourite finds in Saskatoon. The good news is that we thought of a lot of ideas, so look forward to more editions featuring the amazing things Saskatoon has to offer, from food, to coffee, to business solutions!

Road Coffee: Mixtape Espresso

mixtape

Alisha Esmail started Road Coffee and the company’s mission is to “become an influential innovator in coffee culture, known for our focus on relationships and inspiring people to pursue their dreams”.

A few of the Island crew have bumped into Alisha from time to time at Drift Cafe and really love what she’s doing, and of course the beans Road is making. Although we haven’t made our way through the whole product line yet, our personal favourite thus far has been the Mixtape espresso. Click here to pickup a bag for yourself!

UNA Pizzeria: The Broadway

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A couple of nights ago Andrew decided that for his birthday he wanted to head to UNA for a pizza. In the past he’s seen “The Broadway” on the menu and been intrigued, yet ended up opting for a safer bet. This was not the case this time around and he decided that he would wonder no more what the mystical Broadway would taste like. Very stoically Andrew described his experience as “Maple Syrup on a Pizza…..It works.” Click here to checkout UNA’s menu, and next time you’re wondering where to eat, just take our word for it and go to UNA.

Ideas Inc: Launchpad

ideas

We’ve been tenants of Ideas inc for a little while now and have enjoyed our time here in Riversdale immensely. Recently with SREDA they put together a new program called the Launch Pad that provides super affordable workspace for startups. The spaces start at $99/month and give you everything from a mailbox, to coaching, to boardroom access. Also being here you have the luxury of being attached to the Farmers Market! Click here to learn more about the Launch Pad.

Tune in next time for more Saskatoon treasures!

Kate Rawlyk   |   September 29, 2016