2021 Here we go again! Feels like Ground Hog day… | White River Design
We won't lie, the lockdown took a toll on us.

Here we go  again!  Feels like  Ground Hog day…

We weren’t sure we would find any content for the year 2021 as we didn’t post much on social media relating to activity. We won’t lie, the lockdown took a toll on us. Debbie shares her experience…

“Working from home is not good for me. Home and work all blended into one and it’s even harder to turn off and also to turn on. I hear from others how they love it and it makes me wonder what I’m doing wrong.

When diagnosed with burnout in 2019 it was suggested I turn my home office into an art studio so that I had a positive place to escape to and create. I changed it up, moved furniture around, packed up the work stuff and replaced it with paints, brushes, canvases – all the goodies found in a studio. And it worked! I couldn’t bring myself to change it back to an office. It felt like I was moving backwards. I tried working in there with all of my art around me and it just made me feel sad.”

However, going back through social media pages, it looks like we did more than we realised.

The year starts well!

We hit the ground running in 2021 with strategy sessions setting up new brands and rebrands. We thought that the challenges of Covid19 were behind us and we were revelling in being able to be face to face with clients again. Luckily for us we were well set up for remote services, so although we may not have had as many face to face clients in 2021, we did increase our interstate clients which was exciting. Check out our portfolio.



Lights on Penrith

We designed the branding for Lights On Penrith – the first ever Penrith Growth Summit initiated by Penrith Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Penrith is a thriving City Centre supporting and servicing one of Australia’s fastest growing regions – the Western Parkland City. The Chamber managed to run this fabulous event before our next round of lockdowns happened.

2021 lockdown penrith council

Life lessons

2021 was Debbie’s 5th year running the Think Outside the Square Blanket Challenge which we run out of The Creative Fringe – our coworking space. What we’ve learnt from this challenge:

  • most people want to help others
  • there are incredibly talented people out there
  • it may be a Penrith based challenge but people from all across Australia have participated which shows that kindness has no borders
  • Debbie needs to have a monthly massage to keep her sewing arm from getting too sore ?

We set our goal as 250 blankets yet we landed up donating 290!

Brand Magic launches!

Timing is everything, which we got VERY wrong! We went into lockdown on 26 June which we thought would only be for 2 weeks. Unfortunately it lasted 3 months and our Brand Magic launch of the Brand Personalities Licence on 1 July, crashed and burned. It didn’t die right from the start but rather slowly fizzled out due to Covid. But watch this space as we will be back!

2021 lockdown brand magic
2021 lockdown

Zoom became the norm

Whether it was online strategy sessions or business conferences, its clear that if you had shares in Zoom, you would have done very well. Debbie joined Business BluePrint as a participant and not only a mentor, where she accessed 4 days of online training every quarter. Phenomenal speakers, energy and learnings. This was the best way to pass lockdown.


Unsolicited advice #17

Burnout is real. It is a state of complete mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion and is caused by prolonged levels of chronic stress and pressure resulting in overwhelm, brain fog, exhaustion, loss of motivation, cynicism, a sense of failure or self-doubt – just to name a few. The challenge is to identify that you are experiencing burnout before it becomes disabling. Because once you are caught in the downward spiral of the whirlpool, it is very hard to see the wood from the trees. Reach out to family and friends for help and of course, talk to your doctor. Don’t ignore the signs.


Success Cards

What a wonderful surprise for DebbieO to be included in the Success Cards deck of 101 prompts to plan, manage and grow your business. Check out Success Card #25 and you will see Debbie quoted on the topic of Brand Style Guide and Brand archetypes. Debbie worked with American John Uke, on his brand for GameTree. John has always been interested in personality archetypes and profiling, so this seemed like a good fit.

Grab your very own box from Amazon and don’t forget to uncover your Brand Personality first!

2021 lockdown brand archetypes
wrd lockdown

Calm the f*ck down

Calming stones left as an act of kindness on Debbie’s desk by our amazing Community Manager Barb. Now some may say that it’s a kind way of saying “you’ve been too stressed and need to pull your head in”, but we know this is as absolute and complete act of kindness and support.
PS: I’m going to calm the f*ck down and stress less now ?

Carl Jung in a bottle

Debbie is a brand strategist obsessed with Brand Personalities and the 12 archetypes defined by Carl Jung. She has also been alcohol free since 27 September 2019. So when her mixed box of alcohol free wine from Sans Drinks arrived, imagine her excitement to see this Carl Jung Shiraz. Oh the things that keep you amused during Covid lockdown.

carl jung brand archetypes
The Creative Fringe Workshops

Back to ‘normal’

Pottery is such a nostalgic medium for Debbie as her mum used to be a potter when she was a kid. Her sister Kathy and herself, used to go into their mum’s studio and while she threw pots on her wheel, Kath and Debbie used to do far less skilled (but no less fun) pinch pots and figurines. So when The Creative Fringe was able to run creative workshops again, it was very special to do a pottery class with her daughter Jade. And the cycle continues.

The Potting Shed

After a very challenging year, Team WRD enjoyed a fabulous Christmas dinner at the fabulous Grounds of Alexandria. This was Debbie’s opportunity to thank Clare and Barb for their support and loyalty for yet another year. After a wonderful dinner at The Potting Shed we wondered through The Grounds and marvelled at their Beauty and the Beast installation.

Written by our Creative Director & Branding Specialist Debbie O'Connor - Consultant, Strategist, Keynote Speaker

Published: Feb 15th, 2023