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Recap: Obtain Mini Conference

Many moons ago I had this idea that we should start an event for entrepreneurs. Finally in 2018 it HAPPENED!

The concept of the event is to provide networking opportunities and resourceful information that any entrepreneur could use at value to start or grow their own business.

So I began asking my friends that were each really good at a specific thing within there own businesses, if they’d talk about these skillsets in a group of 5-10 growing entrepreneurs. One by one they said, yes! With each yes I asked “What advice do you hope entrepreneurs obtain by coming to this event?”

Here’s your recap!

 


Event Logo & Branding

I knew initially that I wanted the word to be an action verb (as all conferences are typically) and I wanted it to still look similar to the branding of my company that was sponsoring the event. I started with “O” words that circle gaining new knowledge and then it hit me! Obtain, a lot like Octane. I ran the idea past my PR specialist, Samantha Johnson of SamanhattanPR. She liked the idea but couldn’t see the word used as a logo. I love bold typography and decided to go vertical with the word instead of the typical horizontal. The flame inside the block lettering of the O seemed to streamline the connection of Octane and Obtain so that it stands on its own.

It worked out so well on all the other branding across social media and the conference badges. I loved creating the DIY photo backdrop and with each answered “Entrepreneur Wisdom” response I was able to brand the speakers quotes not only across social media, but into a unique poster piece as well.

  .  . 

Venue

I had thought about amazing places to host it but when it all came to it, I knew that my fave place Pivot Brewing was truly the sweet spot to start small. Pivot was PERFECT due to the multi-functioning of the facility but also because I could offer them a unique experience of trying craft ciders. I’m a HUGE cider fan and Pivot is the only cider brewery in Kentucky!

There modern mesh of industrial chic decor makes me feel right at home and I knew once the evening crept in that the Edison bulbs in the community room would just “sing” in the space.

I love working with Bevin and ALL the staff at Pivot! Truly humbling people to ensure your event goes without a single hitch! What was super awesome was the bottled baby’s breath centerpieces we got to incorporate on our welcome / registration table and on the food table & barrels for decor.

 

 

Food & Decor

In the beginning I thought to go the catered route but I realized closer to the event it was way cheaper to use simple appetizers for guests that came early or on time.

After consulting with Shalon Thomas of Passionate Event Designs, I came up some simple solutions that I felt worked best and paired well with the free ciders each guest received with entry:

  • Shrimp Cocktails
  • Mini Assorted Cheesecakes
  • Italian Meats & Cheese Tray and
  • Chocolate Dipped Pretzels (made by Passionate Event Designs)

Shalon glammed out the appetizer table and I loved all the positive vibe details in the floral arrangements, she did a fantastic job making the space glamorous and inviting!

    

 

Speakers

The event speakers were not only dear friends but honestly they all responded after how humbling this experience was to give back in a way that helped others be successful. In the famous words of our Keynote Speaker, Chris Hudson of Life’s Journey Clothing, everybody “planted seeds” that night.

I’m so grateful to each of them for their time and talent:

Instagram Marketing for Growth: led by Michelle Franzetti of Franzetti Photography with Samantha Johnson of Samanhattanpr

 

Balancing it All: Nakia Coffman of Warner Bros. Entertainment & The Mixx Magazine

Entrepreneur Stories: Joi Starks & Angel Brown of Dee’z Bowties

 

Keynote Speaker: Chris Hudson of Life’s Journey Clothing

Entrepreneur Panelists: Tiffany Williams of Quality Tax Services, & Albert Shumake, aka DJ Always of Domestic Thuggin LLC

 .

 

This event taught me a lot but it was so rewarding seeing those that came leave such positive remarks across social media. I definitely want to host another one next year with some funding for business pitches!


Event Photography: https://franzettiphotography.client-gallery.com/gallery/obtain-2018 

VENDORS

T-shirts: Steven Coffman, SCprinting
Event Design: Shalon Thomas, Passionate Event Designs
Venue: Pivot Brewing
Event Photography: Franzetti Photography
Event Branding, Graphics & Social Media: Octane Design Studios & SamanhattanPR
Event Printing: Office Depot (Woodhill Drive Location)

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Starving Artist Birthday Party

What’s a 12 year old to do when she’s crazy talented and enjoys swinging a paint brush or two? If you’re anything like this birthday mom, this starving artist themed birthday should completely inspire you!

You may remember Nakia from our Fabulous Bell House Bridal Shower, married and mother of elementary age and college daughters, she’s infused all her own event planning into amazing personal showcases celebrating the milestones of her children.

I’m feeling a tear! Return customers for the win! Let’s review.

 

The Details

We loved that Nakia chose this theme based on her daughter Jasmin’s own whimsical creativity. After already doing research and discovery processes, she had nailed down a venue, strong concept and color palette for the event.

In working collaboratively we created an event logo that she could brand throughout the party including a custom birthday smock for each guest.

 

 

 

The Venue

Pinot’s Palette was a great mutual location for this creative gathering! Located right next to Fayette Mall, the classes were simple and gave all the girls their own space to truly venture from the original design and do their own art. It felt so clean, professional and the staff was so friendly.

 

  

 

The Table

What could we not say about this simple, fun and creative table display?! I mean, WOW. From the fun primary colors to the creative idea of the party favors. Nakia wasn’t holding back on the birthday fun for her daughter!

Our “starving artist” and “creative juices” tags were just the right touch of cute to help guide the eye along to all the other amazing things displayed on the table.

 

 

The Food

The concept that the food was the art was an understatement.  The talk of the event was cute cake pops on paintbrushes and the amazing colorful fondant cake. These event branded watercolor cookies were amazing!

  

 

Party Favors

There were not one but two party favors to this event. Guests not only got to paint with their new custom smock but they also received a goodie paint bucket filled with skittles, a creative paintbrush pen, inspirational watercolor notebooks and a custom mini painted canvas.

 

 

 

#HAPPYBIRTHDAYJASMIIN
#STARVINGARTISTBIRTHDAY


The Vendors:

Venue: Pinot’s Palette

Branding, Signage & Paperie: Octane Design Studios

Cake Pops: ACAcakes

Cookies: Maddie’s Cookie Co.

Cake: Confused Confections

Favors: Mom (Nakia)

Event Photography: Octane Design Studios

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Octane Welcomes Event Designer Shalon Thomas

I’m thrilled to finally share what I’ve been sitting on for what seems like forever. After months of praying, waiting with this team of independently amazing women business owners, I’m blessed to announce our newest addition, event designer Shalon Thomas to the Octane tribe!

Shalon comes with years of experience as an event designer building everything from floral walls to grand reception halls and intimate gala decor. I think what I love most about Shalon is that she’s so easy to talk to and versatile in style. She can go all out or keep it reeled in while staying within budget and within the desired look.

Be sure to follow Shalon across Instagram and Facebook and continue to follow Octane’s blog as we feature more works from each business.

 

Q&A With Shalon Thomas

Q: What inspired you to get started in event design?

A: I have always been a creative person. I believe my background in early childhood education played an important part in the beginning stages of being a creative. I found myself being very inventive and taking on DIY projects. When my children were young I would have parties that was full of DIY decor that actually turned out pretty well. I started to receive many compliments on my work, I also enjoyed the production of the actual event. From there I started creating and crafting small social gathers for family and friends.

 

Q: What’s your typical event day look like?

A: Depending on what type of event we are design and styling, an event day could be anywhere from 4 – 8 hrs long which includes set up and break down. The morning usually starts with event set up, event rental arrivals, following the production timeline, assign tasks and lastly returning to the event for the break down.

 

Q: Do you have a preferred clientele or are you open to working with anyone?

A: I do prefer to work with clients who do not enjoy decorating or just simply do not have the time nor desire to come up with themes and concepts for their event. When clients come to me for design services it helps if they have ideas but are unsure how to pull all the pieces together. We also specialize in creative direction… meaning if you have no ideas and don’t have a clue where to start we help you map out unique personalized themes from the very beginning. We love blank canvases, those are usually the events that wow our clients the most.

 

Q: What do you enjoy doing when not event designing?

A: I enjoy family time when I am not event designing. I have a husband Eugene, 2 boys Jay and Eugene and a dog named Eva! There is never a dull moment in the house. My children keep me current on the latest dance moves, they both are great dancers! We also love to watch horror movies together while making homemade smores in the microwave LOL.

 

Q: What’s your favorite food?

A: I love flatbread pizza!

 

Q: What’s your favorite Movie?

A: The Nutty Professor

 

Q: What’s one of you most memorable events you’ve done? (Or two, or three…)

A: The Kate Spade inspired bridal shower has been the most memorable event so far.  When I first had the idea I wasn’t really sure how everything was going to turn out. The colors were bright pink, black and white stripes with gold accents. I didn’t want to get to carried away with the design elements. I was going for a clean and simple yet bold statement. On the event day, the production team totally rocked the vision. When you entered into the room you felt like you were at a New York Kate Spade show room. No detail went unnoticed. The metallic gold favor boxes matched the gold chargers from the place setting. The perfume of fresh pink roses filled the room leaving the guest with a long lasting impression.

 

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Celebrating MLK Day

Octane had the pleasure of providing design and coordination of the 24th annual Unity Breakfast in Lexington Kentucky. This event is hosted and produced by client, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. We enjoyed every minute of the event from the elegant staging, to the polished programming, to the distinguished speakers at the end. In our second year coordinating with the Alphas all the hard work paid off in a big way!

The Details

While the event in its entirety encompasses Unity each year the client chooses a fitting theme. This years theme was Unity: Peace Through Non-Violence. In conducting a improvised ‘kneel in support’ photoshoot with various diverse citizens from Lexington, we were able to capture our finalized concept art.

Concept art. Facebook Cover.

The Printed Items

Each year the organization gives a commemorative bookmark with each printed program. This years quote was selected by Octane of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s 1963 letter from Birmingham, Alabama.

Talk about teamwork! The night before the event at rehearsal, members of the Alpha Phi Alpha and supporting staff placed each program, bookmark and table placards across the 175 tables.

2018 Event Program
2018 Commemorative Bookmarks

Social Media

This year we added some additional social media imagery prior to the event to highlight each speaker and create more awareness of the various topics of each speaker: Education, Spirituality, Civil Rights, & Humanitarianism.

On the day of event, a team of 4 covered live footage of speeches, performances and event atmosphere in real time, giving each online viewer the opportunity to interact in the live event as it was happening.

AV & Videography

This year the stage colors and uplighting created a glowing juxtaposition effect that looked extremely high end. A team of 4 in coordination with the staff of the Lexington Convention Center made this event look flawless from transitions on the screen projectors to DVD duplication of the event.

 

AV and Stage setup.

 

#MLKDay #UnityBreakfast #ShareTheLex


Vendors:

Venue: Lexington Convention Center

Programs, Tickets & Bookmarks: Octane Design Studios

Catering: Hyatt Regency 

Social Media & PR: SamanhattanPR 

Audio Visuals / Videography: Unsunghero Media + Audio Visual Techniques

Event Photography: Octane Design Studios

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Hello 2018

I’ve officially completed the first week of 2018 and I’ve been doing quite a bit of purging, clean slating and then reconfiguring. I’ve noticed that right toward the end of the year the piles of trash and paper scraps have flooded my office floor. My desk is loaded with business cards and the occasional scattered brochures. It’s THAT time of year!

A New Year means new beginnings right? Out with the old and in with the new? I’ve been inspired by some amazing people in 2017 as I continue to “build up” in the New Year.

To help motivate myself I’ve candidly captured some wisdom from some of my fave creatives / business owners / colleagues to inspire/advise you to make 2018, your year! If you don’t know these powerful ladies, get to know them. Better yet, follow there success. I’m still learning from them.

Here’s to littering the floors more, breathing fully (metaphorically and literally because the flu is no joke this time of year) and laughing a lot louder in 2018.

 

Amanda Edwards
Baker & Owner, Adeline’s Cake Artistry, @akacakes

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” -Lao Tzu

 

Michelle Franzetti
Photographer & Owner, Franzetti Photography, @m_franzetti

“Business Wisdom: find people who are smarter than you and figure out a way to work with them. Barter, trade, save up. Do whatever you have to in order to ensure you are working with people who are better than you. It’s the only way you will have the space you need to get better too!”

 

Tiffany Brannon Foreman
Speaker & Business Owner, Limitless Leaders

“Be humble in all that you do as your business will eventually reflect your inner true self. Do things for the right reasons.”

 

Machon Fogle
Stylist, Educator & Platform Artist, Hairapy by Machon, @choni_c_f

“Keep your blinders on, worry about you, your business, and being successful. Passing on some wisdom does not dull your shine at all.”

 

Samantha Johnson
PR Speciality & Owner, SamanhattanPR, @SamanhattanPR

“My Advice for 2018 is …no matter who you are, odds are you unintentionally think to prepare for the worst more times than not, but in 2018 try to ask yourself, “what’s the best that could happen?”

Ephesians 3: 20-21 in the Message: “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us”

Do the work. You literally have to stop overthinking and journaling and positive meme posting and just do the first thing. A lot of our answers come out in the movement, not in the brainstorm during a netflix binge. Write the next 20 lines or pages, contact the adoption center, take your health seriously, schedule therapy, record that podcast, audition for that film, go viral… do something toward your goals/happiness to force yourself to take the next step.

Get out of your own way and be great daily!”

 

Jacqueline Rowan
Owner & Blogger, Jrow Photography & Designs, @jrow_everything

“Starting a business can be an amazing fulfilling adventure but it will take time and patience to build the business of your dream. Don’t get discouraged if in the beginning things are slow or not going your way. Don’t quit! Keep going and remember that the world wasn’t made in a night… nor a successful business.”

 

Jessie Laine Powell
Jazz Artist, Singer/ Songwriter, JLP Music

“Don’t harbor unforgiveness. You immediately imprison your own heart. Forgive and set yourself free. This is true liberation.”

 

Tashari Berry
Financial Advisor, World Traveler & Owner, Tashari Financial Group LLC

“Successful entrepreneurs (online or brick and mortar): What’s your no.1 fear for you and your business?

Is it:
a) Revenue: How to increase profits while decreasing overhead expenses
b) Balance:  How to balance your business and personal life before you lose your cool.
c) Retirement: You don’t have a plan in place. All you ave is the business as your retirement plan. “

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LIT: The Miracle of Christmas

True Story: While reading a bible passage of the Christmas story to my kids before bed, an idea came to me. I was literally telling my kids that each time I reflect on the birth of Jesus and how it ALL came to be, I notice more subtle details that make this story more special than before. 

In our current message series at Crossroads Church called “Rediscovering the Wonder” the realization really hit me how awkward and random all these little events came to be to create the MOMENT we treasure each year. 
 
I sat there on the edge of my sons bed and just looked puzzled as they continued to ask me questions about the story. Finally when they realized I wasn’t responding, my middle son spoke up and asked “Where did you go?” And I stared at him for a second. 
 
Where did I go? I was replaying this random string of events in my head. How a young tweening adult was impregnated by God and living with all the fatal drama… how three old guys followed a star technically for years before getting to Bethlehem, wandering like groupies from city to city in hopes of meeting a king…. and how the lowliest class of people on earth were notified FIRST of this spectacle before anyone else. 
 
I mean, this is an impossible story. But in all of it, its proving God is possible. His works are real.
 
And I kept going. To the inn keepers that turned away Mary and Joseph not knowing what miracle and spectacle lay before them. In our modern day lives, am I the old inn keeper thats turning away the son of God? Am I missing the Moment?
 
Slowly my brain unravels this big idea: the miracle wasn’t the babe being born, he was coming with or without everyone else… the miracle is us listening and seeking something bigger and being present to witness something greater than our individual accomplishments. The miracle is listening to God’s desire for us, fulfilling the promise to Abraham from the near beginning of man. Immanuel; God with us. 
 
All these little scattered supposedly insignificant pieces brought together by a creator who knew it would all play out to those that are welcome to receiving Him. 
 
Am I receiving Him? Am I still seeking?
 
“Umm, MOM? Where’d you go?”
 
“Whoops, sorry. I literally just noticed something cool that I didn’t before.”
 
— 
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We gather in November, Pt. 2

Tada! Part 2….

If you’re like, part whaa? Then read this first. For the rest of you lovely bunches of Oats, today’s #TablescapeThursday was simply put, FUN! Getting further away from the traditional green red and orange look & used only two colors –keepin’ it cozy.  In my Ernest voice, know what I mean?

All month-long I’ll be showcasing tablescapes of various styles I love. Be inspired & purchase custom paper items on #OctaneOnEtsy! Lookout for extra pics & comments in my Instagram stories!

Interested in having Octane design your holiday party or event? Chat with us at info@lexoctane.com.

 

So this is where I decided to get fancy with the camera. I love pumpkins… but I also love to reuse. You better believe these were from Halloween… its got my little ones doodles all over them. Love the array of families memories spread all across the table!

 

What is it with natural wood?! I Iove the texture and color and works really well with the candles I put in my faux lanterns. It always flows well with natural foilage. And I loved that the table is bare… I like being able to use the table as a means to talk to others I don’t always get to talk to. Having tall crazy pieces kind of ruins that possibility. It’s a Ga-ther-ing, remember?

 

Let’s talk about these menus. My kids crack at me for still using “turkey day” instead of Thanksgiving Day. Growing up the only time I had turkey was on Thanksgiving Day (and the leftover turkey salad sandwiches thereafter ) with my family. As a paper enthusiast  kraft paper gives me LIFE. I was also shooting for a signature look. (The curse of being a graphic designer…and all her “looks”.) Just a simple natural black and white feel with my favorite embellishment, satire. That’s right we’re having TURDUCKEN, Grandma’s mashed potatoes (not that Idaho in a microwave bag mess) and The Pie of ALL Pies… who doesn’t want that?!!

 

 

 

Overall this was more fun than last week because its closer to my personal style. Next week we’ll get further from traditional and go for the gold… literally! #StayTuned and continue to follow #OctaneOnEtsy for more #TablescapeThursday inspiration for you holiday gatherings!

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We gather in November, Pt.1

Hello #November! This month is made for gatherings, giggles and gnache.  I’m always excited to experience all three with loved ones this time of year. Fall brings out the best of my creative crafty mood. Not too hot and not too cold… hot cider… and all the pumpkin you can eat!

As a child I loved dressing the table and the habit never left me. So to continue this little childhood tradition I’m showcasing lots of dreamy tablescapes and paperie and  invite you to follow me all month long as I dress to impress the table!

Be inspired & purchase custom paper items on my #etsyshop! Lookout for extra pics & comments in my Instagram stories!

Interested in having Octane design your holiday party or event? Chat with us at info@lexoctane.com.

This table is a pretty traditional look. I used simple traditional tones of gold red and green to capture the nostalgia of old time holiday season. Chargers give all the elegance needed to dress up the table. The “Give Thanks” printable is from @circutofficial. This printable is pretty easy to use and style however you need.

 

 

I love details! It what makes every thing flow and connect together to set the mood. These simple leaf cutouts are perfect for an extra decor at each setting. I decided to add some foil to these for a lil more “bling” factor. (Psst! You can purchase these and other paper greenery on my etsy store for your Dinner Party 👍)

 

 

What do you do when your vase breaks at a vendor setup? You SAVE it and reuse it for rustic chic candle holders. I repurpose almost everything if I can. My little way of saving the planet, one #nailedit at a time!

 

 

Believe it or not my mom would constantly remind me to make sure to make sure it looks the same as everyone else’s plate. But mooom! The christmas radio is just starting! I’m dancing and styling full spirit over here! And yet somewhere in Kentucky my mom’s looking at this and scowling. Haha! Sorry mom!

Let’s talk greenery! I got away from using the cheaper faux vinery and started looking at more elegant ways to showcase florals. Paper florals is definitely its own fine art but I fell in love with paper foilage. Hopefully you’ll see what I mean at the next tablescape reveal!

#Fin

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Octane Presents: The LexParty Project

“Just get the idea out so you don’t have to worry/stress about it anymore.”

I’ve recently listened to the words and advice of Tim Jones, Creative Director of Cornett at a local networking event at Pivot Brewing and this specific one stuck.

I love crafting. The idea of uplifting others is always a core denominator for me. But this specific idea keeps recirculating in my heart and I can’t keep holding onto it anymore!

Time to get it out!

Since the adoption of our son in 2012 I’ve gone the extra mile to make sure his little moments were just as meaningful as the big ones. I’ve seen countless unique birthday project organizations outside of Kentucky for foster kids and newly relocated families. At first I started crafting a few cards to parents that mentioned there child didn’t have any friends show up at birthday parties or a newly moved family that was just getting settled and the kid(s) needed some encouragement.

These moments resonate with anyone at some point in there life. And with all the wordly pressure to “fit in” I figure a few sheets of glitter and cardstock can make an impact with others in a dark or lonely place. Put that next to an amazing cake or a cool gift card and you’ve got a few extra smiles that wouldn’t have come any other way.

Keywords here: Positive. Vibes. Only.

So look out Kentucky! I’m rolling up my sleeves and partnering with multiple organizations across the Bluegrass to form The LexParty Project. A simple way to ‘pay it forward’ and inspire others! Click below for info or fill out the form to send a kid some encouragement in Kentucky.

Check it out here! 

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Three Years Later: Same Clothes. Better People.

So, I decided to go out on a limb this year for our wedding anniversary this weekend. We did a photoshoot in our wedding clothes.

I’m serious.

Most of us can’t even wear the blouse from this time last time last year. I can’t.  ( But kudos to everyone that kept there new years resolutions of weight loss .)   Miraculously my idea panned out.

This year the “newlwed” cloud landed in a rough season for my husband and I and I clearly had a vision for how to commemorate and treasure a year of loss and joy and triumph.  Reminding each other of the eternal promises we made “for better or worse… in sickness and in health.”

Life is a growing process.

Life takes it time.

Time heals all things.

Not just fortune cookie wisdom.

This photoshoot meant so much more than just reminiscing from “I do” three years ago,  this still is an emotional renewal of the faith and promise of loving deeper; especially when it doesn’t always feel loving.

I was super fortunate to cross paths with amazing knit queen and local photographer Lea Thompson of Velvet Paper Photography who just happened to be working with me on a future IG giveaway (shhh… more about that later) and offered an open photo session that we miraculously fit into.

And thus this idea of SAME CLOTHES. BETTER PEOPLE was born.

Because… its true.
I’m better because he loves me when I’m physically at my worst.
He’s better because I love him at his darkest and lowest moments.
We’re better because we keep running back to God in the midst of pain and sorrow and confusion.
We’re better because God keeps loving us to love each other deeper, especially when the answer is no.

Our wedding day symbolized all that and more. What better way to remember eternal promise than with the love of your life?

This whole experience was surreal. In seeing the photos, seeing the joy and the love that endures past the pain of optimistic failure, low self esteem, multiple miscarriages and a crazy amount of personal soul searching. The greatest of these is love. We stuck to it. And we’re better for it.

So I began my FB post:

In our nearly 7 years of life together this year was really a rough patch.

“For better or for worse…In sickness and in health…. and the greatest of these is love.” These words have such deeper meaning now than the first time we said it to each other.

This season has given us deeper purpose. It’s taken us through winding narrow paths. Roads less traveled.

It’s easier to scoot it under the rug and not wield the bad times as times of promise. But it was a promise. A promise from our Maker. A promise to a man filled with the characteristics of God. A promise to myself.

Inch by inch in weaving Gods love into the fabric of our lives, we’re certainly not the same ‘Danielle + Kevin” from three years ago. We’re better.

We see it in lives present. We feel it in lives lost.

In our clothes
In our skin
Between souls

We still ‘do’.

“Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good…” – Genesis 1:31

#InTheBeginning #MSfamily #WeddingAnniversary

 


Location: Jacobson Park
Photography: @velvetpaperphoto

 

Photography: @velvetpaperphoto

 

Photography: @velvetpaperphoto

 

Photography: @velvetpaperphoto

 

Photography: @velvetpaperphoto

 

Photography: @velvetpaperphoto