Monthly Archives: March 2014

Pickles | Chelley Martinka

The story of the pickles started with a trip to the grocery store where I saw a jar of pickles labeled “midgets”. I was, as a mom to a newly diagnosed with dwarfism daughter, taken aback. I had grown up with Little Person in my high school class so I was made fully aware of the derogatory nature of the once benign word, midget. Now associated with negativity, mockery, fear and hate, it’s a word I hope to never hear or see again… so a pickle jar at my local grocer’s was a place to start eradicating.

Pickles Brandsmash

After making an amateur video, I emailed it to Gedney Foods, who made said pickles. I also posted it on my blog which garnered much support from my community. With one follow-up call a few months after I sent the video, I had my response: the name would be changed! I was so inspired that I again shared this news on the blog. After such an outpouring of support and cheers, the local news picked up the story. It was a whirlwind… one I was not expecting. The response was forceful and plentiful- only it was a response of hate. So. Much. Hate.

Pickles Brandsmash

I was heartbroken. The story broke everywhere. There were blogs and sites picking up the story all over the country, and even a few in Canada, the UK and Australia. Many stories portraying unverified information, like lawsuits, campaigning, harassment, none of those things happened- but people didn’t want to hear it.

Pickles Brandsmash

I learned a lot about how the world works from this event in my life. I learned that no one cares about the facts if the story sells with a few innuendos of untruths. I learned that people are, from behind the anonymity of their IP addresses, cowards, willing to type words and thoughts they would not dare speak to someone’s face. I learned that mothers do not always support mothers- even in the world of special needs children. I learned that the community I am a part of are incredibly supportive. I learned that I am strong and resilient and well spoken. I learned that I can make a difference and impact others. I learned that I can educate and advocate in the face of adversity.

There are over 25,000 hits on the initial video, made in December 2012 and 600 (and counting) on the Thank You video I made this past November… almost a year after the first video- I finally saw a new label on the jars in our local market. I feel the blessings and love of perseverance, courage and a community of people I have chosen to surround me. No one will define me or my successes. Ever.

Pickles Brandsmash


Link to Thank You video:

Pickles Brandsmash

Michelle Martinka

Pickles Brandsmash

Addie on Facebook

I believe every child can be heard | Jane Ammon

Jane Ammon

I believe every child can be heard.

I really do.

It’s what is at the core of who I am and the core of my business and my brand.

My husband bought me my first camera in 2006 and I spent three years photographing everything I could…I tried weddings (oh no way), I tried engagements (uh, no thanks), I tried newborns (oh goodness NO!) and I had no desire to try boudoir (not my cup of tea!)

I quickly realized this: what made me 100% happy was photographing children.

Jane Ammon

Jane Ammon

Ok. Now what? I mean, that’s great and all Jane, though it’s time to dig a bit deeper. People aren’t going to buy “I love kids.” (Really, cause what kid photographer *doesn’t* love kids?)

I need to know~why did I love photographing children so much and how could I turn that into a profitable brand?

Luckily, I met Jeff Jochum and was introduced to the concept of Specialism.

Through the Specialism process and digging deep into what moves my spirit, I quickly realized that for me, photography is a tool to achieve a greater purpose.

I believe every child can be heard.

It’s my mission to help people listen.

I was born with a bi-lateral hearing loss. I have learned that it is truly a gift. For me communication is whole body dependent. I hear by leaning in, reading lips, interpreting body language and taking my time to process. I communicate with an expressive face, dramatic posture changes and when I speak, I choose my words deliberately.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that what I DO is a result of WHO I am…

I specialize in listening to children.

Oh! And I take pictures, too.

Jane Ammon

Since declaring my own Specialism and my mission, my business is truly successful.  And by that I dont just mean it makes more money.  I mean that it also has made me happy. Truly happy.  I attract clients who are like me and who want to lean into and listen to their children just as much as I do. My work and my art is becoming a direct reflection of who I am.  I am no longer terrified to put what I create out into the world because it’s me and I want it to be heard.

Just like children do.

And, most amazingly, I didn’t have to change a single thing to achieve this happy success.  I simply had to embrace who I am, why I do it and design my business message and brand to reflect it.  I’ve become a bigger version of the Jane I always knew I was.

Jane Ammon

Let’s hang out and be friends!

You can find Jane at

On Facebook here:

Jane is also a coach where she is helping others learn how leveraging the power of Specialism can make your business extraordinary, devastate your  competition, and teach you to Work Happily Ever-after®.  She’d love to help you too!