The Times, They Are A Changing / by DM Heebner

Winds in the east, mist coming in,

Like somethin’ is brewin’ and bout to begin

-Bert, Mary Poppins

Six years ago I found myself on a journey. I was on a solo, cross-country trip heading home to California after spending an extended holiday season on the east coast. During that time, I was living in San Diego, freelancing for a graduate school outside of Philadelphia, on the verge of making another move, and trying desperately to figure out what was next in life. In a short period of time I had moved from New York to Pennsylvania to Arizona and then to California. I loved the work I was doing but was looking for more. I wanted to work with more clients, move deeper into design and photography and try new things. Somewhere in west Texas, a little outside of Marfa, I decided it was time to try something new. It was time to start my own business. And so began Oxford Haus. A little idea birthed in the desert of west Texas.

Over the last five years Oxford Haus has served as a space to work with a variety of clients on projects from photography, brand development, website design, logo design, creative direction, print projects, and more. It has been a place to develop and create user experiences. It has been an outlet to learn my creative limits and how to push those. It has been a space to learn the hard lessons all creatives learn. It has been a season to grow in the foundations and fundamentals of design. It has taught me to fail and get back up again and to keep going when no one believed in me, when I didn’t believe in me. It helped me develop business skills as well as creative skills. It has taught me humility, empathy, and to never stop learning. Most importantly, I learned how valuable and rewarding it is to create experiences for users that help make their lives or business better, easier, and a little more beautiful.

In late 2017 my husband and I made the decision to make one more move and leave California to rejoin family, friends, and our community in Texas. Personally and professionally, we knew this was the time and this was the place. As we were preparing for this move, I realized this was the time and the place for me to make a move professionally as well. As incredible as the last five years have been, I wanted something more. I wanted to move into a new arena, to dive deeper into a specific area of design (UX/UI), move out of full-time freelancing, and transition to a full-time design team. I began studying front-end development (let’s face it, knowing basic code is kind of important) while we were in California and applied to a UX/UI program at The University of Texas at Austin. Weeks after arriving in Austin I jumped into school. During that time, I worked with some talented designers on some fun projects (see the UX/UI tab to read those case studies). I was finally bringing all of my educational background (psychology/counseling), my professional background (marketing/design), and my analytical/organizational skills together in a field that I’m, well, kind of obsessed with.

So, what’s next?

Well, if you’re still reading you’re a saint. If you’re in town, shoot me a message, I’ll buy you a coffee.

What’s next for me….

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What’s next is one of those “pinch me, I’m dreaming” scenarios. In late October I will be joining IBM Design as a UX Software Designer. If you asked me what companies I would have wanted to work for, build a career at, IBM was at the top of the list. IBM and I have an interesting relationship. I grew up in a small community in upstate NY where IBM started. I had my wedding reception at the old IBM executive mansion. My grandfather and my uncles worked there. It was a company that was always around, but never a place I thought I’d work at, until I got into design. The values that IBM stands on, their approach to design thinking, and the opportunities to learn and grow at a studio like IBM, are something I’ve dreamed about.

What’s next for Oxford Haus…

Well, a lot!

First off, Oxford Haus is changing names and is now called Heebner + Co.

Heebner + Co will now exist as a creative collective for select projects in design & photography. It will house an online (and occasionally in person) shop to purchase design works and photographs. There will be design (graphic, visual, ux/ui) resources and articles as well as photography tips & tutorials available online. Sometimes, the projects will just be me. Other times guest artists will join in collaborative efforts. Heebner + Co will, as always, be a safe, inclusive space that fosters community through art, design, exploration, travel, and a collaborative spirit.

You can find Heebner + Co online at….

www.heebner.co
www.deniseheebner.com
www.instagram.com/deniseheebner
www.twitter.com/deniseheebner