Nicole Paloux spent much of her 20s working at PR firms where she wasn't able to practice "genuine PR." Although the experience working on national accounts was invaluable, touting brands she didn't believe in began to feel soul-sucking. In fall 2009 she launched lifestyle-focused Red Balloon Public Relations to handle a handful of local clients, including three of the vendors from her May 2009 wedding.
Paloux, 30, is also co-artistic director of Theater Confetti, which she rebranded this year. (It was formerly Nice People Theater Company.) In its latest incarnation, the company, known for producing new work, has added a lifestyle component. For its launch party, New York-based Crème Design, the designer of record for restaurateur Jose Garces, transformed the space at the Loft District's Underground Arts. Its next event is a drag queen cabaret at Chez Colette at the Sofitel Hotel (a Red Balloon client) on May 24.
CONSUMED WITH: The Little Blue Book she received as a thank-you gift for planning a Tiffany & Co. jewelry event.
THE DESIGN: "Little Blue Book" is embossed in silver on Tiffany-blue leather. A brown ribbon placeholder marks the lined, gilt-edged pages. Paloux stores the book in its original little blue box.
THE APPEAL: For a few years she kept the book nearby but never wrote in it. "I didn't know what to do with it," she says, "because it's this beautiful book that feels so traditional, prim, and proper." Paloux is drawn to some classic things but her style is more classic-with-an-edge.
THE FUNCTION: "I have so many ideas all the time," she says, "and they're so fleeting. If I don't write them down, I lose them." Ideas lost to the ether include one for an iPhone app she's certain would be a winner, if only she could remember it."I didn't write it down and it kills me," she says. She realized she needed to designate a special place for recording big ideas and entrepreneurial concepts.
THE REBRANDING: "I call it my Idea Book. I love the idea of using something super classic and traditional to contain ideas that are usually quite the opposite." The litmus test for whether something is big enough for the book: "When I'm able to flesh out some of the details that'll make it unique," she says, "I'll have a main blurb and some bullet points about what it might look like and what it would take to make it happen."
IDEA GENERATION: "I get a lot of ideas in the shower," she says. "It's one of the only times I'm forced to empty my brain — and there's no screen in front of me."
THE FUTURE: Paloux writes diminutively in the already small pages. "I don't waste any space," she says. "I don't know if they make this book anymore — it's not on their website. I want to get as much mileage out of it as possible."
Caroline Tiger is a design writer in Philadelphia. Visit her blog at design-phan.com.