25 Jan

Celebrating 5 Years: Valencia Garden

Congratulations are in order for Valencia Garden – today is her 5 year Pepperversary! 

As a Creative Director, Valencia works with her team to churn out award-winning work. Clients love her! Her willingness to learn new things or solve any problem is admirable.

When we asked her coworkers how to describe her, the word amazing came up a lot – amazing mom, amazing work, amazing problem-solving skills, amazing communicator, amazing teammate.

So without further ado, let’s get into our special interview and infographic all about Valencia!

1. Best part of working at Eleven Peppers Studios?
It’s hard to feel like you’re actually a part of a family when it comes to your employer, but 11P has done an amazing job at making everyone feel like they’re an invaluable asset to the company. The gifts aren’t terrible, either.

2. If you were a pepper, what type would you be and why?
Islander Bell Pepper. It’s sweet but slightly more bitter than other bell peppers. Also, purple is my favorite color, so it just feels right.

3. What is your favorite 11p event?
Disney World.

4. What is your favorite present ever received from 11p?
Disney World—though my first Mother’s Day gift was a great surprise too! I use my “Momosa” glass religiously.

5. What is your favorite 11p memory?
Being stuck at the airport…on the way to Disney World.

6. Name a Pepper you can always lean on for support or advice:
Theresa has been super helpful in my Creative Director role, and Lisa has an opinion about everything, which is great for a second guesser like me!

7. Name a Pepper whose work ethic inspires you:
Kate Rodman! She knows why. 🙂

8. My spice meter :

  • Complete wimp
  • Will proceed with caution
  • A subtle flame
  • A little sweat never hurt
  • The spicier, the better!

Get to know Valencia a little bit better…

1. What’s the best concert you have ever been to?
In my early 20s, I left work early to drive to NY to see Stevie Wonder perform at Jones Beach Theater. A super heavy rainstorm came through about 15 minutes before showtime—I got soaked! I paid $50 from a vendor for a blanket…it was springtime, so chilly air and wet clothes didn’t mix. Most people left after the rain, so I spent the concert 3 rows away from Stevie and his keyboard. Drove all the way back home when it was over, only to wake up a few hours later to go back to work! #brokelife Unforgettable night. Jon Batiste at Howard Theatre is a close second – second lining is undefeated.

2. How many pairs of shoes do you own? Which pair is your favorite?
Probably 30-35 pairs. And I only wear maybe 6 in my normal rotation at a time.

3. Where is the coolest place you’ve ever traveled?
I spent 8 days sailing on a yacht in Croatia. Best trip ever.

4. What is your favorite local restaurant?
Gianni’s pizza in Severn. It was right across from my middle and high school, and I may or may not have frequented there on some school days.

5. What is your daughter’s favorite toy?
Any type of ball. She got a basketball hoop and a basketball for Christmas, and she spent the next 3 hours screaming, “A BALL!!!” from random parts of the house. Guess what she’s getting for her birthday in a few weeks?

6. Who is your favorite musician?
This is hard! Musician for me = someone who can actually play an instrument, so I’ll just rattle off a list: Prince, PJ Morton, EWF, Needtobreathe, Rufus & Chaka Khan, Jon Batiste.

7. What is your biggest pet peeve?
People who still don’t know the differences between they’re/there/their, where/wear/were, and lost/loss. It makes me sad.

8. What was your favorite thing about attending Virginia Tech?
The campus is stunning. It was a surprisingly serene experience being in college in the middle of the mountains. I’ve yet to see another campus that wowed me like Blacksburg did.

9. Tell us the best or funniest thing about your dogs – Hall and Oates!
We thought Hall was a sweetheart when we first got him, but he’s really a jerk. He sits on Oates, eats his food (and yours if you’re not looking), and steals your blankets for himself. He’s our personal Dennis the Menace. Oates is forging a really sweet relationship with my 2 year-old daughter. It’s great to see how much he’s grown from being afraid of her to just wanting to lick her face all day!

21 Jan

Pepper Talk with Kristen Price

In this month’s Pepper Talk, we’re getting to know more about Kristen Price!

Just a little background before we get started, Kristen works as an instructional designer for one of our government clients. She’s been with Eleven Peppers for 1.5 years.

1. Do you have any nicknames?
My family and friends have always called me Kris.



2. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
I definitely hit the snooze button a few (too many) times, then probably look at social media a bit before starting the day.


3. What is your favorite thing about working as an instructional designer?
I like that instructional design is like a puzzle. You sort of put together pieces of content, graphics, UX, and psychology, and hopefully create something super cool!


4. How did you get started?
I started life as a preschool teacher. I liked teaching, but I enjoyed the curriculum design part more. A parent of a child in my class worked for an e-learning company, and got me an interview. The rest is history.


5. What are your favorite apps for design?
I enjoy using Articulate Storyline, but I love having access to our amazing graphic designers who make our courses look even better.


6. What do you draw inspiration from?
I read a lot, so I draw inspiration from books and articles – whether it’s what they’re saying, or how they’re presented.


7. Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no:  Yes but only in tea. Carbonation and coffee are gross.
Sweet or Savory: Most definitely sweet – bring on the chocolate.
Favorite Movie:  “Hamilton.” That counts right?!
Favortie place to travel: My most favorite place in the world is England. I love everything about it! Secretly I think I was born in the wrong country.
Hobbies: Pre-Covid, I loved to travel, find new fun restaurants and  see Broadway shows. Post-Covid there’s a lot of crafting and reading happening.

8: Okay, admission time… name your favorite designer.
There are not a lot of famous instructional designers – are there any really? So I’m going to say my favorite ISDs are my fellow Peppers, Deb Williams and Christina Cumberland.











Thanks for meeting Kristen. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!


12 Jan

Celebrating 5 Years: Ashley Philip

We couldn’t be more excited to celebrate Ashley Philip’s 5 year Pepperversary!

From the very beginning, Ashley conveyed a keen understanding for design principles and creativity, but has since expanded her skill set on the 11p Commercial Team. She is an agile designer who can jump on any project whether it be social, branding, marketing, web or UX.

On the 11p Commercial Team, she’s gotten the opportunity to work on many award-winning projects. Her drive to expand her skill set does not stop at 11p. She recently received her Masters Degree in UX from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her work ethic and ambition is an inspiration to all! Congratulations Ashley!

1. Best part of working at Eleven Peppers Studios?
The people. The amount of incredible talent, support and leadership in this company, in my opinion, is unmatched.  

2. If you were a pepper, what type would you be and why?
The Carolina Reaper– I like a LOT of heat! 🔥 

3. What is your favorite 11p event?

4. What is your favorite present ever received from 11p?
A 7-Night Royal Caribbean CRUISE to the Bahamas, Honduras and Mexico!  

5. What is your favorite 11p memory?
The 2016 HOW Conference in Atlanta. It was my first year as a Pepper and I got to (really) know quite a few Peppers early on and soak up all the knowledge from some of the industry’s best. 

6. Name a Pepper you can always lean on for support or advice:
Melissa London– she’s very knowledgeable in her career and knows exactly how to be assertive and fight for a design/vision when need be. She knows what it takes to be a leader and has no problem listening to your aspirations and helps you create a plan to heighten them.  

7. Name a Pepper whose work ethic inspires you:
Kate Rodman– the way she is able to take a client’s thought and provide three or four solid design directions in such a limited amount of time where the thought has now turned into a holistic vision of a brand, inspires me. She’s truly a force to be reckoned with 

8. My spice meter :

  • Complete wimp
  • Will proceed with caution
  • A subtle flame
  • A little sweat never hurt
  • The spicier, the better!

Get to know Ashley a little bit better…

1. Since coffee isn’t your thing, what is your go-to for a pick-me-up?
Currently, a 6:30 am workout 😉. Throughout the day if I need it, I’ll drink an iced matcha latte. 

2. Favorite reality show?
Project Runway  

3. What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?
To have a wedding day. #CoronaBride

4. What is your favorite room in your new(ish) home? 
The Kitchen/Dining Area. The amount of natural light instantly puts me in a good mood. It’s also the central spot for hosting guests. 

5. What is your most memorable European experience? 
Venice, Italy! Where I got engaged! The entire visit was literally something out of a painting.

6. Would you rather ski or snowboard? 

7. What is your favorite family tradition?
I don’t have any at the moment– but I think I want make snowboarding every winter a tradition. 

8. Do you have any secret hobbies or talents?
My organizational skills are pretty badassI can find a perfectly labeled container, folder, basket etc.. for any piece of item in my house. Boring, I know.  

9. If you could travel anywhere in 2021, where would you go?
Honeymoon plans include Bali + Paris– if it’s ever safe *fingers crossed*

10. What is your favorite film?
Nocturnal Animals 

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