Ambassador Spotlight: Cara Naylor

Last month we introduced Haven Ambassadors, a group of members who are committed to assisting other members, attending networking events, and representing The Haven at outside events. This month we’re excited to highlight our first Haven Ambassador, Cara Naylor. You might recognize her as the face behind The Bend Maker’s Box, but Cara’s design journey started long before then.

When and why did you join The Haven?

I reserved a part time flex membership in the early summer of 2019, a few days after I heard about The Haven, and while the space was still very much under construction. At that time, I had about six months of self-employment under my belt and had been working from my lofted bedroom in a townhouse I was sharing with two roommates which, I’m sure you can gather, was not an ideal office set up. A top priority was to have a dedicated work space where I could be creative and productive, followed closely by a strong desire to connect with other humans! Working by yourself from home can be incredibly isolating – an experience a lot of us have faced over the last year and a half, eh?

What type of work do you do?

I am a designer and creative entrepreneur. I currently have two businesses : Charlie November Design (graphic design – formerly focused on logos and branding, currently making a transition to surface pattern design and art licensing) and The Bend Makers Box (a quarterly subscription box featuring thoughtfully curated, meticulously crafted Central Oregonian goods.) Additionally, I do contract design work with two amazing women-owned small businesses : Honeybeast Digital owned by fellow Haven member Jasmine Wilder, and Saltworks Creative out of Jackson, Wyoming.

How do you utilize the space?

About a year ago, I switched from a flex membership to a dedicated desk, which I am absolutely loving (you can find me in the little nook of desks between the printers and the podcast room.) When I have guests for meetings, I will typically slide into a booth in the main space, reserve an idea lab, or head out to the patio to take in some sunshine and river views. Finishing the day on the patio with a glass of wine is a slice of heaven. 

How has The Haven helped you and your business?

Where do I even begin? I cannot – truly CAN NOT – thank the Douglasses and The Haven crew enough for the support, friendship, and infinite value they’ve added to my work and to my life. Since the Haven opened, I have grown my infantile design business into a successful, fulfilling, and sustainable career; started my secondary business from the ground up; and made countless connections (both personal and professional – this space is directly responsible for at least five of the clients I’ve worked with over the last couple of years!) 

Are you working on a fun project that you’d like to share?

Oh my goodness, YES! So I mentioned a career shift from traditional graphic design to surface pattern design. For those of you unfamiliar, think of anything you can that has a pattern on it: wallpaper, fabric, upholstery, stationery, wrapping paper, clothing… those patterns all fall under surface pattern design and were created by someone like me. In the past, I was a sewist and made handbags, developing an affinity for textiles. I never thought that world would collide with my background and love of graphic design and illustration. Tada! Enter pattern design. I have just recently launched my website that showcases three collections, and I’m working toward pitching to companies to license my designs. Wish me luck?

What are you favorite spots and activities in Bend?

A lot of folks head West into the Cascades, which is stunning and absolutely lovely, but my partner, Ryan, and I prefer to go East – walks in the Badlands, stargazing at Pine Mountain, and camping in the Ochocos. When I do spend time in the Cascades, paddling at Hosmer is top notch! I also recently started throwing pottery at Mud Lake Studios and love spending time there. 

What’s your favorite feature/space/resource in The Haven that you want new members to know about?

If you’re giving a presentation, the board rooms are incredible. I once had a client pitch meeting in Perch, linked up my pitch deck to the big screen and felt like a serious boss. Also, y’all, check out a paddle board and go down to the river! What an amazing resource. 

You can learn more about Cara and her work here:

The Bend Makers Box :

Instagram: @thebendmakersbox

Charlie November :

Instagram: @charlienovemberdesign

Older Branding Work:  (soon to be combined with Charlie November)

Meet the author

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Tiffany White

Haven Executive Director

Tiffany is the Executive Director at The Haven. When not busy keeping The Haven running smoothly, you'll find her nordic skiing and hiking with her dogs and spending time with her compassionate, intelligent, and creative son Booker.

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