Smyrna Berman is a silly character I created when I was 15 and I heard about New Smyrna Beach (a beach in central Florida) for the first time. Coming from New Jersey and experiencing first hand the ridiculous fanasticalness that is a jewish grandmother, I felt that Smyrna was a name more fitting for an 80-year-old jewish woman. You know, she would live with her husband Irving. Irving and Smyrna Berman. Made total sense to me.
At the time my mother was working in a dreadful customer service job, and to crack her up, I would call her “pranking” her as Smyrna. I fooled the receptionists (who knew me quite well in person), her boss (who also knew me)going on and on about the different “problems” in the world. I would even have my mother convinced I was an 80-year-old woman for a solid chunk of minutes before I would burst out laughing.
I’d long forgotten about this little inside joke until one of my clients emailed me with an equally silly request. She needed me to contact one of her competitors to see what kinds of packages they use.
I knew this was a great time to bring back the Smyrna. She had horses, she was VERY CONCERNED about the quality of plastics and she needed. to. know.
Much like trying out a new style or a color palette, adopting a new voice/personality and carrying it through– as silly and pointless as it sounds, breaks you out of the idea of permanence. Introducing “new”, and a sense of play allows most things– client based, personally based, the same privilege. Keeping you flexible, adaptable and always embracing some new (and okay, slightly ridiculous) methods to meet the needs of your clients.