Questions and answers about Limeadestand Works
What is Limeadestand Works? What do you do?
Limeadestand Works (brand stylized as "Limeadestand Works Media") was formed in 2016 with a mission of providing the kind of brand communication, digital marketing, and public relations capacities to solopreneurs and microenterprises that large corporations employ, at prices they can afford, on flexible and scalable terms. Always attuned to the current trends, Limeadestand Works incorporates the latest best practice in brand and public relations just like the high-end agencies serving the major corporations.
In 2018, Limeadestand Works has expanded its operation to serving the local emerging artists community by creating the Preslar Art Initiatives, which continues to evolve as it equips and empowers independent artists and crafters to take an entrepreneurial approach to their creative activities in order to be better compensated for their work.
How long have you been in business?
In its current manifestation, Limeadestand Works was founded on June 15, 2016 (the day the domain name limeadestandworks.com went online) and was officially registered with the State of Oregon (registry 1256680-95) on Oct. 7, 2016.
Limeadestand Works? Why such a funny name?
In North America, lemonade stands are an iconic cultural symbol of young children taking their first step into entrepreneurship, thereby experiencing the power of self-determination, earning their own money and spending on what they decide on. Every once in a while, such an innocuous activity as setting up a sidewalk lemonade stand attracts the government aggression in the name of enforcing public health or zoning regulations, thus also teaching children the realities of state aggression. Combined together, a lemonade stand can be a locus of self-liberation and resistance. Even in countries where virtually all freedoms are destroyed, entrepreneurship never dies: the North Korean regimes could not eradicate jang-madang, the outdoor black market that filled the needs of starving citizens since the famines of the mid-1990s; America's maximum-security prisons (the socialist enclaves on the U.S. soil supported and funded by ostensibly anti-socialist conservatives!) are known for its bustling underground economy.
Because we'd like to do everything differently, "with a twist," it's a limeade stand here. Why not? Everyone else in the neighborhood has got lemonade! You don't have to be the same as they are.
We put in the word "works" in the sense of "motor works" or "machine works" or "iron works." We don't really manufacture limeade here (we're being metaphoric, not being deceptive!). (The truth: When Limeadestand Works was established, there was a company in Utah that called itself Limeadestand. To avoid confusion, the name had to be slightly modified.)
What about the new slogan?
The new Limeadestand Works' slogan, "Free spirits. Culture makers. Sovereign creators," encapsulates the mission and visions of this company, as well as succinctly telling the story of its founder, who definitely is all of these three!
Free spirits always seek after liberty and liberation at any cost. Free spirits cannot be extinguished.
Culture makers transform the predominant cultural paradigm by asserting the new norms and speaking out against injustice and oppression.
"Sovereign creators" sounds grandiose, as if you are God; after all, only God can be the sovereign creator, right? But every one of us, the Hebrew scriptures call us "made in the image of God," is endowed with the same powers of sovereignty and creation. In other words, "What is true about God is true about me."
Questions and answers about the Creative Liberation Union
Why did Limeadestand Works stop serving the "general public"?
As it is stated on the bottom of every page on this Web site, "Except for public outreach events, services, and products provided through Limeadestand Works are intended for members of the Creative Liberation Union community. Services and products described herein are not available to the general public and are intended only for the qualified members of the CLU and to individuals personally referred or invited by them."
There are two main reasons for making this change:
First, there are already a handful of firms in the Portland metropolitan area offering similar services and products. After two years of futile attempts at outmaneuvering them in competition, I decided that it wasn't worth time or effort, which should be better spent with people who would genuinely benefit from what Limeadestand Works has to offer. My time is not infinite, and I am running this business while also being a graduate student (for too many years already, trying to finish my degree soon!). I'm not in this to be rich, but I'm in this business for a lasting social and cultural impact. After a long episode of severe depression, I've come to the conclusion that it is quality that matters, and not just how many sales I make or how much money I earn. Therefore, I have made a decision to take this business "private."
Second, I have long struggled to uphold the highest standard of ethical integrity while being in this line of work. Like many other values-driven entrepreneurs, I have had concerns about the kind of message I was hired to promote, that ultimately were unjust, exploitative, deceptive, or oppressive. By limiting my practice to members of an association that upholds a certain set of ethical standards and stated core values, it is hoped that Limeadestand Works remains a socially-conscious enterprise that advocates for the marginalized and the outcast while upholding the pro-freedom, anti-oppression values.
In practice, this means all clients must be either a member of the Creative Liberation Union or be referred to us by a CLU member.
Is the CLU an actual "union"? Is it a non-profit?
No. The Creative Liberation Union is an unincorporated, informal association with loosely-affiliated membership. It is more of a private club than an "organization." The CLU does not impose its will on its members by force or aggression, and there are no membership dues. Eventually, it is hoped that the CLU would evolve into a decentralized mutual aid network of microenterprise owners built on the principles of mutualism, non-aggression, and non-exploitation. In the meantime, it is just a group of friends.
What is Discord?
Discord is a secure, end-to-end encrypted online communication and collaboration platform. It is best known among gamers, but we've chosen this platform because of its high privacy protection, robust features, user interface, and its ability to create topic-based chat groups. Discord is free to use, and you can either download a Discord app or use its Web-based interface. In addition, it can be used for private one-on-one messaging, as well as for VOIP phone calls.
All other questions about the CLU
Please refer to the Creative Liberation Union page to learn about membership.
Questions about service areas
I live in (California/New York/Australia/etc.). Do you offer services worldwide?
Because a lot of what we do depends on face-to-face conversations and we found that the best quality outcome is achieved when we are not just playing an email tug-of-war, our services are limited to Portland metropolitan area.
However, a limited range of services are being made available to the worldwide membership through our global marketplaces, as well as on Fiverr. These services would tend to be short-term, one-off projects with a small set of specific goals, and will not be as extensive as our full-service offerings in Portland, Oregon.
Questions about service fees
How much does your service cost me?
While there are many variables that can affect pricing, we'd also like to be transparent and honest about pricing. Usually, services are priced on a per-project basis instead of the typical hourly billing. The rule of the thumb, however, is that a project is calculated based on estimated hours required times $90 USD. While this may seem a lot for some people, to us "an hourly rate" represents our minimum time commitment to your project. It is not uncommon that we offer extra work for no additional charge whenever possible, subject to time availability and any other projects ongoing (this should be considered a "bonus" and should not be expected for granted).
Is the pricing higher if I am not a member of the CLU?
As stated elsewhere, our services are available to members only.
If you have been referred to us by another CLU member, you are invited to join the membership.
What are the terms of billing?
In order to keep our prices low, all services are provided on the cash basis. We do not extend credits (such as Net 30). All fees are payable upon invoicing.
What types of payments are accepted?
We accept cash, checks (new clients without previous history must use money orders or cashier's checks), PayPal, and most major cryptocurrencies (LTC is preferred due to low transaction costs and less drastic fluctuation in exchange rates).
Please note that we can only accept PayPal payments from registered PayPal members.
If your debit or credit card charges you an excessive fee, or if you do not have access to banking, alternative arrangements may be made so as to make our services accessible to everyone who needs them.
Are there late fees?
As part of our commitment to economic justice, we have done away with the practice of charging obscene penalties for someone not being able to afford paying their bills on time, and thereby perpetuating poverty.
While we impose no late fees, we may block or restrict you from future services if we determine that you are being dishonest or being a deadbeat.
How do I pay with a cryptocurrency?
Effective June 18, 2019, Limeadestand Works only accepts BTC, LTC, ETH, and FAIR. No other altcoins are accepted.
Payment address will be provided in your invoice. Typically, your wallet app lets you enter the payment amount in U.S. dollar, which is converted at the real-time exchange rate.
Please note that members outside the Portland area using the global marketplaces must use the payment portal of one of the decentralized marketplaces.
Questions about the community we serve and our ethical standards
What are your specialty areas?
Limeadestand Works specializes in the community of creators, artists, makers, crafters, and DIYers. Anyone who is interested in turning their creative sparks into a sustainable income stream will benefit from what Limeadestand Works has to offer. We also specialize in multicultural and crosscultural businesses, grass-roots community organizations, small-sized faith-based communities, and worker-owned cooperatives.
We are a proud minority- and queer-owned business.
What are your ethical commitments?
Here at Limeadestand Works, we seek to uphold the highest level of ethical integrity. Our brands are built upon supporting honest people who are sincere about their commitment to self-determination, promoting freedom, equity and justice, social responsibilities, and ethical business practices. Limeadestand Works is a social enterprise rooted in a certain set of religious and ethical values informed by New Thought theology and libertarian-socialist philosophy. We do not however use "values" and "beliefs" as a weapon to exclude "the others," but rather, as a driver for liberation and social justice.
Branding is inherently about framing of narratives. As a branding professional whose backgrounds are both in words (journalism) and images (fine art and graphic design), I believe how words and images can shape realities and move people to specific behaviors -- and this is a very powerful, two-edged sword. They can be abused to dehumanize the others and to promote hatred, and they can also be used as tools of empowerment and human dignity.
As such, Limeadestand Works acknowledges the deep social responsibility in the practice of branding and brand communication.
We focus on solo entrepreneurs and grassroots community organizations because they deserve the same level of professional branding services as larger companies, but too often they have no access to such services or do not recognize the importance of public messaging through proper branding.
- We do not mislead our clients about pricing, nor will we pressure people into spending money they may not have (nor will we take part in enabling businesses who do so).
- We do not encourage our clients and prospects to get into a debt in order to receive our services or products.
- We make our best efforts at making brand communications inclusive, anti-oppressive, ethically honest, and socially just.
- We actively work with those who are historically and systemically relegated to the margins of society and are deprived of economic opportunities.
- We adopt fair pricing practices that are sustainable but not exploitative.
- We reinvest our profits into expanding programs that serve the lower-income and POC communities.
- We are open to collaborations with other social enterprises and minority-owned enterprises to further our missions and to help build a cohesive community.
- We are here for working-class entrepreneurs, creatives, and makers!
- We do not leverage oppression in order to promote our products and services, and we do not leverage oppression to promote our clients' businesses.
- We do not glorify institutional, systemic, or interpersonal violence or aggressions.
We expect all members of the Creative Liberation Union to uphold the same level of commitment to ethics, and we reserve rights to cancel membership of those whose behaviors and practices run contrary to them.