• I’m going to brag just a little bit here & say that I’ve had some really incredible interns over the past few years. I would chock 20% of that up to the fact that I do really FUN & ridiculous work. But the other 80% has been a true labor of love. I am super passionate about training and developing creative talent. And I can honestly say that having interns has been an incredible gift both to myself and to my business. But creating a sustainable internship program isn’t easy. And if you want all of the benefits that interns can bring, you really need to put some work into creating intern success.

    A few weeks ago I lead a small roundtable on the topic of “Finding Your Dream Intern” at The Love Union & these are the 5 tips I shared for starting your own internship program.

    Start with what you need help with. 
    – Make a list of every little thing you could use help with. From that list, eliminate any of the tasks that you don’t feel qualified to teach someone else. That’s the basis of what your internship will be.
    – Internships, by definition, need to be 100% educational. So if you need help doing something that you don’t know how to do – you need to hire someone to do it.
    Example: My internship is mainly production based, meaning that I need help building & making things. Each day I have an intern with me I spend 1-2 hours teaching them how to do something, and then the rest of the day is spent practicing it.

    Create a manageable system.  
    – Think of having an intern as a long-term program & create systems to make it easier.
    – If reading long cover letters isn’t your thing, don’t ask for one! Create an application system that’s quick, easy & won’t feel like too much of a chore.
    Example: I have a folder with my past listings, a spreadsheet for keeping track of applications/follow up & any applicable forms that need to be filled out. I also have a sub-folder for intern applications and a labeling system for who I’d like to interview.
    Brainstorm your dream intern. 
    – Brainstorm your ideal intern qualities. Not just skills, but personality & attitude.
    – Be hyper-specific about what you’re looking for & what matters most to you.
    Example: It’s very important to me that my interns are positive, open-minded & fun people.

    Do a trial-run.
    – After you’ve read your applications, meet your potential interns in person. If possible, have them come to your studio & spend a few hours with you doing a project.
    Example: My internship application has three steps – application, phone interview & then in-person trail. Intern applicants come to my studio in groups of 3 and do a project with me for 2 hours. It’s my way to see how they work with a team, how they handle project directions, what their level of craftiness is & if they’re fun to be around.

    Make it official.
    – Once you’ve chosen your interns, send them an “offer letter” or contract that specifically outlines the terms of the internship. Have them read it, sign it & return it to you.
    – Some things to include: their start & end date, rate (if paid), how they’ll be paid, your biz’s social media policy, company dress code, confidentiality agreement & expectations for timeliness or canceling work days.
    – You’re setting the tone for your internship from the start with this document. You can also refer to it if (for any reason) your interns aren’t doing what’s been accepted or agreed upon.
    – Example: This is my favorite part of my intern contract: “I want your internship to be as fun, insightful & full of learning opportunities as possible. That’s why it’s your responsibility to (1) ask lots of questions, (2) try things you’ve never done before & (3) not be afraid to mess things up. I also expect you to bring your A-GAME every day that you’re with me. I need you to be present, pro-active & always keep the vibes positive. It’s also important that you keep it professional. To me, that means working diligently & efficiently, finding ways to help out (even it means cleaning) & always treating others kindly.

    My final tip is honestly to just treat your interns with kindness and love. Create special projects that they’re excited about, ask them what they want to learn & give them the day off to go to the beach sometimes. If they’re happy, they’ll get so much out of their internship & bring so much awesomeness to your business.

    Helpful Links:
    Small Business Administration: How To Set Up An Internship Program For Your Small Business
    Sage Wedding Pros: Your Internship Program Is Probably Illegal
    Sage Wedding Pros: Creating An Internship Program, Part 1 & Part 2
    Docracy: Sample Unpaid Internship Contract
    NY Labor Intern Fact Sheet

    Places To Post Listings:
    NYFA (New York Foundation For the Arts)
    Listings Projects
    Art Cube
    Social media!

    Also, I’m on the hunt for my Spring/Summer Interns (May-August). If you’re interested, check out the info below & send me an email – hello@michellebablo.com.




    This “Bad News” zine from Dustin Williams makes me SO incredibly happy.

    I went to The Armory Show & Art on Paper last weekend and was suuuupper inspired to start making art fort art’s sake again.

    I recently came across the Chanel Spring/Summer 2015 presentation & am absolutely FLOORED by the set design. Talk about #projectgoals.

    I just met Arielle of Fluxahedra and her prop/set design work is incredible. I could also watch this jiggly jello video for hours.

    Finally, I’m a podcast fanatic & this month NPR is encouraging people to share their favorites. So here are some recent faves to #trypod: The Hilarious World of Depression, Missing Richard Simmons, Raise Your Hand Say Yes, The Fabricant Way, Creative Mornings Podcast, Gastropod & Downtown Soulville.

    Do you have any podcasts that you can’t stop listening to? Leave them in the comments!

    This post was inspired by NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour.  

  • February 28, 2017



    It’s 2017 & I am (admittedly) the worst at updating my blog. But I recently had a tarot reading with my friend Kevin from Tarot Society & we both agreed that I needed more air – communication – in my life. So here goes nothing…

    2016 was a really fucking hard year. It had so many awesome projects, clients & interns. But I ended the year feeling burnt out, tired, and really (genuinely) depressed. It just didn’t make sense to me how something I loved so much (my business) could make me so tremendously unhappy. But it did. It really really did. So I stopped doing… Everything. I stopped taking inquiries, I flaked on friends and colleagues, I didn’t answer any of my emails for probably 2 months straight (sorry!) & I watched so much bad bad terrible TV. I let my brain turn to mush. And I gave up on my business for a while.

    But I also started seeing a psychiatrist – in addition to my wonderful therapist. And I started to understand that I was depressed. That I had always had a very high-functioning anxiety disorder that was hidden by perfectionism and high performance. That I was really bad at taking care of myself. And that the way I was running my business was not helping any of these things… At all. And in fact, it was making me crazy and unhealthy and not very fun to be around.

    So I ran away from my business (bad) – but I finally started taking care of myself (good). I started taking an anti-depressant – which was way less scary than I thought it would be. I started listening and reading to stories about people with depression, which in turn made it easier to start talking about my own depression. I stopped beating myself up for “failing” and started thinking about the future. And I asked for help. Which was probably the hardest thing. But I got it – from friends, from family & from total strangers too.

    So here I am. It’s February 2017 and I’m coming back to the Hell Yes Design Studio.

    But I’m making some changes to the way I do things & also to what I do. First and foremost, I’m going to be a good boss to myself & take as many beach days I want this summer. Secondly, I’m expanding my services to include environmental design for agencies, brands, offices, retailers & interiors. I’ll be updating my services page really soon!

    And finally, I’m going to bring all of you – the makers, creatives, and weirdos – into the work that I do. I want to start something that will build community and help bring happiness + joy into the world through our creativity. And I want to help creative people get paid to do what they do best. I’m thinking workshops, a speaker series, and lots & lots of wine.

    If you’re interested in being a part of it – whatever it’s going to become – why don’t you sign up for my newsletter?

    In the mean time, I just want to say that if there are any small biz owners or creative people feeling sad or depressed or hopeless – it’s going to be okay. And if you want to talk about it, need a hug or just want to bitch, I’m here – hello@michellebablo.com.

    Also, I’m available for freelance design or creative work! So if you have anything coming up that you need help with, let me know. : )

  • Someone please buy me this Nobel Truong boob sculpture… Or one of the many awesome plexi cacti gardens. Seriously, how funnnnn!

    I can’t stop listening to Weaves – a Toronto pop band with a blazing lady singer.

    Molly Baker is a rad graphic designer who is also my neighbor. She & her husband Jason also make super fun apps like Peepers & TxtASlice. They also make amaaaazzziinng pizza!

    Speaking of pizza – Kikkerland has an absurdly perfect collection of pizza-themed products.

    Alejandra Alvarez Morphy is a Graphic Designer who I recently had the pleasure of meeting. And I think her work is awesome.

    Boob socks. Enough said.

    My best babe Sarah Deragon is coming to New York March 24-26 & she’s gonna take my picture! I am STOKED. If you want to schedule a portrait session with one of my favorite humans, give her a shout.

    I picked up a copy of Wrap Magazine at the PS1 book store last year & it continues to be one of my favorite design magazines.

    My friend Brianna and I met through instagram. Not only is she a killer photographer, but she runs a city-guide project called With The Locals. She recently re-launched the website & there’s this amazing maps feature where you can add the featured spots to your google maps. Can you say game changer?

    Have I ever told you that I have two of the seriously most wonderful & talented studio mates a girl could ask for? Amy Taylor is a prop stylist, Dolly Parton enthusiast & a total B-A-B-E. And Jenny Dopazo is a bad-ass graphic designer, biz coach, filmmaker & fucking B-O-S-S.

    I had a really really bad day yesterday. But all of my friends – both digital & IRL – made me feel super loved & supported. So thank you to everyone who called, commented, or sent me ridiculous .gif’s. I <3 you all BIG time.

    This post was inspired by NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour.  

  • Whenever I’m having a bad day, I look at photos of Jess x Maura’s wedding. Drag queens + confetti + fringe = all my dreams come true. Also, Chellise Michael… You kill me with your crazy photo skills.

    Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk about body language blew my damn mind.

    Rachel Yarbrough – who is a talented MEGA BABE & member of #teambabelo – had an interview on Lady Guns Global. I am so so so proud of her!

    Her dude, David Williams, also just published his first book – Men With Cats: Intimate Portraits of Feline Friendship.

    Meat Hook

    Speaking of people I’m proud of… The Meat Hook is opening a new butcher shop this week on Graham Ave. and it is fucking beautiful. Give them all of your <3 + $$.

    I just donated to the WNYC Winter Pledge Drive. Yeah, I’m old – but I love public radio. #nprandchill

    In Memory of Me Caring t-shirt from my talented lady friend Meg Lewis. You know I got one.

    The As You Are project photographs people’s morning routines. Sooo pretty!

    I’m looking for 2 Spring (Apr-June) & 2 Summer (July-September) interns! Must love flowers, crafts & making magic. Interested? Email me! hello@michellebablo.com.

    This post was inspired by NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour.  

  • Totally obsessed with Liv & Dom‘s rude girl/guy incense holders.

    I just found out that my upstairs neighbor Mel runs a super cool art magazine called The Spoiler’s Hand.

    Dave Brown’s Creative Mornings talk from San Diego is AWESOME. And I think we would be friends.

    Color My Boobs : A titillating coloring book for adults. YES!

    I was gonna shout out the Amy/Seth Bud Lite commercial from the Super Bowl. But then it was all Bey-fucking-oncé. I’m not mad.

    From now on, I’m going to ask all of my assistants sign this pledge for creatives.

    Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 12.09.04 PM

    Babes, the Hemingway House in Key West is magical.

    I can’t stop listening to this song. Lucius you have my heart.

    This post was inspired by NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour.  

  • Don't Fuck With Me by Tea Leigh

    This drawing from the oh-so-talented Tea Leigh is perfect. I really hope she makes it into a patch & I can buy it for all my lady friends. Check out her shop!

    This father-daughter beatbox battle is insane!

    I made this yummy Kale Minestrone Soup from Bon Appétit on Wednesday.

    I want to send this essay from Marc Manson to all of the #teambabelo assistants.

    “Look, here’s another slap in the face for you: every job sucks sometimes. There’s no such thing as some passionate activity that you will never get tired of, never get stressed over, never complain about. It doesn’t exist. I am living my dream job (which happened by accident, by the way. I never in a million years planned on this happening; like a kid on a playground I just went and tried it), and I still hate about 30% of it.”

    Mega-babe photographer Sarah Deragon was on the Raise Your Hand Say Yes podcast this week. We met a few years ago at Alt Summit & I continue to love and admire everything she does.

    Is anyone else watching Amazon’s Mad Dogs? It’s really really weird.

    I started a galentine’s Pinterest board devoted mostly to boobs. ( . ) ( . )

    Thinx is putting on a Lovefest Feministival on the 11th. I’ll be out of town, but it sounds FUN.

    The baby shower I designed was featured on 100-layer-cakelet. It’s all color! And drag queens! And LOVE – as all baby showers should be.


    Tickets for March’s Monarch Workshop just went on sale. These babes continue to inspire and excite me with everything they do.

    I’m moderating a panel called Fuck Up & Win in a few weeks. It’s like all my life plans are coming true.

    I loved this Design Sponge article about Being The Face Of Your Business. Erin Benzakein also runs a damn flower farm, which I think is THE COOLEST.

    This post was inspired by NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour.