What are these pet projects we speak of?

Somewhere between hobbies and a side hustles, our pet projects are pursuits of passion outside the typical nine-to-five.

That means YouTube videos, podcasts, thousands of Instagram followers—and that’s just one Quilted Squirrel staffer! (Spoiler: It’s Tyler.)

But a few others do some pretty cool stuff outside of work, too. Here’s who we are and what we’re up to—straight from the staffers ourselves.


Tyler McElhaney, Graphic Designer

Pet projects keep things funky and fresh!

I always pull things I’m working on outside of TQS into my projects here. I love to produce YouTube videos about video games and technology, host a podcast about gaming, and stream my gaming sessions on Twitch!

I also love to stay on top of the latest film and photo techniques along with social media marketing techniques.



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A post shared by Tyler McElhaney (@tynology)


Lisa Hinterberger, Graphic Designer

When I got engaged three years ago and started planning my wedding I quickly realized how much I love the wedding scene. I started designing wedding stationery on the side and it became a nice little side hustle. While my main focus is on invitations I also started designing signage such as welcome signs and seating charts.


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A post shared by lisahdesign (@lisah_design)


Franklin Heinzmann, Account Coordinator

For the past three years, my side gig has been being the public address announcer for my alma mater, Williamsville South High School.

The impact I’ve been told I have on the students, the parents, my former teachers, and the community at large is something that I don’t think I’ll ever take for granted.

Year four starts when the Williamsville East Flames come to town (I mean, not really “come to town”—they’re already there, just making the 10-minute drive down Youngs Road in Williamsville) to take on our varsity football team.

Hope to see you under the lights at Wil. South this Fall!

Pet Projects — LEFT: a microphone sits on an announcer's desk in a media booth overlooking an active football game at night. RIGHT: A microphone lays next to a laptop on an announcer's desk on the sideline of a high school basketball game.


Alyssa Boczar, Senior Account Manager

My husband and I just bought our first house! Sooo I think by default that’s our pet project for the near future. Not that we got a fixer uper by any means, but it needs some TLC to become our home. Looking forward to decorating, reorganizing, and shopping!

Pet Projects: A man and woman hold a "for sale" sign in front of a home on a sunny day.


Steve Lingle, CEO

I was confused, at first, by this question, coming on the heels of our takes on pets. I think I’ve sorted this out in my head, though.

I have a handful of pet projects, or “interests” may be more appropriate. I love building things and home improvement projects.

Last year I got into building stuff from reclaimed lumber… picture frames, shelves, even a pretty nice desk (nice, according to me).

I’ll likely get back into it when the weather is not so nice. But for now, I’ve been puttering around my yard like any 65-year-old man would do (I’m 41). I like to call it “working the land,” but mostly it’s just an excuse to get out of the house.

TQS Pet Projects: A handmade, brown wooden desk


James A. Colombo III, Copywriter & Content Strategist

I dabble a bit in freelance copywriting. I like to do a little voice-over work, too, when given the opportunity.

As a freelancer, I usually work with a team up of creatives who are much more talented than I am. And smarter. And more business savvy. When they find cool projects to work on and need copywriting, they’ll consider reaching out to me.

But I also write blogs and scripts and stuff, too, such as the script for the 43North video below.


Chris White, Creative Director

I don’t have any paid side gigs, but I do generally have a number of side projects any given time.

If I’m not doing projects or fixing things around our home in Amherst, I’ve been doing projects or fixing things around a lake house that we purchased on Conesus Lake back in January.

When I’m not doing that stuff, I’m typically working on stuff for Bornhava, a nonprofit organization that I’m currently on the board of.

Otherwise, I’m probably playing music… with the most recent project—which is just coming together—being a Deep Purple tribute band.

Jerry Lee, Marketing Strategist

I think my job at Quilted Squirrel might actually be my pet project.

When I’m not working for Quilted Squirrel, I’m rarely sitting still. Sitting down? Yes. Sitting still, not even close.

While I don’t have a single pet project that requires the same amount of time, the total of my side projects are far more than a 40- hour/week gig. If it’s not managing a sports card collection or setting up at a monthly card show or two, I might be found…

  • Airbrushing some white Air Force Ones
  • Making a custom coffee mug (usually blessed with a character of myself on it)
  • Learning to play and sing along terribly out of key to a Tom Petty song
  • Helping my buddy Jason with a project I have no reason to get involved in
  • Asking the same Jason to take me to Home Depot with his Dodge Ram to pick up wood (for a project I probably shouldn’t be doing myself)
  • Calling Steve to dissect a random run-in at the grocery store to determine how it could be a scene in the movie/book/standup routine/side show we’ll never create
  • Any number of unnecessary, unorthodox, or unnerving whim I’m chasing

It’s a long job description, but that job’s showing no signs of nearing completion. My pet project? That would probably be helping to find opportunities for Quilted Squirrel to help businesses with strategic marketing support. It’s probably as rewarding of a pet project as they get!


Do you have a pet project?

We’d love to learn more about it! And if you wanna team up to tackle it, we’d be into that, too. So contact us or see what we’ve got goin’ on LinkedInFacebookTwitter, and Vimeo. Maybe you’ll like what you see.

Thanks for reading.


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