Where Are They Now? Jenny Frech of Soapy Gnome

Soapy Gnome packaging, AFTER Brick House Branding and a rebrand

SoapyGnome-Logo

 

Are you wondering what happens to my Brick House Branding alumni post-graduation? What they do with the momentum + new-found knowledge? Curious about where they take their businesses in the year following all that hard work? I’m excited to introduce you to another BHB graduate who’s making waves!

 

SoapyGnome-Jenny

 

MEET JENNY FRECH OF SOAPY GNOME

This week, I’m excited to introduce you to Jenny Frech of Soapy Gnome, whose bath and body line embodies the spirit of “koselig” – the Norwegian word for feeling warm, comforted, and cozy. Jenny recently rebranded Soapy Gnome after graduating from Brick House Branding and today, she’s sharing a bit more behind the scenes of that experience. Welcome, Jenny… we’re honored to have you!

 

LBC: Why and when did you originally launch your company?

Jenny: I’ve always known that I’ve wanted to own my own business, and I started several, none of which stuck. When I was working as a teacher, I started making soap as a hobby. As the soapmaking hobby started taking off in 2013, my husband suggested selling it at our farmer’s market. It was great timing as the main soap maker there had just retired. We created a local following and the business has continued to grow, primarily locally.

 

 

LBC: At what point did you know it was time for a rebrand?

Jenny: I started out with a drawing that I did myself. At the end of 2013, a store was interested in carrying my deodorant, so I hired a local artist to create a new gnome for me. But, I wasn’t consistent with fonts, colors, and the like, and I was still crunched for money. In 2015, we attended our first tradeshow. Our target customer wanted sturdier packaging, so we started looking into boxes. That’s when I invested in Brick House Branding and hiring a designer.

 

Soapy Gnome packaging + logo, BEFORE Brick House Branding and a rebrand

Soapy Gnome packaging + logo, BEFORE Brick House Branding and a rebrand

 

LBC: Please share a significant realization about the brand development process that you discovered while in Brick House Branding.

Jenny: The biggest discovery is our branding word of “koselig” which is the Norwegian word that means a cozy feeling. We use that when bringing new lines and products into our retail store and when creating marketing materials. Having a focus word has made life a lot easier. When I told my mom about focusing our brand around “cozy” she said, “of course!” I’ve always been a flannel jammies, down comforter kind of woman.

 

LBC: What professionals did you tag in to help with the process, and what pieces of the branding puzzle did you DIY?

Jenny: I hired an awesome designer that I was following on Instagram. She spent a lot of time outdoors in nature, and her work felt very cozy to me. I went in with color ideas and a Pinterest brand board that really helped her out in the design process. We also ordered professionally printed boxes and labels.

 

Soapy Gnome packaging + logo, BEFORE Brick House Branding and a rebrand

Soapy Gnome labels, BEFORE Brick House Branding and a rebrand

 

LBC: What was the biggest obstacle you encountered during the rebranding process?

Jenny: Cost. We started with bits and pieces as we could afford them. First, we paid for a new logo; then boxes, then labels.

 

LBC: How has your own perception of your brand evolved since graduating from Brick House Branding?  

Jenny: I feel more focused and less scattered. Having branding elements in place makes everything easier from social media posts to shelf talkers to new packaging designs.

 

Soapy Gnome packaging, AFTER Brick House Branding and a rebrand

Soapy Gnome packaging, AFTER Brick House Branding and a rebrand

 

LBC: Are your products are being received differently by others since the rebrand? How has their reaction evolved?

Jenny: I think people appreciate the more polished, professional look.

 

LBC: Can you share a recent win that you’ve realized because of the rebrand? 

Jenny: My biggest win is probably different than most. We have a brick and mortar shop and we carry all things cozy: soaps, bath products, Turkish towels, wool blankets, teas, and socks. Having a focus on cozy helps our store have a defined purpose and gives our customers a really unique shopping experience. About 75% of our sales are local and business keeps growing. We’ve more than doubled our business in the last 12 months.

 

Soapy Gnome product presentation, AFTER Brick House Branding and a rebrand

Soapy Gnome product presentation, AFTER Brick House Branding and a rebrand

 

LBC: How did Brick House Branding experience help shape your branding process?

Jenny: It made me do the really hard, deep digging work. It was frustrating, but worth it.

 

LBC: What do you wish you had known at the beginning of the brand development process? What advice would you give to someone who’s getting ready to start the brand development process?

Jenny: I feel like going through this process after being business for a couple of years was actually really helpful. Because I’d been in business for a bit, I knew who my best customers are, what products I enjoyed making, and what direction I hoped to grow my business. My knowledge two years in was definitely different than when I first started out.

 

Thanks for catching up with us, Jenny! We can’ t wait to see what comes next for you + Soapy Gnome… We’re cheering you on!

 

Soapy Gnome packaging, AFTER Brick House Branding and a rebrand

Soapy Gnome packaging, AFTER Brick House Branding and a rebrand

 

If you’d like to build a stronger, smart brand in 2017, then I also hope that you’ll consider joining me in the spring semester of Brick House Branding. This 8-week brand development incubator dissects awesome brands and then helps you build your own, brick by brick, with me working right alongside you to cheer you on and ensure that you’re on the right track. While formal enrolment for the first semester of 2018 has ended, we may still have seats available. I invite you to inquire about availability!

 

The Lucky Break Calendar – October 2017

LuckyBreakCalendar_Oct17

It’s hard to believe October is already here. Summer has officially wound down, and we’re into the season of changing leaves and dropping temperatures and all things pumpkin spice. Let’s see a raise of hands – who here has a pumpkin spice product that is flying off the shelves this month?

While the initial holiday pitch period is also over, there are still plenty of buyers placing orders, so follow up! Follow up! Follow up! You still have a good 30 days to get your name into their inbox and to get your products onto their shelves.

This month you should also see retail sales begin to pick up, too. So pour another cup of coffee, or tea, or go pick up one more PSL, and remember that I’m always cheering you on!

 

Lucky Break October 2017 Calendar

Click. Print. Hang up. Build that empire.

 

 

Where Are They Now? Pam Rodgers of Stella Chroma

StellaChroma-After2

Stella Chroma nail polish rebrand

Are you wondering what happens to my Brick House Branding alumni post-graduation? What they do with the momentum + new-found knowledge? Curious about where they take their businesses in the year following all that hard work? I’m excited to introduce you to another BHB graduate who’s making waves!

 

MEET PAM RODGERS OF STELLA CHROMA

 

This week, I’m excited to introduce you to Pam Rodgers of Stella Chroma, who creates splurge-worthy small batch nail polish that is cruelty, paraben, phthalate, and “big 5” free. After graduation from Brick House Branding, her company Paint Box Polish underwent a rebrand to what is now Stella Chroma. Pam is here sharing the story of her transition today, and we couldn’t be more excited. Welcome, Pam… we’re honored to have you!

 

PamRodgers

 

LBC: Why and when did you originally launch your company?

Pam: I originally launched as Paint Box Polish in February of 2012. I loved nail polish and had grown bored with the color options available at local stores. I discovered nail polish blogs, and indie nail polish companies started popping up. I began researching and testing in early 2011 and then started selling on Etsy.

 

LBC: At what point did you know it was time for a rebrand?

Pam: At first, all money made from selling polish went right back into buying more supplies. When I started making (teeny amounts of) money, I decided to do this for real. I knew that meant trademarking, so I searched the database and found that Paint Box was already trademarked. I knew then that I needed to rebrand.

 

PaintBox-Before

Paint Box Polish bottle photo, BEFORE Brick House Branding and a rebrand

 

LBC: Please share a significant realization about the brand development process that you discovered while in Brick House Branding.

Pam: I discovered pretty early on that my brand was much more than my brand name, and my mind was completely blown. I knew that some brands really seemed to have it together and be super cohesive, but I didn’t think I’d be able to do that. I’m still working on it, but with guidance (and wine and hand-holding) I’ve gotten on the right track.

 

LBC: What professionals did you tag in to help with the process, and what pieces of the branding puzzle did you DIY?

Pam: Aside from Lela and the fab ladies at Lucky Break, I hired Erika Firm from Analog Creative Co. to come up with my logo and brand identity. I spoke with about 5 graphic designers, but Erika and I clicked. The background work that was part of BHB made the process with Erika much easier!

 

PaintBox-Before2

Paint Box Polish contributed swatch photo, BEFORE Brick House Branding and a rebrand

 

LBC: What was the biggest obstacle you encountered during the rebranding process?

Pam: We had to dig deep! Like, grab your shovel and work up a sweat. Then give up on the shovel and rent a backhoe. Rebranding is so much more than liking how your brand name looks in a particular font and taking some cute flat lay photos. You have to decide what your brand is and who you want your people to be. And let me tell you, that ain’t an easy feat!

 

LBC: How has your own perception of your brand evolved since graduating from Brick House Branding?  

Pam: My brand is much more luxe than I first thought it could be. And, to my surprise, people are loving it. Purposefully making your branding more high-end-looking allows you to price up. And people are paying it.

 

Stella Chroma nail polish rebrand

Stella Chroma bottle photo, AFTER Brick House Branding and a rebrand

 

LBC: Are your products are being received differently by others since the rebrand? How has their reaction evolved?

Pam: I have gained customers at a much faster rate post-rebrand. Most are noting that my new look is what got their attention.

 

LBC: Can you share a recent win that you’ve realized because of the rebrand? 

Pam: I haven’t gotten to the point yet where I’m seeking out wholesale accounts on my own, but I’ve been approached by more retailers for wholesale accounts, and I know it’s strictly because of my rebrand.

 

LBC: How did Brick House Branding experience help shape your branding process?

Pam: Brick House Branding was my branding process. I thought I knew what I needed to do, but figured I’d let a pro like Lela Barker guide me along the way in case I had missed something. Ha ha ha! Yeah. What I was setting myself up for was a name change, not a rebranding.

 

Stella Chroma nail polish rebrand

Stella Chroma contributed swatch photo, AFTER Brick House Branding and a rebrand

 

LBC: What do you wish you had known at the beginning of the brand development process? What advice would you give to someone who’s getting ready to start the brand development process?

Pam: That to do this properly, it’s going to take lots of time. If it’s quick, it’s probably not going to be right. And it can be difficult, but you can absolutely run your shop as your current brand while you are working on the rebrand. My shop was only down for a month while I redid the site. It could’ve been for less than that, but I added some padding in case something went wrong.

 

Thanks for catching up with us, Pam! We can’ t wait to see what comes next for you + Stella Chroma… We’re cheering you on!

 

If you’d like to build a stronger, smart brand in 2017, then I also hope that you’ll consider joining me in the spring semester of Brick House Branding. This 8-week brand development incubator dissects awesome brands and then helps you build your own, brick by brick, with me working right alongside you to cheer you on and ensure that you’re on the right track. Enrollment for the first semester of 2018 is now open and will close on October 13, or as soon as we sell out of seats… so if you know you want a spot, be sure to mark your calendar today to ensure you don’t miss out. I’d welcome an opportunity to work with you!

Where Are They Now? Danielle Kindschi of Baby Blossom Co.

Baby Blossom Co. editorial photography, AFTER Brick House Branding and a rebrand

Baby Blossom Co. Logo

 

Are you wondering what happens to my Brick House Branding alumni post-graduation? What they do with the momentum + new-found knowledge? Curious about where they take their businesses in the year following all that hard work? I’m excited to introduce you to another BHB graduate who’s making waves!

MEET DANIELLE AND CINDY OF BABY BLOSSOM CO.

 

This week, I’m excited to introduce you to Danielle Kindschi of Baby Blossom Co., who –along with her business partner and mom Cindy – creates affordable and hassle-free presents for new moms that don’t sacrifice style, practicality or quality. She was generous enough to share the rebranding experience that Baby Blossom Co. has recently undergone in the aftermath of her graduation from Brick House Branding. Welcome, Danielle… we’re honored to share your story!

 

Baby Blossom Co. - Danielle and Cindy

 

LBC: Why and when did you originally launch your company?

Danielle: We launched Baby Blossom Company in Spring of 2009 when we were on the search for a baby gift for a family member who lived across the country. We wanted to send something practical for the baby, but didn’t want to just send clothes stuffed in a box. My mom and business partner, Cindy, learned about floral arranging from my grandmother, and had the idea to turn the clothes into a flower bouquet. The mom LOVED the bouquet. We decided to start a little company and haven’t looked back!

 

LBC: At what point did you know it was time for a rebrand?

Danielle: Neither of us knew anything about running a business when we first started 8 years ago, so we really wanted to go back to basics and build a strong foundation. We actually weren’t planning on revamping our visuals because we had just rebranded 8 months prior to starting BHB. But once we started the program and learned how much more goes into a brand than just a pretty logo, we realized we needed something that better fit our brand message.

 

Baby Blossom Co. - Before

Baby Blossom Co. logo, BEFORE Brick House Branding and a rebrand

 

LBC: Please share a significant realization about the brand development process that you discovered while in Brick House Branding.

Danielle: We had always thought that because we sold baby gifts, and anyone can buy a gift for a baby, that we didn’t have a specific MVP (or target customer). Boy, were we wrong! Realizing that we can’t be everything to everyone helped us narrow in on the people who are truly interested in our product.

 

LBC: What professionals did you tag in to help with the process, and what pieces of the branding puzzle did you DIY?

Danielle: We worked with a copywriter, trademark attorney, graphic designer, web designer, and photographer. Both of us are very limited on time, so we decided to use our business savings to tag in reliable professionals to take some of the pressure off us, and we are so glad we did. There were pieces that we DIY’d, but I had professional help to start us off. For example, I had our copywriter write a sample description for each of our product types, then I used the template to write my own. We worked with a photographer for a styled shoot, but I shot the individual product photos. A lot of the professionals we worked with were suggested through BHB.

 

Baby Blossom Co. - Secondary Logo

Baby Blossom Co. secondary logo, AFTER Brick House Branding and a rebrand

 

LBC: What was the biggest obstacle you encountered during the rebranding process?

Danielle: The rebrand turned out to be so much more time-consuming than we ever imagined!  We decided to work on a project or two at a time so that we didn’t get overwhelmed. Even though we tagged in professionals to help with many of the projects, there was still so much time spent sourcing the vendors, providing them with feedback, etc.

 

LBC: How has your own perception of your brand evolved since graduating from Brick House Branding?  

Danielle: I finally feel like our brand matches how I’ve viewed our company all along. Everything feels cohesive and professional and we have a strong foundation under our business. Every time I look at our new website, I have to pinch myself that it’s really ours!

 

Baby Blossom Co. editorial photography, AFTER Brick House Branding and a rebrand

Baby Blossom Co. editorial photography, AFTER Brick House Branding and a rebrand

 

LBC: Are your products are being received differently by others since the rebrand? How has their reaction evolved?

Danielle: The new brand has only been live for about a month, so it’s a little early to tell. Our new website will launch in October, so I am excited to see how it is perceived all together.

 

LBC: Can you share a recent win that you’ve realized because of the rebrand? 

Danielle: We were approached by a large, well-known blog to collaborate on a baby shower. This is the first time we have been approached for a collaboration with an influencer of this size and I’m sure that the branding played a part in their selection.

 

LBC: How did Brick House Branding experience help shape your branding process?

Danielle: Not only did BHB provide us with the knowledge to rebrand our business from start to finish (seriously, Lela leaves no stone unturned!), but the exercises that were part of the curriculum made it an absolute breeze when working with hired professionals. We were able to hand over the workbooks we completed in BHB to the vendors instead of filling out a new questionnaire for each vendor. They were truly impressed with how thorough the information was and how well we knew our brand. It made the process a lot smoother and I feel it provided us with a better result because they were able to get an in-depth look at our brand up front.

 

Baby Blossom Co. editorial photography, AFTER Brick House Branding and a rebrand

Baby Blossom Co. editorial photography, AFTER Brick House Branding and a rebrand

 

LBC: What do you wish you had known at the beginning of the brand development process? What advice would you give to someone who’s getting ready to start the brand development process?

Danielle: Lela was very honest at the beginning of the process and told us it would be difficult and time-consuming. While we were amazed at the reality of that statement, I can’t say we weren’t fairly warned and the outcome was so worth it!

Our advice is to go into a rebrand with a completely open mind and don’t be afraid to start from scratch. Give yourself plenty of time and don’t rush through the process.

 

Thanks for catching up with us, Danielle! We can’ t wait to see what comes next for you + Baby Blossom Co. We’re cheering you on!

 

If you’d like to build a stronger, smart brand in 2017, then I also hope that you’ll consider joining me in the spring semester of Brick House Branding. This 8-week brand development incubator dissects awesome brands and then helps you build your own, brick by brick, with me working right alongside you to cheer you on and ensure that you’re on the right track. Enrollment for the first semester of 2018 is now open and will close on October 13, or as soon as we sell out of seats… so if you know you want a spot, be sure to mark your calendar today to ensure you don’t miss out. I’d welcome an opportunity to work with you!

Where Are They Now? Yocasta Rodriguez of Aromelle Apothecary

Aromelle Apothecary

 

Are you wondering what happens to my Brick House Branding alumni post-graduation? What they do with the momentum + new-found knowledge? Curious about where they take their businesses in the year following all that hard work? I’m excited to introduce you to another BHB graduate who’s making waves!

 

MEET YOCASTA OF AROMELLE APOTHECARY

 

This week, I’m excited to introduce you to Yocasta Rodriguez of Aromelle Apothecary, who creates carefully-formulated soaps, body lotions, and sugar scrubs that are inspired by the aromas and essences of some of the most memorable, relaxing places on Earth. She was generous enough to share the rebranding experience that Aromelle has recently undergone in the aftermath of her graduation from Brick House Branding. Welcome, Yocasta… we’re honored to share your story!

 

Aromelle Apothecary

 

LBC: Why and when did you originally launch your company?

Yocasta: We started out of necessity in 1999, when my husband was transferred to New Mexico and our skin redefined the term “dry skin”. Nothing we tried worked, so I started researching and experimenting, and my homemade soaps and lotions were born. Through the years, we sold to family and friends and the business was born.

 

LBC: At what point did you know it was time for a rebrand?

Yocasta: We’d had several incarnations over the last 15 years or so, but after enrolling in LBU we realized that we were not ready for wholesale in any shape or form. I knew it was time to get serious and I enrolled in Brick House Branding.

 

Aromelle Apothecary

Aromelle soap presentation, BEFORE Brick House Branding

 

LBC: Please share a significant realization about the brand development process that you discovered while in Brick House Branding.

Yocasta: It is hard – and I don’t mean a “1” on a scale of 1-10, and I mean a “10” hard! I cried for about two weeks while trying to dig really deep. Lela and the Lucky Break team were amazing; they gently prodded, guided and held me together through all of this. It was like giving birth; a lot of sweat and tears, but at the end it was so worth it.

 

LBC: What professionals did you tag in to help with the process, and what pieces of the branding puzzle did you DIY? 

Yocasta: For the label design and primary logo we worked with Riley Scodioli from Scodioli Creatives; Short Run Labels for printing; My Box Printer for the soap boxes. Natalia Sylvester from Inky Clean did our copy writing; all the photography was done by an amazing coworker, Dr. James Lee; Lucky Break designed our line sheet; and last but not least, Helen Hulskamp did an outstanding job on the website.

 

Aromelle Apothecary

Aromelle soap presentation, AFTER Brick House Branding and a rebrand

 

LBC: What was the biggest obstacle you encountered during the rebranding process?

Yocasta: Time! It was difficult to orchestrate the rebrand in less than 6 months; it was like working on a puzzle with the help of 10 other people… chaotic, but oh, so worth it!

 

LBC: How has your own perception of your brand evolved since graduating from Brick House Branding?

Yocasta: For the first time in forever, I really know her; it was awesome to finally understand who she is, what her purpose is, how she makes others feel. Aromelle has gone from a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly; the transformation is nothing short of amazing!

 

Aromelle sugar scrub presentation, prior to Brick House Branding

Aromelle sugar scrub presentation, BEFORE Brick House Branding

 

LBC: Are your products are being received differently by others since the rebrand? How has their reaction evolved?

Yocasta: Yes! Before, people loved the products, but they looked DIY – like something created in someone’s kitchen. Now, everyone comments about they belong on a store shelf. They comment on how beautiful the packaging is, and how everything just fits together.

 

LBC: Can you share a recent win that you’ve realized because of the rebrand?

Yocasta: A lady that works as a rep for a well-known company just reached out and asked if we are interested in having her sell our products. We have set up an appointment to talk, which would have never happened before the rebrand. Another thing that happened because of the rebrand is that our Trademark is in the process of being approved by the USPTO.

 

Aromelle sugar scrub presentation, after Brick House Branding and rebrand

Aromelle sugar scrub presentation, AFTER Brick House Branding and rebrand

 

LBC: How did Brick House Branding experience help shape your branding process?

Yocasta: Lela and the LBC team guided me every step of the way. This would not have been possible without the team, no doubt. There is so much more to a brand than a logo, colors, and typeface, and that was something I did not understand before BHB.

 

LBC: What do you wish you had known at the beginning of the brand development process? What advice would you give to someone who’s getting ready to start the brand development process?

Yocasta: For someone who is starting this process, the best advice I can give you is sign up for Brick House Branding. Second, put on your big girl panties, strap on your boots and get ready to work! Don’t take criticism personally, and tag in professionals. Yes, it is expensive in the beginning, but in the long run it is worth it.

 

Thanks for catching up with us, Yocasta! We can’ t wait to see what comes next for you + Aromelle. We’re cheering you on!

 

Aromelle Apothecary

Aromelle Apothecary’s beautiful post-BHB editorial photography

 

If you’d like to build a stronger, smart brand in 2017, then I also hope that you’ll consider joining me in the spring semester of Brick House Branding. This 8-week brand development incubator dissects awesome brands and then helps you build your own, brick by brick, with me working right alongside you to cheer you on and ensure that you’re on the right track. Enrollment for the first semester of 2018 opens on October 3rd and closes after 10 days, or as soon as we sell out of seats… so if you know you want a spot, be sure to mark your calendar today to ensure you don’t miss out. I’d welcome an opportunity to work with you!