Where Are They Now? Aubrey Miller of REDBUDSUDS
Are you wondering what happens to my LBU or BHB 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? This week we’re continuing a new series in which we’re catching up with graduates who are truly “leveling up” their creative businesses. I hope you’ll join me in cheering on these makers + product designers!
This week we’re talking to LBU and Brick House Branding alum Aubrey Miller, who recently launched a complete rebrand of her company REDBUDSUDS (formerly known as Redbud Suds Soap Company). After months and months of hard work, her resulting branding is a thing of beauty, from the inside out. I’m thrilled to be sharing her transformation with you today. Welcome, Aubrey!
LBC: Why did you originally launch your company?
I started my handcrafted business Redbud Suds Soap Company because I was in between jobs, happened to have a little extra time on my hands and had just fallen head-over-heels for soap making. Turning the hobby into a business seemed like a no-brainer. What else was I going to do with all that soap? I had no idea what Pandora’s box I had opened!
LBC: At what point did you know it was time for a rebrand?
The tipping point for me was when I decided to turn my accidental hobby-business into a purposeful, full-time venture. Two things compelled me to invest in a rebrand:
First, the heart of the company (the mission) needed to be brought from the background into the foreground. My personal life goal is to get people excited about examining their personal habits and making better choices for the environment. I knew by incorporating my life passion into my brand, I would have the fuel I needed to keep at it when the going gets rough. Because, let’s be honest – getting a business off the ground is frickin’ hard.
The other reason was practical: as I dug deeper into the actual business of my business, it was clear that the value of the products wasn’t adequately being represented by the current branding. If I was going to run a sustainable business (aka stay in business), I needed to shift my price points. Rebranding as REDBUDSUDS has freed me to effectively communicate the value of what I create and allows me to ask what its worth with confidence.
LBC: What professionals did you tag in to help with the rebrand process, and what parts did you opt to DIY?
After DIY-ing the entire first rendition of Redbud Suds, I was eager to have a professional take my ideas (honed by a lot of hard work in Lela’s Brick House Branding and Lucky Break University) and pair them with stellar visuals.
I searched for a long time before I found a professional graphic designer / web designer / web developer who felt like a good fit. I also opted for professional photographs for my website.
It was really hard for me to let go of doing “all of the things.” But bringing professionals on board has actually helped me clarify and focus. Now with REDBUDSUDS I can create and market what I do far more efficiently and strategically.
LBC: What was the biggest obstacle you encountered during the rebranding process?
My biggest obstacle was (and is) learning a new kind of workflow. I have to be organized. I have to plan ahead. This is a must when working with others, and especially when working with a limited budget. Staying organized is hard for me because I’m always on the go, always feeling like I need to be “doing” something. It takes conscious effort for me to stop, organize, and plan. But planning, prioritizing, and creating systems is so important – for growth and for sanity. So important.
LBC: What, if anything, survived from your original branding?
Pretty much everything changed! The name is really the only thing that remained (mostly) intact: Redbud Suds Soap Company to REDBUDSUDS.
LBC: Did the rebranding process take longer or prove to be more challenging than you anticipated?
Longer? Yes. Cost more money? Yes. Feel scary, like, “what the heck am I doing?” Yes. When you build a business from scratch, every single day means confronting some kind of fear. But the dream of seeing the vision in my head play out in real time makes all the effort completely worth it. I am finally confident enough to reach out and pitch my products. Already since rebranding REDBUDSUDS I have had some pretty incredible opportunities for collaboration that definitely wouldn’t have happened before.
LBC: What role did Lucky Break play in your decision to rebrand and/or in the execution of your rebrand?
I blame Lucky Break for everything! I’m kidding, but in all seriousness, the resources, the rich coursework, and the LBU Alumni Coaching Community that Lela and the Lucky Break team offers has given me a handle on how to approach this wild world of entrepreneurship in a way that feels manageable…usually. I appreciate how Lucky Break doesn’t pretend to hand answers to you on a silver platter, but rather teaches you how to start asking the right questions. Running a handmade business is a constant learning process, and Lucky Break is like a toolbox filled with tools that ask questions, too.
LBC: How you do you feel now that you’ve come out the other side? How has your perception of your brand evolved?
I am SO excited to finally be able to share this hard work with the world. It feels great to have high-quality graphics and photography to back up the quality and the positive environmental message that was there since the beginning.
LBC: Can you share a recent win that you’ve realized because of this rebrand?
Yes! I am thrilled and honored to have been selected to team up with Pleasant Valley Trailers, an awesome company that makes vintage-style teardrop trailers and mini-RVs.
Starting July 2016, REDBUDSUDS shower bars will be included in every purchase of a T@B, T@G, Little Guy, Silver Shadow and myPod teardrop trailer and Cirrus truck campers all across the USA. I’m so excited that our “adventure soap” can be used to help new owners of these mini-RV’s feel at home in their new spaces!
LBC: What advice would you give to somebody getting ready to start this process in their business?
First and foremost, know what your end goal is. Who is your ideal customer? What are your ideal sales channels? Wholesale? Brick and mortar? Online? Honing your preferred end customer and desired sales channels before you begin the process will save a lot of headache. Even though it’s a giant pain to figure out, you will only have to do it once instead of confronting the question every single time you face a new opportunity.
Also, remember that no one conquers the world in a day. Give yourself the grace. Focus on doing do one thing well every day. Simple daily efforts truly do add up to big things.
Many thanks to Aubrey for spending a few minutes with us. The entire Lucky Break team is cheering you on!
Are you an LBU or BHB Alumni with some big news to share? Drop us a line: hello AT luckybreakconsulting.com. Please use “LBU/BHB ALUMNI” as the subject line. We love to celebrate alongside you and shout out your success…