5 Things I Learned By Opening a Brick and Mortar Shop

5 things I learned about opening a brick and mortar

Opening a storefront as a maker and product designer is no easy feat! Today I’m here to share the top 5 things I learned by opening a brick and mortar shop.

 

Hi there folks! I’m Angie and I’m a member at Team Lucky Break. In addition to working with some of the planet’s best brands at LBC, I also run a thriving product-based business called bobo design studio and I’m here to share the…

 

5 Things I Learned By Opening a Brick and Mortar Shop

 

In May of 2018, I was offered the opportunity to be part of a landmark retail experience in Downtown San Jose. I was selected by the city and an organization called San Jose Made to be part of an inaugural group of up and coming brands and artisans to bring quality retail to the area. I’ve spent the last nine months nurturing that shop. As my lease comes to an end, I’ve been meditating on the magical, complicated, exhausting experience of running my own shop.

 

Angie



The process of opening and running this store has been an incredible learning experience that can only be described as trial by fire. This was not a traditional brick and mortar where I had to locate a retail space, obtain permits, etc. My experience and reflection in this post focus on the operational side, being a maker, and opening a storefront.

 

With that said, I wanted to share some of these lessons. I hope they prove helpful if you’re considering opening a physical store for your own business. And if this isn’t in your business plan, don’t turn the dial just yet! There are good tidbits here that you can still apply to your business.

 

No amount of planning or preparation will get you ready.

When I was notified of the opportunity to have the store, I had almost no time to put it together. Running a brick and mortar was not on my radar, but when your home city says “you would be a great ambassador to our community and help bring quality retail to Downtown,” you just don’t say no to that.

 

angie blog_2

 

I had approximately 2 weeks from when the ink dried on the contract to the opening day which involved a massive street closure, big ribbon cutting ceremony, Mayor kissing babies… the whole nine. Those two short weeks was utter chaos. Creating enough inventory to supply an entire store, merchandising, finalizing packaging, and developing store operation procedures were things I had to learn and build quickly.

 

I could have easily obsessed over each minor detail and fussed over creating a wide variety of products to fill a shop, but the success is in being nimble as you go while staying true to your brand. The saying “done is better than perfect” could not be more relevant here.

 

You don’t get a return on the investment of a storefront unless you’re in it for the long haul.

There are investments you plan for, and there are others that you didn’t anticipate. There was so much I didn’t know about or factor into opening a store. The large amount of capital spent in setting everything up was rough to fork over. Even on my best sales weeks and months, if you factor everything in- fixtures, rent, parking, staffing, unforeseen maintenance, retail software packages, and insurance, there is a chance that you might not come close to breaking even. The investment in creating a quality, branded shopping experience in your store is one that pays back over the life of a lease that is closer to 5 years. But how many folks are ready for the risk of a 5-year lease?

 

(more…)

LBC CLIENTS CELEBRATE A PROFITABLE + PRODUCTIVE 2018

LBC_Client_Wins_2018_Cover

My clients made *big* money moves in 2018 and I’m so stinkin’ proud of their courage, tenacity, and smarts!  I’ve noticed that many of us are “head down” and eyeball-deep in the hustle, and we rarely surface to celebrate the wins. Celebrate client wins is one of my most favorite things to do, and as one of my final blogs of 2018, I wanted to pop a cork and celebrate the tremendous strides we’ve made both individually and collectively.

 

Celebrating Big Client Wins of 2018

 

I could be here all day tooting the horns of the Lucky Break community, but I’ve pulled together a handful of my favorite client wins from the year to share. I hope you find them as inspiring as I do!

 

Christy Rose of KBShimmer in  Terre Haute, IN also rocked a major rebrand this year, seriously up-leveling her collection of nail polishes. In the process, she expanded her team to include 3 full-time staff (in addition to Christy and her husband, who both work at KBShimmer). Even better? She hit her dream sales mark as of October 30, secured three international wholesale stockists to expand the brand reach, and grew her FB fan group by a respectable 28%.  Woooohooo!

How have we worked with Christy? LBU Graduate, member of the Alumni Coaching Community, Price-O-Matic software, Brick House Branding graduate, my GMP class, Wholesale Matchmaker member, VIP Line Sheet Design.

 

LBC_Client_Wins_2018_1

 

Kara Brook of Waxing Kara in Owing Mills, MD enjoyed a phenomenal year in the press. Among the highlights: She scored an 8-page (!) spread in the autumn issue of Danny Seo’s magazine, Naturally Danny Seo. Her artisan honey was also in the NYTimes, resulting in hundreds of orders and scads of new fans.  And her Haute Cocoa gift set took top honors in the IBN Artisan Awards for the “Bath + Body” product category, too.

How have we worked with Kara? LBU Graduate, member of the Alumni Coaching Community, VIP Line Sheet Design, both my GMP + Spa Market classes, and private strategy sessions.

 

Sara Runser of LILY DE MAI in NY launched her brand and enjoyed a delicious round of press, including NY Magazine, Shape, Coastal Living, US Weekly and Style Caster.

How have we worked with Sara? LBU graduate, member of the Alumni Coaching Community, Price-O-Matic software, member of Wholesale Matchmaker, VIP Line Sheet Design, and private strategy sessions.

 

LBC_Client_Wins_2018_4

 

Michelle Smith of MamaSuds in recently underwent a major rebrand and all of that hard work has reaped some rich rewards this year.  Sales are up 40% versus 2017 figures.  She took home an accolade from the IBN Artisan Awards, too, in the form of top honors for the “Lifestyle + Home” category for her Laundry Soap.

How have we worked with Michelle? LBU Graduate, member of the Alumni Coaching Community, Price-O-Matic software, Brick House Branding graduate, Wholesale Matchmaker member, and private strategy sessions.

 

Renan Kennedy of Sans Skincare has doubled her revenue in 2018, in addition to being honored several times throughout the year. She was named one of SCORE’s American Small Business Championship winners of 2018. As part of that competition, Renan was flown to Reno, NV for a celebration and intensive business workshops with industry professionals. She also pitched and was accepted by Home Shopping Network to participate in their intensive business incubator program. That meant another trip to Tampa, FL to attend an amazing week of business workshops put on by HSN.

How have we worked with Renan? LBU Graduate, member of the Alumni Coaching Community, Price-O-Matic software, my GMP class + spa market classes, Wholesale Matchmaker member, and private strategy sessions.

 

LBC_Client_Wins_2018_3

 

Angie Chua of bobo design studio in San Jose, CA  won the Indie Source competition at the MAGIC tradeshow in Las Vegas after a live pitch event. That accolade was accompanied by a $5,000 prize to help bring a new product to fruition. Angie’s also been recognized by local community officials, who awarded her a pop-up shop in downtown San Jose for six solid months! And that storefront is paying big dividends… Angie recently enjoyed the biggest sales day in the history of her company on Small Business Saturday this year.

How have we worked with Angie? Brick House Branding graduate, member of the Alumni Coaching Community, Price-O-Matic software, and private strategy sessions.

 

Stacia Guzzo of SmartyPits in Tehachapi, CA had a banner year all the way round! She raised over $18,000 for City of Hope’s breast cancer research program through the sales of her priobiotic deodorant collection , and the SmartyPits team participated in their annual Walk for Hope. The brand expanded its retail reach from 150 to 900+ (1) stores while adding four teammates and a forklift to their lineup.

How have we worked with Stacia? LBU graduate, Brick House Branding graduate, member of the Alumni Coaching Community, Price-O-Matic software, my GMP class, line sheet design, and private strategy sessions.

 

LBC_Client_Wins_2018_6

 

Sarah Villafranco of Osmia Organics in Carbondale, CO launched a new initiative on Earth Day in 2018, vowing to plant one tree for every order they receive. In just over six months, she and her team have planted 12,609 trees! She hosted one hell of a Cyber Monday sale, planting 1,584 trees on that day alone. She also launched her limited edition “Craft Series” products as a way to indulge her creative side and play with some deliciously exotic ingredients. Each of those runs of products has sold out, sometimes in as little as a few hours. The icing on the cake? Sarah’s gorgeous soaps made the NYTimes Gift Guide!

How have we worked with Sarah? My GMP class and private strategy sessions.

 

Tamiko Blake of Sweet & True Sugaring in Walnut Creek, CA has seen a huge surge in revenue in 2018.  In fact, it’s up 250% (!!!) versus 2017 and she’s on the verge of launching an exciting new facial collection under a separate brand umbrella.

How have we worked with Tammy? LBU graduate, Brick House Branding gradate, Member of the Alumni Coaching Community, Price-O-Matic software, both my GMP + spa market classes, and private strategy sessions.

 

LBC_Client_Wins_2018_2

 

Zandra Cunningham of Zandra Beauty in Buffalo, NY had a banner year in terms of both exposure and support. She graced the pages of magazines and the airwaves of major television networks, from The Today Show to Entrepreneur Magazine. She pitched Shark Tank and the executives at Sephora offered to support the line, too. Zandra graduated high school in 2018 and bought her first car in cash. Huzzah!

How have we worked with Zandra? LBU graduate, Brick House Branding graduate, Member of the Alumni Coaching Community, Price-O-Matic software, my GMP class, and private strategy sessions.

 

Aubrey Miller of REDBUDSUDS in Canton, OH landed an interesting deal with NuCamp, makers of teardrop trailers. She’s been supplying them her multipurpose soap bars for several years now, as NuCamp gifts a bar to each new trailer owner. But in keeping with Audrey’s mission to live simply and get outside, NuCamp offered her a custom trailer for a year and sponsored a nationwide pop-up tour for REDBUDSUDS. Pretty amazing, eh? And just wait until you see the custom trailer!  She was also accepted into the Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy, a business training put on by the Outdoor Industry Association. It’s a 6-month training program in manufacturing, sustainability, and environmental advocacy as well as personal growth and development and Aubrey is honored to be one of only 35 people selected to participate.

How have we worked with Aubrey? LBU graduate, Brick House Branding graduate, Member of the Alumni Coaching Community, Price-O-Matic software, and private strategy sessions.

 

Holly Marshmueller of Marshmeuller in Astoria, OR hit the trifecta of launches: relaunching her brand, launching a new website theme for her retail site, and revamping her wholesale website (including some Google-Fu level coding)! She was also accepted into Crafty Wonderland for the fifth consecutive year and the popular “Scary Mommy” blog opened an official shop which carries Holly’s line.

How have we worked with Holly? LBU graduate, member of the Alumni Coaching Community, Price-O-Matic software, member of Wholesale Matchmaker.

 

BRINGING HOME THE ACCOLADES

Several members of the Lucky Break community scooped some handsome awards, including…

  • Becky Bluh of Bluh Alchemy netted a record-breaking FOUR nominations in the Indie Beauty Expo Awards. She’s a BHB graduated who’s launching her rebrand in January of 2019, alongside the announcement that she’s landed her dream stockist, though we can’t spill the beans just yet!
  • Ebru Karuzoglu of AveSeena was also nominated in the Indie Beauty Expo Awards.
  • Molly Beane and her From Molly with Love brand received a nomination in the Indie Beauty Expo Awards.
  • Stacia Guzzo of SmartyPits garnered a nod, too, via the Indie Beauty Expo Awards.
  • Heather Lux of True North captured an honorable mention title in the IBN Awards.
  • Lisa Kennally of Wild Air Skincare received an honorable mention in the IBN Awards as well.

 

NATIONAL DISTRIBUTION DEALS

I was particularly excited to see several members of our community land national distribution deals. Especially robust high-five goes out to…

  • Gwen Jimmere of Naturalicious launched into select Sally Beauty Supply stores. The collection has performed so well that she recently announced the expansion into 640 stores nationwide!
  • Iyanla Vanzant of MasterPeace Body Therapy landed a multi-appearance deal with HSN.
  • Pamela Jenkins of Koils by Nature shimmied onto the shelves of Target.

 

Sharing that news with you makes me grin from ear-to-ear! I salute the hard work of each you and I’m privileged to have a front row seat to much of this growth. Did you enjoy a special win in 2018? I hope you’ll leave a comment below to shout it out.  I’d love to celebrate with you!

 

Where are they now: Sarah Samere of James Vincent Design Co.

Sarah Headshot

james_logo3_360x

 

Are you wondering what happens to my Brick House Branding alumni post-graduation? What they do with the momentum and new-found knowledge? Curious about where they take their businesses in the year following all that hard work?

 

I’m back with another installment in my “Where Are They Now?” series and I’m doing-cartwheels-excited to show you the serious waves my BHB graduates are making!

 

Sarah Headshot

 

SAY HELLO TO SARAH OF JAMES VINCENT DESIGN CO.

This week I’m thrilled to catch up with my Brick House Branding graduate Sarah of James Vincent Design Co.

 

 

Lucky Break: Why and when did you originally launch your company?

Sarah: I started my company in 2013 after the birth of my first child. I was not a fan of the clothing that was available for babies/children and decided to make my own. Several people told me that I should sell the things I was making for my daughter so I took my last $40 (hard times during that part of my life) and bought fabric, opened an Etsy store and when the first piece sold, I used the profit to buy double the fabric, and so on.

 

 

Lucky Break: At what point did you know it was time to further explore brand development?

Sarah: A friend of mine had introduced me to Lela Barker via Periscope and I would listen to her daily while I worked from my home studio. As a momprenuer I wanted to soak up all of the knowledge I could on how to build a better company, and Lela quickly became like a mentor to me. After hearing so many other people comment on how she helped them take their businesses to another level via branding I decided to take my tax return and jump on the Lela train. There were SO MANY other small shops popping up at this time and many were basically knocking off what I had been doing. It was breaking my heart as well as hurting my business. I knew I had to do something big to set my company apart from all of the knock offs. Lela made it clear to me that branding was the only way to do this.

 

JVDC 2

 

Lucky Break: You didn’t necessarily undertake a “rebrand” in the traditional sense… there was no renaming of the company, no new logo, etc. Instead, we focused on refining your product collection, understanding what the brand is all about, and raising the bar on the product photography.  How has that helped the brand?

Sarah: I started my company making rompers. As a small business, I needed money not only for my business but also to put food on the table, so when people would send me special requests to make custom pieces or “you should make this or that”, I would say “okay” to everything, and ended up overextending myself. I lost sight of what my brand was all about. Lela, via Brick House Branding, helped me get back in my lane, and take my company back to the bare bones of where it started and why my customer base fell in love with my company in the first place. I stopped trying to be everything to everyone and simplified my product collection.

 

Lela helped me narrow my scope & figure out what my story was. Through a LOT of research, I was able to locate a local photographer who was new to the area and whose photography gave me life. Thank the gods that she was willing to work with me and that we had a mutual love for each other’s talents. Her photography helped me take my brand to another level and set my brand so far apart from all of the copycat brands that I was being suffocated by at the time. Her photography style compliments my brand vision so well, I never would have guessed how much of a difference that would have made for James Vincent Design Co.

 

(more…)

Where are they now: Dawn Russell of Treats for Chickens

Treats for Chickens

new logo trans

Are you wondering what happens to my Brick House Branding alumni post-graduation? What they do with the momentum and new-found knowledge? Curious about where they take their businesses in the year following all that hard work?

 

I’m back with another installment in my “Where Are They Now?” series and I’m doing-cartwheels-excited to show you the serious waves my BHB graduates are making!

 

Treats for Chickens

 

SAY HELLO TO DAWN OF TREATS FOR CHICKENS

This week I’m catching up with Dawn of Treats for Chickens. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of backyard chickens, and Dawn really makes me wish I had a reason to purchase every single one of her products. Dawn’s post-Brick House Branding transformation is a great example of evolution, versus a giant overhaul, and I’m pleased as punch to share her story with you.

 

Lucky Break: Why and when did you originally launch your company?

Dawn: Treats for Chickens hatched in 2009 out of necessity.  Organic food for chickens was rarely available and at the time there were zero organic treats on the market, let alone supplements or herbal mixes for nesting boxes.

 

 

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

Dawn: I’m on the fourth brand evolution since my launch. In the very beginning, I used Avery labels on Ziploc bags.  I quickly moved to a more professional look when I put my products into distribution.  Funds for packaging were minimal in those days and I foolishly went with artwork that I did not have full legal rights to.  Within 18 months there were three companies in the animal feed industry using the same artwork, and I had zero recourse to differentiate and protect the brand.

 

I needed something ORIGINAL that couldn’t be copied.  Thankfully, my brother-in-law is a cartoonist and over the years had drawn fun chicken-related birthday cards and posters for me.  The new look was right in front of me:  the yellow chicken and various chicken sketches throughout the current brand.  At this time, I jumped into pre-printed packaging and moved away from labels and stock bags.

 

My goals for the most recent brand evolution were to stand out on retail shelves, to convey important messages to consumers, and to transition from costly/bulky buckets and into large stand up pouches.

 

I took Brick House Branding in June, 2016 and ordered our first round of packaging from the printer in October, 2017.

 

Early examples of Treats for Chickens' branding

Early examples of Treats for Chickens’ branding

 

 

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

Dawn: I have a tendency to get bored real easy and I want to change things constantly. Consumers get confused when the look and vibe aren’t consistent. I learned that I need to stay in my lane, stick with my brand colors, fonts, patterns, tone, and visual design elements.  I’m very specific about how we show up now.

 

 

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

Dawn: I could not run Treats for Chickens profitably if I didn’t have a team of professionals handling the graphic design of my vision and thoughts, copywriters taking my ramblings and terrible punctuation and turning those thoughts into understandable, printable public copy.  I am grateful for web designers, photographers and more.

 

 

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

Dawn: My lack of patience for the process. I think of an idea/product/handout/flyer/shelf talker/door cling and I want it to launch tomorrow and as we all know – it doesn’t always happen THAT fast.

 

Treats for Chickens, before Brick House Branding and a packaging update

Treats for Chickens, before Brick House Branding and a packaging update

 

 

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

Dawn: I’m happy with the direction we’ve gone and the places where we’re stocked.  Treats for Chickens is a brand with spunk, heart, soul and a story that our customers relate to and trust.

 

 

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

Dawn: Anyone can throw a bunch of ingredients in a bag (box, etc), add a UPC, sell it below market value and grab the attention of a buyer to get it on a shelf.  Customers, buyers, retailers know that as a company we take the health and happiness of backyard chickens seriously and it shows in every facet of what we produce whether it be ingredients or the way we show up.  It’s very clear that we aren’t a crappy, knock-off, commodity product.

 

 

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

Dawn: I’m working on an account with 160+ locations.  He called and said that he liked the look and that it conveyed a message they were in agreeance with.  160 locations?  I’ll ship that.

 

I’m also fortunate that our look is just damn cute.  Most companies that we share shelf space with are so GENERIC.

 

Treats for Chickens, after Brick House Branding and a packaging update

Treats for Chickens, after Brick House Branding and a packaging update

 

 

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

Dawn: I was able to go through the whole process and leave no stone unturned.  Lela’s course is thorough and even pissed me off a few times because I had to REALLY look at how my behavior (changing things, getting off-brand, off -tone) was affecting consumer/buyer perception.

 

There are steps to a successful rebrand and BHB walks you down the path, pebble by pebble.

 

 

Lucky Break: 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?

Dawn: I don’t have a “wish-I-would-have-known” but I do have advice (or rather a request) pleeeeze don’t compare your process to anyone else’s and do not compare your business to another.  This thinking is fatal to the creative process.

 

Jump in, give it your all and follow through. Launch your beautiful rebrand and be accountable for the end results of your brand and your business.

 

 

Thanks for catching up with us, Dawn. We can’ t wait to see what comes next for you and Treats for Chickens… We’re cheering you on!

 

If you’d like to build a stronger, smart brand in 2019, then I hope that you’ll consider joining me in the winter semester of Brick House Branding. This 9-week brand development mentorship 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 is now open through October 12!

 

Where are they now: Theresa Mendez of Thistle + Hops

Theres Tub

Thistle Hops logo

Are you wondering what happens to my Brick House Branding alumni post-graduation? What they do with the momentum and new-found knowledge? Curious about where they take their businesses in the year following all that hard work?

 

I’m back with another installment in my “Where Are They Now?” series and I’m doing-cartwheels-excited to show you the serious waves my BHB graduates are making!

 

Theres Tub

 

SAY HELLO TO THERESA OF THISTLE + HOPS

This week I’m catching up with Theresa of Thistle + Hops. She’s living proof that you don’t always come out with what you expect to at the end of Brick House Branding. After all, she came in to rebrand one company, and came out birthing another. Thistle + Hops is set to launch later this month, and I’m on pins and needles waiting to see it live. Take it away, Theresa …

 

 

Lucky Break: Why and when did you originally launch your company?

Theresa: Texas Beer Soap Co. was launched in 2012 when I began creating custom Beer Soap for some of our local Craft Brewers to sell in their Swag Shop. I had another soap line I began in 2010 that was goat milk based, and due to the unique differences and audience, I needed a different name. Something that would appeal to men.

 

 

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

Theresa: Honestly, I began this journey to rebrand Wandering Thistle, my primary line. I would cringe when I would see my customer’s post their pictures of my products. Mind you the soaps were beautiful, but the packaging was not up to par, so to speak. Rebranding Texas Beer Soap Co. was a result of BHB.

 

Texas Beer Soap, before Brick House Branding + a rebrand

Texas Beer Soap Co., before Brick House Branding + a rebrand

 

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

Theresa: During the BHB process, I was attempting to rebrand both lines, Wandering Thistle and Texas Beer Soap Co. The amount of heart, sweat, and tears that was required was too much to deal with at once for 2 separate brand voices. With the guidance of Lela and her team, along with my fellow brandmates, I was convinced that focusing on Texas Beer Soap Co. and taking it into a new direction was the way to go. Texas Beer Soap Co. was really geared towards men. Thistle + Hops celebrates women; whether they work in the industry or just love a delicious, well-made craft beer!

 

 

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

Theresa: This was probably one of the hardest areas to delineate. Lela gave us so many options and professionals to converse with. It was a little overwhelming to say the least trying to stretch those marked dollars and get the most bang for your buck. I had always DIY’d my labels and packaging, and I knew this had to the the first and foremost decision. But before I made this step I had a consult with Andrea Evans, Trademark Attorney, to make sure the name was viable. Then I hired Riley Fouts as my graphic designer to create Thistle + Hops and bring it to life. And we snuck in a new look for Wandering Thistle to give some cohesion between the two. When we had beautiful custom boxes made for Thistle + Hops, I was one excited little DIY convert.

 

 

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

Theresa: Me. I was my biggest obstacle. I had perceived expectations that it would be relatively a quick process. Once the process began, it was a long, dusty road to that first margarita. I mean, you dig deep in this rebrand and you come up feeling parched.  Lela had us eating, drinking, and sleeping our ideal client.  The other obstacle was to decide were the finite amount of money was going to be spent, and for which services. I had a stunning packaging idea I wanted, but the budget simply was not there. Once I began working with Riley, we made strides and found the perfect combination.

 

 

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

Theresa: I have met more women in the area of my brand voice since graduating, I have a much clearer picture of who she (my ideal client) is and what she wants. And I have to say I give her major props for her candor and drive, and I am confident Thistle + Hops will deliver.

 

Thistle + Hops, after Brick House Branding + a rebrand

Thistle + Hops, after Brick House Branding + a rebrand

 

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

Theresa: Yes, even though I haven’t officially launched Thistle + Hops. I have given a few little glimpses and a few product samples to get a feel from the community. Reviews have come back very favorable. My official launch will be in October for a charity event, Best Little Brewfest in Texas. I am excited to hear and feel the pulse of women in the craft beer community.

 

 

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

Theresa: Absolutely! As I was researching my ideal client, I discovered some amazing women in the brewing industry. I read their stories, felt their pain and their successes. There was a lot of history unfolding at my fingertips and I knew I had made the correct decision to listen to Lela and get out of my own way. The names of the soaps are directly inspired from these women. Some are humorous, but all have a significant meaning and a definitely a fist bump implied.

 

Since the rebrand I have joined the Pink Boots Society, a global organization of women supporting women in the brewing industry by teaching, mentoring, and educating. We have an active local chapter and a few of us are in the Cicerone training program at the moment.  Along with my participation, a portion of profits from Thistle + Hops will go to the Pink Boots Society for their scholarship program.

 

Thistle + Hops, after Brick House Branding + a rebrand

Thistle + Hops, after Brick House Branding + a rebrand

 

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

Theresa: BHB gave me the structure and inner working of Thistle + Hops. Having deadlines was important to remain on task as well as the camaraderie of the other brand participants. The true heart of the whole program is Lela. Her business savvy and brilliance is priceless. If, I could only use one word…CLARITY. She brings it in and ties it up with a fancy ribbon. Sometimes you have to shake things up and just get out of the way!

 

 

Lucky Break: What do you wish you had known at the beginning of the brand development process?

Theresa: That it wasn’t a race. It takes time and a lot of it and that’s totally ok! That it would be 12 months later and I am still polishing the pieces.

 

 

Lucky Break: What advice would you give to someone who’s getting ready to start the brand development process?

Theresa: Take the time to do it right. Do not stop once you get out of BHB, keep connected, follow through with your deadlines, read and reread the books Lela gives as resources. Take really good notes, every detail is important and do not look at what others are doing. They are not you, not your brand. Be comfortable being you and own it!

 

 

Thanks for catching up with us, Theresa. We can’ t wait to see what comes next for you and Thistle + Hops… We’re cheering you on, and can’t wait to see that rebrand in action!

 

If you’d like to build a stronger, smart brand in 2019, then I hope that you’ll consider joining me in the winter semester of Brick House Branding. This 9-week brand development mentorship 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 is now open through October 12!