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

Sarah Headshot

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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: Valerie DeVito of Gilded Olive Apothecary

Valerie_Headshot

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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!

 

Valerie_Headshot

 

SAY HELLO TO VALERIE OF GILDED OLIVE

This week I’m thrilled to catch up with my Brick House Branding graduate Valerie of Gilded Olive Apothecary. Valerie shed her previous name and look and dove headfirst into a Roaring 20’s theme. The transformation is stunning! Welcome, Valerie! We’re so glad to have you here.

 

 

Lucky Break: Why and when did you originally launch your company?
Valerie: In 2011, I was working as a Licensed Massage Therapist and learned how to make bath-bombs. I was always interested in skin care, and thought it would be a nice after-care treatment to give my clients.

 

Bath bomb research led me to discover soap-making and a year later, I was addicted to it, selling my wares to recoup some of my costs. I printed my ingredients on cardstock and wrapped it around the soaps and called them M.H. Brand. I had always been creative, so making soap and even the labels scratched that itch for me. I loved it!

 

 

Lucky Break: At what point did you know it was time for a rebrand?
Valerie: By 2015 I was selling quite a bit, mostly to my massage clients, plus a couple of small, local wholesale accounts.

 

I made lots of different products. Stuff that I wanted to make, and basically anything anyone asked me to make. I sold on Etsy and at local fairs, and people who were not massage clients would always ask me what M.H. Brand meant.

 

I changed my name to Lilac & Olive Soaperie and had a friend design a logo and a website. A year later, I had failed to launch that site. It was pretty, but I felt like something was missing.

 

I was making product like mad, offering way too much, and getting very little to show for it. I couldn’t keep up with the inventory needed for everything I’d been making. Ultimately, in trying to please everyone, I ended up disappointing people instead. With so much variety, I was always running out of something. It was late 2016 and I knew I needed some real guidance. I came across a line from Lela Barker that read, “do less and do it better”. It resonated, hard, and I knew I had found my answer.

 

 

Gilded Olive, before BHB and a rebrand.

Gilded Olive Apothecary, before BHB and a rebrand.

 

 

Lucky Break: Please share a significant realization about the brand development process that you discovered while in Brick House Branding.
Valerie: I bought my binders and my sticky tabs and lots of ink for the printer. I cleared my schedule and listened obsessively to the video in which Lela prepares us for the work. I’m a hard worker and I was not at all afraid of it, I felt ready.

 

What I wasn’t prepared for, was just how emotional this type of work was. Although gradual and gentle, truth be told- it’s a deep, soul-searching dive. I began to have these light bulb moments, and some of them were really surprising!

 

The work helped me discover the one thing I wanted my brand to be, and why, which resulted in the cohesiveness I’d been missing. I’d say my most significant realization about the brand development process, is that it’s more about discovery than creation.

 

 

Lucky Break:  What professionals did you tag in to help with the process, and what pieces of the branding puzzle did you DIY?
Valerie: I built my own website, using the Shopify platform, which I really like. Wholesale Line Sheets seemed pretty straight-forward to me, so I used what I learned and took care of that on my own, as well.

 

I like to write, and I was looking forward to blogging, so I wrote all my own copy.

 

During the course, I discovered that I needed to change my name again (surprise!) and wanted nothing to do with the filing of a trademark, so I hired that out, first thing. Then I used a wonderful graphic artist who designed a new logo for me and helped me create my business cards and all of my packaging.

 

I thought I was ok at photography, but as it turned out, ‘ok’ wasn’t really what I was going for. So I hired an excellent photographer and I’m so happy that I did! She took beautiful photos that I could have never accomplished on my own.

 

 

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Gilded Olive Apothecary, after BHB and a rebrand

 

Lucky Break: What was the biggest obstacle you encountered during the rebranding process?
Valerie: Probably me. My brain, my own worry. All the small stuff that went awry along the way, eventually got remedied.

 

For example, the first time I had my soap boxes printed, they used the wrong files and the color was off. The fact that I had to have one thousand boxes reprinted seemed like a big deal at the time, but I’m sure it’s pretty common when you’re dealing with so many files every day. There were website issues, image file issues, email issues, you name it.

 

Nothing that couldn’t be fixed, and in the end, nothing that truly was a big deal. When in doubt, I learned to just breathe.

 

 

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

Valerie: It may sound strange, but I feel so much closer to it now. And I think its beautiful. I’m proud to send people to my new site.

 

I can describe it in one sentence, easy peasy. Before BHB, I was always wobbly on the subject of what my brand was, (I make a lot of pretty stuff?) as well as the subject of wholesale.

 

I never knew if my products were good enough, or the proper way to approach retailers. BHB was so amazing, I took Lela’s LBU wholesale course as well. Now I feel empowered, knowing what to expect from retailers, and knowing what’s expected of me.

 

 

Gilded Olive Apothecary, after BHB and a rebrand

Gilded Olive Apothecary, after BHB and a rebrand

 

 

Lucky Break: Are your products are being received differently by others since the rebrand? How has their reaction evolved?
Valerie: I just recently launched, at the end of September, but I’d consider my launch day very successful! I received several orders, plus lots of messages and positive feedback on my website and products.

 

I even got a comment on my blog, the first day. That really blew my mind.

 

I’m getting a lot of messages along the lines of, ‘It’s so YOU!’. I think that’s a positive thing, because I’m only really good at being myself.

 

 

Lucky Break: Can you share a recent win that you’ve realized because of the rebrand?
Valerie: On 7/17/17, I wrote out some goals. I found the paper in my desk just the other day. One of them was to be featured in this blog. Huge win!

 

Another win is: I know exactly what I’m doing every day now. Whether it’s my blog, newsletter or making product- this experience has made my business so much more streamlined. I know what inventory I need to keep on hand, I’m not just randomly making things. No more spinning my wheels, wondering what to do first, wondering what would be best to make next.

 

 

Gilded Olive Apothecary, after BHB and a rebrand

Gilded Olive Apothecary, after BHB and a rebrand

 

 

Lucky Break: How did Brick House Branding experience help shape your branding process?
Valerie: I desperately needed this. I was way too close to my work to be able to be objective.

 

I could have never done it without the seeking questions Lela proposes. I needed the coaching, the questions to help me figure out where I wanted to go. To help me figure out who I was, as a brand. And listening to others as they went through the same process, helped me understand it better. Sometimes she just gave us pep-talks. And I needed those, too.

 

Before BHB, I had no idea that it was me running myself ragged. Niching down and doing less has helped me gain significant focus and renewed energy. As it turns out, I don’t have to serve the entire population. What a concept. I like it!

 

 

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?
Valerie: I’d say, don’t think you’re going to accomplish this in a month.

 

Don’t compare your progress to other’s because everyone’s so different, and at different stages. It’s not a race to the ‘finish’ because you’re never finished. Give yourself the time, it’s a process. Trust your gut to determine what’s right for you. Do the parts you don’t want to do. The more you put into it, the more you’ll get out.

 

I learned that rebranding is strategic, it’s about the long game. It’s about putting down a foundation on which you can build, for years to come and that’s everything. Do the hard work now, and everything after will come easier. And be sure to take breaks. Enjoy your family, your friends and your life.

 

Celebrate small wins, and try not to panic when stuff goes wrong- because it will. When you get tired, remember that tomorrow’s another day. Work hard, stay the course and it will all be worth it in the end!

 

 

Thanks for catching up with us, Valerie. We can’ t wait to see what comes next for you and Gilded Olive Apothecary… 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 open through October 12!

Where are they now: Angela Heitz of Angel Minaro

Angel Minaro, after Brick House Branding + a rebrand

AM-logo-2016

 

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!

 

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SAY HELLO TO ANGELA OF ANGEL MINARO

This week I’m thrilled to catch up with my Brick House Branding graduate Angela of Angel Minaro. Angela really embraced my message to niche, niche, niche (and niche some more), and she turned a good brand into a great brand. The transformation is stunning! Welcome, Angela! We’re so glad to have you here.

 

 

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

Angela: At college, I specialized in product formulation and so I had always dabbled in making skin and body care products. I had dreamed of having a skincare store but never really did anything to realize that dream. In 2009, my now-husband and more than a few friends and colleagues got let go from their jobs. It seemed to be commonplace at the time. I felt a deep anxiety that I needed to have something to fall back on if indeed I ended up with the same fate, so I went to work and started seriously formulating and creating skincare products that I could market as a serious business. In 2011 after a lot of hard work, Angel Minaro launched and I was so very proud of it.

 

 

Angel Minaro, before Brick House Branding and rebrand

Angel Minaro, before Brick House Branding and a rebrand

 

 

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

Angela: After a few years in business, I really wasn’t seeing any progress or results. I had a few accounts here and there and a few sales. I was working very hard but the business wasn’t profitable, so I knew there was something missing. I don’t think I ever really knew that I needed a rebrand until I took Lela’s Brick House Branding class.

 

While taking the class, I shockingly realized that I didn’t really know what a brand was and how deep branding is. I began to realize that that was at the root of the problem.

 

 

 

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

Angela: For me, the brand development process was very emotional. I realized that I didn’t have a brand identity or an ideal client. It was very gut-wrenching to me when I got to the realization that I had worked so hard for so many years and that I would literally have to start again. I had to get to this point emotionally though to realize that I couldn’t hold on to the past and to be willing to move on.

 

I had to figure out who my ideal client was and get to know her inside out. Her wants and needs, likes and dislikes, everything!

 

It dawned on me that I needed my brand to resonate with my ideal client as strongly as my old brand did with me. It had to be all about her, and all of a sudden it clicked for me what branding was all about.

 

 

Angel Minaro, before Brick House Branding + a rebrand

Angel Minaro, before Brick House Branding and a rebrand

 

 

 

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

Angela: I hired the same graphic designer who designed my old labels to work on the new labels and boxes because we have a really good working relationship. This time though, I was armed with all the information I needed to convey what I wanted from her. Not just… “Make it pretty”! I didn’t have that before.

 

Gilah Press and design printed the labels and Custom Boxes Corp printed my product boxes. They were so helpful.  I got the super talented Madam Scodioli (a referral from Lucky Break Consulting) to take my product shots and as you can see, the difference is crystal clear.

 

I will be writing my own product descriptions, and this is purely due to financial reasons but as soon as I can swing it, I’ll be tagging in a professional to do that.

 

 

 

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

Angela: Trying to figure out my brand identity and time!

 

First of all, I had to come to terms with the fact that I didn’t really have a brand, and then trying figure out my brand identity was hard and took me a long time. I also had a timeline for completing the rebrand, but I’m learning fast that life gets in the way and that’s the reason I still haven’t officially relaunched. But I’m still pushing through. If you want it bad enough, you have to keep going, and that’s what I’m doing.

 

As painstakingly slow as the progress has been, I look at where I started and where I am now and I’m really proud of how far I’ve come.

 

 

Angel Minaro, after Brick House Branding + a rebrand

Angel Minaro, after Brick House Branding and a rebrand

 

 

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

Angela: Honestly I feel more confident about my brand. It is more cohesive. I feel more comfortable pitching to my ideal client because I believe my pitch. I know what I’m offering and who I’m offering it to. The old brand really wasn’t speaking to anyone and was completely all over the place.

 

 

 

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

Angela: It has been received very well. The feedback I’ve had from the focus groups has been overwhelmingly positive and most importantly the reactions and feelings that I’m trying evoke with my products seem to be happening. The rebrand has been having a more emotional response than the…“Your products are good” response!

 

 

 

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

Angela: A few upscale wedding industry professional have inquired about including my products as gifts to their clients. I’m really excited but also feel a bit intimidated.

 

 

 

Angel Minaro, after Brick House Branding and a rebrand

Angel Minaro, after Brick House Branding and a rebrand

 

 

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

Angela: It was my road map. It literally helped me realize that I didn’t have a brand and that I had to start from scratch. Once that happened, I found that it was a complete guide that helped me figure out what I was offering, who I was offering it to and how to do it…very well!

 

I’m always referring to the Brick House Branding curriculum when I’m working on any aspect of my brand.

 

 

 

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?

Angela: I wish I knew how emotional it would be. I would say to someone who’s getting ready to start the brand development process that they should come in with an open mind and be ready for some really hard and intense physical and emotional work.  But it’s so worth it!!!!

 

 

Thanks for catching up with us, Angela. We can’ t wait to see what comes next for you and Angel Minaro… 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 opens on October 2!

 

 

 

Where are they now: Angie Chua of bobo design studio

Angie Photo

Bobo Logo1.jpg

 

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!

 

Angie Photo

 

SAY HELLO TO ANGIE OF BOBO DESIGN STUDIO

You might recognize Angie from Team Lucky Break.  But before Angie was a part of my team, she was a client and a BHB graduate. I’ve been uber impressed with her since I first met her at Craftcation, and watching her grow her brand has given me many a proud mama moment. Cheers, Angie!

 

 

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

Angie: I launched bobo in 2008 making handcrafted makeup bags. I was working at a pharma startup that ended up closing its doors during the economic downturn of 2009. Unsure of what my next job was going to be, I began putting more effort into bobo. I had grand dreams to turn it into something, but looking back, it was definitely a hobby at best.

 

Shortly after losing my pharma job, I started my career in brand advertising, and that consumed my life until 2017 when I decided to give bobo the college effort I always dreamed of.  So while I started in 2008, I really consider 2017 the start of my company.

 

bobo before 1

bobo design studio, BEFORE Brick House Branding

 

 

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

Angie: I always joke that I had been a “long time stalker turned client,” but it’s true!  I had been following Lela and her work for a while.

 

The second I quit my job, I threw down coin to work with Lela in BHB because I needed her to blow down this house so I could build it up again properly.  I figured that I had the disposable cash at the time and thought I should tap in the help early instead of waiting till I’ve made every mistake and then trying to scramble the funds together to get that lifeline from her.  So the decision to rebrand wasn’t even really about the rebrand itself, it was about utilizing Lela’s resources while I had the financial wiggle room to do so and set the foundation for my business.

 

 

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

Angie: I knew BHB was going to be challenging work. This wasn’t the first time I had  seen a “build your target customer worksheet” or read about branding. What I did not expect was how much of an emotional process BHB was going to be. This is where Lela really shines.

 

She helped me build a deep connection to my brand and my work in a way that transformed everything for me- how I view my products, how I think about my brand, how I talk about my brand, how I create content, and how I want others to view and experience it.

 

 

bobo design studio, AFTER Brick House Branding

bobo design studio, AFTER Brick House Branding

 

 

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

Angie: I had joined some online groups, “masterminds” so to speak, and taken one “target customer” online course.  While the info I learned was useful, it was all very “cookie cutter.”

 

Nothing was groundbreaking. Nothing was actually focused on my business, and it was information that could be easily found googled from a blog post somewhere on the internet. I knew Lela was the real deal, so I didn’t spend too much effort searching the web for SEO friendly blog posts by people who were not authoritative in the space.

 

 

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

Angie: The biggest obstacle was nailing down the essence of my brand in a way that felt authentic, not just to me, but to my customers. I have ADHD, and I tend to be all over the place creatively (and in life), but finally ironing out my “core” helped me reign in the ideas, edit my products, and made the creation process more straightforward.

 

bobo design studio's Instagram feed, before + after Brick House Branding

bobo design studio’s Instagram feed, before (left) + after (right)  Brick House Branding

 

 

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

Angie: It is night and day. My brand is growing in ways that I can only attribute to Lela and BHB. Before BHB, I had no direction. I walked into fabric stores and walked up and down the aisle to see what prints spoke to me. I’d spend so much on prints that I’d bring home and never end up using.  I was waiting for the fabric to speak to me to generate inspiration. It’s very much an artist’s way of thinking.

 

Now, I think like a brand instead of an artist.  I think about my customer, where they are going, what colors and patterns they gravitate to, what complimentary goods provide value to their life? That fuels my decision-making process, and in the end, I create a more cohesive collection of goods that speak to them (and me!)

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

Angie: 100%.  People used to love my bright prints, not because of what bobo meant to them. My bags acted as great gifts; purchased by someone needing a unique gift in a pinch.  It almost was a placeholder for something of meaning. My goods didn’t end up with someone who drew a connection to what I created.  In the end, it didn’t have any real intrinsic value to the person who was buying my bags or the person receiving it.

 

But once I re-branded, I began to see repeat customers. I saw people who tagged me in photos using my bags when they traveled (which is in the context of my brand- Wanderlust goods), they began to see themselves in the brand and built loyalty to my products.

 

 

bobo design studio, AFTER Brick House Branding

bobo design studio, AFTER Brick House Branding

 

 

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

Angie: I have two significant ones-

  1. I was asked to be a part of this branding case study! I think in my final survey for BHB, I said a goal of mine was to be a “before and after” case study! Ta Da!
  2. When one of my favorite organizations, Dear Handmade Life said they wanted to do a blog post and feature me on a podcast revolving around the evolution of my brand, how I handle social media as it pertains to my branding, and how I stay authentic to my business.

 

Sometimes branding is the work that people don’t see and takes the most effort behind the scenes. To have someone else externally take note, and acknowledge the intangible parts of the business that I’ve poured my heart and soul into- it’s so validating, not just for me as a person, but for the investment in working with Lela.

 

 

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

Angie: BHB taught me to narrow my focus and hone in on a niche. Strangely the opposite result occurred- it gave me more creative freedom to create relevant products and gave me permission to make product decisions that would or would not ultimately serve my customer.

 

bobo design studio, AFTER Brick House Branding

bobo design studio, AFTER Brick House Branding

 

 

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?

Angie: If I could go back in a time machine and give myself some advice, it would be to sign up for this sooner. It’s never too early to think about branding. It will only save money, pain, and emotional heartache by tapping someone in as early as possible.

 

Investing in branding is not dependent on how far along you are or how big of a brand you are- it’s about investing in building a proper foundation. It’s about how well you understand what it is you do, the value you bring, the visual and verbal communication of that value, and understanding your customer on a deep level.  It’s about valuing your business enough to invest in it, and take it seriously.

 

Thanks for catching up with us, Angie. We can’ t wait to see what comes next for you and bobo design studio… 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 opens on October 2!