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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!