This morning, I wanted to share something with you that is near & dear to my heart.
Now before I go any further, I just want to say that I don’t believe a rebrand is something to be taken lightly. In fact, if you find yourself rebranding over & over & over again to avoid moving forward with your business plan – then stop reading, & get started.
Rebranding means you have to be willing to risk taking a couple steps back so that you can take huge leaps forward in the future. That being said, if you don’t wake up feeling happy about the content you’re putting into the world – If you’re feeling like your branding & your vision aren’t aligned, or that your style has changed since you started your business — then read on. This post is written just for you!
You might have seen yesterday that I’d recently launched a custom website for Australia-based bridal boutique, La Belle (click here to jump over to the blog post for all the details!). Though I have countless projects I’ve adored working on, this one has been one of my all-time favorite websites to date. Mid-way through the project, it totally took an unexpected turn that led to us creating an even better finished product than we’d originally set out to design.
And? It’s a challenge I think most of us face at one point or another.
Though I’m sharing all the details in the full post, the snapshot version is that the lovely Hannah contacted me to help freshen up the website for her boutique, then-named Three Sunbeams. As we started work on her project, she came to realize that the vision she’d once had for her business simply wasn’t the same as it used to be – & that if she were ever to make the leap, the time would be now. So, she jumped. She followed her heart, & took the brave step forward that her brand needed. She rebranded & renamed her company to La Belle – something that would help pave the way for the business she’s always dreamed of.
Why am I telling you all of this? Well, friend. I’m not sure if you’ve ever yet experienced what Hannah just did, but I certainly have!
… That point where you’ve built your brand on a vision & realized that maybe your vision has changed a little.
… That point where your style’s been redefined, your business has evolved, & yet your website doesn’t tell the same story.
… That point where you are dying to redesign your brand – to reinvent your business – or to give your old shop a new name..
And yet, you’re terrified to make the change – worried that you might undo all your hard work, that it might hurt your brand, or that people may stop recognizing what you’ve already built.
Well? I want to squash that fear right this minute. As I’d mentioned, rebranding isn’t something to be taken lightly. I’ll be the first to tell you that brand recognition is a huge, integral part of building a business – however, there are circumstances where freshening things up can be exactly what your business needs to move forward.
Here’s why I believe you shouldn’t fear rebranding:
1. When you have a brand identity you can embrace, you breathe more life & passion into your business.
Alright guys, I’m speaking from experience on this one. When I first dove into the creative business world, I had very little vision for what I wanted with my work. I jumped around from lifeless brand to lifeless brand. I changed my brand name too many times that it’s embarrassing. I found out the hard way that when your business evolves but your brand doesn’t, it’s easy to feel disconnected & unmotivated about what you’re putting out there.
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, & the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, & don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. // Steve Jobs
Today’s post is one I’m particularly excited about. A few months back, Canberra, Australia-based bridal designer Hannah reached out to me to help her rebuild the website for her beautiful bespoke bridal accessory boutique, La Belle (originally named Three Sunbeams).
I think this project is one that is extra important because it brings up the concept of rebranding, as well as being able to adjust & adapt your business plan as you grow. You may notice as you scroll through the post that the overall look for the project changed part of the way through as the brand’s vision became a bit more defined. Because this is a challenge many entrepreneurs face, I am excited to talk a little bit about this process, so read on, friends!
I’ll be sharing both the original concepts & mood board Hannah & I designed for Three Sunbeams (below), as well as a look into the transitionary process where Hannah decided to make the leap to change the name & direction to the new concept of La Belle. Though I was so sad I wasn’t able to take on the rebrand side of the La Belle project, the lovely Kate of Fifth Avenue Design Co did such an amazing job & I’m excited to be featuring her work here too! 🙂
Originally named Three Sunbeams, Hannah had contacted me months earlier expressing her concerns from that her old site simply wasn’t meeting her needs anymore. Some of her original design elements more closely matched her first concept of her business – However, as her style became more & more defined, she was finding there was a disconnect between her ideal vision, the experience she was providing her customers, & what was being communicated with the old site & brand.
As we started into her project & went through the initial briefings of the website project, we worked on really defining the style for the Three Sunbeams brand. We went with something that was elegant, romantic, & visually stunning, spending extra time perfecting the mood board, color palette, & overall vibe in order to really get clear on the brand aesthetic. After our project brief & mood board design, we drafted up the initial website design mockups & went to work setting up the new site. We kept with a really clean, seamless design, sticking to classic, soft typography & using a lot of light greys, cream, & taupe, with just a hint of a soft blush.
As many business owners have encountered (myself included!), sometimes as a business plan becomes more & more defined, we often find that the look we’d envisioned when we started doesn’t end up matching well with where our business grows. I’ve found that part of being an entrepreneur means learning how to evolve & adapt to new ideas, a changing market, & an ever-improving vision as our dreams become clearer.
This exact phase came to light during my project with Hannah. Though at the beginning of the project, the concepts we’d designed closely matched the vision she’d originally had for her brand, as we went on, she came to realize that she had a deep desire to change the direction of her company, including changing the name for something that resonated more deeply with her vision.
I’m so thrilled over the launch of the refreshed ZoZu Baby branding & her shiny new website! Sandy reached out to me looking to give her brand a fresh update & build something that could really bring her shop to the next level.
She started ZoZu Baby back in 2013 after the birth of her daughter Zoey. She searched for beautiful, simple accessories for her new baby & decided to try her hand at making her own – Thus, ZoZu Baby was born.
Sandy’s vision for ZoZu Baby has been to really appeal to the everyday mom & kids, while creating bows & accessories that can make playtime stylish, yet still functional & fun. As the vision for her branding developed, we really wanted to create something that was fun, playful, & bright, but that still felt modern & clean.
After we narrowed in on the direction for the brand & began working with some different logo concepts, we played around with a few different variations until we got the combination just right. Sandy ended up going with a logo that evoked the feeling of play & movement but with a smooth style of lettering that won’t quickly be outdated or too trendy.
If you aren’t already following Armelle Blog, you should be! Caroline features amazing recipes, fabulous DIY projects, home decor inspiration, party planning tips, & more – Plus, she has such beautiful, fun, classy style that everything she does is to die for. We wrapped up her project a couple months back & I’m excited to share it with you on the blog!
Caroline has been blogging for years but reached out to me a while back about really creating something that represented her bright, clean style perfectly. She had expressed the feeling that her blog’s old aesthetic was holding her back from really being able to portray Armelle Blog the way she dreamed – so we set to work to bring this vision to life.
She had already been collecting a lot of color & style inspiration on Pinterest & invited me to share those boards as we discussed her project. I was hooked pretty much immediately! Her pins were fresh & colorful with lots of light, white spaces, & pops of fun, bold color. She told me that she really wanted something that really evoked feelings of happiness so that visitors to her blog feel welcomed & cheerful so this was really a primary focus from day one with her project.
Paper Ave was wrapped up a while back but I never had a chance to share it on my blog – however, this is one project that still stands out in my mind as it was one that really allowed me to feel inspired & inject a lot of creativity into. Donna Tran is the creator of Paper Ave & she specializes in gorgeous, handmade paper flowers & gift embellishments. When she reached out to me last year, she expressed that she was ready to really take her business to the next level & was ready to build up her brand & web presence.
Our styles really aligned from the beginning, so we were able to hit the ground running with the design work. We really wanted to infuse the vibe & mood of her brand into each piece of her branding & website into something that was classic yet feminine, clean yet fun, & most of all, beautiful. One aspect that we really wanted to include was some sort of circular mark – As many of her flowers & embellishments are a circular shape, we thought it would have a lot of meaning & representation to include this in the design work through the shapes we utilized both in the flowers & in the submark design.
I am so beyond excited to share this project with you! Emmy is one of my best friends & we collaborate a lot with one another, so it’s been extra-special getting to work on her branding. Because her business & style has evolved so much over the past year, we really wanted to create something that would communicate this well & narrow in even further on her target market.
As we began to brainstorm the different elements of her brand, we experimented with a few different styles & color palettes that we both really liked. We drew a lot of inspiration from her work & editing style which features lots of cool hues & “icy” tones, which led us to this cool, muted palette of greys & blues (that I’m still absolutely swooning over!).
Throughout the brainstorming process, we had a few things we knew for certain – Emmy really wanted a logo that had both an classic editorial style & a clean, minimalist vibe that would appeal to her specific market, as well as a color palette & overall aesthetic that felt luxurious & modern.
What better way to start out 2016 than with some gorgeous new branding for New Zealand-based wedding blog, Chic Vintage Brides?! We have been working on this project for a few months & I am so proud of the way that it’s all come together. When the lovely Amy Elsworth, founder of CVB, approached me about her brand project, she explained that she had tried so many different routes for the design of her brand – hired illustrators, other designers, & tried the DIY route – & nothing felt right or meshed well with her amazing style.
This topic is something that is very dear to my heart & is something that I think most creative business owners have to discover at one point or another. It’s vastly important to be able to find that work-life balance & though I’m still working on it, I’ve been learning a lot about how to minimize my to do list & gain control of my life (rather than my to do list controlling me!)
I received an email newsletter this morning from the lovely Nisha Moodley where she sums it up so perfectly: “This cycle of anxiety, overdrive, overwhelm, and despair was running my life, and there was no space in my life for me.”
Hi loves! I can’t believe August is over. I mean seriously, where did that month go? I can’t say I’m sad to see it go, though – because I’m pretty dang excited about September. This month represents turning over a new leaf in my business & in my life. I’ve been working hard to revamp all of my processes, define and ramp up project timelines, and even designing some pretty new informational packets for each project. It’s a big deal!
I’m gonna get real for a minute. Life as an entrepreneur has its perks & all, but it can also be really, really hard! Don’t get be wrong – I love what I do – so so much. But, I think that often small business owners start doing something because they have a knack for it or a love for it – and the business stuff goes by the wayside. Then, it catches up. You realize there’s a reason people have business plans, calendars, routines. And you remember that not having them causes so much stress – disorganization, overbooking, and a whole slew of problems associated with those. It can sometimes be a hard thing to overcome, and in my case, it’s definitely gotta change if I want to be living the life I want. I’m excited to be opening up a new chapter, reorganizing my business, and getting things back on track so that I can provide better service to each of you lovelies & also stay a sane human being at the same time! 😉
Ahh! I am seriously giddy with the news – but you heard me – I finally have a website again! Truthfully, it’s a little bit silly – but I haven’t had a website live in MONTHS (though that is what I do for other people)! The past six months or so have been too slammed for me to even consider working on my own site, so it has gone on the backburner. However, I recently made the decision to simply make time for it to happen and alas! The day is here!