…Building a Business – Branding

Coming up with a name, logo & overall image is so personal. And if you don’t make it personal I think people will notice. I think you need to choose a name and image that connects you to your business.

If you’ve ever been in an English Lit class you know how important bird imagery is. Shakespeare, Charlotte Bronte, James Joyce, Thomas Hardy, Kate Chopin, etc, etc.

The familiarity and transcendence of birds have given them a wider range of meaning and symbol in literature than any other animal. The resemblance of their activities to common patterns of human behavior makes them exceptionally suitable for anthropomorphic imagery that links man to the common forms of nature” (Lutwack xii).

Basically, birds mean quite a bit to me and it needed to be part of my presence.

I started looking up names that were already used and there were a TON of nest references. It’s cute, it should be used. Then I thought out what my style really is and although I never like being pigeonholed I needed to have a bit of description to my business.

I loved the contrast of a bright, turquoise egg, that of a robin and the earthy, brown nest. It reminded me of my style as I can appreciate rustic, vintage wares, but also everything that comes with placing something new & lively in your home.

It’s become a theme in my painting & home design…and of course that duck egg blue is my very favorite color in real life.

I love seeing the color everywhere in my home in little pockets. I think it’s important to tie your brand into your own personality, home-life and what you want your business to be. Commit to it and work it so that everything you put out there falls under this umbrella. It won’t be hard to do if you’ve selected a theme that you love and have a connection to.

 

 

 

 

You can imagine my excitement when I found these.

 

 

As a former marketer, I would venture to say that your brand should be one of your top priorities. Think hard about it because you will be investing time & money your company’s future into what you select. Make it unique & make it YOU.

Home & Remodeling Show January 20th @ 1:00. Working on my presentation now. eeek!!!

 

 

…Building Series – Buildling a Business

If you are thinking about building a business or have started your own little business, you know it’s taken a good 20/30/40 years to prepare you for what you are embarking on. You have history and practice and observation on your side.

I grew up watching my dad design and hand-make jewelry. My sister and I would watch him put those funny magnifying jewelers glasses on, work with long, skinny tweezers twisting and molding metal wire. He’d sink the soldered piece in the acid that made a “szzzzz” sound, slosh it around in a mason jar of water and then heat the piece again with his jeweler’s torch. He worked with his hands to create amazing pieces and we wear them all the time. You have no idea the jewelry boxes and hat boxes and trunks my sister & mom have filled with his pieces.

(This is my daughter designing with Papa. Funny how it reminds me of me at his side.)

I went to college, majored in English and was going to write books. Unfortunately, that doesn’t pay the rent until you are actually published.

Then I got a job. Marketing. In a design firm and it was a perfect fit for me. Images, photo shoots, writing, graphics. Kinda what I find myself doing 50% of the time at Blue Egg Brown Nest. Who knew how handy my background would come in when I used to ride that metro into work day in and day out. Eating my lunch at Lafeyette Park, staring at the the White House from my park bench.

Then came a waiting period in my life when I started trying to have a baby. God said no for many years. And I said yes to my own pottery studio in my basement, with wheel & kiln & hand-made glazes. It always felt natural to work with my hands and get messy.

(1 month after Reid was born. I just couldn’t help myself!)

I don’t mean to sound self-indulgent. I recount my past to discuss my present. When I look back it really feels like I was building levels and layers to my story and to my current business. There are things that I will try and accomplish now (or at least take the risk of trying) that I would not have if I did not have that framework underneath me. The writing, the marketing, the designing, etc. I didn’t just happen on furniture painting and blogging. I had no budget for pieces and experimented on 8 kitchen chairs off Craigslist. The necessity of needing furniture turned into wanting it all around me! And as a sidebar, I never read a blog in my life before starting my own! (shhhhhhh)

That is my story.

Many of you have asked me how to grow a business or get started or how did I get started. It wasn’t one thing that led me here. It was many things and many more things and right now it works for me. In a few years it may not work. Who knows. If I were able to share any advice I would say reflect on the things you’ve done & built & may be good at or curious about. I don’t really believe the message that you can do anything you set your mind to. I find it misleading. Yes, perhaps you could physically and/or mentally do it. But, would it be right for you? Would it be organic and natural for you? Would you be happy or good at it? Would it be fruitful? Would it end up frustrating you in the end and be unsatisfying. I do believe God has a plan for all of us, but he doesn’t show us the full hand of cards all at once. He reveals it slowly over a lifetime and if we are diligent and listen close enough we will hear & understand…maybe.

xoxo

 

…Building a Business – Derailed (slightly)

I wasn’t going to start on the Building a Business part of the series until I was done with the Building a Home, but as I learn & go along here, I am experiencing things/feelings/events that are worth talking about when starting and running a business and today it’s derailment.

We all have those moments where we are minding our own business (literally), working our hearts out, striving for a goal we’ve made for ourselves when BAM! out of the clear blue comes a comment, an email, an interaction that takes us so off guard that we find ourselves hitting the cold, hard pavement. Ouch!

How do we react? Do we respond? Do we swallow it? Use it? Ignore it? Judge it? Judge ourselves? Change our minds? God-forbid DOUBT ourselves? Or maybe just get in a warm bed with a cup of tea and turn on reruns of the Golden Girls until we fall asleep and can deal the next day?

“Take a pause. Take a breath.” So says my DT (Dear Therapist!)

This English major does not know anything about business, but I know what it means to love something so much that you want to do it well and you want to do it every day and you want to talk and write about it and share it. And as fun as that sounds it also takes a lot of faith in what you’ve decided to devote so much time into. You have to have faith that you are moving in the right direction for you. Especially when you are running a creative business where it’s all heart and most of the time just YOU working on EVERYTHING. In my case, when there is only me to answer to as I am the buyer, the painter, the mover, the marketer, the seller, the accountant, the blogger, etc. it’s a lot of gut, prayer, and the kind encouragement of so many of you.  Of course there’s freedom that comes with this kind of intentionality because you create it, you can shape it. It’s freedom to make your business into anything you want to because it is you whose doing all the work!

Take a pause. Take a breath.

That email, note, word, call was from somewhere from that person’s planet and experience and it doesn’t have to be about you, who you are, what you are doing and where you are going. For everyone 1,000 kind words, there’s one sour one. My DT would warn me not to fall into the rabbit hole. Needless to say any reference to Alice in Wonderland works for me.

And after that, if I still need a soft place to land, my tears normally fall onto the belly of one of these orange friends.