Building a beautiful brand starts with looking at the big vision. Everyone is different in what they want to do with their business. The important part is to nail down exactly what you’re working towards. You don’t want to jump in the lake and starting swimming in random directions- you’ll wear yourself out. Making it across the lake to the other side will wear you out too, but you’ll have reached your goal and that will feel amazing!
I had the pleasure of working with Krislyn Adkinson on the launch of her jewelry line, Beauty Rising (official launch date today, September 9th, yay!)
Krislyn has been making jewelry for some time and it was piling up in her workspace, hanging off mannequin arms and busts! She had lots of product and an idea for a business. Our collaboration began this summer when she decided to launch her business in the fall of 2016.
Start with the Telescope Vision
We started to fill in the blanks of the Beautiful Brand Blue Print. Included in the big Telescope vision (where we want to end up) are things like:
- What magazines would you like your products featured in?
- If you spoke at a conference, which conference would that be at?
- Who would you want to sit next to on a speaker’s panel?”
- Do you have any businesses you’d like to emulate (who would you want to be in 5 years?)
Knowing where you want to go with your business is key because it will define the activities essential to focus on. Perhaps even more important, we’ll figure out what activities we don’t need to spend time on.
Talk about What is the Essence of Your Brand. Why do what you do?
Krislyn and I met at a coffee shop and over iced coffees, we hashed out the beginnings of the Beautiful Brand Worksheet.
Talking in person with a business owner helps me get a feel for where they are passionate, much more than answering questions in written form. (Disclaimer- Krislyn and I have been friends for a long time. While I know her pretty well, I wanted to get together and focus on biz talk for a deep dive to make sure we were headed in the right direction).
If you met Krislyn in person, passionate and gutsy might not be the words you’d use to describe her. She’s soft spoken in voice, smiles frequently and prefers not to be the center of attention. She doesn’t dominate a conversation. BUT, when I asked her about her jewelry and the reason behind her business, she really perked up.
She started talking about her trips to Haiti. She’s gone twice a year for the past several years, building relationships with a church and helping in an orphanage. What started as a trip with her church turned into long lasting friendships with several Haitians she stays in contact with year round.
This is where it gets even more interesting. She’s not interested in charity; she’s seen first where good intentioned helping didn’t actually help. Instead she wants to partner with the women who are working in Haiti to create a better life for them and their families. Inspired by the strength of the women she’s met and her own deep dive in how to help people living in oppressed areas, she started using words like “empowered,” “strengthen,” “beautiful,” “the importance of story,” “inspiring.”
One of Krislyn’s goal is to work with a few of the women in Haiti and purchase the beads they make and incorporate them into her work, creating a joint venture. (That jewelry line will release later this year).
Her name for the business, Beauty Rising, came out of her travels where she said she sees beauty rising out of the most unexpected places and people.
Creating a Vision Board
I was starting to get an idea of where the brand look would head. There was another component I wanted to know. I had asked Krislyn to create a vision board on Pinterest the week before, instructing her to add anything that inspired her that she felt was reflective of the Beauty Rising brand.
After a week of adding pins, she then removed the pins that didn’t belong. Then we took off more. We went back and forth that afternoon, talking about why something resonated and why it didn’t. It was one of the most crucial parts of the vision-eering process.
The Birth of the Brand Personality
The method I use for creating a look for the brand is color psychology, using the seasons as a framework to develop a business personality. Jewelry is a fun product. Add Krislyn’s vision behind the brand to the beautiful jewelry and I knew she needed a brand that conveyed substance and depth as well as beauty.
Krislyn’s work gave us clues as well. Fuchsia and turquoise popped up and reflected the strength and pop of her business. (Those colors appear in her jewelry as well, which was a nice bonus!)
From all of the pre-work we’d done, we narrowed down the brand to colors and style with substance plus the fun element of the jewelry, but not too much fuss or detail. As you can tell from the board, there is a strong color theme of the deep turquoise-blue’s and bright, warm fuchsia pinks along with warm, muted oranges and corals. It’s bold and generous and rich, very much like Krislyn’s mission behind Beauty Rising Jewelry.
Put on the Microscope Lens
The Telescope Vision is all about where we’re going. The Microscope Vision is the work that needs to be done day to day to see the Telescope Vision accomplished! Part of the Beautiful Brand Worksheet is determining the activities needed to communicate your brand.
Because this was a launch, there was more work that needed to be done than if we were working on the brand for an existing business. Still, the goal was to focus on the essential things to do while keeping in mind, “how will potential customers see Beauty Rising? Where are those customers and what kinds of things will resonate with them?”
Next, was focusing on what was essential for Krislyn to have for a launch date. For her brand she’d need:
- color structure
- banner for the Etsy shop
- graphics for social media
- conversation starters on social media to get to know others in the community and let them peek into Krislyn’s world
All of these elements were noted on the Beautiful Brand Worksheet. We decided that a website wasn’t essential for launch date since Krislyn would be initially basing her sales through Etsy. That will come later.
Our motto was “Done is better than perfect.” It’s too easy to procrastinate because there is one more thing to do or another change to make.
In the end, Krislyn decided to drop the icon we’d chosen. She wasn’t resonating with it like she originally had. That was fine. I made changes to the logo and the we continued to move forward. Done is better than perfect.
Krislyn already had several pieces of jewelry ready to go (she’s been working on this since this beginning of the year and has built up quite a stash).
After pulling her brand look together, we had a photo shoot. Photo shoots are so much fun! Plus, I got to play with the jewelry, always a fun work activity. Krislyn wrote up descriptions on the products and created an Etsy shop. After all of that, it was launch time!
There’s a hundred other details that go on behind the scenes. I hope you enjoyed the sneak peek behind the scenes of Krislyn and I collaborating on her gorgeous jewelry company, Beauty Rising!
It’s easy to get busy working the business that we don’t get around to creating a brand personality that will connect our best clients to our business. I’m teaching a one day workshop on Saturday, September 24th from 9:30 to 3:00 at the lovely Common Space Sacramento work center. If you’d like to learn more about it, you read more here.