You have questions, I have answers. Let’s talk branding.

I remember my university web developer professor once told me he never told folks what he did for a living when he was introduced to new people.

Instead of telling them he was a web developer, he told them he was an insurance broker. Why would he do that? Less questions that way.

Back then I did not really get it, but now I know what he meant in regards to the endless questioning. However, I still don’t understand his approach, but we are all wired differently.

I am the opposite of my professor.

When people reach out to me with questions, it lights me up.

Whether it’s design, business, or how to simplify, optimize, and organize things (I also get quite a bit of sporty topics because of my athletic background or how to fix things – yeah, I am a proud handywoman!), to me, that simply means I get to make a greater impact.

I especially love it when somebody asks in a middle of a dinner party, “Do you mind if I ask you some branding questions?”. Heck yeah!! You are speaking my love language. How much time do you have? 😉

I also appreciate people who are looking to learn and grow – those are my kind of people!

If you are ever curious about anything, always ask.

Even if it is to somebody who you think won’t answer, the worst response you’ll get is a “no”, but on the flip side you might learn some goodness and dive into an interesting conversation.

So obviously I hope you realize you can always ask me questions. I once received a less than perfect review because my client did not know he could ask me questions after our project was done. This experience may have led me to being overly clear with clients now, but if you confuse, you lose. One of my company values is:

Curiosity – to continue to learn. To not judge but to listen.

If you are curious to learn what my other company values are and what we stand for, you can check them out here.

If you just started your business and want a bit more help, then just ask the question!

If you want more support, we have a fabulous service that you really should take advantage of, where I look through your whole site, give you feedback on design, site structure, your offers, how and where to begin with SEO, how to present yourself, and more. The best part of it is that you will get actionable steps that I will check up on. Yep, I know taking action is the hardest of it all. Ideas are basically s*@t unless you make a move.

So, if you are somewhere in between I-just-started-my-business-and-my-friend-built-my-website and I’m-ready-to-pay-to-have-a-professional-just-take-care-of-this-for-me, this is the perfect stepping-stone, a clear path to the later.

I am not an insurance broker. I am proudly and loudly a brand designer and brand strategist, here to support you make a greater impact on the world.

Let’s go.

Hint: Most often your ideal client is very much like you.

Business Highlight: Hungry Workshop

This month we are focusing on a business on the other side of the pacific ocean

Hungry Workshop is a modern letterpress and design company based in Melbourne, Australia. They work with Melbourne’s leading creatives to produce timeless letterpress and specialty prints with unmatched quality (and probably sustainable efforts when it comes to letterpress, too).

At Hungry Workshop, sustainability is second nature. It is embedded in their process, their method, and their people. All of their work, including their letterpress, is powered by green energy.

Just like their clients, Hungry Workshop obsesses over the details. They consider the finished product, the materials they use, and ultimately the impact they are having on the world through each and every one of those details. For example, even the paper stocks they use and recommend are uncoated, recycled, and often tree-free (Now that is a company who has thought of everything!).

On that note, I have to mention their incredibly funky, yet creative website. Hungry Workshop uses their website to give you a glimpse into their work, using minimal, sleek fonts to showcase their specialty in letterpress. From the eyes of an individual who organically stumbled upon this website I would get the feeling that this company is comprised of engineers who are mechanics of their craft, what I would soon learn to be letterpress printing. Achieving that essence before people even read a word on your site is what I call IMPECCABLE branding.

That said, their finished products are elegant with an edge that I love as well. I mean, when this company says they care about quality— they mean it. They work with clients all across the board from artists to artisans, builders, bakers, chefs, creators, makers, tailors, and tinkerers; and they do so on a variety of different products from packaging, books and invitations, to business cards, swing tags, menus, stationary, gift cards and so much more.

In a world that is so digital, I love to see companies like this who not only still remember how important design is in terms of physical materials and assets but thrive at the intersection of creativity and physical creation.

For those of you that do not know, when I’m not creating digital designs, I love doing DIY projects and getting my creative juices flowing while using my hands; and I would venture to say that that is exactly where these folks’ happy place lies.

Did I mention that their workshop is also the epitome of great branding too? Their workshop, their website, and their final product all fit so well together; it makes my branding soul sing.

Furthermore, something super cool about them is that they also host in-person letterpress workshops! So, if you are like me and you love creating things with your hands, and/or you are interested in learning about letterpress, you should definitely check out the classes they host. I know for me, (once this pandemic is over) and next time I’m in Melbourne (which is soon I hope!)— I’ll definitely be popping in for a class!

So, if you are in Australia and want to support a company who is doing business the right way, truly understands that their work holds weight, and ultimately is making a greater impact by making an elevated way of doing business, second nature… Then I would highly recommend you check these hungry craftsmen out at their website, right here.

I hope this inspires you to elevate your own business and remember that making a greater impact does not have to be ‘extra’. It can be something we all do as default.

Business Highlight: WealthBuilders

Last Month I started a Business Highlight segment

In that segment, I talked about a business that I thought deserved recognition for all of the hard work they are doing to make a greater impact on the world. 

This month, I am doing that again, but I am talking about a company that is also a client. Not only do I want these highlights to be about the businesses themselves and what makes them stand out in their respective industries, but I’m excited to feature a few clients who I have professionally gotten to know and personally love the way they interact and do business. 

I’m proud to announce that the second business highlight and first featured client is WealthBuilders, founded by Eric Rodriguez CFP®️.

Eric founded WealthBuilders to help high-earning sales professionals and business owners build their wealth. He realized that these professionals have a lot to juggle when it comes to building their careers, and wealth building shouldn’t be another thing on their plates. But the thing that stands out to me the most about Eric and what he has done in his business is why he wanted to help these individuals to begin with. 

Eric grew up in a family where their financial well-being was not constant. It caused a lot of pain for them, as it does for many families. Even after he went to college and graduated, he spent more money than he made, and struggled greatly. However, after he had a friend introduce him to the financial industry, Eric decided to turn his financial story around and ultimately used his experience to become the successful Certified Financial Planner he is today. 

Since working with WealthBuilders, I am pleased to say this is a businessman that is true to his word and works hard to help his clients succeed. That being said, another reason I admire WealthBuilders is because Eric doesn’t stop at just helping his clients. 

He is all about building wealth, it’s true. But even more so he cares about and is dedicated to sharing wealth and paying success forward.

In the philanthropic side of Eric’s business, his efforts are focused on decreasing the racial wealth gap in America by promoting wealth equality. A few of the ways he is doing this is by 

  1. Working intentionally with organizations that have a history of success promoting wealth equality, especially organizations that are run by people of color
  2. Working with organizations that are focused on the well-being of black and brown communities
  3. Mentoring black and Latinx aspiring financial planners 

Needless to say, getting to work with Eric on his brand + site project was an absolute TREAT! Not only was he a pleasure to work with himself, but getting to wrap up all of the goodness he has to offer into a minimal, professional and clean brand made my aesthetic insides beyond delighted.

As his brand development consultant and strategist, we provided visual identity pieces such as logo variations, fonts and colors, website development and WordPress design services, as well as other collateral pieces such as his lead magnet, sales deck and proposal.

If you would like to find more out about WealthBuilders, you can check out their website, and if you’d like to support his philanthropic efforts of making progress on the racial wealth gap, by drive awareness to promote wealth equality in America, he also has a T-shirt for sale that says “Normalize Black & Brown Wealth”, in which all of the proceeds go directly to various non-profits doing the work to help normalize black & brown wealth.

I hope this article inspires you to make moves and make a greater impact with your business.

Business Highlight: Ponto Footwear

Love the planet you walk on.

This is the motto that the company Ponto Footwear has adopted and used to backup their planet centered mission. They believe that taking small steps in the right direction to helping the planet, adds up to making a big difference, and are dedicated to contributing to that core belief. To back up that motto, their values are clearly outlined on their website as conscious consumerism and circular economy / circular production.

When it comes to conscious consumerism, Ponto Footwear believes that our connection with the things we own is important, and therefore they ask the hard questions. Questions like: Where did they come from? Who made them? How were they produced? And at what cost? They aim to not only be as responsible and sustainable as possible with their manufacturing processes and the materials that go into creating their shoes, but also as transparent as possible with their customers.

I love seeing companies like Ponto Footwear come forward and base their business models on helping the planet.

We’re seeing a lot of companies having to rethink the way they do business and how it affects the planet, and when a company like this bases their entire mission on that, it sets a really good example and shows other companies in the industry what is possible.

While the term ‘conscious consumerism’ is being spread around a lot more these days, the terms circular economy and/or circular production might be new to you. Circular Production is a term that refers to the waste a business produces and how manufacturers handle that waste to create a circular economy that doesn’t feed the crisis facing our planet and oceans. Circular production is what allows the possibility for a circular economy, which is a systemic approach to economic development designed to benefit businesses, society, and the environment.

What stands out the most to me about Ponto Footwear is that they take this into account in a very direct way by partnering with Soles4Souls, the largest shoe and apparel non-profit in the US that helps uplift people while keeping unsellable inventory out of landfills. They invite their customers to take part in their buyback program to help them get closer to activating a more circular economy by giving you a credit toward your next pair of Pontos, when you appropriately recycle your first pair. For every pair of Pontos that you send to a regional Soles4Souls distribution center, they’ll give you a $25 credit to be applied to your next pair of Pontos shoes. Those shoes will then empower an aspiring entrepreneur in a developing nation to re-purpose the shoes, be resold and kickstart someone’s entrepreneurial micro-enterprise.

Beyond their amazing business model, Ponto Footwear creates shoes with a great design that is both fashionable and multi-functional!

And if you don’t know how I feel about that by now, let me just say— I’m a HUGE fan! Form and function that is elegant with an edge is my sweet spot, and Ponto Footwear has accomplished just that. They have options for both men and women and have embraced the idea of ‘less is more’ by designing a shoe that is a hybrid product for life on the go. Their main style, ‘the pacific’ can be worn to work, the bar, a wedding, and pretty much anywhere. It’s a minimalist design and it definitely embraces the quality over quantity factor. 

Furthermore, their website is sleek, minimalistic, and has an earthy feel, to go with their core values of not taking up too much space and also representing how much they care about the planet.

Their loading icon is brilliant. Their videos are also sparse in a fabulous way, with earthy solid tones to not be overbearing. The name of their company comes from their childhood beach, Ponto Beach, and their logo is unique, intriguing and again, as sleek as their product. Thought-out branding and strong values that have a deeper meaning and a bigger drive, is something I’m all for! The big stuff is in the small details.

I hope hearing about Ponto Footwear inspires you and gives you some ideas for how you can make a greater impact with your own business, and the best part is, now you can head over to Ponto’s site and get some well-sourced shoes to make your own business moves in style, and w/ greater impact too.

I hope this monthly business highlight inspires you to make meaningful moves and use your business to give back and make a greater impact.