DOES BEING A PASSIONPURSUER™ MAKE YOU AN ENTREPRENEUR? WITH CIARA S. MILLER

Published on March 15th, 2017 // BUSINESS BUSINESS COACHING BUSINESS OWNER ENTREPRENEURSHIP INSPIRATION INTENTIONAL LIVING MOTIVATIONAL SMALL BUSINESS STRATEGY

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For Reverie Rendez-Vous this month we are having Ciara Miller of Pro-Visement share with us. She is an avid believer in pursuing your dreams and passions – in the right path for YOU, and today she’s sharing about the difference between a Passionpursuer™ and an entrepreneur and how they relate to each other. Have you been full of dreams but also of questions wondering what to do with them and how to go about answering the passion call in your heart? This article is just right for you!

Today it seems that being an entrepreneur is the “NEW black!” I mean, we would never think that just a few years ago, being an entrepreneur was the dreaded thing to do. Most people longed for security over stepping out on a limb and “gambling” their life’s savings on an innovative idea. Back then, it was more about getting an education that would hopefully be the key to your success. Most were going to school and praying to find a job that they could “settle down with”. How did you know you had found your “Career Charming™”? You would know because it was “tall, dark, and handsome”… It was the one that had health benefits, opportunities for growth and bonuses at the annual holiday party.

Entrepreneur Factory™
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Now, entrepreneurship has come to an all time high! Everywhere we turn, everywhere we look, everywhere we “scroll”, there goes, another entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are appearing and popping up everywhere! I would imagine that Santa makes his toys during the Autumn months and opens up his entrepreneur factory in the North Pole from Winter to Summer, or maybe all year round!

EVERYONE wants the life of entrepreneur, for what it seems. They desire a life like the one whose company has been successfully branded, business is BOOMING, and they are living life in control of their own schedule and paycheck! Their thoughts are like, “Yesss! I like that! Gimme that lifestyle!” *Lightbulb moment* “…I think I am going to become an entrepreneur!”

Entrepreneurship is way MORE than that! It takes hard WORK, it takes doing things even when you may not want to, sacrificing constantly, and being/becoming business savvy, to list a few… Entrepreneurship is more than a GREAT idea. Please, please, please do not step out to start a business with just an idea, or simply a hobby.

I so LOVE entrepreneurship, and I understand why it is necessary. Similar to fire, I see the need for it but, depending on the hands that it ends up in, it can go from creating warmth for your home and food for you family, to DESTROYING your home as you once knew it. Over time, I have learned that everyone is not graced to be an entrepreneur. I truly believe that everyone should be a Passionpursuer™ but, NOT everyone should be an entrepreneur, and it’s OK, it is really OK. Being an entrepreneur does not make your better than anyone, neither does not being an employee degrade your value.

Team Entrepreneur & Employee
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The entrepreneur is the one with the vision who shakes up the ground and paves the way BUT, every entrepreneur needs help from those who have been desiring to work for the same purpose. It’s really ok to join in on someone’s vision that matches with your purpose! It’s doesn’t belittle you or make you less significant. Help is needed to make things happen! The undeniable truth is that the entrepreneur can not be as successful alone, or without the help of those who are also passionate about the vision. The entrepreneur needs the Passionpursuer™, who has been waiting to join forces with the right vision that aligns with their purpose.

I would love to encourage more people to step out on passionpreneurship™ rather than entrepreneurship. If passion pursuit leads to entrepreneurship, great, but at least you would know that you are on the right path rather than simply following the lead of others. Follow your passion whether it’s for a “successful” company with benefits or for yourself, but make the decision wisely.

Don’t be afraid to pursue your passions, your passion can inspire you to produce and passions CAN profit. You define your own success, you create your own fulfillment, you live you OWN life! You can live the life you want, whether you are an entrepreneur or an Passionpursuer™, but you will only live truly fulfilled if you operate in the role that is for YOU. Walk in your own size shoe!
*Dying to find out what your passions are?! Click this link for 3 strategies to ignite the power of your passion.

REVERIE MINGLES: Which category do you fall in? And how did you figure it out?
BIO
Ciara S. Miller, Elevated Fulfillment Coach, Career Strategist & Speaker
From the very beginning of her life, Ciara S. Miller could sense the gifts of her peers and see the very best in them. Looking at her own circumstances and knowing that there were many others that struggled with discovering their true identities, Ciara decided to take action! She thought about how she could change lives and help individuals recover their passions and bring out the fire that is embedded in each of us. That was when Pro-Visement was born!
As the Founder/CEO of Pro-Visement, Ciara’s mission is to provide them with life skills that are thought provoking and risk taking! With coaching sessions, support groups (such as EntreConquerors), and more, you can be sure to carry the information and inspiration with you along your purpose-filled journey.
In March 2017, Ciara will debut her first self~help guide called “Elevated Fulfillment”, a 14 day excursion to elevating your existing life! This book will expound upon 7 lifestyle practices that has both IMPACTED and totally TRANSFORMED her life. She wishes the same for you.

Social Media:
FB: Pro-Visement
Empowerment group: Fb.com/entreconquerors
IG: @provisement
Twitter: @ProVisement

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DISPELLING 10 MYTHS ABOUT BRANDING – INFOGRAPHIC

Published on March 8th, 2017 // BRANDING BRANDING 101 BRANDING BASICS BRANDING TIP BUSINESS BUSINESS OWNER CLIENT EXPERIENCE ENTREPRENEURSHIP GRAPHIC DESIGN INFOGRAPHIC MARKETING PERSONAL BRANDING SMALL BUSINESS STRATEGY

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The concept of branding comes with its own share of confusion and misconceptions. Being what I do, I have found myself hesitating using the term fearing people would connect it to something else than what I was trying to express. Yes, I think it some cases it is that bad. I see it all the time and it’s understandable – why would we all know what everything means in this business world? For that reason I decided to create an infographic dispelling 10 myths about branding and providing the counter explanation of each confusion. If you have more questions concerning each myth/explanation regarding branding, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll gladly develop.

MYTHS
  1. Branding is all about visual aesthetics.
  2. Branding and marketing are the same thing.
  3. Having a good product or service will guarantee a successful brand.
  4. Branding is all about your own taste and personality.
  5. Only big companies need to create a brand.
  6. You can’t create an influential brand unless you are an outgoing extrovert.
  7. Word-of-mouth is the best way to develop a brand these days.
  8. Changing your visual brand identity will hurt your business’ image.
  9. Any graphic designer, artists can design your visual brand.
  10. Branding should have instant effects.

See infographic below for the clarifications:

DISPELLING-10-MYTHS-ABOUT-BRANDING

 

REVERIE MINGLES: Which ones of these myths have you always believed and how has it affected developing your brand?

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A DAY IN THE BUSINESS OF CINDY MAKA WITH ASKCINDY CO -BUSINESS MANAGEMENT AKA “A BIRDS-EYE VIEW OF ALL THE MOVING PARTS”

Published on March 1st, 2017 // BUSINESS BUSINESS MANAGEMENT BUSINESS OWNER ENTREPRENEURSHIP MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATION PRODUCTIVITY SMALL BUSINESS STRATEGY

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Well, hello March! Is 2017 all kinds of wild for you as well? It’s been the hardest and the most fantastic all at once over here at Reverie Lane, haha… The key for success for me so far this year has been strategy and business management. The person who keeps my business mind sane through all that, is my wonderful business manager Cindy and I really wanted to make a point for you all to meet her. I know the title ‘business manager’ can come with some confusion, at least that’s how I felt when I was looking to hire someone to help with all the things, and I think Cindy is the best person to bring clarity and give you a general overview of what she does. I believe so many of us need a business manager without knowing it.

‘A DAY IN THE BUSINESS OF CINDY MAKA WITH ASKCINDY CO.’
BUSINESS MANAGEMENT AKA “A BIRDS-EYE VIEW OF ALL THE MOVING PARTS”.

 

  • Could you briefly tell us about who you are and what gets you passionate about entrepreneurship.

I’m a Pacific Northwest-raised girl living in the desert in Phoenix, with my husband and sweet little pup. I’m a lover of coffee, not for the caffeine but because I love the ritual of it. I’ve always got a candle burning, and if I could do anything all day long other than my work, I’d be either baking or learning photography. I thrive on building deep connections, and am discovering that I’m far more introverted than I realized.

I’ve been doing business management in some capacity for over 15 years. After building a business (in another industry) and running it by myself for 4 years in a sea of overwhelm and stress — I wanted to change how we (especially women) business owners experience entrepreneurship. I want others to know they don’t have to be in this thing alone! One thing I’m most passionate about is teaching boss ladies how to realistically manage their time and keep their sanity in the process.

  • What’s your business specialty and what audience do you serve?

I’m a business manager for creative and online entrepreneurs. My audience is female business owners, who have established businesses, but are still trying to do it all mostly by themselves. I help them reduce their workload and stress by taking over much of their back end business management, overseeing operations and team members, and creating systems to make their business more efficient.

I also do business audits to assess different aspects of the business and make recommendations for improvement and efficiency. This consulting service allows me to support and serve clients who either can’t afford to bring on an business manager, or simply want outside help to clean up + implement systems processes and client experience.

Cindy headshot 8 Dec 2016 CROPPEDCindy is the right woman to female business owners.

  • What are the main differences between a virtual assistant and a business manager?

You will typically give a VA task-level things to do to get things off your plate, in specific areas of your business. There are so many options with VAs. You can hire someone who can do lots of different tasks, or one who specialize in certain pieces of day to day business activities. For example, you can hire a VA to schedule your social media content, or create your blog and social graphics, or manage your inbox and client inquiries, etc. There are truly so many things VAs can take off our plates! Depending on the VA, and their skill level, you are still likely overseeing and managing the process.

In contrast – a business manager is typically stepping in to help with higher level processes and overall operations management of your business. A business manager will be involved in most (if not all) aspects of your business, keeping a birds-eye view of all the moving parts. She will help you plan, strategize, organize and prioritize. She helps bring you down to earth when your creative mind has #alltheideas, and she will hold you accountable if you need that.

  • What is your basic process to assess the needs of a new client’s business?

Hands down — communication. It is my job to ask questions and listen, first and foremost. Where is the client struggling the most? This differs from client to client. Ultimately, I want to see the state of current processes, procedures and operations in the business, find out what the client does and doesn’t want to be doing in their business, and find out their greatest struggles and pain points. From there, we strategize and prioritize a plan for what to take on first.

  • Could you give us a quick overview of a month with a client? Communication, tasks, check-ins, etc…

This varies widely!! Some clients I talk to several times a day, others just once a week. It all depends on the client’s needs, how much time I’m contracted to work for them, and which parts of the business I’m handling directly.

For my very hands-on clients, we are messaging on Slack daily, and we have weekly video calls with the team to go over the week’s agenda, to-dos, and important projects.

Common tasks amongst most of my clients are: team member communications and accountability; managing the moving parts of projects and timelines; setting up systems, automations and processes; and holding the client accountable for what they need to be getting done — because we all know with so many balls in the air and so many moving parts to our business — we forget things!

Audits are short-term project-based offerings. This is typically a more intensive process – done within a few weeks, or few months – depending on how many aspects of the business we take on.

Screen Shot 2017-03-01 at 10.05.51 AMCindy works from her home office in Phoenix , AZ.

  • What is your favorite part of the process and why?

My favorite part is hands down the the relief I see my clients experiencing because of our work together. When systems start to get put into place, and I am able to take things off their plate – they get some breathing room. That is why I do what I do. I started this business because I’ve BEEN that overwhelmed business owner who felt like she was doing it all alone. I don’t want others to feel that way — I want to help ease the burden. When I know a client is getting some relief because I’m there… that excites me! That, and problem solving. I’m a solutions girl — I see a problem or puzzle and I want to fix it.

  • What do you think is the best time for a business owner to hire a business manager? What are the signs?

I love this question! The best time to hire a business manager is when you get to the place that managing the back end operations part of your business is taking away valuable time you could be using to generate revenue in your business. When it is taking away valuable time with your family, or time to care for yourself. When running your business is sucking all of the creative inspiration out of you. When you need to hire help, but feel you may need more than an VA.

Here are some signs are ready for a business manager —

– If you’re constantly worrying about dropping balls, or waking up in the night worried you forgot something

– If you get up in the morning overwhelmed or panicked about all that needs be done, but have no idea where to start

– If you simply can’t keep track of all the moving pieces in your business…

– If you’re having trouble knowing if ALL the things you’re doing actually fit in with your overall vision and goals for your business

– If you don’t want one more thing or person to manage yourself

– If you need someone to hold YOU accountable

  • One tip, or piece of advice for business owners when it comes to time-management or systems?

Just one?! I’ll give you two that can kind of be lumped together.

1— Start your day with a plan. Each night, look at your schedule and write down (or virtually document) your appointments and priorities for the next day. This way you start your morning knowing exactly what needs done, instead of sitting down at your desk and having no idea where to start.

2 — DON’T make a mile long to-do list. This is a recipe for defeat. Prioritize and pick just one or two main goals or to-dos for each day. That’s it. If you could only do ONE thing today, what would the most important thing be?? At the end of the day, when you know you’ve accomplished the MOST important task or two, it reduces overall overwhelm and leads to a sense of accomplishment that keeps you going day after day.

Lastly, just a piece of advice — when you are feeling overwhelmed, frantic, anxious or stuck…like nothing is working: JUST STOP. Walk away. You can’t be productive in that space. Do something entirely different that isn’t work — take a short walk and get some fresh air, do something creative, eat something… anything that isn’t what you were doing. This seems counter intuitive — but when you pause and do something different, you reset and come back refreshed and focused.

I guess that was three! 😉

Screen Shot 2017-03-01 at 10.04.06 AMCindy’s adorable puppy.

If you’d like to talk more about business management, time management, or and how a business manager could help you and your business, let’s chat! You can find me over on askcindyco.com and connect with me on Instagram and Facebook.

REVERIE MINGLES: Which of those signs do you see in your business? Do you think it might be time to hire some help?

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3 STRATEGIES TO GET TOTHE BOTTOM OF WHAT YOUR IDEAL CLIENTS ARE THINKING

Published on February 8th, 2017 // ACTION PLAN BRANDING BUSINESS ENTREPRENEURSHIP IDEAL CLIENT MARKETING PERSONAL BRANDING SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY

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Today for Reverie Rendez-Vous we are talking ideal clients, stalking and marketing strategies. Our guest Ronii Bartles who is an Operations Marketing Rockstar to creative entrepreneurs who want to understand their tribe to build products + services that sell, takes us through three strategies to get in the hearts and heads of our perfect clients (because there’s a little stalker in all of us). You can download the her opt-in here which is perfectly aligned with this article.

“It sounds bad, doesn’t it? Stalking. But admit it… we all have a little bit of a stalker tendency. We’ve all been sucked into the Facebook vortex at some point during the day. And probably clicked on your ex’s profile in the name of just checking in on that they’re doing good and if they’re happy. But have you ever considered that getting sucked into the social media rabbit hole could result in understanding your ideal customers better?

Have you ever gotten an email or a blog article from your favorite business strategist and thought, “How is she reading my mind? Is there a hidden camera in my computer?” Trust me there is not a secret camera spying on you. She has just done her homework.

Every business guru on the planet will tell you that you need to develop a target client, or customer avatar. And a few go a little deeper by saying, just ask your audience questions. But… What questions? Where? How? All this advice leaves you with more questions than answers. So, in the end, you just end up guessing who your ideal client is and making up an imaginary friend.

While that’s a good start, have you noticed that your marketing isn’t getting the conversions you want? That’s because you are guessing at what your ideal clients want to hear and aren’t developing marketing campaigns based on facts and data. Here are 3 strategies for getting facts that lead to understanding your clients better:

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  • Facebook Stalk:

    You’re already there. Don’t lie. I know you are. Turn your Facebook stalking into a business strategy to find out facts about your ideal clients. Hop on a few people’s profiles and answer these questions: What books have they read? What is their favorite color? What was the last thing they posted about? Do this for several people that you would love to work with. Aggregate those answers and weave a story together that includes your special talent. New blog post done. Boom!

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  • Customer Surveys:

    This is a go to for understanding your audience. You may already have a Survey Monkey account or Typeform. But what questions do you ask of your audience? The obvious is, what is their biggest challenge right now? I like to ask my clients, that if their business was a person what are the adjectives that would describe her? This will give you an idea of the values that your customer has. Personality questions are always great insights into what they value. Many times what people say about themselves is what they seek in working with others as well.

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  • Meet Cute:

    Throw a party for your favorite peeps. That can be in person or virtual but create a brand experience where you invite your favorite/ideal clients or people you would love to have as clients and have a “getting to know you” party. Have a list of conversation starters handy {Danielle LaPorte has a few blog posts for this and an app I think} and start some conversations and just sit back and listen. Listening is the key to any good research approach.

 

There are lots of ways to gather information about your clients. I find these to be the most helpful when I’m developing customer profiles for clients. Once my clients have their customer profiles, they find so many ways to use them. Many use them to develop products and services that solve specific problems. Don’t you just love it when someone has solved your problem and saved you time on Google? Others use them to develop very targeted ad campaigns so they are getting better conversion rates on Facebook ads because they are saying the right thing to the right people at the right time.

REVERIE MINGLES: I challenge you, what do you know about your ideal clients? I mean, actually, for a fact. A real fact that you found out straight from the horse’s mouth.”

About Ronii: Through her straightforward blog posts, results­driven workshops + Champagne Thursday brainstorming, she’s here to teach you how to get in the hearts + heads of your perfect clients {because there’s a little stalker in all of us} all while sipping on bubbly + making it feel like you’re partying with movie stars. And when she’s not channeling her inner detective, you can find her indulging in soul fulfilling girlfriend talk, feeding her Instagram addiction + the occasional sparkling glass of champagne {well, not so occasional}.

Find her on social: Facebook Twitter Instagram

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A DAY IN THE BUSINESS OF JANET GWEN – SECRETS OF MANAGING A PRODUCT BASED BUSINESS

Published on January 25th, 2017 // artist BLOGGING BRANDING 101 BRANDING BASICS BRANDING TIP BUSINESS CLIENT EXPERIENCE COLLABORATIONS CULTIVATE CREATIVITY DESIGN PROCESS ENTREPRENEURSHIP INSPIRATION LAUNCH PERSONAL BRANDING PRODUCTIVITY

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It’s a double launch week here at Reverie Lane Designs. One of our fantastic clients is launching a podcast today on productivity centered around your own personal priorities called Productivity Paradox and we go to design a beautiful website for that (reveal article to come). The other launch is actually a passion project of mine, which I got to collaborate on with one of our on-going clients and definitely friend now – Janet Gwen. This leads me to today’s article with Janet as a guest for our very first example of this year’s brand-new blog segment: ‘A day in the business of…’.

With Janet we decided to join efforts (because we love working together so much) and create a shirt in honor of Valentine’s Day inspired by passion and ‘mad love’. We are launching later today so find me and Janet on Instagram to get all the details and see the shirt on the big launch!! – gah….
I am obviously all kinds of excited today for all these reasons above and I hope that my excitement can be contagious and reach you as well. I will definitely be celebrating all these launches and new things but for now here is Janet’s interview.

 

‘A DAY IN THE BUSINESS OF JANET GWEN AT JANET GWEN DESIGNS’
SECRETS OF MANAGING A PRODUCT BASED BUSINESS

 

  • Could you briefly tell us about who you are and what gets you passionate about entrepreneurship?

    “Hello! I’m Janet, a twenty something entrepreneur who decided to take a different route in life and that was forging my own was as the artist and creative director behind Janet Gwen Designs. JGD is a creative studio well known for our marble cases and hand-painted phone cases. I am passionate about everything entrepreneurship. I love the whole process of creating something, bringing that to life, and marketing it with our main mission in mind which is to ‘encourage and highlight unfiltered creativity by challenging the social standards of art’. We strive to make a statement by using bold colors and textures on traditional and non traditional surfaces. We create one-of-a kind pieces of art for those customers who appreciate the little details it takes to pull it all together. We make your hustle beautiful, one art infused piece at the time. We want to start conversations, create real life connections, and inspire you in your wildest dreams. We are here to cheer you on every step because we know you got this!”

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Janet in her office in Charlotte, NC.

  • What’s your business specialty and what audience do you serve?

    “Tech cases, I would have to say is our speciality. My audience is the girl bosses, in every meaning of that word, not just entrepreneurs. She owns who she is and her dreams aren’t just dreams, but plans she takes action upon. She’s trendy and stylish, a true lover of fashion. Most importantly she appreciates the little details in life.”

  • How did you find that niche?

    “I noticed the trend of girl bosses when I started connecting with my customers more over Etsy messages and Instagram. Connecting with my audience is literally everything to me. Even the small conversations makes my heart so full. Once I noticed that it help me create products that cater to them more.”

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Some of Janet’s beautiful work including her flagship product, the marble case.

  • What is your decision process for bringing products in the shop? Is it through personal experience or from requests of your audience?

    “It’s a little of both. If I am around and see something I would like but don’t see it anywhere I may create the product. The creation of the marble and gold laptop cases and hand painted phone cases definitely followed this thought process as well as creativity in resources. As my business grew, I did start listening more to my audience and that is how I have expanded my product line. Questions that I ask myself are: Is it useful? Is it different? Most importantly does it relate to our brand and mission? If I answer yes to all of these questions, then I move the product idea into development. If there’s even one no, I move on to the next product idea.”

  • Have you ever had a product not succeed as you wished? How did you manage?

    “Yes and no. The reason for the vague answer is that my product launches aren’t great because I don’t put forth much of the effort into it nor marketing. That has all changed since I have grown my team to help assist with the marketing skills I lack. My newer products are slow to sell but once they do they become pretty steady.”

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Janet with Kensie her brand and social media manager.

  • On the other end have you ever had a product exceed your expectations and what did you do in that case?

    “YES, the marble laptop cases. I actually created it for myself with no intention of selling it. I did my first craft show around then and had a lot of interest but no sells as it was definitely not the right audience for my products. (This was when I first knew NOTHING about target audiences.) However, because of the high interests I decided to just go ahead and list it on Etsy. My thought being, ‘WHY NOT?’ My marketing effort back then was also limited, so the extent of it was just posting it on Pinterest as well. Good thing I did, because that’s where my pin actually went viral with close to 100k repins collectively and help me create the business I have today! The marble laptop cases are still my best sellers.”

  • We are launching a t-shirt together today, could you share about your heart for collaborations?

    “I absolutely adore collaborations! It’s exciting and everyone brings something different to the table, whether that is in terms of skill sets and/or perspective.”

  • One tip, one advice for product sellers and online shop owners you consider essential?

    “Marketing is the key to the success of any product, especially with the power of social media. UTILIZE IT! What good is a good product if no one knows about it?”

Janet and her team made a lovely video taking you through her day and you should definitely go see!

You can find Janet here:
Shop: janetgwendesigns.com
Instagram: @janetgwendesigns
Facebook: Janet Gwen Designs

REVERIE MINGLES: How can you up your marketing game through social media? Both launch marketing (building up) and on-going marketing.

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SAVOIR-FAIRE: CREATING A TYPEFACE PALETTE FOR YOUR CREATIVE PROJECT

Published on January 18th, 2017 // BRANDING 101 BRANDING BASICS BRANDING TIP BUSINESS CULTIVATE CREATIVITY DESIGN PROCESS DESIGN TIP GRAPHIC DESIGN INSPIRATION PERSONAL BRANDING TYPOGRAPHY

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Typeface is essential in most if not every creative/graphic project and certainly for every brand identity one, therefore it is essential to master it or at least understand the basics of putting together a typeface palette. It helps avoid mistakes that are quite easy to spot and could cause confusion regrading the message you are trying to convey.

Before we dive into the heart of the matter, I want to clarify the distinction between typeface and font. It really isn’t complicated and these days it’s mostly a vocabulary difference, so in order to simplify and not get into too much history of the design industry, we can define a typeface as a family composed of variating fonts (regular, bold, italic,…). I have heard of the single record vs the album analogy before and I think it explains perfectly the relation between the two: a typeface is the album and the fonts are the records making it up.

Today, I want to take you through the process of creating a typeface palette for your creative projects and for educational purposes, let’s pick a style to work with: ‘Modern Editorial’ – I love that style and it allows for a dramatic example.

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1- TYPEFACE CHOICE

It all begins with choosing the right typeface and within that which font to focus on. They are a plethora of options out there and it cancan confusing especially when some of them look so similar, so my advice is once again go back to the ‘feel’ and creative direction. Decide on the category, the style of the typeface and just pick one. Now some typefaces have interesting glyphs or special characters which might be relevant for a specific project or brand identity (a need for a memorable ampersand for example), that could help dictate your pick as well. Don’t fall into the paralysis analysis of plenitude.

– The leading typeface

In our case here, ‘Modern Editorial’, the leading typeface should be a bold, extravagant script or serif font. It should convey elegance and a certain confidence. It should be full of personality and not afraid to ‘walk the runway of typefaces’ in a way.
I went ahead with the stylish Jitsu, specifically the swash font, which is an italic mix of a calligraphy and a classic serif font. Jitzu allows for dramatic layouts as you will see below some of the options I created.CREATING-A-TYPEFACE-PALETTE-FOR-YOUR-CREATIVE-PROJECT-main-typeface

– The supporting typeface

My second choice for supporting typeface is Rosarina, which is a free front (you’re welcome). Rosorina is a rounded sans serif typeface and has that no fuss, clean lines attitude with some very pretty, simple but memorable features. It conveys that ‘modern’ feel from our creative direction without overpowering our leading typeface. It gives it the space it needs to be extravagant with being airy and very legible for important titles. You can still use it in a playful way of course but it’s a great foundation for communicating key concepts through your copy.CREATING-A-TYPEFACE-PALETTE-FOR-YOUR-CREATIVE-PROJECT-supporting-typeface

– The body typeface

Our last typeface to choose is the one for the body text. In our case we have a couple of options, a clean, very easy to read sans serif font that is differentiable to your supporting typeface, or you could also play with kerning to achieve that if you preferred to use the same one. Alternatively we can find a classic serif font to keep the ‘editorial’/ magazine vibe which would further emphasize the ‘editorial’ direction. I selected Miller Display for this one. Miller is a big family and offers a wide array of options for various purposes – this is the display version. A fun fact about this typeface is that it was designed by Matthew Carter who also designed Verdana and Georgia for Microsoft. I like that Miller is a good mid ground between our first two picks. It’s elegant and graceful, but also quite simple for a serif font and also very legible. It has that magazine, classic publication vibe, once again perfect for your ‘Modern Editorial’ concept.CREATING-A-TYPEFACE-PALETTE-FOR-YOUR-CREATIVE-PROJECT-body-typeface

2- TYPEFACE HIERARCHY

Selecting the different typeface is really just the bare minimum or the first step I should say. Having nice typefaces is great but arranging them together efficiently is even better. I do believe each typeface palette should include a hierarchy pointers, a guide to use if you will – otherwise pairing and layout mistakes will be made which then cancels the research work done above. By hierarchy I mean what, when and how to use the typefaces all across the project.

Still in our ‘modern editorial’ case, I have assembled a few examples of great combination and pairing of the typeface we selected above. They each convey something different and bring yet another layer of personality to the project/brand and add up to telling the story. Once again showing that it takes every little detail to create a full brand identity or to put together a creative project. With the same typeface, the same creative direction, we can create endless hierarchy options (I am sure we could number them if we tried, ha!).

SAFE AND CLASSICCREATING-A-TYPEFACE-PALETTE-FOR-YOUR-CREATIVE-PROJECT-typeface-option1
BOLD AND DRAMATICCREATING-A-TYPEFACE-PALETTE-FOR-YOUR-CREATIVE-PROJECT-typeface-option2
FREE SPIRITCREATING-A-TYPEFACE-PALETTE-FOR-YOUR-CREATIVE-PROJECT-typeface-option3B

It does that a list of various elements to successfully create a beautiful brand or a design project which requires copy. Everything from the colors, the typeface and the textures among other things play a key role. Within each decision there is the potential to share your (right) message.

If you are now dying to create a typeface palette yourself after reading this article, here are a few links of where to find some lovely and high quality typeface:

Adobe Typekit
Google Web Fonts
Font Squirrel
Myfonts.com
Lost Type

REVERIE MINGLES: Take your current brand typeface through this process, does it have all the elements required? How could you update it?

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THREE WAYS TO TELL YOUR IMPERFECT STORY THROUGH YOUR BRAND with ASHLEY BEAUDIN

Published on January 10th, 2017 // BRANDING 101 BRANDING BASICS BRANDING TIP BUSINESS BUSINESS COACHING CLIENT EXPERIENCE ENTREPRENEURSHIP INSPIRATION MOTIVATIONAL PERSONAL BRANDING STORYTELLING

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Ding ding ding, it’s Reverie Rendez-Vous time and it’s quite special, not just because it’s the first one of the year or because we’re talking about branding and our imperfect stories but also because it is our guest’s birthday today!!! – Yes, I might have moved things around a bit to make it all coincide haha… I love a good celebration! So, please after reading this great article find her on social and throw some confetti or a virtual hug her way. I promise she loves that!

Okay enough with my chit chat, our guest today is non other than the fearless and generous leader and movement maker Ashley Beaudin. She’s describes herself as an encourager, speaker and coach for heart-led entrepreneurs. She’s all about empowering extraordinary women to create powerful lives and businesses using heart, vulnerability and community. She is the lady behind the incredible social movement ‘The Imperfect Boss’. You can find more information in the links below:

ashleybeaudin.com
Twitter: @ashleybeaudin
Instagram: @ashley.beaudin

“For anyone who has any bit of online presence, branding matters in a big way. You can have the most amazing vision and message to tell the world, but if you don’t have a solid brand, you’ll lose so much of the momentum that you are actually capable of.

When you have powerful branding, you’re able to give your work credibility, attract the people you want to and share your message even when you’re not in the room. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been interested in working with someone, but the moment I get on their website, I close it out because their brand isn’t well put together.

Don’t lose people where you could be winning hearts.

Now, I think sometimes we get caught up in this thing where branding is about perfection — painting the picture of a perfect life and a flawless work. When we do that, we are selling ourselves short. Because inside of us is an imperfect story that has the power to give connection to your brand and your business.

People will connect more with your honest than they’ll connect with your performance.
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And it is not about being so real that you deny excellence, growth or improvement. But it is about living and leading authentically in a world that has become so easily filtered and curated. So, I want to jump in and give you a few ways you can use your imperfect story in your branding to become compelling in your industry.

1 – Design visuals that are built upon your personality.

Whether you’re designing your brand yourself or you’re hiring a designer, really dig into your personality, so that it can be communicated in the use of colors, fonts, styles, and photography. Think about the ‘imperfect’ parts of your personality, and how you can reframe those things as a strength and weave them throughout the visuals.

For example, if you see yourself as feeling just too much all the time, you can reframe that strength as empathy and you could use pastel colors in your brand to really accentuate that truth.

2 – Write copy out of how your story collides with your client’s story.

Take a piece of paper and describe your story on the left side. On the right side, describe the story of your client. Now, brainstorm how can the elements of your story and journey collide with the elements of your client’s story, so that they can be transformed after working with you.

For example, if I have had many failed businesses in my entrepreneurial journey, I can collide that story with my client’s story as she may be battling with a fear of failure. I can speak to her heart through my web copy and social media copy about how fear doesn’t have to hold her back anymore because I’ve failed and I’m still standing (and better for it too).

3 – Create a brand experience that makes people feel something.

I want to encourage you to think past this idea of looking flawless and think about how you want to impact someone’s heart who gets to know you. How do you want them to feel and how do you want their heart to be moved? When they get on your website, are they going to feel like a burden was lifted off of them, or are they going to feel like they can do anything?

Don’t just make yourself look amazing. Give them an experience where they feel moved to do something, to say something or to let go of something. Knowing this can help you dictate everything from visuals, copy, free resources, media, offerings, etc.

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Let go of the filters and lead unmasked. Watch how that changes how you feel in your business, but also the quality of connections from your dreamiest clients. It is time.”

REVERIE MINGLES: How can you introduce more imperfection into your branding?

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FIVE LESSONS LEARNED FROM MY PRODUCTIVITY FOCUS (LAST FALL)

Published on January 4th, 2017 // BLOGGING BUSINESS DISCIPLINE ENTREPRENEURSHIP GOALS INTENTIONAL LIVING MANAGEMENT MOTIVATIONAL ORGANIZATION PRODUCTIVITY

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Let me start by wishing you a ‘bonne année’ 2017!!! With the Reverie team, I hope the best year yet for you, filled with peace and blessings.

As you recall, I went on a productivity focus in the fall because although I was extremely busy up to that point in 2016, I wasn’t accomplish much of my goals for the year. I posted then back in September/October a few articles about my plans and my goals to refocus, harvest my ideas and finish the year stronger than it started.

Well, It’s been interesting to say the least and I have learned a handful of lessons I am going to share with you today:

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1- YOU HAVE MORE TIME THAN YOU THINK

If you have ever had a chat with me, you have probably heard me saying ‘I wish I had more time’, or ‘oh the things I would do if I had more time’ or even ’time is my most precious resource, I can’t waste it.’ I think you get the picture. I truly think/thought I needed more time and that it was one of my main sore points regarding productivity. What I have realized is that we can sit and complain about not having enough time all we wish but a day will still only have 24 hours to live and work with. The real issue is how YOU use those hours and let me say this, you probably have more time available than you think, to accomplish what you wish to accomplish.

The key is to discover what is available to us, which is done by finding and eliminating the super flux, the unnecessary and the time wasting activities that fill up our days. I am not talking about the activities we do to disconnect necessarily, but the ones that seem productive and ‘work’ like but just aren’t, and instead are stealing our minutes away from what you want to actually do. I am talking about the extra-entrepreneurial activities which aren’t really advancing our business or grown our brand’s influence but we call networking or research. Or even the activities and systems which everybody else seems to be doing so we ought to try as well but can’t really see the connection to our own business growth. Which leads me to my next point.

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2- YOU CAN’T CLEAN UP THE MESS WHILE LIVING IN IT

The first few weeks of my productivity focus I was still trying to do it all but ‘better’ thinking that would be enough to correct the mistakes I was making and the productivity issues I was having. I quickly noticed the flaws of that concept, and how it was in some ways worse. I upped the pressure on myself and created a more stressful environment. Isn’t it true that it has to get bad before it gets good, haha. It did and I learned through it that you cannot clean up the mess while still living in it.

The truth is we are always trying to do all the things and excel at all of them. And when that isn’t working – because it can’t – we try to fix it all while still doing it all. Ah, the headache we create for ourselves sometimes. Realizing this allowed me to stop doing many of these: browsing Instagram, forcing myself to post on social media three times everyday, creating new artwork every month for free downloads as an opt-in for my newsletter, blogging 4 times a month, etc… Nothing is wrong with all these, but they weren’t producing the results I needed them to create and doing all of them at once wasn’t giving me the possibility to assess what the problem was with each one or if they were even worth it for my business.

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3- DROP ONE-PICK ONE IS THE REAL BALANCE

The danger with my previous point is to give up on everything and/or to later on pick up everything again. The reason behind the productivity focus is to bring in change and fresh perspective on what to do and how to do it more effectively. That’s where the drop one pick one concept comes in. Although I did cancel many of my activities which were overcrowding my plate but not nourishing my business, it wasn’t in a defeated and quitting spirit, it was more about creating a better balance and allocation of my time and energy. When we see these business owners doing all these fantastic things so well, I can guarantee you they didn’t one day on year 1 or even 2 of business pick them all up at once. Which is what I somewhat did in my year 2 and had to calm down and reassess in year 3 and do better in year 4.

I put many things down so that I can pick them up one at a time to polish them individually or to decide to drop them for good. For instance, I paused posting blog articles but didn’t give up on blogging. Instead, I created a new plan with monthly categories and weekly breakdown which then allowed me to create a content strategy and a guest strategy with an application form and all. Another example would be my newsletter opt-in. I know the importance of building an email list and the role a good opt-in plays in that and I haven’t dropped the ball on that but instead of doing something that wasn’t advancing that goal but was taking a lot of my time dedicated to work every month, I decided to stop and study my audience, analytics and come up with something which would be more passive for me (once completed) and more valuable for them.

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4- PRODUCTIVITY IS A SEED

This one might be one of my favorite lessons as it’s such an encouragement when things seem to be slower than expected. Productivity is a seed not an already all healthy, majestic oak tree. Simply put, it just takes time to do better and learn by experience what works and what doesn’t – which is productivity 101. Changing one habit, one activity, one system won’t automatically and realistically create some instant magical new thing, it takes time but that’s what so great about it. You can experiment, you can change your mind, you can build upon what you already have and know, because each time it’s a planted seed towards a full garden. How hopeful and beautiful is that?

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5- IT STILL TAKES A VILLAGE

Last but not least, no matter how well you organize your time and manage your days, it will still take a village to cross all those goals off your list. If you want to growth and accomplish a lot you will need help. It’s actually a relief to me to know this now as it makes me feel better about reaching those big dreams, and not giving up on them, without having to lose more sleep or time away from family than I have to, haha. I cannot begin to tell you how bringing in Cindy my business manager changed things around here. So grateful for her and excited to bring even more people to the team this year.

REVERIE MINGLES: WHAT LESSONS HAVE YOU LEARNED LAST YEAR WHICH WILL DETERMINE HOW YOU MANAGE YOUR BUSINESS IN 2017?

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MORE OF YOU INTO YOUR BUSINESS AND MESSAGING WHILE STAYING TRUE TO YOUR BRAND

Published on November 8th, 2016 // ACTION PLAN BRANDING 101 BRANDING BASICS BRANDING TIP BUSINESS BUSINESS COACHING ENTREPRENEURSHIP INSPIRATION INTENTIONAL LIVING MOTIVATIONAL PERSONAL BRANDING

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I just wrapped up a beautiful and powerful brand for our guest today – reveal to come soon!!! Once I started getting to know Lacey through the branding process I knew I wanted her to share with us. I love her perspectives on so many subjects and how she doesn’t just say what everybody says. Today she’s sharing with us about staying true to oneself and how that works with business.

One of the things a lot of my clients come to me concerned about is striking the balance between incorporating THEM into their businesses while staying on message and true to their brand really challenging!

First, let’s talk about how your mindset impacts your ability to incorporate YOU into your business while staying on message!

Some of the mindset issues I’ve noticed the most are:

*Not feeling like you are unique enough to incorporate YOU into your business
*Not feeling like your life is exciting enough to be a “lifestyle” brand
*Wondering why anyone would want to hear about YOU
*Feeling TOO different and worrying you’ll turn people off
*Seeing the two as total separate (i.e. feeling like your professional and personal lives don’t mix AT ALL)

There are so many more “stories” that can impact our ability to show ourselves in our brand but these seem to be the most common!

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I know I used to struggle with the story that no one wanted to hear about ME they just wanted to hear about the value I could offer them. Now, I know that value is important but I know that the person giving that value is just as important.

As Simon Sinek says… “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”.

In other words, they buy the YOU behind the value.

One thing I see entrepreneurs do too often is feel like IF they are going to share themselves in their brand that they have to share EVERYTHING. That they have to tell people all about their day, their family, their ups & downs, their dinner, etc. That they need to be connected and advertising their lives 24/7.

Yet, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I don’t routinely share that much about the ins and outs of my personal life. However, I do share the ins and outs of running a business and how that effects me personally AND professionally. I share my why, my values, and my challenges –> THIS is what people want to hear.

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The lifestyle stuff (the dinners, the family, etc.) is FINE, but it’s not necessary for your brand. Don’t feel like you have to share #allthethings. Share YOU, share the things that matter to your message, and be authentic because that is what people truly want and respond to.

It’s also important to always tie things TO your brand/message. Often we think it’s SO obvious why it ties back, but for people that haven’t read your website, or don’t know you as well this is crucial!

For example, when I share about my own mindset practice I need to tie it back to how that breeds success in business. When I share about self-care and getting a massage I need to draw the connection that ultimately it supports being a good business owner.

Finally, remember to say the things that aren’t always popular but are YOU!

For example, it’s not always the popular thing to talk about how the coaching industry has to change, how we have to stop tying price to worth (or assuming that a high price package means it’s the best), and how we need to create more trust within this industry. Yet, those beliefs and values are what make me… ME, so they need to be shared.

Don’t be afraid to be YOU in what you’re doing, and if it’s not in line with the status quo… in my opinion, that’s even better :)
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If you want to hear more from Lacey, come join us in her private Facebook group and follow her on Instagram and Facebook

REVERIE MINGLES: Now I’d love for you to share below… what makes you… YOU in your business and what do you want to incorporate more of?

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EVERYDAY I WANT TO QUIT BUT I DON’T – BURSTING THE LIES BUBBLE

Published on October 18th, 2016 // Confidence DISCIPLINE ENTREPRENEURSHIP FAITH INSPIRATION INTENTIONAL LIVING JOY LIFE MOTHERHOOD MOTIVATIONAL

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It’s true everyday I want to quit something, or everything on bad days. I want to close my business and be done with all the stress. I want to stop doing all those demanding mommy things that aren’t really as rewarding as they say. I want to not have to pour so much energy into marriage because it’s hard work. I want to order pizza or some other take out option every night and not have to worry about how many veggies and fruit my kids have had each day. I want to quit it all and just escape the mess and responsibilities. Phew! There, I said it! Are you still with me? I hope so, it’s not just a big ugly rant, I promise there is a purpose behind the confessions.

BURSTING THE LIES BUBBLE

We let the challenges of life’s journey plant seeds of disappointments, which in turn grow into lies that distract us from our true priorities. The reality is we cannot sustain in the long run a life of daily heart disappointment. I believe the problem comes from the lies we tell ourselves about what we think we want versus what we truly want. I have spent a decent amount of time thinking and praying about this subject. Do I really want to run away from my kids? Impact the ‘world’ but fail at serving the people who were personally given to me? Do I truly think I want to do life as a single woman? Is being ‘just a mom’ what I want to do for the rest of my life? Do I want my family to eat anything and everything without a care? NO! All these questions and many others get a ‘no’ when I take the time to ask myself honestly. Whenever I’m away from my kids I constantly say ‘oh the kids would love this’ and miss them as if the chambers of my heart weren’t all together in my chest (although I could work on that separation thing). I need my husband as he needs me and I love doing life with him and would be miserable without him. I tried doing nothing else but being a good homemaker, I was suffocating and life felt as if it was already over for me, while only in my twenties. I don’t even like pizza! I actually enjoy cooking and we all always pay with our health when we don’t focus on what we feed ourselves. These are my truths. These are the things I actually care about.

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So the question rises, why do I keep telling myself those lies and believe them? Why do I act like I want to be somewhere else, do something else, be somebody else? The lies we allow to enter our hearts! These lies will always creep in on bad days or hard seasons or because we saw a glimpse of somebody else’s life and took it for perfection. The lies steal our joy and cloud our assessment of our current situation. We start to tell ourselves we’re wearing the wrong skin and living the wrong life, while truly this is probably the life we would choose if we had to choose again.

 

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Of course exceptions apply but generally speaking, bursting the lies bubble is a matter of perspective, adjustments and growth in maturity at times. Acknowledging and admitting that sometimes things ’suck’ doesn’t mean you’re unhappy, it doesn’t mean you’re ungrateful, it doesn’t mean you’re a failure and certainly doesn’t mean you are living the wrong life. So yes, everyday I want to quit. EVERYDAY! I do, most of us do if not all of us. Everyday there’s something that’s too much and makes us feel too small or too incompetent. But that colossal mess is closely knitted into the very things that matter to our hearts and that’s why we shouldn’t quit, that is why we don’t quit. Everyday. I don’t quit because the truth is, all of this, intertwined within the mess, it is all that I want and love!

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I wanted to take the risk to get personal and write this article as an encouragement but also as an eye opener for both you and me. I have observed a lot of people in the different circles I am part of struggle with this very issue and I struggle too – my point today is that we all do! Some publicly and some in the secret place. Either way I want you to know you’re not alone. I consider Lara Casey an e-mentor as in she doesn’t know that I look up to her and admire her, and brag about her every time I get a chance – like now. The thing is, I don’t see Lara (we’re on first name basis in my head, haha) as an inspiration because she has a perfect life or business or relationship with God, but because she embraces vulnerability so beautifully and doesn’t quit and run away from the mess of life. I always feel so encouraged when after a mommy meltdown, a postponed launch or a difficult transparent talk about marriage, she graces us with her bold and contagiously cheerful laugh, which to me symbolizes victory from not quitting. We will be better off stopping those lies right on their tracks than feeding them and blowing up that bubble even bigger. I am a big daydreamer and I know how we can get lost in those ‘parallel layers’ where things are seemingly less complicated and scary but it’s not reality. It’s not dreaming, it’s lying to yourself! Working on what’s real and true is always the best option, however hard it may be.

REVERIE MINGLES: what lies have you allowed to steal your joy? And with what truth can you burst that bubble?

PS: Lara Casey just launched her new website where you can download three free e-books on goals, faith and relationships. Go check them out!

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HOW TO BE MORE ORGANIZED AND PRODUCTIVE IN BUSINESS WITH AMY VANCE

Published on October 11th, 2016 // BUSINESS DISCIPLINE ENTREPRENEURSHIP FALL INTENTIONAL LIVING MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATION PRODUCTIVITY

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This fall on the blog among our usual topics we are putting an emphasis on productivity, believing that it is not simply a way to cross things off your to-do list(s) but also as a way to create habits that allow you to find that harmony between all the segments of your life and business. Last month I started the subject with two articles maximizing your productivity with an action plan and harvesting your ideas this fall and today for our October Reverie Rendez-Vous we have the fantastic Amy Vance from Eco Modern Concierge who is the person to contact if you need assistance organizing and managing your life and business. She’s sharing some straight forward and practical points on how to keep organized and boost your productivity. Enjoy!

There are so many ways you can be productive in business and stay organized. I wanted to highlight a few ways that my clients and I try to be organized, which in turn helps us be more productive. No one is perfect and we won’t always do these things, but some of these have helped me tremendously through the years.

• Use a planner. Whether this is a paper planner or electronic planner, I highly recommend you use a planner. For me I am a visual person and have been using a paper planner for well over a decade now. Making sure you have everything written down helps you not to forget any important dates, tasks, meetings, etc.

• Prioritize. Write down the most important tasks that need to get done each day and try to tackle those first. I am a big fan of to do list because they are oh so helpful. Once your biggest &/or most important task is out of the way, you will feel way less stress.

• Use apps. There are tons of different apps out there that are extremely helpful in helping you stay organized and productive some of my favorites are Evernote, Asana, Todist, Venmo, etc.

• Outsource. This is one of the things that has helped me a ton. Outsourcing certain tasks can free up so much of your time where you can spend it on your business, with family or on whatever you like doing. When you outsource certain tasks and services you are becoming more organized and things become more streamlined. Many of my clients outsource organizing and personal assistant tasks to me because they are looking to become more organized and productive in their day to day life.

• Plan the night before. Before I go to bed I like to plan what I have going on the following day. I try to write a to do list, pick out what I will be wearing, make sure I know what I will eat the next day and make sure I have all my supplies needed for the next day. This saves me so much time in the morning and prevents me from running around the house like a mad woman. Please note, this doesn’t always happen, but I try really hard to make it happen daily.

• Form healthy habits and set routines. For me if I work out and go to yoga my mind is so much more clear and I physically feel better versus when I don’t do anything all. Same goes with my eating habits, if I eat poorly I don’t feel nearly as great as when I eat healthy. All of this effects me physically. I feel way more productive and organized when I can establish clear routines and healthy habits. Whether this is eating right, exercising, mediating, having positive outlooks, journaling, etc.

• Ask for help. I know this is very hard for some people to do, including myself, but if you need help just ask for it. You can accomplish so much more with the help of others. If you have employees, don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to them. For me I never ask someone who is helping me to do anything that I wouldn’t do myself.

• Use resources already available. There are so many resources available online and locally that can help you be more productive and save you a lot of time. There are many Small Business Administration offices located all over the US that provide many free or low cost resources. Same with libraries, Leisure Learning classes, etc. Utilize the free resources you have locally.

• Communicate. Communication is key and it can help you be super productive and organized. Sometimes I feel that I am not the best communicator when I have so many tasks on my plate, but I try to do the best that I can. Having clear lines of communication can help your business grow and not leave others in the dark. You can organize your thoughts and tasks better when communication is clear.

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MORE ABOUT AMY:
Amy Vance lives in Houston, TX with her husband Bryan and fur baby, Rothko. She began Eco Modern Concierge as a side job while going to college and working in the Oil & Gas industry. Eventually she turned her hobby into her full time job. She enjoys going to concerts, reading, volunteering, going on adventures and exploring new things. Follow her business ventures on Eco Modern Concierge’s social media sites.

Instagram:@ecomodernconcierge
Facebook: @ecomodernconcierge
Twitter: @ecomodern

REVERIE MINGLES: Which two points from this article would improve you productivity if you actually implemented them?

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HARVEST YOUR IDEAS THIS FALL – THE THREE ‘Y’S + MY MARIGOLD INSPIRATION

Published on September 27th, 2016 // ACTION PLAN artist BUSINESS Confidence CULTIVATE CREATIVITY DESIGN PROCESS DISCIPLINE ENTREPRENEURSHIP FALL HARVEST IDEAS INSPIRATION INTENTIONAL LIVING MOODBOARD MOTIVATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY

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The fall is well known for many things – hot spicy drinks, sweater weather, apple picking, fairs and festivals, etc. To me it’s the last wind of somewhat warmish weather before the dreadful cold. Yes, winter is coming! (I don’t like the cold if you can’t tell). Aside from the fear of imminent frost, the fall is also the last stretch before the final clap of the year and the season to dig deeper and harvest your ideas.

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I believe the common mistake we tend to make during Q4 is letting the panic gain in on us, and forcing us to rush around trying to bring to completion every single project and item left on our to-do list and goal list. Of course there is a place for that final surge to knock down tasks which have been sitting on that list you drew out last December or January, and I would actually recommend finding an accountability partner or a mastermind group to help you break out of the lethargy or pattern of fear that might have stopped you from making things happen so far this year. Specifically I would recommend Reina Pomeroy’s Q4 Refresh program. It is a mastermind group I was part of last year and which helped me tremendously with accountability, feeling like a belonged in this entrepreneurial world and forced me to look at my business closely and work better for it. But what if you have accomplished many of those projects and what if you’ve realized that those left need recalibration and simply more time? Then this fall season take the time to think upon everything you have learned this far in 2016, from the proud victories to the embarrassing miss apps. Lessons from your own experience or from others’, slowing the do-do-do pace and embracing the brainstorming season. The fall creates this melancholic, nostalgic like feeling, which hipsters live in all year long haha, perfect pocket to harvest your ideas and get your creativity steaming. It’s definitely not about hibernation, or analysis paralysis, it’s about giving a good bundle of time to the thinking and planning phase of projects before getting back onto the battlefield in the new year.

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In order to help me do this harvesting and fueling my creativity, I assembled this mood board as an inspiration for this fall brainstorming season. The marigold color inspiration of this year’s Autumn is a theme I can absolutely get behind use as a creativity motivator. As a brief color theory minute for you, marigold is a golden yellow which is a love child of deep yellows and burnt oranges. It’s warm, fun, intense but also comforting. It conveys joy, creativity, intellect, friendliness, courage and confidence among others. I don’t know about you but those get me motivated and enthused about the next few months. It makes the cooling down outside a bit more worth it. You can see below what each image represents to me and why I have added it to the board.

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1- Confidence + comfort in my own skin 2- Rest + relaxation at the heart of self care 3- Growth in quality time with people I love
4- Enjoyment of the weather and the outdoors 5- Study + learning with ease 6- Simple + clear design projects
7- Healthy eating 8- Weekend gateways for refresh 9- Beauty and care of the space we live in

 

How does this all come together? How is it connected to the concept of harvesting your ideas and all that marigold goodness? Well, I summed it all for us in three categories which I am calling the three ‘Y’s:

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  • YELLOW NOT MELLOW – Repurposing melancholy.

    Being the artist type I’m naturally melancholic and the fall tends to exacerbate that feeling. This year I want to use all that daydreaming energy into something productive and positive. Yellow carries energy and cheer but also a feathery warmth which is the perfect incubator for creativity. It really is about the state of your heart and the attitude it produces. Use the potential disappointment of feeling behind to propel you and power up your mood into anticipation and excitement for new things. I want to encourage you to write out all that activity going on inside, don’t worry about it being organized and color coordinated, in a pretty notebook. Bullet journaling might even be the way to make this happen and eliminate the distraction. It’s not just about the color of course, that being said as a fun little perk of using this beautiful yellow palette, I plan to wear some yellow this season, or marigold rather – which will definitely stand out as a statement from my neutral affair with black and white.

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  • YIELD TO THE PROCESS – Planning not just dreaming of success.

    As creatives we are dreamers, we are comfortable with the imaginary world but too often accept our imagination as just that – dreams. To me yielding to the process is not skipping that necessary step between dreaming and launching. It certainly can feel ‘hulky’ and daunting but it sets you up for success and allows you to materialize those dreams. Also, don’t wait for new year resolutions, the calendar is a tool not a prison. You have three months, still worth using, to enjoy the process of dreaming and plotting before taking action. Get a head start, be ready for the new year when I guarantee you, you will feel the urge to achieve new things and the temptation to just jump ahead because everybody else is launching.

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  • YES TO THE RIGHT THINGS – Prioritizing what matters now.

    I too often, sadly, let others take precedent on my time management – what can I say I’m a giver, haha! This fall and even beyond that, I want to say yes to me and the things that matter to me more. Concretely that means more self care, more focus on Reverie Lane projects, getting back to loving on the space we live in, consistently working out, eating healthy (thinking of starting Hello Fresh), getting back into ministry, the list goes on. It all trickles down to the concept of creating white space in my mind, in my life, in my days, to allow the things that truly matter to fill it out. Maybe you need to brainstorm ideas long ignored desires, maybe you want to hear the voice of God more clearly, maybe you have some relationships in your life which need some extra love and time. Whatever it is it requires a ‘yes’ and that means prioritizing.

REVERIE MINGLES: what’s your fall season default mode? How can you make it more productive?

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MAXIMIZE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY! – FIVE ACTION PLAN TO STAY MOTIVATED & DISCIPLINED

Published on September 20th, 2016 // ACTION PLAN BUSINESS CULTIVATE CREATIVITY DISCIPLINE ENTREPRENEURSHIP INTENTIONAL LIVING MANAGEMENT MOTIVATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY

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September was productivity month and if you receive our monthly gazette you know that I decided to take that seriously, ha! I was starting to feel the frustration rising inside for not being able to work on my own business, but going from client projects to more client projects, not giving myself the chance to tackle those deserted items on my goal list. Well, I said “enough” and chose September – as my schedule allowed it – to focus on Reverie Lane Designs matters.

I of course knew that I couldn’t do everything I wished I could accomplish in just one month, especially since I still have client projects to work on, but I made some specific choices and picked what I should give all my attention to. I know I’m not alone in that sentiment, feeling stuck and tumbling around with the motion not taking the time to dream or practically take steps towards those dreams and goals. That is the reason why I am sharing with you here today what I did/am doing during my productivity month in order to maximize my efforts in being productive now but also on the long run.

In that productivity mindset and in the hope of creating new lasting habits which will last beyond this month, I did a few things this past month. I am of course still in the midst of it all but this is the plan I am following.

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  • CREATE WHITE SPACE – SAY NO!

I tend to want to get things done right away and over with even if they aren’t high priority tasks. I struggle with letting things be. If they are on my to-do list they must be competed, period. Well, as a solopreneur it can be awfully toxic if you are trying to create white space and find a way to work on your own creative endeavors. For that reason, as painful as it is to do, I made the decision to not have any starting project in September. To just continue working on my ongoing projects and use the extra room for Reverie Lane Designs projects. I know I must have missed some booking opportunities but wow what freedom! Freedom to say “no” and be excited about the outcome of it all. Freedom to create extra time for my own business, that’s what I wanted after all. It absolutely made any inconvenience so worth it. And guess what? I’m not going to be bored in October, because even after blocking the whole month of September I still booked some big projects for the following month which will make up for September’s lack.

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  • BE SPECIFIC – NAME YOUR FOCUS

When I first started considering doing a productivity month I completely felt overwhelmed, because I do have a lot of untakled goals and ‘must do next’ tasks for my business and the thought of them all is a tad bit much. I quickly knew I needed to pick some of them to actually be able to accomplish anything. It was hard to decide but after a couple of calls with my business coach with her helping me to bring clarity not only on what was high priority for me but also what my business could support right now and needed to grow in this season, I was able to select a couple of things to focus on. With that in mind, without revealing too much too soon (teehee) I am working on a project which will be centered on the idea of branding being a holistic or rather comprehensive notion for a business, working on branding from the inside and out – strategy, design and content. I wanted to really dig deep and gather everything I have heard from you all through the years, your struggles, your needs and your wishes when it comes to branding your business as a whole. I am quite thrilled about it and cannot wait to have it all ready to present the world, haha!

The second task on my list for this month was to finally update my website. I have started working on a new version of my website at the beginning of this year and had the developer work on it in the spring but I still haven’t had time to enter all the content. It’s been such a sad thought for me for weeks, knowing I had a beautiful website designed just sitting there waiting for me to finish while I worked on everybody else’s brands. So I finally started uploading slowly but surely portfolio images, copy, client reviews, etc… I am also quite excited to show you all. It won’t be live this month but it’s well on its way to be revealed!

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  • ASK FOR HELP – FIND YOUR PACE

This also has been on my list for a while ( you see a theme here?!), building my team! For some reason, beyond the investment aspect of things, I have been terrified and quite hesitant to hire people to help. I knew I needed, I knew it was the next logical step, but something felt wrong. I finally figure out that my issue was trying to mimic others’ business models. Trying to follow others’ pace. The truth is my business is different and really every business is different when you are talking about solopreneurs. I tried to hire a virtual assistant and it just didn’t go as I had hoped or I had heard it would from others who went with that route. I realized I needed to follow a different path and start right away with a business manager or brand director as some call them. Somebody who didn’t need me to help them help me. I am busy and don’t have time to train somebody or to give little tasks here and there but rather give missions and have that person create the tasks within that. Going through that experience also showed me who I need to hire next and already have two other job descriptions in the works. All that to say, it’s good to hear about what others do and what route they choose but ultimately you need to find your own pace and create a path, certainly inspired by others’ experiences, which fits your business and your growth.

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  • KNOW YOUR IDEAL – BE GRATEFUL

This isn’t necessarily business related but I believe it touches every area of life to cultivate a grateful heart and walk daily in that attitude. I heard about The Five Minute Journal a while back and then again last month and decided to get one for both me and my husband. The main reason I wanted to start the journal during my productivity month was to make sure I kept my heart encouraged and focused on the positive no matter how well this month went. Too often we chase after things we consider ideal yet still find ourselves unsatisfied even after we get them. The Five Minute Journal is helping me acknowledge what’s good, to count my blessings in a way but also to know when a good day is a good day even if some things didn’t go as planned. At the end of the month my main goal was to be happy with even just the initiative of trying and any small victory I would have made. Having grace on yourself is part of the success!

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  • REALLOCATE YOUR ENERGY – BE NATURAL (ON SOCIAL)

Lastly but certainly not less important is my presence and my time spent on social media. Social media and particularly Instagram has been key in my online influence and I didm’t want to be absent but I also knew I needed to change my strategy a little bit this month to be effective in maximizing my productivity. What I ended up doing is not following a rigid posting schedule but just letting the flow happen naturally. Not wrecking my brain about what, when, how it looks, what should come next, is there too much graphic design stuff or too many quotes, etc…It does takes a lot of energy and time to put together a monthly strategy and calendar for social media and I wanted that energy and time to be reallocated. It’s been great! I’m still posting relevant and valuable content, a bit inconsistently perhaps but it hasn’t affected my following or the engagement of my audience. Once again well worth it!

I could probably write a blog article on each of these elements above but I wanted to give you a succinct recap of what I have been up to and how I maximize my productivity with the desire to grow my business and not just work in it. 2016 isn’t over yet. There is a whole quarter of possibilities ahead of us and with some discipline and motivation we can finish strong.

REVERIE MINGLES: What has been the biggest hurdle for you to find motivation and discipline to work on growing your business?

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HOW YOUR PERSONAL LIFE CAN HELP EXUDE CONFIDENCE IN YOUR BUSINESS WITH ENTRICE ROWE

Published on September 13th, 2016 // BUSINESS Confidence ENTREPRENEURSHIP INTENTIONAL LIVING LIFE MOTIVATIONAL PERSONAL BRANDING

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Today’s guest is dropping by to encourage and motivate us on the subject of confidence and making decisions in our businesses. Entrice is sharing her own experience and parallel between personal life and business life. Entrice is a certified Life Coach who enjoys working with families on creating a home life where peace and order flow naturally. As a busy wife, and mom of 4 kids: a 9 year old boy, 7 year old girl, and 4 year old boy/girl twins, she knows what it’s like to have moments of doubt in this thing called motherhood. Entrice can confidently say that she works hard to help her clients discover an authentic life that is guilt free. You can find helpful tips on personal growth, parenthood, and relationships on Entrice’s blog. You can connect with her more on her website, Facebook and Instagram.

“At some point in life we are all faced with difficult decisions. How we handle those decisions determine what comes next in life. Just recently I did the work of a discovery call with a potential client. I covered all my bases and did my follow up call. In the follow up the potential client informed me that although they would love to work with me they felt like my prices were too high. I was so proud of myself for how I responded. The work and effort it takes to learn and grow a business is no easy feat! I didn’t fold under this person’s opinion or try and change the way that I do business because they were unwilling to pay what I know I’m worth. Our value doesn’t come from other people; in fact our worth comes from who we are in Christ.

I know the talents and gifts I’ve been equipped with. I also know that when I start having feelings of guilt and doubt in my abilities they are not of God. Because we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) we can rest where our flesh tells us to strive.

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As a business owner it is crucial to know who we are. Decisions that we make about our business and brands will flow a lot smoother if we’ve taken the time to develop ourselves personally. You will know what opportunities are for you and you won’t be afraid to say no, in order to create space for important yes decisions. You will also value your time as well as others because confident people have systems in place that allow for them to make decisions quickly and move on to the next project.

As business owners we should be constantly evolving and improving our skills. Our momentum builds quickly when we believe in who we are and what we were created to do. Your business is needed. Your skill set is needed. Decide today that you will not be moved by the opinions of others even when things get challenging. As we make big decisions it always feels a bit scary. But having faith is about trusting in that which we cannot see. One of the ways I build my confidence daily is by following peace. Whenever I’m faced with making decisions in my business I don’t fear because I know where God sends he lends. So, because he has created me to do this work I can rest that he will see it through to the very end.

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So keep showing up. Keep working hard. Keep trusting in him and his plan for you. Know that his word does not return void it will always accomplish what he has sent it forth to do. He will give you the strength, knowledge, and provision to have a successful business.”

REVERIE MINGLES: What practice in your personal life have you found to help boost your confidence in your business?

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FIVE QUESTIONS TO EVALUATE YOUR VISUAL BRAND IN LIGHT OF YOUR BRAND’S MESSAGE

Published on August 17th, 2016 // BRANDING 101 BRANDING BASICS BRANDING TIP BUSINESS Confidence CULTIVATE CREATIVITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP INTENTIONAL LIVING PERSONAL BRANDING

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It might seem too obvious to say that if it’s not good then it’s probably bad, but trust me the concept behind it isn’t – otherwise we wouldn’t see so many business owners who don’t feel that their brand is well represented visually, but think they have to live with it anyway.

First of all I want to say that this isn’t about perfection at all, but rather about sending the right message about your business and brand’s core values. I believe in starting before you’re ready and even faking it until you make it, that being said miscommunication to your audience is unforgiving. Sooner or later it shows that everything isn’t quite right and you tend to lose in the long run.

What I mean is if you’re aiming to ‘sell’ one thing regarding your values but seem to be pushing for something completely different with your branding, the disconnect will be obvious – think of it as an awkward dinner party with people you don’t really know yet but need to impress. While that isn’t you, you decide to keep making jokes with the intent to tell them that you’re a reserved and serious person. We all know humor is a great way to be personable but (in this example) it’s just not what YOU do and what you wish to convey – you’re sending the wrong message AND trust me nobody is laughing and everybody is uncomfortable. That’s what ‘not good’ branding (aka ‘not you’ branding) does. It might be cool, pretty or following the latest trend but if it isn’t supporting your message, for YOU it’s bad branding. For example if your business is focused on living a frugal life with simplicity and offering solutions to organize and plan for the day to day, you need to skip the gold foil trend.

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The matter of fact is people generally have trouble enough giving money to people they trust, imagine how they feel about people they’re confused about? Don’t settle for something that is ‘okay’ or seems ‘meh!’ to you or even worse, that you passionately hate. If it’s not the right message, it’s the wrong message.

In the case that you have been feeling unsure about your branding, I do want to help you figuring out what is going on. Here is a list of five questions to help you evaluate your current brand – if it’s properly representing you:

  1. – Take a moment to look through all the elements of your visual brand and consider the way you interact with your clients – do they make you feel confident and proud? Could you brag about them?
  2. – Compare the way you feel about your product or service and the way you feel about how they are presented to your potential customer or client. Do you feel confident on making the sale or booking a client?
  3. – Imagine standing in front of a crowd not able to say a word with your branding being the only way they could know about who you are and what your brand is all about – would it be painful to stand still or could you relax and feel comfortable to make the sale or book a client?
  4. – Put yourself in your target audience shoes, without knowing the quality of your product or service, just arriving on your website or your social media platforms or even just seeing your logo is their interest picked or are they confused about what you sale or do?
  5. – If budget or time wasn’t a concern, and you could start from scratch without paying attention to your current brand, what key message would you want conveyed? Is it represented in your current brand?
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These should help bring clarity and decide what to do next. Whether you need a little brand refresh of what you already have going on or a complete rebrand.

I do want to end with saying that some things are not supposed to move all of us to tears with passion – you don’t necessarily need to feel butterflies when you think of your logo or your colors for them to be properly serving your brand. Passionate love isn’t meant for everything – unlike what our culture tell us. Don’t live with something you hate for sure but don’t think there’s an issue if you don’t have “all the feels” for illustrations or fonts. Nothing is wrong with you and potentially nothing is wrong with your branding.

REVERIE MINGLES: If you’ve been having (re)branding on your mind, what about your visual brand do you think isn’t matching your brand’s message? What are you not feeling confident about?

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HOW I CONSIDERABLY GREW MY BUSINESS THE PAST YEAR – 4 WAYS CHANGE CAN BENEFIT YOUR BUSINESS.

Published on August 9th, 2016 // artist BLOGGING BUSINESS CHALLENGE COLLABORATIONS ENTREPRENEURSHIP FEAR INTENTIONAL LIVING LIFE MANAGEMENT MOTIVATIONAL online store PERSONAL BRANDING platform Web design website

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The past year and a half has been incredible in so many ways. I have personally grown so much and discovered a lot about myself and what it means to truly trust God and to not simply believe that He is (potentially) trustworthy. Today, for this article I want to focus on the business aspects of my growth. I want to share with you how changing a few things has allowed my business to grow considerably more in a year and a half than the previous two plus years before that. Here are the changes I made:

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  • BELIEVE IN MYSELF FIRST, BEFORE ANYBODY ELSE CAN.

Okay, let’s ease into this and start with a bit of a woo woo statement – haha! ‘You’ve got to be the first one to believe in yourself’. This goes beyond confidence. It’s about knowing AND portraying that knowledge of your worth and your potential. It’s not that I didn’t know what I was capable of (it was the case to some extent I am sure) but the matter of the fact is it doesn’t feel safe or inspiring to others when it seems that even you aren’t sure if you can make it or not. Acknowledging my strengths and embracing my weaknesses, allowed me to stand more powerfully as a business owner and a creative entrepreneur. I could feel it and others could see it. It’s a win-win situation.

This was the case with potential clients, but also with my family and friends and specifically my husband. He was always supportive of course, but once he saw the passion and confidence I had for Reverie Lane Designs, he believed as well and gave me the room to fully run my business.

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  • OPERATE WITH MY OWN CREATIVE/BRANDING IDEAS.

Before starting Reverie Lane Designs and even for the first year or so after being in business for myself, I was applying others’ concepts and designs. I was not standing up for what I believed regarding branding. I was either designing for others’ clients or designing whatever my clients wanted, because they were the ones paying. I felt burnt out, didn’t make that much money really either, both because designing for someone else doesn’t pay as much and the clients who want this setup are not clients with big budgets.

I started to feel tired of hearing “Can you just design a logo for me?”, to do it anyway and see it misused and not serving that business, because as you’ve heard me say a thousand times now, there’s no such thing as ‘just a logo’. At that point, I decided to take my chance and stand up for what I knew branding should be, and create a process to guide my clients through the development of their brand identity. I also decided to follow my creative ideas and not just go with trends or what I think other designers might do.

Here is what these decisions brought:

-I became a much happier designer and better business owner

-I attracted clients with more creative projects and bigger budgets

-My work served my clients’ businesses much better

-I received recognition and praises from fellow designers – which let me tell you is great validation.

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  • TAKE ACTIONS – GROW YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE.

Once I did the internal work of realizing my own worth and what creative direction I wanted to take with my business, it was time to walk the talk, and the best way I found was to increase and improve my online presence.

I already had a Facebook business page I had used here and there, but no clear strategy. I also had an Instagram account that had nothing on it at all. I basically had to start from scratch. I took the time to think about how I wanted to position myself on the market among the abundance of other designers. At first I played it safe and I’m sure made some obvious mistakes, but I did try – although it still didn’t feel quite right. I quickly completely embraced my individuality and now I feel comfortable and so happy with it all since it’s paid off. I have booked many clients from social media source. I wouldn’t have believed that was possible two years ago.

Next, I turned my then exclusively portfolio website into a ‘real website’, making sure I was conveying the fact that I was legitimately a branding designer and that I had something unique to offer. I am actually about to launch a new version of that website taking the concept even further. Being able to send people to an online home base made such a difference in the way I was viewed – not just a mom with a hobby, but a creative who is serious about her business and her work.

With updating my website I started a blog (this one right here *wink*) with the intention to share more about those creative and branding ideas I mentioned above. The blog not only gave me a platform to reveal more about who I was and what I did, it also created interactions and connections I wouldn’t have otherwise made.

Finally, I started an online shop. I debated meriting this one in this article because I haven’t had much time to focus on that aspect of my business so far and it hasn’t been significant. I have some fun plans in the works though, I just need the time to execute them – like everything else, right?!

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  • BUILD COMMUNITY – FROM BUSINESS CONNECTIONS TO FRIENDSHIPS.

This one was undeniably the biggest game changer for me. At the beginning of 2015 when I finally realized Instagram didn’t scare me anymore and I actually wanted to join in on the fun, I started following some interesting people and interacting with them. I saw a photo of a lady with an inviting smile and a cute little white pineapple behind her, so I asked in the comments where it was from and boom she responded – that was my very first encounter with Heather Crabtree. From there on I joined her private Facebook group Savvy Business Owners and became a Savvy for life just like that.

I am not one to easily or quickly assimilate, but Heather created a community in which being different from each other, having different types of businesses, or even being competitors, doesn’t interfere with the importance of human connections. There’s a true desire to help each other and learn from each other – that impressed me! My heart swells with gratitude whenever I think about my entrepreneurial journey and how significant the Savvy group has been in creating business connections.

Talking about business connections, I must name Reina from Reina & Co. Reina and I found each other in the Savvy group soon after we both joined and decided to collaborate our efforts with two other ladies, for our upcoming launches (her website, my blog). We haven’t left each other’s side since then and now have moved from business connection to real supportive friendship. Our friendship is the best proof of the power of community. Once you find your tribe, like they say, you truly soar. Illiah from C&V is another one of those business connections turned friend. I usually prefer to be the side wolf (if that’s even a thing) but they have shown me that togetherness is much better and actually propels you a lot further ahead than you could ever go alone.

Another group which is as fantastic and as important to mention here in my journey, is the Rising Tide Society. If you are a creative business owner feeling completely lost at sea, you need to join it. The motto of the group is JFK’s famous quote “A rising tide lifts all boats” and it shows in the group. I have met and connected with so many fellow creative entrepreneurs in that group and still continue to do.
I don’t want to leave you thinking I have done everything perfectly and that my business is the ideal model today. I believe part of growing is the possibility to dream of even bigger and better things. I have come to realize how much I can accomplish with Reverie Lane Designs and all that I still need to do. What’s next for me now is to build my team (a bit scared of the D word – DELEGATE!!), to keep reinforcing my systems and processes and to move on to in person meetings (conferences, retreat, etc…).

REVERIE MINGLES: HAVE YOU TAKEN THE TIME TO EVALUATE HOW FAR YOU’VE COME AND WHY, BUT ALSO WHAT’S NEXT?

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BUILDING A COMPETITIVE WEBSITE MADE EASY – FOUR TIPS TO CONQUER THE WEB

Published on July 13th, 2016 // analytics BLOGGING BUSINESS domain ENTREPRENEURSHIP MANAGEMENT platform search engine Web design website

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I bring you a very special guest today for the Reverie Rendez-vous. Aside from being my lovely husband, he is the genius man behind my wild web design dreams. I have been wanting for him to share with us all some basic technical tips on how to effectively set up a website, and I am so excited the time is here. These are some great tips and I hope they serve you well! Jon is also a phenomenal business owner and videographer, you can find his amazing work here.

“There are over 1 billion websites today. Think about that. That means for every 7 people on earth, 1 of them has a website. And at only 25 years old, the web is only growing. So what chance does my site have? Well, a pretty good one actually. My dad has always said that there is plenty of room at the top. Needless to say, there are many sites out there, that are not ‘at the top’. Which means there is room for yours and mine. But it doesn’t mean it is easy. Having a ‘good’ site in this modern multi-device world, can be tricky. It has to work well on anything ranging from smart watches to massive tablets, from your mom’s Dell to the newest and most powerful laptop, and whatever else is around the corner. You have to be able to update it easily. And you have to somehow come up in search results on Google and the like. In the last decade, I have built a few websites, and like many projects, there is a lot of low hanging fruit that can benefit you in tremendous ways if we focus on what is important. I want to go over 4 topics when it comes to your site, that I have found to be most helpful to me, and to my clients.

No11. Platform/Design. Where to start?

There are a few of these for sure. But I am going to make it simple for you. Because there are two that stand out. WordPress and Squarespace. Those are the two places I send most people when they ask my opinion. And they both do different things really well. What WordPress does well, is provide a tried and true platform that is one of the largest in the world. That means there are loads of tools and templates (themes) available for it. And a lot of people know it, so it is much easier to find designers and developers to help you with it. It also allows a developer to build you a design from scratch that is totally customized for you. It is hard to beat that. (Based on who you hire of course!) But that brings up one of WordPress weaknesses… there are a lot of not-so-good themes out there. Some are just downright awful, others are ok and could work well if you are a good designer and can take it the last bit, but that isn’t everyone. So with WordPress, you have the potential of having an amazing site… but as Uncle Ben said, “With great power, comes great responsibility”, so that means it also allows you to have a mediocre site. All of that to say, if you have the budget for a custom site, WordPress is the way to go, and get a great designer/developer to work with you.

Squarespace. You know it. You’ve seen the ads. It looks gorgeous! Within minutes you can have a beautiful site live. It requires no knowledge of code or designing sites, and it is very easy to use. It is a very good deal, and includes a shop or blog if you need them. Seems obvious, doesn’t it? Well, not so fast. It is almost TOO beautiful. What I mean by that, is that Squarespace goes to extra lengths to really bring out the ‘sexy’ in your website with them, and sometimes that sacrifices performance or compatibility. (Think of Mom’s Dell.) And the other downside, is that Squarespace does not have a lot of templates. The templates they do have look great, but without a lot of customization, they can look a little generic, if your audience has seen other sites that use the same template. But by all means, the sites CAN be customized to stand out.

Along the same lines as Squarespace, there is Weebly and Wix, two other popular platforms that operate in similar ways. My recommendation is, that if you are going in that direction, Squarespace would be the better one. And where Squarespace excels, is if you don’t have a large budget or much time, it gets you up and running very easily.

No22. Domain

On any of the options I have mentioned for platforms, most of them can give you a free sub-domain, such as, mycoolsite.wordpress.com or myawesomesite.squarespace.com. Do not use these! For ~$10 a year, you can get your own custom domain that will work with any of the platforms. Isn’t mycoolsite.com much ‘cooler’? You typically register your domain with another company. Even if the platform says it can do it for you, it is best to use someone else, in case you want to switch platforms in the future, that makes it a lot easier. I prefer Google Domains.

I have one piece of advice when coming up with your domain. If you say it to someone, they should be able to write it down without you having to spell it out. That also works in reverse. If they see it, they know how to say it.

That’s it.

No33. Search Results

MANY books, articles, blog posts, wills, have written about getting good search results. I am going to give you the simple version because guess what? Google employs MANY PHDs to ensure that you can’t figure it out. So I know I won’t figure it out at least. So let’s try to do it the ‘honest’ way. This is what search engines look for: they want to show good and relevant content, and they do this in two primary ways: Reputation and Relevant Content.

  1. Reputation (aka Links). If a reputable site links to your site, Google says, oh that cool person is vouching for this new guy. They must be cool too! And guess what, you are! This is a tough one though. You can’t very well call up Huff Post and tell them to link to your site… (not when I have tried at least) So what you do is point #2.
  2. Relevant content. Have I said relevant yet? I’ll link to your site all day if you have good content. Why do you think every business and their dog has a blog? It is because it is a place that allows for fresh content. So get something along the lines of a blog, that allows you to update your site with fresh (good) relevant content. Search engines will see that and know that you are a real person who is taking the time to output content, and that is what keeps the lights on for search engines. Keywords are important within your content. Remember the point about relevant content? There are many tools out there, Google makes some, that helps you identify which keywords you should use. If I sell Ice Cream Cones, I would want Ice Cream Cones to be a keyword/keyphrase. Not Cones, not Ice Cream.

So write good and relevant content, and work towards getting other reputable sites to link to yours.

No44. Analytics

Phew, you launched your new site! Congrats! Wait a second, did you forget to install some kind of analytics so you can ‘see’ your traffic? You did? Congrats again… you are in the majority! Without analytics you are driving blind. Google Analytics is the most powerful and popular form. I would recommend getting that setup. It is pretty easy to do and works with most platforms. Google walks you through the whole process. There is also a plugin that is available for free if you are on WordPress called Jetpack which includes analytics. It is less powerful than Google, but is easier to setup and you can view the data in the Dashboard area where you create and manage your content. But use Google if you can. You can learn a lot from the data. Even if it sounds boring… it does, but it is not I assure you!

So, not too bad? Whichever direction you go, you can end up with a great website, and even more important, a great web strategy. And with that in hand, those 1 billion websites will look less intimidating. Happy building!”

REVERIE MINGLES: Which one of these four areas has been the most challenging for you? In what way?

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THE SECRET TO SUCCESS: COLLABORATION (WITH MEGAN ELIZABETH)

Published on June 14th, 2016 // artist BRANDING TIP BUSINESS COLLABORATIONS CULTIVATE CREATIVITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP MOTIVATIONAL PERSONAL BRANDING

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The guest I had announced in June’s Gazette ended up not being able to share with us today, but it’s not all loss and actually quite the timely opposite. It must be the summertime vibes or just the current entrepreneurial environment, but collaborations have been flourishing everywhere. Just in the past two weeks I have received six different collaboration opportunities and they are all so enticing. We talked about the subject a little last week on Instagram but today I have an expert at it sharing her journey through the past year. How she went from moving to NYC not knowing how or even if it was possible for an artist to build a profitable business to thriving at it and becoming a leader in her creative community. She shares her secret and all the ways to make it happen. Without further ado… our guest, Megan Elizabeth!

Hi there! I am Megan, the artist behind @artbymegan and I wanted to share a little bit about the secret to my success/progress in my first year of business as a full-time artist: collaboration.

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 ‘Teal Sea’ acrylic on birch panel by Megan Elizabeth.

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Megan’s studio in NYC. – photo by Amy Frances Photography

When I was still working as an artist part-time for the 3 years prior to August 2015, I often felt like I was cold calling, sending emails into the abyss, and waiting for someone to notice me. I started out doubting in myself and feeling a little alone, to be quite honest. But, I quickly learned that that was not the case if I got out of my little shell, met new people and offered to work with others as a team, without an agenda, coming from a place of sharing and being kind.

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Taking the first step…

My first collaboration was with the fabulous ladies behind HERE. A Pop-up Shop in Annapolis, Maryland. The owners, Amy and El, invited me into their world, with outstretched arms and showed me that being “new” was not something to be concerned by or ashamed of. I felt more confident immediately after meeting them! What began as a simple business exchange (my art + their pop-up shops) has become a beautiful friendship. Recently, I was even able to see them speak in NYC at Girls Loft Series event in Manhattan and I got a little lump in my throat thinking of how brave, kind + wonderful they were back in 2012 to take a chance on me.

Going “all in”:

Another collaboration that has changed my career has been as a member and then eventually as leader of Tuesdays Together, a meet-up for creatives, led by the amazing Rising Tide Society.

Each month, since June of last year, our group of creatives (artists, photographers, makeup artists, wedding planners, event planners, sculptors, business coaches, weavers, florists, future entrepreneurs, dreamers and many others) meets up to chat informally about the challenges and successes involved in being a business owner. We have dug deeply in our conversations together and spoken about the really tough issues that those following a dream or pursuing a passion can face.

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We have collaborated, but not in the traditional or predictable sense of the word. Collaboration to us has looked more like a community of friends: meals together, potluck dinners, Christmas gift collections for charity, laughter, friendship and so much fun. Again, I am thankful and so grateful for this fabulous group that has changed my life, and my outlook on HOW to grow my business. Having these people in my life has led to amazing business connections, but more importantly to a group that I call friends, after only living in NYC for one year.
The big investment:

Last fall, I started hearing more and more about a conference that will forever be special to me, Creative at Heart. I thought to myself, “I cannot afford that because this job is not really making me any money yet.”. And then, I bought a ticket. And a plane ticket. And a hotel room.
Do I regret it? Not one bit!

At Creative at Heart, I met leaders in the creative industry who shared ALL of their secrets: books to read, social media techniques, website tools and secrets, client interaction recommendations, philosophy behind business, financial tools….you name it. I soaked it all up like a sponge and nearly fainted after 3 days of intense creative training. I also met some of the most fabulous people in the world while there.

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So, again, collaboration took the form of something different than what I had initially thought. I learned that just by listening to another person, hearing their story and sharing my ideas with them, that my business could grow slowly. I also learned that even those who are the “big wigs” in our lines of work have their own doubts, struggles and have overcome the obstacles we all face when starting businesses that we love with our whole hearts and souls. I still text a couple of the awesome people I met there at least once a week. Thank you, Creative at Heart, for my “coworkers”.

Going out on a limb:

This past year, I met with the owners of Mac + Murphy, an amazing stationery company and paper goods store in Charleston, South Carolina. I left our first meeting thinking to myself “Oh my gosh, what if we actually got to work together? This doesn’t feel real!”. Well, long story short, we ended up doing a collaboration of original prints, artwork and notecards, notepads and wrapping paper that was not only gorgeous, but made with love. HERE The team at Mac + Murphy is like a group of new friends that I didn’t know I had in Charleston and I cannot wait to work with them again soon! I felt like my crazy idea of working with a company to create paper goods was far fetched, but sometimes going out on a limb is totally worth overcoming the fear!

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Observations after year 1:

I thought that I had to scramble, push really hard and fight to start a business and keep it running. It turns out that I have found that by being natural, becoming confident over time, making mistakes and relying on good, kind friends in the industry, I can become my version of successful.

I am happiest when I know that I am working with people who share a vision of doing good, working with others, and enjoying the adventures of life.

I know that in time, my approach of being kind, honest, and slowly growing my business will prove to be successful in a grander scheme. But for now, I am proud that I have taken a tiny little “kitchen table” dream and turned it into something that feels right.

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Photo of Megan at the Whitney Museum taken by her husband.

If you haven’t taken the time to look at Megan’s work yet, please go dive into her beautiful pieces on her website and follow her on Instagram because she is as funny as she is talented. IG: @artbymegan
REVERIE MINGLES: Do you tend to jump right in collaboration opportunities or do you tend to say ‘no’ instinctively? What have been your best collaborations and why?

 

 

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CREATING IMAGES WITH INTENTION FOR YOUR BRAND

Published on May 10th, 2016 // BRANDING 101 BRANDING BASICS BRANDING TIP BUSINESS CULTIVATE CREATIVITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP MOODBOARD PERSONAL BRANDING STYLE GUIDE

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It’s Reverie Rendez-vous and today’s guest is non other than Trisha-Marie Byrnes from Anchor & Flourish – You can read a quick little bio at the bottom of the post or learn even more about her and her beautiful business here. She’s here today to talk to us about creating images with intention and purpose, conveying the personality and story of your brand. Enjoy! And feel to ask questions in the comments.

I’m so excited that Katell has invited me to write to you all! I’m Trisha Marie, the stylist + brand photographer of Anchor & Flourish! By now you’ve heard over and over that your brand is not simply your logo, but rather a culmination of all the elements that speak on behalf of your business. Being a brand-photographer, one of my favorite parts of a business’ brand is the imagery- of course! To me, an image conveys a million little details and emotions within the space of a few seconds –That can certainly be a very scary thought, but at the same time, doesn’t it allow you a huge opportunity to decide exactly what message they are receiving, and exactly who it resonates with? To me, that is a very exciting idea!

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So my question for you is (ok, really a few questions!) – Are you using photography with intention? What message are you conveying in your brands photography? Is your imagery sending the message you want, and is it marketing to your ideal client? When I work with clients I like to start with a series of questions that really gets them thinking about their brand as a whole, questions like how they want the client to feel, their brands mission, all the way through long term goals of the company – these with heavily influence the direction of their brand imagery, and when looked at in a bigger picture, begins to craft a cohesive vision to grow with!

So the word ‘intention’ is everywhere – but how does it pertain to your imagery? It’s simple – creating images that are on purpose. Not random images with the hope that they look great together. Yes, that sounds simple – but to be able to do so, you have to really know your brand, right? You need to know it inside and out, like your BFF – that way the imagery tells a story of your brand that you have purposefully designed! When you purposefully design your big brand picture, you can purposefully create a cohesive brand, and market purposefully! Yes, I used that word a million times – it was on purpose.

So how can we accomplish this? Let’s start by looking at a few questions to see your bigger picture and begin to draw inspiration:

  1. What four words would you want someone to use to describe your business?
  2. What is your company’s mission?  What do you stand for?
  3. What problem are you solving for your client?
  4. Who is your ideal client – spare no details!  Think of all the facets of their life, personality, shopping habits, where do they socialize, etc.
  5. How would you describe the personality of your business? It is your business, and you need to love it – how do you want the personality to be? Is it playful, etc?
  6. What makes you different from your competitors?
  7. What is your process? (whether it’s creating a product, or your process while working with a client)
  8. What are your business goals this year? 5 years?
  9. How would you describe the ‘voice’ of your company?

I could go on and on with a million questions, but these are some of the ones that I really recommend spending time with – they help solidify the core of your business, and its personality. After my clients go through a similar series of questions, I find they really have a great mindset for seeking out inspiration! So next we’d move on to create a Pinterest board – I have my clients start the process with 6-8 images that really speak to them – ones that make them say: this totally could be my brand, or I love the way this image feels, or I love the way this process is shown, etc.  I think this part of the process is really helpful in defining what you love and in the process you’ll often find a pattern of what type of ‘styling’ you are drawn to.

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With my clients, I take cues from the images they pinned and gather additional inspiration that draws on their company’s colors, personality, processes and problem solving from the questionnaire, and I use it to design a style board. Style boards are another huge part of my design process – this is where we define what color ranges will be used, descriptive words, images that evoke the feelings and personality we want to convey, etc. This board is used as a pivotal tool for the remainder of the process. I use it when shopping for props, when I am sketching images I will later create for them, during the shoot, etc. A great idea you can also do is to create a board that is full of inspiration that fits your brand (colors, feel, look, message) – have it include images that span the seasons – and hang it in your office. This doesn’t create a log of items to duplicate, but rather gives inspiration and is a constant reminder before you post anything to keep within the big picture of your brand.

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Once you have your inspiration and style board, create a prop list and list of photographs you want to take. Look for props that convey your brand or help tell your story – perhaps it’s a cute little unicorn, or a ukulele that shows you’re having fun, or maybe it’s the perfect polka dot planner to show that you are one organized lady! That is what is great about our businesses – being unique and showcasing your personality can lead you to the most amazing clients that totally get you! Be purposeful when creating images – ones that tell your story, that show you creating your awesome-ness, which shares your business’ personality – go back to the questions you answered and ask yourself, how can I tell this in an image? For example, if you looooove to collaborate, create images that showcase what that would look like, or perhaps your process includes sketches for your clients – show off those cute pencils, and beautiful sketches! Show potential clients what it would be like to work together – give people a peek into what makes you, you.

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About Trisha Marie:
Trisha Marie is the stylist + photographer behind Anchor & Flourish. She helps brilliant business owners like yourself highlight the very best of what you do through beautifully styled images designed to appeal to the heart of your audience. While I work with businesses all around the country – I live along Lake Michigan in gorgeous Holland, MI!

You can also find Trisha-Marie on Facebook and on Instagram @anchorandflourish

REVERIE MINGLES: Have you found it challenging to use photography to tell your brand story? Do you find it tricky to connect your photos to your visual branding?

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BRAND REVEAL: JANET GWEN DESIGNS – MINIMALIST AND SLEEK ONLINE STORE.

Published on April 20th, 2016 // artist BRAND REVEAL BRANDING TIP CULTIVATE CREATIVITY DESIGN PROCESS ENTREPRENEURSHIP feminine brand LAUNCH MOODBOARD online store PERSONAL BRANDING STYLE GUIDE

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Today’s brand reveal is very special to me. This project is the last project I booked right before the accident back in November ( days before ) and as you can imagine it took me a little bit of time to get back to work, to get caught up and start designing for new projects. Janet has shown so much patience and grace to me through it all and I couldn’t be more thankful for such a sweet client. Aside from her beautiful heart, Janet and I really connected on an artistic and creative level and I have absolutely found a new friend. Connections like these are one of the values on which Reverie Lane Designs is built and one the reasons why I love doing what I do. It’s funny because on our very first call Janet told me she wasn’t much of a chit chatter and I admitted that I wasn’t either, but you should see our emails – lots of emojis with eyes full of hearts and yes, lot’s of chit chatting. That’s the power of finding somebody who gets you creatively.

“I absolutely love it when you get carried away! It’s amazing! I love it all […]”.
– Janet Gwen

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As with every project we started with a moodboard to set the tone of what we wanted to convey through the branding. We wanted something that expressed creative freedom, sophistication and minimalist femininity. We wanted everything to feel airy and clean so that her products would be the stars, so we went with mixing soft shades of grey with a bold bright indigo in a sea of white. It’s non conformist and conveys a high sense of style. The touch of gold add the right amount of sophistication and luxe.

– MOOD BOARD –
THE CREATIVE DIRECTION FOR THE PROJECT

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I fell in love with that bold indigo blue from that painting on the moodboard and started to dream of a visual brand that pulled its energy from that. I decided to track the artist and see if they’d be willing to sell it to us, I mean why not?! So I did my research and found that Annie Clavel was the author of the painting and after some negotiation she agreed to sell us a high resolution version of her painting, called Rhythm in Blue 2. Even the name makes my heart dance! And isn’t that blue so electrifying?! That’s what my heart is all about, believing in my clients’ projects as if there were my own and giving it all to serve them best.

After showing Janet some options this is the one that captured her attention the most – and I completely agreed. There’s an essence to this brand that says I’m artsy but not ‘too out there’, I’m feminine but not overly girly, I’m subtle but still stand out.

Janet is actually launching her brand new website today! Yes you get to be part of a live launch again, maybe we should make it a thing here at Reverie Lane Designs. Please go and check out her shop and make sure you enter her incredible three days giveaway ( that’s three chances to win! ) on her pages IG: @janetgwendesigns FB: Janet Gwen Designs

– BRAND BOARD –
A GLOBAL VIEW OF THE MAIN ELEMENTS OF THE BRAND

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– PRINT + WEB –
STATIONERY, SOCIAL MEDIA, WEBSITE

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BUSINESS CARDS

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STICKERS + THANK YOU CARDS

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WEBSITE

– BRAND STYLE GUIDE –
STYLISTIC DIRECTIONS FOR USING ALL THE BRAND’S ELEMENTS

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REVERIE MINGLES: Have you been struggling branding wise to express an overused concept in a unique way? For example here with Janet’s brand how to be feminine and artsy without going the popular and obvious direction. And please can we talk about this blue?

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5 ACTION STEPS FOR THOSE SITTING ON THE ‘BLOGGING FENCE’ WITH REBEKAH SCHMITZ

Published on April 12th, 2016 // BLOGGING BRANDING 101 BRANDING TIP ENTREPRENEURSHIP FEAR INTENTIONAL LIVING LAUNCH LIFE MOTIVATIONAL PERSONAL BRANDING

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Hello, hello it’s Reverie Rendezvous time with issue No.3! Today we’re having a little twist and bringing you a different perspective. Instead of hearing from somebody who has been in business for years, we are taking a step back and presenting you the view point of somebody who is starting fresh. Our guest today is Rebekah Schmitz a brand new blogger. She has been wanting to share her heart with others about real life and real growth for a while now, and she’s finally taking action and is launching her blog today – yes, you heard right TODAY! And you get to experience that thrill with her. Please go watch her story video here (try not to cry) and show her support on this special day.

If you have been pacing in your creative room, crippled by fear, doubt or just clueless on what to do, dying to take action, read on this is for you.

Hi there! My name is Rebekah. I have a passion to inspire woman to breakthrough to their goals, dreams and purpose, and to be who they are created to be. I’ve been working with non-profits, speaking, and writing for the last 14yrs to spread the good news that we were made for greatness! I decided to start blogging about a year ago, and I’ve finally taken the brave plunge! I wanted to share a few practical things that helped me make it happen, as well as the big mindset shift that I needed before launch day!

1- Brainstorm: Answer the questions Why do I want to blog? Who do I want to reach? For me I want to reach women with inspiration and tools of empowerment. This was also very helpful for self discovery! I jotted down some of this content to save for my ‘about me’ as well.

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2- Find Support: What if my blog is terrible? Fear isn’t my friend, but it can be a constant companion. But if my fear is in the light it holds much less power over me! I voiced my fear, which helped me not to let it make choices for me. I am in charge! (That’s what I keep telling myself ;)) Finding a few online groups, and having a close business/blog savvy friend to share my journey really helped. Sometimes it just takes one person believing in you to give you the power to say, yes!

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3- Practice: If you’ve established your Why and Who, you’ll need to start writing. You must find your voice. ~ This was the very hardest part for me. I read way too many ebooks and articles on how to have the ‘best, brightest, boldest, most awesome blog’. I overloaded my mind with too much information, and started to stress out and lose myself in the process. Thankfully, I stumbled upon a few posts I had written last year, and when I read through them I had my ‘aha’ moment! I had lost my voice in the strive for perfection! I took a break from all the research, and focused on enjoying what I love instead of following all the rules. ~ After my breakthrough, I practiced writing, I read it out loud to see how it felt. I got some feedback from friends. I tried to have about 10 posts that were polished and ready to launch. Evernote has been my favorite app for organizing all my content.

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4- Do Research: Jot down questions and utilize Pinterest, Google, Youtube to get answers and ideas. A few great freebies I stumbled across (since I am not a designer) were PicMonkey.com and Canva.com. Save helpful websites or articles that give practical steps and information in a folder online, where you can frequently reference them.

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5- Take the Plunge: It’s the moment of truth! Here are two posts that were extremely helpful to me in the nuts and bolts of launching: this from Amy @AmyLynnAndrews was great. Also this from Ashley @SpoonfulFlavor. I made a timeline leading up to launch day, which included head shots, a video, post writing, purchasing a website template and customizing it, deciding on an opt-in for subscribers and synchronizing all my social media platforms. Luckily for me, Reverie Lane Designs reached out offering a guest post, and I am launching in conjunction!

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I hope this helped anyone sitting on the ‘blogging fence’ to take a leap! When we’re brave it inspires everyone around us to be the same! Best of luck and thanks for reading!

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I am a big believer of supporting each other in this journey and launch day can be nerve-wracking so a little love goes a long way. You can find Rebekah here:

rebekahschmitz.com

Facebook

IG : @rebekahlschmitz

REVERIE MINGLES: What has been keeping you from taking action? What ‘fence’ are you sitting on?

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HOW TO DEFINE THE ‘WHO’ FOR YOUR BRAND – FREEDOM IN FINDING WHO YOUR BUSINESS SERVES AND WHO YOUR BRAND SPEAKS TO

Published on April 6th, 2016 // BLOGGING BRANDING 101 BRANDING BASICS BRANDING TIP BUSINESS DESIGN PROCESS ENTREPRENEURSHIP PERSONAL BRANDING

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I have been meaning to write on this subject for a while now – defining the who in branding. I did post some general lines about it on Instagram and Facebook but I wanted to share a bit more specifically about it on here.

Finding your ideal client or target audience is probably one of the most exhausted subject for branding. The reason being the importance of knowing who you are trying to sell to is a no brainer to properly brand your business and successfully position yourself on the market. That being said, there is way too much ‘good advice’ out there that either is completely confusing or forces you to do the same as others without layout out some basic rules – which in the end could lead you to miss brand your business. I have been thinking of clear and efficient tips to share with you to help shed some light and hopefully guide you when branding or rebranding. I see too many business owners tied up and struggle with the ‘ideal client talk’, and the ‘finding your tribe talk’, etc… There should be freedom in branding and that is why I wanted to share these tips with you.

ANYBODY EQUALS NOBODY

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I want to start by saying this, unfortunately in branding everyone is no one. We cannot be all inclusive, the-anybody-who wants-to-spend-money kind of business doesn’t work, you’ve got to throw down some chips on the table to stand out and be unique. Your story and your individuality don’t allow you to speak to everybody anyways. As you put yourself out there some people will begin to listen – those are your people. That’s a good starting point. Your job is to be aware of who they are and define your ideal client from there.

IDEAL VS PERFECT

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I get a bit uncomfortable by that term ‘ideal’ to be honest. It is often substituted for the concept of ‘perfect’ and leads to disappointment and failure ultimately. We need to quit feeling down because not every single one of our projects or our inquiries aren’t the project that will take us to fame – so to speak. I think we need to make the distinction between ideal and perfect. Perfect is a little utopic while ideal is a win-win dynamic.

Ideal means just that, ideally a client who wants your expertise and sees value in it, who is willing to spend money to get it. A client who you want to work with and who will creatively and financially profit your business. However, it doesn’t mean you should ignore and reject all the other potential clients orbiting around that ideal client, if you’re in that place where you need it (article coming up about peripheral audiences).

For example if your business is about creating furniture for small urban spaces for single people or small families who are willing to invest in quality over quantity, you shouldn’t be ignoring the entrepreneur who is building a new hotel concept in the mountains with individual capsule rooms and need high end furnishing. They absolutely aren’t your ‘perfect’ client but what an opportunity, right?! And they’re allowing your business to do what it is ideally meant to do – to create small spaces high end furniture for people who value quality over quantity. Sounds pretty ideal to me!

BE SPECIFIC NOT RESTRAINING

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Once you’ve figure out who that ideal client is, you want to have a niche and not a clique. A brand that is specific but not restraining. It’s one of the pilar to longevity for a business and a brand. Think of it as calling out categories of people, segments of population from a crowd and then refine and narrow down as you go.
Moms of toddlers who value a healthy lifestyle please stand up, metrosexual males who travel for business would you raise your hand, people interested in colorful commisioned art print you may step forward. A clique call out would be, moms of toddlers who drive a white car and only drink soy milk on the weekends. That would be very limiting and even if you do find those moms in a decent number you will then create a closed group and seriously cripple your chances of future growth.

Of course some products imply being very specific by nature. For instance a baby wearing wrap has to be branded for new moms and they would be the ideal and perfect client. But there are ways to brand uniquely instead of going the obvious route of the “crunchy” moms. You could use a special rare cloth woven by women in underdeveloped countries with new collections every year, or create fashion forward designs that will entice stylish moms to buy your product and fit in their world while wearing their babies.

 

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From the points above we now know that ideal is a loose concept and offers more freedom than common thinking. We also know that although we should be laser sharp with our call outs (sorry can’t call out everyone), it’s alright to have other beams pointed at different angles ready to shoot if necessary. Finding your ‘who’ is a tricky balance of avoiding being too neutral and being too extreme. Create a solid and clear base and build options upon it, that is the number one thing I want you to take away from this article. Absolutely know your ideals, even your perfects for that matter, but be available to different scenarios that might not fit in that ready to go elevator speech but still respect your core values and your vision statement as a business.

REVERIE MINGLES: Do you know your ‘ideal’? Have you created a niche or a clique for your brand?

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REVERIE LANE DESIGNS BRAND REVEAL – LESSONS OF THE WILDERNESS BY KELLY HALSCH

Published on March 23rd, 2016 // BRAND REVEAL BRANDING 101 CULTIVATE CREATIVITY DESIGN PROCESS ENTREPRENEURSHIP JOY LIFE MOODBOARD STYLE GUIDE

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I have been posting about this project on social media and showing you some snippets of the cover but I wanted to do a proper brand reveal and share with you all the details on here. I am so in love and proud of what we created for this project. Maybe it is because it spoke to me personally, but it is absolutely one of my favorite projects that I will always dearly remember, including staying up until 2 a.m. to send everything to the printer on the very last day haha….but we made it and oh was it worth it!

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Lessons of the Wilderness is a study/devotional that Kelly Halsch wrote or should I say poured out her heart into to pass on what she has learned through years of hardships, and to encourage the reader to find beauty when everything seems to be going dark.

We decided to create a visual brand that would speak to women but that would also display essence and substance. Nothing overly pretty but nothing too ‘depressing’ either. We tried to find that balance in wilderness and beauty, that tension which makes her study so good and undeniably life changing. Some of the key words that inspired us were strong, mellow, artsy, feminine, messy, beautiful. We started with the mood board and we wanted a high contrast in color and in texture to convey that duality of trials and hope, hence that bold black and white pattern softened by the ashy pale pink. Kelly loved it right away so I got my brushes out and started painting.

– MOOD BOARD –
THE CREATIVE DIRECTION FOR THE PROJECT

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I presented two different patterns to Kelly and we both agreed that the bold black and white stripes were the perfect option. Still pulling inspiration from the mood board above, I created the rest of the branding elements (full color palette, font palette, patterns and textures, images for social media launch campaign, thank you cards, complimentary journal) and designed the cover of the study in the first place and then the inside pages once approved by the client. After that, it was a matter of formatting the content and prepping all the files for print. And voilà! We have and introduce to you Lessons of the Wilderness – A study unveiling beauty in suffering by Kelly Halsch.

– BRAND BOARD –
A GLOBAL VIEW OF THE MAIN ELEMENTS OF THE BRAND

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– PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY –
FINAL PRODUCT COMPLETED

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I always talk about ideal clients and creating memorable brands, well Kelly and this study couldn’t match my criteria for those any perfectly. I am so so SO grateful and honored to have had the opportunity to work with her and help her bring the vision she had to reality.

You can find Kelly at http://kellyhalsch.com and you can (and should) get yourself one of these beautiful and purposely studies here.

The rest of all the little details from this project are added below in the brand style guide, which I create for each project for my clients to leave with a good idea on how to use everything we have designed together.

REVERIE MINGLES: how would you describe your perfect project you would love to work on?

PS: Kelly sent me those beautiful flowers. Isn’t she so thoughtful? I love flowers and white is my favorite color, so they were the warmest gesture to me and put a huge smile on my face.

– BRAND STYLE GUIDE –
STYLISTIC DIRECTIONS FOR USING ALL THE BRAND’S ELEMENTS

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TIPS FOR MANAGING YOUR PRODUCT BASED BUSINESS FROM HOME WITH ASHLEY SHELLEY

Published on March 8th, 2016 // BRANDING 101 BRANDING BASICS BRANDING TIP BUSINESS ENTREPRENEURSHIP MANAGEMENT

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First of all happy International Women’s day! I pray every lady out there is feeling extra special today and is having a joyful day!

Welcome to the second issue of our Reverie Rendez-vous series! Yes, it’s already the second week of March and our guest today is non other but the impressive ladypreneur Ashley Shelley from www.ashleyshelly.com. Ashley has built and runs an incredible product based business with her planners and budget notebooks, which in the past year have seen mind blowing success. Let me step to the side and have her share with you her best tips on how to manage a product based business from your own home.

“Hello! I’m Ashley Shelly and I’m a product designer who helps busy women create their best days by planning on paper. I want to share my best tips with you today that help me run my product business from my home studio. Having physical products around requires a lot more planning and organization that I originally thought, but it is so much fun!

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1. Create a schedule for yourself and try to stick to it. Things to consider when making your schedule are: days to ship orders, design new products, collaborate with other companies, create social media posts, edit photos, etc. Whatever the details may be that are required in your business, set up a schedule so you won’t be lost in the morning thinking about where to start. For me, I usually ship products every other day around 3PM, so I know I will be packing orders about an hour before that, and jumping in the car to head to the post office before their last pickup. I enjoy my little routine and it helps me stay on task throughout the week!

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2. Organization is key with physical products. They take up a lot of space, but if they are organized properly, they are beautiful scenery to work around. I have a great set of cubby shelves from The Martha Stewart Collection at Home Depot that house all of my products for sale. Each product gets its own cubby and is neatly stacked so I can see how many I have. I check my inventory often to make sure it lines up with my website numbers. I use the closet in my home studio specifically for shipping supplies and any eye-sore type items like bubble wrap and cardboard boxes. Although the shipping items aren’t pretty, I still have them all organized neatly and easily accessible to grab when needed.

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3. Write down your process. When I first started my business, I just did what I needed to do on a daily basis until I figured out a good process, and I started to see repeating patterns in what I was doing. For me, the patterns repeated every 3 months when I launched new products. So, I started writing down exactly what I was doing for every launch as a to-do list for my next launch. That way, I had a blueprint to go by 3 months later and I didn’t have to worry about forgetting something. For my brand, this list includes things like designing new products, sending them to the printer, proofing the printed items, finalizing the orders, photographing the items when they arrive, editing photos, creating social and website graphics for the launch, ordering shipping supplies and fun packaging details, and organizing it all in the studio to be sent out to customers.

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4. Find the staples that you can count on! By staples, I mean the things that work well for your business. Kind of like choosing items from your wardrobe that you love or makeup that you are drawn to every day, you’ll need packaging for your products that people begin to know you for. I love to find a super high quality shipping envelope and add a few details to the outside and inside of the package that speak to the customer about my brand. Doing the research in the beginning and finding your brand staples makes it so much easier when it is time to order those things again. You’ll know right where to go and what quality to expect!

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5. As a creative, the feel of your office/workspace is everything. If you can create an environment that you love, your days will be so much better and efficient. Everything should function like a well-oiled machine. I recently read the book Spark Joy by Marie Kondo (definitely give it a read if you’re into organizing!) and it was super helpful in showing me how to make decisions about the stuff around me. If there are items in your office that don’t serve a purpose or make you happy, get rid of them. Clutter just creates busy thoughts in our minds and what we need is clarity. If your office is clean and tidy, you’ll make decisions faster for your brand and come up with more creative ideas.

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6. Find the planning tools that work best for you. My must-haves are a weekly paper planner, an 8.5×11 size desk pad for notes and brainstorming, and a smaller notepad for my to-do list. I check-in with my planner every night before I go to bed so I know what to start on in the morning. I also LOVE sticky notes! I use them daily. My one recommendation with sticky notes, however, is to use them then throw them away. At the end of each day, I look over all of my sticky notes on my desk and throw away the ones I don’t need. Otherwise, it can become a messy, crazy-town of them on your workspace!

I hope my tips were helpful to you! Thank you so much for reading.”

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Wasn’t this fantastic?! If you want to know more about Ashley and her products, here are all the places you can find her – she has a new collection of notebooks out an the designs are simple stunning!

www.ashleyshelly.com
Instagram: @ashleyshelly
www.facebook.com/ashleyshellyofficial

REVERIE MINGLES: Which one of the tips above do you struggle with the most?

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5 WAYS TO VISUALLY COMMUNICATE A MESSAGE THROUGH YOUR BRANDING

Published on March 1st, 2016 // BRANDING 101 BRANDING BASICS BRANDING TIP CULTIVATE CREATIVITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP PERSONAL BRANDING STYLE GUIDE

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Well hello friends, it’s been a while. I keep saying this, but it seems that 2016 has woken up everybody’s inner entrepreneur and it’s gotten me very busy. No complaints here though, but it sure has also caused me to be absent around here and I miss writing and sharing with you on. Anyway, last week I made my official entrance on Periscope and hosted a live video series on how to visually communicate a message through your brand. It was nerve-wrecking but also so much fun and so eye opening on how much I love sharing and helping others develop their brand and have it serve them the best to communicate with their audience.

Here is a recap of the main points from the video series:

1- BE CONSISTENT WITH YOUR VISION STATEMENT AND NUANCED WITH YOUR MISSION STATEMENT

Before anything I want to clarify the difference between your vision statement and you mission statement as that will help you find diversity in your visual speech and your branding strategy in general.

Simply put your vision statement is your end goal. What result you want for your brand/business at the end of the day? – to sell your product or service for example. It is also what values you are trying to communicate through your brand. Your mission statement on the other hand, represents all the steps and the journey you will take your audience through to get them to your end goal – your vision statement. That’s where you get creative and come up with fun and unique ways to convey your message. It’s a nuanced presentation of a consistent message. Everything in your missing statement should tie back to your vision statement. It should go a full circle.

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Once you have those two notions figured out, you can move on to the visual fun. I would recommend making a list of mission statements and printing it out so that it’s always right in front of you when you feel clueless or overwhelmed about how to interact with your audience.

2- USE YOUR BRAND BOARD AS YOUR ARSENAL

This tip was prompted by a lead asking me why they needed to pay for the textures and patterns and all of the brand elements included in my branding packages. First of all, I want to speak up for us designers and say that we add those details to give your brand value and individuality. There’re not useless additions, they are your arsenal. They will allow you to communicate your brand’s message as they were designed specifically for your business. They’re are an all ready to go set of visual tricks, tailor made for your brand.

Your brand board and style guide are meant to help you create a feeling of familiarity, a visual home, without being redundant and repetitive. It is also a great way to stay in line with the correct aesthetics of your brand (what color goes with what, when to use a pattern or layout, etc…). The logo variations, the sub-marks, the sets of illustrations, (yes) the patterns and textures, are all provided to give you freedom and some wiggle room to diversify your visual story. Think of them as visual vocabulary. It’s more enjoyable for your audience, it’s more effective to carry your vision statement, and for yourself it facilitates the process of figuring out what to present, when and how.

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The same goes with styled photos, switching the layout of your usual props, or using different props with the same layout, or sticking with a concept as for instance only using office supply products, all that shows personality and individuality while creating that visual home. People will automatically and immediately recognize and connect your posts to your brand/business. You save a lot of time trying to make them remember you and can use that extra time to lead them through your mission statement to your vision statement. Once again, it’s a great way to stay consistent yet not boring visually.

3- “I SEE YOUR TRUE COLORS, THAT’S WHY I LOVE YOU” – SINCERELY, YOUR AUDIENCE

How could we talk about visual stories and communication without talking about colors? Thank you Cyndi Lauper by the way. Although you don’t need to rely solely on your colors to express everything for your visual brand, it’s one of the easiest ways to tell a story visually and convey a specific mood. Color is the first thing that jumps out visually, before text or even what physical product is shown (shapes).

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You can study color theory and psychology and find out what color triggers what emotion or what color you should use if you’re an energetic brand or rather a peaceful one. It’s a fascinating subject but not all of us have time to do that or have a branding designer to do it for us. My answer to that is go back to nature. I have mentioned this in a previous article, but I do believe nature offers all the basic color palettes you need. With the various habitats, seasons, weather, fauna and flora, etc… there’s a wide range of choice out there. You can obviously push creativity to the edge a bit and play with combinations that seem a bit “off” but that gets into the risky zone and I would advise getting a professional to help with that.

I would say when it comes to a color palette, you should have a neutral option, a reflective option (not necessarily metallics, white is reflective for example) and a dark and white combination option. That will give you more possibilities for applications. It’s not mandatory to have all those but it helps in practical situations.

4- NOT JUST A PRETTY FACE

Your visual brand should not be just a pretty face. It should be as engaging as it is appealing to the eye. We have been talking about all the ways to beautify and diversify your visual brand, but now let’s talk about using those aesthetics arguments to engage your audience. They should absolutely enjoy looking at your visual brand but also feel challenged to take actions towards your vision statement. Everything you put out there should trigger a reaction towards your vision statement. Either with graphics, photos or text you need to catch the eye and capture the attention. Once the ‘pretty’ has them looking and staring, you can then communicate that message, that vision statement, sell your product, your service, express your values, have them sign up for your mailing, purchase a ticket for your next conference, and so on.

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One of my favorite brands to follow on Instagram is Sugarfina and this is why: they use ‘pretty’ so perfectly! Every post turns my sweet tooth on and at the same time makes me want to buy everything shown for props. However, beyond that it feels like there have been thoughts behind each posts which makes all the difference. It’s not just a bunch of colorful candy thrown on a white board, there’s a story, there’s a connection to the season, there’s a purpose and I’m always quite tempted. That’s good visual interaction with your audience.

Yes, you can post things on social media ‘just for fun’, but even in that case you should be showing a glimpse of your personality which is part of your brand and should be one of your mission statement – especially as solopreneurs so it’s yet another opportunity to slip in that message.

5- SIMPLICITY IS THE NAME OF THE GAME

My motto is ‘complexed simplicity’ and it’s about simply expressing a complexed concept. Not two people will perceive the same thing similarly, although they all belong in your audience and could potentially be your ideal client. There’s no need for visual riddles in your branding, things need to be represented clearly and obviously while supporting complexed concepts and values – because we all are complexed beings. As the brilliant Coco Chanel said “before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off”, same concept here. It’s not about minimalism either, you can be ornate yet simple. It’s about ‘not trying too hard’ in a way. Also overcomplicating things creates more chances to miss the mark. Simplicity is the best way to hit the nail on the head and create something unique and memorable which will entice your audience to get to your vision statement – full circle.

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As a final note, I want you to remember that to communicate your brand’s message you need to know your why as in your values but also what you are trying to sell and why THEY should buy it. Also, remember that 50 shades of anything will get boring and tiresome even for your ideal client and that simplicity will always pay off.

REVERIE MINGLES: WHAT DO YOU FIND CHALLENGING WHEN TRYING TO INTERACT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE VISUALLY?

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CULTIVATING CREATIVITY AND MANAGING FEAR

Published on February 9th, 2016 // BRANDING BASICS CHALLENGE CULTIVATE CREATIVITY DESIGN PROCESS ENTREPRENEURSHIP FEAR INTENTIONAL LIVING LIFE MOTIVATIONAL PERSONAL BRANDING

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Friends, today is the launch of the new blog series, The ‘Reverie Rendez-Vous’ and I couldn’t be more excited about it! This is going to be about creating a moment every month to bring you a some insight to help you develop and expand your brand and business. There are many talented and resourceful guests lined up and today we are starting with my dear friend Reina Pomeroy from Reina & Co. She is an incredible biz and life coach who works with creative entrepreneurs empowering them to get out of their heads and go for what they want to accomplish with al their hearts. If you can’t tell from my written words, I love her! Please take the time to visit her website www.reinaandco.com and meet her – plus sign up for her Sunshine Mail, it’s so good!

Enough from me, here is the beautiful yet challenging article Reina wrote for us. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and also that it gives you breakthrough when it comes to fear and cultivating creativity.

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There are gifts and a talents that you were born with. Maybe you’ve practiced using that gift over the years and it’s gotten better. Maybe you’re to the point that you want to make money off of your talents. Thankfully, there are people who want what you have!

Fear is a natural process for creatives – you produce something that’s subjective and you need to meet the consumer’s expectation in order for your work to be “good” and that can be a tricky process. Managing fear is a large part of what you’ll learn to do as you mature in the path of creative entrepreneurship.

I’m sharing 5 tips on managing fear in the creative process!

1- Fear is a part of the crew. Did you know you have a full crew of characters to draw from? Each of them has a special power, a special quality that influences your life and decisions. One of those characters is Fear. Unfortunately, fear is the one that has, for many of us, made its way to center stage with a spotlight right on it. There are other characters too, like courage, curiosity, and wisdom (and many more…). But those don’t get called forth the way that Fear does. It’s our job to notice when Fear’s popping on stage when he’s not called for, write him off the script!

2- Shine your spotlight elsewhere. You always have a choice of where you shine your spotlight. You can shine it right on your insecurity and fears. The other choice is – you can point it toward your customers, your audience, your industry friends. That spotlight is a metaphor for your energy and your attention. Use it wisely because you don’t want the bulb to suddenly go out!

3- Your product isn’t what people are buying. This might surprise you. If you’re a graphic designer who creates birthday cards to be sold at boutiques. Guess what? People aren’t paying money to buy the card. Yes, they physically pay money for the card but they choose the one you made because of the story they think it tells! For anything you create, make sure there’s a compelling case for it. If you’re a painter, rather than just sending a client a piece, tell them what inspired it, the story behind it, the magic that you see in it. It makes the piece that much more valuable – people connect to stories!

4- Perfect is false. Guess what? Perfect actually doesn’t exist! Looking for perfect means that you’re trying to satisfy the eye of somebody else and also everybody else. That actually doesn’t exist. It also is inauthentic to you. I suggest looking at what is “great enough.” Something you can be proud of even if you know it’s not “perfect” and that you can live with.

5- Name your fear. I’m being DEAD serious. When you think that Fear is just your voice, it actually messes with what you can and can’t do. Take some time to think about an object, a person, a name that you want your fear to embody. For example, one of my clients has a dinosaur figurine that she uses. It takes the power away from the fear, giving you the control to turn down the sound of that voice. Maybe you name your saboteur “Judy” because that’s the name of the person who just gets you going in real life. Make it personal to you, but ultimately, make sure that the voice is somebody else and not your truth.

If nothing else, please take this away – you are bigger than your fear. And the best antidote to fear is taking small, calculated risk through action. Once you conquer something, it’s proof that you can do it. Those small proofs add up to something much bigger. So keep steppin’ my friend!

My challenge to you is come to reinaandco.com/join and join the Heart Centered Biz Bosses facebook group. I’d love for you to tell us the personification of your Fear. What do you want to name it and tell it to quiet down?

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REVERIE MINGLES: WHAT IS THE NAME OF YOUR FEAR AND HOW DO YOU NEUTRALIZE IT?

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3 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR BRAND’S CLIENT EXPERIENCE – BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS IN YOUR BUSINESS

Published on January 27th, 2016 // BRANDING BASICS CLIENT EXPERIENCE CULTIVATE CREATIVITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP MANAGEMENT PERSONAL BRANDING

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Branding uniquely and intentionally is in the details. In the creative little things that you come up with to show your brand’s personality and core values. The concept of client experience has been on my mind the past few weeks and it has caused me to rethink some of my processes for Reverie Lane Designs.

Whether you sell a physical product or a service, have an online business or a brick and mortar business, having a great client experience will benefit your business and grow your brand’s reach. Let me ask you this, with obvious exceptions of course, have you met many people who like to be treated poorly? Or brag about bad treatment? I am going to go ahead and assume you answered ‘no’. People want to have be treated decently at the least but when you go the extra mile and make them feel important, honored and love, that effort is exponentially rewarded and beneficial to the relationship you build with them.

I am very aware that they are plenty of other branding designers out there, my job is to make sure that at Reverie Lane Designs my clients will receive that particular experience thought just for each one of them. How you sell is as important as what you sell.

Today, I wanted to share with you three simple ways to improve your brand’s client experience. Those are general concepts that can include so many great and fun practical ideas.

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1- Compliments and acts of gratitude go hand in hand with client satisfaction. Think of it as flattery in the business world. For example sending a postcard that says “Thank you for your order, you have great style!” with each order with make your customer feel special, feel thought of and that’s all it takes for them to feel an emotional attachment to your brand. Birchbox sent a box last year with “you’re beautiful” on it and I when I got it I took it for myself and thought how sweet that was to get a compliment. That day I went on their site and reviewed some of the products they had sent me. In other words, saying “thank you” and “you’re incredible” goes a long way in creating a positive experience and an emotional bond.

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2- Genuine care aside from monetary gain never fails to impress. That could be introducing a complimentary service to what you offer them that would benefit their business. For example as a designer pointing them to a copywriter to improve the website we are designing together, or if it’s a shop leading them to a service facilitating inventory management or shipping processes like Shipstation for instance. It shows genuine care and attention for their business that is not to add any extra coin in your purse. People get moved by such gestures and attach that feeling to the global experience your brand provided them.

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3- Check-ins, follow ups and promotions are another great way to say “I’m thinking of you”. Once the project is done or the sale is over, you still have plenty of occasions to cater to your client/customer. You absolutely should keep track and be aware of ways to keep them in your world or part of your tribe as some would say. Repost a photo they shared with your product featured in. Invite your audience to check out their page and go support them for their latest launch. Promote their product, “my client is having a great sale right now on….”. That is the best way to get continual referrals and repeat clients. If you expect loyalty, you need to reciprocate it or rather initiate it. Once a client/customer always a friend…that experience is lasting and the relationships that are built through it.

My goal with this short and non exhaustive list is to inspire you to start thinking about your brand’s client experience and to encourage you to come up with unique and creative ideas to offer top notch client experience to your audience. It’s such a fun process to find little ways, or big ways if you are able to, to love on your tribe and create a memorable, unique and intentional brand.

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REVERIE MINGLES: WHAT SPECIAL ATTENTION DO YOU USE TO MAKE YOUR CLIENTS FEEL SPECIAL?

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10 QUESTIONS TO FINDING YOUR ‘WHY’ – HOW TO DETERMINE YOUR BRAND’S CORE VALUES?

Published on January 19th, 2016 // BRANDING BASICS DESIGN PROCESS ENTREPRENEURSHIP PERSONAL BRANDING

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People in the branding industry always talk about finding your WHY, your WHO and then defining HOW you will convey that WHY to that WHO. Confusing I know and too many W H questions involved. However, there’s no way around it. The design process should only come after that work has been done, first of all because it will assure the creation of an intentional and effective brand, but also because it will make the styling easier and clearer. So how do you do that? How do you answer these questions? Today, I want to assist you with finding or rather discovering your WHY which are your core values.

What are core values, really? They are the reasons why you do what you do. The ‘why’ you are in business, the things that drive you, the message and values you want to be known and remembered for. It’s as simply as that but also as key as that.

Here is a list of 10 questions to help you figure it out:

– What is your business?
– Monetary reasons aside, why did you start THAT business?
– What aspects of your business make you the most excited?
– What do you proud yourself to do very well as a business owner?
– If all you offered was an experience, what would it look like?
– When you think about your ideal client/customer, what would you like them to know about the experience described above and the product or service you sell?
– Personally, what is your business doing for you?
– If you were to add more people to your team, what three words would you tell them represented your business and needed to be preserved?
– What makes you different from your direct competitors?
– When interacting with your audience, what personality traits and values do you push forward?

Going through your answers, you will notice recurring words or concepts that can be summed up in one word. Extract three to five predominant words and there you have your brand’s core values, your WHY.

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I would like to share my own core values to give you an example. Before I do, I want to say that the purpose of discovering your core values isn’t just to attract your ideal audience and ‘make millions’, it also and very importantly provides a clear and defined track for your business, your motivation, your inspiration, which is invaluable in the long run.

My core values for Reverie Lane Designs:

CREATIVITY – I cannot go a day without creating and that is also my way of connecting with others. Ultimately, I want to help my audience discover new ways to be more creative in their business and in their life in general. I believe we all have a degree of creativity although it might not manifest in the obvious artsy way, but finding your own brings such joy. My hope is that Reverie Lane Designs can be seen as a creativity oasis, where my audience can be recharged with inspiration.

RELATIONSHIPS – As I mentioned above creativity is my way to reach out and developing relationships is very important to me. Either with my clients or fellow creative entrepreneurs, connecting with other people and facilitating others connecting with each other is one of my goals.

INTENTIONALITY – This one goes beyond my business, it’s a way of living. In my opinion there’s no other way to brand but to brand intentionally. Unless you have a clear vision and you choose to tell your unique story you are cheating yourself and your brand. Intentionality assures not compromising one’s authenticity and that is priceless to me.

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I really want to encourage you to do this exercise. If you’re at the beginning stage it will be such a great base to build upon. If you have been in business for years and feel burnt out, it will help to shed some light and find some answers  to understand why you feel that way. In any case, it’s a great reminder of why we work so hard and of why we do what we do everyday.

REVERIE MINGLES: LET ME KNOW IF YOU DO THE EXERCISE AND IF IT HELPED YOU. EITHER WAY, I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR CORE VALUES.

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NEW YEAR. NEW SERVICES. NEW BLOG SERIES.

Published on January 12th, 2016 // BLOGGING BRANDING BASICS CULTIVATE CREATIVITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP

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HAPPY NEW YEAR on the Reverie Lane!! – I know it’s January 12th but it’s my first article of the year.

This one is going to be a quickie, as I have a large to-do list today. I wanted to stop by and share about two things with you, the new services I added this year and a new blog series I am so excited about.

NEW SERVICES

As designers sometimes we expect and assume that the client will come to us all prepared, with a clear branding strategy, all questions figured out, the why, the who and the how. In reality, that scenario is quite rare and we end up having to take the time to define all that, come up with a branding direction before diving into the design part. This reality is what prompted me to rework my packages and add some new features that would help with the strategic part of branding.

For any branding package, I offer a one hour consultation (which I already did anyways), it allows us to find a foundation for a branding direction and define the basics such as core values or ideal audience. I also offer that consultation hour independently from the design service, for the ones who need a few questions answered or some clarity on a branding point about their business.

The other new service I am quite thrilled about is the set of branding strategy bundles. Some business owners and entrepreneurs already have beautiful graphics or even have already figured out the why and maybe even the who but are finding it hard implementing it all and getting to the how. These bundles are designed for those cases. There are also perfect for the need of strategy for a specific season, for example a launch, or campaign or a rebrand.

They come in three options: one month, two months or three months of strategy, with three, six or nine one hour sessions. I cannot tell you how excited I am to be able to work with so many brands and businesses in context. Last year I got to do the whole process including the strategy part with a few of my clients and it made such a difference and such an impact on the final result. Branding strategy is oh so very powerful when you dedicate efforts and time to it.

Please feel free to email me if you need any clarification about it all. katell@reverielanedesigns.com

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NEW BLOG SERIES

Oh mes amis, once again I am bursting with joy and enthusiasm about this series. I believe in the power of personal experience and of the unique gift that we each have, and that is why I decided to create this new section of the blog called ‘Reverie Rendez-vous’. So what is it? Starting in February, every second Tuesday of the month, here on the Reverie Lane Blog you will have a special date with an incredible fellow creative entrepreneur sharing valuable and captivating content, inspiring you to grow your business and develop your brand.

I have met so many passionate, driven and creative individuals the past few years and have been paying attention to what they have to say and have been so proud and amazed by their businesses. I really wanted to set this up have them share a little with us all about their journey, or their inspiration, or their strategy, and so much more.

It’s going to be such a ride through different brands and various industries with practical tips, case studies, and demonstrations. You will not be disappointed! I am personally excited and ready to learn from them all and grow.

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That’s it for today. I have to go back to the design world, ha! I hope you are as excited as I am about all these new things. 2016 is looking to be a tremendous year.

REVERIE MINGLES: WHAT NEW THING ARE YOU LAUNCHING/IMPLEMENTING IN 2016? I WANT TO CELEBRATE WITH YOU!

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MY 2015 IN 10 LESSONS – Lessons for the creative entrepreneur

Published on December 30th, 2015 // ENTREPRENEURSHIP INTENTIONAL LIVING LIFE MANAGEMENT MOTIVATIONAL

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As you have certainly noticed I have been on a forced hiatus for over a month now from the blog, and if you follow me on social media you probably know that on November 28th I got into a terrible tragic accident with my children and my mother in law. We all miraculously got out of the wreck alive. We all will be alright eventually and are oh so very thankful.

Because I was unable to work for almost a month I have been concentrating on catching up with that but I still wanted to share one more article with you on here before the end of the year.

This year’s mantra was ‘conquer your fears!’ – suiting, right?! Well, it’s been just that. I started this year promising myself that I would not be the deer in the headlight when it came to my fears and that I would go marching on towards my goals. As my pastor said on Sunday “fears has so many tentacles” and it wasn’t easy but for the most part I escape the beast and learned some precious lessons from it.

Here are 10 main things I have learned this year:

LESSON 1- Saying ‘no’ is absolutely alright and necessary quite often. We are all scared of rejection and hearing that ‘no’. But often than not we are also completely frozen and incapable to say ‘no’ ourselves out of fear to disappoint others. If you see a giant blinking red light paired with a loud and resonating alarm, please do say ‘no’ before you AND the other person get imprisoned in a more than unpleasant situation.

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LESSON 2- Their success isn’t my failure. Comparasion is the thief of joy, oh how true is that. It is such a disservice to yourself and your business to get into the habit of seeing your journey through the lens of somebody else’s. Your successes and failures will always be distorted with that pattern and it will keep you from not only not acknowledging your accomplishments but also it will eventually lead you to giving up.

LESSON 3- Anytime the monetary argument trumps the creative one, you will end up feeling miserable. I absolutely have nothing against making money of course and I wouldn’t pretend I’m only doing it ‘for the art’ but it can’t be your unique goal or reason to be in business. Especially as a creative entrepreneur, you want to be proud of the work you put out there. If you wouldn’t want to add it to your portfolio, don’t do it because the money can’t be that worth then anyways. I suppose the ideal situation would be unless the project knocks your socks off or makes your pencils tango don’t do it, we’re not quite there yet haha.

LESSON 4- Give yourself room for a bad day. Not to be a realist but this is a matter of when not if. Failures happen and that is okay, my friend. The key is to allow yourself those bad days, those not so great sale numbers or those perfectly inconvenient technical issues, to happen to you and be ready for them. Being open to the idea of the inevitable ‘bad day’ lets you prepare for it and face it a lot better emotionally and practically.

LESSON 5- You cannot overwork your way out of busyness. What got you up to your neck in the first place will continue to come back as long as you let it. Working like a mad person “for a season” won’t bring sanity. It will create a pattern of acceptance for the lack of freedom and the overbusy lifestyle. You need a mindset shift, a new pattern, new systems. We have all heard work to live don’t live to work.

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LESSON 6- Just as you get what you pay for, you get what you sell for. I have struggled with this one. It’s not so much that I don’t agree with this fact and know its value, for me it’s about getting past that fear of potentially losing clients because of being out of pricing range and willingly charging below what I should because of it. Oh so very guilty of FOMO all the way. It’s such a snowball effect as in the end you work more for less and ultimately are not your best.

LESSON 7- You are not a lost and lonely island. 2015 has been the year of collaborations and connections. I got work with some incredible fellow business owners but most importantly I joined in Reina Pomeroy‘s amazing program Q4 refresh. First of all, find a way to get Reina in your life and secondly mastermind groups are life changing. I have discovered the power of community in a new way and I don’t want to forget it. I have built lifetime relationships with all the Refreshers and I am so excited for more opportunities to meet other inspiring entrepreneurs next year.

LESSON 8- Confidence is appealing. I struggled so much with believing in myself and even more so accepting my own uniqueness and it kept me captive from being successful. It wasn’t until I started feeling and knowing that I had something precious to offer that others were able to see it too. It has to come from within, compliments only cannot carry you to the finish line.

LESSON 9- Balance. Balance. Balance. That should be enough said but I’ll elaborate. My word for 2016 is ‘BE (present)’ and I am very much so looking forward to apply it. 2015 was good to me and I got to see oh so many of my dreams and goals come to pass, but let’s admit it was a madhouse at times and I was a stressed out mama and wife. I know that season is morphing into another one and I am looking forward to applying what I have learned and create a more balanced life and work tandem.

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LESSON 10- Last but not least, intentionality is not negotiable. This is a constant goal of mine, in my personal life and in my business. Do it like you mean it, with your work, with your family, with your passions, with all of it. I always want to be aware and intentional of where I am, who I am with and what I am doing. Focus on the task at hand, loving my people the way I should and finding joy at the source – God.

I want to close with this quote “Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” – Francis Chan

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REVERIE MINGLES: WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WILL KEEP FROM 2015?

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SAYING THANK YOU, THREE DAY BLACK FRIDAY DEAL – NEW PRINT AND SPECIAL COUPON CODE –

Published on November 24th, 2015 // CULTIVATE CREATIVITY DEAL INTENTIONAL LIVING

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I am actually away visiting family this week, so this is going to be a quick little post about what I have planned in the shop for black Friday.

This year has been such a blessed and full year with Reverie Lane Designs and I could not have done it without know YOU guys. I am tremendously thankful for my new online friends, for my dreamy clients and for all the other ones of you who faithfully have been following and interacting with me on here and all over social media. Knowing that you were sharing in on my excitement and anticipation, reading your encouraging messages and comments, all made this year better than it could have been without all those. I sincerely want to shout a huge THANK YOU to all of you out there – you know who you are!

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Gifts and special attentions are one of my top love languages and I feel so much love right now. That’s why I wanted to do something special in the shop for not just one day but three days. From tomorrow Wednesday the 25th to Friday the 27th, I am adding an exclusive print in the shop. It’s called the ‘Cultivate Creativity’ print and I particularly cherish it because it has to do with everything I have shared this year. The colors are fun and perfectly contrast with the bold black and white combination of Reverie Lane Designs.

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But, wait…that’s not all! I am also offering a 35%off your entire cart of $25+. Use SHOPREVERIEBLACKFRIDAY special code during those three days and get your favorite products from the ELLEPRENEUR collection plus the ‘Cultivate Creativity’ print.

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Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart and enjoy your goodies from the shop!

 

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PRODUCTIVITY: 2016 REFRESH WEEKLY PLANNER BY J.LYNN DESIGNERIE

Published on November 20th, 2015 // BLOGGING INTENTIONAL LIVING MANAGEMENT

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In the same idea as my previous article of being more intentional and productive, with personal and business matters, I wanted to share with you about the amazing planning tool my sweet and very talented friend Jenna Stratman at the J.Lynn Designery created called the 2016 Refresh Weekly Planner. She has three different layouts, a weekly, a monthly and a yearly overview. Before even talking about the amazingness you can find inside, please check out the covers! Just stunning…I love the modernity, simplicity and boldness at the same time of the black and white and the marble texture. It is so inviting. It actually makes me think of a well organized and modern office which always makes me so much more productive.

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The planner is divided in two parts, the first half has all your essentials, appointments, meetings, to-dos, etc, and the second half gives you the opportunity to choose two custom Planner Add-ons. Below are all the features and details you can find in the planner:
+ 2016 yearly overview
+ Two-page spread for every month
+ Two-page spread for every week
+ Holidays on monthly and weekly layouts
+ Inspirational quote on every weekly layout
+ Notes pages before every month
+ Tabbed divider pages to separate months
+ Beautiful gold wire binding
+ Protective plastic cover to keep pages and tabs protected

+ Pocket built into back cover for notes, receipts, etc.
+ Your choice of TWO Planner Add-ons
(Meal Planner | Workout Planner | Blog Planner | Christian Planner | Lined Pages)
Here is the website where you can find more information: http://www.jlynndesignery.com/planner/

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I had the great opportunity to try out some of the beautiful pages from the 2016 Refresh Weekly Planner and I am sharing a couple of pages with you today, the blog planner page and the christian planner. As an overall feeling I have found the planner to be quite well thought out and so clear and bright. Altogether both pages were very pleasant and easy to use. I am quite new at blogging and Jenna laid everything out necessary to successfully manage your blog weekly. From breaking down all the tasks of prepping for each blog post to figuring out all your key stats by categories. I love it. I’m still getting used to thinking of noting down all those so this keeps me accountable and organized. It’s so genius!

I have been trying to be more diligent about meditating and reading the word and have realized that my problem is having a plan. Playing Russian roulette with verses really doesn’t work too well and the christian planner page from the 2016 Refresh Weekly planner doesn’t only give you a plan, it also gives you a process and a guide to study specific passages, a devotional paragraph and a song suggestion. Isn’t that just fantastic?! I personally find it amazing.

I am so impressed with the attention to detail and even beyond that, the addition of things I wouldn’t have thought about. I am also so happy for Jenna in a business way, how she worked so hard on this project and had such a successful launch and is now sold out on these beautiful planners. She truly is a boss lady!

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Jenna let me share with you a special download link http://www.jlynndesignery.com/clarity-worksheet/ and also a little secret…she has a soon-to-be-released mini lifestyle planners for those of you who missed out on the Refresh Weekly planner. Get connected with her on her Instagram (@jlynndesignery) and via her planner newsletter (at the top of jlynndesignery.com) for getting all of the details first.

REVERIE MINGLES: GO DOWNLOAD THOSE PAGES AND LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK.

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INTENTIONAL LIVING – HOW TO NOT COMPROMISE YOUR PRIORITIES: INTENTION – PURPOSE – FOCUS

Published on November 17th, 2015 // ENTREPRENEURSHIP INTENTIONAL LIVING LIFE MOTIVATIONAL

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I have done a lot of thinking the past week or so with the desire to readjust and realign my priorities, and to find more balance in work and life. It is always my will to live an intentional and purposeful life and also to be productive and successful in my business, but things can quickly get messy and blurry. I wouldn’t want to ‘wake up’ one day and realize that one or both have been neglected, because I was lazy or even just not strategic and intentional about it all. I increasingly have come to see that balance is needed and I have been trying to find good ways to make that happen in my own case. From all the thinking, I found three keywords that always seem to bring me back to my priorities. INTENTION – PURPOSE – FOCUS.

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INTENTION
Well, it is pretty obvious that to live an intentional life you need to be intentional about it and clearly define your priorities. You need to be intentional about everything or you will let invasive and useless things slip in and quickly overpower the actual intentions you had to begin with. Being intentional is both about being proactive for the things that matter to you, and about not being passive with things that take you away from your priorities. In other words, you need to be proactive about relationships, spiritual disciplines, clean eating, or whatever you want to be in priority in your life. But you also need to not just let ‘things happen’ to you or not stop them when they do happen, as letting clients take over your attention during family time, or binge watching TV every night because well that has become the norm. Clear intentions need to be stated and those will become your priorities.

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PURPOSE
The difference between intention and purpose is the difference between being honest and loyal to yourself about your priorities in life and making sure your day to day activities practically serve said priorities. Let me explain. With your intentions you have defined what you want to dedicate your attention to and with purpose you make sure what you do and the way you plan you life is in line with those priorities. For example if I want to be intentional about spending quality and fully present time with my kids – which is my intention – I need to save a big chunk of my day where I don’t have work scheduled, to be free to cherish and grow my relationship with them. Another one would be if my intention is for my work to be more enjoyable and freeing, I need to be selective with the projects I do choose, or with how much of me I give away to my clients. Everything I do needs to have purpose in light of my intentions. Otherwise my intentions are compromised and I feel like I’m cheating myself, and yes at times that I am wasting my life away – on sleep deprived days especially.

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FOCUS
Living intentionally and purposely does take energy, strategy and simply put, work. That’s where the focus comes in. If I am to carve that time in my day away from work and my to do list for my kids but I am on my phone the whole time, I am not focused on them and this special time loses purpose and I leave the door opened for disappointment and guilt. It is basically wasted time. To be focused means to be aware, to be present, to be fully living whether with your personal priorities or your business ones. It needs to be all or nothing in a way. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am quite good at multitasking – almost too good. As a mom business owner it can be a great asset, but it truly robs you of your focus if you abuse it. I have caught myself multiple times at lunch time eating standing up at the kitchen island, working on my computer while feeding my baby and ‘talking’ to my three years old, all at once. Let me tell you, it’s a terrible thing. It creates such a stressful, overstimulating, unproductive atmosphere. Multitasking should be our last resort weapon instead of our default daily routine.

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I am so far from mastering all of these above but I am on the path of recovery. I am praying and aiming for a less chaotic and stressful life and choosing to do more things that have value and purpose instead of just accepting the lie that ‘that’s the way it is’ and I can’t do anything about it. The best way I have found to not compromise my priorities is to be intentional about them, to be strategic and purposeful with my daily schedule and to stay focused on each moment I am in – and prayer, lots of prayers.

REVERIE MINGLES: HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO NOT COMPROMISE YOUR PRIORITIES, PERSONALLY AND IN BUSINESS?

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SHOP LAUNCH, GIVEAWAY AND SURPRISES

Published on November 3rd, 2015 // CULTIVATE CREATIVITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP PERSONAL BRANDING

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Well, it’s here my friends. The opening of the Reverie Lane Designs shop is one day away and I am beyond excited. I am excited for this new branch of my business expressing yet another side of its personality. I am excited to show you the beautiful collection we have designed with the ladies. And finally most of all I am excited to get to create and deliver products I have designed right into your hands.

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What would a party be without some confetti, presents and some surprising elements? Exactly, not a real party worthy of that name. That is why I am having a giveaway on Instagram starting tomorrow at 9AM EST. It will be open until Friday (from Nov. 4th to Nov. 6th). You will get a chance to win one product of your choice from the ‘Ellepreneur’ collection and an extra custom little something. I feel quite sneaky right now but trust me it is all more fun this way.

The shop will become live at midnight and all I can say is keep your eyes peeled for a little surprise then…okay, I am out of here and back to finishing everything up before I reveal too much.

Make sure you do follow me on Instagram or signup to my email list so that you don’t miss out on any announcement from now up until midnight {WINK}.

I do hope you love the products from the collection and have some fun with the launch party.

REVERIE MINGLES: WHICH ONE OF THE PRODUCTS FROM THE COLLECTION ARE YOU THE MOST EXCITED ABOUT?

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Reverie Lane Designs Shop – Grand Opening November 4th 2015!

Published on October 27th, 2015 // ENTREPRENEURSHIP PERSONAL BRANDING

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2015 has without a doubt been the year of first, and of dreams coming true for me and Reverie Lane Designs. Back in January I put my big girl business pants on (said goodbye to my paternity ones) and went down the list of things I wanted to do with my brand and business this year. From the new website and blog to the new branding services, it’s been quite the productive year I must say. There was one last thing left on the list, which brings me to the matter of this article. Why not end the best year yet for my business with a bang? Exactly, why not?! Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen the Reverie Lane Designs shop is launching on November 4th, 2015!!!{CONFETTI}.

Blood (well sort of), sweat and tears (definitely) have been shed but the shop is about to be open and running and I couldn’t be more happy and prouder. Please, pretty please my friends, do not put a lid on your dreams and tuck that jar in a box up in the attic of life. Your dreams and ambitions are worth all the effort the entrepreneurial journey requires.

shop-fb-coverThe Reverie Lane Designs shop will be collection based, meaning every collection released will either have limited inventory or a limited period of availability and share a specific theme all across the products. I believe rareness creates value and importance. We all have heard about certain gems being rare therefore valuable, and that’s true and that’s part of the concept but I also think getting to have something that only a select number of people can buy, makes it precious and more cherished in the end.

This year has also been the year of new connections and collaborations which inspired my first collection: ELLEPRENEUR. I have connected with so many women in business this year and couldn’t have done half of my accomplishments without them. That is why I wanted to honor women who run their own businesses with this first collection. I had many inspiring ladies who kindly offered to be a part of this project but I could only pick four of them.

These ladies are incredible and have created beautiful successful businesses in their own industries. I designed one item with each one of them in correlation to their business and their brand. Enough about me…

+ The first lady, who by the way made it all happen, is the oh so very mesmerizing Heather Crabtree. Heather is the perfect example of someone who has mastered the balance between knowing your stuff to the T and being generous enough to share it with others. She is the leader of the Savvy Business Owner Facebook group which has over 5000 members. She also is a successful business strategist for creative entrepreneurs and helps create and grow businesses with smarts and heart – I love her tagline. With Heather we created a bold and stylish notebook that is feminine and trendy and represents her new branding.

+ Julia Warren runs a non profit organization called Celebrate! RVA dedicated to celebrate birthdays of underprivileged children. Julia’s passion for her organization and the children impressed me right away and I knew I wanted her to be one of my special ladies for this project. We chose to design a set of colorful and fun birthday cards. I also decided to give back 10% of the profit from the cards sales to Celebrate! RVA.

+ Tessie Cervantez is the sweetest person and a very talented photographer. Her style is romantic and soft and caught my eye when I first saw it. The product we designed together perfectly reflects her passion and style. We went with a set of the prettiest wrapping paper as she likes to cater to and pamper her clients.

+ Sally Mercedes truly has magical words. Her aesthetic is so fun, bright and positive. From the beginning of our collaboration we talked about energy and encouragement and lifting others up. Together we designed a set of three notecards meant to put a smile on your face and get you motivated to shine your light.

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I have so many bouncing ideas in my head for future collections and what I want the Reverie Lane Designs Shop to become, but for now I cannot wait to show you these products from this first collection and see you use them and enjoy them.

Of course with every new birth, there should be a party, and whoever says party says goodies, so keep your eyes peeled for surprises and a fun launch. I sure hope you are as excited as I am.

REVERIE MINGLES: I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE PAPER PRODUCTS.

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BRAND REVEAL: LOUIS XV – CLASSIC GOLD vs TRENDY GOLD

Published on October 20th, 2015 // BRAND REVEAL BRANDING BASICS DESIGN PROCESS MOODBOARD STYLE GUIDE

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It has been two weeks since I have posted my last article, I must admit I have missed you. Things have been quite busy around here. At one point I had seven projects going on all at once, not counting my soon to open online shop projects. Phew…but things are calming down a bit now, before picking up again for the launch. All that to say, I’m glad to be back on here and writing again.

As you have certainly noticed, I ended up not posting about the challenge on the 9th. I didn’t get much feedback and since I was extremely busy I had to make the sad choice to cancel it and restart at an ulterior time, when I have more time to spread the word and get more people engaged. It’s not a complete miss, just a ‘let’s do it better later’ scenario.

Today, I wanted to share with you one of the brands I worked on when I was gone. This project was so smooth and happened very naturally – maybe because the main inspiration is a French king. This brand is about following in the footsteps of King Louis XV and his love for stingray leather jewelry. Patrick and I connected from the very start of the consultation on the vision for his brand. We agreed on a rococo inspired aesthetic marked by the abundance of gold and also wanted to specifically honor the king with a signature like type for the name.

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PHOTO SOURCES FROM LEFT TO RIGHT (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7).

It is one thing to honor and hint to a time period but still be current and relevant to the modern world. To achieve that I decided to design the ‘XV’ to be strong and bold and clean instead of using a font, to balance that ink pen style type used for ‘LOUIS’. The combination brings out the impression of an established high end designer brand, which we can find in the classic and timeless logos of Hermès, Louis Vuitton or even Bvlgari. The deep blues – which are also a reference to the deep ocean – and the gold, together contribute to create that bold masculinity and luxurious marriage that characterize the stingray jewelry.

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It was so refreshing to design this baroque brand and research a little the narrative that comes with that eccentric style and time period. I love that it has a French inspiration of course and I am very excited to see the jewelry collections to come by Louis XV.

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REVERIE MINGLES: – a tip instead of a question – IF YOU LOVE GOLD BUT HESITATE TO USE IT BECAUSE IT’S SO TRENDY RIGHT NOW, THIS IS A GOOD WAY TO MAKE IT CLASSIC AND NOT TRENDY.

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LEADING CLIENTS VS PLEASING CLIENTS – BRANDING STRATEGY

Published on October 6th, 2015 // BRANDING BASICS ENTREPRENEURSHIP PERSONAL BRANDING

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It is common when it comes to our businesses to lean towards pleasing people, the people who could potentially buy our product or our service. You certainly have heard – even from me – to find your ideal client, track it like a prey, discover what they like, where they are, how they spend, inspire them, flatter them, etc. In other words, watch them like an hawk and offer them exactly what they want when they want it. What it means, is that you then make all your branding and marketing decisions focused on pleasing and attracting your ideal client.

What if I told you there was a sweet spot in branding where the roles are reversed? A place where YOU tell your audience what they should want and what they should need. You define what they want and when they want it. It’s about finding that fine line between you making choices around your ideal client’s taste and habits, and you suggesting and prompting decisions and new habits.

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How do you manage to do that and still make sure you don’t lose your audience or fail to captivate it? The strategy would absolutely have to be customized to each business, and it would depend on your product/service and on your audience as well. However, there are a few general guidelines to keep in mind and to help you no matter what it is you are selling or who you are selling to.

First of all, you need to know your industry and your audience extremely well before trying this strategy. Indeed, to bring them to make decisions and create new habits, you need to know them as they are now. The change you suggest shouldn’t be anything out of character, rather something that evokes the concept of risk and of adventure, or of growth and betterment. You want to lead them to consider going for passion over logic. Think of it as the red pill over the blue pill kind of decision for branding. The goal would be to create a new habit for them. Imagine that! Creating a new habit for a whole group of people around your brand. That would be positioning your brand as a trend setter and an innovator.

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It is a risky strategy without a doubt, but as any taken risk it is extremely rewarding. It gives you a chance to be a leading brand in your industry. It also opens the door to adding on to who your ideal client is and expanding your audience, or tribe as we often hear. It is undeniably a great way to exponentially grow your business.

This branding strategy could be done as you first enter the market, introducing your brand as the new different kid on the block. Or it could be done as a rebranding strategy, presenting yourself in a new and improved light, differentiating your brand from the rest of the pack based on experience.

As a conclusion, I would say standing out can be risky but positioning your brand as an innovator in your industry will allow your business to have more room to stretch out its creative legs without worrying about pleasing people, it provides more freedom and gives you the opportunity to grow your sales by expanding your audience.

REVERIE MINGLES: HAVE YOU BEEN FEELING LIMITED AND STUCK IN A CLIENT PLEASING PATTERN WITH YOUR BRAND?

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CATERING TO YOUR HEART – THE PURSUIT OF JOY

Published on September 29th, 2015 // INTENTIONAL LIVING JOY LIFE MOTIVATIONAL

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Today, I am not talking about branding or business. Today, I am sharing about something personal. The state of our hearts and the pursuit of joy. To be a good business owner, spouse, parent, or anything really, you need to be a good YOU. At the end of the day, clients are gone, social media followers are gone, competition is gone, and you are left with yourself and your heart. It is our own responsibility to cater to the state of our heart.

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It feels like it’s been a hard week already, although it’s only Tuesday. It might be because last week never truly ended for me, and seemed to have merged into this one. Or, it might be because my heart is struggling and everything feels hard right now. Reverie Lane Designs is more successful and busier than ever before, my kids have been sick and/or teething, I threw a birthday party for my son on Sunday, but mostly what’s making me struggle is that I felt hurt and rebuked on a personal aspect of life by people around me. Separately, I can deal with each one of these things, but put together I felt defeated and allowed the offense to make a big bruise on my heart and threaten my joy.

Now, I am the mellow artist type, and wild joyful expressions don’t happen naturally for me anyways. Because of that I have almost come to convince myself that not everybody should be joyful all the time – ugly excuses, right? This year, in my personal relationship with God, I have been brought to realize and acknowledge that joy is a command, it is not an option. It is so necessary to fully and intentionally live your life, to pursue joy, and I know I need to accept that truth. Even if you are not a believer, cultivating a joyful heart should be a priority of yours. I am all about living intentionally, as you may be starting to understand, and pursuing joy is one of the best ways to do so, I believe.

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I love this John Piper quote and it couldn’t illustrate my point any better:

“The pursuit of joy in God is not optional. It is not an “extra” that a person might grow into after he comes to faith. It is not simply a way to “enhance” your walk with the Lord. Until your heart has hit upon this pursuit, your “faith” cannot please God. It is not saving faith. Saving faith is the confidence that if you sell all you have and forsake all sinful pleasures, the hidden treasure of holy joy will satisfy your deepest desires. Saving faith is the heartfelt conviction not only that Christ is reliable, but also that He is desirable. It is the confidence that He will come through with His promises and that what He promises is more to be desired than all the world.”
– John Piper, Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist

Pursuing joy is absolutely a challenge at times for me. Oddly enough I find comfort in being melancholic sometimes, as it doesn’t build expectations that can then bring disappointments. I also allow myself to ‘care too much’ about others’ opinions. In light of that reality, I choose to believe that Christ is my joy and that He will come through for me. I choose to make joy a priority instead of an option.

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My friend, keep pursuing joy. Don’t give up on the idea of joy for you. Cater to the state of your heart, pursue joy! Even, or should I say especially, if like me you are the ‘lock me in the attic with paint supply and I’ll be fine’ artist type.

REVERIE MINGLES: WHAT PRACTICAL WAYS DO YOU HAVE TO CATER TO YOUR HEART? HOW DO YOU PURSUE JOY WHEN YOU FEEL SADDENED?

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A STORY BEHIND THE BEAUTY – FALL CHALLENGE

Published on September 25th, 2015 // CHALLENGE CULTIVATE CREATIVITY LIFE MOTIVATIONAL

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It is officially the fall, and we can now go wild and free with decorating – although many places seemed to have jumped over the fall season, and have already landed themselves on the christmas wagon.

I often lament over the fact that I get excited for each season and the beauty that comes with them, but never take the time to do something creative about it. In the spirit of living intentionally and cultivating creativity, I decided to create a centerpiece challenge for myself and invite others to join in. That’s you!

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The idea is to put together a centerpiece that serves a double purpose in the most creative way: creativity + intentionality. The centerpiece needs to be beautiful and appealing to the eye but also have a meaning for the heart. A story behind the beauty is always what I aim for, from my clients branding projects to decorating my home.

The rules of the challenge are simple:

1- Create a beautiful Centerpiece inspired by the fall, which tells a story that is special to you or that inspires you.
2- Post it on IG with the hashtag #rldchallengefall and add a caption that explains the concept behind your centerpiece.
3- Follow me and Tag me @reverielanedesigns to make sure I see your entry and that you don’t miss the winner announcement.
4- Tell your friends about it (optional) because sharing is caring and the more the merrier.

Pretty simple, isn’t it?!

Well, you have two weeks my friends to get insanely creative and come up with something special for your own home or to give away and bless another home. I will be posting my centerpiece at the end of the challenge, when I announce the winner on October 9th, 2015. The most creative centerpiece creator will win their item of choice from my opening soon online shop. a-story-behind-the-beauty-fall-challenge

I am so very out of my mind excited about this and cannot wait all the creativity dust fly up. I also am excited to show you what i come up with.

REVERIE MINGLES: TO HELP YOU OUT BRAINSTORM A LITTLE, LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT THE FALL.

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BRANDING WITH BUDGET RESTRAINTS

Published on September 22nd, 2015 // BRANDING BASICS ENTREPRENEURSHIP PERSONAL BRANDING

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I believe in pricing being closely connected to value and in the importance of investing in yourself and your business. However, I have been getting a lot of questions about low or no budgets options and wanted to address it today.

Let’s say you understand and agree with the importance of good branding and the process to achieve it, which is more than half of the battle, yet you just don’t have the right budget to hire a brand stylist. You still want to correctly present your business and have your voice be heard. I completely feel you and understand that it is an unpleasant pickle to be in. This is why I am writing this post, in hope to give you some clue on what to do if you are presently in said situation.

First of all, let me point something out and get it out of the way. As much as we all love a good homemade/DIY project, it just does not work for branding. Even if you are a designer, we all have different specialties and not all graphic designers are brand stylists.

diy-does-not-work-for-branding

The biggest issue I have with using DIY branding ‘to start out’ – apart from the fact that it is most likely not representing your business correctly – is that you get stuck with it. Rebranding is so much harder for an established business, than branding well from the beginning. There then fear of losing your current clientele, you have invested in packaging, in stationery, etc. Also it takes just so much courage and energy to make the switch sometimes.

But no need to twist and turn in bed at night, there is hope. You have a few options available and I am here to tell you all about it.

C O L L A B O R A T E  A N D  T R A D E  S E R V I C E S

Find a brand stylist and offer to collaborate by trading services. Propose a deal where you do something benefiting their business in exchange for them to create a logo for yours. Pretty please, don’t simply offer to send them a bag of candy or a pretty card you found at Target – nothing against cards from Target of course, or candy for that matter. Respect their work and time and present a balanced and fair deal. Also keep in mind that they probably wouldn’t go for a full branding but rather just a logo design and offer that right away. They might even simply be willing to offer a discount, but it is still worth it as you will have a good base to build upon.

P R E – M A D E  L O G O S

This is probably the only time you would see me lead you towards a pre-made logo. Yes, I believe with all my heart that branding must be custom made and personal. In this case though – budget restraints – going the pre-made logo route could be your best solution.
If you do choose this route, please still follow the basics of branding I previously shared with you and pick a logo with your ideal client in mind. Don’t just pick a “pretty one” or one that looks very closely to your main competitors’. Think it through and make an educated decision. It will serve your business better and will smooth out the rebranding process later on if you wish to do that.

W R I T E  O U T  Y O U R  B U S I N E S S  N A M E

This is a last resort solution in the scenario where you truly have no room at all in your budget for a pre-made logo or haven’t been able to find a collaborator.
Find a font or two, still keeping your ideal client in mind, and ideally using a typography guide (you can find them all over Pinterest) and simply write out your business name. Once again don’t play designer. Stay simple, clean, and obvious. As soon as you can, try out one of the other solutions stated above or get yourself a designer and get some proper branding.

The last thing I would like to add is that it is better to wait and save until you have the budget to hire a brand stylist instead of paying for cheap and not so good branding. Once again, in the end it will be more beneficial.

better-wait-and-save-to-hire

REVERIE MINGLES: WHAT CREATIVE WAYS HAVE YOU FOUND TO DEVELOP YOUR BRAND ON A BUDGET? HAVE YOU TRIED ANY OF THESE?

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AUTUMN 2015 – COLOR INSPIRATION

Published on September 18th, 2015 // BLOGGING CULTIVATE CREATIVITY LIFE MOODBOARD

autumn-2015

I didn’t get a chance to post yesterday and I am kind of glad to do it today instead, since it is the first month-versary of the blog – I’m sentimental that way! Anyways, let’s get to the matter of the day, my color inspiration for the fall.

The first day of Autumn is next Wednesday, it’s time to face the fact that tropical fun is officially over for this year, and it’s time to go from the beach shack to the lake cabin. I wanted to share with you the color palette that is catching my eye for this new season and encouraging me to embrace the inevitable cooler temperatures coming ahead.

AUTUMN-2015-MOOD-BOARD

PHOTO SOURCES FROM LEFT TO RIGHT (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6).

The fall is the time to still enjoy some blooms and outdoor activities while get into the homey/cabin mode. It’s also an appetizing time of the year with so many drinks and dessert possibilities. All that in mind I created a palette that would scream stylish and be somewhat colorful, warm and ‘yummy’

I wanted to draw away from the obvious browns and burnt oranges, which are the usual suspects when it comes to the autumn and the harvest season. I decided to make this richly delicious bordeaux the star of my palette and add some blues to compliment it, and finally throw in a hint of brown and light grey. It goes well with the whole Marsala trend from Pantone we have been seeing all over this year. The blue from the gingham pattern nicely takes us from all the coastal hues we have been enjoying through the summertime, to cottage vibe and the throws and blankets and fireplace cuddles. The orange-y brown or rich tan is a little wink to all the fall things we so love: leaves turning, pumpkin lattes, carrot cakes, only to name a few.
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All this red made me think of wine of course – being the season of ‘vendanges’ in France – and brings me back to a fun way we drink wine as the weather gets colder. It’s called Vin Chaud (hot wine) and we usually have it with hot chestnuts. Here you can find a recipe to try out yourself. I am planning on making some this season and will post the full recipe and directions when I do.

I truly love this color combination and wish I could have a wardrobe overhaul with this palette in mind and/or redecorate my house completely. Does anybody need a brand design inspired by the colors of autumn? Anyone?! I sure hope you enjoy it as much as I do and use it for inspiration this season.

REVERIE MINGLES: WHAT IS YOUR GO TO COLOR FOR THE AUTUMN?

PS: For the wine lovers, you can thank me later when you’re tipsy laughters cause you to spill your drink on your bordeaux outfit and you can’t even see the stain.

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HOW TO TAME YOUR TO DO LIST

Published on September 15th, 2015 // ENTREPRENEURSHIP LIFE MANAGEMENT

HOW-TO-TAME-YOUR-TO-DO-LIST

If you are trying to accomplish anything in this life, or nothing else but eating for that matter, you have at least one to-do list: your grocery list. You probably have that one either jotted down on a ripped piece of paper, a fancy notepad or your ‘reminder’ phone app.

I love lists! I need list. Or so I have convinced myself. I have multiple lists. Overlapping lists, complimentory lists, business lists, personal lists, lists shared with my husband, secret lists with gifts options, etc… You get the idea. Take it from an experienced multitasking addict/to-do list lover, you only need to know three things about making lists and have them actually serve you instead of overwhelm you.

1- M A K E  Y O U R  L I S T  B E F O R E  B E D

Trying to wait and make my to do list in the morning for each day just doesn’t work for me, for a few reasons. I am a worryer. From the moment my head hits the pillow to the one I end up falling asleep, I build up and take down entire empires. I tend to have a busy mind and when everything finally quiets down I start thinking about all that is left to be done. I have found that if I make a to-do list before I go to bed, I don’t feel the urge to think about it all as much. Another reason why this works for me is time management. I am usually woken up by my kids, and the craziness starts right when I open my eyes. I don’t always have the luxury to sit down and figure out what the day holds in the morning. I need to know and attack it all right away. The last reason is assurance to not forget anything. If you’re like me, you often find yourself at the end of the day saying “oh no, I forgot…”, “ah, I’ll do it tomorrow!” Well I usually forget tomorrow – again. Writing it all down before bed, helps not continually putting off important but easy to forget tasks.

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2- W R I T E  D O W N  Y O U R  O W N  T A S K S  F I R S T

This is particularly aimed at my business people, client work gets done. If you happen to forget, don’t worry they’ll remind you. Ordering more packaging, updating your business systems, calling the pediatrician, tasks like those are necessary for your own brand and your personal life to function properly, but will be neglected if put at the bottom of the list. I am not telling you to not prioritize your clients’ projects, think of it as eating your veggies first and then that juicy medium rear steak. Having your ‘house in order’ will also ultimately help with your client projects.

3- B R E A K  T H I N G S  D O W N  T O  S I N G U L A R  T A S K S

I think part of the reason why I love making lists is so that I can check items off. The more you check off the more accomplished you feel. I am here to validate that feeling, my friends.

In all seriousness making general chunky and non specific entries is issueless. For example writing “clean the kitchen” means nothing. Break it down to empty the dishwasher, fill up the dishwasher, clean counters, sweep floors and so on. Another example would be “work on blog”. Instead, write enter new ideas (to the idea list, haha), plan out posts calendar for the coming month, make graphics and resources for the next ten posts, etc… That system allows you to see progress and check off one item at a time. You feel more productive and your day consequently feels more sucessful.

the-more-you-chek-off-the-more-accomplished-you-feel

I know we all have fancy phones with cool apps, but if like me you still like to use a pen and paper sometimes, I created this pretty to-do list sheet that I love to use. You can download it here. It truly helps to see it on the table or on the fridge, as I walk by throughout the day. It motivates me to look at my list with a good mood and a conquering attitude.

TO-DO-LIST-RECAP

REVERIE MINGLES: TELL ME ABOUT YOUR LISTS, HOW DO YOU MANAGE AND CONQUER THEM AND WHAT KINDS DO YOU HAVE?

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Newbie Liebster Award

Published on September 10th, 2015 // BLOGGING ENTREPRENEURSHIP LIFE PERSONAL BRANDING

LIEBSTER-AWARD

Well, I guess I got nominated for the Newbie Liebster Award – by Samantha from Grace, Love & Coffee – as a welcome to the world wide blogosphere community. I feel quite honored and the least I can do is to accept it and nominate other well deserving new bloggers.

The rules are extremely simple and there are only 5 of them, so don’t get scared if you are nominated:

– Nicely thank the blogger who nominated you.
– Proudly display the award badge somewhere on your blog.
– Answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
– Create your own list of 11 questions.
– Nominate at least 5 new bloggers to receive the award.

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Simple, right? Here I go answering Samantha’s questions.

1. WHAT FUELED YOUR DESIRE FOR A BLOG?
I love connecting with other creatives, women and just passionate people in general. Starting a blog seemed to be the best way to do that and also the logical next step for my business, as it allows me to answer direct questions and talk about specific subjects I wouldn’t be able to develop in a social media thread.

2. WHAT KIND OF NICHE DO YOU HAVE & WHY?
My blog is directed to anybody who desires to cultivate creativity, either in their personal life or their entrepreneurial journey. I would love to be able to inspire people to seek creativity in everything they do and live life intentionally.

3. LEAST FAVORITE HOUSEHOLD CHORE?
It would have to be folding my mountain of laundry or scrubbing the tub.

4. COFFEE OR TEA?
I am a tea girl! I love all sorts. I love the aroma of coffee and would drink it if I had the taste for it.

5. WHEN DO YOU WORK BEST?
Nap time! haha

6. FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR?
I love the Spring and all the promises it carries. Warmer days, fresh blooms, new beginnings, and maybe also because my birthday is in April.

7. WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION?
I think inspiration is everywhere if you look with the eyes of the seeker. As far as inspiration i n live, I think it needs to come from the inside out – God is the heart of all my inspirations in that sense. You can’t admire the creation without praising the creator.

8. MARRIED, DATING, OR SINGLE?
Married and smitten!

9. FAVORITE TV SHOW RIGHT NOW?
Wrong time of the year to pick a favorite show with the summer break but I am looking forward to The Walking Dead to resume.

10. IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING IN THE WORLD, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
More joy, more creativity and more intentionality. oh, one thing? hmm…more unconditional love because that would bring out all of the things I mentioned before.

Enough about me. It wasn’t easy to decide as I want to tell you about so many amazing people but here are my nominees and the questions I have for them. I hope you take the time to visit their pages.

– Amy Howards from Amy Howard Social is your colorful, bubbly girl.
– Victoria Deardorff from Burgh Brides class impersonated – and we both have a thing for black and white.
– Katrina Crouch from Blushed I love the name of her blog, her colors and her sweet writing.
– Ginny Krauss from The Wedding Concierge No need to be in wedding planning mode to be inspired, everything on her blog is beautiful!
– Faythe Hall from Beauty & Lifestyle Mommy She speaks to the mommy that I am and the blog colors make me want to be in Florida or anywhere sunny and sandy.

My questions:

– What is the best advice you have received before starting your blog?
– What is your number one pet peeve?
– What’s one skill you’d love to acquire?
– What is your favorite thing about yourself?
– If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
– Ocean or lake?
– Who had the biggest influence on you?
– What never fails to make you laugh?
– Where do you call home?
– Who is your dream dinner host?
– How do you relax?

You’re up ladies! Have fun.

REVERIE MINGLES: ANSWER ONE OF MY QUESTIONS ABOVE, I’D LOVE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT YOU.

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ACCEPT + RESPECT YOUR PROCESS – FIGHTING THE COMPARISON WHIRLWIND  

Published on September 8th, 2015 // ENTREPRENEURSHIP LIFE MOTIVATIONAL

ACCEPT-AND-RESPECT-YOUR-PROCESS

“Maybe by myself I’m ok, but against competition I have no chance.” I absolutely and sincerely just texted those words last week as I watched a branding lead go to another designer. This is the kind of terrible thoughts we get when we lack confidence and start comparing ourselves to others. This post is simply a little encouragement note I wanted to send to you all – and myself – on the constant struggle of comparing ourselves to the person next door who SEEMS to be more successful, more talented and happier.

I often see those articles about not comparing yourself to others and not worrying about pleasing everyone and so on. They are nice to read on the moment. However, sometimes one can’t help it but compare themselves to others, because the reality of others’ successes is directly connected to their failures. It happens more often than desired in business to be discouraged and get hit right where it hurts. Salt in the wound kind of pain, which is simply too hard to ignore. Our responsibility is the way we deal with such reality.

Our-responsibility-is-the-way-we-deal-with-such-reality

Yes, some people are farther than you on this entrepreneurial road but it definitely shouldn’t and doesn’t mean you have to give up or bring yourself down. You have a voice and a place on the market, there isn’t a limited amount available of success, talent, anointing, or whatever it is that you are pursuing. Remember the ones you are staring at, also have been at the starting line and had others running ahead of them. Cry it out if needed, brush it off and get back on the race. If anything use your competition as pacemakers. As that little dot in the horizon you are running towards.

Easier said than done for sure, I know how it feels my sweet friends. I have been dealing with this crazy whirlwind of comparison more than ever since I have transitioned from being a freelancer working for others to focusing on building my own brand. I don’t claim to have it all sorted out – trust me – but I am finding that focusing on what I do best, and on making a creative and personal connection with my clients is key. I would add that surrounding yourself with other business owners who can relate to your struggle is truly helpful. We all need a piggy back ride once in a while, don’t we?

I have learned so much about confidence the past three months. Not the kind of confidence that comes from others praising you, but the kind that is born from within, the kind that comes from knowing who you are and what you have to offer, and fully embracing that. I will keep pressing on and running the race, I hope you do too. Also, not everything you see displayed online is the accurate reflection of reality. It comes down to the fact that you have to accept and respect your own process. Don’t fight the current of your process, which will only drag you down, fight the comparison whirlwind. Chin up, there are beautiful things in your future.

find-the-confidence-from-within

REVERIE MINGLES: WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR CONFIDENCE? WHAT HAS WORKED FOR YOU WHEN IT COMES TO COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS?

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ON THE REVERIE LANE – CURRENT PROJECTS MOOD BOARDS

Published on September 3rd, 2015 // CULTIVATE CREATIVITY DESIGN PROCESS MOODBOARD

current-projects-mood-boards-september-2015

Today’s post is purely a visual banquet of gourmet mood boards – I may or may not be slightly hungry as I write this. Things are quite busy and oh so exciting in the office right now. I have some incredible clients and projects I am working on. I am getting too impatient and I wanted to share with you the mood boards I have put together for those projects – without revealing too much of course, teehee!

If you have made the brave yet wise choice to join my mailing list, you probably know about the special announcement I made in September’s Gazette Issue. If not, there’s always time to join. Some of these mood boards are part of that special project, the other ones are for my sweet clients’ brands.

For each one of these mood boards and projects I have added a phrase that has inspired and to create them, either from the client’s brief or from the emotional connection I wanted the target to feel.

1. Bold and colorful invitation to cultivate creativity.

MOOD-BOARD

PHOTO SOURCES FROM LEFT TO RIGHT (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6).

2. Say ‘ Happy Birthday’ with the heart.

MOOD-BOARD-FOLDED-CARD-RVA

PHOTO SOURCES FROM LEFT TO RIGHT (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7).

3. Preserving memories beautifully.

MOOD-BOARD2

PHOTO SOURCES FROM LEFT TO RIGHT (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6).

4. A crisp and fresh way to keep your home clean and safe for your little ones.

MOOD-BOARD-Nest-Friendly

PHOTO SOURCES FROM LEFT TO RIGHT (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10).

5. Give twice to receive once – Community over competition.

MOOD-BOARD-Heather-Crabtree1

PHOTO SOURCES FROM LEFT TO RIGHT (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9).

6. The modern southern belle aesthetics.

MOOD-BOARD-Lilies-and-Lemons-Boutique

PHOTO SOURCES FROM LEFT TO RIGHT (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9).

I am in love with these projects and can’t wait to finalize them and show you all the end product. Can I just say again how much I love what I do? Creating and looking at pretty things all day.

REVERIE MINGLES: WHAT ARE YOU ALL WORKING ON THESE DAYS? WHAT’S INSPIRING YOU IN THIS SEASON?

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VISUAL CONSISTENCY – MY INTERVIEW AS SEPTEMBER’S ‘SHINE EXPERT’ FOR GEMNATION

Published on September 1st, 2015 // BRANDING BASICS CULTIVATE CREATIVITY DESIGN PROCESS

VISUAL-CONSISTENCY-SHINE-EXPERT

I have been given the honor by the equally beautiful and inspiring Allyn Lewis to be September’s ‘Shine Expert’ for her Gem Nation program. Allyn does such an exceptional job collecting and distributing resources to her Gem Nation members, allowing entrepreneurs to develop their brands and businesses. Check out her website to find out more and potentially become a VIP.

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Every month, Allyn selects an expert in a specific industry to offer resources to her members to grow their business, and this month yours truly is the ‘Shine Expert’. We will be offering one-on-one branding consultations and a ‘Guide to Shine: Branding Edition’ workbook on brand cohesiveness. We will also be holding a “Clean Up Your Brand” challenge throughout the last week of September. Yes I know those are exciting, so do join in!

To start out this adventure together, we did a Bizpiration Interview, which can be found here. I wanted to share some of the answers that are specific to branding with you today.

WHY IS VISUAL CONSISTENCY SO IMPORTANT FOR A BRAND?

We all crave stability and consistency naturally. In some form, we all need the bedtime routine, the three meals a day, the holiday seasons, set standards and bondaries in relationships, etc. Well, brand consistency is in a way the same thing. For people to invite you in their lives they want you to be a sure thing. They want to always be able to recognize you, they want to know what your standards are as a brand; they want to be able to find you when they need you. Consistency for a brand shows intentionality and confidence which will resonate emotionally with your ideal audience as you target them. Brand consistency creates loyal customers that eventually ‘sell’ for you through your branding.
consistency-for-a-brand-shows-intentionality-and-confidence

WHAT ELEMENTS MAKE UP A GREAT BRAND VISUALLY?

A good brand is simple visually but complex and intricate conceptually. It should leave your audience stunned and wanting more without confusing them. Type and colors are key elements in a great visual brand, since so much can be conveyed through those two elements. You want people to know who you are and what you are selling (product or idea) and feel emotionally connected to it. If your brand can easily, visually achieve that, you’ve got a keeper! It’s more than having a pretty font or perfectly paired color combination, it’s about capturing the essence and personality of your business. Think of good branding as a visual hook, elements that put together reel in your ideal client right where you prepared your best copy, catching marketing strategy, and unique products.

WHAT ARE A FEW WELL-KNOWN BRANDS THAT YOU THINK HAVE STRONG BRANDING AND BEAUTIFUL GRAPHICS?

There are so many who do it so well, it’s hard to single out anybody. Apple definitely would have to be mentioned. Their clean minimalist branding is extremely effective and has set such a standard of quality and innovation in all our minds If you have ever bought anything from the Apple store you probably have felt this way: “ I don’t know what is about to happen when I open this box but I know it’s going to be mind blowing and I am going to have a great experience no matter what.” A brand that makes you feel that way has good branding! As far as great graphics, here is a completely arbitrary and subjective list – some more well-known than others – Chipotle, Halo Top, Mast Brothers, Sugarfina, Moo, Woven Pear, to only name a few. And of course Reverie Lane Designs, not well-known but I’m working on that! haha

WHAT DO YOU WISH YOUR CLIENTS KNEW BEFORE STARTING A PROJECT?

I wish my clients knew who their ideal audience was before they came to me. It’s one thing to have a vision for your graphics, it is another to know what is going to speak to your ideal client. It’s so important to think this through.

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Well, I hope to see you on the GemNation and get to work with you on your brands. I am so very enthused by this project and getting to work with some bold entrepreneurs.

REVERIE MINGLES: WHAT DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH TO KEEP YOUR BRAND VISUALLY CONSISTENT?

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PRACTICAL WAYS TO DETERMINE YOUR BRAND’S AESTHETICS

Published on August 27th, 2015 // BRANDING BASICS CULTIVATE CREATIVITY DESIGN PROCESS

BRANDS-AESTHETICS

Some people are the ‘I always know what I like’ type and are confident in their preferences. If that’s you, you are ready to start, go ahead contact your brand stylist and get the designing going. Unfortunately some of us find it challenging to make decisions when it comes to our own businesses and our branding. Giving up and neglecting your branding should not be an option for anybody, that is the reason why I wanted to give you a few clues to begin the brainstorming process on your own before even contacting a brand stylist.

First and foremost determine who the ideal client is for your business. The person you want to always keep in the center of your target when making any decision concerning your brand. You might have heard that your brand doesn’t necessarily need to match your personal style or that you don’t even need to like it yourself. While I get the concept I don’t fully agree with it. I think you are part of your brand and your brand is a part of you, in that sense your personal aesthetics and taste should be somewhat connected to your brand aesthetics, just as much as your personal core values should inspire your brand’s values and mission. If you don’t like it, you certainly won’t believe in it.

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There are several practical simple elements you can use to figure out what you like and what you want for your brand without being an expert or before bringing it all to the expert to start the design work. It can help you determine a base for the aesthetics of your brand and facilitate the design decisions.

Y O U R  E Y E
As simple and obvious as this might sound, sometimes you have to use your eyes with purpose and be intentional about noticing the world around you. With your business and brand in mind or should I say your ideal client, go to a home decor store you like, look at magazines that inspire you, visit websites that you find appealing, and so on. Make a list of similarities you can gather between all of those sources. Those similarities will reveal key elements that speak to you positively and have an emotional appeal to you and could be used for your brand. You can use those key elements and adapt them to your ideal client’s taste then.

A  C O L O R  W H E E L
Picking a color palette is often the best starting point for designing your brand. Color carries such meaning and has so much impact on the viewer. Color wheels are beautiful tools and you can easily find them in various places. Of course Pantone® offers a fantastic option, but it can be a bit pricey if this isn’t a tool you would need past your branding project. You can also find some more affordable alternatives sold by paint stores as Sherwin Williams®. Having the colors right in your hands, physically moving things around, playing with combinations, looking at different shades, can be quite helpful and more satisfying for a non designer or even a designer. It’s the perfect way to come up with an idea of color combination but also to discover new marriages of colors or in the contrary move away from previous ideas you might have had.

Y O U R  C L O S E T
This one is a bit unconventional but searching your closet is another good and easy way to determine what you like to surround yourself with – textures, patterns, colors, even a specific styles (boho, casual, classic, etc…). It can be tricky to get anything from this exercise and end up being not much revealing at all as not everybody feels compelled to pay much attention to clothing style, but even then we all have our favorite pieces we like to go to. My closet for instance is mostly made of neutrals. I do have a few bold colors but I tend to be drawn to black and white, cream and beiges, soft blues and denim. I love natural fabrics and I like to either wear simple but unique items or highly stylish pieces (or used to before I had kids, ha!) You can see that aesthetic all over my brand Reverie Lane Designs. It’s simple with a unique style and it’s definitely black and white all over with a little touch of copper.

N A T U R E
I saved the best for last or at least my favorite source of inspiration. God has painted and sculpted such a diverse array of beauty and we only need to admire it all and let it consume us with inspiration. Whenever I have found myself stuck creatively, I could always find inspiration in nature and natural things in general.You can find the most organic and stunning color combinations in nature. There are obviously some beautiful manmade textures but undeniably nature offers so many unmatched options. Who hasn’t felt speechless staring at the beautiful oceanic horizon? A bouquet of fluffy petals or even a delicately put together veggie salad? I know I have and would encourage you let nature inspire you.

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All in all, it is about being intentional and willing to pay attention to what’s around us. We all have things we like and things that speak to us and connect with us emotionally and sometimes we overlook them because they’re too obvious or too unconventional. It is no different for your brand aesthetic. It doesn’t have to become this huge, complicated endeavor. Go through the exercises I mentioned above and bring your findings to your designer.

It's-about-being-intentional-and-will-to-pay-attention

REVERIE MINGLES: I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR HOW YOU CAME UP WITH THE AESTHETICS OF YOUR BRANDS. WHAT INSPIRED YOU?

 

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SIMPLE CREATIVE ANNIVERSARY IDEA – MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE –

Published on August 25th, 2015 // CULTIVATE CREATIVITY LIFE

Message-in-a-bottle

This past Saturday, we celebrated five years of marriage. Wedding days are, without stating the obvious, very special days. For us it had an extra dimension as it meant no more long distance loving. What a relief! Getting married after being in a long distance relationship for years is a bit of a gamble as you are hoping it wasn’t all a fluke but instead real love and true compatibility, no matter how strongly you’ve believed in it. Well friends, we made it to five years and we’re still so very much in love. We talked about it a lot on how to celebrate this milestone, going back and forth between various ideas like a big romantic dinner, a weekend away, a night in a fancy hotel, etc. We eventually realized we simply wanted a more intimate setup to connect with each other, to look back at those first five years of marriage and also look forward together at what we want the next five to be. It was perfect and memorable! I still wanted to do something special and sentimental during that one on one time that is how I came up with this ‘Message in a bottle’ idea.

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I designed and printed out a sheet with ‘GRATITUDES’ written on one side and ‘HOPES’ on the other and throughout the night we noted down all the things we were grateful for this past five years and also all the things we were hoping to accomplish or work on in the coming five years. We then rolled that piece of paper and put it inside the champagne bottle – we first had to empty it of course haha – and marked on it with five. That simple creative exercise brought us right back to our dating days and when we were unveiling our hearts to get to know each other. It reinforced my belief that often the simplest things injected with creativity are the best things. We plan on reading what we wrote in five years and continue the tradition.

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I would encourage you to do this with your significant other as it is such a nice eye opener and will allow you to kind of ‘check-in’ with each other and also with yourself. You don’t even need a big reason it could simply be a date idea. You can also use the sheet on your own and do some personal heart searching. Either way this is what you would need for this little creative exercise:

  • A bottle (champagne, wine, beer, other)
  • A marker (appropriate color for your bottle)
  • The ‘GRATITUDES/HOPES’ sheet (download here)
  • A pen
  • Rubber bands to keep the sheet rolled up
message-ina-bottle-combo

I tend to be sentimental and my husband is more the practical type so this idea had the perfect balance of what we both like and how we communicate.

REVERIE MINGLES: WHAT CREATIVE YET SIMPLE IDEAS HAVE YOU COME UP WITH TO STRENGTHEN THE RELATIONSHIPS IN YOUR LIFE?

{DOWNLOAD} GRATITUDES+HOPES SHEET

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THE CREATIVE PROCESS – PART 3: TAKING A BREAK

Published on August 21st, 2015 // BRANDING BASICS DESIGN PROCESS

THE-BREAK

We started this mini series with the mood board which can be seen as a creative ice breaker and a base tool for any visual project. Then we talked about (over) communicating and making sure there are no unspoken frustrations throughout the process that could abruptly end a project and/or a relationship with a client. Now let’s look at the concept of the break. This is the third and final element of the creative process I wanted to highlight this week. It is particularly key for multitaskers who tend to take too much on and do too much all at once – guilty here! Feeling burnt out will hinder your creativity and ultimately stop you from producing your best work.

feeling-burnt-out

Taking a break, whatever it is, is indeed invaluable in the creative process believe it or not. By experience I have found four different kinds of breaks, interruptions, changes, pauses or however you prefer to call them, that help me avoid burnouts and boost my creativity.

TAKING-A-BREAK-RECAP

CHANGE YOUR MEDIUM
It is unbelievable how we can get so stuck on one thing even when it’s just not working out – are you with me? Changing your medium of work from screen to paper for example, if you can that is, gives you room to think differently and opens the door to new and fresh ideas. Plus sometimes it’s simply easier to be creative and more ‘artsy’ with a paintbrush than a keyboard and mouse. If you are trying to write for example get on a tablet or on a phone or even the good ole notebook.

CHANGE YOUR WORKSPACE
Switching your workspace does wonders. Go to another room, go sit outside, get yourself in a more comfortable chair or couch, or even go to a coffee shop downtown. It almost makes you feel like you are working on a new project and it all becomes less exerting and strenuous. You could even take it farther. Let’s say you are trying to work on a coast inspired brand, pick yourself up and go to the beach if you can. Surrounding yourself with your inspiration will certainly facilitate your work and who doesn’t like the beach, right? This is just an example of course.

CHANGE PROJECT
Sometimes changing your medium and your workspace doesn’t do anything and you still feel stuck, and overwhelmed and just not inspired. You then need to switch the project you are working on altogether and come back to it at a later time. Creativity is a very fluid concept and it happens that the flow is sky high or on the contrary way low. No need to beat yourself up because that will only make you more frustrated and feel trapped in that specific project. Coming back with a fresh look later on is the best option for you and your project.

CHANGE ACTIVITY
Changing activity or simply put taking a break from work, in the common sense of the term, is the final option here if you feel stuck and burnt out in your creative process. The possibilities are endless for this one: lunch break, play break, take the time to watch something (yay Netflix), go for a walk, have a snack, call a friend, etc. In other words stop working, period! That could mean taking a couple of days off even to prevent a complete brain freeze and develop negative feelings towards what you do.

having-more-options

Being a mommy and having a one woman show kind of business with a home office quickly gets overwhelming and can lead to burnouts. I have to watch myself and truly be diligent about applying those break rules. I cannot afford losing my mind, I am my back up, the last line of defense in a way haha. If I feel like I have more options in my creative process, I feel more productive and more accomplished.

REVERIE MINGLES: WHAT TYPE OF BREAK HAVE YOU PERSONALLY FOUND EFFECTIVE IN YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?

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THE CREATIVE PROCESS – PART 2: (OVER) COMMUNICATE

Published on August 20th, 2015 // DESIGN PROCESS

OVER-COMMUNICATING

Once you have your creative direction defined with your mood board and everyone involved in the project agrees, the last thing you want is for either sides to lose sight of that direction. That can easily happen since we all have different taste, differing concepts of the same things, but most importantly we are all subject of changing our mind. For that reason I place (over) communication in the top three of key elements in the design process. The prefix ‘over’ usually carries a negative connotation. Any notion following it takes on a non desirable baggage. Not today! Today ‘over’ is good, ‘over’ is encouraged.

The issue isn’t with the possibility of differing opinions arising, it is with the lack of opinions expressed. What happens is that sometimes the client doesn’t dare question the designer creative choices or voice their opinion if they feel like the direction isn’t quite on track. Or on the other end, us designers sometimes don’t express it if we don’t fully grasp what the client is picturing and keep going with what we think they are expecting. That dynamic can quickly cause frustrations on both sides, that is why communication and even better over communication is invaluable.

the-issue-is-withthe-lack

Don’t get me wrong you can OVER communicate. For instance it gets a bit challenging when some clients seem to want to have a meeting just to agree that we all agree on our emailed agreements. A bit loopy, right?! And we do have said meeting and we do all agree, and they’re happy. In those cases yes it might seem useless but it reassures the client and puts them at peace.

Here are some tips I personally follow and have experienced being helpful with keeping that (over) communication flow going in any project:

over-communicating-tips

– HAVE FREQUENT CHECK-INS
After each steps of the process check-in and make sure everybody still has a clear vision of where you’re headed. This could vary with different clients. Some won’t need many check-ins while others will need the line of communication to be constantly open and will need more reassuring. Make sure they know they can always check-in with you as well.

– SET CLEAR PROCESSES AND TIMELINES
Having a clear process and set timelines is important for the designer for their sanity but also for their relationship and communication with their client. It allows the client to know when to speak up, to know what’s coming up and what’s the next step. That knowledge and clarity creates a favorable and comfortable environment for both to express their ideas and voice their remarks.

– MAKE THE CLIENT FEEL INCLUDED
I have found that if the client has been part of the creative process all along they won’t feel let down in the case of the result not matching exactly their expectations. They won’t feel ‘creatively betrayed’ in a way. Is it also our job as the designers to keep reeling them in and making sure they feel involved in the creative process.

In conclusion I have one master rule which I strive to follow, I never want any of my clients to walk away feeling as if I didn’t give it my all, even if we ended up not being a good match. Over communicating guarantees that the client feels that I care and am interested in their project all through the creative process. Not communicating enough is always – ALWAYS – detrimental to a creative project. Ideas build upon each other to create something that wouldn’t have had happened otherwise.

ideas-build-upon-each-other

REVERIE MINGLES: DO YOU HAVE A MASTER RULE WHEN IT COMES TO COMMUNICATION IN YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?

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THE CREATIVE PROCESS – PART 1: CREATING A MOOD BOARD

Published on August 19th, 2015 // BRANDING BASICS DESIGN PROCESS MOODBOARD

creative-process-part-1-moodboard

I used to leave it to my clients to choose to put together or not a mood board and share it with me along with the creative brief. I can remember some specific projects for which retrospectively I wished we had created one together. It would have saved us all the following awkward conversations about the meaning of the word ‘modern’ for example. I have since then realized having a mood board for any creative visual project is not at all optional, it is necessary. I now include the creation of one as part of every single one of my packages and you would not believe how much it facilitates the whole creative exchange.

At first glance mood boards are simply pretty posters and seem to be nothing but a useless step in the big picture, but trust me on this one they are invaluable in the creative process. Mood boards give a shared visual platform with your clients, assuring some type of a set creative agreement before starting to even work on the actual project. They can be tweaked and moved around until you all are on the same page. It is also a base tool to go back to throughout the project in case of creative disaccord. Plus, whatever can’t easily be expressed verbally can be expressed visually.

mood-board-represent

There are many tools out there to help you create mood boards (Pinterest, Moodstream, Musepeak, etc…) but here are some basic elements to keep in mind: colors, textures, patterns and above all I think the feeling or the emotional connection you want your target audience to experience.

For the visual learners here is a practical example of the opt-in I did for my mailing list subscribers. It is a collection named ‘Pineapple Frenzy’ of three desktop images and a bonus recipe card. Okay now pause right here – join the mailing list and snatch your free download before the summer is over – resume reading.

Before starting to collect images for the mood board I had to define what the feel of the collection was going to be and what I wanted the images to inspire. It was back in June and I wanted something related to the summer but not go the obvious route of colorful, beach-y and sunny. We have a pretty cozy deck on the back of our house that is perfect for cool summer nights, string lights, friends hangouts with fresh drinks and laughter. You get the picture? The idea of the pineapple came because I just kept seeing pineapples everywhere this year and I love the sweet and rough character of the fruit. I then collected images that supported that concept and voila! I got to this mood board.

MOOD-BOARD-PINEAPPLE-FRENZY-NEW

PHOTO SOURCES FROM LEFT TO RIGHT (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7).

It is such a fun task to gather pretty images and see it all coming together as one. It brings creative clarity and I believe it is the perfect way to get started with a client. A creative ice breaker of sort. Your turn now! Go make a mood board just because it’s so much fun but also please do yourself a favor and make it a must in your creative process.

REVERIE MINGLES: SHOW ME THOSE MOOD BOARDS OF YOURS AND SHARE THE ‘FEEL’ YOU WERE GOING AFTER WHILE CREATING THEM.

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BRAND REVEAL – REVERIE LANE DESIGNS

Published on August 18th, 2015 // BRAND REVEAL BRANDING BASICS MOODBOARD PERSONAL BRANDING STYLE GUIDE

brand-reveal---reverie-lane-designs

I had been working for others for over three years before I decided to start my own business and build my own brand. Even after doing the transition I got busy and never took the time to properly brand myself, all the while assisting others doing it. One of my main goals this year was to polish Reverie Lane Designs and make it what I had envisioned it to be from the beginning.

Being your own client puts you in an uncomfortable chair. Making creative decisions for yourself is as if you were in the hot seat all the time. It gets stressful and frustrating. Finding the balance between what’s ‘me’ and correctly targeting my ideal client was my biggest struggle – before accepting that my ideal client would love what’s ‘me’. DUH!

REVERIE-LANE-DESIGNS-CARES-AND-STRIVES

What I ultimately want people to feel when they experience Reverie Lane Designs is a brand who cares and strives to use creativity to promote their ideas and imagination. ‘Complex Simplicity’ is my motto when it comes to designing and living life in general. It is about conveying a message visually in a simple way with a complexity or intricacy that stuns but doesn’t confuse.

Branded-shoot-photo-combo

Visually Reverie Lane Designs has that classic French aesthetic infused with modern minimalism. My inspirations are Coco, my sweet Coco Chanel who was an incredible business woman, fashion designer and brand. I also love Yves St Laurent and Kate Spade brands. All these three have in common that bold contrast of black and white which catches my eye every time and creates that high end feel. I wanted a subtle hint of glamour and added that copper/rose gold which I much prefer than the shiny yellow gold. Overall I wanted it to feel unique yet familiar, elegant yet accessible.
I also liked the black and white combo as it allows me to showcase my clients projects by complimenting them and not competing for attention. It ties back to that concept of facilitating and promoting which is at the very heart of Reverie Lane Designs.
I am in love with the result! It was absolutely worth it to take the time and effort to think through my brand. It is definitely ‘me’ and I have no doubt it will attract my ideal clients. It has created a new passion and devotion for my business. There’s truly great value and power in intentional branding.

Here are the mood board and style guide for my visual people. I do hope you get a good sense of what my brand Reverie Lane Designs is all about and in a way get to know me a little more.
moodboard-+-style-guide-combo
PHOTO SOURCES FROM LEFT TO RIGHT (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8).

REVERIE MINGLES: HAVE YOU PERSONALLY EXPERIENCED THE POWER OF INTENTIONAL BRANDING? Please do show this design junkie your pretty brands and tell me about the concept behind them.

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THE DILEMMA OF FINDING YOUR VOICE

Published on August 18th, 2015 // BLOGGING BRANDING BASICS PERSONAL BRANDING

The-'finding-your-voice'-dilemma

I have debated back and forth with myself whether starting the blog with an introductory post or not. I was afraid of being cheesy or overly personal and bore you from the start. However I knew I wanted to make sure I shared my concept and purpose for this blog to give you an idea of what we will be addressing and how it might interest and benefit you. I believe that’s the least I can do if I am asking you to come on by once in a while and hang out. You can only express so much in an ‘about me’ section on your website and honestly I have come to find that talking about myself might not be my favorite excercice.
Well, here is my introductory post. There’s a little bit of cheesy, it gets a tad personal but I sure hope it’s not boring.

me-+presentation

It has taken me a long time to finally make the decision and take action to start a blog. I have been nurturing the thought and plotting for it all in my head but never took the bold step to do it until now. There were many reasons why, one being ‘finding my voice’. Simply writing it down sends chills down my back and makes me irk. I read multiple ‘how to be a successful blogger’ type of articles and most of them had that concept in common – the voice. I had a hard time finding mine or rather deciding what my voice was.

I went on reading various blogs and studied them a bit, and as I was doing that I got the impression I had to either be the hyper sassy southerner or the cynical witty northerner. I am neither of those two. I am a half frenchie half Ivorian girl who loves creativity and branding, and is on a journey of living life intentionally. All that put together I probably sound like a schizophrenic lady using clumsy translations of French colloquialisms.  But it’s me, and if you stick around long enough you’ll find out that I am pretty sane for the most part and can be quite endearing with my awkward frenchcisms.
On a serious note, I realized it is way simpler than that. I need to be myself, share what I know and what I love and try to be as helpful as possible. Those who are not interested by what I am or have to say shouldn’t read my blog. Firstly because they would be wasting their time of course, and who needs that. Secondly I want those who consider this potentially being an impactful resource for both their life and business to follow along.

an-impactful-resource2

What I know and what I love is living a life full of creativity and intentionality. I am a brand stylist, that’s the main way I personally express my creativity but I believe it should seep through every area of life as we were meant to birth and shape the world around us. I also believe it is impossible to lead a happy life without living it intentionally no matter what you do professionally or personally. For me it boils down to keeping Jesus at the center of my passions and fully embracing what he has designed me to do.
My broad aim for this blog is to inspire you to cultivate your own creativity however you feel called to do so. Specifically, I would love to help you understand the value and power of intentional branding and give you tools to utilize it effectively and successfully for your business. Finally through my own journey I hope to motivate you to live intentionally, in your relationships, in your business, in your view of yourself, etc.

help-understand-value-and-power-of-branding1

I sure hope you follow along and participate in the comments to the ‘REVERIE MINGLES’ segment at the bottom of each article. I feel unmeasurably happy and enthused to begin this new adventure and am confident that it will create new amazing connections. I hope you find it to be a resourceful place and have a little fun along the way – why not?! Or even just a chuckle at my awkward made up English expressions.

REVERIE MINGLES: HAVE YOU FOUND IT CHALLENGING TO DETERMINE YOUR VOICE? AS A BLOGGER, IF YOU RUN ONE OR AS A BUSINESS OWNER OR EVEN IN YOUR GROUP OF FRIENDS?

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