How to Style Your Brand

The Brand Stylist Retreat: Refresh, Recharge, Refine

November 2, 2016
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You know that feeling you get when you first arrive on holiday? Inspired by a change of scene, the promise of sunshine and incredible food, day to day business worries seem to melt away and in their place emerge the most powerful ideas. There’s something about those first few days – a time of wonder, slowing down and letting go, that seem to bring clarity, energy and drive. Don’t you find that your best ideas are often generated while you’re away?

Now imagine you’re in the most beautiful setting, with a bunch of super inspirational entrepreneurs. And you’re being led through workshops by an experienced teacher passionate about each and every one of you building a business that plays to your strengths, gives you the freedom you want and you can be proud to call your own. That’s exactly what I’m planning for the very first Brand Stylist retreat in Majorca next May.

The Brand Stylist Retreat: The Business of Brand Styling

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If you’re a graphic or web designer, a Brand Stylist or are aspiring to launch a business in the field then you are soooo going to want to join us. Four days of inspirational workshops, game changing exercises and a community of creative entrepreneurs to share ideas with and cheer each other on. What’s not to love?

Add in to that the most gorgeously laid-back-luxe hotel I think I have ever visited; delicious food and the Majorcan sun and I think we have a winning combination! Booking is now open for this all-inclusive retreat and I would love for you to join us.

Amazing! I learned so much. Three days later and my head is still spinning with the possibilities!

Linda Leunissen, Dutches

This is your opportunity to switch off, get away from the demands of running your business (and life in general) and take some time out to just focus on you and your business. I’ll be working you hard, that’s for sure but this is your chance to sharpen those dreams, refine your goals and make a plan to make 2017 your Best. Year. Ever.

This is about investing in you and your business. It’s about putting yourself first, reflecting on what’s working and making serious plans to elevate your business for the year ahead.

Four days of game-changing workshops, relaxation and reflection

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You’ll find more on the agenda, the topics we’ll cover and the plan on this page. Essentially, it’s about the business of brand styling. Many of you will already be accomplished designers. You’ll have a beautiful portfolio, a steady stream of clients aching to work with you and a lovely long list of projects you’re proud of. But you’re ready to take things up a notch.

I came home brimming with newfound knowledge, clarity and determination… totally reinvigorated and full of creative drive. And I really needed that!

Silkie Lloyd, The Forge

You’re ready to refine your process, work on building your offering and explore how you can grow your business. Do you take on staff? Do you work with associates? Or should you just take a deep breath and charge what you secretly know you’re worth? Perhaps it’s a combination of all three? I’ve founded, built and sold a successful brand styling company and I know, warts and all, the opportunities and challenges you’ll be facing right now. This retreat will give you the confidence to take the steps that are right for your unique business.

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Perhaps you run a design company or specialise in website design but are keen to build your brand offering. You’d like to refine your process, gain more confidence in how you work with clients and the finished delivery. You win some great projects but you can’t help thinking that you could be doing more. Colour psychology will give you the tools to create a more robust approach and your clients confidence – we’ll build on the absolute essentials to enable you to work more efficiently with your clients, identify their seasons and tighten up your understanding of the process. We’ll explore how you can write better proposals and present your work more powerfully to build confidence at every level and win more profitable work.

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Some of you will be just starting out. You’ll be finding your way, finding your style and working out your process. Perhaps you’re working harder than you’d like, for less than you’d like. That’s understandable. You’ll be struggling to see the wood for the trees and you’ll benefit a lot from just taking a deep breath, working on defining your style and identifying what sort of business you want to create.

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This deliberately isn’t about the design work itself: you all bring something wonderful and different to the party so the emphasis is very much on elevating your brand, enchanting your audience and building confidence in what you do. It’s about marketing smarter, charging what you’re worth and finding your tribe. In short, it’s about helping you create a business that works for you: whatever level you’re at.

You have this energy that gets people to believe that anything is possible.

Stacey MacIntyre

Inspiration, focus and expert advice

Having run my own agency (with a team of 7 staff, chunky overheads and a very healthy six-figure turnover) I know what it takes to found, build and sell a sizeable, successful business. I’ve experienced the various highs and lows that come with following your dreams, building a team and finding your way. I’ve worked out how to make what I do work for me, and I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way! I want to share that experience with you and help you achieve your dreams.

This is your opportunity to plan for the year ahead and take things up a gear or three. The price reflects the value I know that this workshop will add to your business as well as the very lovely surroundings we’ll find ourselves in. I’m going to be bringing in some very exciting co-teachers as well as a few surprises along the way. It’s definitely going to be an event you’ll want to be a part of. And goodness, I’d hope that by the time we’re finished, the clarity, focus and confidence you’ll gain will enable you to see a return on your investment pretty quickly.

This video, from the Brand Brilliance workshop I think beautifully sums up the power of just taking a few days out of the office to focus on what’s important. So excited to be putting on this amazing four day event and can’t wait to meet you!

You can book your place here – and when you’re quick about things, you’ll be able to pay in instalments to spread the load a little! Hope to see you there!

The Brand Stylist Book, Thinking Big

A better way of doing business

October 31, 2016
Can we just talk about hustling for a minute?

Everywhere I look I see people talking about 'hustling'. As though exhausting yourself by constantly fighting for work is some sort of necessity or badge of honour. 
I too have run a business where I've hustled. I've competed on price. I've been frustrated when potential clients haven't 'got it' and gone with someone else over us. I've also been in that place where I've accepted that hustling is a part of running a business. Where the clients who are excited to work with you are a rarity and where you're out to prove yourself at every interaction. 
It doesn't need to be that way. Find the thing that makes your business brilliant. Communicate with flair and clarity. Attract the sorts of clients who'll value you for who you are and only take on work that pays you what you're worth. Hustling is so last decade. You're better than that. Happy Monday! #hustle #entrepreneur #freelancer

Over the past few months I’ve been working really, really hard on my next book. It’s meant that posts on this blog have been fewer and farther between than I’d like, but creating a book is such a massive undertaking that I’ve had to just focus my energy on doing one thing really well rather than spreading myself too thinly.

Those of you that have been following along via Instagram will have seen that we’ve closed the call for submissions and undertaken two photoshoots. I’ve flat planned, I’ve started the design work (so pleased with how it’s looking) and I’m thrilled to say it’s all finally coming into focus.

It’s a strange thing, writing a book, because one thing I’ve learned in my very short authoring career (this will be my third book) is that however much of an idea you have when you start out writing, the book will become what it wants to become. I always start writing with total focus: with a clear reader in mind, and with a clear set of objectives, but I never really and truly know what the book is about until it’s finished.

I still can’t tell you exactly what the #brandstylistbook2 will be about, but it is a follow up (and more) to How to Style Your Brand. And the more I write, refine and edit, the more I see one very clear theme coming through. That getting your branding right is about more than having a nice set of business cards or a wow-y homepage. It’s about opening doors to a better way of doing business.

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It sometimes feels like wherever you look, there’s a tidal wave of entrepreneurs hustling away like it’s some sort of badge of honour. As though fighting for work, competing on price and persuading people to take you seriously is part of running a business.

There is no rule that says running a business needs to be a slog. There’s no reason that working more hours than your body can take is the only way of building a successful company. You don’t need to be all things to all people, take on every piece of work that comes your way or be crippled by competition.

The hustle is not real. At least, it doesn’t need to be.

When I posted this to my Instagram a few weeks back the response was overwhelming. In fact, I’ve never had a post more commented on, so I decided it was time to share it with you guys here.

Create a business that works for you. Create a brand that opens doors, feeds your creativity and helps you achieve your ambition. Focus on what you do best and put yourself in a category of one. No one can do what you do quite like you, so celebrate it. Stop competing with everyone else. Stop hustling.

Find that thing that you do better than anyone else. Nurture it, celebrate it and let it shine through everything you do. Hold your head up high and own your space. You’ve totally got this.

About The Brand Stylist, Workshops

“An amazing event” Notes from the Brand Brilliance Workshop, 5&6 October, Surrey

October 21, 2016
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The workshop was so brilliant, I can’t thank you enough, from feeling like I couldn’t see the woods to the trees, I now feel like you’ve made me a little path in the woods that I can trot along now.

Catherine Colebrook

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How do you fancy a behind the scenes look at the latest workshop? Katie Spicer has once again worked her magic on the photos and I’m so excited to share some of the details, insights and special moments from the Brand Brilliance workshop I held in Surrey a few weeks back.

Early October saw the launch of a very different sort of workshop from The Brand Stylist: an intimate, two day branding workshop hosted at the Blid and Hatton food studio at the gorgeous Medicine Garden in Surrey.

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You know me well for the big, party-style workshops I run over one day in London and New York. And it was inspired by the students in New York that I decided to be brave and try something different. I wanted to put on a workshop that better reflected what you know me for (branding) and that gave me the chance to work on a more intimate level with the students. I was a little apprehensive about the change in format. Would the students like the venue? Would I be able to maintain a high level of energy and fun with such a small group? Would the workshop be worth the investment? Would anybody want to book?!!

So many worries launching something new, and I really needn’t have worried. We sold out within several weeks of launching the workshop and 70% of the students had attended previous workshops so there were lots of oohs and aaaahs as everyone reconnected again! It was such a lovely group of students and we had an absolute ball. Most importantly, everyone had a great couple of days, worked really, really hard and really moved their brands forwards.

“an inspiring and brilliant couple of days.”

Diane Pinchbeck

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One of the things I loved the most, was how everyone worked together. I’d designed a range of group, small group and individual exercises to make sure that everyone not only got time to work on their own stuff, but also benefit from an outside perspective. Isn’t it always the way that everyone else can see something blindingly obvious that you just can’t when you’re so close to what you’re doing? And so there was lots of laughter and gentle encouragement as well as notes being scribbled furiously and lightbulb moments experienced.

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The aim of the workshop was to enable each student to get a better handle on the essence of what makes their brand brilliant. As business owners we operate in such a ‘noisy’ world that it’s hard to clarify exactly what you want to be known for, what you should focus on and who your ideal clients are. On day one we worked immensely hard to define the essence of everyone’s brands. It’s fair to say we were all pretty exhausted by the end of day one as literally a month’s worth of work was crammed into a few short hours!

The focus for day two was to take that clarity and translate it across their communications. So if you know you want your brand to be cool, fun and lighthearted, say, then you can make sure that the imagery you choose, the language you write with, the paper stocks and packaging you use all communicate that. Staying focused once you’re back in the ‘real world’ can be tricky, so each student created a Brand Blueprint to keep them on track and act as a handy reference. There’s always time for a Blue Peter moment in my world, however high flying you might be.

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We talked at length. About what was possible, about what motivated us and where we hoped to be. Because if your brand is everything your clients expect, experience and remember about your business it makes sense, surely, that your business is something that gives you the freedom, flexibility and fun that you want? We talked about big dreams and big ideas as well as the practicalities of what we could do to get our brands where we wanted them to be.

Huge, huge, HUGE thank you for a great workshop. I knew it would push my creative / business boundaries and I wasn’t disappointed. Yet again, my brain is whirring..

Nicola Wilkes, House Envy

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We researched, discussed and mood boarded.

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And we made sure that the notes the students had made in the workbooks ahead of our time together gave them the focus and perspective to really move forwards.

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One of the things I’m really passionate about is having the confidence to have a clear and strong essence to your business. Whether that’s a creative style, an approach or an attitude, none of us can be all things to all people and it’s essential you understand what you’re offering (and what you’re not) so that you can communicate effectively.

To illustrate my point, the lovely Gray’s Dairy, a client of mine who has just launched a range of artisan gelato donated some samples for a very essential tasting. When we were working on the packaging, I had the immensely difficult job of tasting the flavours – all of which are natural, generous and utterly delicious. The flavours that didn’t make the final cull didn’t fit within that remit and it was great for the students to be able to do a really hands on (and tasty) practical to discuss that. I must write a separate blog post on this – I’ll add to my list as there are so many useful takeaways from the project, and it’s something I’m really proud of so I’d love to share another time.

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It was so lovely having Maddie cooking away in the background – something the students loved too – along with her incredible food. We kicked off both days with a delicious brunch: avocado on toast, pastries, crumble cake and a fruit platter along with fresh coffee, tea and apple juice (a gorgeous shade of pink from apples from my garden). Lunch was salads on day one and soup and cheese on day two. And to finish the day I’d bought some lovely local sparkling wines to enjoy with nibbles.

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We covered so much ground on Day One: customer profiles, they created ‘muses’ (my slightly nicer word for Customer Archetypes) and defined their message. We talked about brand values, competition and space in the market. It’s no surprise we finished the day much in need of a drink and a rest!

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On Day Two, refreshed after a much needed night’s sleep we started to to think about how to translate that message across the various channels of communication. Starting with how we wanted our brands to look and feel and then moving on to photography and styling. The style of photography you use, the props you pick, the tones of colour, the texture, even the way you choose to edit your images can all send out a message. We wanted to be sure it was an intentional one.

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We researched, we brainstormed and we generated plenty of ideas…

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And then it was time for a practical styling session. I LOVED how Tamsin brought her family business: a theatrical set design company with a wonderful legacy but with a firm eye on the future to life.

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Such lovely props people brought with them!

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Finally it was time to think about the Brand Voice and the sort of language that would work before putting together a Brand Blueprint.

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The lovely GF Smith sent some beautiful card to make the outsides with and I’d printed up some inners that could be personalised for each student.

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And so with a little more focus, a flurry of laughter and a quick scribbling down of tasks to be completed over the coming weeks it was time to bid farewell to a super, super lovely bunch of inspirational and intelligent women. I can honestly say I loved every moment. I can’t wait to do it all over again!

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Your formula is so spot on and the venue, Maddie’s food, the decor all addded to a special, unique experience:- Thank you!

Nicola Wilkes, House Envy

I will definitely, definitely run another Brand Brilliance workshop, but I’ve promised myself I won’t book in a date until I’ve sent my next book off to print. Creating a book is such a gargantuan effort and I’ve learned the hard way not to take on too much. So keep your eyes peeled and make sure you’re on the mailing list to hear about the next event.

If you’re a Brand Stylist, designer or even a marketer you might be interested in The Brand Stylist retreat which is taking place at a gorgeous holistic retreat (it’s super luxe – no hair shirts or mattressless beds here…) in Majorca in May. Places are limited so do book your place sooner rather than later as I’m certain we will sell out…

 

Resources & How To's

CLARIFY

September 20, 2016
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September is a great month to just take stock and clarify where you want to be headed before the craziness of the Autumn term takes a hold. And even if you’re already suffering from To Do List Overwhelm, it’s really worth taking some time to step back, reflect on where you want your business to be and how you’re going to get there.

I’ll be honest, two workshops and two events last week, coupled with a brand new workshop in October and two photoshoots to plan for the book means that the pressure has already set in. I have so little time to work that I have to be ruthlessly efficient about what I take on. I’m constantly asking myself, how does this help me get to where I want to be next? How is this going to move my business forwards?

None of us can take on everything that comes our way. None of us ever have enough time – even if we have all the time in the world, it won’t be enough.

You can do anything you want. Literally, anything you put your mind to. But you can’t do everything. None of us can.

So let’s take some time to rediscover that focus that we had so clearly after our summer break and make some clear plans for the year ahead. You may find this comes so easily to you. Or you may need a little more guidance. If so, may I suggest you start with my New Year Brand Shakedown? This will give you a structured walk through of where you’re at now and where you want to be headed.

You might like to work back through the How to Style Your Brand Planning Workbook – even if you’re happy with your brand identity the sorts of questions in that guide are designed to help you think clearly. Or how about the blog posts on defining your brand values or building the business you really want.

About The Brand Stylist

A New Look Newsletter

September 19, 2016
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The idea came to me, as the best ideas always seem to, on holiday.

There’s something quite magical that happens once you totally switch off and just relax, isn’t there? Free of constant notifications, the pressure to post a better Instagram than last time or to simply stay on top of your diary, amazing things start to happen. Your mind is clear and your creativity starts to wander. Best of all, I think the best ideas happen when you’re not even looking for them.

Another gorgeous day with a beautiful view and lots of lovely rose. I could get used to this!

And so it was. Day two of the holiday, I’d settled down onto my sun lounger and picked up my magazine to read with my iced coffee. And bam! It hit me. This idea could so work for The Brand Stylist.

I’d been thinking for a while that I wanted to get my newsletters into better shape. I didn’t love how they looked, but more to the point, I was conscious that they weren’t adding as much value as I’d like. We’re all busy and I really, really appreciate those of you that let me into your inbox every month. And whilst we both want you to be up to date with the latest workshops or submissions for the book, I’d always intended to send out a little more. More in terms of value rather than quantity!

I’d wrestled with what to do for months. The truth is, I have no time. So committing to a regular ‘editorial schedule’ just seemed too much. And also too much for you guys. I find that the best emails to receive are the ones that don’t ask too much of me. So I didn’t want to send out a ginormous twenty minute read. I wanted to do something that was very accessible, but how?

Have you read The Simple Things magazine? I had a gift subscription a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it so picked up the latest copy to take on holiday with me. And there it was, a truly simple idea that blew my mind. As I read the Editor’s letter I saw in there something that just fitted so well with what I want to do. Every issue is focused around a single theme. So simple but so effective!

I started to see how this sort of thing could work for my newsletters. There are certain rhythms to business; things slow down over the summer and pick up in Autumn. January is all about fresh starts and in Spring we get creative and inspired. It ebbs and flows with the seasons and means that we can share a certain focus without things getting overwhelming.

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Every month I’ll send you out a newsletter with a very particular focus. It’ll be very brief and I hope, very inspiring. If you have the time or the inclination, there’ll be links to some more in depth workbooks and resources. This month is a chance to clarify things. Taking that calm and ability to focus that you hopefully gained over the summer slowdown, we have an opportunity to take a step back and set our intentions for our business before we get overwhelmed by deadlines and our to do lists.

It’s a new way of doing things, and like everything new, it’s scary. It’s going to push me out of my comfort zone, big time. I’m already a little terrified by the boundaries of email design. I hate not being able to totally design how the text looks or exactly how things behave on different devices. But completion over perfection is something I am a big believer in for the web. You just can’t make everything look perfect all the time – you just have to do your best.

The first new look newsletter will be out next week, and I’ve already sent out a couple of emails in the new style so some of you will have already had a preview. I do hope you like – please do let me know what you think! Oh, and if you’re not already on the list and you’d like to subscribe, you can sign up here. Enjoy!

Here’s the mockup I created initially to just play about with what was possible, and hopefully those of you that have received it have found it not a million miles from my initial design. I can’t wait to share the story behind the lovely new identity for The Brand Stylist too – although looking at my diary, it could well be some weeks yet!

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Do let me know what you think!

About The Brand Stylist

And breathe…

September 9, 2016

Welcome back!

This week marks the return to school in the UK and for many of us, the return to routine, being in three places at once and last minute dashes for lost items of school uniform. For me, it’s the chance to once again welcome a little time back in to my life. A small chink where I can exercise, write and work on projects. There aren’t many hours, but with the ‘baby’ starting school next year I’m utterly determined to make the most of my time with her and keep a lid on the time I spend working. Those years go by far too fast.

How was your summer? We had a really magical time, travelling, chilling and making a lot of memories. We spent a week in Greece (below), a few days in the Cotswolds and visited a few UK beaches as well as Bath and The New Forest. It went by way too fast.

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My plan of totally taking the whole summer off and pretending I was a stay at home mum didn’t quite go to plan. But in hindsight maybe that was a little unrealistic? I did do some writing in the evening, I worked on my new branding with the lovely Shauna (more on that soon) but there were no client projects and very little social media. I loved being able to be fully present with the children, not distracted by work or any crazy schemes, I was calm and I had a total digital detox while we were in Greece. It was amazing. I deleted all my social media apps and my mail from my phone and I can’t tell you how lovely that was. I’d definitely recommend it.

We visited Ile de Re for a few nights and that was so gorgeous. Quite possibly the most beautiful place I’ve seen. The light, the food, the colours… breathtaking.

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I have so many plans for The Brand Stylist this year. It’s amazing how a break from deadlines, routine and the general noise can do that for you isn’t it? Can’t wait to share the process behind my gorgeous new brand identity, which I worked on with Branch. I’ve created a whole new new-look newsletter, and I want to share more on that too… So watch this space. With four events next week (two Flowerona workshops, a Flowerona event and I’m speaking at Paperfest at Top Drawer) it may not all happen as quickly as I’d like, but I’m back and very excited for the new year.

Happy Autumn! I hope you have a productive and inspiring few months.

The Brand Stylist Book

The Brand Stylist Book Two: Call for Submissions

July 22, 2016
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Oh my goodness. I actually can’t believe we are at this point already! I am soooooo excited to be able to ask you to submit your projects for my next book. Eeeeeek! Read on for all the info…

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After the bestselling success of the first Brand Stylist book, How to Style Your Brand, Spring 2017 will see the return of another book for creative entrepreneurs. I’ll be working with the same incredible team – top lifestyle editor Jo Copestick as well as the fabulous Matt Pereira again.

I’ve been working so hard on the manuscript and I am really pleased with how it’s taking shape. I’ve been listening to the sort of guidance you need and I know you’re going to love it. This time, the remit for submissions is a little wider – so if you’re a photographer, stylist or entrepreneur I hope you’ll submit as much as your fellow brand stylists.

Loved this pic by @alyssajoypd of #thebrandstylistbook I'm currently writing #thebrandstylistbook2 and finding it a challenge! I keep forgetting that the glossy, beautiful book that's sat on my desk right now was once a jumble of half sentences and trailing thoughts. Onwards! #amwriting

Loved this pic by @alyssajoypd of #thebrandstylistbook I’m currently writing #thebrandstylistbook2 and finding it a challenge! I keep forgetting that the glossy, beautiful book that’s sat on my desk right now was once a jumble of half sentences and trailing thoughts. Onwards! #amwriting

Call for submissions

One of the things that made How to Style Your Brand so special was the range of businesses featured in the book – as well as illustrating my points what I hope they’ve also done is inspired you and encouraged you to think big about what’s possible. I’m looking for projects that will do the same job in the next book. So here’s what I’m looking for:

Branding projects

Show me how you’ve extended your brand across everything you do – your packaging, your website, your store, your products. I want to see it all! And if it’s beautifully styled and photographed, so much the better.

How you market your business. 

I’m thinking catalogues, brochures, digital brochures as well as super gorgeous printed materials and quirky or interesting ways you create an impact with your brand.

Styled photography

Whether you’re a pro or a budding stylist, if you have some photography that you think is just bursting to be showcased in a (hopefully bestselling) book, I’d love to see it. I’m particularly looking for images of styled products or your brand showcased in an interesting way but there will also be space for general lifestyle shoots etc (for mood boards) so if in doubt – send it in! And talking of mood boards, last time the lovely Arianna let me use one of her fashion blogger photos for a mood board – so please do send in images of you looking fabulous if you can

Your studio/ work in progress

I’m always, always looking for beautiful images of inspiring workspaces. In the last book, super talented architects SelenckyParsons submitted some of their office projects which looked very cool, so please don’t think it’s just limited to the she shed (although some of those would be good too).

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The Opportunity

  • A printed, signed copy of the book; one for you and one for your client as a thank you.
  • Full credit in the back of the book
  • You retain all copyright – you’re just giving us permission to print the book
  • Your work featured in a beautiful book for creative entrepreneurs

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How to Submit your work

This time I’ll be doing things a little differently so please read carefully (I have learned many lessons from last time!).

I’m asking you to send me a Dropbox folder with all your submissions in to keep things nice and manageable. Please don’t send me emails – they’ll break my inbox and definitely don’t send me Wetransfer links as they will expire before I have a chance to download them, assuming all goes to plan and I get my summer break with the kids. If you don’t currently have a dropbox account (and they are awesome) you can sign up for free, here.

Please make sure that your Dropbox folder is set up for me to view but not edit so that I don’t inadvertently delete your precious work. I will not be held responsible for any loss of files if you fail to do this. I’m sorry to sound mean but last time I had more than 100 submissions, I’m sure this time there will be many more. I’ve got to have a process. Protect your work and only let me view your files. You can do this by going into the Dropbox web programme and changing your settings.

Last time Braizen organised their folders beautifully. With each project having it’s own folder, and sub folders within that with packaging, lifestyle images and the brand identity. It would be amazing if you could do that.

Please feel free to submit up to twelve client projects. If you submit lifestyle/ studio shots they don’t count as part of that twelve- so again, maybe up to 20/30 images?

Your images must be high resolution and you must have permission from your client before you submit the project.

Another lesson learned at the 11th hour last time! If you could also send them to me at CMYK rather than sRGB which is how they come out of camera/ lightroom, then I can be sure that you’re happy with the colour variance and it also saves me around two days (really) of laborious conversions.

Please download this spreadsheet and fill out all relevant details. This means I can just copy and paste and I won’t get the essentials like company names or website spelt incorrectly.

Finally, please send an email to submissions at fionahumberstone dot com with a link to your shared Dropbox folder – did I mention set to view and not edit only?

You can download the artwork-release and the spreadsheet for your brand-stylist-book-2-submissions-info by clicking on the links.

Checklist

Inside your Dropbox folder please make sure there is…

a signed artwork release for each project

the completed spreadsheet with correct details (essential as this is the information we will use to credit you in the book)

your downright gorgeous submissions with high resolution CMYK files

 

Please DON’T send wetransfer files and absolutely no email attachments please

you can email submissions at fionahumberstone dot com

The Deadline

The kids are back at school on 6th September, so whilst I will probably be unable to resist sneaking a peek, I’ll be back at my desk in earnest working through everything then so please be sure you have your gorgeous work to me before 6th Sept.

I can’t wait to see what you have to share. Seriously! Get them sent in! xx

Workshops

G . F Smith x The Brand Stylist: A workshop on Colour Psychology

July 15, 2016
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G  .  F  Smith are quite possibly The World’s Coolest Paper Company and a few weeks ago I had the very great honour of working with them and their gorgeous team of paper consultants.

If you haven’t come across G  .  F   Smith yet, then my goodness are you in for a treat. They produce absolutely exquisite papers in a whole heap of finishes and colours. They are innovative, dynamic and really, really nice people.

I’d met some of the team at Paperfest last year and they invited me to run a session for their paper consultants on colour psychology.

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Together we spent a really creative, innovative and hands on day exploring how the team could use colour psychology to better understand their clients’ brands.

It was a chance for the team to engage with their beautiful product in a different way as well as add to their extensive skill set.

“Enlightening!” Paul Scharf

“A totally new perspective on categorising colour.” Mark Jessett

“Really insightful, well structured and fun!” Vanessa Fletcher

We had a really intensive day together during which we categorised the entire collection into seasons (all I can say is: Wow!) and I’m really excited to see where the company go with their newfound knowledge. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next and getting involved with some very exciting future plans! Watch this space…

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Oh, and if you’re in the UK and haven’t ordered your copy of The Collection yet then you must! You’re in for a real treat. Legion Paper sell all 50 Colorplan papers in the US and have a really inspiring set of paper samples too…

I really loved adapting the theory for an in house team and this is definitely something I’m looking forward to doing more of in the future. Images by the wonderful Katie Spicer Photography.

Thinking Big

Some big thinking for the summer

July 13, 2016
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Do you ever find that a trip away, or just a complete digital detox, can inspire some seriously big (and scary!) ideas?

Ever since I returned from New York I feel like I have literally been full bursting with inspiration. And I find that taking some proper time out over the kids holidays is an essential part of me running a successful business. This year will be no different. For six weeks, from 22 July until the kids go back on 6th September, my focus will be all about them.

No business planning. No writing. No client projects and definitely no email. The out of office is going on. I’ll check in once a week but that’s it. My social media will also grind to a halt.

I’m in awe of anyone who can juggle both but for me, I need that total mental switch off. I want to focus on the kids; have fun with them, mess about with them, let the world go by slowly and explore with them without agenda or rush. They grow up so fast and it’s important for me to just shut down the work. And yes, I do realise that I’m very lucky that I’ve created a business that lets me do that.

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And so for the next couple of weeks life is a little flat out. Those of you following me on Instagram will know that as well as the usual end of term mayhem I also have (quite literally) a wall of stuff to complete in less than three weeks. It’s the stuff of nightmares, but it will all be worth it 😉

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Thinking bigger…

For the past two years, I’ve deliberately kept my business as small and manageable as possible. I was determined to keep things below the VAT threshold until Poppy goes to school next September so that my work didn’t impact too much on my time with the children.

Also, having run a very big business before, and juggling all the cashflow/ VAT/ overheads that come with that, I just wanted to keep things simple.

This year, however, I’ve found that balancing my workload so that I could say ‘yes’ to as much as possible without tipping over the threshold totally stressful. I’ve got to the point where actually, not being VAT registered is holding me back. I ummed and aaaahed for months. Worrying I was going back on my plan, worried work would take over my life, but also frustrated that I was turning so much down.

I spoke to my lovely friend Elizabeth, who knows all about how important it is to me to keep things manageable and she said something so, so wise that I wanted to share it with you. She said:

By keeping your business small, are you keeping your creativity small?

And of course, I had to concede that it was having an impact. Which meant that stepping up a gear was a no brainer really.

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Now that the lid of VAT has been lifted, I feel like I can think so much bigger and more strategically. I can launch that retreat, run more workshops overseas and launch workshops online. I found it so frustrating having to turn down projects simply because I couldn’t take on any more paid projects without tipping over the threshold. Now I can and I find this so exciting! I still need to be very selective about what I do commit to because I am so limited on time, but at least that’s my only limit!

The knock on effects of thinking bigger

Excitingly, now I have the freedom to grow my business, I’m treating it like an actual business. I’m investing in things that I know will help me achieve my dreams. And I’m thrilled to be working with the wonderful We Are Branch on developing the Brand Stylist brand identity.

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I’ll share more on that project in the autumn but it’s liberating being able to share the responsibility for what I’m doing with someone else. I love having another set of eyes and another intelligent mind on my projects and I cannot wait to show you what they are up to; they are very clever. Here’s a sneak peek of Shauna’s mood board…

Exciting developments are afoot. I've taken the decision to register my business for vat so I can really follow my dreams and set up all those creative projects I've had my eye on for a while (like the retreat, the two day workshop etc). And that means refining my look and upping my game. So I'm working with the very talented @wearebranch on developing The Brand Stylist brand identity. Here's a sneak of her mood board... #moodboard #branding #brandidentity #brandstyling #brandstylist

If you’re worrying about juggling time off and work this summer, how’s this for an idea. How about switching off those emails, switching on your auto response and taking a proper digital detox. Rather than worrying about doing a half job at every level, just give yourself the freedom to forget about work and relax.

I realise that for some of us, we have commitments at many levels and a complete switch off isn’t possible. Six weeks off takes planning well in advance. But if you have a holiday planned, how about promising yourself that you’ll step away from your email and social media just for that week or two? The world won’t stop turning, your followers will still be there when you get back and you’ll be a much better entrepreneur for it…

What do you think? Are you planning on taking time off this summer or will you be trying to balance business as usual?