The longest post I will ever write. I am a pictures kinda gal!
So, how did I end up with Kaydehim Design? About five years ago, a few degrees later, and a family all in the mix, thoughts about interior design were steadily on my mind. I kind of set it aside to work on my PhD at NCSU - yes I finished. But design just kept calling me and wouldn't let me go. I couldn't let it go either. After a few years of painting, but not doing any interior work, I began pushing forward with my design business...again.
I was going to do this and be successful. I needed a name; a new name. I looked at my full name including my maiden name and used my initials to spell out a word. I thought it was genius! I came up with another color scheme, layout, and fancy fonts. I designed my business cards, my certificate of authentication for my art - everything. I was being more intentional about how I wanted to represent my business. I used it for about two years and I loved it. I even completed about five virtual design projects and one Atlanta based project with this business name and branding. The problem? Every - single - time I told someone my business name, they would ask me two questions 1) how do you say that? and 2) how do you spell that? I thought, if they can't say it and can't spell it, how in the world will they ever find me? I needed to change it. I needed to think about the current and future state of my business - my whole business, not just my logo. I needed to think about and make a real branding plan! *as if I really knew what that meant*
And so began this journey...with MAD INTENTION!
Last year I reached out to one of my friends Terri Baskin of Terri Baskin Photography to talk to her in general about business branding. Terri does not proclaim to be an expert in branding. She is a photographer, but had just rebranded her business. I knew she could give me a few pointers because I have watched her business flourish! She knows something and I wanted to tap into that. What turned out to be a general conversation ended up being a full out plan - with homework and different exercises for me to do. She also gave me due dates to complete everything and we checked in every few weeks to make sure I was staying on top of things. If you know me at all I can go left real quick sometimes! =)
During this process she also gave me information about a branding specialist named Ashlee Proffitt. I attended one of her webinars on how to brand. And I tell you, every single thing Terri had me doing were the exact things I learned in this webinar. Over the months I attended several webinars on how to market your business and how to use social media - everything discussed tied back to how to brand yourself. Besides my patient husband who wholeheartedly accepts my torture each and everyday (and he offers such great advice that I sometimes don't listen to when in the end I should have), I also tortured my good friend J. Darius Greene of 825 Memories about ALL of this. He has a wonderful listening ear. Although sometimes unsolicited =)), he offered such great advice during this process and helped me think of some things differently.
Ok - Back to the process. The thing that resonated with me throughout this process beyond Terri's genuine interest in seeing me succeed was an assignment that she gave me that asked me to sum up my business (who I am) in one sentence. She will tell you - I sent her several emails with multiple iterations of my statement. Maybe I wasn't sure yet. I don't know. This was probably one of the hardest things I had to do, but it forced me to confront whether or not I actually believed in my skill enough to not only say it, but to write it. 'Write the vision and make it plain' (Habakkuk 2:2) was on repeat in my head. And in addition to thinking/writing my statement, I needed consider how my overall brand design would resonate with people. 'I am Kathleen, a metro Atlanta Interior Designer and artist, and I create spaces that are fresh, functional, and stylish.'
What I knew for sure was that I wanted to use a timeless color and one with some punch. I wanted clean lined, no frills fonts. I wanted structure. I wanted text that carried a graphical element so it could stand alone if needed. I could see it all in my head, but needed to sketch it, then digitize it. After a few renditions of what I thought I wanted, I finally landed on exactly what I wanted.
Fast forward to today and many branding exercises later. I am here. Kathleen Mapson & Company is here! I toiled for months about my business name, the design of the logo, the colors, my web site, social media, company forms, design boards, the design of everything, the feeling of everything....I mean every single detail, I paid attention to. So how did I arrive at this name? I am an interior designer and so much more. I am an artist. I am a creator. I am a developer. I am a teacher. I don't want to only design beautiful spaces and paint pretty art. There is so much more that I want to do in the design world - so much more I will do. So, after considering every word that could pair with Kathleen Mapson, I chose & Company. It not only speaks to where I am, but where I am going. And I couldn't be happier.
Fresh. Functional. Style. What I Love About My New Brand.
- I love the colors. Gray and orange are two of my favorite hues. I knew when I began this journey that they would be the leading colors.
- I love the clean lined look of my logo. The KM is strong enough to stand alone and still represent my brand. It can also be paired with text and be just as awesome.
- I am over the moon about my headshots. My photographer Terri Baskin rocks. She totally captured what I envisioned. My headshots speak to who I am and my brand. I would sooooo hire me!
- I love that I included a 'Loves' page. This will evolve over time, but it allows me to share a little more about myself in images with little supporting text. It's important to me that you know something about me beyond what I do.
- I love my Portfolio section. Why? Because when you look at the rooms as a collection, I think it tells a beautiful story about who I am as a designer. It gives you a feel for my design aesthetic.
- I love that my original art is displayed because creating in this medium evolved from my beginnings - from pencils to brushes.
- I love that my site is mobile. So you can enjoy it from anywhere.
- I LOVE feeling like my online presence is up to date and completely represents my brand. My Brand is Me!
So, are you considering rebranding? My Experience. My Advice.
- Take your time. Comb through the details. Figure out your style, the things you love, and go from there. Try Pinterest. Pin your likes. You will begin to see some commonality across your photos.
- Trust the process. It takes time sorting out stuff. Also seek out advice from others, attend webinars, or hire someone that knows branding to help you.
- Don't limit yourself. Be open to new ideas. Do some research on your own even if you have hired someone to assist you with your branding.
- Set a launch date and stick to it. This is the one thing I didn't do because I wanted everything almost finished before committing. This did cause me to drag my feet. So I am advising you to set that date. It will definitely help keep you on track and help push you along.
- Once the ball is moving, seek feedback from those that know something about branding and those that really don't. Having both viewpoints may help you see things a little more clearer.
- Keep moving. You WILL get there! Just don't stop!
Thank you so much for reading! I look forward to sharing more of this journey with you!