One year ago today, I began working for myself full-time as a designer. I had spent a couple years designing as a side hustle, and obviously hoped to one day spend my time solely focused on my business, but I began small. Microscopic, really.
I had been sewing for a number of years, and I was head-over-heels in love with modern fabric. I loved the vibrant colors and playful patterns, and I couldn’t buy enough of it. (Truthfully, I bought far too much of it, as I’m sure my husband will attest, but you know what I mean.) When I discovered that there are people whose job it is to design that fabric? I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I started by designing 9 patterns and selling them through Spoonflower in 2014.
I kept creating patterns and built up a body of work (I’m up to 264 patterns...and counting) that I felt I could market to fabric companies, so I created a logo and some marketing materials for myself and gave it a go.
I got rejected. A lot. Always nicely, but it was still disheartening. But I kept at it...and got really good at writing cover letters.
Fast forward to this time last year. I found myself with a line of fabric through Robert Kaufman, patterns licensed on accessories and apparel, a healthy group of students taking my Skillshare classes, and not enough time and energy to devote to my design work AND my day job. So with the support of my family, I went all-in on the design career and quit my day job.
This turned out to be a great decision for me. I now have clients the world over, and the services I provide vary greatly. As I’ve watched my business grow, it became clear to me that my brand identity no longer reflected what my business had become.
Don’t get me wrong - I still love my first logo. It embodied who I was and what I was doing - I was an illustrator who drew patterns with pencil and paper, who was known for her hand-drawn style. And while I still create patterns and do a lot of illustration work by hand, I also provide design services that are more polished and technical. I knew I needed a brand identity that reflected that and inspired confidence in my new clients.
My new brand identity still has a bit of my hand in it - my name and monogram are hand-lettered, and two of the supporting patterns were done by hand. But the overall feel of the logo is more modern, more sophisticated, and more approachable.
The same is true for my website. I rolled out a new version that shows a wider body of work, but still gives pattern work the love it deserves. My about page went from a quirky paragraph about a side hustler to a strong showcase of my professional services, including testimonials from my clients.
As a business owner, you want nothing more than to see your business grow. But as your business grows, you need to be sure that your image grows with it. If it’s been a while since you evaluated your brand identity, now is the time. And if you would like some help with that from someone who has not only provided that service for clients but has also recently experienced it themselves, let me know!