Don’t Instagram, Facebook, and the rest, do a great job of making our lives and jobs seem a heck of a lot more interesting than they actually are?
Instagram is my favorite, it puts sparkles on everything, even my messy, outdated kitchen with scratched up cabinets. It’s the photo equivalent of bright red lipstick, or rainbow sprinkles on a cake. I do make pretty t-shirts, but Instagram makes them look even prettier, and it kind of gives me an unwarranted aura of professionalism. We all want our products, and indeed ourselves, to be shown in the best light possible, especially when we are just starting out.
This year, I started to think more about my business’s image, and how to build a cohesive look for my brand. Up until now, I have been mostly focusing on just getting my products made on time, and not so much on how they are marketed to the public. My clothes labels were often hand made in a hurry (that should be my tag line –Handmade in a Hurry!)and totally inconsistent with the style of my business cards, and other marketing materials. When I sent customers their Etsy orders, I’d wrap them in tissue, stick them in a bubble wrap mailer, and Bob’s your uncle!
I want to be more slick and organized, but right now I can’t afford to go the whole nine yards, hire a graphic designer and give my image a huge overhaul. So, taking tiny baby steps, I discovered a few companies that could help me get started with branding.
- First stop, Moo.com, I really like their easy to use design services. I designed me some sweet square shaped business cards, and some stickers, and clothes labels, all with a consistent style and font, using bright glossy Instagram images of my work on them. I’m also thinking of making a photo book of all my past designs, to use as a mini portfolio, with them.
- Then I customized a rubber stamp from Paper Source and Three Designing Women, so that I could spend less time slooowly hand writing my address on everything, and to give all my mail a cohesive and professional look.
- I put together a wrapping station for mail orders with all these new tools and rolls of bright yellow tissue paper bought in big rolls from DickBlick (yellow is a big obsession right now).
- Next, I’m going to go back to my textile design roots, to design my own signature repeat prints on fabric using Spoonflower.com. I already make my fabric labels with them, and would love to start using my own fabric on bags, and as linings on products. It would tie products together nicely, methinks.
- I have plans to print the same designs onto my paper shopping bags. Super excited about this.
I know all this stuff is just the sprinkles on the icing on the cake. But boy do the sprinkles make that cake look more inviting, and taste better. Pour on those sprinkles, baby! I’ll be back with photos of the fabrics.