Editor's Note: In order to continue producing Holl & Lane, we rely on amazing partners (who we truly believe in) to run ads within our pages. We're so excited to introduce you to the 10 amazing partners who have allowed us to create Issue 14 for you. We encourage you to dig a little deeper into their stories and learn more about the products and services they create. Without them, we wouldn't be able to keep doing H&L.
Win a branding package! Check the end of this post!
1. Why and how did you start Lovely Little Design Co.?
Lovely Little Design Co. grew out of a need to have a fulfilling career that I could stay home with my kids and grow as a person. I know that sounds cheesy and you’ve probably heard it 100 times, but it is true.
I worked full time (12 hour days) at a marketing firm and had been working in various industries in PR, marketing and design for 5 years, when my husband and I knew we wanted to start a family.
The amount of money I was making as well as the hours didn't make sense. I was burned out, felt underappreciated and all round miserable. I took some time off and decided to start Lovely Little Design Co. Having no experience in owning my own business, I did a crazy amount of research and put my education to good use; designing my own website, branding and mission statement. I also designed over 50 invitations for my wedding invitation collection and did a bunch of free work for local businesses to build my branding portfolio.
I was 5 months pregnant with my first son when I launched my etsy shop and my website. Work came slowly and I thought many times, that I was making a mistake...but life had another plan for me!
I got pregnant again with my second son when my first son was only 12 weeks old. We had a really difficult time conceiving our first and got very lucky very quickly the second time around!
Clearly, not being able to go back to a corporate job and getting maternity leave, I poured every moment between feedings, playtime and errands into my business. I had chronic insomnia in this pregnancy and worked in the middle of the night a lot of the time. I was a zombie for the first 2 years of my business! I was also someone who was immensely passionate about growing and thriving as an entrepreneur.
I then got pregnant with my third son when my second son was only 8 months old. So now, the business was my only option for income. It also turned into a social outlet for me. Apart from the mommy and me groups (which I hated!) I needed social interaction with other passionate women and I found that through my clients.
The business has changed a lot since 2011 and I am still working out the kinks but now that my boys are 4, 3 and 2, it is a lot easier to spend a day uninterrupted working for my clients and building the Lovely Little Design Co. brand.
2. What is your main mission?
My main mission is to offer the best service I possibly can and go above and beyond for my clients-often times becoming friends and the one they go to for support.
I remember in the beginning, I had no idea how to start a business but if I had someone like me, I think I would have been less overwhelmed. All of my branding clients receive an introductory call where I help them understand their ideal client and target market and we even craft the language and tone that you will use in your brand.
You see, branding is so much more than a logo or fonts or pretty colours, it is how you speak and every touch point of your business (including social media). Because of my marketing background, I offer the added value of helping you craft your messaging and focus your ideal client.
3. How do you hope Lovely Little Design Co. affects women’s lives?
I hope women feel less alone in the world of entrepreneurship. It can be very lonely and isolating to work from home and to be your own boss. I am not “all business” with my clients and that is why I like to do a discovery call before you sign up to work with me. I need to make sure we work on a personal level as well. That we click. I am always an open ear to just listen and I don’t ever finish a project and never speak to someone again! I keep the lines of communication open and check in often to see if there is anything you need.
4. We love that you're supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses through your business. What's your favorite part about working with budding businesses and why is the right branding/graphic design so crucial for these businesses?
I love the passion that new businesses bring to the table! I love getting to know people’s WHY and helping them establish that right off the bat. Knowing the reason you’ve started your business allows you to return to it whenever business gets tough or life gets tricky. It keeps them centered.
As I said above, branding is EVERYTHING! It makes you the only choice for potential clients or customers. In the beginning so many of my clients just want business and think that by branding or rebranding that will happen.
But I think the best branding only attracts the clients that are perfect for you and your mission. Not everyone will be right for you and that is okay.
I also think that hiring someone like myself (sorry, shameless plug) allows you to take some of the you out of your business. As much as having a small business is about you as the owner, it’s also important to be able to differentiate the two. When clients come to me for a rebrand and their original brand is something they've created, they often realize that they have narrowed their ideal client far too much and have targeted people EXACTLY like themselves. The problem with this is that you make it hard on yourself to grow as a person or business if you are so narrowly branded. You restrict yourself from change. Bringing in a brand designer allows you to help see your brand for the magical unicorn it can be!
5. What sets Lovely Little Design Co. apart?
I am not only a brand/graphic designer but I also create wedding stationery and sell prints and greeting cards. This is a bit different from other brand designers because I know the printing and stationery world very well and I can basically create any vision you have! From custom media kits to inspirational quote prints, I’m your gal, and I’m willing to work with you to create something you love!
Giveaway : One Starter Brand Package!
The brand starter package is designed to help you put your best foot forward.
With the starter package, I am offering a free 30 minute brand analysis over Skype - so that we can figure out and refine your ideal client. From here, you will send me a Pinterest board of ideas and styles that you like. I will take those ideas and your questionnaire and create 2 logo options.
We will refine your chosen logo into the final product where I will also include a colour palette, inspiration/brand board and font suggestions. You will receive your logo in multiple formats as well as sizes for social media. If you would like to expand on the brand design starter package, I will offer you 15% off any additional items.
Follow Lovely Little Design Co. on Instagram (@lovelylittledesignco)
Follow Holl & Lane Magazine on Instagram (@hollandlanemag)
We'll announce the winner this weekend!
Editor's Note: We worked with Alex on a simple redesign of the Holl & Lane logo and color palette and it was a really great experience. She's super friendly and easy to work with. Good luck!