Today we introduce you to Sheryl Roberts. Sheryl has been a long time friend of mine so I was honored when she came to us and asked up to help develop her personal brand. We laid out the roadmap to help ellevate her brand and allow it to support and guide her towards her ultimate dream, a vintage clothing store, Indigo Style Vintage.
Hear Sheryl describe how she made the decisions that led her to open her flagship store in Brooklyn, the creative way in which she built her team, and the smart and savvy way that she tested the market to determine her inventory, price points, and location.
Our interview is available here:
And to see the visual work we did for Sheryl back in the day (it has since evolved quite a bit) take a look below:
Like many of our clients, I worked with Hilda, and completed her corporate identity (logo, website, brochures, content) before we ever met. We only live 5 miles apart, but technology seems to narrow that gap, even between neighbors.
Hilda had been a nurse for quite some time and was ready to serve her client community in a way that was limiting in her full time job, so she took an entrepreneurship course (the same one I took prior to launching my business) and put her plan in motion.
Hilda had already done her target marketing research, had a strong sense of her price points, her business model and her service offering. What she needed help with was how to present that information in a way that her buyers could absorb. Then she needed to get found!
We launched her brand within 3 weeks (we also do 1 day brand intensives, where we launch a new brand in 1 day, with all team members on deck) and not long after the launch Hilda was acquiring partnerships and getting new clients. She embodied the brand quickly and has been managing the flow and demand of it ever sense.
For the moment, Hilda chooses to be small, having only a couple of key team members, as independent contractors, to service her clients and manage the brand. With a brand that reflects you the choice to remain small but powerful is yours to control. See what we did for Hilda below and join us in celebrating another awesome client putting great work and energy out into the world:
As we continue to celebrate our 7th year anniversary we introduce you to the mission and magic of New Jersey City University (NJCU). NJCU, located in Jersey City, NJ, boasts more than 60 ethnicities and 30 languages spoken on campus, and it accessible by many modes of public transportation. With two campuses, they are among one of the most versatile and convenient universities in the New York, especially for those who attend the business school at Harborside Financial Plaza at the Jersey City Waterfront.
Full disclosure, I (Beatrice) am on the board of NJCU, but that designation didn’t happen haphazardly. As a 6 year tenant at their business incubator, I know first hand how they rally for their students and how much the mission of moving working class families into educational achievement is for them. To that end, the project that we worked on with them was for a new degree in Finance, and they offered full tuition and waived application fees! I believe entrepreneurship and education will change the world, and so I full-heartedly believed in this project. I continue the work we started as a board member at their business school because I believe they are a gem in the cluttered climate of education these days.
I encourage you to look into their programs for all of your local and distance your education needs.
It’s our birthday! This month we turn 7 and to celebrate we’re highlighting some of the amazing clients we’ve had the honor of working with for the past 7 years. Every day in July stop by to get inspired, get the inside scoop and see how brands evolve. We’ve worked with small brands, big brands, brands that evolved and brand that were dissolved and through it all we have developed more passion and spirit than you can imagine.
To kick off the series we are first highlighting Porshea Wilkins. Porshea is one of the first entrepreneurs that we worked with back in the day and we worked with her to build her personal brand over at PorsheaRae.com. Since that time Porshea has evolved and is now managing many brands, including a powerful platform Build It For Your Last Name, with her husband Jarrod. Porshea is proof that your brand is always best when it evolves to match your growth. Need inspiration? Listen to the podcast below, and then visit Porshea’s website at www.BuildItForYourLastName.com and get on her list! You won’t regret it!
Today’s article is contributed by Bonnie Halper at StartupOneStop.com
Back in the 1970s, liquid hand soap was sold by one guy: Robert Taylor, and his small company Minnetonka. It was his invention, and he knew he was on to something big. Test audiences loved the product and, despite barely having enough resources to do so, Minnetonka decided to go all in and make a push to take the product nationwide.
There was only one problem: Nothing he was selling could be patented.
The concept of liquid soap wasn’t new, and simple pumps had been around since the dawn of civilization. As a result, Taylor knew several huge soap manufacturers were ready to happily steal his idea the very moment it looked like it could succeed on a large scale. Armed with superior resources and the ability to quickly R&D an imitation product, the industry giants were ready to crush tiny Minnetonka.
Taylor, however, was ready for this.
Before any other company had the chance, Taylor decided to go shopping one day and bought a few plastic pumps. And by a few we mean F**KING ALL OF THEM. There were only two companies nationwide manufacturing those little pumps, and Taylor ponied up $12 million — more than the total net worth of his company at the time — and ordered 100 million of them, effectively buying every single pump these two companies would be able to manufacture for the next year or two.
Anyway, without the part required to dispense the soap, there was nothing the major companies could do but sit and watch Taylor slowly own the entire market. His product would become known as SoftSoap, Two years after his little stunt, Colgate-Palmolive would be forced to just buy SoftSoap from Taylor … for $61 million.”
Of course, this was pre-web, pre 3D printing, pre proliferation of patent trolls and pre China, who can knock off anything seemingly overnight.
The point is: this is a great example of entrepreneurship at its best – the convergence of innovation and thinking outside the box. Pun very much intended: when faced with seemingly overwhelming challenges, raise the bar.
I got an email from a friend on Facebook the other day, right after my hiatus, asking me if I was now modeling.
That brought such a smile to my face, and I told my friend “no, those days are over” but ironically, just a couple of weeks ago I hired a stylist based in Los Angeles to do a brand style strategy session with me because I was feeling a bit frumpy when I covered my skin.
Can you relate?
We’d all like to believe (at least I would) that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but what’s on the outside is always, always, always the first thing anyone will notice you for, unless your blind or on the telephone.
So when I reached out to Sybil Henry, a friend and trusted colleague of mine who has worked in branding for over a decade just like me, I knew I was working with someone that wasn’t just going to tell me to dress “trendy” but who was going to consider who I am, what I like, and what my strengths are, and play to that.
It was so much fun. In my 43 years of life I have never been one to like shopping. I’m not one of those women who likes shoes. I did an “audit” of my closet and realized I had about 30 pairs of shoes, and more than 20 of them were black!
What a wakeup call. As a leader in brand development, and brand ambassadorship I noticed that I needed to step into “a new skin” that totally represented me, but that also excited me, and has it been fun!
For the first time in EVER I found myself online looking at clothing and shoes in a whole different light. I feel like I now understand how to dress (which surprises people since I WAS once a model back in the day) and I find the idea of shopping for clothes and shoes a creative journey.
Shopping can be a creative journey.
Sybil knew. If you feel that your style needs a bit of inspiration she’s having a free teleclass next Thursday. You may want to check it out.
And if you’ve nailed your brand style, or have some insight to share with others be sure to comment below. Sharing is caring!
OK, I’m so excited. I didn’t want to leave you hanging about my dilemma about my 5-year vision planning and I have an update!
I had a call with Angela Jia Kim of Savor the Success and the Manifest Method class that I’ve been taking and she broke me wide open. Where do I even begin?
From the beginning, of course.
Back in the nineties (yeah, I’m going that far back) I fell in love with a brazilian. Actually, he was American Brazilian, but in any case, that love led me to dive deep into the culture and language of Brazil.
I took private lessons to learn the language and then immersed myself in group classes and study abroad. I went to stay with families in Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, and Salvador Da Bahia to refine my understanding of the language and put it in context.
Rio and Belo were great but in Bahia I fell in love even deeper – with the country, not the guy that sparked it all. I almost died (literally, more on that another time) but I came out of that country with a vow that my life would one day be fully intertwined there.
Silly me, I made statements like “One day I will retire here” and “I have a Brazilian heart” but neither of those statements moved me closer to my goal. After a few years distractions got in the way and I found myself further and further away from the goal. I used to visit Brazil often, and I honestly haven’t been back in about a decade.
As I spoke with Angela about my dilemma in mapping out my 4 and 5 year goals she asked me one poignant question “What do you ideally want your life to look like in 5 years time” and my answer was this:
I’d like to to be living and working from Brazil at least 3 months out of the year. I’d like 3 corporate clients there, and a pied-a-terre in Chicago or Atlanta.
Angela said “Well, what needs to happen right before that… and right before that… and right before that?”
And I broke.
I think I scared her because the tears were instant and unstoppable. This passion, this longing, in Portuguese they call it saudade, that I had, was revived and I could now see with total clarity what I want my life to look like in a few years.
And boy is it exciting. And you know I think excitement drives everything. I’ve mapped out some very solid first steps to making it happen, and am even planning a trip to Brazil THIS YEAR, to re-immerse myself and ignite the vision with strength.
Yippee! Happy Dance! It’s all so very wonderful.
What about you? What plans do you have? What thoughts circle your mind? I’d love to get some insight on your journey as well.
I’m currently in the midst of a summer program over at Savor The Success and for the past couple of weeks we’ve been working on our 5 year business goals using Angela’s Manifest Method.
It’s amazing how you can have such big goals, dreams and aspirations in your head but when it’s time to put pen to paper you draw a blank. I have lofty goals. I want to transform the industry as we know it, give women in branding a voice and catapult our influence to the top of all industries.
Yet, breaking that down in yearly, then monthly, then weekly goals is a challenge. How do I start? What’s realistic? What matters?
How do I map out the goals and account for the monkey wrenches that get thrown into life all the time?
So far I have changed, or should I say, refined my goals twice. I’m getting focused and starting to feel what truly matters to me. This year my main goals is to complete my products and my book.
Next year I’ll move on to launch a community of women empowered to instigate change in the industry (Women in Branding) and by year three I want to be licensing and training the Brand Excitement methodology so that other women in the field can launch with success.
Beyond that… I just don’t know. I know I want to one day host a really large conference. 200 women in attendance. But I’m foggy as to when I want that to happen (or to be quite honest with myself, when I think it can happen).
I also want to pay off my house, have a second home in Brazil and set up my business so that a few months out of each year I’m in Brazil full time.
But where does it fit in? This business planning crap is hard! What say you? What goals do you have year-to-year in your 5 year trajectory?
I’d love a bit of help.
This week I’m in Chicago to visit with family and also attend the launch of a new program with Believe Inspire Grow’s Chicago Chapter (BIG +PLUS). Being a faculty member of BIG and hailing from Chicago, there was no way I could miss this event.
We met today at the Harley Davidson in Lisle, Illinois. SO PERFECT. I no longer own a motorcycle so it was a joy and special treat to be surrounded by them for a day. It was raining and despite the fact there were still some students there taking lessons. It’s important to know how to ride in the rain (hey, that could make for a good article later) and even more special when two dozen women take over a motorcycle shop!
I was so inspired by the women in this room. I felt as if I was looking through a mirror. Women who had strong and lucrative corporate careers who gave it all up for the new life they wanted to live. For some of them this meant taking time off to have kids, and for others, it was pulling away to do their true passion.
BIG +PLUS is for the woman who wants to scale her business and grow it to or beyond the six-figure, $100,000 level. For some, having a part-time business is all they want, while others want to create an empire like me. We had 10 new women join the program and afterwards me and the other faculty members did some laser coaching for the new members.
It was great. It was awesome. It was BIG!!!
If you’ve been looking to network with women in business check to see if BIG has a group near you. You just may be in luck, they have over 50 groups in 5 states!
Speak to you soon!
Just a few days ago I attended the Tory Burch Foundation’s Mentoring Event For Women Entrepreneurs. This was my third time attending the event and each time I have attended I walk away with such great coaching and insight that I can’t imagine being in this place in my business without it.
To start off each event Tory always asks each of the mentors to share the best advice they’ve ever been given. Such amazing golden nuggets are shared in that room that I am compelled to share them with you here. The mentors represent all types of industries, whether service or product, and are based in multiple locations. Here’s what they had to say:
Jay Hass of RRE Ventures: Fail well and learn from it
Sarah Gallagher, President of Ralph Lauren: Follow your passion. Do the thing that makes you want to get up in the morning and stay true to your heart while being authentic.
Jennifer Pate Gilbert, Founder of Save The Date: Outsource everything but your soul
Maneesh Goyal, CEO of MKG Events and LiveInTheGray.com: Nothing is more important than your relationships. Turn every meeting into 2 other meetings based on referrals.
Bill Ford, CEO of General Atlantic: Do what you’re passionate about
Clarice Kennedy, Senior Director of Resources Global Professionals: Find your True North. There is no instant CEO, it’s about the journey. Develop the leadership model that feels right for you.
Natalia Oberti Noguera, Founder and CEO of Pipeline Fellowship: Don’t be afraid to participate in pitch events – they lead to great connections.
Nicole Primack, Director, Private Banking, Credit Suisse: NEver be intimidated by your surroundings.
Kajal Sanghrajka, Founder EBK Eyewear & Co-President at Columbia Business Lab: Remember Reciprocity. Instead of thinking of what you can get think of how you can serve.
Frank Vitteritti, CEO of Import Commodity Group: Keep your company under control, don’t let it control you.
Kathleen Warner, COO of Startup America Partnership: 1) get comfortable being uncomfortable 2) Trust yourself!
As you can see, this group was second to none. I was able to get some personal mentoring from Jenniver, Maneesh, Kathleen, Clarice and Jay. Combined I have a solid plan and simple steps to move me forward and towards greater growth in the coming months.
Tory Burch is to be commended for the way that she gives back and empowers entrepreneurs to follow in her steps. There are more entrepreneurs who lend their advice and expertise on her website. Visit it, stay plugged in, and choose one piece of advice that you can focus on this week. Which of the golden nuggets above resonate most with you?