My drive and passion for success began at an early age. I could rock a lemonade stand like no one’s business. These entrepreneurial roots assisted me in spearheading a student organization on campus as a college freshman all the way on through to becoming a million dollar producer my first year in sales at age 23, a vice-president at a Fortune 500 finance company by 27. It gave me the confidence to turn in my briefcase for a diaper bag and stay home with my kids and build an entrepreneurial empire of my own.
Following a lifelong love of antiques and a knack for finding treasures in the most unlikely of places, I began a small vintage boutique called Adored Before. I learned to appreciate the value in creating beautiful art from yesteryear’s castoffs, turning trash into treasure (and cash) with my own two hands. My business was tremendously profitable from the very first year, in part due to my (low-cost and no-cost) marketing efforts and having unwittingly created something that resonated with my audience. Businesses don’t succeed by luck alone. Always inquisitive, I dug deep to see what I was doing that seemed to be working and where I was stuck. It all came back to branding. I shared my story authentically, developed a unique selling proposition, positioned my brand, and like magic, my right people magnetically came to me.
In the past couple of years, I began to venture outside the artisan world into creativity of another sort. I have always marveled at the power of words. I was the kid who had a dictionary stowed under my bed, as I and learned as many new words as I could before I drifted off to sleep at night. And I’ve loved to read from as far back as I can remember, and not just dictionaries. Even today, I read between one and five books a week. I just can’t help myself. There’s so much to devour in literature. So when all of the words, thoughts, and ideas I’d been collecting needed to be shared, the writing was a natural progression. I flexed my creative mind and ventured down a new and uncertain path. I began Designher Brands in late 2010, offering copywriting, consulting, encouragement and resources for women in small business. A perfect combination of left-brain structure and drive and right-brain creativity and spontaneity.
In order to dedicate myself solely to this new adventure, I had to say farewell to an old friend. I needed to let go of yesterday to see tomorrow. I sold the boutique everything in it right down to the last earring and faced a most uncertain future. Again, my first year proved profitable. Suddenly, there was a waitlist. Again, it all came down to authentic, persona-based branding. Finding a niche and working it from all angles.
As I worked with clients to help launch dozens of new businesses I began to notice a trend. They were all spending money on advertising, but not on branding. They put the cart before the horse. And as a result, they struggled. I felt the need to share some of the things I learned along my own journey about successful small business ownership. Everything I preached all came back to one thing: branding. But not just any branding; Personality-based branding drenched in authenticity, and rooted deep in Psychology. And so, here we are.