If you aren't familiar with the term, molting is when a bird sheds his or her feathers. We all know how cute and fluffy baby penguins are, eventually transforming into their tuxedo-like feathers. They do this by molting! Professor Feathers, Rocky and Goo Goo (my three pet cockatiels) molt a few times a year. When this happens, they release feathers & down to make way for new growth. Many cockatiels experience a drastic change in feather patterning and color with their first molt. During this phase, a bird that appeared to be a female can transform into having a male's coloring, thus revealing his gender.
THE REBRAND :: 12TH HOUSE STUDIO
In addition to Woo-Bird, I also run an enchanting creative arts venture called 12th House Studio. The "Woo" in Woo-Bird has multiple meanings! I am most certainly a "woo-woo" gal at heart. Through 12th House, I offer handmade art, cosmic collectibles and astrological know-how.
I founded 12th House Studio almost 7 years ago this year. That realization hit me last week like a ton of bricks. 7 years!? How has it been that long? I remember the day I drove to get my business license, I was so excited to start a business that would be all my own. In all honesty, I had no idea what I was doing. Over the past 7 years, I made pretty much every mistake one could make. A lot of those mistakes, I believe, were completely preventable had I laid the proper foundation to move forward. I had vision but I lacked foundation.
FAILURE LEADS TO SUCCESS
In terms of branding, marketing and business organization, 12th House is most certainly a tale of what happens when you lack a clear direction for your business and jump in without any organization whatsoever. Like many small business owners, I launched 12th House Studio with only a passion to create and a willingness to inspire. I was convinced that is all I needed.
Yes, passion is a huge part of any venture. Passion is what fuels all other action. Like the pilot light in a furnace, it's the flame that is always burning and the flame that fuels the action. But creating a solid foundation for your brand? That's essential. A grounded brand is a successful one. Grounded means, having all your ducks in a row. Being organized. Understanding your market. Knowing your customer. And so on and so forth. Like any relationship, once the honeymoon phase ends and the new-ness of your brand's launch wears off, reality sets in. The brand must be maintained, the message must be consistent and the work must continue. How do you keep up?
Unfortunately, the whole “fly by the seat of my pants” mode of operating with 12th House Studio left me 100% burned out every year. I was met with a few unexpected life events early on, that were difficult for my family. But because I lacked a solid foundation, 12th House crumbled under the weight every time. Realistically, all of us will face the unexpected in our businesses and in our personal lives. This is when that clarity, consistency and organization count.
In over 7 years, not once had I focused on really honing in on the business side of my work with 12th House. I never thought to look into what message my branding conveyed. Who was my ideal client? What are my goals? What is and is not working? I never revisited things. I just sort of rolled along. I was always playing catch up, never once did I feel ahead of the game. Not once had I really sat down and organized my marketing, conducted research, learned more, networked. It never seemed important to me. You could say I spent a long time just throwing things at the wall to see what would stick. This process, though, left me burned out every single year. Every year.
LET'S WOO THIS
In all of my mishaps with 12th House Studio, I was able to take those mistakes and learn from them. My experience launching Woo-Bird has been very different. Over the past several months, I invested a tremendous amount of energy to planning and developing. I had a clear direction with Woo-Bird. I spent a lot of time brainstorming, understanding my market, knowing my limits and coming up with a clear vision for the brand. I already had clients and many projects under my belt. It was a matter of putting the pieces together and spreading my wings.
In my action plan for Woo-Bird this spring, one of my to-do list items was to take you on the journey of a branding or re-branding project. Give potential clients a clear idea of what it is like to develop a brand identity, what brand exercises are involved, how I like to work and explain why certain parts of the branding process are so important.
So I decided to make 12th House Studio my rebrand project! It’s about time I create clear and consistent goals for my little mystical venture. 12th House deserves a refresh. I adore that business, it's like my second child. The pilot light is still burning. This re-branding journey means re-visiting my logo, my vision, my ideal client and what it is I am going to offer there. You'll see vision boards, brand questionnaires and some examples of my planning process.
I invite you to follow along as I walk you through my re-brand throughout this blog series. Witness the big molt of a business that is near and dear to my heart. I'm a person who loves transparency, so I think it will be beneficial to us both to take you along this journey. Let's face it, as small business owners, entrepreneurs, creatives, we have all made mistakes. We. It's part of the process. It's an integral part of the process. The failures are a gift (although they dont' seem like ti at the time). You can't side-step this part of the process.