Email conversation between me and my lead designer…
The conversation went something like this:
Lori: Hey Michelle, I’d like to spruce-up the sGm brand and give it a bit of a fresh look. I love it, but there’s just *something* about it that has never felt right to me. I’m always feeling like it needs something, but I just can’t nail it down. Maybe I’m too attached to it… too close. Thoughts?
Michelle: Can I be totally honest with you? It doesn’t fit. When I see it I want to sing Please don’t go Guuuuuuuurrrrrrrrlllllllll, or snap my fingers at you and say You go guuuuuuuurrrrrrrrlllllll. Please don’t hate me!
Lori: OMG! I have wanted someone to say that to me for YEARS! Why hasn’t anyone said something?! It’s like I’ve had spinach on my teeth for 11 years!
I had no idea back in March when I sent Michelle that email asking to tweek the savvyGURL media logo that it would trigger a ten month-long exercise in soul searching, goal setting, business re-evaluation and patience.
As someone who has specialized in branding for nearly 20 years, it was my first time on the other side of the table, and I gotta be honest it felt strange, sometimes frustrating, and so completely right. That email conversation with Michelle confirmed something that had been nagging at me in the back of my mind for years–I was married to a brand that I had outgrown and no longer loved. It was time to break-up.
Realizing that I didn’t have to stay married to my brand was just the starting point, and I decided to use it as the push to re-evaluate my work, look at what parts I loved, what parts I hated, and how I could work out a plan to develop a business that not only gave me an income, but a business that would allow me to do what I truly love, and would allow me to thrive as a creative entrepreneur, a wife and a mother. The timing was perfect – I had just finished up a maternity leave, and I had decided not to return to full-time work once my contract ended at my job. We were at a point where we, as a family, were considering options for our future: what would we do, where would we live, what did we want the next stage of our life to look like. We agreed that jumping in head-first and launching a full-service agency was the right step. As for location, we decided that moving back east to Newfoundland would make us happiest. St. John’s is steeped in creativity; and we felt that it’s personality, energy, colour and vibrant business community would be an absolute perfect fit for our agency!
That was the easy part.
If this was going to be my livelihood, I decided that I only want to do what I love. I sat down with a pen and paper and made two columns: Love it and Lose it, and under each column I listed the work that I had been doing for the past few years and saw that the most prominent loves were design, marketing, branding and web, and that I really loved working with nonprofit, health and community-based organizations (I called them organizations with a conscious). It felt right.
From there I moved into looking at what I wanted the brand to represent. I wanted buy cymbalta generic online something engaging that would immediately allow people to associate the name and brand with what the business specializes in. I wanted something short, catchy, fun and recognizable, and the inspiration hit me on a long drive to town one sunny morning while I was listening to the Beetles. I wanted to say Hello. Hello! HELLO! Hellooooo!
That was it! Hello! Hello opens communication! It initiates interaction; it’s friendly, it’s warm, and hello, it’s the second most recognized word in the world (after Coca-Cola). Now, hello alone doesn’t mean much, but in combination with the exact thing that I offer – interactive media solutions and design – well, that pretty much sums it up; and Hello Interactive Media & Design Inc. was born!
I’d like to say it was all smooth sailing after that, but it wasn’t. I told you it was a long exercise, didn’t I?!
Realizing that I wanted to do it right from the start this time, I decided from the onset that I couldn’t do it alone. I was still working on a full roster of client projects, so DIY-ing the whole thing on my own wasn’t an option. I enlisted my designer Michelle to take the lead on the logo and design of the branding elements, consulted with my strategist, Sara on my business plan, and mapped the whole project out with Florin. I began working with website content strategy extraordinaire, Maggie Patterson to help me map out my messaging, and while I took the lead on designing the website, and bringing all the pieces together, I turned to That Super Girl, Nikole Gipps for all things technical.
I honestly could not have done it all without them, and I realized something incredibly valuable along the way – I have a KILLER team!
Hello isn’t a one-woman gig. We’re a team of unbelievably talented, passionate and hard-working individuals who get it. We love what we do, and it comes through in everything we do. And, hello, that’s exactly what I wanted!!
I’m so excited to finally, officially open the business doors. We did the official business handover from sGm at the beginning of September, and we did a soft launch of the website in December. I wanted to take some time after the site launch to regroup and reflect on the whole great big process that my team and I went through this past year. I wanted to appreciate the fruits of our labour, and get ready to step into these new digs relaxed and ready to go forward.
So we invite you to join us on this great new adventure! We’d love to get to know you and help you grow your business.
I’m the Founder and Creative Strategist of Hello Interactive Media & Design.
A marketing geek by trade, I come to this gig with twenty years of experience under my belt. I love working with amazing clients who are passionate about their business – whether it’s a charity/non-profit, community-based organization or a small business getting ready to grow.
Specializing in digital and print design, marketing, branding and web development, we work together to make your business stand out and get noticed; and we like to have a little fun while we’re doing it.