I mentioned in my last post about having a care first attitude and so it seems suitable to introduce my new collection of designs mostly for weddings, made with love. The Creative Soul Collection is a range of elegant vintage style postcard invitations for weddings and other special life events such as naming ceremonies or christenings. Some wedding invitation designs are also paired with personal wedding websites (which I will talk more about in a minute).
This collection started over 3 years ago when I was planning my own wedding and designed our invitations. This is where the ‘Big Heart’ design on the website came from and the idea of personalising invitations using photos. I then went on to design other postcard stye invitations for others I knew and came up with the idea of producing a wedding website to match the invitations for my sisters wedding last year. It worked really well and when I attended the wedding I got lots of positive comments from the guests.
I also liked the idea of a wedding website being kinder to the environment. People spend so much on print for weddings with various things to accompany the invites such as RSVP (and envelope), directions, gift lists and sometimes menus. With a website all this is cut out as all the information can go on there as well as much more information too. You can find out more about the benefits of a wedding website here >> . My invitations are kept small and simple, and printed on 100% recycled card too. The whole range is perfect for eco-weddings and as most of the designs have a vintage feel they are perfect for vintage themed weddings too.
As well as the main 3 designs, which can be personalised with photographs of the bride & groom and their own words, I also offer a bespoke design service. I am also currently working on more designs in the future for weddings and other special life events such as naming ceremonies & christenings.
Here is an example of a invitation and wedding website range on my website.
Happy new year to everyone! So the mayans didn’t predict the end of the world but maybe the start of a new era? These are my thoughts anyway. An era where hopefully we have the opportunity to change, and there are many tools to help us.
I wanted to start the new year off with good intention and have just read a very interesting book called ‘Dare to Care – A Love-based foundation for money and finance’. It’s a very interesting book where the author Louis Bohtlingk dares to suggest that the world economy could be healed if everyone took a ‘care first’ attitude. Although we may be a long way off I liked the principles and it’s definitely the way I want to go with Creative Soul. Here is an excerpt from the book…
We apply care-first when we put care first and let money serve that care.
We apply money-first when we put money first at the expense of what we care about.
I see money-first and care first as the two aspects of our test with money.
In a care-first world, we use money in service of our caring, our values, and our passion.
We use it in service of the well-being of ourselves, each other and the earth. Care-first creates a love-based economy.
In a money-first world we use money at the expense of our caring, our values, and our passion.
We use it at the expense of the well-being of ourselves, of each other, and of the Earth. Money-first creates a fear-based economy.
As we enter the money-first aspect of our life and culture, we meet an illusion. We look for money without looking for caring, life, and spirit and hope to find something but enter emptiness and find nothing. This can lead to anger frustration and can open the careless and destructive side of our nature.
As we enter the care-first aspect of our life and culture, we meet truth. When we aim for caring, life, and spirit and use money to serve that aim, we enter fullness and find everything. This leads to satisfaction, happiness and opens the caring and constructive side of our nature.
Care-first stabilises the world, because it stabilises our psyche. Care-first sustains the world because it sustains us. Money-first destabilises the world and is not sustainable
Can you see what will happen to our world when we move from a money-first to a care-first attitude?
To read the book you can buy it from Cygnus books here http://www.cygnus-books.co.uk/dare-to-care-louis-bohtlingk.html
In my recent blog post about Marketing for a higher purpose I touched on the use of colour as an important factor in connecting with your audience. I would now like to delve a bit further into this and go through the different colours and what emotions they bring about in people.
Different colours can bring about different feelings in us, they may make you feel uplifted, inspired or maybe even a bit down. Bright colours tend to energise, while muted colours are relaxing. Colour therapy uses the principles of eastern medicine and many ancient cultures whereby the healing is based around chakras in our body. There are seven main chakras, each chakra is associated with a colour and also brings a different energy or feeling.
Knowing how colours can effect our moods and feelings can help you decide which colours feel right for your enterprise and sit well with your brand values. Here are the main colours and what feelings they can bring to people.
Red is a symbol of strength, courage, passion and love. It is a colour that is simulating and so grabs our attention. Red can also help us to feel grounded, secure and safe.
Red is great for logo’s to be eye-catching or is great for using as a call to action on marketing material or signage.
Orange enhances creativity, vitality and sensuality. It stimulates socialisation and creates opportunity. Orange is also associated with joy, happiness and pleasure. It is an all round fun colour.
Orange is great for businesses that are trying to be fun and light-hearted that may be focused on children or social events.
Yellow is a symbol of universal love that brings light and growth to our life. It . It is bright, empowering and encourages positive thinking and optimism.
Yellow is good to use in contrast with other colours to grab attention or in brands that want a bright and positive approach.
Green is the most relaxing color for our brain to interpret and connects us to nature. It is a natural healing color and therefore is soothing to the body, mind and spirit. Green links us to our love for the earth and to new growth.
Green is an obvious colour for businesses with an environmental message or a focus on nature.
Blue represents truth and communication. It also brings a calming energy that aids relaxation and helps to quiet the mind. In ancient healing blue is said to help us express ourselves peacefully and truthfully.
Blue is good for businesses that people need to place their trust in such as banks or insurance. It is also great for businesses with a focus on communication and networking.
Purple is the color of transformation which is said to connect us to our spiritual self. It’s thought to encourage intuition, wisdom, mastery and mental strength and focus. It is also a very regal and luxurious colour with a mysterious, sophisticated feel.
Purple is often used in businesses which wants to portray a luxurious high-end feel or may have a focus on spirituality.
Pink symbolises love and the feminine nature. In ancient healing it also, like green, links us to love and has a very peaceful effect.
Pink is an obvious choice for businesses with a feminine or pretty approach for example girls toys/ clothes.
Brown connects us to an earthly simplicity and has a very natural feel. It must be used carefully to create the right feel as some shades of brown may be associated with dirt and mud. Used correctly though brown can give a very sophisticated yet simplistic feel.
Brown can be used for any business which may want to portray a simple, natural and down-to-earth approach.
Black brings about a timeless and sophisticated feel. It has a classic feel to it and will bring about an image of prestige.
Black is great for businesses that want to promote expensive and classic products and can also give across an edgy feel.
White is a symbol of purity and peace. It also represents cleanliness and simplicity.
White is often used in health care and also for baby and children’s products. It may also be used successfully in spiritual focused businesses.
When starting a new venture or re-branding an existing business or enterprise it is useful to take time to really think about what feelings you’d like to evoke in your target audience and choose colours that reflect this. This way you will be able to be true to your core values and hopefully connect with the people that matter most.
I have been working on some really cool projects recently and a few are on going so I just wanted to show a little sneaky peak of what I am working on….
I have been working with the lovely Vanessa & Julian at Visit Cumbria to give the site a re-brand and move it over to a Content Management system! This is a sneaky peak of the new homepage. We’re getting there!
Ambleside Primary School
A lovely little project for me to work on is the prospectus at Ambleside Primary School. Myself and my good friend Abby from Abby Nelson Photography went down at the beginning of summer to photograph the kids at the school. I am going to be putting the prospectus together soon, looking forward to it!
Another sneaky peak at a website I have been doing for a SEO business that s due to launch later in the year. Charlotte is really experienced in the field of SEO and I can certainly recommend her to anyone!
Another start up business Gloriosa, based near Keswick, will be offering bespoke design for wedding flowers and cakes. I have been working with Netty from Gloriosa to produce a logo design, stationery plus promotional material.
Network Cumbria is a new networking group starting this week organised by Kaylee Clark of Cherry Tree Marketing and my good friend Leah Davies of Boo Events. I have been working with them to produce branding and a logo for the networking group who aim to ‘Connect Cumbrian Business’ and set up numerous meetings every month around Cumbria. It’s an exciting week as the launch event is on Wednesday evening and 50 people are due to attend! I’m sure we’ll meet some interesting folk as always!
Whilst most holistic or ethical businesses advertise in some way or another, the idea of ‘branding’, ‘promoting’ and ‘marketing’ can often seem like a very different world. Readily associated with big business, capitalism and mass consumerism, such an approach can seem coarse and brash, that you are ‘just in it for the money’, and even at odds with the very essence of your philosophy.
Our Branded World
Most people, when thinking of branding and marketing, imagine big superstores taking over independent shops, or global banks making money out of us at every opportunity. You may think of the adverts, which bombard you each time you put on the TV, open your emails and walk down the street. It all seems very in your face and unethical with the sole purpose of pushing you into buying anything and everything. Big brands also feel impersonal and remind us of big government-like corporations.
Fortunately marketing and branding isn’t always this way, and most of us wish to feel connected to what we are buying or getting involved with on a deeper level than just money and material things. There are plenty of strong ethical brands or those I call ‘brands with a conscience’ that many of you probably buy into every week.
Yes, these brands are making money, but they are also helping to be kind to our environment, ourselves or animals at the same time. These are brands I’m sure most of you will recognise and may have in your home.
My personal favourites include Ecover – ‘Effective cleaning Ecologically’; Clipper Teas – ‘Natural, Fair, Delicious’; Suma Wholefoods – ‘Vegetarian, Organic, Fairtrade’; People Tree – ‘Sustainable and Fair Trade Fashion’ and Neals Yard Remedies – ‘Organic, Natural Health and Beauty’. All these brands began with an ethical vision of kindness to the planet and all living things and are trusted and successful with this vision.
These brands are also great examples of good, strong marketing; they all have a clear and well-designed logo, a USP (unique selling point) and are successful because they are in line with their customer’s values. A new breed of spiritual gurus also use the web and marketing to their full potential including Diana Cooper with her website and books about angel guidance and Gabrielle Berstein, New York’s new spiritual role model, with her website gabbyb.tv and her books including Spirit Junkie.
My Contribution to Ethical Marketing
Being the mother to a young child I want to help make the world a kinder, more compassionate place for him and his generation. Right now I feel I can do this by combining my training in and interest in holistic therapies with my vocational expertise in graphic design and marketing. My intention is to enable holistic and ethical, independent enterprises to become more successful. Creative Soul is all about getting to the hearts of the ethical and holistic businesses I work with, then using my marketing expertise to create a unique package which portrays the essence of each business to potential clients.
I believe that as the consciousness of the earth rises, people are changing and feeling less secure in the world. Those who may not have chosen a holistic or natural path previously may now be more inclined to do so. Therefore such businesses now need to create trust in their customers and be accessible to a wider range of people and it is here that I am currently refocusing my energy.
Marketing your Holistic Business
So here are the ways I recommend you can create a successful brand with great marketing on a holistic/ ethical level:
Decide who your market is
- This is important to any enterprise big or small. If you know who you are aiming your product or service to then it’s easier to plan the rest of your marketing strategy.
- Do you want to cater to a specialist range of people or do you want to appeal to everyone? It’s good to be the best you can in one area rather than ‘jack of all trades’.
- It’s often what is closest to your heart where you will be most successful. You will show passion and be able to keep going when times are hard.
- What are your values and can they connect with the values of others?
Vision or Story
- Once you know your passion and audience next develop a vision of what your enterprise wants to achieve and where you have come from. This is your story, and the more personal the better.
- If you can create a vision or story that your customers can read then this is something they will feel connected to on an emotional level. You can build your design and marketing around this. If you ever feel lost yourself you can refer back to it to get you back on track.
USP (Unique Selling Point)
- A unique selling point makes you stand out from your competitors and sums up what you do it one sentence.
Timeless, attractive design and clever use of colour
- Once you know your audience, good design is key. Some people think this isn’t an important factor but this, and the language you use, is how you connect with your audience.
- Colour is extremely important in marketing as the colours you choose for your logo or branding, like colour therapy, give a strong impression. Take the brands above as an example, the colours signify and bring about different feelings. In my next blog post I will explore all the colours to show how each one can bring about emotions and connect to people on different levels.
- It’s great to decide on how you want to come across to your customers. Do you want to be laid back and funny, or friendly and practical.
- Think about your audience and how they would like to be spoken to.
- How can they best trust in you and your services?
In this day and age it’s definitely good to have a web presence. A website, some sort of presence on social media networks like Facebook/ Twitter etc and some way of communicating with your customers on a regular basis such as emails or newsletters is ideal. Though many of us ‘natural’ people are resisting it (especially myself for my young son) we do live in a digital age, and most adults obtain a great deal of information from the Internet. Although Facebook and Twitter take up a lot of precious time, a great deal of inspirational enterprises do make good use of such platforms. After all, although they are digital, they are a way of connecting with others and opening up opportunities we may not have had otherwise.
So there you have it; branding and marketing shouldn’t have to be so scary and badly thought of if it is used to bring about a transformation in society and help ethical and holistic enterprises advance!
The aim of my work is to use creative ideas and concepts to create connections and opportunities, which in turn create change. If you would like to explore how I could support you in marketing your own holistic business I would love to hear from you.
Happy Ethical Marketing!
As I work from home it means I spend most of my time at home so I really like to be surrounded my beautiful inspirational things. I also like the things in my house to be either ethical, or have some connection with nature as much as I can to bring the outdoors, indoors. I had a quick scoot around my home to find my favourite pieces of design, so here goes…
We got this wallpaper 6 months after we moved into our house, only because it took me that long to persuade my other half! I love it because it brings lots of greenery into our living room without having lots of plants to look after, although I know plants would be better really. I keep thinking about changing that wall but can’t actually do it, my house wouldn’t be the same!
Yes a few of these bits and pieces are baby/ toddler related as being a mum that is at home with my little boy while juggling various creative projects it no surprise really. This was my birthday present from my dad when i was pregnant with my little boy and I have had so much use out of it. I love the funky design, how it is so practical and I haven’t seen any other mums with the same one. In fact I have had a few comments about it at various baby groups!
Anorak are a really cool company who’s mission is to ‘encourage people to bring a touch of the outdoors inside and a touch of the indoors outside’. I like that.
I LOVE this as it was a wedding present from our dear friends in London and is personalised with details about me and my husband. At the time our friends lived in Brighton and got it from a studio there but you can now get the same print and other similar prints from the graphic artist Oliver Hyde on Not on the High Street website here http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&term=oliver+hyde&search.x=0&search.y=0
First of all I really like the simple design of Phaidon books, well the ones I have anyway. They always just look clean simple and modern and like all good design timeless.
This recipe book from Rose Bakery in France is just so different to usual recipe books. The layout inside is really simple and the photography is really down to earth. The recipes are awesome too and include some vegan ones which I like. I use it lots for baking which makes me happy!
We also have a couple of Phaidon Wallpaper city guides although we haven’t actually been to the cities yet. You can check out the range of city travel guides here http://uk.phaidon.com/store/travel/
Bit of a boring one but I really like the design of this range of eco-friendly cleaning products. I like how they use the simple white fonts and bring colour into the design through brightly colored sprays. The little logo’s are cute too and it’s all planet friendly and looks really modern.
They have even teamed up with textile designer Orla Kiely for some funky hand wash! http://methodhome.com/shop/orla-kiely-limited-edition-dish-pump/
This book is just lovely. It was given as a gift to my son and the graphics are just amazing and they compliment a really inspirational story too.
The illustrator draws onto black card then cuts it out, scans it in and then adds colour behind. A really intricate and unusual illustration effect that looks stunning in print.
Another one from my son’s book shelf and many of you will recognise this style from The Hungry Caterpillar book which has been around for years.
I just love the simple childlike collage effect graphics and bright colours. And my son likes the too so that’s a bonus!
Ok so I started this blog and planned to write every week or so but with one thing or another that hasn’t happened! Since the last post I have been on a family holiday to Canada, ran a family garden party with my natural playgroup www.beautifulbeginnings.org.uk and started some interesting creative projects, alongside my role of mummy to an increasingly energetic toddler! Phew!
One lovely thing I did find on my travels though, while looking for some aeroplane reading was an inspirational magazine ‘Oh Comely’. I find choosing magazines hard as it’s usually out of celeb gossip/ womens mags (which I find are mostly adverts for buying things or talking about celebs which I am not really that interested in anymore) or specialist mags like house/ babies/ food (which I never fancy unless it’s to do with my latest project at the time). So when I saw the different simple white cover with dreamy kind of photo and words ‘Oh Comely – Keep your curiosity sacred’ I decided to pick it up and have a look.
Oh Comely is a magazine who say they ‘inspire people to be creative, talk to their neighbours and explore new things’, which is just up my street! The best bits of the issue I bought were illusrations of lovely pieces of advice, an article on a craft activist and an article about why you shouldn’t be afraid to love various ugly possessions. The whole magazine just has a really cute yet surreal feel to it, it isn’t flooded with adverts and the design is simple yet stunning.
It’s just a shame nowhere in Cumbria stocks it!
If you want to find out more about Oh Comely their website is http://www.ohcomely.co.uk/about.php
For a while I have been meaning to find the time to start blogging about what’s going on in the mind of this ‘Creative Soul’ and thought today was a great place to start as it was our 2nd West Cumbria Jelly event.
Some may be asking ‘What is Jelly?’. Well, Jelly is a co-working event that started in NYC and has spread all over the world where people who work from home (and therefore may miss the interaction with others) can meet up with other homeworkers in an informal and friendly environment. Kind of like networking, but less formal, and you can bash on with some work if you want/need to! To find out more about Jelly view their website http://www.uk-jelly.org.uk/.
So yeh I kind of stumbled across Jelly recently when my friend Charlotte (https://twitter.com/#!/Srch_Strategist) introduced me to the concept and we decided Cockermouth might be a good place to start one. So we did! And we found there was a lot of interest in homeworkers wanting to meet up with each other and share ideas, it’s great and quite exciting!
I have already found it really beneficial as a group of us have been talking about doing some work together and it is just really inspiring to meet other people who work on their own and make a success of it. My ethos is that everyone should strive to do what they enjoy doing, in their own time and not be stuck in a job that makes them miserable and just ‘pays the bills’. Running West Cumbria Jelly has shown me that there are a lot of people in the local area who think similar and that it can work if you put your heart and mind into it and, of course, surround yourself with people who are like minded. I have found most other home workers want to support each other and share ideas so it’s great to know your not on your own.
This is us at The Coffee Kitchen (http://www.thecoffeekitchen.co.uk/) in Cockermouth today enjoying the lovely teas/ coffees and of course chocolate brownies! Here is a list of the attendees (from left to right)
- Little old me
- Co-Jelly organiser and Search Marketing Consultant – Charlotte Davies https://twitter.com/#!/search/srch_strategist
- Web Developer – Andrew Donaldson https://twitter.com/#!/dies_el
- UCSU Trustee – Laura Davies https://twitter.com/#!/lauradavies24
- Writer – Roger Davies https://twitter.com/#!/RogerDavies24
- Hospitality Consultant – Denise Conroy http://ihosc.co.uk/
- Director of charity Poverty Swap – Helen Faulds http://povertyswap.com/
And would also like to mention the other attendees that weren’t around for the photo!
- Accountant – Chris MacLeod http://www.oakacc.co.uk/ https://twitter.com/#!/cumbaccountant
- Web Developer – Mark Howes https://twitter.com/#!/howesym
- Marketing Strategist – Kaylee Davidson https://twitter.com/#!/Cherry_TreeUK