*Tell us about your small business!
I started my soul-infused branding business eight years ago in October. I had worked in the corporate world with some heavy-hitting brands for quite some time when I was presented with an opportunity to switch gears and work with a startup instead. It was a complete game-changer for me. I loved the thrill of having everything resting on our shoulders, and I realized this was something I could do on my own. After about six months with the startup company, I made a move to start my own design and marketing business.
I started out working virtually and building up a portfolio of clients from all over the world. I took my knowledge and skill set from the corporate world and quickly learned how to compact it down for the entrepreneur world. Over time I developed my own method of creating soul-infused brands and websites known as the Brand FIRE Formula and have worked with small businesses and entrepreneurs since.
*Now tell us more about yourself!
I have a background in Public Relations and Radio which helped set me apart from the rest of your everyday designers and brand strategists. I firmly believe in creating a brand that truly represents the individual on a complete soul level. Most brand strategists and designers follow typical psychology practices when creating brands; I differ entirely by using intuition, feelings, and emotions to create soul-infused brands.
I have found that blending your true self with your business is ultimately the key to the entrepreneur lifestyle. They claim you should be able to “turn it off” when you leave the office, but that’s not the case for entrepreneurs. We eat, breathe, and sleep this life, so it only makes sense to create a brand based on who we truly are as individuals.
*What were you doing before you started your business?
My degree is in Public Relations, but my first job out of college was the promotions director for my local radio market. I ran promotions and marketing for five stations and fell in love. I learned immediately I was built for the entertainment/media industry. However, I was not built for life in a small town as career-driven as I was. After a few years of working at the radio stations, I decided to test my luck in a bigger pond. I moved from Redding, California, to Las Vegas, Nevada, to work for Zappos.com.
During my time at Zappos, I was introduced to the big guns in the brand world and had a blast learning the ropes of the corporate world, but again, quickly learned something was still missing for me. This is when I was presented with the opportunity to leave Zappos for a unique startup sports travel company.
*What made you want to create a soul-infused branding business?
I really wanted to see if working for a major company was for me or not. I loved the radio life but wanted to be in a bigger market. Zappos was the next best thing as far as working for a company of that caliber. Not to mention getting an opportunity to work for a company like that is pretty unique in itself, coming from the small town I was from.
*How did you get started?
After working at the startup sports travel agency, I learned what it took to start your own business and really hit the ground running. The guys at the startup were really supportive of my dream and helped give me the push I needed to make it happen.
*What does a typical day look like for you?
That can vary depending on the number of strategy sessions scheduled for the day, but an average day starts with my morning routine. I’m a huge fan of The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod and really try to incorporate the 7 SAVERS steps as much as possible. After waking up and taking the first few hours to do personal development work, I head to my office to start the day.
I typically spend the first hour or so going through emails, texts, etc., and then start planning the rest of the day. Marketing clients are handled first, so any social media content that is time sensitive gets knocked out first. After that, I usually have at least one strategy session daily, which is direct 1:1 client time.
After I’m through with strategy sessions for the day, I move on to brand and website work, depending on the workload. I try to be out of the office between 4-5 PM so I can be home spending time with my loved ones.
*Where do you want to end up / what goals do you want to achieve?
Eventually, I would love to have a team under me running the day-to-day marketing and social media needs so I can focus on what I love: soul-infused brand strategy and design.
* What are some of the more memorable obstacles that you’ve had to overcome?
Haha, probably the first time I had to fire a client. 😳 What an awkward but rewarding experience. When you try to work for everyone, you truly work for no one. It’s critical to really understand who your soulmate client is because a great entrepreneur isn’t meant to be for everyone. Once I learned that it helped me get crystal clear on who I’m here to serve and who I’m not.
My other most memorable moment would have to be when I finally passed my monthly income of working at Zappos. It was such a fantastic feeling to finally make more money than I had been in the corporate world.
*What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?
It sounds cliche, but it really isn’t for everyone. Social media has made the entrepreneur world such a “glamorous lifestyle,” and as great as it can be, it’s really f*cking hard work! It’s a ton of ups and downs, a ton of stress, and sleepless nights, but it’s also life-changing to be doing what you’re so passionate about that you truly can lose track of time doing it.
I will forever be grateful for the freedom and flexibility that being self-employed brings.
*What is your favorite thing about your business?
Getting to work with individuals who have a mission to do their part to change the world and watching them grow as they find their feet doing what they love more than life itself.
*When customers work with you, what do they get?
Over the years of doing this business, I have realized how important it is to start any brand with a solid foundation long before we dive into the aesthetics of the business. By ensuring my clients start with such a clear understanding of their brand messaging, we’re able to develop the brand visuals much easier and more aligned from the core.
Because of this, I require each new client to go through my signature strategy session, which I call my Brand Gut Check Intensive. This deep-dive session really allows me to get insight and extreme clarity on what direction is truly best for the client to move in, whether it’s exclusively working on their brand or if that involves adding on a website and/or marketing as well.
By getting to know my clients’ needs on such an intimate level, I can create the perfect solution to their needs.
Working With Kelly
Everything you need to walk away with to tap into your intuition and design a soul-infused brand is right here at your fingertips.