The Making of my Website

 In Behind the Scenes

Branding is the key to starting a business off right.

I have been preparing for this moment all my life.  The time has finally come & here I am.  I’ve shown up.  I’ve accepted the assignment.  I am here.  I am vulnerable.

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives,vulnerability is the path.”

– Brene Brown

No lie, putting a website together is no easy task.  How do you even begin to start branding yourself?  It was a huge challenge to find the time, but time is what I needed.  I was committed.  I scraped together every free moment I possibly could just to get. it. done.  I put in a lot of early mornings & late nights.  I just knew that this is what I had to do.  All the stars were lined up & it was now or never.

Before I started this project I suffered from severe website shame.  It was bad.  I showed what I had to my nanny (she’s 20) & she said to me, “that’s what people see when they look up your website?”.  I went to bed that night curled up in fetal position & tried to shut out the look of complete disgust that she had on her face when she said that.  I knew at that very moment that it was time to step up my game.

A quick little back story. 

My career for the past 15 years has been in Apparel Design.  It has been a tremendous career & I feel so lucky to have had such an incredible opportunity.  However, as with everything, my interests have evolved & I am more focused now on how I can be of service to the world.  I know that I have more of myself to offer & I feel compelled to help make more of a difference.

I discovered my love for photography about 5 years ago when my father gave me a Canon DSLR camera as a gift.  I knew right away that photography was something that I felt excited & passionate about.  So, I taught myself how to use the camera & eventually people started hiring me to take their photos.  I loved having this creative outlet outside of my day job.  It completely fed my soul.  I knew I had the talent to make a career of it, so I made a half assed attempt to start my own business.  I tried to learn as much as I could about being an entrepreneur, but I just couldn’t get there.  Then I got pregnant & had a baby & that was a whole new learning curve for me.  At that point I put the camera & the dream of being a full time photographer on hold.

Well, I’m back & here it is!  It has been a long journey, but I’m excited to share the results of all my hard work & efforts.  No more website shame!  My intention is to just go for it because, well, why not?  Here’s what Thomas Edison said, “Many of life’s failure’s are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”  Life’s too short for regrets.

So, here’s how I started my process.

Step 1 – Branding.  

There’s so much to consider when you’re thinking about how you want to be seen by the world.

  • What makes my service unique?
  • How do I want to convey my message?
  • Who exactly is my ideal customer?
  • What is my overall vibe?

These were the critical questions that I started out with to help get me going.  I thought I knew myself, I thought I knew what I wanted to do, but when I had to break it all down like that & be so specific it was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.  It was an exercise that gave me a lot more clarity so that I could put together a much more cohesive brand story.

Step 2 – Design.  

Once I worked out all of those logistics the fun began.  It was time to start the design process – as a Fashion Designer this is something that I have a lot of experience with.  So I was excited to get going.  First, I created my logo, then my color palette & then I put together imagery that helped set the mood for the vibe I was going for.  Here’s a little snippit of the style guide I put together.

Branding colors & images that inspired me

My branding style board

I wanted my website to look like a French boutique.  I wanted it to be chic, stylish & modern with a touch of whimsy.  I think I achieved that, don’t you?

Step 3 – Content.  

Putting the content together was definitely the most difficult part, but once I got on a roll it was easy.  Making sure to answer the branding questions really made everything a lot more simple.  I knew exactly who I was speaking to & what I needed to say.

This was such a fun process & I’m so glad that I was able to share it with you.  It took a long time for me to get here, but it was totally worth the wait.

If you have any questions about branding yourself or building your own website let me know.  I’m no expert, but I could definitely help point you in the right direction.

I’d love to hear your comments on whether you think I achieved the brand vibe I was going for.  Is there anything else you wish you could see on my website?  Let me know in the comments section below.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  See you next time.

Don’t miss the moment!

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  • Annaliza

    It’s exciting to see you out here!! And motivating! It’s beautiful!

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