YAYA: Using Shopify to Bring a Jewelry Store to a Huge New Audience

What could be more perfect than creating a shiny new Shopify website for a jewelry store? We recently had the pleasure of introducing Israel-based jeweler YAYA to a completely new audience in the U.S. Their big launch involved not only a new website, but an incredible amount of fun and intense work on the foundations of their brand—from marketing and differentiation exercises to copywriting, SEO and social media consults—to ensure they reached their dream customers.

Much like YAYA creates jewelry and gifts that can be infused with personalized meaning for the receiver, we too did quite a bit of custom work in order to make sure this project suited their every need.

Photo © YAYA

Photo © YAYA

Bringing a popular hometown jeweler to a huge new audience

Having successfully launched YAYA in Israel, Alon and Yael Yanay were excited for their brand to make the cross-over to a U.S. audience. But how do you launch an established brand in a new and different market while still preserving all that makes it unique? We first set out to define YAYA’s target customer in the U.S., and equally importantly, what sets the brand apart from its competition in this new market.

By working one-on-one with our marketing expert, Caroline, Alon dove into the story of YAYA and the passion that drives them to live and give meaningfully. They also discovered the theme and philosophy that would become the driving vision behind the project. Caroline discovered:

“I think you touched upon a very useful word in this most recent exploration: COLOR and COLORFUL. While you may intend for this to be describing new designs you have in process, it seems to me like it may be a very fitting description for YAYA. Many times you have mentioned the vibrancy of your lifestyle… Perhaps YAYA’s USP has to do with incorporating color into stamped jewelry designs that are more commonly monotone and subtle in their color palette. And even more so, maybe it also has to do with infusing color into the aesthetic of the whole site, and expressing a colorful vibrancy in all that YAYA offers! Color is fun, it is playful, it is friendly,  and color can also serve as the perfect metaphor for a multicultural brand that embraces diversity.”

YAYA custom Shopify home page

Translating a unique selling proposition into art and copy

To further help YAYA reach their new target audience, we worked on the new web design and copy development in tandem with our SEO team, who helped us find the most strategic search terms for the brand and incorporate them in a way that felt natural and engaging.

A “gift guide” section on the homepage mirrored the personalized experience that YAYA offers in real life, working with each customer to help them find (and customize) just the right gift for their special someones. The copy was written to be friendly and inviting, and always with the goal of supporting the brand’s beautiful photography, which Christine chose to spotlight on the homepage.

“Your photography is so fantastic—it really tells the story of your brand. The images are engaging, beautiful and inspiring. So I really wanted to showcase one, nice and large, here. The caption written by Natalia borders the image at the bottom, with a call-to-action button to make a purchase.”

By balancing simplicity and color, the new design created a bright and vibrant platform from which the jewelry could really shine. And since choosing a gift for someone can often feel like an overwhelming experience, the layout was kept clean and decluttered to quickly help customers find what they’re looking for and create a shopping experience they’ll want to return to. This vision was carried throughout every interaction a customer has with YAYA—from the first moment they visit their website to the confirmation email they receive when they make an order.

Soon after launching the new YAYA site, we received a picture of Yael and Alon fulfilling their first U.S. order—smiles, high fives and hooray for a true team effort!

YAYA's first orders to the U.S.

YAYA’s first orders to the U.S.

Yael Yanay and Alon Abadi of YAYA

Yael Yanay and Alon Abadi of YAYA

Alon was a delight to work with from start to finish, and after launch, told us,

“Working with Aeolidia team was a great and enjoyable journey – the entire team was dedicated to the project and put their soul and heart into it – very professional from all aspects – a great and enjoyable experience to work with such an amazing team.”

Is your jewelry brand ready to reach a new audience? Contact us about launching (or re-launching) in a fabulous new direction.

See this project in our portfolio »

Visit the new YAYA site »

What To Do When You Change Your Business Name

What to do when you change your business name. You’ve chosen your new business name - exciting! Here are four important next steps for you.

Recently, I wrote about How To Think Of A Creative Business Name That Will Last. Last week, we talked about how to claim your name once you’ve come up with it. This post is all about the practicalities of changing your business name. What do you have to do next?

You’ve chosen your new business name – exciting! Here are four important next steps for you.

1) Required by law and good business practices

Make a list of any legal and regulatory steps you need to take. Here is a helpful article about this from the Small Business Administration: How to Change Your Business Name: Legal and Regulatory Steps Explained.

2) Hire a graphic designer

In some cases, you will be able to adjust your existing logo to use the new business name, but in most cases, it will be time to redesign the logo, or design a new logo for a new business.

The foundation you’ve built while brainstorming your business name is all information that you should take to your graphic designer. This means the things you discovered about your unique selling proposition, your business’s style, and your target customer.

Looking for a graphic designer? Hey, that’s us! View our portfolio here, and get in touch here.

3) Adjust your marketing materials

You will need to change your business name and URLs/handles on all of your digital and print marketing materials.

Make a list of all of the materials that will need to be updated:

Your website:

You will want to incorporate your new name and logo. If the renaming is part of a full rebranding, you will likely have new fonts, colors, and graphics as well, and this is a good time for a full website redesign.

If you aren’t redesigning the website, you will want to check it thoroughly to replace all text mentions of your brand name, update links to your social media accounts, and to your email address. For instance, your social media icon links in the header and/or footer of your site, in blog posts, on the contact page, etc.

If you’re switching to a new domain name as a result of the renaming, be very certain to redirect all of your old links and pages on the site to the new domain, so you don’t lose your Google ranking.

Printed materials:

Now is the time to design or adjust business cards, postcards, letterhead, stamps, stickers, and any other printed materials you’re using to pack orders, or otherwise market or advertise your business.

If you have a brick and mortar shop, you need to consider the store signage, product packaging and retail displays, the printed materials you use to bag customers’ purchases, the name on physical gift cards, and what the receipt says. You will want signage that announces the change to transition your old customers to the new name.

If you sell your products to wholesale buyers, you will want to decide what to do about the packaging for the inventory that hasn’t yet sold, and how to keep these buyers in the loop about the change.

Within your social media profiles:

For this step, check your bio or profile information on each social media platform you use to update your name, URL, and mentions of any other social media handles.

Other online accounts:

Do you have an Etsy or Amazon shop or are you selling on any other marketplaces? Are you using Google My Business for a brick and mortar shop? Is LinkedIn up to date with your new company information?

Are you using tools to help you automate your social media? You will need to update them with your new account information.

Check out all the places where you have information about your business online and get them up to date with the new name.

Your newsletter, email signature and voicemail message:

If you use an email signature, or have voicemail for your business, note the name change there.

You’ll want to send newsletters announcing the change, and also be sure that your standard email newsletter template (including the header graphic and footer text) is updated with your new information.

Redirecting all links to your old URL:

If your business has been around a while, there will be links to pages on your site spread all over the web. There will be mentions of your site on blogs and other websites, links from Pinterest and Google, mentions on social media. People may have bookmarked your site or emailed it to friends.

To make sure you don’t lose any traffic, you want to set up 301 redirects. These automatically move visitors from the old page to the new page, and tell Google that the page has moved permanently, so they can replace it with the new page. Shopify provides information on how to set up 301 redirects in the Shopify admin.

4) Announce your new business name to your customers

Come up with a marketing plan to re-launch with your new name. Don’t just switch the name with no fanfare, and act like everything’s normal. You want to bring your customers along for the ride.

Read our blog post about changing your business name without losing customers!

Lots more help like this goes out weekly to our subscribers

Want to feel more savvy about all the details that go into running a business? Our newsletter is the perfect place. I’ll share my best advice bit by bit over a few weeks, right to your email:

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Building a Website For a Retail Store and Craft Fair: Crafty Wonderland

When a retail store grows in unexpected (but amazing) directions, it may be time for a new website. Back when Crafty Wonderland began in 2006, it was a twice-a-year craft fair showcasing gifts and goods by Portland’s finest artisans. It was such a hit, it grew into the largest fair of its kind in the Northwest before expanding into a fabulously successful 10-week pop-up shop that morphed into a permanent brick-and-mortar location.

Phew! Quite a ride, right? As exciting as it was, Crafty Wonderland’s expansion sometimes caused customers to be confused. The retail store and craft fair were two different aspects of the brand, but founders Cathy and Torie were fielding calls and visits from customers who showed up at the shop expecting a craft fair. Or expecting a pop-up shop. Or wanting to shop their beautiful goods online.

Their existing website wasn’t making things clear, and it was time for a change:

Before and after: a website for a retail store and craft fair

The Crafty Wonderland site before Aeolidia showed just a stream of blog posts on the home page. The new website makes it clear what they do, and allows you to choose the branch of their business that you’re interested in.

Crafty Wonderland show overhead photo © Shannon Rowland

The Show! Crafty Wonderland show overhead photo © Shannon Rowland

Crafty Wonderland shop exterior, photo © Crafty Wonderland

The Shop! Crafty Wonderland shop exterior, photo © Crafty Wonderland

Creating a shoppable website for a retail store that’s also a craft fair

Understandably, Cathy and Torie were ready to simplify and clarify their online presence: “We feel that our current website does not do a great job to distinguish and explain the two facets of the business. We have wanted to add a commerce element to that but are overwhelmed with thinking about how that would add to the confusion!”

Crafty Wonderland show booth photo © Shannon Rowland

Crafty Wonderland show booth photo © Shannon Rowland

Crafty Wonderland show booth photo © Shannon Rowland

Crafty Wonderland show booth photo © Shannon Rowland

Crafty Wonderland shop interior, photo © Crafty Wonderland

Crafty Wonderland shop interior, photo © Crafty Wonderland

Crafty Wonderland shop interior, photo © Crafty Wonderland

Crafty Wonderland shop interior, photo © Crafty Wonderland

We were now looking at three aspects of Crafty Wonderland’s business: the craft fair events, the brick-and-mortar store, and the online shop. Christine on our team created a design that highlights all these facets in a clean, easy-to-navigate website that won’t overwhelm visitors with too much information. Using a simple navigation bar that immediately differentiates each element visually, the design helps guide customers as they find and discover what they need.

“Your visitor will know right off the bat that Crafty Wonderland has markets, a local store, and an online shop,” Christine explained. “The upcoming market date/time now lives in a notification bar up top—so you can display it when a market is coming up or hide it if you’re not in market season.”

The new Crafty Wonderland home page, designed by Aeolidia.

The new Crafty Wonderland home page, designed by Aeolidia.

Shopping online at Crafty Wonderland is a breeze!

Shopping online at Crafty Wonderland is a breeze!

Cue the shopping: using featured items to entice and inform

Further down the fold, Christine included four featured products from the online shop to drive home the message that Crafty Wonderland also sells things that customers can buy here and now:

“The awesome thing about this new website is that you can reach more retail shoppers and sell your goods. One great way to make those sales is to showcase what you’re selling right off the bat. I am guessing that most people new to Crafty Wonderland are more likely to be shoppers than sellers, so this new design lets shoppers shop the online store AND attend a market. Win-win!”

The crafty duo’s original hand-drawn illustrations by Ryan Berkley, paired with a bright color palette, clear typography and a few handmade details help keep the design crafty but current, further hinting at the aesthetics of the products they sell.

The new site not only showcases all the different aspects of Crafty Wonderland’s business, it makes it easy to navigate. And you know what they say about about craft fairs: easy to navigate means easier to shop. (We may have just made that up, but we hope it’ll stick!)

Visit the brand new Crafty Wonderland site!

View this project in our portfolio for more info and detail

Is your business hard to understand online?

The team at Aeolidia has a knack for untangling even the knottiest business branches so that they make perfect sense to the perfect customer! Our schedule for spring is filling rapidly, and I urge you to get in touch today so your website can be a lean mean selling machine before the end of the year.

Build a stellar customer experience

Would you like some expert thoughts on how to create the best online experience for your customers? This video was only available to paying Brick House Branding students. But now you can get it! Lela Barker has given her blessing for me to share this video exclusively with my subscribers. Want to watch for free? Just sign up below, and I’ll email the video link directly to you:

Crafting Your Customer Experience

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Last Chance to Transform Your Business Before Black Friday 2017

Aeolidia is one of the highest ranked Shopify Experts, and our custom sites transform businesses and result in substantial increases to online sales.

Do you want the 2017 Christmas season to be your biggest sales season yet? Today is the day to take action!

I’m talking to just a few special someones with this post. You are the special someone if you can answer yes to these four questions:

  • Do you own a creative or design-oriented product-based business?
  • Are you on track to gross at least $100,000 with your business this year?
  • Are other branches of your business growing, but online retail is slow?
  • Is your ecommerce conversion rate low (like 3% or below)?

You, I am talking to you: I have a suspicion that you can’t afford not to invest in your ecommerce site right now. Things change very quickly with the internet, and what worked 3 or 4 years ago is not going to keep you competitive.

Your business is at that tipping point where the return on investment for hiring Aeolidia can be huge. Not sure you believe it? Email me today, and I’ll ask for just two numbers from your stats which I can use to predict how your business will do with and without our help.

This is my latest party trick, and it’s been illuminating for the business owners I’ve been talking to.

If you know anyone who might fit the above criteria, please introduce me—I’d love to help out.

If you’re new here

Aeolidia is a web and graphic design studio that has been setting up online shops for designers, makers, and other creatives since before Etsy launched. Aeolidia serves those at early stages on their path with an informative blog and supportive community, and meets established businesses at that tipping point where strategic design can be transformative and cause exponential growth.

Aeolidia is one of the highest ranked Shopify Experts (we were the #1 US Expert last time I asked, but I don’t want to brag in case that’s changed), and Aeolidia alumni include Emily McDowell, Rifle Paper Co., and the Renegade Craft Fair.

The custom websites Aeolidia creates have a reputation for transforming businesses, taking them to the next step, and resulting in substantial increases to online sales.

Here you can see some of our design work:

Posie logo and print materials design

Sewing kit logo and print materials design: Posie

 

Petit Collage website redesign

Shopify toy store website redesign: Petit Collage

 

Handcrafted HoneyBee, product photography hero shot

Skincare logo and brand identity and product packaging: Handcrafted HoneyBee

 

Luxury spa logo and product packaging design

Luxury spa logo and product packaging design: Azalia Spa Goods

 

Aeolidia 2017 schedule

We are currently booking the last block that will give you time to rebrand your business and launch a strategic, custom-designed Shopify site before Black Friday and Cyber Monday and the holiday sales season.

Sam reminds me that it’s getting to be “last chance” time to get on our calendar for this coveted design block, which starts April 24th. We do have some spots left right now!

For website projects, ideally you’d get in touch with us this week, and we’ll finalize your project proposal by the end of next week. This gives you enough time pre-project to work with us to gather the content and information we’ll need to get your website off to a perfect start.

Aeolidia is one of the highest ranked Shopify Experts, and our custom sites transform businesses and result in substantial increases to online sales.

Need a logo and brand identity only?

» Begin April 24th, and have your new logo, brand identity, product packaging, and other marketing materials designed by June 16.

Need a custom website only?

» Starting April 24th has your website launching mid-August. Perfect if you’re exhibiting at the NY NOW trade show this summer.

Need a full rebrand: a logo and a website?

» You’ll need to start with us now if you want to launch before Black Friday this year. The logo work will begin April 24th, web design will begin June 19, web development will begin August 21, and your transformed brand will launch mid-October.

We are booking all available 2017 blocks right now, so don’t delay if you have big plans for the year.

We only work with businesses that we can make a real difference for. Let me know where your business is at and where you want it to be, so we can make a plan. I hope to hear from you today!

Get in touch for a free consultation and custom plan for your online shop

How To Trademark a Business Name & Buy a Website Domain

How to trademark a business name, when to hire an attorney, and how to claim your name by buying a domain name and claiming social media handles.Last week, I wrote about How To Think Of A Creative Business Name That Will Last. This week, we’re talking about how to trademark a business name, buy a domain name and claim social media handles.

First, you’ll want to check to make sure no competing businesses are using your name. The quickest way is Google, then researching domain names, then the trademark database.

What to do before preparing to trademark a business name

Once you’ve come up with a name for your business, you need to do some research to see if a similar business is using the name already. It costs money to hire a trademark attorney to research a name, so you want to do a good job up front determining that the name is probably okay to use. Then your attorney can dig deeper and advise you on the likelihood of being granted a trademark for the name.

You don’t want to get a Cease & Desist order from a competitor’s lawyer because you didn’t do the research up front. It’s okay for a “Bumblebee” Bakery and a “Bumblebee” Real Estate to coexist. It’s not okay for a “Bumblebee” Gift & Paper and a “Bumblebee” Letterpress Stationery to use the same name. If you and your name twin operate in different states, that only works if neither of you has an ecommerce business. Going online expands your range of clientele and makes you competitors, unable to share a name.

Check for existing businesses

First, do a Google search for the business name. Try the business name alone, and in conjunction with your industry. For instance, imagine you’re starting a stationery company and your name idea is “Daisy Meadow.” You search Google and it turns up farming results. From there, your next searches should be something like:

  • “Daisy Meadow stationery”
  • “Daisy Meadow paper”
  • “Daisy Meadow greeting cards”
  • “Daisy Meadow gifts”

Google is the simplest way to get a picture of whether and how the name is being used, but you can’t stop there.

Check for existing trademarks

Next, do a search using the trademark database at the United States Patent & Trademark Office (if you’re in the US). Again, be as thorough as you can. If all seems clear, you can move on to buy a domain name and file a trademark application (more on that below).

Check for existing domain names

See if the domain name you want is available. You can do this using Network Solutions’ WHOIS tool. If the name is available, congratulations! It can be hard to find a domain name that’s not in use.

If the domain is “parked” but not being used for a website, you may be able to negotiate a purchase with the owner. If the domain name is actively in use, it’s less likely to be able to talk the owner into selling. In either case, you need to decide if you want to:

a) use a different business name

b) use a variation of the name for the domain (by adding “shop” or another word)

c) offer to buy the domain from the owner

When someone else is using the domain name you want, this is a warning sign that you may not be able to trademark the name. Make sure that the business is definitely not in the same industry as yours. You want a name that you will be able to defend with a trademark.

Buy a domain name

Once you’re pretty sure the name and domain are okay for you to use, you can claim the name online.

Purchase your new website domain. You can buy your domain from any domain registrar. I use DNSimple. That’s an affiliate link, and I have had great experiences with their customer service team. The service is pretty no-frills, so if you feel intimidated by setting up a domain, you can try NameCheap (also an affiliate link).

Along with the new domain name, you will want to set up your new email address(es) at that domain.

Claim social media handles

For a new business, claim your name on the social media platforms you’ll be using.

If you have an existing business, we recommend that you change your name on social media accounts, rather than setting up new accounts. This way, you can maintain your following. Each social media platform has different guidelines, which you can learn about here:

Changing your name/handle on social media means that you’ll instantly start using that name. This is easier than holding it in reserve for when you make your announcement. This is a good thing! It gives you a chance to make an announcement, start the transition, and get people excited about the change. More about how to promote the change is coming up.

You may want to claim the new social media handle as a new name, rather than changing your existing account name. Please note that some platforms will make it hard to switch later. For instance, if you delete a name on Instagram, you can’t use that name again. So you need to go through an elaborate switching process, changing the wanted name to something random, changing your existing name to the wanted name, then deleting the random account.

Trademark your business name

We strongly advise hiring an attorney to do this for you. Kiffanie Stahle, attorney and owner of the artist’s J.D., tells us:

“There are lots of legal projects that DIY’ing or using a service like LegalZoom is the smartest choice. But when it comes to trademarks, it is a terrible idea. An experienced trademark attorney will help you three ways: stop you from wasting money on a trademark you’ll never get, increase your chance of getting your trademark, and increase the value of your trademark. If you want to register a trademark, start a trademark savings account. And once your account balance is $2,500, then start the process of finding an attorney.”

The trademarking process takes a long time (6 months to a year). Having a thorough trademark search done by an attorney will give you the peace of mind to use the name while the trademark is in process.

Your next steps: after you’ve claimed a business name

Once you’ve claimed your name, you need to start using it. Next, we will talk about the practical steps you need to take after renaming an existing business, or naming a new business. This will include information about legal steps to take, design, marketing, and launching your new brand or rebranded business. Stay tuned for this post! Subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss it.

Prepare for your next steps: branding

Do you feel like you’ve heard a lot about “branding” and “brand identity” but it just hasn’t quite clicked for you yet? Maybe you understand the big picture concept, but are having trouble relating it to your own business? Do you really need a target customer? Can you have more than one? How do you make your business stand out in a saturated market? Do you need to hire a graphic designer? How do you prioritize what to invest in when your budget is low? We dig into what branding means for your business.

We have a video that answers all of that. Sign up to watch it here!

Branding 101: Laying the Foundation LIVE course

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21 Creative Custom Shopify Design & Brand Identity Projects

A Shopify custom design theme created by a professional can increase your conversion rate, lead to more sales, and resonate with your customers.

When your shop has grown beyond pre-made Shopify themes, and you’re ready for something more powerful for your creative business, it’s time to call Aeolidia. We specialize in custom Shopify designs, tailor-made to your business and your customers. We design strategically, and our design decisions are all meant to support your goals, increase conversion rate, and multiply your current sales numbers.

Here is a quick peek at our clients’ recent launches, and at what we’re working on going into spring. These motivated creative businesses include: 7 gift and jewelry shops, 2 children’s clothing shops, 1 stationery designers, 2 housewares designers, 2 dog apparel brands, 1 party shop, 1 bath & body brand, 1 doll maker, 1 planner designer, 1 fine art gallery, 1 interior design studio, and a sewing pattern designer.

It is such an honor and a delight to be able to work with such creative, ambitious, and dedicated business owners. I think you’ll like them, too!

We will write about these projects in more detail in the upcoming weeks, but for now, I wanted to give you the rundown of what work we’ve finished and what we’re beginning now.

These ones are totally done!

Design block one at Aeolidia has wrapped up, and block two of 2017 is underway. Some of our logo clients from block one are having a website built, and the others are new to us this block. I’d like to show off the inspiring brands that are ready to put their plans into action and achieve their goals now! Here are the projects we’ve recently completed:

YAYA

YAYA custom Shopify website design

YAYA doesn’t sell jewelry –YAYA provides turnkey solutions for gifts.
Project: Custom Shopify website, copywriting, social media management, SEO consultation
Status: Project complete, website launched!
Visit: YAYA, a custom-designed Shopify site by Aeolidia

Our designer, Christine, created a website that balances simplicity and color, showcases YAYA’s gorgeous jewelry and accessories, and inspires their customers to purchase gifts for the ones they love.

The layout is clean but not stark, and the typography is strong but not loud. She included some of the YAYA brand’s great textural elements, too. Together these design elements support the true star: their photography.

Christine was really drawn in by the warmth and energy in the photos, and she knew customers would be too, so she gave them prime space. By keeping the overall design clean, the photos are able to shine, telling the story of the brand and products.

Many of YAYA’s competitor’s sites are busy, cluttered, and dated, but this design aims to elevate YAYA and give customers confidence in the products and service. With just a glance, their perfect customer will know that she’s come to the right place to buy that special gift she was looking for.

View the YAYA project in our portfolio


 

Crafty Wonderland

Crafty Wonderland custom Shopify website design

A 2x yearly large scale art + craft market that sells goods made by Portland artists.
Project: Custom Shopify website, copywriting
Status: Project complete, website launched!
Visit: Crafty Wonderland, a custom-designed Shopify site by Aeolidia

Crafty Wonderland’s redesign presented a unique challenge: To highlight three equally important facets of Crafty Wonderland—their art & craft markets, retail store and online shop. A stripped down navigation menu helps make those three choices very clear. Customers are  able to learn more about the events that are coming up, visit the brick & mortar store, and make purchases of Portland made goods once they’ve left the fine city. The homepage, while multifunctional, is still clean and easy to navigate. Their signature  drawn illustrations are paired with a bright color palette, clear typography and a few handmade details to stay crafty but current.

View the Crafty Wonderland project in our portfolio


 

Living Well Spending Less

Ecommerce site for a planner business

Not just a pretty planner company, a creator of practical solutions that women can easily implement every day.
Project: Custom Shopify website, copywriting, product photography, SEO consultation
Status: Project complete, website launched!
Visit: Living Well Spending Less, a custom-designed Shopify site by Aeolidia

Ruth and the Living Well Spending Less team came to us for a website makeover to create a unified experience across their high-traffic blog and product shop living on two separate platforms. Our goal was to create a consistent, seamless, and branded experience, whether readers were dropping in to find cooking tips or on the site to get their hands on the beautiful Living Well planner.

First and foremost, we created a single navigation that allows visitors to easily navigate between content and shopping as well as a single homepage that allowed visitors to further navigate either into the content on the blog or to shop products.

Visually, we took inspiration from the bright, fun, and colorful physical products already a part of the brand and created a fresh and consistent look for both the Shopify portion of the site and the WordPress blog. The punchy colors in combination with bold sans serif type create a warm and inviting place where women can find solutions for their lives. Overall, we designed a site that improved navigation and shopability, all the while showcasing all that Living Well Spending Less has to offer.

View the Living Well Spending Less project in our portfolio


 

Hemleva

Gift and housewares logo design

Brass geometric mobiles and wall sconces inspired by traditional Finnish himmeli.
Project: Business name brainstormingBrand Identity and Product Presentation Design, trademark registration
Status: Project complete, almost ready to launch!

Our team collaborated with Samantha to create a new name that embodies the spirit of her products and Scandinavian roots. We designed a look that would stay true to the original minimal aesthetic, but create a new refined logo and mark, and we developed a cohesive style guide with new colors, graphic elements and patterns that could be used to guide Samantha in the creation of her collateral materials.

View the Hemleva project in our portfolio


 

Push Pushi

Custom Shopify website design for a dog accessories brand

The flagship product is a convertible dog raincoat with an umbrella-like hood.
Project: Brand Identity and Product Presentation DesignCustom Shopify websitecopywriting
Status: Project complete, website launched!
Visit: Push Pushi, a custom-designed Shopify site by Aeolidia

Aiming for a completely new look to appeal to more sophisticated pet owner, we created a logo that gives a hint of what Push Pushi is about—happy (and dry) dogs. The color palette, inspired by rainy days and signature yellow raincoats, keeps things friendly and approachable. The website includes accent details such as raindrops and umbrellas sprinkled throughout. The resulting online home is an informative and easily shoppable site that does a great job of conveying the product benefits.

View the Push Pushi project in our portfolio


 

Benny & Lou

Benn & Lou logo design

Focused on finding stylish and comfortable baby clothes made by small brands with high quality fabrics.
Project: Brand Identitycopywriting
Status: Brand identity design complete, online shop in progress

Jess designed a logo that will work well for the target audience and that balances the child-like with sophistication. A watercolor version provides a wonderful sense of depth and individuality to the logo. The color scheme is a bit pastel but with a sophisticated twist–and plays off the traditional children’s colors.


 

These ones have moved to the next phase

We were hard at work on these projects in block one, and now we’re moving right along with the next step through early spring.

 

Dani Barbe

Photo © Dani Barbe

Photo © Dani Barbe

Handmade raw gemstone jewelry and home goods, using unique stones and rare metalsmithing methods.
Project: Brand Identitycustom Shopify websitecopywriting
Current site: Dani Barbe (new site scheduled to launch April 21st)
Status: Brand identity and website designed, now in development

Christine has designed a beautiful new website to establish Dani Barbe as a serious business, with a site that’s as easy to use as it is gorgeous. It’s now being developed by Shoshanna on our team. This one is going to look amazing!


 

Cactus Fine Art

Photo © Cactus Fine Art

Photo © Cactus Fine Art

An art gallery selling fine art from a hand-picked group of artisans.
Project: Brand Identity and Product Presentation Designcustom Shopify websitecopywriting
Current site: none (new site scheduled to launch April 21st)
Status: Logo and website designed, now in development

We always love getting in on the ground floor and being able to dream big for a new brand from the very start. The logo for Cactus is absolutely lovely, we’ve designed a strategic online shopping experience for their art gallery, and the site is in development now.


 

Bamboletta

Natural, handcrafted companions for your little ones.
Project: Custom Shopify website, marketing consultation
Current site: Bamboletta (new site scheduled to launch April 21)
Status: Website designed, now in development

Christina is one of our nearest and dearest clients from many many years ago! Our two businesses have been growing up alongside each other for ages, and now we’re so honored to jump back in with Christina and make her website a true joy to shop, that really reflects all the love and care she and her team put into their handmade dolls. As we’ve worked on the website design, we’ve considered each factor that might make a potential customer hesitate on her way to checkout, and worked to allay concerns, answer questions before they’re asked, and surprise and delight new visitors.


 

Silly Buddy

Photo © Silly Buddy

Photo © Silly Buddy

Silly Buddy bowties, collars and leads are worthy of neatly being placed in a drawer like any other special garment.
Project: Custom Shopify website, copywriting
Current site: Silly Buddy (new site scheduled to launch April 21)
Status: Website design complete, now in development

Shalon has been designing a beautiful website that showcases what makes Silly Buddy special. The goal is to help this shop stand out from the crowd on Etsy that it was getting lost in, and make a name for the high quality products of Hande’s business, which believes in quality over quantity and has remained small by choice.


 

Hester & Cook

Hester & Cook flagship store, photo © Hester & Cook

Hester & Cook flagship store, photo © Hester & Cook

Known for their paper placemat pads, a gift industry trend they started.
Project: Custom Shopify website, copywriting, SEO consultation
Current site: Hester & Cook (new site scheduled to launch April 21)
Status: Website design complete, now in development

The challenges here were in keeping Hester & Cook’s high ranking in Google for certain keywords, while clarifying the navigation, making it easy to discover all of their products, and making the look of the site establish Hester & Cook as an authority in their market. We are so proud of the design that we’ve arrived at, and I am certain that the change will have a great impact on online sales.


 

Mafu

MAFU styled product photography © Jen Lacey for Aeolidia.

MAFU styled product photography © Jen Lacey for Aeolidia.

Bath & body products made with your precious wellbeing in mind.
Project: Brand Identity and Product Presentation Design, packaging designcustom Shopify websitecopywritingproduct photography, trademarking
Current site: BJ Naturals (new site scheduled to launch June 16)
Status: Brand identity design is complete, and website design begins

Bonnie originally signed on with us for brand identity design and custom product packaging, and was so pleased with her experience that she extended it. We’re now happily absorbed in designing her website, and making the experience online mirror the experience she gives her customers in person.


 

Well Dressed Wolf

Photo © Well Dressed Wolf.

Photo via Well Dressed Wolf © Wildflowers Photography.

Designing children’s clothing with a strong online community.
Project: Brand identitycustom Shopify websitecopywriting
Current site: Well Dressed Wolf (new site scheduled to launch June 16)
Status: Brand identity design is complete, and website design begins

Well Dressed Wolf is a business that felt like an iconic Aeolidia-type business from the moment she contacted me. We’re enjoying refining sisters Sarah and Shannon’s brand and sub-brands and getting them ready to meet their goals. Coordinating three brands in a way that is cohesive and allows each to stand alone has been a fun challenge, and we can’t wait to show you.


 

Georgie Designs

Photo © Love, Georgie

Photo © Love, Georgie

Making highly customizable, handmade jewelry and gifts, laser engraved with custom messages.
Project: Brand Identitycustom Shopify websitecopywritingproduct photographysocial media management
Current site: Georgie Designs (new site scheduled to launch June 16)
Status: Logo and brand identity complete, website design beginning.

It’s a thrill being brought in when a successful business is seeing growing pains and needs a custom website that eliminates frustrations and can grow with them. We’ve discovered many areas with room for improvement, and it’s been great fun coming up with solutions, particularly to the customizable aspect of the shop.


 

Nest Interior Design

Photo © Nest Interior Design

Photo © Nest Interior Design

Offering a broad spectrum of products for the home, in addition to interior design consultations.
Project: Brand Identitycustom Shopify websitecopywritingsocial media management
Current site: Nest Interior Design (new site scheduled to launch June 16)
Status: Brand identity complete, website design beginning

The Nest team had a logo, but were missing all the graphical assets needed to create a full brand identity design. For the first part of this project, we revised the logo typeface, created some alternate logo marks, chose a color scheme, coordinating typefaces, and created some graphics and patterns to be used in marketing materials. Our next step is to design the custom Shopify website.


 

Indigo Ember

Photo © Jen Lacey for Aeolidia

Photo © Jen Lacey for Aeolidia

A mission to use USA sourced materials to create unique personalized gifts and elegant home goods.
Project: Business name brainstormingbrand identitycustom Shopify website, copywritingproduct photographymarketing consultation
Current site: Tri-Elegance (new site scheduled to launch June 16)
Status: Brand identity complete, website design beginning

This brand started with our business naming process and became Indigo Ember. Patricia was ready to invest in what she needed to take her business to the next level, so we have also been having a business and marketing consultation with her, writing the copy for her website, and styling and shooting photos of her products. The logo design is complete now, and our next step is to design the website.


 

These ones have just begun

I’m thrilled to introduce you to these inspiring businesses who are beginning work with us in block two. See where they’re at now, and check back with us in a couple of months to see their transformations!

 

Geese & Ganders

Children’s party themes that disrupt the usual gender norms.
Project: Print designscustom Shopify websitecopywritingmarketing consultation
Current site: none (new site scheduled to launch June 16)

“Starting a modern partyware company in San Francisco. I need everything. Branding, logo, business help, etc. You seem like my dream team!

We are offering parties that allow kids to pursue their passions, not choose ones based on the “girl” category or “boy” category that you experience almost exclusively. We have designed STEM, Construction and Engineering, Jurassic and Intergalactic parties with our own themed plates, napkins and cups. We then supplement with other brands to expand the offerings. We use color themes that can be enjoyed by all. We are against the “boss girl” mentality–we just believe in the “boss” mentality for all.”

 

Oh Baby Names

Name prints with a detailed account of the name’s etymology, history, usage, and numerology descriptors
Project: Business name brainstormingBrand Identity and Product Presentation DesignCustom Shopify websitecopywritingproduct photography, SEO consultation
Current site: Oh Baby! Names (new site scheduled to launch August 18)

“We are interested in building a website on Shopify to sell personalized name prints. We currently have a store on Etsy that does quite well but there are quite a few restrictions on what we can do, especially when it comes to effective marketing on SEM and on social media channels. We are at the point where we have proof of concept of our product and are looking for a design and web development firm to help us get to the next phase of our business.”

 

Cajun Heritage Collection

Classic, handmade, “casual bohemian” jewelry that is simple enough for everyday wear, but can easily be dressed up.
Project: Brand Identitycopywritingmarketing consultation
Current site: none (website design not part of this project)

“I would like people to feel empowered and inspired when they see my new branding. I want them to feel like they can be who they are, and celebrate where they came from without any hesitation or doubt. I want them to get lost in my website, and feel very confident in purchasing items from my online store.”

 

Puzzle Patterns

Hip and fun sewing patterns that you can buy, download, and print at home to make your own clothing.
Project: Brand Identitymarketing consultation
Current site: none (website design not part of this project)

“This is a new product so I want to launch so the customer has a clear vision of who Puzzle Patterns is. I want people who see our product to immediately think this is reputable pattern company who I can trust and want to buy from. There are many PDF pattern companies out there, but they are more along the styles of country craft markets and I don’t want that, I want to grow this business up into something reputable that people think of when they think of creating their own beautiful clothing. A brand that they can trust to guide them to do so simply and easily and at the end they will have something beautiful that they want to wear or their kids/grandkids to wear and that when new collection launches they are excited and waiting to purchase and make my designs their own.”

 

The Casey BarberSHOP

The gift shop is an extension of Casey’s personality and style–witty, quirky, and above all, pop culture OBSESSED.
Project: Brand Identity
Current site: The Casey BarberSHOP (website design not part of this project)

“A friend once described the way I styled my home as “The Brady Bunch meets Frank Lloyd Wright” and I honestly couldn’t think of a better way to describe my overall design philosophy. I want to project a peppy, slightly vintage/retro vibe without being juvenile – there should be good bones beneath the work and an underlying knowledge that there is quality here, not just disposable stuff.”


 

Do any of these hard working business owners sound like you?

Your small but fast growing business is perfectly poised to make a big splash in online retail, and that’s exactly where Aeolidia loves to meet you. We are highly-ranked official Shopify Experts, with a history of exceeding expectations. Our work is strategic, completely custom, and entirely goals-based. We like to get involved when we know our work can be transformative and cause exponential growth.

Ready? If you’re ready to move forward with your business, and to invest in some outside help, we would love to be your team. If you email today, we can get you into block 3 of 2017. Block 3, you ask?

Tell me more about this block system

Aeolidia schedules projects in a block system. This means that we have set up discrete blocks throughout the year, and projects start at the same time, and launch by the same time. When you work with us, the block system will mean these things to you:

  1. You will know exactly when you will launch, and your launch date is guaranteed
  2. Your launch date will be strategic, based on your business’s important sales season

Each block is two months long, and you will be working with either a designer or a developer during a single block.

  • A logo takes one block.
  • A website design takes one block.
  • Developing that website takes one block.

So each of our clients will need 1-3 blocks (2-6 months) to complete their project.

Here are our blocks for 2017:

  • Block 1: January 2 – February 24complete!
  • Block 2: February 27 – April 21full
  • Block 3: April 24 – June 16 – filling up
  • Block 4: June 19 – August 18 – now booking
  • Block 5: August 21 – October 13 – now booking
  • Block 6: October 16 – December 15

When should you get started? We’d be glad to discuss that with you in detail, but a rough guideline is:

Need an impressive brand identity and compelling website for wholesalers to shop from by the NY NOW summer show this year? Get your website designed in block 3, and we’ll build it for you in block 4, in time to head to New York in August.

Planning to have everything ready for the holiday sales season? You’ll want to get started by block 3, in March. If you don’t need logo design, you could start in block 4, in June.

We book up early, and are glad to book you up to 12 months in advance. When we do that, you lock in our current prices. Please contact me if you’re interested in telling us more about your retail goals and objectives so we can put together a custom proposal for you. If so, I have a wonderful questionnaire for you to fill out.

Not quite ready? If you’re not quite ready to do this work for your business (or you aren’t sure if you are or not), a great next step is to join our subscribers. Not only will I send you my best info about pushing your business to the next level, but you’ll be invited to our Facebook group, and be able to access all the free business building tools in our members’ area. Join here:

join the aeolidia club

subscribe here

Job Announcement: Customer Care & Project Support Assistant

Aeolidia is a growing design studio, and we’re ready to add to our team. We are looking for a Customer Care & Project Support Assistant. This is fancy HR-speak for someone to be in regular communication with our clients throughout each project while keeping everything organized and on time in our online project management system. We have detailed and effective processes in place and working well, and we need the right person to keep them running.

This job is no longer open.

3 Ways To Increase Shopify Conversion: Handcrafted HoneyBee

How we increased the Shopify conversion rate for a handmade shop nearly 2.5 times! And some information on what your shop should focus on.

Today I have a tale for you of how we increased Shopify conversion rates for a handmade shop nearly 2.5 times, and how their sales in January 2017 show an increase of 1,131.43% over that same month a year earlier! I am delighted to share this case study with you today, as it’s pretty darn fascinating. Last week, I analyzed the statistics for Handcrafted HoneyBee, whose staggered rebranding launches clearly show that you really need all three of these cornerstones to success when selling products online:

  1. A purposeful brand identity
  2. A strategic website design
  3. A steady source of traffic
Handcrafted HoneyBee product packaging design and photography by Aeolidia

Handcrafted HoneyBee product packaging design and photography by Aeolidia

A business in trouble

When we began working with Stacia and Rob Guzzo of Handcrafted HoneyBee, they were about to give up on their business, after many years and many frustrations. They decided to give it another try, dug deep into their brand foundations with Lucky Break Consulting, and then hired Aeolidia to make the new brand they’d imagined come to life.

I asked Stacia how they were feeling about their brand before they contacted us, and she told me,

“One of the biggest problems we had prior to our rebrand was a truly fundamental one: we were targeting the wrong audience. We had thought that our audience was the typical DIY-er–women who wanted to make their own skin care because they saw the value in participating in the process themselves. But the reality was that those women typically weren’t buying kits; instead, they were scouring Pinterest for recipes and buying the raw materials themselves.

And because we had the wrong target audience in mind, our previous branding was totally wrong. We couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t resonating until we began to talk to the people who were buying our kits. In doing so, we found out that the majority of our kit purchases were by mothers and grandmothers for their daughters and granddaughters. And our branding just didn’t grab the majority of the demographic–we were having to work too hard for the sale we were making.

We were on the verge of throwing in the towel because, quite frankly, we just weren’t making enough for the business to be viable. Our sales numbers were abysmal. If we were going to survive, we knew our change was going to have to be a radical one, and we were going to have to nail it.”

Aeolidia to the rescue!

The Handcrafted HoneyBee project was an enjoyable one for us, because Stacia and Rob had such a good handle on the foundations of their brand, and they viewed us as real decision-making partners in all stages of the project. Their input and feedback was the kind that makes our work better, and at the end, they had a brand and website that told their story, looked poised and professional, and seemed like great assets to their business.

“Seems like” doesn’t pay the bills, though, so I was very interested to revisit their data six months after launching the site.

Handcrafted HoneyBee brand identity design

Handcrafted HoneyBee brand identity design, product packaging, website design, and photography by Aeolidia

Testing brand identity and custom website design success separately

What made this stats analysis particularly interesting was the staggered launch, which allowed us to see how the brand identity performed separately from the custom site design. They went in these stages:

  1. They had an existing Shopify site (data point 1)
  2. They then took their new branding, and used it to modify a pre-made Shopify design theme (data point 2)
  3. We launched the new custom-designed site (data point 3)
  4. They started driving more traffic to it (data point 4)

So, let’s take a look! I’ve removed dollar amounts, in the interests of privacy, but here is a graph of Handcrafted HoneyBee’s conversion rate over these phases:

Conversion rate improves greatly with new branding, custom site design, and targeted traffic

Conversion rate improves greatly with new branding, custom site design, and targeted traffic

Shopify track the percentage of people who add products to the cart (the blue line), make it to checkout (the red line), and finish the purchase (the yellow line).

At each of the two launch points (and again when they drove more traffic in January) traffic, conversion rate, and sales increased greatly. This shows us that the professional branding had a strong improving effect to sales, and the custom site did, as well.

The branding made a big difference, but the power of the full custom website package showed itself to be a smart investment to make. If they had decided to stop with the brand identity design, and DIY their site, their sales numbers would be lower right now.

Here is how the site looked at three different stages:

 

A side by side comparison of the three phases of Handcrafted HoneyBee's website

A side by side comparison of the three phases of Handcrafted HoneyBee’s website

Making an investment in professional design

Hiring a team of professional designers for a full rebrand and custom Shopify design takes a significant monetary investment. It could be hard to decide to make an investment like this, especially when business finances are low! I asked Stacia how they made the decision and she said,

“Our decision to make the full investment in the rebrand + website was an easy one, because we knew that if it was done well, it would deliver an exponential ROI (and it did!). We knew we wanted a true partnership with our design team–people that really considered our long term goals. Aeolidia was that partner and beyond!

Our financial situation was extremely tight, but we were lucky enough to have a private label client that provided us with funds to pay for the entire project. It was important for us not to go into further debt with the rebrand, so it was vital to us to know that we would have the cash to pay for the project before beginning. At the same time, we knew this would be the biggest investment we had made to date with our business, so we wanted to use the money wisely. We did LOTS of research before making the final decision on the investment, and also did a lot of foundation work so we would be coming to the table with Aeolidia as prepared as possible.

In the end, the risk was absolutely worth it, but I think we were able to tip the scales a bit in our favor by being so prepared with our branding, our ideal customer, and knowing the exact goals we were seeking to accomplish.”

The return on investment of this Aeolidia project

Aeolidia’s success is our client’s success, and we would have been devastated if Rob and Stacia’s investment hadn’t paid off. Everything we do for each of our clients aims them toward success, and it has been really rewarding checking in with each client six months later to see the ROI in action.

Here is what we found from before Aeolidia’s work to this January, after the rebrand:

247% increase to conversion rate (our work)
371% increase to monthly visitors (Stacia’s work)

This lead to a:

918% increase to income

The way these two numbers multiply each other is the key. You can learn more about that in this post: Two Changes to Skyrocket Your Online Sales

An example to understand conversion rate

Before Handcrafted HoneyBee began working with us, their conversion rate (the percentage of visitors who make a purchase) was 2.5%. That means if 1,000 people visited their site, they could expect to make 25 sales. This is just about average for an ecommerce site. Average wasn’t good enough!

When they launched the new branding on the Shopify pre-made theme, their conversion rate jumped to 3.46%. That adds up to 34 sales now, with those same example 1,000 visitors. The pro brand graphics made them more engaging and trustworthy than they had been before. But their site was still missing the strategy our experienced ecommerce team could bring.

When the custom site launched, their conversion rate jumped up to 5.18%. That is more than double what they were originally seeing, and brings them 51 sales for every 1,000 visitors. Even better, when they started using targeted ads and driving customers purposefully to their site, they saw a conversion rate of 6.37%, showing that when their custom-designed site was speaking to the right audience, it was powerful.

Example visitors Conversion Rate Sales
1,000 2.5% 25
1,000 3.46% 34
1,000 5.18% 51
1,000 6.37% 63

So, from this table, you can see that improving conversion rate can help you make more money, even if you don’t lift a finger to increase traffic to your site. We don’t recommend that, of course! Start doubling, tripling, or ten-times-ing those visitor numbers, and you get to multiply the sales by the same amount. With a site that can convert at 6.37%, Stacia knows that if she can get 10,000 visitors to the site, she could make 630 sales. Her work to get 10,000 visitors before Aeolidia would have netted her only 250 sales. For example:

Example visitors Conversion Rate Sales
1,000 6.37% 63
5,000 6.37% 318
10,000 6.37% 637

I’ll say it one more time: high traffic times a high conversion rate equals extraordinary sales! You really do need both parts working for you.

Handcrafted HoneyBee’s business trajectory

Looking over their sales stats, we saw that most months show a 400-700% increase in income, with this January’s great PR month showing more than an 1100% increase in (eleven times as much) income as their “before Aeolidia” monthly average. This is the type of return on investment that we aim for our clients to see, and Stacia’s hard work made it happen.

And this is only the beginning. Once they are able to take the business to the next level, and aren’t spread so thin trying to do all the jobs that go into running a business, the work they’ve invested in will continue to pay for itself and make each step more effective along the way.

“We will be Aeolidia clients for life! Their level of professionalism, their attentiveness to detail, and their overall quality of service is top notch–but even beyond that, we’ve truly found creative partners with our team. From Arianne’s leadership to Sam’s organization to Sarah’s amazing talent to Jen’s beautiful pictures to Shoshanna’s development genius, I feel so lucky to have this team on our side. We’re set up to succeed!”
–Stacia Guzzo

Grab the workbook to do this for your business

We are offering an inspirational and actionable workbook based on Handcrafted HoneyBee’s business trajectory. There are takeaways for each section, and areas for you to fill out and dream big for your business. You can get the PDF directly from the link below:

Rebranding from the ground up ebook

Download the ebook directly

Next step? Contact Aeolidia to turn your ideas into reality. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Product Photography Types: Lifestyle or White Background?

Product photography types: lifestyle photos and white background photos will aid in your marketing efforts in distinct ways.

I was delighted to be invited to be a guest branding pro for the 2017 Brick House Branding course. Lela’s students are a pack of total smarties, and I loved their questions for me. I wanted to share what we talked about regarding product photography types. The question was:

“I currently have pics with a white background, no lifestyle pics. I go back and forth with this a lot. Some websites have just the product with a white background, and others have lifestyle-type pics. I have the option of showing more than one product pic, so I can make the primary white and others lifestyle. Which do you think is best? I also think about places like Pinterest – if I could pin lifestyle product pics, I think I might attract more attention. Thank you!”

This isn’t a case where one or the other is the best choice. Having both is the best of both worlds, because the two types of photographs accomplish different things. These two types of product photos will aid in your marketing efforts in distinct ways, as well. If you can get both for each of your products, that’s ideal.

What is lifestyle product photography for?

Your lifestyle photos (these are ones that are styled: in a home, on a model, with props) are the ones that help your potential customer imagine having your product in her life. The blanket looks so cozy thrown just so over a couch next to a book and a cup of tea. The jewelry looks so dainty and sweet on your model’s ears. You can almost smell the body scrub when it’s styled with the rosemary sprig and fresh cut lemon.

These types of photos fall under the lifestyle photography category:

  • Tabletop photography – photos of items that fit on a table, with or without lightbox setup
  • Flatlay photography – similar to tabletop, but the photo is taken directly from above
  • Hero shot photography – styled shots of your product to show how it works and let the shopper imagine it in their life
  • Model photography – shots with people; great for demonstrating products that can be worn or showing the size or use of a product

Your lifestyle photos are perfect for Pinterest and other social media platforms, and will look stunning on the cover of (and throughout!) your catalogs and lookbooks.

What is white background photography for?

Your white background photos, while not as evocative, help people understand. They can see all the details, and the natural color. They aren’t distracted by other elements in the frame, and they get a clear picture of your product. You can take these photos from all angles and sides of your product.

If you don’t have any white background photography, you’ll be missing out on features, such as gift guides, where bloggers want to be able to fit your photos together with others in a collage, or magazine editors want to show just the product on white.

Hiring a product photographer

Photography is one of those things that seems simpler than it is. I’m reminded of that every time I pick up my phone and try to take a bright, interesting photo for Instagram. If you’re not already a skilled photographer, let me beg you to outsource this extremely important task. Amateur photos are like a ball and chain for your business—you can head towards where you’re going, but the path is going to be a long, hard struggle.

Your product photography is a key piece of your marketing strategy. It’s not secret that professional photography helps you sell more and makes your business look professional. When you hire a professional photographer, you end up with photos that can be used throughout the life of your business.

I have two great recommendations for your product photography today!

Hire a lifestyle product photographer

For lifestyle shots, consider Jen on the Aeolidia team. She has an amazing eye for design, is a talented prop stylist, and we’re consistently wowed by her work. Here are some of my favorite shots she’s done for our clients:

MAFU styled product photography © Jen Lacey for Aeolidia.

MAFU styled product photography © Jen Lacey for Aeolidia.

Handcrafted HoneyBee, product photography hero shot

Handcrafted HoneyBee product photography hero shot © Jen Lacey for Aeolidia

Luxury bath and body logo and packaging photography © Jen Lacey for Aeolidia

Luxury bath and body logo and packaging photography © Jen Lacey for Aeolidia

cushy-cove-photo1

Cushy Cove model photography © Jen Lacey for Aeolidia

Living Well Spending Less hero photography © Jen Lacey for Aeolidia

Living Well Spending Less hero photography © Jen Lacey for Aeolidia

See Jen’s Aeolidia portfolio here.

Hire us for lifestyle photos

To hire Jen for hero shots, model shots, and styled lifestyle shots, contact us.

Hire a white background product photographer

For your white background photos, we’ve begun recommending Products On White photography. We met them through Stacia Guzzo of Handcrafted HoneyBee, who hired them to do all the white background shots on her new Aeolidia-designed site (she only has glowing feedback, and aren’t they gorgeous):

hhb-pow-photo pow-toy-photography pow-bag-photography pow-paper-photography

Hire Products On White

To hire Products On White photography, follow my referral link to their site.

Now, sell, sell, sell, with your beautiful new product photos!

How To Think Of A Creative Business Name That Will Last

How to come up with creative business name ideas. Your business needs a name that is memorable, meaningful, unique, and lasting.

Thinking of a name for a business is an area where people can get stuck. Your business needs a name that is memorable, meaningful, and unique. Not only that, you don’t want to get sick of seeing it or saying it over the years! How do you name a business to ensure that it will last?

We offer business name brainstorming as a service at Aeolidia, and today I’m happy to share our process and guidelines for thinking up your own creative business name. Are you naming a brand new business? Renaming an existing business? Wondering how to announce a new business name to your customers? Thinking of naming your business after yourself? Read on!

Why you might want a new business name

  • You’re starting a new business–congratulations!
  • You have purchased an existing business and want to make it your own.
  • You want room to grow by adding new designers or new products.
  • Your name doesn’t resonate with your customers.
  • Your name is hard to remember or spell.
  • Your name doesn’t make you feel professional.
  • Your name is dated or trendy.
  • Your name conflicts with another business’s trademark.
  • Your name can’t be trademarked.
  • Your name is too generic.
  • You just plain don’t like it!

The process of brainstorming a new business name

The more information you can gather about your business at the start, the happier you’ll be at the end. Use our process to dig deep into the foundation of your brand, and guide yourself to finding a fitting name for it.

When naming a business, start with these brand identity foundations

Once you can answer the following identity questions easily, you’re ready to name your business. Take some time to create a solid personality and purpose for your brand before beginning to think of names.

What do you sell or provide to your customers? 

Think about what unites your full range of products and what your core business is. Do you have plans to expand your offerings, so would want a more flexible name?

What is unique about your business?

You’re looking for a deep understanding of your brand’s distinguishing characteristics. If you can’t tell why people should choose you over another shop, your customers won’t know, either.

You need to find something that your customers can see as a meaningful difference between you and your very closest competitor.

What is your business’ personality or style?

What makes your business what it is? How do you want your customers to feel when they encounter your business? What type of voice will you speak in on social media and your website?

Your customer comes first when thinking of a business name

What type of person is your customer?

The more detailed you can get about a specific person who is your perfect customer, the better you’ll be able to tailor the name to their preferences.

What is your customer’s style?

Choosing some adjectives can be helpful here. For example: sophisticated, quirky, smart, fun, elegant, romantic, feminine, trendy, etc.

What other brands do your customers shop?

Do you notice any trends or styles among the names of these other brands? Would it make sense to stand out from the crowd, or choose something reassuringly familiar?

Decide what parameters you’ll give your business name search

Consider a tagline

A tagline is a more descriptive message to be featured (at times) with your business name. If you’re considering a tagline as part of this brainstorming process, what is the primary message you would like to quickly convey?
 
What type of name is more fitting?

Are you looking for something more literal that describes what you sell (Soapylove – glycerin soap shop), or would you consider a more abstract name that captures your spirit, but is not descriptive (Three Potato Four – a vintage shop)?

Consider your domain name

Is it important to find a business name that has an available domain name? How flexible will you be with the domain (i.e. is redbirdshop.com acceptable, or do you want something that will work perfectly: redbird.com)?

Gather some business name ideas and inspiration

What names are your competitors using?

If you have competitors you want to be sure to stand apart from, consider their names. If there are ideas or directions that seem too cliched or overused to you, list those here as things to distinguish yourself from.

What existing business names have you noticed that fit with your brand or you find catchy?

You won’t want to copy them, but it can help you figure out what kind of style you lean towards. Maybe you’ve thought of a few names you liked, but they were already in use—put them here on your inspiration list!

Play with some words

Words you like

Time to brainstorm words! These can just be words, and you don’t need to think about full business names yet. What words match your brand’s personality? What words would your perfect customer relate to? What words stand out to you as being right or close to right for your brand?

Words you don’t like

What words don’t work at all, and are in a direction you don’t want to go? As you think of these, it’s helpful to pinpoint why they don’t work.

Now it’s business naming time

Get some blank paper and use it to think of ALL ideas that might work as a business name. Don’t evaluate them at this stage. You’re brainstorming. Just pour them out all over the paper, and come back to consider them later. No idea too silly!

The steps of actually choosing which name you want are personal and up to you. Narrow down this list, using what you know about your company and your customer.

Your next steps: after you’ve chosen a business name

Once you have a few good contenders, you’ll want to make sure that it’s okay to use them. Next, we will talk about determining whether your name can be trademarked, and choosing and purchasing a domain name. In a post after that, we’ll talk about the practical steps you need to take after renaming an existing business, or naming a new business. Stay tuned for these posts! Subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss them.

Need some help?

We offer business name consultation at Aeolidia, if you’d like some help coming up with and researching a business name. You will answer a questionnaire about what you think will work for you and your customers, words you like and don’t like, and the feel you’re going for. Our copywriter will then brainstorm possible business name ideas, making sure each has a good domain name and isn’t being used by a competitor. Then you can go over the list and we refine from there until we have the perfect name for your business (and once you have a name, we’d love to talk about your logo!).

If you’d like a peek into how the process works, read more about business name brainstorming on the Aeolidia blog. That link has articles about choosing business names, business taglines, trademarking, changing your business name, and more.