the joy of a distinctive creative style
In my last post we explored an alternative to the hustle. I wanted to show you that there is another way. That you don't need to be all things to all people. You don't need to throw yourself miles outside your comfort zone with every project just to keep your business afloat. That actually, the more you build on what you're truly, uniquely good at, the more successful your business will be. It doesn't matter what your trade is, if you're running a creative business, it's essential that you showcase your style if you're to realise your true potential.
In my experience, there are two very distinct sorts of client. The ones who want to tick something off their list, and the ones who will cross continents to have the pleasure of working with you. Guess who's nicer to work for? Guess who's more inspirational? Guess who allows you to grow and develop as a creative?
Ahead of the Creative Flair workshop in June, I wanted to share a few examples of creatives who do this really well. I hope you'll find them as inspiring as I do!
Fiona Pickles, Firenza Floral Design
Three years ago we had the absolute pleasure of working with Fiona Pickles on the Branding for Florists workshop I ran for Flowerona. At the time, Fiona's business was very much stuck in the hustle. She had no clear creative style. Her website was outdated (which, to be fair, she was only too painfully aware of) and work was a challenge.
Following that workshop Fiona worked hard at finding and honing her style. She invested in her skills as a floral designer and she launched a beautiful new website. This weekend Fiona was hosting an event for Jo Malone. A few months back, she had a pop-up shop in And Other Stories. She runs incredible workshops and has had some truly high profile collaborations including the creative direction of Castle Howard's Flower Festival. Her business is flying and she's inspired and empowered as a creative.
Now people see me as a designer rather than just someone to 'do the flowers'
Fiona Pickles, Firenza Floral Design
Fiona was recently interviewed for Botanical Brouhaha and you can listen to more about her journey on the podcast. You can find a whole heap more beautiful floral inspiration on Fiona's website: Firenza Flowers.
We are Branch
Shauna Haider is the immensely talented creative behind We are Branch, a bold, stylish and sophisticated design agency based in Portland, Oregon. Shauna is the absolute epitome of someone who gets it. She lives and breathes her work. Her style reflects who she is as a person and her taste and aesthetic run through everything she does.
Follow her on Instagram and you'll see a consistent and compelling theme to the work she shares. Skip over to her Pinterest feed and you'll see that her inspirations absolutely tie in with her aesthetic. And of course, her portfolio is incredible.
When I was rebranding The Brand Stylist, Branch were my first and only choice. I adored everything Shauna put out and I couldn't wait to see what she could do with my brand. Her elegant touch, eye for balance and passion for iconic, minimal design was thoroughly captivating. I knew she could deliver what I was looking for and I wasn't disappointed.
Shauna makes it easy for me to recommend my clients to her. I don't recommend everyone, because not everyone needs that style, but for those who do, it's a no brainer.
Have you made it a no brainer for people to recommend to you? Have you streamlined your portfolio? Have you curated your inspirations? Have you had the confidence to clearly define the work you want to do and where you add the most value? Honestly, I think it's essential.
Lovely Sophie is well known to many of you in the UK for her appearances on shows like DIY SOS and The Great Interior Design Challenge. Sophie is an absolute champion of colour and clashes pattern and hues with absolute aplomb, She is confident in her style and utterly irresistible for it.
Sophie has carved herself a thoroughly unique niche which opens up many doors for her to grow and stretch as a creative. What's more, when people work with Sophie, they do so because they want a piece of her style, her aesthetic, her taste. It's compelling. She's compelling. And her work is utterly fabulous.
I realise that you might think 'oh, well that's all very well for the one man bands, but I have overheads, I can't be that picky'. I'd suggest that if you have overheads, you need to focus even more! Because when you're in a position of strength, when you have clients queuing up to work with you because they just can't wait to see what you'll be able to do for them, that's when business will start to become a joy.