Why I Decided to Rebrand my Entire Business
In March of 2017, I started my business, ‘Letter and Knot Co’, as a new revenue stream to bring in extra money for our gazelle intense debt free journey. (Read more about our journey in these two journal entries: Part 1 and Part 2) I was so new, in both my skills, and in my understanding of running a full force business, and I put zero thought into my business name and brand. ‘Letter’ was chosen for lettering words, and ‘Knot’ was to represent both the ‘knots in wood’, and ‘tying the knot’ for the wedding industry. I threw ‘and’ in there to tie it together, and ‘co’ at the end to make it feel more professional than I knew it was! As my business grew though, it changed rather quickly. As I was changing, and as the heartbeat of my business was changing and becoming more and more clear, I felt a complete disconnect from who my business was, and where I wanted it to grow into. I felt like my heartbeat was in someone else’s body, and this entire rebrand was bringing my own heartbeat back into my own body.
I was sharing my calligraphy and service offerings on Instagram, but as I started sharing more and more of me, our marriage, our debt free journey, my faith, and so much more, I knew that I had already outgrown the purpose and mission of ‘Letter and Knot Co’, and that it was time to make a drastic change, or I would start to resent my business. I wanted my new business and brand to have margin for me to grow into, for it to be a true reflection of who I am, where I desire it to be, and really hone in on who and what people perceive my business as.
Life behind the scenes of this rebrand looked from the outside like the above photo, but in reality, there was so much hard, messy, and intentional heart work going on in the background as I began to map out what this would really look like. I had to sit down and dream about where I wanted this business to be in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 years, not just next weekend.
My brand new business name is: Ashley Margaret. I knew I wanted my business name to be my name, but I was so unsure of which parts to choose. (I have a killer last name, Craft, right?) But as I thought on what has shaped me and the fact that building a legacy is going to be such a crucial part of my business, I had to go with my first and middle name. My mom and dad named me ‘Ashley’ and I will forever cherish that name because of their influence on my life; My dad taught me the beauty of bringing something in my mind to life with my hands, as well as dreaming big dreams, and my mom always lived out how to be a great story teller. But with ‘Margaret’, I was given that as my middle name after my mom’s mom, ‘Grandma Margaret’ (Peggy was her nickname), and she is the one I get most of my creativity from. I want to carry on the legacy of small business owners in my family and their stories in my own business now, while also having that margin to grow into it as ME, Ashley Margaret.
My brand illustration is: a cranberry. I was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, and I will FOREVER be a New Englander at heart. So much of New England has inspired my calligraphic style, and the vision for the quality of products I desire to create, and the raw and blunt honesty in which I desire to write. (I am the brutally honest friend who will be blunt with you, in love of course, but if you don’t want the truth, you probably shouldn’t come to me!) I chose the cranberry to be the core illustration element for my business because it is a unique fruit almost exclusively grown and harvested in Massachusetts that only survives in intentional conditions. When those conditions are present, the sustainability is endless, and the vine will stay healthy and produce fruit for years and years to come.
Cranberries are a unique fruit. They can grow and survive only under a very special combination of factors. The cranberry is a Native American wetland fruit which grows on trailing vines like a strawberry. The vines thrive on the special combination of soils and water properties found in wetlands. Wetlands are nature's sponges; they store and purify water and help to maintain the water table. Cranberries grow in beds layered with sand, peat and gravel. These beds are commonly known as bogs or marshes and were originally formed as a result of glacial deposits.
In Massachusetts we call the place where cranberries grow a BOG. Natural bogs evolved from deposits left by the glaciers more than 10,000 years ago. These deposits were left in impermeable kettle holes lined with clay. The clay prevents materials from leaching into the groundwater. Rocks and other organic materials were collected by the glaciers. When the ice finally melted deposits of heavy materials were layered on top of the clay.
These kettle holes were filled with water and organic matter which created the ideal environment for cranberries. In the early 1800s Henry Hall, a veteran of the Revolutionary War who lived in Dennis Massachusetts noticed that sand blown in from nearby dunes helped vines grow faster. Today, growers spread a inch or two of sand on their bogs every three years. The sand not only helps the vines grow but also slows the growth of weeds and insects. Normally, growers do not replant each year since an undamaged cranberry vine will survive indefinitely. Some vines on Cape Cod are more than 150 years old and are still bearing fruit.
My VISION for ‘Ashley Margaret’ is for it to be a sustainable, healthy business, and to for it to reap a harvest of GOOD fruit in every area that I decide for it to go. I am not here to be trendy or fleeting or fade over time, but to be intentional, honest, and raw in what I create and share. I desire build a faithful legacy from this business in good time.
My HOPE for ‘Ashley Margaret’ is to pen and preserve intentional stories. Writing and speaking in the future are B.H.A.G.’s for me (Big Hairy Audacious Goals), and I am so excited to be able to start to infuse that part of my heart into this business, alongside calligraphy and design. (This was one of the BIGGEST reasons why I decided to change, and why I chose my own name.) The most beautiful part of this new rebrand and business is that it is going to give me room to breathe to be ME and create calligraphy for the intentional story teller, and pen words for the intentional woman.
So, without further ado, I give you all of the new brand elements to my entire business and rebrand! My heart and soul have been poured into this, and I am ecstatic to begin sharing it with the world.
This was my first ever wax seal that I designed for my business branding, and I purchased it through Artisaire. They were a JOY to work with, have exceptional customer service, and create quality products that will last. I am looking forward to using this wax seal in the smallest of details to leave my mark on what I create and do.
Before I close out, I cannot express enough gratitude to all of the people along the way who made this point of my business possible. I could not have done this without every single client who purchased a custom piece from me or referred me. I could not have done this without every single creative that has pushed me, encouraged me, taught me, and supported me in this creative entrepreneurship endeavor along the way. I will not be able to do this now and in the future without every single future client who will chose me.
And lastly, I do every single piece of this business because of the incredible support and encouragement from my husband. You are my best friend in the entire world, my greatest pursuer, and you inspire me to push past limits in my business and personal life that I did not know I had. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for challenging me to use INTENTIONALLY the gifts and talents the Lord has given me. I love you, Joshua Steven Craft. The best is TODAY and to COME.
Dear friend, I hope you love this new rebrand as much as I do, and that you will journey with me through all of the changes to come! The brand new website will launch in the first weeks of March, and I sure hope you are able to stop in when that happens to explore it all! Until then!