For the past 8 years, I’ve poured my heart into Three Fifteen Design – creating brand identities for small businesses & creatives. It’s rewarding … so rewarding. I get to live vicariously through other people starting and growing amazing businesses. I get to watch their branding process unfold, and I’ve seen the results of a strong brand experience. I’ve watched my clients reach their ideal audience, and make advocates for their brand. Like I said, it’s so rewarding. What I’ve been craving lately is my own new brand to launch. I am sitting comfortably (working extremely hard, and always so thankful to be growing) in my business now, but I’ve been thinking about launching a brand of products that could enrich people’s lives.
This morning, it kind of hit me like a ton of bricks. My thing. The thing that I would explore. I now know what I want my product to be.
It’s nothing new, but it is something that most people love. It’s something that makes a house feel more like a home, and even has the ability to bring peace and tranquility to the end of a long day.
While I’m not ready to share the product yet, I do think it could be really cool to share the process of dreaming, branding, making, and selling. It’s rare to see an intimate view into growing a business/brand, and I think sharing the joys and setbacks could truly help other small business owners. While it might make some feel a bit awkward, I think I could also share a breakdown of the real costs associated with starting a new business.
I’m a write-everything-in-a-notebook type person, and I haven’t written a single stroke to start this journey. There’s a big road ahead of me, but I’m excited for all it. Off the top of my head, there are several areas I need to explore before launching …
- Gathering inspiration
- Establishing my brand values & goals
- Coming up with a name
- Establishing the name with my city/state (setting up a DBA under my LLC)
- Market research
- Profit/loss projections of cost of the goods vs. projections of sales
- Any legal requirements surrounding this product
- Product development & testing
- Building my brand overview (statement, tone, ideal client, etc.)
- Brand identity – I know a girl! 😉
- Packaging options
- Establishing a relationship with a printer for stationery, packaging, and labels.
- Working with small focus groups to test the product
- Retooling any issues or concerns before the launch
- Fine tuning pricing structure & offerings
- Finding a platform to sell on (I plan to start online)
- Creating a workflow for client interaction, making, and delivering
- Preparing for the launch
- Sending free product to brand reps
- Connecting with local businesses to integrate my product, organically
- Social media presence
- Gaining an audience
- Working through the first sales
- Moving into small shops in Portland
- Working against a calendar, to have this product into people’s homes for the holidays. Launch would be on or around Black Friday.
I am certain there will be more than I’ve covered here. Like, after I figure out the cost to launch (testing, packaging, first round of free goodies to reps, etc.), I might decide I need a small business loan. This would be new territory for me, as I’ve never gone into debt with my business. Or, what if I do this research and discover this product isn’t a good idea?! (that would be a little soul crushing, but maybe now I know I’m interested in product development).
Okay, so that’s it. This is my big dream. Sorry to keep it vague. Until I’ve done more research and started moving forward with a name, I’d like to keep the dream to myself. For now, I’ll be diving deep into analysis of the market and potential costs & growth.
Here we go. As always, thank you for your support & readership! I so value you!
Photograph by me, for The Oregon Tale.