About 3 years ago I finally spent a little money with Lindsay Humes to create a fresh logo, update my website a bit and come up with colors. It was the closest thing to branding I had ever done. But really wasn’t anything crazy. We never took a deep dive into WHO I AM. The last few years I’ve really been experimenting with the content I’m writing. From pulling a bit away from fashion and focusing a little more on personal posts, and creating more helpful articles on style, skincare, beauty and more. This space has definitely changed over the years and I finally like where it’s heading. And I really hope you do too.
Still, to its core, I have always felt and wanted My Style Vita to feel like you’re coming over to a friend’s house.
To simply chat about your favorite shopping
No matter what it is from fun cocktails to putting together a Thanksgiving buffet, or even just throwing on jeans and a tee, nothing here is every fussy or complicated. It’s always inspiring that also feels attainable and in the end, makes you look and feel more put together in an effortless way.
My vision is to bring casual, effortless style and life tips to the everyday woman.
I realized though after blogging for nearly 8 years that I couldn’t articulate this very well on my own. The word “effortless” and “elevated” seemed to always come up though when I would describe “my brand”. I’m definitely a no fuss kinda gal but always like to be put together in a sense. But not too much of course, because that wouldn’t be me either. It’s that
While I stewed on getting a big new website and spending thousands (yes many bloggers spend $4,000+ on websites and custom work) I knew I had to do SOMETHING. I was sick of my old logo, I didn’t have a direction, and I couldn’t answer the fundamental question “what do you blog about”.
Forget a big fancy site, not being able to define yourself and your brand in a confident way was truly the core of my problem.
After thinking about a full redesign and polling you, the reader, I decided this wasn’t worth it. Instead, I’d rather invest in a brand identity so I can have a clear focus of who I am alongside a brand vibe and look that matches. Plus, a fresh new theme from the amazing women behind Empress Themes that’s perfect, beautiful and under $100.
I reached out to Emily of Amavi Studio. She’s based right here in Atlanta and it was great to be able to connect with her in person. We quickly got started on brainstorming and figuring out what exactly I was trying to portray with My Style Vita. After a big brand questionnaire and digesting my content, Emily at Amavi Studio came back with the most incredible vision. But first, let’s chat about how you even get to this point and what goes into it.
Five Branding Questions To Ask Yourself
Before I even hired Emily at Amavi Studio to assist in this project, I first wanted to brainstorm on my own as I was in a position to possibly change my blog name. I’ve despised it forever, it’s just what we all do after 8 years usually. So I enlisted the help of my best friend who works in marketing and product branding for her company. We sat down and did a big word mapping session. Word mapping is a fairly common brainstorm strategy and we gathered lots of paper, some pens and sat at our favorite restaurant, Superica, to brainstorm for SEVERAL hours.
Word mapping is truly the basis and beginning of defining your brand. Many of the things my friend and I went over were also the exact same questions Emily asked me. This made me feel like I was finally honing in. I finally was starting to formulate a “who am I”. I never did come up with a new name,
1. What are the emotional words that define my brand?
These would include feelings you want to evoke as your brand. For
2. What are the functional words of my brand?
Functional words are ones that describe what you want your brand to be. More practical and direct, and helps to describe what it is your brand does. For My Style Vita, I wanted my brand to function as an honest, attainable and relatable space.
3. What are words or adjectives that describe you and your brand?
These are slightly different than the emotional ones, as they describe your content, your images, your entire brand. For me, these words included relatable, cool, effortless, elevated, casual, attainable and informative.
4. What are words or adjectives that DON’T describe you and your brand?
I think it’s just as important to hone in on what you are even down to what you ARE NOT. When I answered this question, a lot of the words were ones that translated easily to fashion. I learned right then and there that I shouldn’t even be sharing styles, or pieces that fall into these categories. It isn’t “on brand” and my reader will be confused.
For example, I’m definitely not preppy or overly girly. I don’t do vintage style, and I’m not some super bubbly happy person. This all leads me back to who I am in fact, which is more honest, down to earth, feminine, but not super girly. Fashion-y, but not really crazy obsessed with a specific genre. This makes looking at brand projects that much easier. I won’t take on partnerships that won’t align here and coming up with the DO NOT list helps a lot with that.
5. What Problem Are You Solving For Your Reader
This was hands down the hardest for me. Not because I didn’t know what I want to solve, but I think we tend to pigeon hole ourselves in a single little niche. Which is TOTALLY FINE and honestly can be easier! This usually means something like “budget fashion” or “preppy style” or “keto cooking” or “makeup blogger”. It can be limiting, and for someone like me who wants to share lots of content over lots of content verticals like fashion, beauty, decor, I had to solve a problem that made sense in all of those categories.
part, isn’t easy.
You can’t just slap on a niche like “bargain shopping” to those and it works. I had to really figure out what I was doing with all my content verticals for my readers. I had to finally be able to answer “what do you blog about” in a short, concise few sentences like an elevator pitch. Finally, Amavi Studio helped put this all into wonderful beautiful words. More on that below…But my solution is always to provide practical tips that readers can easily apply for a more put-together and elevated everyday.
Now that you’ve done some word mapping, you can start to pull the pieces together (or apart) and develop a true brand identity. After all of this, Emily of Amavi Studio was able to create a more clear vision, brand identity and definition for me. Not only in words, but also in
What Went Into Creating The My Style Vita Brand
Once we figured out all of the words, who I am and also shared a Pinterest inspiration board with Amavi Studio of what felt like me, she was ready to move forward with the complete package. Here’s how it went.
First Up, Colors & Inspiration
She first sent over a vision board of my style, my vibe, the feelings and moods My Style Vita should encompass. Amavi Studio also included a general brand color palette for me to review. This is what she came up with. The colors are muted and grounded with a touch of femininity with the rouge. The navy, one I refused to get rid of, has been refreshed and updated. I was honestly a little nervous to try something new for the navy, but I love it. And the “brass” perfectly compliments it all. The brand vision board is a compilation of all my favorite things. Denim, brass, deep rich hues like hunter greens and navy and of course, a touch of feminine with the pinks and blushes.
Next Comes Logos!
I loved that Amavi Studio put meaning and emotion behind every detail of the logo. The logo is designed to look effortless but yet put together. It is filled with perfectly imperfect details, just as
Lastly, The Brand Identity
Defining the brand on paper, in words, was the part that really made it all feel complete for me. It was the hardest thing I couldn’t figure out my own in a short brief sentence or two. Of course, Emily nailed it.
The brand essence for My Style Vita is the idea of bringing practical tips to my audience’s
every day life. Tips that they can easily tackle and makes their life feel just a tad more ‘put-together’.
This brand essence works from making that fun cocktail for friends to styling your neutral couch to finally putting up that gallery wall. It even works for styling your work pants for drinks after work, or how to
You’ll never see me in a ballgown, you won’t ever see me sharing a 20 step recipe and you most definitely won’t see me in the craziest wildest trend of the moment. It’s just not practical for me and doesn’t work for an effortless
The new look and flow of the website will also hopefully allow you to digest more content that you may have missed in the past, or may want to revisit. A content-rich homepage is full of various content verticals from my favorite beauty posts, decor, recipes and more. You can still browse easily with my navigation as everything is organized easily by category. Go on, enjoy, read, comment and stay a while. And don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter that’s been revamped too for more personal and exclusive content.
So welcome to the new My Style Vita. Where posts are written with the intention that I hope you leave inspired. That we’re really just Internet friends chatting about life, and our favorite finds so you can feel a tad more put together easily!
Photos by Hannah Michelle