A couple of weeks ago, I sat in the chair at the salon and I told my stylist…”you can’t blonde shock me….go for it”. She told me the story of a woman who works there and when she goes blonde and has the product in her hair, she’ll run and hide from others to make sure they don’t pull her foils out before SHE is ready, because she knows what she likes! I laughed along with my stylist but then I thought about how much I actually related to that woman. She has people telling her what she needs, what works best for her — what would look the best but the lady actually looks amazing with that bright, fun and bleach blonde look! Just enough to blonde shock some, but the ones who don’t get blonde shocked? Well they probably make her life a little easier just by loving her for who she is.
My branding was no different. When the TOTALLY SWEET Katie Durski and I started working together a couple years ago…I loved the idea of brightening my brand but what I did was just add another color in, teal. Pink and teal. I LOVE pink and teal to this day, they were our wedding colors!!! And I wanted some gold in there, too because gold is shiny and pretty and well, GOLD! But one thing I look back on and realize is that I LOVED those things, but they weren’t me. The pink and the teal, well, they were classic and pretty but I’m more bright and wild! And the gold, I LOVE gold jewelry, it’s virtually all I wear — but who *I* am as a brand…it’s not me! I can look cute in the jewelry for sure, but gold is something I put on to get a little fancy when truly, I’m sandy feet, organic cotton tee and a pop of BRIGHT color somewhere within the outfit.
Somewhere along the past two years, I found myself a little better. The pregnancy with Ellie was rough but, she changed my life so much..as I’ve blogged before. What a weird thing to talk about and admit! But she has a calm about her that makes me just kind of stop and not get as mad, as worked up or as anxious as I used to. Somewhere in that time of meeting her and moving to the Outer Banks, I found myself. I had the epiphany I HOPE you all have or will have someday that it doesn’t matter what you do or say, you simply can NOT please everyone! You can’t! You can’t make a BRAND everyone will like, you can’t have a photographic style everyone will like..and you sure can’t be a person everyone will like…and that’s the BEAUTY OF BRANDING. It’s to have the boldness and confidence to say “THIS is who I am” — take it or leave it.
Some people are not going to believe some of the things I’m going to write below! BUT – there is a REASON I’m saying these things and I’ll explain! Here’s what I want for people to experience while visiting the new branding!
1a. I want some people to say OH my GOSH! I love this! I love the colors, I love the sea inspired look! Her images are colorful, too!
1b. This is annoying, it’s too bright. And I hate the beach.
then I want some people to watch the video of our entire pregnancy with Ellie to the part where we move to the Outer Banks and say…
2a. This is SO sweet! I’m crying, it’s a real life story! This woman is running a business, growing her family and sharing her story!
2b. This is too personal, I don’t like it, I don’t care to know all of this about a vendor I’m hiring. Who cares about her life story.
3a. She mentors and helps other photographers?! That’s amazing!! She’s stating she celebrates community over competition…go girl!
3b. Why would she help other photographers? Why would you help your competitors gain business and take your potential clients from you??
All of those B answers….they aren’t my audience…and THAT IS OKAY! You guys, I can’t run from it..I’m a salt air and sea obsessed woman. I love bright colors. As much as I love peach and blush and gold and those beautiful Style Me Pretty trends…they can’t be who I am! I can wear them in some outfits, I can shoot them at weddings (YES GIVE ME SOME OF THAT hahah!!) but it’s not who Amanda Hedgepeth is as a brand or person! So the “B” answers are people I want to make the conscious decision to not be around or work with me! This is much like life…we don’t want to spend too much time around those not like us or who disagree with our lifestyle and interests so heavily that is disrupts the possibility for working well together in any situation.
So here’s my point. BE YOURSELF and own it! LOVE what makes you, you! So many of us are working to build brands others will like…but what about us? It’s YOUR business, your name, yourself! Be proud and own it girlfriend! (or boyfriend!!)
OLD SITE SCREENSHOT:
NEW SITE HOME PAGE!!! CLICK HERE TO BROWSE!!! :)YAY! Thank you AGAIN Katie Durski for listening and trusting my vision and crazy love for sea, sunshine and brightness!!