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The ME in My businEss

This week I changed my Twitter name from EnglshMuffnShop to BessCallard, big deal - right?! Well, yes, sort of.

I have been thinking about my brand lately as I try to launch this little baby company into the real world. I have been examining all aspects of how English Muffin behaves in public and have been thinking about my role in all of this. As I am the principal designer, illustrator, photographer, shipper, and customer relations girl, are not customers who are buying English Muffin designs really just buying me? And by trying to separate myself from the English Muffin brand, am I hurting my own chances to get my name and designs out there, resulting in less opportunities for both myself and English Muffin?

Where do Bess Callard, designer and illustrator, and English Muffin, print and poster design shop, begin and end?

Reading Danielle LaPorte's article 3 keys to un-branding...and why I changed my twitter name gave me some interesting food for thought. She describes the idea that in the end a strong brand, although great for selling your product, can really box you in as an artist. You are not your website, or your products or even your art, you are you and rather than hiding behind your work you should be out in front of it. This idea really struck me. While English Muffin has been my creative outlet for the past year and a half, it's not all I am as a designer. Perhaps while trying to teach English Muffin to fly, I should have also been pushing my own butt out of the nest. If I thought I had issues promoting my English Muffin work, then multiply that by a million when it comes to Bess the graphic designer and illustrator.

With that said, I plan on bringing all of my work under the umbrella of Bess Callard. Sure, English Muffin will still be English Muffin, but I want to keep the story of the brand personal and authentic. I want to be at the top of the pyramid and my work to fall neatly underneath me. I think there is no better example of this idea in our industry than Martha Stewart. When I think of her I don't think magazines, or tv shows, or bedding and towels, or even weddings, I immediately see her, and her personal style, in my mind's eye.

So, in a nutshell, that's why I changed my Twitter name, and bought the domain besscallard.com.

Have a great weekend,
Bess

(photo by Sam-Plant)