I had the pleasure of working on the branding and website for Brisbane sisters Sophie & Kareena from Reclaim Her recently! They are some of the loveliest humans around!
One of the things I absolutely loved about working with Sophie & Kareena was that they had such a strong message and purpose behind the work that they do. These are THE BEST clients to work with because there is a really solid foundation to draw from and weave a story around. Their business was inspired by their own individual journies of losing and finding themselves. Kareena lost parts of herself along the way of having four kids and trying to help manage a business with her husband that went bankrupt (her rock-bottom). Sophie was involved in a car accident that left her emotionally scarred and retreating from life. This inspired them to help other women who feel lost and like they don’t recognise themselves anymore, disappearing under the heavy load of all their many roles – mother, daughter, partner, carer, organiser, cleaner, cook, employe… Isn’t it exhausting just thinking of all the roles we women take on?! I love the energy behind the idea of ‘reclaiming’ who you really are. This is a graphic we created for their about page, which explains the deep meaning behind their business name and what they do.
I personally felt such a resonance to everything they shared with me in the Heart and Soul phase of the work.
Motherhood really eats away at our time, our bodies, our energy, our everything. I definitely found myself last on my list for at least the first year and a half of my twin’s life and looking in the mirror going ‘who are you?’. It’s still a struggle a lot of days, but I’m slowly finding my feet with coming back to myself. Can you relate? That’s why they help so many mothers, because losing ourselves almost feels like a rite of passage. But not a positive one.
Have you ever had a child or a partner that wants you to engage in play, or joy, or creativity with them but you feel too busy or stressed or rigid to engage? Completely closed off from actually enjoying life because you’re in ‘get shit done’ mode or survival mode. It gets to the point where you’re not really living anymore. During the branding process, we created this graphic to represent the 10 facets women often abandon or shut off, which are actually crucial to happiness and fulfillment. This was one of Sophie & Kareena’s favourite pieces, as it’s a really emotive way to capture the energy and feeling of each of these words. The feeling of a deeper, richer life. I really wanted to find a way to capture the emotion of their brand story and this was just one of the pieces.
Before the rebrand, Sophie described their situation as this:
“We’d grown and changed over time and our website was a mish-mash of different elements that we’d put together as we evolved. I knew our work was of a certain calibre but our website and promotional material didn’t reflect that, and I found I was reluctant to share it with our audience as I felt it actually detracted from our offering. It lacked consistent imagery & wording & didn’t carry the warmth, energy & professionalism of who we now are…and I wasn’t sure how to pull it all together.
I really wanted to invest in our branding, because I know its like the shopfront of your business. How you show up on the page impacts the impression people will have of you when they first connect & moving forwards. I’d been enquiring with different companies but their offering always seemed to lack ‘heart’ and ‘soulfulness’ (things important to our business). The words and imagery felt too ‘corporate’ or hard and lacked the warm, feminine, soulful feel we wanted to convey. We wanted to work with someone who understood us, understood what a heart based business is and how best to share that with the world in a non ‘woo woo’ kind of way. Emma absolutely nailed it.”
Have you ever felt like that? You’re searching for someone to help you with a problem and you’re going from site to site and feeling like nothing resonates? Everything looks so ordinary, so cold, so lifeless. So you continue to search, forever seeking something to light you up and connect with a deeper part of yourself? You don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, except that you haven’t found it yet. You’re looking for that resonance. That magic connection. That is branding! Our soul made visible on the page to make that magic first impression.
Their Branding – Before
Their old branding had some great elements we retained, such as a gorgeous Mandala logo icon and some core colours they resonated with and wanted to retain. But when we looked at the bigger picture there certainly was a jumble of fonts, colours (lots of pink on the website, lots of orange on their socials) and different imagery/photography styles being used. So, our intention was to really elevate the look to match the calibre of their work, as Sophie put it above, while using design techniques to really tell their powerful story, in a way their existing website layout and design approach wasn’t facilitating.
Perhaps bigger than the surface-level visual branding stuff, they were completely missing from their own home page! So, what was really beautiful about the branding journey that I witnessed, was seeing their willingness to step into their visibility and show up in their business in a bigger way. I firmly believe that when you are a personal brand, you do not need to hide behind stock imagery. There is certainly a place for stock images to supplement our designs, but allowing yourself to be seen for everything you are, to call in the right people is so powerful. Now, with their gorgeous images from my fav photographer Michelle from Eyes of Love, they shine so brightly and are so present on their website, so people can really get a sense of who they are.
With the Reclaim Her visual branding, our goal was to bring forward two seemingly contradictory things: vibrancy and energy, while at the same time softness and expansiveness. To feel high-end and of a high quality, while at the same time very approachable and welcoming. You can imagine how challenging these contradictions can feel to a non-designer! Luckily straddling these lines are the things I do day-in-day out! Another part of the work I loved was sharing their story in written form. They expressed to me that I was able to capture their tone of voice and what they wanted to express through their copy, which was so beautiful to hear.
Here’s what Sophie had to say:
“Emma’s process for diving deep into who Kareena & I are individually and together in our offering, brought out pieces about us that we ourselves hadn’t really connected with before. She provided a safe space to explore that and connect more deeply with the fullest expression of who we are and what we had to bring into the world…and it felt safe to do so under her guidance. Emma has absolutely captured the heart of our offering – her words are beautiful, rich, soulful, connecting and impactful and the imagery fills my heart every time I see it…and I love how her attention to detail means it gets woven across all our branding pieces.
Something I particularly love about Emma is she has a rare ability to bring together a visually creative ability with intelligent and impactful writing/copy skills.She has a natural ability to draw from you your personal story and the ‘why’ of your business, to create copy that connects with your audience. She is able to pick up a thread of an idea we have and give it life, quickly adapting as we offer feedback, so we end up with a beautifully branded finished product. Kareena and I both got teary when we saw how beautiful our finished pages were, so deeply touched that we had been ‘seen’ and our energy/essence captured so well.”
I loved bringing in femininity and flow through things like flowing textures and soft illustrations. It can feel so hard to know what you’re looking for in a design, when so much of what you see these days is so boxy and geometric and flat. Sophie and Kareena were quite specific about wanting to come across as a more approachable form of soulfulness or spirituality, to women who are newer on their journey and consider themselves more mainstream. So they didn’t want the typical spiritual icons that are popular these days or anything too harsh and geometric. Once again, we straddled a line between softness, flow and creating the right energy to awaken their audiences hearts and minds, without coming across as messy, which is always a balancing act!
So, how does the branding process actually change you personally?
I think it’s more than just getting a visual makeover or facelift. Some will only experience it on the surface level if they’re disconnected from what they’ve created and are doing it purely to look fancier or appeal to a certain demographic. But if you take the time to think deeply and birth your vision from the ground up, I do believe it can transform the way you feel about showing up for your business (and in fact, countless clients have confirmed this to me!)
“We are so, so happy we made the decision to work with Emma. It’s a choice that’s changed the way we show up in the world. The way Emma has captured who we are, now feels like the highest version of ourselves and I’ve found myself consciously expanding into that fuller expression. She always brings the best version of ourselves to our branding.”
Do you have parts of yourself you’re feeling called to reclaim and stop abandoning?
I would love to invite you to learn more about what Sophie and Kareena offer!
• wonderful 1:1 soul coaching
• beautiful events in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, if you are local to the area; and
• wonderful programs to kick start your ‘reclaiming’ journey.