Getting Past Go.
This "I'll do it myself" thing is something I struggle with constantly both at home and work. Being a perfectionist is both A Gift and a curse.
Amber Anderson.ME is more than a blog. It's my online journal. The space I'm using to grow personally and professionally. Pressing publish on this site was a big deal. I toggled with the idea for about five years. Once I made the decision, it took me an additional year to actually hit publish.
A part of that time was getting things together. But, honestly, most of the time (like 98.7%) was spent working through my insecurities; letting go of "perfection" and being reminded that I can NOT do everything myself.
This "I'll just do it myself" thing is something I struggle with constantly at home and work. It's held me back for years. It also almost kept me from launching this site. Had it not been for a pen, a Pinterest board, a woman named Sara and a little Salted Ink who knows where I would be.
Here's the story behind the Amber Anderson.ME design and the wickedly brilliant mommypreneur who saved me from me.
Sara & The Salted Ink.
I stumbled across Salted Ink a couple of years ago on the DIY Bible, Pinterest. I had just started Kayson and was looking for design inspiration for the company website. The design team we hired asked me to put together a "brand board" - a Pinterest board of sites, colors, and logos that I liked, so I did. I searched. I pinned, and before I knew it, half my board was full of designs from this agency called Salted Ink. I loved their name and their designs, but I never reached out.
Then, a year later, when I decided to launch this website, I turned to my trusted friend Pinterest again. This time, I did so with less time, a non-existent budget, and the intention of building everything myself. Creating a digital outfit (aka identity & brand) you're proud of is important. It's the first impression people have of you and your business. So, naturally, I wanted mine to be good. But the process of getting there can be daunting.
Branding is time consuming, can be super expensive, is sometimes frustrating (revisions, revisions, revisions), and there's always a chance you'll walk away unsatisfied. So, for this project, I decided to build everything myself. Honestly, how hard could it be? The site was about me and no one knows me better than me.
By creating the assets myself I thought I'd be able to get something custom without the custom price; professional but not stiff; light and fun but serious, honest, authentic, and real. I'd be able to design my own digital outfit.
For four months, I messed around in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Canva. I created things, deleted things, screamed at things, and begged Adobe to get their sh*t together. I spent over 80 hours working on stuff, none of which resembled what I had seen in my head. And I wasn't even close to anything Pinterest-worthy.
Then at 2am one night. I found Sara and The Brand Bar.
My Brand. Her Bar. The Brand Bar.
Simple. Easy. Budget-friendly. A perfect fit.
Sara is the founder of Salted Ink and the mastermind behind The Brand Bar - a marketplace of custom-created brand identity packages.
She's also a wife, mompreneur, North Carolina girl, and one of the dopest, kindest, talented, and most down-to-earth creatives on the planet.
With just a click of the button, one email thread, and six business days later, I was out of DIY hell - a project that ended up costing me over $20,000 in lost revenue - and into my newly designed digital outfit.
Simple. Easy. Budget-friendly. A perfect fit.
I love my new fit! It's sleek, bold, fun, straight forward and versatile. Just like me.
7 things I learned from this experience
- Products can be tangible or intangible. Ideas can come from anywhere. Be creative. Think outside of the box. They just need to serve a purpose and fill a need.
- Even service providers can offer products! Don't count yourself out.
- Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. All of the brands on sale in The Brand Bar came from a previously paid project that was not selected. So smart!
- Designers have a style. Finding one that matches yours will make the process so much smoother. Do your research. Find the right match.
- Time is precious and, especially as a service provider, worth money. If it costs you more to do it yourself, find and hire a professional. Seriously. Like right now!
- Buy vs Build? Building something from scratch is not always better. Whether you're looking to do something new (no matter how big or small) make sure you do your research before you kick things off. Your time has value! Do the math and then decide.
- The Brand Bar is updated periodically with new designs. All designs are sold once, can be customized to match your business's brand, cost half the price of a custom design project and will be delivered in 10 days or less.