Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What Inspires You Wednesday: Small Things That Make A Difference

Growing Businesses, The Right Way


Hey gang.  How's it going today? Here in Stratham, I'm currently caught up in a ton of work. This is good. Trust me. Challenging on the juggling front, but good. (a little more on that later)
owned my own business I've been focused on many different aspects of branding.........from marketing planning and exectution, ad planning and design, copy writing, press releases and kits, communication assessments......the list goes on and on and on. The one thing they've all had in common is that they help businesses establish their brand, which in turn helps them communicate to people about what makes their business special.
I came across a  quote that I think sums up branding pretty well. Whether we're talking about branding in relation to your business advertising, your marketing, your identity design, your public relations efforts, or if we're getting down to the nitty gritty about how you express your beliefs and how you incorporate them into your business.

"Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” - Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon

Here's a perfect example that was right in my instagram feed last week.  The story of Lagusta Lucious Chocolates doing what they believed in, rather than doing what was easy.

Saying No, When Yes Might Be Easier and Better For Your Bottom Line

I follow Lagusta's Lucious on instagram and Lagusta shared a blog post she had written, called 'saying no (when you've decided to say yes)'. You can read it here. Quick synopsis. Lagusta's Luscious is all about "chocolates that are heartbreakingly delicious and painstakingly made by hand with truly artisanal ingredients".When considering what artisanal ingredients really means, think: ingredients that are fair trade, not made by people working as slave labor, and ingredients that honor and respect the earth and all its inhabitants.

That said, Lagusta was confronted with a big decision when Free People, owned by Urban Outfitters contacted her about selling the company's chocolate bunnies for Easter. Now, although the chocolate company could have used a big huge account to make a lot of things easier for the business, Lagusta said no. She said no, quite simply because she doesn't believe in Free People or Urban Outfitters brand of business. It's not aligned with her own.  However, she didn't just say no. Instead, she said this:

"Dear xxx,
Thank you so much for thinking of our products. I’m honored, but we can’t bear to work with a company owned by Urban Outfitters.
All of our chocolates are organic, fair-trade, and handmade, and we pride ourselves on our high ethical standards. I don’t personally shop at any stores owned by Urban Outfitters (though I have a great Free People dress I got at a thrift store I adore, sigh), so it wouldn’t feel right to have my chocolates sold there.
I’d love more information about the conditions under which the workers making your clothes work, because the consensus on the internet seems to be that they’re pretty much your typical sweatshop-made clothes.
Even more saddening is that so many of the clothes sold at Urban Outfitters further a troubling and problematic vision: from seeming to advance eating disorders and insensitive stereotypes to cultural appropriation (“Hipster Navajo Panties” etc.) to making clothing that only fits one type of body, it’s not a chain we want to align ourselves with.
Not to mention that over and over you have been shown to copy designs from smaller independent artisans, and that your founder has given large donations to right-wing politicians like Rick Santorum, whose politics we’re not fans of.
I’d love to work with you on a bunny project, but sadly I just don’t think I could sleep at night.
All the best,

Oh yeah. That's what I'm talking about.

So in support of Lagusta's Lucious' stand to say no to a brand she didn't believe in while upholding her own, I ordered some chocolate.

Let me just say..........divine. The vandanas are a new favorite.

A Pencil Gives Hope

So, as you can see, one person can make a difference (if even it starts with simply being true to yourself and your beliefs) and if you still don't believe me, check out this interview that was on Marie Forleo yesterday, with Pencils of Promise founder Adam Braun. Wow. What a story. This one guy has made a difference to himself, his beliefs and many children all around the world and it all started with one pencil. So incredibly inspiring and AWEsome.  It's well worth the time. Click here if you're reading via email.

Back To Helping Other Business People

When I'm working with my clients on identity design and branding collateral (i.e. logo, business cards, letterhead, brochures, point of sale, rack cards, post cards, packaging, etc) the basis for all of it is 'who they are as a person, as a business, their beliefs, the benefits their product or service offers their customers'. The trick for me is: how to express that in a way that will help them grow.

Yesterday my clients in North Carolina posted this review on etsy, and it really made me smile and made me feel inspired by the work I do on a daily basis, all over again.

"Pam was amazing! Her logo designs are of such high quality that you realize you are getting design work comparable to what I've received from design firms in major cities for exponentially higher prices. She listened to our desires and goals and designed unique logos that captured those wishes and more! Her logos were exactly what we were looking for and required none or minor revisions. She did so incredibly promptly and provided exactly what she indicated she would provide and when. I cannot recommend her highly enough and will use her for all future design needs!"

Holy moly.

Thank you Melody. Really. Thank you.

It's a back and forth process with myself and my clients, and when things click through good communication and effort, it inspires me to continually strive to do better work.

And that's what I'm all about today. Doing the best work that I can as I handle revisions for some clients, finalization of designs for others, marketing for others and checking lots of jobs off the board.

What's inspiring you today?

Ciao for now,


  1. What a great story! Good for them. I've added the video to my 'watch later' queue. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. you are going to LOVE that video. makes you want to go out and make a difference. he started with $25!

  2. Great story! Awesome to stand up for something they believe in and say 'no'. I bet this story brings in other, new customers as well, and those might be the ones with the some morals and beliefs. And I would love a bite of that bar :-)

    1. not always easy to say no when it's a good offer, but it's a good reminder to have our beliefs and branding in check as business people! the bar......YUM. i'm all over chocolate and almonds, but the other chocolate is out of this world good and unique.

  3. Imagine what the world could be if everyone was that passionate about their beliefs! Yeah for Lagusta! Thanks for posting this, makes me aware that I am not alone with my beliefs :>)

    1. Hi Mary Lynn, great to see you! of course, there are as many beliefs in this world as their are people. however I appreciate the fact that she stood up for hers instead of giving the easy yes answer that would have mean more money.

  4. What a great story! I love how she did not get blinded by the possibility of making money and stuck to your beliefs. Her email response was very well said, thanks for sharing . Sounds like you have been very busy, and have very happy clients.
    Everyday Inspired


You comments make my day. Thanks for taking the time to visit Mercantile Muse and for commenting. I really appreciate it. ~Pam

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