July 25, 2013

Pretty. Smart.

This project. OH this project. I could say so very much about Holli Thompson—the brand and the woman. So much so that I’m kinda at a loss for words. Kinda. And how about those veggies up there? Right?!

So pretty.

Working with Holli was dreamy. Her site’s success is a direct result of our stellar rapport—but more acutely, the audacious attitude she had towards the creation of her revitalized brand. For starters, Holli opted for the The Design Concierge engagement we offer. Having worked at luxury firms (uh, hello! VP at Chanel) that had talented heads of design, she craved a similar situation for herself. In her words: “(I want) someone capable, visionary, and with a strong point of view about what was the next best step for my brand.”

Sweet music to my ears.

She continued: “I’m dreaming of a designer who will actually get the essence of who I am and deliver what I’m trying to bring forth to the world. I don’t want to be asked, ‘What color do you want?’ or ‘Do you like this layout or that?’ That’s a designer’s métier. I have my clients and writing a book to focus on.”

And that is what she got. Freedom to work on HER métier.

While she was immersed in creation mode so were we. Beyond the design of Holli’s new website and evolution of her brand, there were photo shoots to produce—of her and for her personal cache of stock food photography—mood boards, sourcing, location, talent… And then there was her stationery.

Holli is a class act. She writes notes. Sends mail. In a mailbox. Delivered by a mailman. Remember that? So a proper stationery system was in order.

We brought a talented illustrator in to bring our vision to life—and Marta Spendowska did that in spades. Her quartet of vegetable watercolors upped the ante on what we were imagining. So much so that what was originally going to be a surprise delivery, just couldn’t be contained. We were SO delighted that I just had to let the cat out of the bag early. We showed Holli these photos the moment we got the final product ourselves. She squealed. We joined her. Lots of squeals.



Pretty. Smart.

I know. It’s breathtaking.

I’m always confounded by how collaboration never fails to blow things up exponentially. Because Marta raised the bar, Chelsea lifted it another notch. Chelsea reaching heights inspired Holli to bring it more fully. Experiencing this all I felt myself soaring—strategically and creatively. And it goes on and on.

The Design Concierge is a Trojan horse in that way. It looks like a hands-off, don’t-look-behind-the-curtain kind of agreement. While it demands much less of what the client is used to providing, it inspires the very best kind of engagement from all involved. Releasing control to a designer doesn’t mean not contributing your voice and vision. Quite the contrary. The Design Concierge is wildly dynamic. A special flavor of collaboration that winds up being absolutely, mutually satisfying. Don’t we all desire to be functioning at our highest? To be so ‘on’ we’re hyperventilating (not literally) (well, maybe…)? The Design Concierge sets the stage for optimal performance.

So smart.