December 18 • 4 Comments »
Hi, friends! We’ve had a truly blessed and exciting year with phenomenal clients and so many inspiring brand launches ahead! We’re already filling fast for 2013 brands and just wanted to take a minute to encourage you. Life is too short to play small. We started this work because we want creative business owners to be able to literally make their dreams happen. The dreams that are so big they keep you up at night with excitement. The dreams that help your family thrive. The dreams that you were born to step into. Take that giant leap today. Wishing you all a blessed 2013 ahead! xo Lara and Emily
October 10 • 90 Comments »
We’re SOLD OUT for 2012 brand launches (and almost full for 2013!), so to give you a jump start into the new year, we’re combining our popular webinar series into ONE POWERFUL WEBINAR. Get your brand refined and your client experience dialed in for a BIG 2013! We will cover all the essentials you need to know: Get Branded and The Client Experience. We’ve made this super affordable so it’s a no-brainer to join us and really take things to the next level. Our motto: Life is too short to play small! See you all on November 7th!
WIN A SEAT FOR YOU AND A FRIEND!
Help us spread the word about the Powerful Branding + Client Experience Webinar and be entered to win a seat for you and a friend! Four ways to enter:
Or do all four. Just be sure to comment here and let us know you did so. Enter as many times as you like! We’ll pick a random winner on Halloween. Get to it and spread the word!
UPDATE: Congrats to Beka Watts and Kelly Dellinger — our WINNERS for the contest posted above!! Beka and Kelly, please email Marissa to get set up! If you entered to win, please email Marissa ASAP for a special entrant only rate!
Hi friends! Oh my, we’ve been busy bees this year at Making Brands Happen. Emily and I are over-the-moon about our clients this year and cannot wait for our 20 or so big launches coming up in the next few weeks. Every one of our clients has worked SO hard and transformed from the inside-out. It’s been inspiring for us to watch the light bulbs go off and see big dreams realized.
We’re officially SOLD OUT for 2012 launches and now accepting 2013 clients. We are fiercely committed to doing our best work and have some exciting new options for the new year (I cannot believe this year is drawing to a close already!). If you are interested in Making Brands Happen for 2013, we’re now having prospective clients do an initial consulting session with yours truly so we can really get to know you and your goals to see if we are the perfect fit for you. To book your initial session with me, just shoot Marissa and email and she’ll get you scheduled! Since I’m knee-deep in making a magazine happen right now, initial sessions will either be scheduled for late this fall or early 2013.
Wishing you all a blessed fall ahead! I personally cannot wait for the leaves to start turning, the NC State Fair to open and for Starbucks to roll out all things holiday! Yeehaw! What are you excited about?
P.S. We’d LOVE to see y’all at Making Things Happen this fall! Join us.
photo by Nancy Ray
April 18 • Comment »
Kathy Romero’s transformation was absolutely remarkable. After meeting her in New York City in January 2011 and seeing the fierce drive in her eyes, we knew there were brilliant fireworks ahead! Kathy wanted a new visual brand and company structure that put her on the map. After a total overhaul – including changing her company name from Concepts in Bloom – the new Kathy Romero Events lets her truly electric personality shine! Having this new brand let her authentic brilliance come out more than she ever anticipated. Watch out world, Kathy Romero is a dynamic powerhouse and ready to make big things happen!
What excites me the most about my brand is that it totally represents my personality!
I am completely focused. I have mapped out a clear and concise way of managing my business. It’s amazing how comfortable my brand makes me feel. My brand and all it’s components allow me to sell/talk about my services with incredible ease.
The rebranding path will enable you to deliver that much more… You will find renewed confidence. Rebranding will give you the much needed push that we all need at times to be even better than what we already are.
My fear was that people would not know who I was based on all the changes that would be implemented. I also feared that what I truly wanted would not be interpreted correctly. I feared that I would end up with a brand that did not represent me.
The entire MBH experience was tremendously empowering. Lara and Emily pushed me to highlight my authentic self. No gimmicks just TRANSPARENCY. Working with them not only equipped me with the most amazing brand and tools for my business but they motivated me to take everything I knew to yet a higher level. Lara and Emily always kept me focused and true… Working with them was a true gift that not only changed my business it also illuminated my soul. I HEART THEM.
Hearing, “Your brand is YOU!” Hearing that for the first time filled me with AWESOME.
I felt a bit lost before my brand was transformed. Now I feel totally focused and BRILLIANT.
There are no limits to what I can achieve! I love what I do and that love is infused in to every little step I take. As long as there is heart behind what I do, my brand will hold true.
The branding process made me realize that if there is no heart behind what you do, there is no brand. I’m grateful!
KATHY’S NEW SITE
KATHY’S NEW BLOG
April 4 • Comment »
What excites me most about my new brand is sharing my work with everyone. I have been working non-stop for the past three years with amazing clients and I have hardly shared any of my work on their weddings. I have all these past jobs that I am so proud of and now I have an amazing foundation for sharing both past and future work.
Through this process my confidence has grown immensely. I used to give people my business card and not let go because I wasn’t proud of it. I was also so embarrassed by my previous (mostly non-existent) website. I would make constant excuses about why it was that way and why it wasn’t good enough. Now I am insanely excited to share my business and my shiny new website with everyone!
Branding is scary because if you do it right then it forces you to look at all the things you are doing wrong and evaluate them so you can do them better. That is scary! But it is also necessary for you to be able to communicate what you want your brand to represent. Branding isn’t just a logo or your favorite colors. It is the entire package from how you dress when you conduct business to the notepad you write on in a meeting to the impression you leave with a client after your first conversation. But in the end, if you do the work, the change will be remarkable and the fear will be replaced with pure joy.
I was terrified to put myself out there before this process. I had this idea in my mind that I needed to hide behind my business; to give people the feeling that it was more than just me. I am now so proud of what I have accomplished in my first two years of business and I believe wholeheartedly that I can build something big that will always represent my core values for my business. I have always had a huge fear of failure and letting people down, but I have learned that businesses grow and change constantly and that every business can’t fit every client. It is important to create value and to stay true to what you believe in to attract the right customers.
This experience with Lara and Emily has changed me in so many ways. From my first day attending Lara’s branding conference in Las Vegas I knew that stumbling across her on the web one day was supposed to change my life. I have come back to the things in life that have always mattered to me most; family, happiness, doing what you love. Life gets overwhelming and crazy at times, it is easy to get caught up in what you can’t do and who can do it better and thinking you will never be good enough. But it is easier to stand up and say I am not settling for that, I can do better. Lara and Emily have shown me that so much more is possible in life. That everyone deserves to discover what they love and go out and get it. Life is too short to settle and hide behind your fears. I love to design. I love my family. I have also been introduced to so many amazing women through my experiences with Lara and Emily. That in itself is life changing. Being surrounded by people with the same ideals is so important in life. The love and determination in all of these women in contagious and uplifting. I am insanely proud of what I have accomplished through Making Brands Happen, but even more proud of the relationships I have built through this experience.
The most exciting moment in revealing my new brand was all the positive feedback I received. I was so blessed to know that so many people were looking at my work. I was also so touched by the people who said that it was a perfect representation of me. That they saw me in my brand and my work. As a designer it is always hard to work on your own brand and to finally feel like it’s actually done – the feedback I received made me feel for the first time that it is perfectly me and it is done (for now
Before my brand transformation I was lost. I was hiding behind being busy, when in actuality I was hiding because I didn’t truly know what i wanted out of my brand or my business. Now I feel like I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. Now I feel like I have an amazing foundation to run from. The future is wide open for me. I am so excited for the year ahead. I am excited to continue to evaluate my business paths and explore some of the other crazy ideas I have had floating around in my head. I can’t wait for all the amazing clients that are coming my way because of my new brand
March 28 • 2 Comments »
Kailey-Michelle wanted a fresh start and a brand that allowed her love of all things romantic to blossom. She wanted to inspire couples to love deeply and motivate fellow entrepreneurial women to make big things happen in their lives. Through our unique process, Kailey-Michelle overcame so many fears and emerged as a true leader. Equipped with a stunning new visual brand and back-end strategy to match, she has stepped onto the Canadian wedding scene with both feet planted firmly.
People ask me all the time, what I attribute my recent success to and my answers is always the same: Making Brands Happen. It’s as simple and profound as that!
March 21 • 2 Comments »
Geomyra Lewis came to us under the company name Exceeding Expectations Events. Spend five minutes with this brilliant, giving, innovative DC wedding planner and you instantly wonder why she was hiding behind a company name that didn’t let her personality shine. After renaming the company to Geomyra Lewis Weddings and Events, an authentic and explosive brand was born! Mrs. Lewis is now fully equipped with a new powerful business strategy and an incredible visual brand to match! New confidence, new style, innovative strategy and a new company name that makes you feel excited! Geomyra Lewis is ready to make her mark.
I can finally say that I have a brand that I am proud of! I knew my old brand was missing something and through the branding process realized it was missing the attention to detail that I give my clients. My new brand is an accurate portrayal of who I am and what I have to offer!
Without a doubt I have a crisp and clearer path for my business. I have learned to clear the clutter and focus on what matters personally and professionally. I have learned to give what I want to get back and to stop settling for less than great. Through Making Things Happen and Making Brands Happen I have decided to stop settling and playing small. I realized that I deserve only the best as do my clients and family.
You have nothing to lose, only a ton to gain! The beauty in working with Lara + Emily is that you get to strip down to the core and reveal your true authentic self, making your business ten times better than before!
As a planner I did not know what to expect. I didn’t know many people who had rebranded only a few of my MTH & Engage!11 friends (Caitlin Sullivan & Kathy Romero). I quickly learned that Lara + Emily were going to make me dig deep and build my brand from the ground up. Because of that fact, I committed and have never spent more hours working on such a personal project in my entire life. Soooo well worth it! I learned that you have to let go and let God in all aspects of your life, personally and professionally. Through prayer and hard work, my fears melted away and were replaced with excitement!!
Where do I begin? From the moment that I met Lara + Emily, I could feel and understand the passion and love that they have for their work, clients and family. I realized that they have a strong, confident and solid business(es) because they work hard and focus on authenticity and have a strong faith in God; Two things that are very important in my life. Lara taught me to give what I want to get back and the importance of quality of quantity. Emily taught (teaches) me the importance of balancing family and the love of what I do professionally. By focusing on the client experience they taught me the importance of surrounding myself with people who share the same passion and drive that I have….hence why I trusted them and why they remain mentors to me ☺
Colleagues and family members have been blown away at the new “Geomyra Lewis Weddings and Events.” My new brand has received positive feedback for its fresh and crisp look. My new website showcases my talents and accurately depicts the love I have for what I do.
Before I felt I was “going through the motions.” (Client inquiry, proposal, contract, wedding day). The rebranding process taught me the importance of establishing personal relationships with my clients and the importance of consistency. Because of that, I am a better planner. Instead of always focusing on the logistical aspects of an event, I am focusing on the details in all aspects of my clients lives.
We know you have what it takes to make all of your dreams happen!
I am so excited at what is ahead for me in the new year. I have already claimed 2012 as my year to make HUGE things happen. Lara + Emily + Cathy have equipped me with the tools and confidence needed to take my business to the next level. Now it is up to me to make it all happen!
Lara often talks about the client experience. She and Emily do an amazing job making their clients feel like they are the only client that they have. I appreciate the time and energy that they spent to help me set the foundation for living my dreams. My personal timeline…
2010 2011 2012 (MY YEAR!!) Making Things Happen→ Making Brands Happen→MAKING LIFE HAPPEN!
March 14 • 1 Comment »
Emily Scott of Gem Photo
Emily’s boundless energy and creativity are contagious! When we first met Emily in Maui at the Making Things Happen Intensive in 2010, we could feel that zest for life starting to surface. Over this transformative year, she has taken the photography world by storm and inspired so many others to dream big in the process. Armed with a new pricing structure, workflow, stunning visuals and a new lease on life, the Gem Photo brand has brilliant wings. Appropriately, a whimsical bright heart dances throughout her new brand!
What really excites me is that having a cohesive and professional brand and website is helping me connect not just with my ideal bride, but it is also helping me connect with other wedding professionals. Having a brand that reflects my passions and tastes is a clear bridge towards working with other people who share similar passions and dreams – and there is nothing that excites me more than collaborating creatively with other artists.
Personally I think that it has given me confidence in my own voice and style – and I am continually refining my work now to make that voice stronger. I always get excited when I post something and people respond by saying “This is so YOU!” and I know that they are right because they see it fit in with everything else I am passionate about.
I think a lot of people are scared to commit to something – whether it’s a logo or color or website – but thinking that your branding needs to be what you personally like can be misleading. Instead, thinking about it from the perspective of what I want people to feel, has given me a much clearer focus and vision for my business. Once Lara helped me figure out the big picture for my branding, all the little decisions I began to make day to day became easier. In that way making hard decisions on what your brand is going to be about can actually help make your life as a business owner easier in the long run, and I’m so glad I went through the process fully.
I was afraid that they would want to get rid of my logo, which I felt was strong. Instead, they agreed that I should keep it, but they helped me build a brand experience around it – the colors, the collateral. In the end my logo has become even better because they helped me figure out what else it needed. I was also afraid of picking colors because I was worried that I would change my mind about them later. Instead, they helped me figure out what I wanted my brand to feel like, and once we did that work, I felt confident about choosing colors, and I haven’t regretted a single color choice since.
I remember having a moment the day that Emily sent me my pricing guide. As I scrolled through that PDF tears literally began to stream down my face. Finally, I felt like my work, that I had been practicing so hard to perfect, finally had a place where it belonged. It had text, it had colors, and it had a place where people could see it – and my worth as an artist – on a canvas that didn’t distract from it. In a lot of ways building this brand and website with Lara and Emily helped me dream bigger dreams for my business than I ever thought possible. I remember that early process of talking through my vision with Lara and every challenge she gave me lit a fire in me to reach farther. I feel like at the end of this branding process I am now looking at the beginning of becoming who I am meant to be in this industry and with my business.
To me the most exciting moments were when people didn’t just tell me how beautiful everything was – and they did tell me that – but when they told me that everything felt GENUINE. REAL. And also when they would tell me that it was inspiring, and taking everything to the next level. Those comments fired me up because I felt like we had achieved the goal – that this was more than a new look – it was a new dream.
I always felt the need to justify things – whether it was my pricing – or my website not working properly – or whatever it was – I felt like I couldn’t be completely proud of my work. Now I feel like my best is out there for everyone to see, and I don’t have to worry if they don’t like it, because if they don’t then they simply aren’t the right clients for me. There is freedom now from those worries.
A goal that I continue to strive for is to run a business with integrity. To have great work and a beautiful website and brand to showcase it is amazing but I want to deliver on everything I promise through that and much more. This year I am striving to grow as an artist, figure out how to surprise and delight my brides, and to share my progress as authentically as I can through writing on my blog. One of my goals is one day to attend Engage! so I am going to put that out in the universe as well. And maybe one day write a book, as soon as I can figure out what the story should be about.
Everything good that has happened to me in the past year has been a result of following an inkling and taking a risk, even when I couldn’t fully justify it. I think that’s what it means to follow your heart. I’m still figuring things out. As my husband constantly reminds me when I’m freaking out (as I tend to do a LOT, because a perfectionist) – what is really the worst that can happen? Say it out loud. And like I do in those moments, you might realize the worst that can happen isn’t worth ignoring your heart.
March 7 • Comment »
We met Kim Percival in 2011 at Making Things Happen NYC. Kim came to us with a sincere passion for photography and a deep love for her family. Her old brand didn't reflect the bold, infectious, beautiful Kim we came to know. Now, poised with a beautiful brand that truly matches her endearing personality and the foundation upon which her business is based, Kim is a wildly succesful and sought-after photographer.
EVERYTHING!! It’s such a beautiful representation of who I am as not only a photographer, but a mother, wife, human being. It is me. The me I didn’t have the courage to see before embarking on a new brand design and consultation. Also, the beauty of the brand is that is will grow with me as I grow! It’s just perfect!
SO MUCH!! I had so many things personally going on during this process that had a direct result in the final product that it’s hard to put my finger on what one thing changed through the process. If I had to narrow it down it would be that this process allowed for a road map or a bible of sorts to base my business on. As ideas and changes come up, I can refer back to the documents made during this process to determine if it’s a good fit or direction to take.
Re-”Branding” is truly soul searching. To live up to your full potential as an artist, business person and human you need to be willing and ready to search out all the little pieces that make you who you are. There is nothing to fear in that, only positive outcomes will result.
My fears were in my ability to actually run a business and have it be as high functioning as I want it to be, while also balancing it with my personal life. Those fears have not changed, but the branding process and final outcome provides me a visual representation and client experience to help with my decision making process as I continue to grow and change all the while pursuing “high function” and balance.
I adore Lara and Emily. I consider them my friends, women that I want to be inspired by and to inspire in return. They were willing to go down a path with me and hold my hand when that’s what I needed and tell me to stand up straight when that’s what was needed. I highly recommend them! They are the consummate professionals. They really dig deep with you to identify and define a brand that is an authentic representation of you and your business. I can’t thank them enough!!
I was recently told by a client that she was “very impressed by [my] website and the look of everything that represents [me] and [my] business.” Others have also commented on my marketing and how good it was. This is all awesome unsolicited feeback that I love to get, but really … I LOVE IT!! It is a clear representation of what and who I want my business to be and gives me solid ground to build upon over the next few months and years. That feeling in my gut is the best feedback that I can haved.
I felt that I constantly wanted to change the visual identity of my brand, which I think affected my business decisions. I felt unsatisfied. With the visual identity and the client experience in order, I have been able to set up processes that match. I am a much more relaxed version of me knowing that there is a process to follow to get the job done.
The future holds so much. I am just establishing my business in Texas (having moved from New Jersey) and love that my branding is where it needs to be so that I can focus on building and marketing my business. I am proud of my brand.
I would hire these 2 ladies again with no hesitation. They love what they do, they love and get to intimately know their clients and it shows in their work.
February 22 • Comment »
Hansel Dobbs now has it all – keen attention to the client experience, off-the-charts incredible imagery, a sense of humor that makes everyone he meets feel at ease, a collateral suite that could be showcased in an art gallery, a website that really gives him a framework in which to shine and strategy geared to catapult his business into a brilliant future. Hansel wanted to go big and it’s just the beginning of the awesomeness you will see from him with this new brand.
I am the most excited about having a complete and cohesive brand rather than a patchwork of things done by a range of services and graphics/programming professionals. I am also excited about the brand being exactly what I wanted and that I really really love it.
I have learned a lot about a brand and also just a lot of little things that Lara and Emily have shared with me via answered questions and just getting their opinion on things I am thinking about doing. I really enjoyed reading the document that Lara sent over called “The Challenge” and I have learned a lot of things through that as well.
I think a well developed brand does a lot of things. It instills confidence in the client, it helps fill out a more complete client experience, and it also just expands your personality into all the nooks and crannies of your company. I think it’s really hard to do all of these things with a template and logo.
My primary fears were two-fold. The first one was a fear of whether or not the “Making Brands Happen” client experience and communication would actually be up to the price I paid. The second fear was whether or not the graphic design abilities would be there to really bring my brand to life as I saw it in my head. I had tried other companies before with things that were far cheaper only to end up with something not at all what I hoped for. The client experience, customer service, advice, and help provided throughout my time with Making Brands Happen was just unreal. In fact, I really can’t think of any other consumer experience equal to it except maybe Apple. When I asked a question I got an answer within 24 hours. When I asked for advice, I got opinions based on experience. I was kept in the loop as to how things were coming along and what I needed to provide along the way. I also got letters and cards from Lara on some really sweet paper in the mailbox. I was nervous about if I would get what I really really wanted and they have certainly delivered. I love it! It’s me! It is now my company, my brand, and my collateral through and through.
They were an oasis in the desert quite literally. They were exactly what I needed where there is no one else providing. I have been a wedding photographer for 6 years and for the last few years I had in my head what I wanted, but no one to really go to to make it happen. I could have gone to a web designer, but they would have asked me what colors I wanted, what fonts I wanted, how I wanted my twitter background to look, and a whole bunch of things that quite frankly I either just wouldn’t know the answer to or I would not have done the right thing when considering the target market I am after. Lara and Emily had the answers. They knew which colors went with what. I didn’t even know I needed a twitter background, but I got one in an email and it was awesome. Lara edited my bio for me so it sounded better, let me know how many pictures I should have in my galleries, and vetoed a handful of website designs before showing me the best one. Lara and Emily give solutions based on experience and not just any solutions; great solutions.
Before the transformation I didn’t feel that I was really communicating my value adequately to people coming to my site. I felt like I was getting lost in the shuffle maybe. Now, I know I stand out. I know that when someone comes to my site that they are going to enjoy the experience, smile a little, and maybe just book them a wedding photographer. Actually, before the transformation it was like having an employee at the register that just didn’t dress well or communicate well. They were turning customers away. Now I have a really awesome face to my company.
I am being much more aggressive with marketing myself with venues and vendors in the DFW area and I plan to start doing other kinds of photography as well. I am really working hard to expand to some of the nicer venues in Dallas.