We all love a great branding strategy! That’s why today we’re getting social with Morgan Rapp and Jayne Swallow, co-founders of October Ink. These two met when they were wee children and have been friends ever since. They have taken their friendship and blossomed that into a creative partnership specializing in branding, web design and even wedding design services! These lovely ladies are transforming the outward appearance of brands and beautifying everything they touch in a major way! The work they create can be described as fresh, modern, beautiful and whimsical! They truly adapt their vision to the clients they work with to create a swoon-worthy final product.
Lucky for us, these babes will be guest speaking at our SLC #socialstudioshop about web design basics, what to know about branding & sharing pro tips! To get a little glimpse into who they are–read along while they share with us all the graphic details of the process, inspiration and business behind October Ink!
We’d love to hear more about October Ink. What does your company specialize in?
We specialize in branding and web design for small creative businesses. We also design wedding stationery. About 90% of our clients are women who own their own businesses.
How did you get started in your field & when did you know this was what you wanted to make your career out of?
We both started designing for other companies/design firms and realized we had personal styles and aesthetics that weren't in line with the work we were doing at our day jobs. We began freelancing after work and realized we loved the freelance work more than our day jobs. We started gaining more and more personal clients and then decided one day just to go for it full time! We quit our jobs and it's worked out great ever since.
We understand the two of you own the company together. Partnership is a beautiful thing but are there struggles of going into business with another person?
We have been lucky in the fact that we've been friends since age 3 and know and trust each other a lot. Things do come up but we've found it best to always communicate concerns, address them right away and always keep the others best interest in mind. We also get creative and find solutions to issues so that they work for both of us.
Where do you find inspiration for your stunning designs?
We love Pinterest and dribbble, we follow people that inspire us on Instagram and of course find it in everyday life (in fashion, music, well-designed restaurants, fabric stores, boutiques, paper stores, etc).
What are the projects that are your favorite to create?
We love projects where we can create a brand and implement it into all sorts of collateral, ie: website, blog, biz cards, packaging, a product, tags, etc.
In a creative field that is booming, how do you set yourself apart?
We pride ourselves in our problem solving skills and relationship with our clients. We love designing to solve each of our client's unique problems. This makes for strategic and purposeful designs. We also stand apart from the rest with our client referrals. We take extra time to make sure our clients are happy with what we design for them. A lot of designers take off on a solo creative journey and then whip something up and expect the client to love it. We are different because we work step by step with the client, ensuring we're always on the same page.
How do you get the word out about your company?
When we were first getting started, we did some blog ads and started beefing up our social media accounts. As of the last couple of years, most of our branding and website business comes through social media (Instagram and Pinterest mainly) and word of mouth (referrals from past clients).
What has surprised you most about owning October Ink?
Probably the fact we are still in business. Haha! Sometimes we have to pinch ourselves that we have clients and exciting projects to work on. We are so grateful to work with so many awesome people, and the opportunity to create new lasting relationships we wouldn't have made if we weren't in business. We feel super lucky.
What’s your favorite social media network and why?
We probably go back and forth a bit on this one. Instagram is awesome as far as connecting with others and connecting and building a sense of community. Pinterest is visually fun to play with and also share our work and receive inspiration.
If you could give other entrepreneurs one tip of advice, what would it be?
Always be nice to people, work hard and never burn bridges. With any business you will most likely at some point have disagreement with a client, and we have found when we take a more understanding and communicative approach, as opposed to abrasive and a "I'm Right, your wrong" attitude, the situation will diffuse and we can move forward working together professionally. There have been a few situations where the relationship with the client could have gone sour, but by being kind and acting professionally, we were able to work things out, and then that same client ended up referring us to several other people or coming back for more work. Always pays off to be nice to be people rather than to always be "right".
What exciting things does October Ink have in store for us in 2015?
This year we plan on continuing to work on some exciting branding and web projects, as well as up our blogging game. We are also excited to begin exploring more teaching opportunities, such as being a part of the Social Studio workshop.
all images c/o October Ink