WORK : 'How to Build a Brand' Success Stories

One of the best things about running our ‘How to Build a Brand’ events is meeting talented and creative people and being a little part of their business journey. When we then see a brand we love getting the recognition it deserves, it truly is the icing on the cake! We understand that starting out can seem daunting though, and the road ahead can feel long at times - so today we wanted to share some words of positivity and success, from three previous ‘How to Build a Brand’ attendees.

Sian Adkins - Sian Esther London

Sian Adkins is the founder of Sian Esther London, a luxe nightwear brand with a social mission to support vulnerable women in fulfilling their dreams. Through their mindful manufacturing and charity work, Sian Esther London’s aim is to ‘give the feeling of comfort and security, like when you put on a pair of pyjamas.’

Sian attended our ‘How to Build a Brand’ event just over a year ago, and since then she has seen her business start to grow. ‘It was my first event of the entrepreneur's journey and was a great starting point for discerning my core values and principles. It was also great to be inspired by the speakers who had already made the leap into self-employment.’ The workshop on building a strong social presence was particularly helpful to Sian: ‘I found the section on Instagram incredibly useful as I had very limited personal experience and so to have a few building blocks to start was very valuable.’

The emphasis on staying true to one’s values and connecting with other like-minded individuals also inspired her: ‘I was reminded to stay true to my core values and to focus on my target audience rather than be all things to everyone [...] Starting your own business can be lonely at times and so I learnt from the beginning that attending events like Olivia's, is a great way to be inspired and inject a spark into my brand.’

Lauren Porter - Little by the Sea Studio

Little by the Sea Studio is a Design and Marketing brand run by Cornwall-based designer Lauren Porter. With a passion for fashion and lifestyle and an eye for graphics and typography, Little by the Sea Studio helps independent businesses engage with their customers through effective social media, marketing, branding and design.

Lauren attended two of our ‘How to Build a Brand’ events and has since seen both herself and her business grow from strength to strength: ‘It gave me the confidence to believe I could do it. I have re-designed my website, grown a bigger following on my social media and worked for some exciting new clients as well as brainstorming some exciting new ventures.’

For Lauren, the most valuable lesson she learnt at the events was the power of community and the confidence and positivity that comes from connecting with other creative business owners.

‘We all use social media and the Internet on a daily basis and totally underestimate the power of conversation and connection [...] I made new friends and learnt loads from a wide range of creative interesting women. I always have someone to check in with if I am feeling stuck or just need a bit of a boost!’

Laura Butlin - Paper By Her

Paper By Her was founded by Laura Butlin with the aim to deliver modern stationery to modern women. Laura has a long-standing love for design and has a diverse range of skills in photography, hand lettering and styling. Paper By Her has the added bonus of being environmentally conscious, with material acquired from sustainable sources.

Like Lauren from Little by the Sea Studio, Laura has also attended two of our ‘How to Build a Brand’ events. ‘Olivia and her team think of everything, and they instantly make you feel comfortable and at ease. The best kind of environment for learning and growing.’

Before arriving at our event in January 2018, Laura’s business idea was simply that: an idea. That soon changed, however. ‘A few months later, I launched Paper By Her which has now outgrown its current branding - something I wouldn’t have been aware of if it weren’t for the courses Weekend: IN offer. I have an e-commerce store, a successful social platform, I have monthly content clients and I get approached regularly for graphic design work. If I hadn’t attended the How To Build A Brand event - I’m not sure I would have launched anything!’

The networking opportunities at the events were also a highlight for Laura: ‘I live in Jersey in the Channel Islands and I had found it difficult to connect with other creatives as the classic imposter syndrome constantly crept in. At the Weekend: IN event I was alongside other business newbies, the sense of community over competition was undeniable and I’m so thankful to everyone I met there.’

We can’t wait to expand on our usual day ‘How to Build a Brand’ event by bringing creative business owners a weekend long ‘How to Build a Brand’ retreat in September this year. We’ll be bringing together inspiring creative business owners (Lizzie Evans, Cat Byrne & Abi Dare) together in an inspiring environment to bring you in-depth workshops, 1-to-1 mentoring and the much-needed time to put those future plans into action. You can find out about our next ‘How to Build a Brand’ creative business retreat event here.

Weekend:IN creates innovative ideas to help IN:dependent and IN:spiring brands connect, engage and grow their audiences. We help brands with social media marketingauthentic influencer marketing campaigns, and event organisation. Weekend:IN are based in Bristol, but currently work with independent and inspiring businesses across the South West and in London.

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