All Things Business Creativity and Creation with Jeannie from Ripley & Rue (2020 Webinar Series)
Creativity is everything to us. It’s what makes our hearts sing, our tails wag, our…
Too cheesy? Ahh, keep reading!
If you ever wanted to learn how some of these brands stand out in the pet product industry with their #droolworthy branding and packaging, you can because Dox Design put together the top brands in the pet space and interviewed them just for you, Fur Friends!
As designers AND packaging design experts for small businesses, we know a thing or two about what a #droolworthy brand can do for your success.
So, we decided to pull some of the most valuable pieces from each interview in the Master Your Brand Webinar Series and provide you with some tangible steps you can take to master your brand, whether you’re in the pet industry or not.
For this fourth interview, the owner of Dox Design, Kaila, sat down with Jeannie from Ripley & Rue to chat about how she finds creativity with her ever-evolving brand.
Jeannie North is the head designer and sole founder of Ripley & Rue, a national clothing brand specializing in dog goods for obsessed dog parents based in Omaha, Nebraska. As of the date this blog post was written, they have almost 82K people who follow them on Instagram. I’m assuming, as a dog lover, you’ve probably come across their page or maybe you’ve seen their collections across hundreds of famous Instagram doodles!
Heck, they even made an official holiday!! #InternationalDoodleDay
We are pretty stoked about sharing this interview as Ripley & Rue is truly one of our faves (Kaila’s even repping a Ripley & Rue dog mom beanie in the interview) and has been such an inspiration in terms of harnessing the power of creativity and the creation process to grow her business into what it is today.
And to all the dogs (& small business owners) I’ve loved before [yes, totally reppin’ one of her brand collections here], let’s get started with some of her best advice from the interview!
Trial and Error Is Part Of The Plan, No Matter What
As avid popular culture followers, Ripley & Rue has captured the attention of so many Millennial or young dog moms through their unique collections based on these pop culture trends. We wanted to know how they come up with these amazing ideas. How do they decide what’s going to do well for the brand?
Jeannie says it’s about trial and error. She recommends staying up to date on what’s being put out there, but at the same time, staying away from what everyone else is doing. She follows many, many accounts just to see what trends are taking hold out there.
As business owners, we just have to know that at some point, we have to put it out there and see what happens. Some things work and some don’t – that’s part of the process. (This seems to be a theme across all of these interviews – something to think about, eh? 🧐)
It’s one thing to come up with ideas, but it’s another thing to execute on it.
As a result, for business owners who aren’t designers, the design or branding side of things can fall to the wayside. For her, that was the case…and she IS a designer!! So, we can only imagine what it’s like for those who aren’t already in that field of expertise.
First things first, Jeannie (and Dox Design) understand. But that’s why you have resources like this blog post to help point you in the right direction of where to move forward if you’re missing a brand, an online presence, or a website.
Throughout the process, give yourself some grace and allow the change. It means you’re growing as a company and growing into what people are looking for. For Jeannie, it’s one of the most fun things.
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Have Fun & Enjoy The Process!
Speaking of having fun, it’s absolutely necessary!!
It takes a lot of time to brainstorm ideas, but the benefit can be so worth it, as it has for Ripley & Rue. Jeannie knew that if they had a lot of fun with it, then other people would see that, feel it, and enjoy it, too.
Lucky for them, their target audience is the 90’s kids. The fact that they are now the majority pet owner makes it easy for us business owners to hit the ground running with marketing to them, especially if we’re also 90’s kids who understand the popular culture of that time.
The process of combining the nostalgia of things you loved when you were young and bringing that to life with your pets is one of the smartest business ideas we’ve seen here at Dox Design. But, it’s because they truly feel it, too. They can enjoy the process alongside their customers and that’s what it’s all about.
Try New Things & Use It As The Base For Your Workload
One of Jeannie’s biggest pieces of advice was to try new things. If you love it, stick with it and get better at it. If you don’t love it, pass it on to someone else. That’s the simple way of explaining how you grow as an entrepreneur.
As far as the pet industry is concerned, she believes trying to do everything ourselves as solo business owners is one of the greatest causes of burnout in the industry.
Now that she has extra hands on deck, she can focus on what she wants to focus on to move her business forward. Now, obviously, she realizes the strain that comes from just starting out on your own and not having a lot of funds in the bank at every step. So, it’s fine to try it yourself for a while, but if you are consistent with your sales, consider getting help.
Find Someone Who Sees Your Vision
When it comes to passing it on or hiring help, it’s more than just finding a qualified expert to help you with your branding, your packaging design, or your website. For Jeannie, she thinks one of the most fun parts of her business is getting to the point where you can work with someone who believes in your vision and wants to be a part of its creation.
Not only that but having someone’s outside vision can always help push you further than you can do on your own. If you’re looking to grow, it’s time to invest and hire (if possible). Looking back, Jeannie said she wished she hired someone earlier. It was probably a year after she really should have, in her words.
Some tangible steps from the interview:
- People LOVE puns in the pet industry. Don’t be afraid to use them.
- Don’t let branding and web design fall to the wayside – it’s important!
Whether you DIY your brand or invest in someone else to help, make sure to prioritize it.
- Self-care is so important. Take a walk. Eat your lunch. Do what you have to do to take care of yourself first and the rest will follow.
The work will ALWAYS be there.
- Get yourself a notebook and begin drawing inspiration. Take note when something hits you, so you can come back to it when you need it.
- If you sell products, Jeannie recommends creating really cute flat lays (lifestyle and simple designs are best) as photos for your social media. Those get the highest engagement on their account.
- Educate yourself. Find podcasts, read blog posts, watch Youtube videos, attend conferences. Do whatever you can to expand your knowledge!
- Niche down. Jeannie believes niches are very powerful when it comes to branding and having a business and we agree!
To learn more, like…how she got started, what pushed her forward, and how they continue their creativity in the creative process, watch the video by subscribing below.
P.S. If you need some extra help when it comes to mastering your brand, we’ve got your back. Hire Dox Design and we’ll be sure to create a #droolworthy brand, just for you.