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I’m so excited to be sharing my dialog with Jen Olmstead, Lead Fashion designer and Inventive Director at Tonic Website Store. Jen is somebody who I’ve come to grasp and love and who has grow to be a mentor to me. Jen is one part of Tonic and he or she constructed the customized Wit & Pride site, which is an absolutely new revel in that was once introduced in April.
On this dialog, Jen and I communicate all about methods to construct a emblem on-line. I’ve lengthy admired the way in which Jen places tangible motion at the back of a large number of the problems that marketers and trade homeowners have. She in reality is helping folks perceive the significance of testing concepts reasonably than being worried about the correct technique or having a *completely* crafted thought.
I’m hoping you revel in our dialog and get somewhat of an working out of each how we paintings in combination and the way you’ll be able to paintings with Jen and Tonic to get your site up and working in a fragment of the time it will take to construct one thing customized. Learn a couple of highlights from our interview underneath, and concentrate to all of the episode on The Wit & Pride Podcast!
Identify: Jen Olmstead
Profession: Lead Fashion designer + Inventive Director
Web page: Tonic Website Store
Instagram: @jenolmstead + @tonicsiteshop
About Jen: Jen is a Virginia-based emblem + site fashion designer, visible storyteller, and kind nerd. She makes a speciality of growing uniquely-tailored emblem reviews for inventive marketers and in development on-line areas that folks like to discover. In 2013, Jen and fellow fashion designer + buddy, Jeffrey Shipley, based Tonic Website Store and introduced their first choice of cocktail-inspired, “utterly customizable web pages for the fashionable, trendy inventive.” Jen runs her trade from her mountaintop house in Virginia the place she lives along with her good-looking husband, 3 candy kiddos below age 4, horrible wireless, and a much-beloved coffee gadget.
Are you able to let us know just a little bit about Tonic and who you might be?
Jen Olmstead: I’m the lead fashion designer at Tonic Website Store, which is the trade that I co-own with my inventive spouse, Jeff Shipley. We promote customizable web pages for the fashionable, trendy, and inventive. We principally promote templates for individuals who don’t assume they appreciated templates.
After we made up our minds to begin Tonic, we noticed this hole within the business as customized designers for individuals who knew they liked nice design however didn’t need to spend the time or couldn’t perhaps make investments up to it will price to rent a customized fashion designer. They nonetheless sought after the entire technique and little main points that folks come to be expecting from a completely customized constructed site. And so 5 years in the past, Jeff and I introduced our first choice of site templates.
Are you able to speak about one of the vital misconceptions that you simply see from individuals who assume they want a customized site as opposed to one thing that you’ll be able to supply in a template?
Jen Olmstead: I feel as creatives and marketers, now and again we adore to offer ourselves those ranges of our trade, nearly like hindrances or roadblocks, that we need to conquer prior to it’ll be “actual.” Some folks will assume, In the future, once I’ve labored for 5 or 6 years, then I will be able to come up with the money for this $10,000 site after which my emblem will likely be official. And I feel that’s one false impression that folks have—that you simply gained’t be respectable till you’ve reached those ranges. And in reality, all you wish to have is a useful gizmo to show off your emblem.
(Ed. Notice: Tonic Website Store provides cost plans, which means that you’ll be able to snag a site for less than $200 these days and release it this week.)
I feel a template means that you can do this. It’s one thing that’s somewhat extra easy and that doesn’t require as a lot of an in advance funding, and it nonetheless tells your emblem’s tale whilst permitting you to concentrate on the trade of doing the paintings you wish to have to be doing.
How do you discover a steadiness between status out on-line and creating a excellent person revel in for folks?
Jen Olmstead: YES. There’s this sort of steadiness between being inventive and having a framework that permits for a perfect person revel in. Once in a while folks assume, What if we simply put this menu at the backside left? That might be so cool and fascinating. However then in case your person will get on your site and so they don’t right away know what to do, you’ve misplaced them.
All of our templates very a lot way design from a perspective of in need of folks to get to the site and right away notice, That is what I used to be in search of. To be able to do this, I feel the site has to each be surprising and right away have a story and a voice. The design must be tremendous transparent in pointing the person towards what you wish to have them to peer first and what you wish to have them to do subsequent.
Do you will have any pointers for locating that bravery to be distinctive and to keep away from the comparability entice? How do you trainer your purchasers via that?
Jen Olmstead: I feel if you happen to get started out with that imitation mindset, you’re going to finally end up with one thing alongside the traces of replication or sport. You don’t need to recreate an concept. You wish to have there to be a selected voice.
There’s this nice ebook through Austin Kleon referred to as Thieve Like an Artist: 10 Issues No person Advised You About Being Inventive. And he says that you simply don’t need to appear to be your heroes; you wish to have to peer like your heroes.
Ask your self, what’s my distinctive worth proposition? What’s the factor that units me aside right here? What’s my distinctive emblem narrative that I’m seeking to put across? You probably have the ones two issues in position—what makes you other and what you prefer—you’re ready to switch the ones concepts into a singular bundle that you’ll be able to put across on-line.
So, as an example, when somebody involves Wit & Pride and so they love your site and so they love your emblem and so they love what it stands for, what they must be asking is: What do I really like about this? What’s it about this design that speaks to me? Is it that it feels spacious? Is it that it feels layered? Is it the interactivity of it? Is it the honesty and the tone of voice? What’s it about this emblem that I establish with?
Write that down after which ask your self, what’s my distinctive worth proposition? What’s the factor that units me aside right here? What’s my distinctive emblem narrative that I’m seeking to put across? You probably have the ones two issues in position—what makes you other and what you prefer—you’re ready to switch the ones concepts into a singular bundle that you’ll be able to put across on-line.