Our Snakeskin Collection is inspired by powerhouse women working in the business of fashion and design (remember Alyssa?). When we received an e-mail from Anna at In Honor of Design about experiencing Poppy Barley, we couldn't ask for a better fit. Not only does Anna have a great eye for design and style (which you can see in every post), she also means business. Based in Atlanta, GA, she's the founder of The Brand Market, a travelling, one-day workshop bringing together some of the coolest (and most well-branded) individuals in the creative industry; she's a mother of three (with one on the way) - AND she has a passion for conscientious and thoughtful shopping.
Yesterday, she featured Poppy Barley in her Conscious Closet series (you can learn more about our manufacturing here). Today, we're delving deep into Anna's world. Read our Q&A with her below to find out what a day in her shoes is like (and see more photos of her Poppy Barley shoes - the Cognac Classic Ankle Bootie and the Snakeskin/Black Chelsea Boot!).
Where did you go to school? What did you study? I started school at a small private college in Ohio and transferred to N. Georgia to finish my degree in art studio with a specialty in graphic design!
When did you start In Honor of Design? I started my blog at the end of 2009 and began to blog full time a few years later. I never thought it would become part time work for me, but am so thankful for the opportunities it has brought my way. I launched The Brand Market in November of 2013.
What is The Brand Market? The Brand Market is currently a series of workshops across the country that focus on what a creative entrepreneur needs to take their business to the next level. We focus on building an authentic brand from the ground up, marketing strategies, creative collaborations, social media, and many practical tips to making your dream a reality. Crossing my fingers to offer some online content in the coming year.
Why is good design important? If you think about it, humans are very visual people. We want to understand something by the visual experience if we cannot personally interact with it. Good design has the ability to make an instant impression and memorable impact on the viewer.
What does your typical day look like? I get up early with the sun. If my kids are still sleeping I will take the time to get dressed, do some morning prayer, and drink a good cup of joe. I'll tackle a few emails if I am lucky and get my blog post set to go. The rest of my mornings I devote to my little ones (usually walks and adventures around town). During nap time is when I will make any phone calls needed, answer emails, share social media posts, style photos, etc. Once my kindergartener gets home from school we spend time on art projects or doing homework and prepping dinner. We try to squeeze in some time as a family before bedtime routine, and I go back to work after they are asleep for an hour or two. This is when I write blog posts, develop Brand Market content, and manage projects. Ialways end the night spending time with my husband if possible. It's our only uninterrupted time of the day. Sometimes being both a mother and entrepreneur means little sleep!
What does a day at The Brand Market look like? What cities have you brought it to? So far, we have visited Raleigh, NYC, L.A., Atlanta, D.C., Chicago, and Cincinnati! We try to squeeze as much helpful content in as possible as well as build some peer relationships. We start the day with coffee and breakfast followed by our opening segments on branding. We have break out sessions where the attendees can meet with a speaker to get better feedback on their blog or business. After a lunch break we dive into marketing, collaborations, social media, and even some photo styling. We cover the topics of hiring your first team members and how to grow in an organic way. The goal is to deliver enough helpful content and encouragement for these entrepreneurs to take their business to the next level.
What's the hardest part about starting a company? You face moments of frustration, lack of motivation, and burn out. It's normal, but the tough part is you are the only one to push yourself to keep going. That is why it is extremely important to surround yourself with supportive friends, family members, and business mentors!
What's the one task that's crucial to your business that you wish you could get rid of? Accounting! I lack the ability to connect with numbers;)
What's the one task--no matter how small--you'll never tire of? The person to person interaction with the workshop attendees for The Brand Market, as well as the creative process for blogging. Both are like the healthy exercise that keeps the motivation flowing.
Who/where do you look for fashion inspiration? I look to the style icons of past eras! I particularly love Grace Kelly, Brigit Bardot, and Audrey Hepburn. Fashion often repeats itself in trends, but if you stick to modern pieces that have a timeless feel, you are more likely to love your wardrobe even ten years from now.
Who/where do you look for design inspiration? Design books. I have several coffee table design books Ithumb through all the time. There is something about print that reaches out and grabs me more than pinterest can.
Have you had a-ha moment since launching In Honor of Design or The Brand Market that made you feel like you were meant to be there and/or that you were meant to be working in the business of fashion and design? I have had a few, and I am thankful for them! They keep me rooted and also encourage me in the direction I am headed. One is getting to collaborate with one of my favorite companies, Anthropologie. We worked on a room makeover together and are currently working on a few more projects. I think I can die a happy soul;) For The Brand Market, it is when I see an alumni succeed. When I get to see the fruits of someone working hard and taking the seeds we planted at The Brand Market to grow something incredible. It is edifying!
If you have to pack lightly for a trip, what are five essentials that you take with you? A comfortable swing dress, walking flats, big hat, travel tote, and dry shampoo!
Where's your favourite place to travel? I love a place that is rich in culture and history. Italy is pretty remarkable, the California coast is breathtaking, and Charleston, SC keeps luring me back.
What are five quick-tips to execute your brand successfully? Define your goals. Define your style. Make sure everything you present and share is cohesive to these goals and aesthetic. Be consistent with what you share and how you share your content. Authenticity always goes the extra mile, so do something original that will stick with the customer or client for a long term relationship.
If you could take anyone for coffee and ask them any question you wanted, who would it be, and where would you take them? What would you ask? No one famous really. I think some of the wisest people are in our family trees! I would love to take my great grandparents and grandparents out for coffee and ask them more questions than I ever got the chance to. They lived through the great depression, immigrating to new countries, and no internet! ;) What I would give to soak up their histories for a day.
What's something that no one really knows about you? I played over 8 different sports growing up, and am still a fanatic for my favorite college teams!
What do you envision for In Honor of Design in 5 years? 10 years? Same for The Brand Market? I hope my blog can continue to be an extension of the things I really love. I would like for it to become more of a family lifestyle place that shares relatable content as well as content that encourages people to make the most of the life they have. For The Brand Market, I would love to see an online community grow and expand as we start to open doors to downloadable content. I know there are more cities being requested than I could ever make it too, but would love to help as many entrepreneurs as I can along the way.