Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chasing the Mosquito

A few years ago, I set my alarm to make it to the 7 am Minneapolis Farmer's Market on a Saturday morning. When 7 am generally meant awakening from a coma. There were a few highlights on this brisk morning - the fish tacos, and an art stand that called itself, Dream Chimes. I was fresh out of grad school, young and naive, and confident that I could help take any business to the next level that needed branding help.

I was attracted to the artistic theme and consistent look Dream Chimes used by minipulating, molding, and rearranging serving ware to make a larger functional and aesthetically pleasing product. However, I quickly learned Dream Chimes not only had no place to shop or order products online, they had no website or online presence. No book. No mission. And a business card that was printed at home. On a ink jet that you probably had to manually push the paper through.

I saw opportunity... a wedding decor section, incorporate your personal piece, share-with-friends online tool, partnership with Anthropology (ok... I was getting ahead of myself), a brand to identify with. I got the stand owners information and went home to get to work.

To jump ahead, no, nothing came of it. I developed company names, mood boards (which the wise Cabell Harris would say you should start with), and began writing the brand story. The owner was confused that I was eager to help without sneaking him a pen and SOW with X ________ at the bottom. None the less, I learned I could exercise what I was taught and that I had a passion. If you ever want to be your own boss one day, it will all fall back to leaning on that passion. Today Mosquito reminded me of this story when their passion for retail packaging was illustrated in their voice and on screen.