small business, small steps


The ME in My businEss

This week I changed my Twitter name from EnglshMuffnShop to BessCallard, big deal - right?! Well, yes, sort of.

I have been thinking about my brand lately as I try to launch this little baby company into the real world. I have been examining all aspects of how English Muffin behaves in public and have been thinking about my role in all of this. As I am the principal designer, illustrator, photographer, shipper, and customer relations girl, are not customers who are buying English Muffin designs really just buying me? And by trying to separate myself from the English Muffin brand, am I hurting my own chances to get my name and designs out there, resulting in less opportunities for both myself and English Muffin?

Where do Bess Callard, designer and illustrator, and English Muffin, print and poster design shop, begin and end?

Reading Danielle LaPorte's article 3 keys to un-branding...and why I changed my twitter name gave me some interesting food for thought. She describes the idea that in the end a strong brand, although great for selling your product, can really box you in as an artist. You are not your website, or your products or even your art, you are you and rather than hiding behind your work you should be out in front of it. This idea really struck me. While English Muffin has been my creative outlet for the past year and a half, it's not all I am as a designer. Perhaps while trying to teach English Muffin to fly, I should have also been pushing my own butt out of the nest. If I thought I had issues promoting my English Muffin work, then multiply that by a million when it comes to Bess the graphic designer and illustrator.

With that said, I plan on bringing all of my work under the umbrella of Bess Callard. Sure, English Muffin will still be English Muffin, but I want to keep the story of the brand personal and authentic. I want to be at the top of the pyramid and my work to fall neatly underneath me. I think there is no better example of this idea in our industry than Martha Stewart. When I think of her I don't think magazines, or tv shows, or bedding and towels, or even weddings, I immediately see her, and her personal style, in my mind's eye.

So, in a nutshell, that's why I changed my Twitter name, and bought the domain besscallard.com.

Have a great weekend,

(photo by Sam-Plant)


  1. I noticed you changed your twitter, I was confused at first but figured it out and now I know the reason. Sounds like a good plan to me!

  2. Yes, my cousin did the same thing. He is Mr. bava, but still owns and operates his own baby company 280dg.
    It is a smart thing to do, unfortunatly I am NOT a twitter fan.

  3. @zoetropa: I was initially worried people might unfollow me, not sure who this 'besscallard' was. but so far so good :)

    @Linda: thanks, I think it's a good idea too. don't hate Twitter (some of us are addicted!)

  4. I like putting the name into the brand. Our wedding decorator has her name in her brand, 'Hayley Verlyn Events"........I think it is smart. Gets your name out, is less likely to be mistaken for another company with a similar name, and as you say, puts the credit where it belongs: with the YOU who does it all.

    :) Go BessCallard!

  5. @anonymous: thanks, i agree :) ps. congrats on your upcoming wedding!

  6. I think it's a good move Bess. SO YOU will be the brand and when people hear your name, they immediately see your work and vice versa. Hope everything works out well my dear!


  7. Hi, I just checked out your Etsy site and love your prints!

    Nice blog too :)


  8. Always so many interesting insights on your blog, Bess - I always look forward to seeing what you come up with next! Watch out, Martha!!!(btw thanks for the link you sent me =)

  9. @Andy: thanks Andy! It's all about ME ;)

    @Heather: thanks Heather, glad you like them :)

    @Last Minute Mel: ha! watch out Martha, indeed! thanks Mel :)

  10. I Think your stragety is forward thinking.....but Martha Stewart has been doing this along time I've followed her career from the start in 1980's and has a mega form of people helping her. I love your artistry You will do well. Good luck!


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