It started with a simple inquiry, a referral from Kaitlyn Parker for a branding project. Her name was Brooke –
We set up a call, and within 10 minutes, I had hired her for Drop Cap.
Brooke is one of those people who shoots straight, and I trust her. We sat on Zoom and talked about the word-of-mouth brand she had built so far and her dreams for taking it further. We are committed to helping each other build our businesses, together.
Before starting TBH, she was working as a paralegal and killing time by creating processes.
Brooke didn’t set out to become an entrepreneur. In fact, she doesn’t even call herself one now. She’s what you’d call an “intrapreneur,” and I can’t believe I had never stumbled upon the term myself.
Today, she’s creating those same well-organized, ready-for-sabbatical processes that were invaluable to her firm back in the day. But this time, she’s doing it for creative online business owners, and most of them don’t stay small for very long.
She’s my right hand and the manager that keeps all the gears running here at the studio, but today I want to share the meaning behind her new brand and take a look at what the past few months have looked like as she prepared her site and business to go live.
Behind the Name
In Brooke’s own words, “To know me, is to know Blaire.” Blaire is Brooke’s firstborn child and the inspiration behind the name of her business. Blaire is an idea-bouncer, proof-reader, and the hype girl behind TBH. And I, for one, love following along to the Gilmore Girls vibe that these two have going on.
Who wouldn’t want Lorelei and Rory running the show?
We wanted to play into this dynamic and relationship between Brooke and Blaire with the logo. The TBH emblem is made up of two Bs intertwined and mirroring each other, making up the house’s H. This symbolizes their yin and yang, thick as thieves relationship, and the bond that has made them family.
Fun fact – The Blaire House is also the President of the United States’ guest residence and the apartment where the president-elect resides the night before taking office. It has housed presidential guests from dignitaries to royalty, with a prime location across the street from the White House. It’s primarily aided in a peaceful transition of power for every president since 1977 on the eve before he is sworn in as commander-in-chief.
The Blaire House is a legend of historic hospitality and serious preparation, and Brooke’s own Blaire House is everything of the sort.
The Early Days
Brooke has been pretty lucky from the beginning, or maybe just clever. She built her small business the old-school way through happy clients and word-of-mouth referrals, booking out her first 8 months right from the beginning.
By the time she reached out to me, she was already having five-figure months and thriving with her current clientele, but her client list and friend group began to fill with entrepreneurs at the top of their industry, and Brooke started to feel self-conscious.
While they all serviced different audiences, they each had one thing in common – a solid brand that portrays exactly who they are, what they offer, and a distinct way to stand out.
It was time Brooke made her own way to the top of the list.
What was really interesting about this branding project was just how personal it became.
I’m a TBH client, so I have first-hand experience, but I’m also Brooke’s friend, so I got to know her personality and her family.
For instance, I know that she keeps a strict capsule wardrobe and is incredibly passionate and ethical. I’m aware that she rarely watches popular TV, but surprisingly has a soft spot for British baking shows and professional wrestling. She could pack for a month in Europe with a single weekend bag, and even though I’ve offered to make us a mean margarita on a girl’s trip, she still always goes for the Mich Ultra.
I also know that Blaire is an avid reader and has a way with words (I also got a sense she did Brooke’s branding questionnaire, haha), that Dawson loves dinosaurs and snuggles, and that Don rarely ever spends a night away from home, even when his job takes him hours away from Shelbyville during the workday. They are a close-knit family, and it shows.
At some points, I worried that the brand would almost be too personal, like an inside joke between friends. But then I started to hear about others’ experiences with Brooke and realized that’s just who she is – her life and family are part of her business and vice versa.
You aren’t just a client; you’re welcomed into the home.
Brooke has this saying, “work/life balance is bullsh*t, it’s about boundaries,” and the best part is she lives this out. She’s not trying to do it all; she’s letting things take the space they need and maintaining a sense of what’s important.
I saw this most by how she didn’t stop her business to focus on her brand, as I’ve seen a lot of other clients do. They’ll either spin their wheels reworking a brand for years and never launch or rush the process to launch in order to get to work.
But Brooke was different. She kept moving forward and putting herself out there, even when she knew that things weren’t polished.
And the lessons we both learned from her putting ideas in motion made the brand stronger.
The brand identity is inspired by a few key aspects of her life: her capsule wardrobe, her love of Bridgerton and formal hospitality, and her unwavering commitment to her family.
The color palette of muted black and white, neutral beige tones and soft blues is a direct reflection of her capsule wardrobe – rocker tees, Everlane jeans, and some envy-worthy trench coats.
We wanted to give the brand a feeling of arrival, that it was official, trustworthy, and prestigious, an invitation into the club of influential business owners she’s already serving.
Brooke specializes in Dubsado, ClickUp, and Flodesk email funnels. She’s a wizard on ShowIt and a Planoly curator. She knows her tools, and we designed icons and visual elements to help her showcase the technical side of her work in a visually appealing way. She’s working with creative minds, after all 🙂
Brooke has tried dozens of ShowIt templates, but she finally landed on Tonic, as most of us probably knew she would. Her brand is looking so fresh and clean on the Paper Plane template, and a few design customizations tailored to The Blaire House really makes it her own.
With a new site comes a few new service offerings. Brooke has been working one-on-one with clients for over a year, but now she’s offering a few project-based buildouts for those looking to add structure to their business but aren’t quite ready for an ongoing integrator just yet.
Her Dubsado Flow & Go is the first of a suite of packages that will be releasing this year, and we’re so excited that her well-curated, capsule-based business finally has a home on the internet of its own.
“The part of this experience that really stood out to me the most is how personal branding is. From lines straight out of my mouth over dinner, to details in my visuals that were direct insights into my life and family – it helped me overcome the doubt that would creep up along the way when I felt like I wasn’t going to be good enough to take this new brand and carry it out. The personal touches gave me confidence to feel directly tied to the brand we were building and know that I CAN do this, I AM good at what I do, and I DESERVE to build a brand and business that portrays that.”
Spoken like someone who’s operating from the top of the list!
If you’d like to learn more about The Blaire House or find out how to work with Brooke directly, follow along on Instagram as she shares the ins and outs of building a business with intention, or read more about the services she’s offering on her website.