Past Branding: A Look Back

Happy Friday, friends.

As we get closer and closer to launching the new brand (coming Friday – October 7th), I thought it would be fun (albeit, embarrassing) to take a walk down memory lane and do a little blog post sharing the genesis and progression of our business branding. So sit back, relax and prepare yourself to judge me. :)

 

GENESIS

Oh goodness gracious, y’all. This is where it all started. I can vividly remember sitting next to Geoff at our rickety desk in the first apartment we shared together…dictating what was in my head for a logo and business card. It was fall of 2007 and we had just been married a few months earlier. And I think it killed a little piece of him as I asked him to use that drop shadow and three different fonts together. If you want a picture of love and a clue that we would make it in marriage…it was in that moment of graphic designing sacrifice. :)

I started with a blog on blogspot. I SO wish I had taken a screenshot of it so I could share it here. What I do have, is a shot of a momentary lapse in judgement when I thought I could design my own wordpress blog. That didn’t last long and I quickly went back to my trusty blogger blog. What I love most about this is my “ambitions” statement in the “About” section:

“…consider myself a budding photographer. I do hope that sometime in the near future I will be able to start up a photography business. For now, I am enjoying exploring this new hobby that seems to be developing quickly into a passion.”

What an awesome reminder of God’s faithfulness, his plans for my future and how He has blessed me. :)

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THE GREEN PERIOD

I was inspired to name this phase after Pablo Picasso’s “Blue Period”. This was certainly, my green period. I have no explanation for the green…other than…well, I just liked green. Great framework for a solid brand. Ha!

I will say, this first rebrand was the first time that I actually started to understand what branding was and how to do the basics. I didn’t quite grasp the concept yet that a brand should be built from a place of “why” and in attempt to reach a target market audience…but I did understand the benefits of pulling it through every facet and fiber of a business. Hence, GREEN EVERYWHERE….even the paint color on my office walls. No comment.

This particular logo was again dictated by me and designed by Geoff. I had seen a logo of an old housing development project in town, was inspired and requested that Geoff recreate the logo for us. Good job, Cheyenne. Way to be original.

I especially love (read: cringe over) our tagline: “fresh style, modern approach, real moments”. I still have the notebook I used when I was brainstorming for this and landed on those words. At the time, it was like “YESSSSS! This is BRILLIANT!”. You guys…I can’t. HA!

And how much do you love those headshots?!

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THE SCHULTZES

When we first started the business, it was my dream; my passion. Even though it wasn’t Geoff’s, he was always quick to support me in any way that he could. Including coming along with me to those early shoots when I was TER-IF-FIED and didn’t have any idea what I was doing. From there, it morphed into something that he and I really enjoyed doing together. We talked about it at length and ultimately decided to rebrand again and make three big changes. #1 – A new business name: The Schultzes, #2 – Get a customized blog and #3 – Hire a graphic designer. We launched for that first time as The Schultzes in winter of 2010…shortly after we found out we were pregnant with Boone.

One of the best decisions we made was hiring a professional designer (Erica of The Summer House) to take us through a process to discover who we were and who we wanted to reach. She helped us develop our first intentionally created brand and visual identity…and we loved it.

A fun fact about the day we launched this new brand. Despite many, many people having gone through the branding process with us and even seen our final logo, no one…including us…realized the grammatical error that was of our new name and logo: “The Schultz’s”. Of course, the day of the launch everyone made sure we knew of the mistake and we quickly made the change. You can see the error below in the intro animation Geoff designed for our website. Lessons learned: be better at grammar. :)

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THE SCHULTZES VOL. 2

While rebranding to The Schultzes that first time really took our business to a new level, after a few years, we had changed, our priorities changed and we felt like there was room to better point our brand in a direction that we wanted to go. Our second rebrand of The Schultzes took place during a busy season of life: we had a toddler and a newborn, so things took much longer than expected to finalize. Such is life. We launched our new brand on Valentine’s Day 2014, which was also the same day as our daughter’s very first birthday. :)

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CHEYENNE SCHULTZ

About a month ago we announced our big news that we would be shifting our brand back to where it all started. This time, while I am excited about its “prettiness factor”, I am more excited that the new Cheyenne Schultz brand has been built intentionally and with great purpose. Please plan on joining us on Friday – October 7th for the reveal.

#ThisIsWorthFightingFor – Part 1 of 5
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“Clint was deployed most of last year and the start of this year and I looked at this picture (from our first look) EVERY single day while he was gone – a beautiful reminder of the joy of coming together!”

A couple weeks ago I did something that I’ve wanted to do in our business for a really long time. It doesn’t sound like much, but I’ve wanted to start a Facebook group exclusively for our past and present brides to be a space to have them all in one place to connect with each other, share wedding planning advice and hopefully, inspire healthy, strong marriages. It’s just getting started, but already, I’ve been thrilled with the outcome. The first post I made asked all 150 of them to share a short introduction of themselves, as well as to include an image from their wedding day. When Kelly posted her image with the words above, I was so touched. Those words were a picture of the very heart of our business.

When I send out final wedding images to our clients, it is my greatest hope that through the good times and the inevitable hard times that will come in their marriages, that they will be able to look back at their wedding photographs and remember the love and the joy that was there that day. And that they will be inspired to fight for each otherespecially through those hard times. That they will know that marriage…their marriage…is worth fighting for.

Kelly’s words carry far more weight in communicating why we do what we do in this business than I believe I ever could communicate alone. So as we have been preparing to launch our new brand in just a short couple of weeks – a brand that I hope and pray will reflect our hearts and purpose for this work…above any “prettiness factor” it {hopefully! :) } has – an idea was sparked in me through her.

Over the course of the next few weeks leading up to and reaching beyond our brand launch on Friday – October 7th, I’ll be sharing a collection of stories from a few of our past couples. Stories of hope, redemption, joy, love, overcoming hardship and restoration. Undoubtedly, these stories will serve to inspire others.

I want to say thank you. A heartfelt thank you to these couples for their vulnerability and willingness to participate in this project. Geoff and I truly love each of you and are so grateful to know you.

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“This photograph from our first look was one I looked to each and every day during Clint’s deployment overseas. In some of the slowest moments of our time apart I found myself looking at this photo and smiling as I thought of the joy we experienced in that moment and the joy we’d feel in being reunited. But it did so much more than just make me smile through a challenging season. I look at this photo and feel the same butterflies I felt in that very moment there on the dock; the kind of butterflies you only get from looking into the eyes of the man God designed for you to share life with. I held onto those butterflies and that truth through our ten months apart, and rejoiced in them upon his return home.”

Kelly and Clint

Married July 28, 2012

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Fall Mini Sessions | 2016
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For those who have been asking if I will be doing fall mini sessions again this year…I have good news. Yes! :)

Mini sessions are quick 20 minute sessions (the perfect amount of time for a shoot with small children, in my opinion) that take place on two set days. They are great for families, maternity, couples, dogs, headshots, you name it.

The two available dates will be the afternoons/evenings of Saturday – October 22th and Sunday – November 6th. $250 (plus NC sales tax and processing fee) includes your choice of 10 high resolution images and the option to purchase the full online gallery for an additional fee.

Registration will open at 12 noon EST on Monday – October 3rd, so mark your calendars (more details will be released at that time as well). Sessions are limited and will be available on a first come, first served basis. Last year we sold out within a couple hours, so if you really really really want to secure a session, I suggest jumping on right at noon to make that happen.

And as always, we will be having a contest on Instagram giving away a free mini session with 10 high resolution images. That will be happening next Monday – September 26th, so if you’d like to get in on that, follow me here to get the details.

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September Goals | 2016

SeptemberGoals2016September. I kind of love September and the freshness of a new start that it brings…even though I’m not in school myself…it reminds me of newness and chance to reset goals before the end of the year to finish strong. Plus, it is the month that signifies that fall. is. coming. ALL the praise hands. Anyway, here’s what we accomplished in August.

+ Moved into our new home and closed on our old home. We also threw out a lot of clutter while packing.

+ Celebrated Boone’s 6th birthday and threw him a birthday party. Yesterday he told me, “I just love being 6 years old.” :)

+ Photographed one of the biggest weddings we have ever done at Biltmore Estate…even shot a little bit of film. Can’t wait to share the photographs!

+ Had our third annual “Grandview Vacay” with dear friends. Pictures and recap coming soon!

+ Threw away a lot of clutter while we were packing up.

+ Got Boone all prepped and sent off to kindergarten. He’s only on day 2, but so far, he LOVES it.

+ Photographed a styled shoot at the Ballantyne Lodge.

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September Goals:

Personal

1. Exercise. As the weather hopefully begins to get cooler…especially toward the end of the month…I look forward to getting out on some regular walks with my Grey squirrel again.

2. Code Orange Revival. Our church is hosting a 10 night revival and I can’t wait to photograph some of it. A promo video can be found here.

3. Trip to Sky Top Orchard. This is a fun tradition our family likes to do together every September. Apple picking and cider donuts…it never gets old and is something we look forward to each year.

4. Massage. When I was in the thick of it with Geoff recovering from knee surgery and prepping our house to put on the market, I declared that once we sold our house and were in our new house, I would be getting a massage. Now that both of those things are complete, that will be happening. It’s going to be glorious.

5. Get Settled. We still have a lot to do in terms of settling ourselves in our new home. Lots to unpack, pictures to hang, furniture to shift around until it is in the perfect spot. This is the month to do it. I’d love to go into October feeling like everything was in a good place.

6. E-group. My friend, Maria, and I are co-leading a “Mrs. Betterhalf” e-group for the 8 weeks starting this month…can’t wait to dig into the material and better my marriage.

Business

1. Office Furniture. Our new office space in the new house is looking quite disheveled and is in need of some new furniture.

2. Create Collateral. We’ve got quite a few projects to complete for our collateral for the new brand. Keeping this one on here from last month.

3. Reading. I’m about halfway through reading the book, Raving Fans, and hope to finish it this month.

4. Mini Sessions. Many of you have been asking if we are going to do mini sessions again this fall. The answer is YES! We’ll be announcing dates this month..likely one for October and one for November.

5. Launch Month. This is the month that we get to begin our launch for our new brand coming next month. If you missed our big announcement related to this on Facebook last month, you can catch the replay here:

Hello, September! Excited you are here. :)

Saying Goodbye to Severn
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As I write this, we have been in our new home for two weeks now. And I love it. I really love it. I’m beyond grateful to be here and am expectant for the memories our family will make here together as our kids grow. However, if I’m being honest, it’s taken me a bit to get here. The day our offer on our new home was accepted was full of excitement. The day after, reality hit. Moving into a new home meant that we had to leave our old home. As I prepped our house to put on the market, all of the memories flooded my mind. Sweeping the steps of our front porch had me remembering the day that Boone left the house for pre-school for the first time and the way he waved back at me wearing his teeny tiny backpack, snack cup in hand and head full of blond curls. As I scrubbed the base boards in the hallway, I pictured Crew behind the baby gate learning to crawl and then her “dancing” on her knees with her hands in the air to the music of her pink elephant. Moving the stepping stones in the backyard to mow had me thinking of our Jazzy and how she used to prefer to step on them instead of the grass because she didn’t want to get her feet wet. A million little memories that were made in this home. A million little memories that I never want to forget.

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This house was our fresh start as we came out of the hardest time that our marriage had seen. We brought home two babies to this house (it snowed the day we brought Crew home!) and took turns walking them around and around and around through the kitchen, the dining room and the living room at 3am when they were newborns. We cuddled sick kids on the couch, ate Cheesecake Factory on the front porch during summer thunderstorms and threw fallen leaves in the air in November.

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We ran our business out of the lower level where we saw God bless us with His provision, protection and guidance as we learned how to thrive with multiple children, work and marriage. We saw each other through disappointments and celebrated successes together.

Sometimes we fought; sometimes we yelled, but we always forgave. One time, I had a temper tantrum and threw a bag of onions into the dining room because I was angry. Glad I can laugh about that now. And I’m glad that Geoff doesn’t remember it. :)

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Holidays were always special times in our home. On Halloween we would walk the neighborhood trick or treating with our neighbors,The Bowens. When Boone and Mamie were three, we let them trash our dining room with sprinkles and icing decorating pumpkin cookies. And when Crew was a few months out from turning two, she toddled around our street dressed like Ace Ventura. We threw birthday parties. One of my favorite Crew memories ever is the look on her face on her first birthday when we sang “Happy Birthday” to her. You could tell she felt special. One Valentine’s Day it snowed. Geoff suited up as Cupid and frolicked around out front delivering cotton candy to our neighbors.  At Christmastime, we’d look for the “Elf on the Shelf”, have Christmas Eve sleepovers on the living room floor, and Geoff would beg me just to buy “just one more” strand of lights for the front of the house.

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We made about a thousand applesauce muffins in that kitchen together, chased fireflies in the front yard each June, and cared for our foster dog Mary Jane after she was hit by a car and was thought to never walk again. And right before we moved out, we found a nest of baby bunnies and checked on them religiously until they were old enough to go off on their own.

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We our taught our kids how to brush their teeth on their own in that little hallway bathroom. We gave many, many baths, read bedtime stories and between babies and disabled dog, we changed countless diapers. We told Boone to “get back in your bed…NOW” more times than I care to mention. :)

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Around our dining room table, Boone and Geoff built legos for hours. We had French Toast Fridays and Snoopy Pancake Waffle Saturdays there…bacon was always involved…and I set off the smoke alarm more times than I care to admit. We gave our 6 month olds their first tastes of solids, held a crying Boone after he fell backwards from his chair making a dent in the wall with his head and listened to some really sweet prayers.

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I can remember crying (a lot) from the pain, frustration and exhaustion that came from struggling to feed Crew the first month of her life. I found out I was pregnant with and then soon miscarried a baby in between Crew and Grey. We held our dog, Frank, as he took his last breath. And we lost our dog, Jazzy, a year later. We had our share of hard, painful times in that house. Times that I wouldn’t wish to go through again, but that ultimately, made us stronger and brought us closer together.

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And goodness, did we love our neighbors. Bill and Erin welcomed us on one of our first days there with some kind of sticky, cinnamon baked goodness and always looked out for us. I planted a grapevine in our backyard that was a gift from Nicole. There was the day that all of the traffic from Sharon Road got re-routed onto our street…all of us congregated out front flipping out together about the cars that were flying by and schemed for what we could do to fix the problem. I’ll miss Charlotte, the dog, roaming around and popping over to say hi. Some of our neighbors we met in interesting ways. We met our neighbor Chris when a 2 1/2 year old Boone got out of our house without us knowing and wandered down to his house. I felt like the worst mother alive, but was so comforted at his kindness and non-judgement. We met Dana after a stray dog we were trying to help got loose from us and bit her dog, London, in her front yard. As we rode together to the vet, we cried together and asked God to spare London’s life. Thankfully, he did and thankfully, Dana forgave and befriended us.

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Packing up and moving out of the house we called home for almost four years has left me very emotional…some of the days leading up to leaving were especially hard. Thankfully, I’ve come around and most of those feelings are fading as we start this new chapter in our new home. I’m growing more and more excited each day that we are here. There are new memories to be made and many more milestones to be had. I can’t wait to see all that God has for us in this next season.

This past Friday we had Boone’s 6th birthday party at our new place. As he sat in front of his chocolate cupcake with a Star Wars candle and we all sang to him, I soaked in that look on his face and nearly cried. The first of many new memories in this new home to be filed away in my heart. I think this is going to be good. Really, really good.

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