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lovelee soaps, aeolidia, extreme small business makeover
Oh yes, this is my favorite part, the big reveal of the grand prize New Biz/New Year Giveaway winner! It’s been so incredible having a back stage pass to be a part of this from the very beginning-it almost feels like my own launch too! When Leeana entered our giveaway all the sponsors were drawn to her enthusiasm, kindness and dedication to building not just a business but an empire of soapy handmade goodness. Its been 6 months since our giveaway winners were announced and we already witnessed one miraculous makeover. Today Arianne of Aeolidia & Leeana (+ a guest appearance from Lauren Hardage) are visiting us today to share the transformation of LoveLee Soaps workable before to the absolutely beautiful after. It’s like a small business fairy tale!
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Let’s start with the before…

lovelee soaps, aeolidia, extreme small business makeover

Leeana: What about your branding before didn’t feel right for you? When you entered our giveaway you were ready to make 2012 your year to shine, what about your previous branding didn’t work or was holding you back?

Before entering the giveaway LoveLeeSoaps had very little branding. I had an Etsy banner and Twitter background that I put together. Both had details included like bright colors, polka dots, and hearts that I wanted for the future but neither of them felt completely right. My branding was out dated, far from consistent and definitely not professional looking. I feel like my previous branding did hold me back because I wasn’t completely confident with the appearance. Another thing that was holding me back from taking the steps to bettering my business was college. I wanted to wait until I graduated. This way I would be able to put all of my focus towards the project. I held off and kept studying, while Aeolidia pulled at my creative strings in the back of my head.
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Arianne: From a design perspective let’s look at Leeana’s before, it is certainly cheerful and certain aspects were working, but it was missing some key elements. What is your take on those missing pieces?
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It’s important when branding your business to keep everything consistent, but Leeana was using a variety of fonts, colors, and graphics for her Etsy banner, business cards, thank you notes, and packaging.
The branding report Tracy created gives Leeana a toolbox of sorts to use when working on materials for her business: fonts to use for both web and print projects, as well as a color scheme with color codes (hex for web, CMYK for print). Paired with her strong logo and her illustrated heart mascots, these consistent details will help customers remember her any time they see her branding.
lovelee soaps, aeolidia, oh my handmade
Leeana: Let’s watch your winning video againbecause it brings me so much joy!  This exuberance & joy is definitely one of the things that drew us all to your entry in the first place. You hit the ground running after winning our giveaway and made the decision to invest in having Aeolidia build you a brand new website, integrate your blog, create some fabulous illustrations & more. How has investing in your business  & having the support of professionals changed your business?
Once that video stopped the excitement never ended! In fact it only grew bigger from there. Investing in my business has opened my eyes completely. I am so confident and proud of the new business look that I just want to share with everyone. My new branding is now consistent and everything flows together. Aeolidia and Oh My Handmade have definitely helped me bump my small business up to the next level and I am ready to take it on full speed ahead from here.
And now the grand reveal of the after….
lovelee soaps, aeolidia, extreme small business makeover
Arianne: Your team did SO much work on this project & sprinkled your magic dust on everything from the logo to the content. Can you give us a full list of what your team took on to transform Leeana’s brand?
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Leeana added quite a few extras to her giveaway winnings, and we ended up doing the full package for her, which is our favorite thing to do! It’s great to be included for all of a business’ branding needs, so we can keep everything consistent and creative.
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  • Logo design, color and black and white
  • Branding report
  • Custom mascot illustration
  • 5 products, 25 photos
  • About page
  • Home page, category page, and item page design for the shop
  • Blog design
  • Design of rotating slides for home page
  • Category page header graphic templates
  • Newsletter design
  • Etsy banner
  • Favicon for URL bar and bookmark list
  • Cartkeeper ecommerce software to run the shop
  • WordPress integrated with Cartkeeper for the blog
 lovelee soaps, aeolidia, extreme small business makeover

Leeana: Before winning the giveaway you did all your branding yourself-how did it feel to give some of that control to Aeolidia? Tell us a bit about the process of working with the team at Aeolidia and the timeline of your rebrand from winning our giveaway to now.

Let me tell you if felt great handing over the control to Aeolidia. Normally I would be hesitant handing over such a huge project that is so important for the future of my company but lets face it, team Aeolidia is amazing! I dreamed of having them work on my branding for about 2 years so when the time came I had no fear that I would be the slightest disappointed with anything.

The process started with Tracy Bishop designing the logo. She sent over three separate sets of ideas. I gave feedback on each design and eventually the LoveLeeSoaps logo was created.

It was full speed ahead from here!

Isa Marie Seminega began gathering information for the Press release while Dewi Faulkner worked on the about page. I was blown away with Dewi’s writing. She sent over the first draft I opened the email read it and just sat there in shock. We stopped at draft number one because there were no changes even needed.

By this time Jennifer Way received the soaps for the photography and I requested bright, colorful, and whimsical. Did you expect anything else? She did a beautiful job and I love the crisp, clean outcome of the photos.
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Next up was Lauren Hardage on the on the home page, category page, item page, and blog . Lauren blew my mind with her design work. It was like she took the scrambled mess of ideas gathered inside my head and organized them into a functional, working piece of art.
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After Lauren was finished Zoe Rooney did all the coding work. Zoe answered every single one of my questions immediately. She gave advice and helped smooth things out when I thought my brain was going to explode.
lovelee soaps, aeolidia, extreme small business makeover
LAUREN HARDAGE on the new LoveLee Soaps site:
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This project really exemplifies how important content is. One thing that was SO fun on this one was the slides for the slideshow. Leeana had both professional pics and some that she took ready to go. They looked great and they led the design. She also had the slogan putting the splash back in bath time and fun bath and body for all ages ready for me to use. That definitely helped inspire the design direction.
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Also, she had so many products, it was easy to nail the look right away. I had such a good idea of her scope and style. It is so much harder to force content in later using placeholders and descriptions of real items. Her product line is so focused, I didnt have to make a site that was appropriate/flexible enough to accommodate both jewelry and plates, for example.
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Honestly, (warning, self-congratulation ahead) I think another reason its getting such nice feedback is because Leeana was very happy to delegate the layout and look to her team, and just focus on the big picture. She had constructive feedback, but didnt tinker. That kept everything looking tight and unified, with a consistent design point of view throughout. She knew her design goals and remained true to them throughout the process, letting us take care of the details.
lovelee soaps, aeolidia, extreme small business makeover

Leeana: And now how do you feel about your transformed business? Was it everything you imagined it would be?
I feel ecstatic about my transformed business!  I couldn’t be happier with the way that everything turned out. That final outcome is everything I imagined and a million times more. Working on each of the projects was tons of fun and at times extremely stressful. I am so thankful for everyone that helped make this project come together. It has been so hard keeping things undercover for the past few months while we wrapped everything up. I am happy that I can finally share the details with everyone.
lovelee soaps, aeolidia, extreme small business makeover
Did winning our giveaway truly change everything for you? Looking forward to the rest of 2012, now that you have your beautiful new look, how are you going to show it off to the world? Tell us all your grand plans for soapy world domination!
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It truly did change everything for me. I have a whole new look and I have never felt more confident and inspired. It feels like a brand new beginning. I read something recently that opened my eyes and it was from the Oh My Handmade Guide to Businessy Goodness. (Which if you haven’t picked up your copy you are missing out!) I read “nothing ever grows in the dark” (Tracey Selingo) This hit me because right now my new website is in the dark. It is my job to turn on the lights, invite everyone in and let it shine. I am planning on showing my new look to the world by spreading the word about LoveLeeSoaps wherever I go. I am so thankful for my fabulous customers and supportive fans that are helping me spread the word and shouting from the roof tops along the way.
lovelee soaps, aeolidia, extreme small business makeover
Arianne: I hope your whole team is so proud of their work on this makeover, it truly is incredible! Thank you for all your help with this giveaway and teaming up to give a talented young entrepreneur a chance at an extreme business makeover ala Aeolidia. Not everyone can win an amazing opportunity like our giveaway though, in your opinion, what is the one piece of branding that is most important to invest in if you want your business to stand out (in a good way!)?
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You can’t get by without a polished logo, especially if you need to create all the extras: packaging, business cards, invoices, receipts, mailing labels, etc. If all you can afford right now is a great logo, you can then use it to base the rest of your branding on. Then, as your business grows, you’ll be able to take that logo and perhaps have further aspects of your business designed for you.
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Starting off as early as you can with the logo you want means that you can keep it each step of the way, without losing any customer recognition of it. If you skimp on the logo, but invest in a website, for example, you may find yourself later having to redo everything – redesigning the logo, coming up with a new color scheme, changing the design of the site. If you start with a strong logo that will last and be able to grow with your company, you won’t have to take any steps backwards.
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While I’m here, I wanted to mention that we’ve recently launched our new branding packages! For those thinking we do websites only, we want to let you know that we are ready to do the whole shebang for you: from logo to packaging to letterhead, even down to ribbons and tissue paper printed with your logo or custom illustrations!
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We have no waiting list for branding projects, so please browse our offerings and fill out our form to get in touch and begin a conversation with us about your new logo.
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If you’re not ready to take the plunge just yet, please join our mailing list. I’m planning to send out some fun “case studies” of projects where we’ve done all the branding, and you’ll get to peek in on those.
lovelee soaps, aeolidia, extreme small business makeover 
Leeana: Your determination to build a thriving business is so obvious in the way you participated so fully in our giveaway and then threw yourself into this redesign.  You’ve been working seriously hard since January! I think you are a shining example of how you can see an opportunity and leap for it with all your heart. What is the biggest lesson you are taking away from this experience that is going to help you make your business the very best it can be?
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The biggest lesson that I am taking away from this entire experience is that with hard work, determination, and being myself all things are possible. With these three things I have found everything else will fall into place. I have the best job I could ever ask for and I am so lucky that through this experience I have met and connected with an online community of talented individuals from all over the world. I want to thank everyone for coming along for the ride and following this incredible opportunity that I have been given. Let’s join together and make 2012 an unforgettable year!
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As a gift back to our community Leeana is offering a $50 LoveLee Soaps gift certificate as a giveaway to YOU!
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TO ENTER
Visit LoveLee Soaps brand spanking new Aeolidia designed website and leave a comment below telling us your favorite product or part of Leeana’s makeover.
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For extra entries leave a comment if you: 
or shout this giveaway out on Facebook or Twitter
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This giveaway closes next Tuesday at midnight EST with the winner announced Wednesday, May 10 at the bottom of this post. 
This giveaway is closed! Congratulations to Sherie with comment #24!
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Let’s give a big hooray to Leeana and Team Aeolidia for this truly amazing transformation, I see only bright things ahead for LoveLee Soaps & am so happy to be right there with you cheerleading you on!
Jessika Hepburn

about the author

Jessika Hepburn has written 513 posts on Oh My! Handmade Goodness. A cheerful activist and community matchmaker I delight in using my connection superpowers to bring makers and entrepreneurs together in ways that lift us all up. I believe in cooperation over competition, relentless good cheer as an act of rebellion, and the power of using our hands to craft a brilliant future. OMHG is part social enterprise, part grand experiment, and all goodness-so pull up a chair or pitch in a hand to join in creating our supportive community!
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  • http://rocajostudio.blogspot.com Rocajo Studio

    I think the best part about Leeana’s makeover was watching her on her previous blog pulling ideas together and allowing us a glimpse into her head. It is wonderful to see how all of those ideas transferred into a fantastic new website.
    Tania

  • http://trashn2tees.blogspot.com Jenelle @ TrashN2Tees

    Wowza! Everything about the makeover turned out amazing- Congratulations Leeana & well done Team Aeolidia!! The food soap seriously looks good enough to eat & the product descriptions are fantastic too!

  • http://www.wecreatehoopla.com Shannon @ Hoopla

    Amazing job! Those soaps are so cute! My favourite part of the transformation is the logo…and then how it translates on the website. It just really pops!! Congrats!

  • http://www.creativesqueblog.wordpress.com Stacey-Ann Cole

    Wow! What a gorgeous transformation! I wish Leeana much continued success and would like her to know that her story is very inspirational.

  • jill b

    Wow! What a great makeover! I too love how the logo works with the new website layout! Best wishes!

  • http://adrianawillsie.com Adriana

    Congrats Leeana! Your new website is beyond gorgeous! And I can’t get over how adorable those little donut soaps are. Seriously, this year is going to be HUGE for you. Congrats again!

  • http://www.happiestdaysdesigns.com shawn hull

    Congratulations Leena! Your products are adorable and the new website really shows them off. I LOVE your animal soaps especially the puppy, bunny, and rubber duckie! So cute! As far as your branding, I love the website and the bright colorful, yet simplified feel of the branding! Great Job!

  • http://www.threebysea.com nicole : three by sea

    It’s so LoveLee! Congrats Leena, the site looks amazing and I love seeing your growth since your Etsy feature back in the day…wishing you much continued success!

  • http://www.deepspacesparkle.com Patty Palmer

    You gals are amazing! I love reading the details of how you revamped and redesigned this site. I can see how passionate (and talented) you all are!

  • http://handmadesuccess.com/blog/ Kerry

    Wowza! There is so much I love about this post that I do not know where to begin. Congratulations on your beautiful new site and fresh start Leeana! Aeolidia you guys really knocked it out of the park! It is so fun to hear about all of the people who collaborated to make this transformation happen. Truly fabulous story! I am totally in love with the shop and every single product but am totally intrigued by the cream fluff soap. Wishing you all the best!!!

  • Yvonne

    I love the photos. The colors on the website are also lovely.

  • http://www.lullafly.com Bree

    What a great transformation! Congratulations to Leeana and well done to Aeolidia! I wish I could read about these make-overs and transformations all day.

    I love how the color scheme reflects her products’ “personalities” so well, but I think my favorite part of the make-over is the pro product photography. They really make the soaps look like they could be edible, and the packaging/staging is so fun!

  • http://www.sarahssilks.com Sarah Silks

    Your new logo, colors, photos, about us page are so wonderful! Congratulations and lucky you!

  • http://aeolidia.com/ Arianne at Aeolidia

    Thanks for all the nice comments about our work! It is definitely rewarding to be able to provide so many of our services on one project. Dream project!

  • http://www.manusmade.com Tania Wojciechowski

    Wow, looks great! Congratulations on the makeover Leeana, and great job Aeolidia, it’s beautiful!

  • http://astarvongcreative.blogspot.com Stephanie

    I LOVE the photography! Great pictures make such a big difference to a site/shop! And I love the pops of colour in every photo. It matches the bright theme of the blog and makes the whole shop seem more fun and interesting. Great work. I can’t imagine how much time that took!!

  • http://astarvongcreative.blogspot.com Stephanie

    I followed on Facebook using my Child of Whimsy account!

  • Kelly

    The Cotton Candy Solid Sugar Scrub Soap is my favorite item. A shower is the closest I get to pampering with small kids at home, so this would be a real treat! What an amazing makeover….I LOVE it!! Thanks for sharing, so inspiring!

  • http://www.hopelovescards.com Kim Gosney

    I LOVE EVERYTHING!!! What an AMAZING new site design + incredibly FUN take on soap that is TRUE to YOURSELF!!! I loveeeee the popcorn soap most of all! Fabulousness! Leeana + Aeolidia I’m totally in LOVE!!!

  • http://www.jojoebi.blogspot.com jojoebi

    it all looks FAB!!
    The photos are fantastic and the logo and branding is all pulled together, I think it really shows off her style well.

  • http://www.thepetitcadeau.blogspot.com Alison

    I’m following on Twitter!!!

  • http://www.thepetitcadeau.blogspot.com Alison

    The Web site is FABULOUS. I love the polka dots, the product photography, and I’m also really loving the social media icons and their placement!

  • http://www.thepetitcadeau.blogspot.com Alison

    I’ve just signed up for the newsletter – can’t wait to get soapy goodness news in my inbox!

  • http://wildolivekids.etsy.com Sherie

    Congratulations Leeana. I think the web site is colorful and fun just like you. I love your drive, determination and focus and I know your going up from here. Everyone did such a great job. I think I need some cherry flavored body butter so I’m off to shop.

  • Gigi

    Her new website is awesome!

  • http://www.rachelalison.com/ Rachel Alison

    What an amazing website makeover! And those cream fluff soaps look delightful.

  • http://www.rachelalison.com/ Rachel Alison

    I am now following on Twitter!

  • Janice Friend

    Love the chocolate cupcake soaps!

  • Jessie

    I love everything about the makeover!!!! I have some serious design envy :)

  • http://daily42.com Sylvia @ Daily42

    Wow, very creative and uniquely designed products! I love soaps, and seeing the different colors and shapes of soaps shaped like buttons, animals, candies and many more, I must say that the effort put in here is definitely tremendous!
    Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.tiinatalvikki.com Tiina

    As a seamstress, my favorite product has to be the Soapy Sewing Kit. Such a creative design!

  • http://www.tiinatalvikki.com Tiina

    Already following LoveLee Soaps on Twitter. :)

  • http://www.tiinatalvikki.com Tiina

    Signed up for the LoveLee Soaps newsletter.

  • http://www.tiinatalvikki.com Tiina

    Also tweeted about this giveaway. Good luck everybody!

  • Dee

    The Orange Cream Fluff Soap sound (and look) wonderful!

  • Dee

    I’m following Lovelee Soaps on FB!

  • Dee

    I signed up for LoveLee Soaps newsletter!

  • marlene

    I love her Donut Soaps. :)

  • Marlene

    Follow LoveLee Soaps on Twitter as marsbarjewelry1

  • Marlene

    I signed up for LoveLee Soaps newsletter!

  • Marlene

    Tweeted about this giveaway!~
    https://twitter.com/#!/MarsbarJewelry1/status/199302260684095488

    Thanks you!

    Great review & interview :)

  • Donna Howard

    Hello Leanna, I am new to your product, but I love it!! And you! You are so helpful and very customer service oriented. I will continue to buy little whimsy things from you!! Thank you,
    donna

  • http://www.redmarionette.com Red Marionette

    I love how you have used props in your photos to really make your products pop! My favorite is the birds nest on the twigs!

  • http://www.redmarionette.com Red Marionette

    I follow you on facebook! :) I love all of the awesome updates you post and was really looking forward to the design launch of your new site!

  • Lisa L

    The new site looks so nice & clean yet colorful. Love it! I also think the Lime Mandarin Panda Bear Soap Set is adorable!

  • Lisa L

    Signed up for the LoveLee Soaps newsletter

  • Lisa L

    I’m a LoveLeeSoaps fan on Facebook (Lisa Li).

  • Lisa L

    I’m a LoveLeeSoaps follower on Twitter (MsTylerpants).

  • trixx

    Love the makeover! My favorite is the Silly Tooth soap, too cute!

  • http://www.loveleesoaps.com LoveLeeSoaps

    Thank you so much everyone for the kind words! I am overwhelmed reading through these amazing comments. I am so glad that you all came along and followed me throughout this project. It has been tons of fun to work on and see my business transform these past months. I couldn’t be more excited for the future of my business and I am so grateful for everyone that I have met & connected with from this experience.

    Leeana Provan