Lela Barker of Lucky Break Consulting and Bella Luccè emailed me out of the blue with a six week turn around time on an absolutely massive project to create a brand involving fortune cookies + entrepreneurial wisdom. I couldn’t type YES fast enough! I am beyond thankful Lela chose me to help her birth her new business-after 100+ hours, 290 emails (and counting), + a whooooooole lot of creating, I can say she is one of the smartest, funniest, and finest women I have ever known. Neither of us believe in lucky breaks but I thank my lucky stars for aligning to bring her radiant vision, tongue-in-cheek wisdom, and fierce generous spirit into my life. I was hooked from the beginning by her inspiring business story: ten years ago Lela started her skin care business with $500 after a divorce left her a single mother with no “employable” skills. Now she runs a for-real empire out of a huge facility, employs a team of staff, has travelled the world over and is generally awesomesauce with a side of extraordinary. Lucky Break Consulting is the distillation of Lela’s decade of in the trenches business experience and a powerful new resource for creative entrepreneurs.
Let’s dive right in and let Lela tell you about our project for herself!
I first approached Jessika with a jumbo-sized project and a teeny-weeny window for turnaround. I was anticipating a polite “many thanks for the offer but you’ve gone stark raving mad” sort of decline. To my delight, Jessika accepted the challenge with vigor! She suited up, put on another pot of coffee and dove right in.
The moment the starting gun elicited its blast, I had no doubt that I’d found the graphic designer and branding guru of my dreams. Though I was bringing a strong vision to the table about the kind of aesthetic I wanted for my new consulting company, Jessika proved to be adept at crawling inside my ear, tinkering around in my brain a bit and wrestling the vision from its lofty perch in my imagination. She was able to translate my ideas into a tangible form at a wicked speed and with an enthusiasm I had never anticipated.
As the task list grew (Hiya Jess! Think we could design an entire book in less than two weeks? Umm, Jess? I’mma need an extra dozen graphics for a side project, etc.) so did our friendship. I walked away from the project with a brand identity I adore, a website that thrills me and a book that’s garnering raves from the hundreds of souls who have adopted a copy. Despite all that branding goodness- and there is plenty of it- the most cherished thing I walked away from the collaboration with was a new friend who already feels like an old friend. Jessika did that project so much justice that it makes my head spin and I’m really excited about a project we’re putting together this year.
Starting with three pencil sketches of fortune cookies we bounced logo ideas back and forth moving from paper to Illustrator to create black and white mock-ups until we got the final design, then onto revising colour palette choices. From there I illustrated the takeout box graphic that is used across her branding, a monogram/stamp playing with the LB from both Lela Barker and Lucky Break, a temporary tattoo, blog header with a fortune cookie banner, a fun design for an upcoming product and an illustration of the lovely Lela. I also designed a series of Moo Luxe business cards showcasing the stunning photos Lela had taken by Lisa Rodgers of Shoot Y’All Photography, some stickers, a letterhead, and too many graphics to possibly count!
Once the illustrations and core branding elements were done we moved the party to the web where I built a home for all of Lela’s brilliant ideas! This involved creating a comprehensive website and blog design with all the graphic goodness of sliders, sidebar badges, and an Asian inspired background pattern. This got bundled up and passed off to be coded by the fantastic Padraic Ryan of Ryan Design Studio.
But that is not all, oh no, that is not all! The big work had only just begun (are you tired yet?)…from there Lela and I volleyed back and forth to create not one but TWO books! 25 Business Words You Need To Know Now, a 30 page ebook for newsletter subscribers and 155 Words You Need To Know: Practical Wisdom for Creative Entrepreneurs, a 120 page print book full of must-know definitions for entrepreneurs that you can buy on the Lucky Break website or Amazon.com!
There is more and still more to come but we need to save something for a future post! You’ll be seeing Lela around as we are planning another epic project and also because I asked if she would join us to share her insight and enthusiasm with our community as a contributor. For now I’m going to stop gabbing and give you the details of the giveaway so you can get lucky too!
Lela is offering 5 copies of 155 Words You Need To Know: Practical Wisdom for Creative Entrepreneurs to 5 OMHG readers postage paid to any spot on the planet. Lucky girls (and boys!) can enter by sharing one word or business concept that sent your head spinning when you first dipped your toe into the entrepreneurial ocean. If you aren’t the kind to wait around to get lucky you can scoop up one of the few spots left in her Kicking Ass & Taking Names in 2013 class series and enter code IKickAss at checkout to enjoy $100 off tuition!
Be sure to connect with Lela on Twitter and Facebook + welcome her new business to the world by sharing your thoughts about the Lucky Break branding and website in the comments!
So inspiring and completely inventive! <3 the colors, images and awesome sense of humor mixed in with loads of sagey-wisdom! Thank you both for all you do. I have both the book and OMH awesome-possum 2013 planner.. I'm ready to tackle the world, one bite at a time!
Thank you Maria! With the book & my planner it is like you have both Lela & I by your side all year like your very own curly headed yesyoucan cheerleaders;) 2013 is going to be amazing!
So inspiring and awesome! That Kickin Ass Course looks fantastic. I may need to indulge. The colours are beautiful and the website is fun, innovative and just pretty! “Truly safe for baby” was the concept that set us off.
Wow this is beautiful. And my one word: pricing.
My head went spinning with “cost of goods sold” SOOO many things that have to be accounted for! I would so much prefer to just make things – as a soloprenuer I keep hoping someone will create a robot that handles all the paperwork!
I started my business with no plan, one day, I just decided I wanted to make loose eyeshadows, just out of the blue. At the time I worked as a aircraft mechanic who worked on the B-1B Bomber, as a mechanic… I never wore make-up. I really needed a business concept to bridge all my business ideas and research. I had the hardest time answering (who will buy it, what products /services fit my ideas, how will I deliver). Then trying to sell the concept to my friends to ensure I was on the right track.
balance sheet. I still use curse words every time I think about it.
I don’t think there was a word that didn’t scare me! But if I had to choose one, it has to be “taxes”. I still get nervous when it’s time to file!
I was thinking along the lines of “proof” (ie, proving your abilities, when there are so many others who do similar work, and/or if you’re trying to add another element that you have less experience in), but then I saw Shelley’s comment about taxes!
The tax thing throws me like crazy. Do you collect it when you sell online? Who’s do you collect? What if you don’t? Do you have to make a certain amount for the IRS to care? Why is it so hard to find this information?
Wow what truly gorgeous branding sheet!
My word is not too creative… it’s: persistence! Was it Woody Allen who said something like 80% of success is just showing up? I believe that! Observing our web design clients over the years, the ones who succeed are the ones who are just absolutely relentless in pursuing their craft.
Business Plan! I think as creatives, we all want to just “jump in”, but there is so much to be said for thoughtful planning.
Love the designs Jessika!
Bookkeeping? Accounting? Taxes!? I know it’s 3 words but yeah, they’re all equally scary!
Love the vibe and info in all these resources. Thanks for introducing me to such new awesomeness.
My favorite word is Fun! The best thing about creating your own business is that you are allowed to make your work Fun! 🙂
Oh Jess, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways! Thank you for your branding brilliance, your incredible work ethic and your friendship. I count myself lucky to be on the receiving end of all 3. xo
Love this branding so much! It drew me right in and kept me there. I can feel the energy of it all! My word is ‘JUMP”… I know I need to take a big mightly leap into my business but that jump is pretty scary.
Oh my gosh, your brand is just a bucket of fun! I’m in love with your graphics!!
The thing that had me stumped when I got started was “Return on investment”. I know generally what the term is supposed to mean, but how can you actually use it to help your business grow when so many aspects are hard to quantify?
I knew nothing about design contracts when I first started freelancing, but through research and trial and error I now have something that works for me (and my clients).
Congratulations Lela! I am thrilled to hear that you will be a contributor. I am confident that your vast knowledge will prove to be an indispensable asset to Oh my! Handmades community. You have such a warm, open and loving heart and that comes across to your audience. I look forward to the tips you will be offering. I am overwhelmed with the marketing aspects of business such as what message should I be sending!
Details! I pride myself in being a detail-oriented person, but it seems that there are always more details that I didn’t think of when trying to grow a creative business.
Sales and how to get them
Thanks for sharing your fabulous design skills and client!
I have struggled with marketing.
Strive – I know I want to ‘strive’ forward and expand my papergoods business but seem to struggle to move forward, Im at a standstill!
BLOG! I have such a hard time figuring out how to blog to fit my business (and my schedule!).
Hmm…it was hard for me to grasp the difference between “retail margin” and “retail mark-up” when I first started my business 🙂
I have this book bedside and I love it. All of Lela’s wisdom and feistiness comes off of each page.
There are no accidents. So happy Lela and Jess collaborated on this. A wonderfully, easy to read and “take it all in” book!
Jess – you are one simply amazing young woman! What fire & talent that just burns inside you like hot yoga from the inside out! I love your welcoming & friendly spirit and enjoyed reading Lela’s words about how your friendship naturally grew as a result of this project.
I’ve been self-employed for a long time, but when we opened our Etsy shop almost 2 years ago – the one thing that really struck me was the social networking arm of having an online business. I know I could spend more time nurturing our brand on FB, Twitter, Pinterest, etc – but I also enjoy having a life outside of my computer world! It’s about understanding how social networking intersects with your business and then getting organized and having a plan – finding a balance.
Hmm… I think the word (phrase) was and still is “target market”! How the heck do I find my target market? Head spinning indeed.
BRANDING~ I struggle with that word on a daily basis~! EEEEEEEKKKK! Maybe I could add Panic? Lovin the bloggin ladies. Keep it up. I’m gonna be rocking an rolling before the year is over!!
Woah, this is great work! I can’t wait to hear more about what you and Lela have up your sleeves. As for the word that totally stunned me, it’s “bookkeeping”. I’m not excellent when it comes to money so to be able to actually sustain a business I’ve enrolled myself in an accounting course. I can’t wait to learn all about it even though it’s scary and the Math would kill me.
Wow! I just stumbled upon this amazing post and let me just say that you both are extremely talented and inspirational ladies!:)
You and Lela make an awesome team! My struggle: SEO Search Engine Optimization and driving more traffic to my website
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