This is a special project close to my heart. One that a dear friend of mine and I built together.
A little background to set the stage. Running a business is hard. Running a design business can be harder when faced with the OVERLY competitive nature of the industry. And when you’re starting out, there are lots of things we “should” know, but don’t because either we’re self-taught. Or cannot afford the 1:1 mentorships.
So when I connected with Erika (designer at thehausofsparrow.com) back in 2020, my heart lit up. Not only had Erika started her own business that year too, but we both were also realizing how cut-throat this industry is.
We began sending messages and FaceTiming to talk about life and business. When there were questions about design things that we didn’t know, but felt we “should” we reached out to each other.
It wasn’t until early 2022, that Erika and I were on a FaceTime call when she brought up wanting to host a gathering of some sort with other designers. It was such a God moment because He had been laying community building on my heart for quite some time too.
So we both agreed to pray about and see what the Lord was speaking to us over the weekend. When Monday came, I felt peace about this decision to start a retreat for fellow designers.
Erika and I started then to build and dream out this vision the Lord gave us.
We knew that we both benefitted from our friendship where we could exchange thoughts, struggles, and ideas in a no-pressure/no-judgment environment. And we believed that we weren’t alone in this feeling.
And Anima Collectio was being formed.
Erika and I wanted to be very intentional with the name as we knew it would drive the whole business vision and brand.
We started to gather words that we felt we’d want attendees to feel. And recurring words that we both shared were similar to “heart,” “soul,” and “community.”
So we looked up the Latin word for those and we found Anima Collectio—soul + gathering. Once we saw it, we knew it was the name of the direction we were headed. Not only are those values we want attendees to feel, but we as designers put our heart and soul into our projects.
Erika and I both had lots of input on the brand elements. It was such a fun project to create and also have a teammate help me with the design.
We had already chosen the location of our first retreat—Moab, Utah. So we wanted to have a fun, adventurous brand that tied into the Western theme in Moab. We found this great font that had a playful and welcoming feel, that also looked Western. And then we drafted some brand elements to go along.
Our goal for this brand is to grow and have more retreats in new locations, so we wanted a brand that could still stand the environment if we moved to a different geographical location.
One day I sketched together the A and C from our name to create a draft sub mark. I was a little hesitant to share as it was different, but every other piece I sketched, wasn’t sitting well with me. So I finally showed Erika, and she loved it!
Then we built out the other logos using the new icon.
Erika and I knew that we would have to build a website and market this retreat. So brand photos was an obvious next decision. We searched for the perfect photographer to capture us, and our vision for the retreat.
We found Izzie, a Utah photographer who matched our vibe and we scheduled a time to fly out to Moab and get photos taken.
I feel it’s important to add that Erika and I had never met in person (yet). We had built this friendship and now business all digitally.
So in August—while I was six months pregnant—I flew into Salt Lake City to meet my best friend and business partner and go to Moab to build out this business more.
Izzie was WONDERFUL! She captured so many amazing photos that we feel reflect our brand vision perfectly!
Erika and I launched Anima Collectio in mid-October with a retreat set for May 2023. We are so excited for all the women who will join us. Our desire is to create a place that is safe, and welcoming, and builds lasting friendships. You can learn more about our retreat at animacollectio.com.
If you’re looking for a place to be encouraged, we pray that you’re able to join us in the room.
While this was a unique brand to design—because I was partly the client and designer—I’m SO happy with how it turned out.
This was such a fun experience to be on both sides of the client journey, and it helped me add some more pieces to the overall process (win win!).
I’d love to know what you think about the brand design, come tell me on Instagram!