The Design Business Show 097: Purpose-infused Brand & Web Design with Katell Schmitz

Director : Melissa Burkheimer | June 15, 2020

Katell is the co-owner and lead designer at Reverielane, a purpose-infused design studio based in sunny southern California. Katell began Reverielane over 6 years ago with the belief that thoughtful design can turn your dreaming into doing. Her husband Jon joined on as a co-owner this last October, and together they are building Reverielane to fully live on their own terms as a creative family.

Here’s what we covered on the episode:

  • How Katell moved to the US from France in 2010 with a degree in International Project Management, but found resistance in wanting to pursue that work once she got to the US
  • Katell explains how she got into branding by learning about it in school, and starting off with logos to become better at the design aspect of marketing
  • In 2014 Katell realized branding is more than a logo, and wanted to create something bigger where she could connect more with clients and lead them through a process
  • Why Katell picked International Project Management as a degree after receiving her license in Applied Modern Languages and how she felt she could work in any industry because of her degree, which excited her
  •  How Katell found freelancing frustrating because it was always just one project, logo or business card etc. and that’s it
  • Katell explains how she started her business, Reverielane in 2014 and used Facebook to connect with others who knew more about starting a business so she could learn
  • Why creating a group launch with other people Katell connected with, helped her to know what to do when launching her website
  • Services Katell’s business offers include everything you need for your brand to stand on its own and create a branding experience; branding websites, custom website designs, strategy, creative direction and more
  • Katell explains the difference between being a technician and being a specialist and how understanding this made Katell make the switch from being a freelancer to having her own business
  • How Katell’s business has been moving to a one design concept offer over the last two years so they can focus on strategy and heading in the right direction for each of their individual clients
  • Katell tells us how it depends on where you are in your journey when deciding if you need a technician versus a specialist
  • Why Katell sees the value in creating one concept that is right for her clients versus creating multiple options that might work for them and having them pick one
  • How Katell receives most of her business from referrals and some from her website and Instagram 
  • Katell explains how fluid her timeline process can be depending on the project but generally gives the timeline of 4-6 weeks for a basic brand
  • The type of clients Katell usually works with includes people who have been in business for a while and are or want to be leaders in their industry, or people who have felt resistance with using other branding companies or website designers
  • How Katell gives her clients a personal experience by taking care of them and giving them the whole package
  • Katell’s business handles website development and design, which is all done in-house
  • Katell explains that she likes to build on her own terms and create something that feels right to her, otherwise she doesn’t consider it a success
  • How being mindful of each piece of your life and understanding what you are willing to negotiate on, or trade can help you create healthy boundaries for you and your business
  • Why changing your mindset to think “trade offs” instead of just thinking “problems” can help you see what you are gaining, losing/trading for it and figuring out if it’s worth it
  • Katell explains how difficult it can be for designers to brand themselves and suggests bringing someone else in as an advisor to help you
  •  How building relationships with her audience in person and online instead of always selling to them has helped Katell’s business grow
  •  Katell compares pricing from when she first started- charging $200 for a logo, to now, charging $3,000+ for an entry brand package
  • The best spots to connect with Katell are Reverielane’s website, or on Instagram

Links mentioned

Reverielane’s Website

Connect with Katell on Instagram


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