The Design Business Show 154: The Core of Branding with Katell Schmitz

Director : Melissa Burkheimer | August 26, 2021
Check out episode 153 of The Design Business Show with Katell Schmitz to learn all about Katell’s business and her philosophy on branding!

Eternally committed and passionate about dreamers who aren’t afraid to become doers, Katell believes in strategically developing and designing purpose-infused brands and websites epiphanies. As a French expat, freshly landed in the U.S., she launched in 2014 her own business dream, Reverielane, a creative studio specializing in developing brand epiphanies through design – delivering a compelling story aimed to fascinate the people who need to hear your message the most. With her husband Jon (now a co-owner of Reverielane as well) they are working together and living on their own terms, raising their two kids in Southern California. “After nearly ten years in the branding industry, I am more certain than ever that strategic design provides creative solutions to business decisions.” ~ Katell

Here’s what we covered on the episode:

What Katell’s Business Looks Like Today

  • How we originally met Katell on episode 97 of The Design Business Show where we talked about building purpose-infused brands and web design — I invited her back to give us an update on her business
  • Katell has been doing branding for 10+ years and started her own design business 7 years ago, she shares that 2 years ago her husband, Jon joined as a co-owner which caused a big shift in the business
  • Even with a change in their business, Katell says that last year was their best year and this year, 2021 is on track to be an even better year, she also shares her personal and business success metrics
  • Why Katell focuses on strategy so much in her business, especially on Instagram is because she wants people to understand it and when she does that, the people who come to them are hungry for that strategy
  • Because Katell was going, going, going she felt that she wasn’t taking care of her own brand the way she needed to so she had to sit down and put her own brand through the process

Expectations + Core Values When Working With Clients

  • Katell was part of a summit where she talked about expectations, not just client expectations but about your own expectations, she says to think about what you want out of the relationship, how you want to work, how you work best, etc. and present that to the client
  • When Katell jumps on calls with potential clients, she lays it all out there and shares her expectations to see their reaction because she says that can help point out red flags
  • Katell shares some red flags or misalignments she can see from the first call and tells us how she handles them, she also shares that there is some wiggle room when it comes to taking on certain clients
  • One big source for clients in their business is referrals and the other one comes from the teaching Katell has been doing about focusing less on the pretty stuff and more on the core stuff, like the quality, purpose and strategy which has brought clients who resonate with that
  • If you’re trying to get clients from social media, Katell says to think about the primary thing they’re asking themselves and answer that before they email you, DM you or anything — you need to proactively answer the main thing that’s on their mind
  • When it comes to growing and scaling their business, Katell says her and her husband have conversations about what they want their business to be and do
  • One thing that has always felt suffocating to Katell was the concept that you have to have a niche or a very specific design style or industry to work in and how they have stuck to their values especially within the last year
  • Being clear on what success looks like for you, what your core values are and how you can better express that, which are all things Katell does in her business can help you grow and scale your own business

Saying No in Order to Say Yes

  • Switching the modes between business partners and husband and wife can be difficult for Katell sometimes but they are getting better and she hopes they continue to
  • Katell’s tip for bringing a partner into your already existing business is to set clear boundaries between life and work and understand that it is going to be difficult
  • Katell walks us through who is on their team and what they do
  • When Jon joined the business, he took over all the admin tasks that Katell hated and she tells us about the fears she had surrounding not doing all the work herself
  • Katell shares that they are launching a new fragrance business and how that means saying no to some things in order to say yes to this business
  • Even though it can be scary to bring other people on in your business, Katell reminds us that when you do, you then have room to say yes to other things you want to do
  • Katell touches on a couple things they are launching this year, one will be about their philosophy on branding because Katell has been talking about it so much and wants to a create one spot where it can all live so they can help people add value to their business
  • The second thing Katell wants to launch is a deep dive on brand positioning because she gets a lot of questions about it — she wants people to be able to go back to it and use it as a resource each time they launch something, whether it’s their personal brand, a product or service
  • Connect with Katell on Instagram, Facebook or on their website

Links mentioned:


Episode 97 of The Design Business Show

Connect with Katell on Instagram

Connect with Katell on Facebook

Like what you heard?

Click here to subscribe + leave a review on iTunes.

Click here to download my Sales Page Trello Board

Let’s connect on Instagram!