026: Octavia Gilmore: On Branding and Creating a Unique Customer Experience


Meet Octavia Gilmore, founder and Chief Creative Officer of Creative Juice – a boutique creative agency located in Atlanta, GA that specializes in helping businesses clearly communicate their brand identity through creative design and packaging.

Octavia has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and in this episode you will hear how, through perseverance and inspiration, Octavia followed her passion and is now helping many others to more aptly express their brand identities through the combined creativity of herself and her team. On her website, itscreativejuice.com you will find words and phrases such as: “small but mighty;” “super powers;” and “juicers” – a moniker that each member of Octavia’s team likes to be referred to as.

It is immediately apparent from the first time you visit her website that she and her team are passionate about their work. Learn how Octavia was initially inspired as she shares great insight throughout the episode on being a young entrepreneur and not being afraid to explore your creativity. 

CONTACT

Website: http://itscreativejuice.com

Instagram: itscreativejuice

Twitter: its_creative 

Phone: (404) 946-8599


SHOW NOTES


WHAT DO YOU DO? [02:58]

I am the owner and Chief Creative Officer of Creative Juice. We are a small boutique creative agency and we are located in Atlanta. We specialize in branding web and packaging and we focus on helping businesses communicate their message to their target audience through creative design.

WHAT WAS THE PREMISE BEHIND STARTING CREATIVE JUICE? [03:47]

Octavia explains how she’s always considered herself as a graphic artist and she went to Savannah College of Art and Design where she earned a BFA in Graphic Design with the goal to start her own agency one day. After graduating, she completed several internships and then worked as a Graphic Design Artist with AT&T as well as a start-up. Finally, when she felt ready to venture on her own, she founded Creative Juice in 2013.

HOW DID YOU CREATE YOUR BRAND? [05:48]

Octavia shares her story of coming up with her company name as she really wanted to personify “creative juices” flowing such as when ideas strike us.  From that name, her team identifies themselves as “the juicers” who help their clients bring their creative ideas to life.

WHO ARE YOU PRIMARILY WORKING WITH? [06:41]

Octavia explains that she has a wide variety of clients ranging from small start-ups in Atlanta to Fortune 500 companies. Her team consists of millennials and she Creative Juice specializes in helping companies look more modern and relate to the younger generations.

Octavia gives an example of how she and her team coach their clients to help their brand image exemplify their brand culture and identity.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN STRENGTHENING A BRAND? [10:00]

Octavia explains that creating a brand experience from the moment a customer either walks through the front door or interacts with your brand is the principal focus. If you can focus and highlight a unique attribute about how your brand is different or what really sets you apart that is either personal or that people can easily relate to is always a good thing. Color selection and psychology is also very important to help strengthen the brand message. For product based businesses, the packaging and presentation of the product also play an important role in the customer’s overall experience.

The brand website is also important and every detail should support overall brand experience and it should be easy to find key information in both quickly and conveniently.

WHAT WAS PERHAPS ONE OF YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN STARTING YOUR COMPANY? [14:23]

So the funny thing is I had a bunch of challenges… So I’ve never been a business owner, I’ve never managed a team. I’ve never dealt with crazy clients. There were a lot of obstacles that I kind of had to overcome; the biggest one being fear. When you’re starting out and you don’t necessarily know your way. You’re very scared of making the wrong decision. You’re scared that you’re not going to have enough money to pay your bills. There’s always a lot of fear there and kinda once you get yourself out of the way and kinda be brave and not afraid to make those mistakes and learn from them, I think that’s when… that’s an ideal situation for you to kind of branch off and do your own thing.

WHAT WAS ONE OF YOUR BIGGEST AH-HAH MOMENTS? [17:14]

Octavia shares how when she first started out she was charging clients hourly but was not including her administrative staff into the equation. Once she made that realization both her cash flow and margins improved.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU? [22:47]

Well what inspired me to kind of start Creative Juice was my Mother. She was very strong and independent and I learned a lot from her so those types of values were instilled in me at a very young age. I’ve always wanted to be my own boss and I feel like you know, why work hard to help someone else to achieve their goals when you can work equally as hard to achieve your own goals.

HOW DO YOU VIEW FAILURE? [24:42]

Well I think you know once again, knowing that you don’t have 20 years of experience doing this thing, right? You can’t beat yourself up and say “Hey I should have known better.” Because its like okay well how would we’ve known better? You’ve never done this before; you’ve never owned a business. You’ve never been an entrepreneur. You’ve never had to manage a team. So I think it’s important that you do treat you do treat every failure as a learning opportunity and you say to yourself; okay where did this go wrong? What could have I done differently? You know; where should something have been changed and you know even asking your client for feedback…

IF YOU COULD GO BACK AND GIVE YOURSELF ADVICE, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO YOURSELF? [26:17]

I would [say] to just do it. Just like Nike says: “Just do it!” Stop moping around. Stop being afraid. Just do it. Its that simple. Just do it you know, just do it.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS? [26:57]

I think the first step is kind of discovering what you’re passionate about and what you want to do. If you’re not clear on that you will struggle. So have a clear understanding of kind of what your vision is for your company and then putting everything down on paper. People say that when you write down your goals they actually end up happening. There’s a higher percentage that a goal that is written down is more likely to happen than one that you just kept in your mind. So definitely write down all of your goals…


RECOMMENDED RESOURCES


BOOKS

Successful Women Think Differently: 9 Habits to Make You Happier, Healthier and More Resilient by Valorie Burton 

The Win Without Pitching Manifesto by Blair Enns

Business Forum

Octavia also mentioned the following forum which contains relevant and insightful information for small business owners that touts 'Insights, Inspiration and Connections to Grow Your Business':

The American Express Open Forum Website