Female Announcer: Thank you for tuning in to the Dare to Dream podcast, courtesy of Reticence Marketing. We are dedicated to the thinkers and the midnight dreamers, those whom the world has forgotten. Be a dreamer, be a doer, be a believer. Begin your digital marketing journey with us today by going to reticencemarketing.com.
Kolten: Hello everyone. Thank you for taking the time to tune in with us for the Dare to Dream podcast, courtesy of a Reticence Marketing. I am Kolten, the host here and I’m sitting here with Angelina from Mint & Porter Design Company. Hi Angelina. How are you doing today?
Angelina: Hey, great. Kolten, and thanks for having me.
Kolten: Of course. I’m glad to have you. Just getting started real quickly, if you can tell us a little bit about you, your company, what you do and how you’re doing so far.
Angelina: Sure. I own Mint & Porter Design Company here in downtown Colorado Springs, and I specialize within graphic and web design. Pretty simple and to the point. [laughs]
Kolten: Yes, that’s perfect. Compact, simple. As a marketing company, that’s something that we try to focus on a lot. Coming from that the graphic design perspective, obviously that’s really important for business owners to address when they’re looking at marketing their own company, and whether it be their logo or the graphics they’re putting up on social media or their website design. How would you define the importance of design and graphics and things of that nature in terms of the company’s marketing plan?
Angelina: I’m so glad that you asked that question.
Angelina: Such a great question. Well, I think with marketing and design, you have to have this all the cogs working together to create this really beautiful brand. Oftentimes people will see you need a business cards or have a site first, so it’s really important to have a professional brand and brand identity. I think the graphic designer, Paul Rand sums it up the best pull is he said, “Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.” I think that sums it up perfectly.
Kolten: Wow. That actually is a really good quote. I’m going to steal that now and put that on some of our graphics. Just saying.
Angelina: It’s by Paul Rand. It’s fantastic.
Kolten: Okay. Paul Rand. Got It. That is an amazing quote in and of itself. A lot of what we do in marketing is the psychological or subconscious aspect. Especially if you look at modern day advertisement. I refer to this as brain spam. It’s my term for it that I’ve coined in it.
Angelina: I like that. [laughs]
Kolten: You like it?
Kolten: It’s really just, my term for describing how we are consistently bombarded with advertisement, advertisement, advertisement. We are consistently bombarded with all these graphics, all this content, and you just see so much on a daily basis that it’s becoming increasingly more complicated. It’s becoming harder to really establish a name for your company to establish that subconscious recognition with people. Unless you’re, this huge brand like, I don’t know, Coca-Cola, or Budweiser or DirecTV, that have multimillion-dollar budgets that they can just pour into their marketing.
Angelina: Well, you have to start somewhere. I encourage the small business owner to give it a try. It takes time, commitment, but they can do it. Yes, but you’re right. We just turn it off at some point because we see so much every day.
Kolten: I completely agree. I would say that going back to that term, brain spam, that’s really where having really well-designed graphics, having just design work in general, if your website is better than everyone else’s, and your graphics are just amazing and eye-catching, and they flow, and they’re appealing and they’re really getting your message across, people are going to naturally be more interested in your brand. They’re going to start establishing a relationship with you and indirect relationship, a relationship that’s based on trust.
In the modern day, advertising and marketing world where we are just bombarded with all of this constantly, quality is becoming more important than ever.
Angelina: Well said.
Kolten: Thank you. Thank you. That’s why I host a podcast.
Angelina: There you go. [laughs]
Kolten: I’m interested in learning more about your story. How did you get into graphic design, and why design work?
Angelina: Sure, yes, that’s a good question. Actually, I really share the same thought process with you because I come from a marketing background, and that’s where my design career led me. I decided to go freelance, but with that, I have a really strong basis in marketing, which I think is so important because I don’t make pretty pictures just to make pretty pictures. We as designers, we solve problems. We solve problems for your brand to get the right messaging across, and that’s what I’ve taken with me, and my design background or my marketing background.
I actually went to school for studio art. I’m from Orlando, so I went to the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida and I majored in Studio Art. I was a painter, and that was my first love. I graduated in ’09 I was like, “Well, what am I going to do with this?”
Angelina: I was just so happy to finish and just get to that point. I then thought, “Oh, I’ll just get a job.” I realized that probably wasn’t the most practical [unintelligible 00:05:25]. It’s what I loved and I don’t regret it. I think just thinking back now, maybe I would have, which a lot of good friends will be at the time, specialized in something. I think I probably would have taken that advice if I had looked back, but no big deal, and I have a bachelor’s degree, which helped me a lot. Then I went on photography.
My husband is Army. We moved around a lot. We moved to New York, which helped me do an internship in New York City for three months. That was amazing. That gave me a chance to live my dreams for three months in the big city working for Walter Schupfer Management. They represent photographers. It’s my Devil Wears Prada moment. [laughs] It was pretty cool.
Then we moved to Wahoo, which is beautiful. I started getting into photography, which I loved. I really had a chance to learn it, which it’s never hurt me to know your basics of photography. However, it was just a really competitive market, and people were very well established, say like wedding photographers on Wahoo.
I was a little scared, and I went back to school. Which was not a bad thing, because I went to school for graphic design. Then after I finished with that, prospective clients started asking me, “Hey, can you make my website?” Then I went back to school for web design, and I learned how to code for Front End Web Development. With that, I got started working in startups and then for the Federal Government and Marketing Department. I’ve worked for–
Kolten: Federal Government has a marketing department? [laughs]
Angelina: Yes, they do [laughs].
Kolten: Oh, God.
Angelina: It’s really good way to go. I’ve worked both here in Colorado Springs at Fort Carson, for their MWR, marketing departments and marketing assistant, which encompasses just everything from social media marketing to graphic design. Then also I worked with the Hale Koa, which is a armed forces recreation center. It’s basically the military’s hotel in Waikiki. I was the graphic designer, one of two people in their marketing department. Funny enough, my coworker was also the magician and he did all the videos.
Kolten: That’s perfect.
Angelina: Yes, it was really fun. That’s where it led me — Well, then, of course, I left in April at Fort Carson to go full-time into my business, now doing graphic and web. That’s how I got started.
Kolten: That’s amazing. Congratulations.
Kolten: Of course.
Angelina: [inaudible 00:07:46] the fun.
Kolten: Yes, definitely. Then that’s always something that we really like to touch on on this podcast, especially when we get business owners on, really regarding what it’s like to leave the corporate world, the nine to five lifestyle and just be like, “You know what? I’m done working for other people. It is now time for me to do whatever I want and do my own thing.” It’s a very freeing decision, but at the same time, it is a very hard decision. How has your experience been with that?
Angelina: You said it well. It’s both exhilarating and terrifying. I’m happy I did it. I don’t regret my decision. I’m really good with keeping track of my business statistics and seeing where I’m at with it. It’s turned out to be a good decision, and I just keep growing. Hopefully I will continue to do this. The reason I decided to leave my full-time job for Fort Carson, which I really love, by the way, we got to do really cool things like go to Overdrive Raceway, and buying a Lamborghini just to videotape it for social media for our Facebook page. It was hard to give up a job like that [laughs].
Kolten: Sounds fun.
Angelina: Yes, it was fun, and social media marketing it’s really fun. With that, I was hitting burnout. I was working like 60-hour plus weeks. It was getting to the point where I was turning down work from prospective clients. I thought, “You know what? I’m just going to go all in, and hopefully this works out.” So far it has. It’s been very good.
Kolten: Well, that’s awesome. I’m really happy for you, and I’m sure that our audience is as well. We’re all on that entrepreneurial journey. You’ve taken the 60-hour work weeks, and now it’s a 24 hour, 24/7 every day. Well, that’s your work schedule now.
Angelina: Yes. I think it’s [unintelligible 00:09:40], and then I made it 60 with just [inaudible 00:09:44] [laughs], but I I’m happy.
Kolten: Yes. On our last podcast last week, I was talking about that. I used to work in hotels, so my background has primarily been in hospitality and hospitality management, because I love hotels, I love customer service, but it got to that point where I was like, “Okay, I’m sick of having to work this standard eight-hour shift. Then the minute someone calls it and then I have to go handle that and we have an issue with an employee and I got to handle that.” I’m just like–
All the while I was running my marketing company on the side. Once I got to that point- there’s just a point where you’re done. You’re just done. It doesn’t have to be because you’re done with the employer or you don’t like your job, because you did like your job.
Kolten: Right. It’s this inner voice that says, “It’s time to be yourself. Let’s go fulfill your true entrepreneurial purpose. You’re going to drive yourself crazy while doing it, but it’s going to work out.”
Angelina: It’s about no regrets and looking back and saying, “What if. I’m just glad I tried it, and if it doesn’t work out, that’s okay.” A lot of businesses fail, but you can always start another one. It’s not the end of the world.
Kolten: Exactly. Then so how would you define the difference between the entrepreneur, the dreamer, the business owner? Obviously, this is the Dare to Dream podcast. That is our ideal audience.
It takes a large amount of courage for someone to really dare to dream. That’s why we use the word dare, because you have to dare. You don’t just go and do it. It requires a lot of courage, a lot of fortitude, a lot of determination. What would you say to that business owner out there or that person who wants to start a business? Maybe it’s a high school or maybe it’s someone in their 60s. Who knows? They have this dream and there’s just something in them that is unfulfilled, because that’s what it feels like, isn’t it?
Angelina: Yes, that’s a really good point. That’s probably what led us to do what we’re doing, so yes.
Kolten: What would you say to that person?
Angelina: Just start where you’re at right now with insecurities and everything that you’re feeling. Just do it. I’m not saying that you go say, “I’m done. I quit my job tomorrow”, but start taking on freelance clients. Start figuring it out. If you’re really apprehensive, maybe you can go apprentice under someone for awhile, but just start creating. Start making your portfolio or what have you [unintelligible 00:12:21] for consulting clients, whatever business you’re doing.
I think the fear of what-if holds a lot of people back. It doesn’t need to be perfect, you just need to start and you’ll figure it out. I have a lot of growing to do. I’ve grown a lot and I have a lot more to grow, but it’s an adventure and this is part of it. It’s the fun. That’s my biggest advice is–
Then also planning things is a really good one. I like the quote, “A dream without a goal is just a wish.” It’s perfect. It’s very girly, but I have my little Panda Planner and-
Kolten: Panda Planner.
Angelina: [unintelligible 00:13:00] on it, and I write out my monthly goals, my weekly goals, and my daily goals. Then I reflect on that every morning and evening. That helps me not get lost in a million little things I don’t really need to be focusing on, and just focus on my priorities. That really helps a lot.
Kolten: Goal setting, it works.
Angelina: It works.
Kolten: It actually works. [unintelligible 00:13:27] building, goal setting, we have all these fun terms for it. All of them, we can say as many fancy things as we want and then dilute what we’re saying into as many phrases and keywords as we want, but at the end, it just comes down to, like you said, just do it.
Angelina: Yes. I think you’ll be happy with the results. I love this because not only do I love designing, but I’m proud of the job well done. Even if you take the money out of it. I’m still happy doing what I do. I think that’s important. Passion is important as well.
Kolten: I agree. If you’re not passionate about it, how are you ever going to actually make a difference? There’s people who have these corporate jobs or nine to five jobs. They might have a good job, they may appreciate their job, like their job, like their position. They have a nice salary, things of that nature. They have great benefits, but like we were just saying, there’s something inside them that’s like, this is not right.
Angelina: Something more.
Kolten: Yes, he wants something more. Really going into business for yourself is one of the best ways I would say to express that, but not necessarily business. Just doing something to give back and to really take your dreams and make them a reality. At Reticence Marketing, that’s what we believe and that’s why our motto is, “Dare to dream.” There’s not many marketing companies out there with a model like that.
Angelina: I love it.
Kolten: Thank you.
Kolten: Our goal, and this sounds like your goal too, is to take business owners and to take entrepreneurs, to take dreamers and say, “Hey, it is possible. Let us help you get there. Let’s tell your story together.”
Angelina: Yes, it’s true and I’ve been honored to be on this journey with new business owners. I work with both startups and already established this- excuse me, business owners. I think it’s amazing to sit down with a business owner and they say, “Hey, I want it to do this. How do I start? Can you help me?” I say, “Yes, let’s dream together and we’ll make it happen.” It’s a pretty cool thing.
Kolten: Right. Let’s engage in a little mind meld action and we’re going to get the thoughts flowing and then we’re just going to make your business explode. That’s what I tell clients all the time.
They’re like, “How can you help me out? Can you help me?” I’m like, “Well, not going to guarantee anything, but I will tell you this. I’m going to die trying to make your business explode. Your business is going to be out there and I’m going to make sure everyone knows who you are. Everyone’s going to know and we are going to tell your story, because everyone has a story and everyone’s story is amazing in its own way.” That’s why you getting people to be able to tell their stories, that’s how you make sales.
I don’t know if you’ve listened to a lot of our podcast or watched the videos that we put up on Facebook and things like that. Something that I’m always saying and I tried to drive home with people, is that if you have a product or service that you have to sell, if you’re going out there and you have to sell your product or service, that means that your product or service isn’t good in the first place.
Angelina: That’s a good point. Most of my work comes from word of mouth and referrals and I think a lot of it goes back to passion. I think others see how passionate I am. It sounds like you’re incredibly passionate about marketing, so I would imagine, do you get a lot of business from word of mouth?
Kolten: We do. Have you ever heard of the term– There’s two pretty cool terms, relationship marketing, and attraction marketing. If you’ve heard of either one of those.
Angelina: I haven’t actually, what are they?
Kolten: Relationship marketing, I love to nerd out about this [unintelligible 00:17:13].
Kolten: Relationship marketing is when you’re, instead of focusing on sales strategies and advertisements and things like that, it’s like a cousin. I would call it a cousin to network marketing. It’s not network marketing, but it does have a connection to it. It’s getting out there and forming connections, forming relationships with people and building that trust with them. When you think of the nature of our industry here in marketing or design work that it’s all based on trust. It’s like your accountant or your lawyer. It’s the same with your marketer or your designer. You want to have someone that you can trust.
That’s why I always stressed that my company– Reticence Marketing does not want to have a contractor-client relationship. We don’t want it to be, “We’re the contractor, we’re doing this work for you. Pay the invoice, here’s the bill, thanks. We’ll get this done. Have a nice day.” No. We want to have an actual relationship with our clientele. That’s why we always go out there and we say, “Our clients aren’t clients, they’re family.” That’s relationship marketing in a nutshell.
I know how we were just talking about brain spam.
Kolten: It’s the same thing. If you have all these brands that are just throwing advertisements at your face all the time, but then someone actually takes the time to meet with you and says, “Hey.” They don’t even try to sell anything because you know how sales representatives are. It’s like a used car salesman. Oh my God. [laughs]
Angelina: Yes. Something like that.
Kolten: Exactly. That’s what it goes back to if you’re having to sell your product, your product isn’t good enough. You need to be attracting people. Attraction marketing is a thing as well. Attraction marketing is basically putting out the right content, design work, blogs, [unintelligible 00:19:04], things like that. You’re basically telling your story. You’re telling the story of your company, and because of that, people are coming to you. They’re saying, “Wow, I like what this company represents. That’s who I want to do business with. Even if I don’t even know what their product is, I just want one because I love this company.”
Angelina: [inaudible 00:19:23].
Kolten: If you’ve ever heard– What were you saying?
Angelina: [unintelligible 00:19:27]. Yes, exactly.
Kolten: Yes, exactly. Simon Sinek, he has a great quote, and it’s that “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
Angelina: Yes. He’s fantastic.
Kolten: He is. Oh my God, I love it. Yes. That is a book that everyone- Well, he has several books now, but Start with Why and then Leaders Eat Last are two of the best books ever written.
Angelina: Okay, I’ll check it out. I’ve watched his TED Talks. Other than that, I love him. He’s great.
Kolten: Yes, you should definitely check out his book. Start with Why and then Leaders Eat Last are two really good books.
That’s really just diving into it’s the why of your company as so many people have defined the what of their company. “Well, what do you do?” “Well, I’m a plumber. I’m a Roofer or I do this or that. I sell this product.” “Well, that’s nice, so does like 500 other people here.” Why do you do it? That’s how you build it. You don’t promote the product. Like you were saying, you promote the person, the company, the culture, the story behind the product. That’s kind of what you do as a designer, isn’t it?
Angelina: Yes, absolutely. With each new client, I sit down and I have a creative brief. Those are these exact questions. Who is your market? Give me five words that describe your brand. These are really important questions because I don’t make pretty pictures just for the sake of it. I [unintelligible 00:20:52] brand identity based on what you’re trying to do as a brand.
Kolten: Awesome. All right, well we’re coming to the end of this podcast here. Do you have anything else that you want to talk about or just talk about your company, or your story, or anything? This is the free zone now.
Angelina: No. I just want to thank you very much for having me on and I love this idea of what you’re promoting. Yes, because running my businesses been one of the most gratifying things I’ve ever done. I would encourage anyone else to be the same. I’m happy to answer any questions if anyone has any. You can find me at www.mintandporter.com. That’s mint with a T, A-N-D, and and porter as in the beer, even though that’s not where it came from, but it helps. Get in touch with me and I’d love to grab a coffee and get to know the community.
Kolten: Awesome. Breath mints and beer, that’s how I’m going to refer to your company from now on.
Angelina: Okay. [unintelligible 00:21:45].
Kolten: That is a graphic right there. I’m imagining the logo.
Kolten: Yes. Thank you so much for coming on. It was great to have you on this podcast to really shine a light on design work and your story, and how that affects other business owners. Just your story, how you got started and how you’ve recently gone independent. Kudos to you.
We’re all in the same thing here. We’re trailblazers, and being a trailblazer, being a rebel, being a revolutionary, being a dreamer, that’s how you change the world.
Thank you so much for coming on and spending some time with us. All right, and thanks to everyone for tuning in. This is the Dare to Dream podcast, go ahead and catch us next week.
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