May 20, 2021

My morning routine has truly become a ritual in my life that I look forward to every single day. It allows me to start my day slowly, relaxed, clear-minded, and with good intentions. I noticed a lot of people were interested in learning more about my morning rituals, so I decided to create a blog post linking all the tools I use each morning. I hope you enjoy!

If you have been following along for a while, you know that I love to journal every morning. It has helped me so much in my business to reflect, gain clarity, and start my day on a relaxing, positive note. This journal is my absolute favorite – I seriously have like 5 of them at this point because I keep purchasing them every time one runs out! There are so many cute colors, but I love the blush linen one – you can also get your initials on it for no extra charge, how cute!
SHINOLA DETROIT LARGE HARD LINEN JOURNAL

I have had this book since 2019 (I first heard about it The Skinny Confidential and immediately purchased it) and I have tried my best to read it every single day since (of course, sometimes you miss a day and that’s totally fine!). Sometimes I even like to journal on what the passage means to me or how I can relate it to my life. I love how it’s just one page a day, it feels un-intimidating!
THE DAILY STOIC by RYAN HOLIDAY

This is a new favorite of mine! The book is the same style as The Daily Stoic in the way that it’s one passage a day, which I absolutely love. The passages feel super relatable to my every day life and business, so I love journaling about them.
JOURNEY TO THE HEART by MELODY BEATTIE

Here’s where my super woo-woo side comes in. My process: set an intention for the reading, shuffle the deck, spread them out in a semi-circle, pull 3 cards from the deck, journal about them (how they make me feel, how they can relate to my current situation, what they mean to me, etc.) I don’t use these every single day, only when I’m feeling called to do so.
THE STARSEED ORACLE

I actually don’t use this journal everyday anymore but I wanted to add it to this post because it’s a great tool if you are new to journaling and want to slowly dip your toes into the process
5 MINUTE JOURNAL

You can’t journal without pens! I know these aren’t the cutest pens in the world but they are my favorite – so smooth and nice to write with.
SHARPIE GEL PENS

Those are my morning ritual essentials! I hope this post brings you value and inspires you to start a morning ritual of your own. Stay wild, soul sisters.

xo, Katharine

*Please note: some links are affiliate links, meaning Wild Soul Studio makes a small commission off them.

April 15, 2021

I’m sure y’all have heard the saying “you get what you pay for”

When it comes to service providers, I do believe this to be very true… designers, photographers, wedding planners, coaches, etc. base their pricing off so any factors, one including experience & expertise. A designer that is just starting out is going to be on a completely different price spectrum then a designer that has been at this for years.

I think the choice between how much someone spends on a professional all boils down to their wants, needs, how much value they see in the service, and if they and the service provider are a match in terms of style, vibe, beliefs, etc.

For example, if you don’t see the value in a professional brand and website — you are never going to pay someone hundreds to thousands of dollars, no matter how much money you have to spend in your business — and guess what, that is totally OKAY! So my tip for you is to never do something that doesn’t feel right for your business just because you ‘think’ it’s what you are supposed to do.

Off the same example, if you DO see the value in a professional brand and website, the choice between designers should have little to do with price. The most expensive designer in the world may not deliver what you were hoping for simply because you two didn’t see eye to eye. The designer that is a little less money, isn’t going to deliver you shitty work, if you two totally click & hit it off.

Basically what I’m saying is to do your research before hiring someone. Stalk their work, digest all their content, shop around until you find someone that truly resonates with you. The investment you make is totally up to you and it should be based it off of the work & feeling you get from these professionals, rather than the price tag.

If there is a designer, photographer, coach that you are DYING to work with but they are a little out of your budget right now…SAVE UP! Put money away each month until you can go all in. Whether the investment is $500 or $5000 its still an investment and you want to be happy with it and have it be the best choice for the future of your business.

Cheers, Soul Sisters!

xo, Kat

March 25, 2021

The question of all questions….which website platform is best for me and my business? I’m here to break down the three that I’ve come across the most in my career as a brand & website designer, as well as some of my thoughts on each.

Not gunna lie, Showit is the GOAT. I may be biased towards it because it’s what I use to create all of my sites, but I love it for a reason. It’s a little tough to get used to at first, but once you get the hang of it, there’s no going back.

Showit was actually created for photographers so the platform automatically optimizes your images. This is huge because no one likes a site that takes forever to load or the images show up weird. You can also create beautiful galleries, layer images, easily resize images, change the shape of images, add videos, and more!

My favorite thing about Showit is that it’s SO customizable. Seriously though, if you dream it, chances are you (or your designer) can create it on Showit. I absolutely love creating websites on Showit because the backend basically mimics Adobe programs, which is what I do all of my design work in. I also love that you can “copy and paste” different canvases throughout your site, which makes it super easy to create a cohesive website.

Another amazing feature of Showit is that it allows you to create completely unique and mobile friendly designs — you can make changes solely to your mobile site that won’t reflect on the desktop and vice versa. This is one of my favorite features! When I previously worked on Squarespace, I would get so frustrated when my designs looked off on mobile, and with Showit I don’t have that problem anymore.

Lastly, Showit also allows you to add other elements like a WordPress blog and/or a small e-commerce store using Shopify Lite. These do create extra steps, which is one con, but it’s an extra step that is so worth it.

I could seriously go on and on and on about how much I love Showit (and no, I’m not sponsored by them, lol). It is my go to platform for creating beautiful websites for both myself and my clients. It has truly up-leveled the way I design websites and am so happy to have found it.

When it comes to Squarespace, I have a love, hate relationship. As a designer, I really don’t love designing in Squarespace because it limits me to what I can do creatively. There is very little customization ability and freedom to design whatever you want. I think this was their plan when creating the platform — they wanted to allow people to make quick and simple sites that look beautiful. I will design in Squarespace for clients, however, I do tell them that the customization abilities aren’t as they are in Showit.

Squarespace is great for the person who wants to DIY their own site, or the designer who is just dipping their toes into web design because it’s basically an all-in-one website platform. You can create a blog, e-commerce shop, email list, etc. without leaving Squarespace. So in that, it’s a great platform to use if you aren’t someone who wants to go to multiple places to do those things.

Lastly, let’s quick chat about Shopify. Shopify is what I use for solely product based businesses. Shopify was created to help people make e-commerce websites and they do not disappoint. The backend is amazing for tracking sales, fulfilling orders, adding products, everything you need to run a successful online store. There are also thousands of apps in their app store to help you grow your business. Shopify isn’t crazy customizable design wise, unless you know code or are an experienced designer, because their main focus is to help you sell product. And realistically, when you have an online shop, your main focus should be on the product rather than a super “designed” site.

Okay, so that’s my quick breakdown of Showit, Squarespace, and Shopify! I hope this helped you get a little bit of insight on why I choose the platforms I choose, as well as a few pros and cons of each!

Stay Wild, Soul Sister,
Katharine

January 28, 2021

Working with a professional brand and website designer is such an awesome experience and investment for your business. It is however, a lot of work for both you (the badass biz owner) AND the designer you decided to work with. To make the process more enjoyable for both parties, I decided it would be helpful to share some tips to keep in mind when working with a professional brand and website designer.

TIP #1: Understand What Branding Is

Before hiring out, it is important to understand what branding is. Branding is so much more than your logo or your website. It is your fonts, your photography, your copy, your colors, your website, your social media. And most importantly, it is how all these thing work as a whole.

TIP #2: Be Clear & Detailed From The Very Start

Here at Wild Soul Studio we ask you to fill out a very in depth questionnaire so we can get a good idea of your vision. The more information about your business & inspiration you provide in this step, the better we can understand your brand and what you are looking for.

TIP #3: Have An Open Mind & Trust Your Designer

I cannot stress this enough. Have an open mind! If you come into the branding process with a specific logo design in mind (ie: something you saw on Pinterest), you are going to be disappointed. It is 100% impossible to re-create a logo that you saw on Pinterest and it is going to look 100% different once you apply your business name. And…while were on this subject, why would you want to re-create someone else’s logo?! You should want your brand to be unique to you. So be very careful when scrolling through Pinterest to get inspo and don’t get stuck on one specific idea.

Also, when it comes to designing your new brand and/or website, your designer is doing things for a reason. We are thinking 10 steps ahead of just your logo. We are picturing how your branding is going to look on your website, your products, your storefront, your collateral items, etc. We are thinking about how all these things are going to work and flow together. It is so important to have an open mind and trust that your designer knows what they are doing. Take their advice when it comes to your new branding and/or website — you hired them for a reason, amirite?!

TIP #4: Respect The Process

Design is all about trial and error. It may take a few different drafts to get everything just right, so don’t freak out if you don’t particularly something you’re seeing in the initial designs. We provide a few rounds of edits for this very reason. However, it is important to keep in mind that there is a limitation on the amount of edits you get in per design project. This is simply to avoid all the back and fourth, which could ultimately lead to you changing your mind completely and having to go back to square one. Be prepared to really sit in your thoughts before making any decisions. Then, when you have made your decision — stick to it and give honest, clear, concise, and specific feedback.

TIP #5: Understand That Less Is More

Ill say it again….LESS IS MORE! A simple typeface logo does not mean we didn’t work our ass off to get it to look that way. Logos should be simple, they should be your business name and that’s it. Save the illustrations, icons, script accents, all the “fluff” for other elements in your branding. As I mentioned earlier, branding is how everything comes together and works together as a whole.

TIP #6: Don’t Try To Eliminate Deliverables To Save Money

Most designers have a base package that includes everything they believe you need to have a strong, cohesive brand. If you try to eliminate deliverables, you won’t be getting the full branding experience and that could lead to you feeling disappointed in the end result. Listen to your designer and trust that they have good reason behind what they include in their packages.

TIP #7: Have Everything Ready Before Your Project Starts

That means — brand photos, copy, your services/pricing, product photos/information (if you are product based). By being extra prepared, you allow the process to go smoothly and stay on the timeline provided by your designer. Not to mention it will be a lot less stressful for both parties.

TIP #8: Be Ready For Change

Changing your existing branding can be scary and we get that! But, it is our job to take your brand and elevate it so you can take your business to the next level. This could mean changing the things in your current branding that you may feel attached to — just know that change is a good thing and its going to be the best for your business in the long run.

TIP #9: Choose A Designer Who’s Style Aligns With Your Own

This is so so important. Every designer has their own unique style and it is important when choosing a designer, to choose one who has a similar style to your own. Stalk their Instagram, look through their past work, really get to know their style. Asking a designer to do something that is totally different from their style is like asking a traditional interior designer to design you a bright, bohemian home. It’s just not going to work for either of you.

I hope these tips are helpful and give you insight on what to expect when working with a professional brand & website designer!