*Featured on Studiopress
Natural Hair Salon & Make-up Artistry
Copywriting + Tagline
About the Project
Natural hair is nothing new. Hair icons like Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, Grace Jones, etc. adorned the hair that grew naturally from their scalp with pride. In the last decade or so, there’s been an influx of African-American women returning to their roots. In the hair business, this means transitioning from relaxed hair to one’s natural state. While mainstream is now recognizing the power + beauty of natural hair, Owner + Master Natural Hair Stylist, Simone Little knew all along the magnetism of natural hair. Her niche was clear: focus on naturalistas. Six years ago when she started Simone’s Styles, we designed her first website & branding campaign, which immediately set her apart from similarly styled businesses.
In 2016, Simone’s Styles underwent a drastic salon transformation that was as significant as returning to one’s roots. When she approached us again to rebrand her beauty business, she desired a new brand identity that was “edgy with a feminine flair and lots of gold dust”. We were challenged to create a brand identity that was “rooted” in what the Simone’s Styles brand was all about: beautiful, healthy natural hair for the everyday woman. While elevating her brand to showcase her creativity, expertise and expansion into make-up artistry and speaking, we wanted to make sure her brand didn’t damage its roots.
Simone’s Styles is deeply rooted in personal customer service that began during its time as a mobile styling business. Even though the salon has expanded, it’s focus is still on cultivating customer confidence through healthy hair. The brand caters to the everyday woman who embrace their natural hair and want to show the uniqueness and versatility of it. Simone’s Styles didn’t want to forget this connection with the loyal customers who already adored them, while elevating its brand identity and asserting its place as an expert. Woven into the fabric of the business is the outgoing + down-to-earth personality of Simone. She wanted to make sure her business kept its comfortable atmosphere even though her business is growing & rebranding.
When Simone’s Styles approached us to refine and mature its current brand identity, they invited us to collaborate on their visual brainstorming. We had a huge job ahead of us to sift through over 50 visuals collected by Simone that inspired her brand – from gold flowers to colorful beads. In thinking of how to connect the inspiration for this Maryland salon, we recalled the brand adjectives that Simone shared with us (“edgy with a feminine flair and lots of gold dust”). Ultimately, the beautiful still by Annabelle Breakey (above) set the tone for Simone’s lux & opulent rebrand. To embody this directive, we made sure that we gathered inspiration that was rich, unconventional and fantasy-like. In that way, we could expand that specific directive into an array of consistent treatment of typefaces, textiles and colors.
It’s exciting when clients trust us to create their entire vision – from brand coaching to photography, etc. Not only did Simone feel confident we could execute her vision perfectly, but she allowed Owner, Toni Patterson, be a part of her fantasy photo shoot. We even consulted with Simone on the interior design of her new salon space! This project is a perfect example of what happens when a business owner truly IS their brand.
Disclaimer: We are not photographers! But, we do work with fresh + bright talent to shoot our diverse clients. Working with Monbisous Photography, we created the fantasy/woodland shoot for Simone’s Styles. Simone didn’t want the classic salon headshot photos but she wanted to see her natural hairstyles and sultry makeup in action coming to life on her clients, including our very own Toni Patterson.
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We developed a rich combination of colors for Simone’s Styles that was striking & bold. Once we started reviewing the Simone’s Styles inspiration board, it was easy to see the pattern developing among the images. There were different shades of purples, blues and gold on the inspiration board where we ultimately chose a complimentary combo. The inspiration board also included stunning photos of fairies, fantasy styled models, Indian weddings and henna, which helped hone the exact color numbers and graphic language.
Typefaces play an integral role in the visual direction of a brand identity. They will extend your brand and reinforce your brand tone and message. After thumbing through our font arsenal, we chose a combo that was feminine & regal and conveyed the maturity of the Simone’s Styles brand. To play up the “gold dust” direction, we integrated an opulent gold-ish bronze textile into one of the typefaces.
Unless you’re starting a new business, it’s important that a redesigned logo be reminiscent of a the previous logo. You’ll want your target audience to still recognize your business. (Think Starbucks, FedEx and GAP logo refinements). While we created a new logo for Simone’s Styles, we didn’t want to stray too far away from the previous logo so we kept the simplicity of the current logo while transitioning it into a more “grown up” and refined look.
Business cards are literally a business’s calling card. We wanted to ensure that the Simone’s Styles business cards epitomized the lux simplicity of her hairstyles & her new brand identity. Using black as the backbone of her business cards, we created a custom trellis background with the monogram as the center. On the other side, we added the beautiful header image used on the home page to connect the owner to her new brand identity.
Since its rebrand wrapped up a few months ago, Simone’s Styles has appeared in “Nappy is Happy”, a natural hair documentary focusing on the acceptance and joy of natural hair, remained booked for months in advance and relaunched its YouTube channel. Simone’s Styles also has plans to become a certified makeup artist within the next few months.
Simone exclaimed, “I had no reservations about working with SMG. I’ve worked with them in the past and you delivered! So when I was ready for a fresh look I knew they would be able to capture my vision. I enjoyed the fact that even though my ideas were hard to translate on a website, SMG captured it beautifully! I want my clients to be confident in booking my services. The website is the first step to that. I know they will want to book me and take me seriously after viewing the information and details SMG put into my website. I can’t think of one thing I’d change. Appointments are booked months in advance and the make-up side of my business is getting a boost too. SMG definitely had a lot to do with that! Thanks!”