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by Harmony Todd August 09, 2018
I started Old Soul Artisan in 2014. I had just finished graduate school and was spending a great deal of time reflecting on my future. I was in a mid-life, well actually late-20's, crisis. Frustration led me to return to my longtime hobby of candlemaking. After finding so much freedom of expression in the craft, something I realized I had been suppressing during my academic pursuits, a lightbulb moment convinced me to start a company. Initially, I sold my candles to friends and family and then eventually at a local farmers market. I opened an Etsy shop and the following year a shop on Handmade at Amazon. Since its formation, Old Soul Artisan has been a one-woman enterprise. I have poured my heart and soul into this company and I would like to share my journey represented through my company's branding evolution.
During my first year in business I commissioned my friend and amazing artist Claudia Olivos to create a custom dreamcatcher logo. It was perfect. The mandala-inspired dreamcatcher featured lotus flowers which were symbolic of purifying the soul and spiritual awakening- something I was finally able to do after seven long years in college.
In 2016 I felt the urge to change course. By this time I was really trying to build a successful business (not just a hobby) and realized how much of myself was being infused into the candles, from experience with the craft to my knowledge of blending fragrances. Selling items to make money was never the point of any of this. It was always far more personal. It needed to remain an artistic outlet or it would become just another job. I felt a disconnection between myself and my products. I realized my branding wasn't reflecting myself and I needed to make a change.
Blending oils into wondrous fragrances is nothing short of magical. In the fall of 2016, Old Soul Artisan took on a darker persona. The bright labels were replaced with tan and black. I hired a graphic designer I found on Etsy who created a brilliant new logo and label design. The new motto: "Simple ingredients. Magical products...It must be alchemy." I took immense inspiration from this path of viewing my candles as witchcraft in a jar. I learned just how powerful these aromatic potions were for mood and meditation. This is when my business really started to gain some traction. I honestly believe my customers could tell from my branding changes how much more genuine I was being as a business owner. I felt so much more fulfilled in my art and in life.
By my third year in business I was making a full-time income. I began to get more creative and introduced quite a few scents in darker fairytale and folklore themes that I found intriguing. Scents such as Snow Queen, Forbidden Fruit, Samhain, Krampus, Love Spell, Banshee, and Evil Queen. These scents were wildly popular! And thus, I began down the current path I'm traveling.
In 2017 I hired branding consultant Lela Barker from Lucky Break Consulting to help take my business to the next level. She worked with me to niche down my brand messaging into something that was distinctly mine and representative of myself as the maker and visionary of the company. The direction I had begun to navigate toward became clear. In early 2018 I hired the fabulously talented Riley Fouts who completely transformed Old Soul Artisan's product labels and photography into something I could have never imagined possible when I first started my company. The path that I began when I first launched my first fairytale inspired candle turned into a company entirely inspired by literature and folklore. As an avid reader and aspiring folklorist, there has never been a time when I've felt more confident in the artistic direction of my company.
The new branding includes new jars, new scent names, several totally new fragrances, higher quality labeling, a raven silhouette wax seal on the lids, new packaging design and printed materials.
In August, 2018 the new branding was released along with a website (finally!). Read more about Old Soul Artisan (and me) here and also check out the company's new manifesto. A very exciting addition to the company is a philanthropic program in which $1 from each website order is donated to support wolf conservation.
A very special thanks to everyone who has come along on this journey with me. Old Soul Artisan has a solid base of repeat customers and each one of them means the world to me because their support enables me to continue this fulfilling life of running this great little company.
To anyone who just stumbled across Old Soul Artisan, welcome to the dark side!
by Harmony Todd May 28, 2021