MY DEAREST CO FOUNDER CAROL CHAN TALKS BRAND STRATEGY AND SELF-CARE
MY DEAREST CO BRAND STRATEGIST, DESIGNER, AND FOUNDER CAROL CHAN DISCUSSES HER PROCESS INVOLVING HER BRAND STRATEGY WORK AND GIVES A LITTLE ADVICE ABOUT SELF-CARE
Credit: Carol Chan | IG: @mydearestco | My Dearest Co Founder Carol Chan
Affirm Noire| July 23, 2021
Entrepreneurship often is a goal for creative types. The term creator economy-- the independent businesses and side hustles launched by self-employed individuals who make money off of their knowledge, skills, or following--is a testament to this, especially as more and more bosses find themselves immersed into it. For brand strategist, designer, and founder of My Dearest Co, Carol Chan (she/her), entrepreneurship was a lane she didn't always believe she could navigate.
I want more BIPOC individuals to know that they can live in alignment with their calling and purpose. That their dreams are possible with the right support. I hope that me living this life can be a tangible example for others, and that through my work I can directly support entrepreneurs who are looking to unlock the next level of their business.
"Growing up, I didn't see many people who looked like me pursuing unconventional career paths," Carol shared in an interview with us. " I didn’t even know that I could ditch the 9-5 job and actually pursue my passion and make a living doing it."
However, Carol likely began building her entrepreneurial mindset at 12 years old when she taught herself how to use Photoshop. With years of experience as a brand strategist in the advertising industry in her professional arsenal, Carol bridged out as a solopreneur to launch her creative studio, My Dearest Co, in 2019.
"I came up with my My Dearest Co when I started thinking about what my superpowers were and who I wanted to serve in my work," she said. "When it came to my skill set," she continued, " I felt confident in my expertise in branding." "I’ve seen firsthand how game changing a good brand experience can be for a business," she remarked. "And in terms of who I wanted to help: I knew I wanted to work with entrepreneurs and creatives who have vibrant stories to tell and who want to have an impact on the world," she said.
Fast forward years later, and she's helping clients worldwide cultivate brands that are authentic to their company ambitions and audiences.
"My projects start with brand strategy work which starts with an in-depth session to learn about my client’s business, their vision for the future, and who they serve," she said regarding the first step in her process. "We also get at the core of why they exist and the big problem they’re trying to solve," she continued. "This is my favorite part of the process because I’m inviting my clients to dream big and to share more about the passion and purpose behind what they’re building!," she exclaimed.
After strategy is clear, she and her clients move into designing the brand. They focus on elements like logo work, visual patterns, and choosing color and type. During this phase, she feels in flow. She feels able to express herself creatively while pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.
However, her work doesn't stop there (as many entrepreneurs can attest to). When she's not working on tasks related to her client's projects, she's dedicating time to building her personal brand. She's also exploring opportunities for professional development. The life of an entrepreneur can get hectic. Luckily, with the promotion of self-care all over the internet, entrepreneurs are finding ways to prevent stress overload.
"Managing my mental health and creating space for self-care is still a work in progress," she admitted.
But by practicing discipline, Carol has begun to craft a self-care routine that works for her.
"I take my time making coffee and journaling because it's nice to ease into the hectic work day versus jumping right to my laptop when I wake up," she said of her routine. "When I was living in my apartment," she continued, "I had a Chemex where I made pour-over coffee. The slow ritual was really calming for me."
While Carol's business helps her feel more fulfilled, she still struggles with mental factors so many entrepreneurs are facing. Imposter syndrome, doubt, and fear.
When we asked her if she had any advice about self-care, she said:
"Self-care looks different for everyone. I think there's a perception that self care looks like bubble baths and putting on a robe, which sounds ah-mazing. But this is not always the most accessible, and it's not for everyone. Self care is literally anything that makes you feel cared for and loved. So whatever that might be for you, just make sure to carve out space and time for it. Self care isn't always a specific "thing" you do. Self care is also how you show up in the world and how you show up for yourself. One thing I'm working on a lot these days is setting clear boundaries with myself and with people around me. I'm also working on being more loving in how I speak and think about myself. Being cognizant of those things helps so I don't have to get to a place of burn out or negative thought spiral."
Being one's own boss can feel daunting and isolating. In times where imposter syndrome, fear, and doubt start to set in, it's important that business owners remember their reasons for starting their companies. This is something Carol aims to remember on her own journey.
"I want more BIPOC individuals to know that they can live in alignment with their calling and purpose. That their dreams are possible with the right support," she said. "I hope that me living this life can be a tangible example for others. That through my work I can directly support entrepreneurs who are looking to unlock the next level of their business," she continued.
And while being present is vital for anyone, looking forward to the future is just as important.
"My vision is to expand beyond strategy and design! I aspire to be a platform that provides resources, community, and accountability for small business owners and entrepreneurs.. I hope that the next generation can see that it is possible to pursue an “unconventional” path. It doesn’t have to be a “risky” decision.
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