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5 things we've learned about starting our own business...

We’re coming up on Josephine’s Chocolate’s two year anniversary in July, and there are so many things we've learned about starting a small business!

Here are a few insights from a newbie small business owner.

On Brand

It's so important to identify and always work towards your branding goals. Your brand should be clear and consistent, but know that the brand can, and will, evolve with your company. When we started planning the business, we had one product related to Jane Austen, our Lizzy Cameo Brooch, and we knew that it was a luxury good. We didn’t know how to condense our business ideas into a brand image. The first step was to commission a custom logo, which helped clarify our brand identity. We looked at a huge selection of colours (getting your head around colour matching, meanings and psychology is a little daunting if you're unfamiliar with design!) before deciding on vintage blue - it was the colour of the background of our first cameo, evoking vintage charm and Jane Austen elegance - with a gold accent of luxury.

Our brand is always evolving as we develop more products, identify additional customer bases and define and refine our image. I keep in mind that many global companies periodically re-brand.

I'd highly recommend reading Alina Wheeler's Designing Brand Identity for insights and inspiration.

There are some great examples of before and after re-designs and case studies of well established brands, showing their progression and detailing their branding choices.


Always double the budget - marketing is expensive! We've been marketing on a shoe string budget since we started (yay for free email campaigning!), carefully choosing select publications to advertise in or events to go to. Mostly, we were testing the viability of different marketing avenues to see how much revenue can be generated from each source. Some don't