This is the fourth in a series of interviews with smart people who are crafting a business. Part friendly chat, part case-study, all helpfulness!
If you know someone I should interview (even you!) let me know.
Today I’m talking to Danielle of WhiteHotTruth. While her business isn't crafty in the make-a-craft-sense, it is entirely handmade, built from scratch and filled to the brim her brightly shining Daneille-ness.
I was delighted to ask Danielle a few questions after devouring her Fire Starter Sessions book. That book (and the thinking and scribbling it provoked) directly led to this site and my favoritist, love-filled part of my own business.
You combine the visual + the verbal beautifully in your notecards and in your truisms: how did you develop your sense of design?
It gets down to this: strip it down. I haven't always been a champion of simplicity, but I got there, because I got clear that it's all about the message, baby. And judging from your next question (I peeked ahead) you get that too!
Your eye, your style, the layout of everything from notecards to FireStarter Sessions to your website all reflect and highlight the meaning, the message.
And at the same time, it reinforces your brand. Do you think of it as branding? Or something else?
Whenever someone asks me about ‘how I built my brand' I giggle inside. So, nope, I don't think of it as branding…but it is. Confusing? My quick definition of a brand is a persona. Some personas are manufactured for appeal, some personas are a reflection of someone's authentic self. The latter is more sustainable, and fun.
I've got a message, and I focus on being straightforward about it…usually in Helvetica and black & white.
The exercise I found most powerful in the FireStarter Sessions was figuring out what I wanted to feel and then work on bringing those feelings into my work in whatever way I can. It sparks all sorts of crazy ideas and new directions.
How did you discover this method of decision-making?
So glad that worked for you because it's the focus of my next book. It's been a long journey to finally getting to the heart of it: that everything we do is in order the generate a desired feeling. The short answer about how I got there: take years of faking it to make it, too many new age self help books, a heaping does of passion, meditation, and consistent courage, et voila! Conclusion: the best life strategy is to get clear on exactly how you want to feel and set about creating those feelings in every area of your life. Feels…good.
What do you want to feel more of right now?
I always want to feel more innovative, affluent, connected, and…divinely feminine.
I say ‘no, thank you' about 80% of the time. I work with some A+ people, so I can focus on what I do best. I pay attention to when I feel inspired, or heavy – and I try not to let heavy get on my to do list. Inspiration is a very simple, but powerful formula.
My favorite bits of Danielle-wisdom:
- “Strip it down.”
- “Inspiration is a very simple, but powerful formula.”