This girl is one of my fellow Skillpop instructors, that's officially how we met! I took her 'How To Set Up Your Squarespace Class' a couple of months ago and instantly fell in love with her kind nature, approachable teaching style, and her brand. Mallory Musante is one of the co-founders of a fun, bright, and bold web design and branding company, Bold and Pop. From launching your business all the way to social media management, the ladies over at Bold and Pop have got you covered to help your brand stand out in the marketplace. Continue on to read more about Mallory and the story behind how the business was born.
J: Bold and Pop is a bubbly, innovative social media, branding, and graphic design company unlike any other I have seen. What is the Bold and Pop story in a nutshell?
M: Bold & Pop’s story actually starts several years back in New York City where my co-founder and I first met while working for a small boutique PR agency. The two of us composed the social media department and worked really close together for the next 3 years.
Fast-forward to that 3-year mark and it was clear that our department was in jeopardy (and eventually downsized laying me off first and then Anna left a few months after me). We both looked for new jobs but nothing stood out to either of us and we both had bigger plans on the direction we wanted our lives and careers to go in. This is when Anna and I started talking more about our futures and she brought up this concept of a collective of freelancers. From there I told her I thought it was a great idea and I’d be on board and Bold & Pop was born!
J: When you were in school, did branding and design stand out to you? Was it something you always wanted to do, or did that come much later?
M: I actually went to school for marketing so that was always something I was drawn to but doing branding and design wasn’t necessarily something I learned in school. Most of what I do at Bold & Pop is self-taught but I apply the principles I learned with my marketing degree.
I also started two consumer based companies prior to starting Bold & Pop which helped build my skills in branding, design, and marketing while also pointing me in the direction of my true passion of helping other business owners build their brands!
J: Working as an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart! What do you find, in your industry, is one of the biggest struggles you endure? How do you move past the difficulty?
M: Anna and I have been talking a lot about this lately! I’d say our biggest struggle is finding a balance between client work and our own marketing. Working in the creative industry, our influx of clients can vary and when we are tied down with client work, our own marketing often gets put on the backburner. Which as a result can have the feast or famine effect, which we know a lot of other business owners can relate to!
Because of this, we’re working on implementing more systems to help end this cycle and we’re actually really excited about this! We’ve found a project management system that will help provide us a clearer view of where each project is with a prioritize to-do list, set deadlines which will automatically reach out to clients if needed, etc. That way we can focus on the design and free up some time so we can focus on our own marketing as well!
J: I know a lot of small business owners feel overwhelmed by branding, website design, social media management, etc. What do you feel like are a couple of key things businesses need to focus on to sustain development and longevity?
M: Our biggest piece of advice to sustain development and longevity in your brand is consistency, which is a multi-level answer. First you want to make sure your branding is consistent throughout all your marketing. Everything from your website to business cards to your social media accounts and any other marketing materials. Keep your brand colors, imagery, voice, and any other branding elements consistent through it all! When someone in your audience sees any piece of your marketing, they should be able to recognize that it is your brand.
The second part of consistency is in your marketing strategy. Make sure you are regularly posting to your blog, social media accounts, in any Facebook groups you might be a part of, or anywhere else your target audience hangs out. This will also help people identify you as an expert and more easily recognize your brand if you are consistently popping up in front of them in a meaningful and purposeful way.
J: Given you work with so many industries, I’m sure you have to create authentic ideas for your clients. Where do you derive inspiration from usually?
M: We actually draw all our inspiration from our clients! We start each of our projects by having an introductory call so we can get a better idea of what each client is looking for. We spend some time getting to know them, their business, and the vision they have for their brand. After that we have them fill out a questionnaire to give us any other additional inspiration or information we didn’t cover in the call. From there we have a pretty good idea for the direction of the project.
We also often hop on brainstorming calls with each other to discuss client projects. We find talking everything through, especially if we’re having a creative block, is really helpful. On a daily basis, we’re saying how happy we are to have another brain to bounce ideas off of!
J: Is there a specific individual who has been monumental to your success? If so, who? And in what way?
M: 150% my business partner, Anna! I wouldn’t be where I am today without her. My other two businesses I did on my own and never thought I’d have a business partner but I was so wrong!
Not only do we have complimentary skills that make us a great match but also having that support from someone that understands how you feel and what you’re going through is crucial to success.
It also adds an accountability factor that I never had with my previous companies. I never realized how important that would be and if you don’t have an accountability partner, I highly suggest getting one!
J: We all have one book, blog, or podcast that we’d recommend to others as a “must” check out. What is that for you?
M: I’m all about podcasts right now and love “Being Boss” and “Pursuit with Purpose”. Both are hosted by some pretty awesome female entrepreneurs and pump me up every time I listen!
J: I find most people have a mantra or words that resonate with them. Do you have a motto you repeat to yourself daily?
M: It’s “Be a Fruit Loop in a world full of Cheerios” because it is a nice little reminder that we’re each unique and to embrace what makes us different. Life would be so boring if we were all the same!
I also secretly love this quote because it can translate into the design work that we do.
J: Do you have anything else you’d like to share with the readers and I?
M: If there is something you’ve been thinking about trying or doing, just take the leap and do it! There is probably never going to be the “perfect moment” to actually start. You just have to start. It will be tough and a little messy in the beginning but you never know what you are truly capable of until you just try!
And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen! Mallory and Anna will definitely help you take the internet by storm with your product or service! Aren't they fun? For more information, you can head over to their website or you can follow them on one of many social media platforms below:
Facebook Group (I love being a part of this group!)
PS. Mallory is also teaching another Instagram Workshop in Raleigh in a few weeks! If you want more insight into Instagram or help with navigating the app, this is a great class for that. You can sign up here.