Why I Chose To Refresh My Style Vita + 5 Questions To Answer When Defining Your Brand

Why I Chose To Refresh My Style Vita

Things look a little new around here don’t they? If not (that’s all thanks to caches) just hold down your SHIFT key and hit your refresh button and voila!

This month will be 8 years of blogging over here at My Style Vita. I still can’t believe that I started this little ‘ol thing while sitting on my couch one night not having a clue what a blog was. I signed up for my domain (that yes, I still hate but haven’t thought of anything better) and created a blog on Blogger. Through the course of 8 years, I had several hideous templates and looks. Logos that were just tragic and content that didn’t really resonate with me or my readers. It was all a learning curve but either way, I’ve still loved every second of it.

latte coffee and pastry

About 3 years ago I finally spent a little money with Lindsay Humes to create a fresh logo, update my website a bit and come up with colors. It was the closest thing to branding I had ever done. But really wasn’t anything crazy. We never took a deep dive into WHO I AM. The last few years I’ve really been experimenting with the content I’m writing. From pulling a bit away from fashion and focusing a little more on personal posts, and creating more helpful articles on style, skincare, beauty and more. This space has definitely changed over the years and I finally like where it’s heading. And I really hope you do too.

Still, to its core, I have always felt and wanted My Style Vita to feel like you’re coming over to a friend’s house.

To simply chat about your favorite shopping finds, your skincare, the best eyeliner you just found and having it feel honest, fun and casual. As the blogger behind MSV, I always want you the reader, who are looking for unfussy ways to elevate their everyday life, to come and be inspired. I can only hope that these space make it feel as if we’re best friends, sharing their tips and tricks for decor, travel, food and style.

No matter what it is from fun cocktails to putting together a Thanksgiving buffet, or even just throwing on jeans and a tee, nothing here is every fussy or complicated. It’s always inspiring that also feels attainable and in the end, makes you look and feel more put together in an effortless way.

Jessica Camerata is sharing 5 branding questions to ask yourself.

My vision is to bring casual, effortless style and life tips to the everyday woman.

I realized though after blogging for nearly 8 years that I couldn’t articulate this very well on my own. The word “effortless” and “elevated” seemed to always come up though when I would describe “my brand”. I’m definitely a no fuss kinda gal but always like to be put together in a sense. But not too much of course, because that wouldn’t be me either. It’s that inbetween that I like to fall in that always seems to feel elevated but also effortless at the same time.

While I stewed on getting a big new website and spending thousands (yes many bloggers spend $4,000+ on websites and custom work) I knew I had to do SOMETHING. I was sick of my old logo, I didn’t have a direction, and I couldn’t answer the fundamental question “what do you blog about”.


Forget a big fancy site, not being able to define yourself and your brand in a confident way was truly the core of my problem.


After thinking about a full redesign and polling you, the reader, I decided this wasn’t worth it. Instead, I’d rather invest in a brand identity so I can have a clear focus of who I am alongside a brand vibe and look that matches. Plus, a fresh new theme from the amazing women behind Empress Themes that’s perfect, beautiful and under $100.

I reached out to Emily of Amavi Studio. She’s based right here in Atlanta and it was great to be able to connect with her in person. We quickly got started on brainstorming and figuring out what exactly I was trying to portray with My Style Vita. After a big brand questionnaire and digesting my content, Emily at Amavi Studio came back with the most incredible vision. But first, let’s chat about how you even get to this point and what goes into it.

Five Branding Questions To Ask Yourself

Jessica is wearing a white tee and jeans

Before I even hired Emily at Amavi Studio to assist in this project, I first wanted to brainstorm on my own as I was in a position to possibly change my blog name. I’ve despised it forever, it’s just what we all do after 8 years usually. So I enlisted the help of my best friend who works in marketing and product branding for her company. We sat down and did a big word mapping session. Word mapping is a fairly common brainstorm strategy and we gathered lots of paper, some pens and sat at our favorite restaurant, Superica, to brainstorm for SEVERAL hours.

Word mapping is truly the basis and beginning of defining your brand. Many of the things my friend and I went over were also the exact same questions Emily asked me. This made me feel like I was finally honing in. I finally was starting to formulate a “who am I”. I never did come up with a new name, instead we used a tagline in the logo to help evoke the emotion and feelings I want my readers to feel when they’re reading My Style Vita. Here’s how to do it.

1. What are the emotional words that define my brand?

These would include feelings you want to evoke as your brand. For me a lot of the emotional words I wanted my readers to feel when they were reading my blog was honesty, happy and inspired. This is obviously a happy place where I share fashion, beauty, decor and beyond. But I also wanted it to be an honest space. You all know I won’t just sugar coat things and I can be very blunt and honest, that’s just me. I also want my readers to leave here feeling inspired like they can accomplish or recreate the things they just read about.

2. What are the functional words of my brand?

Functional words are ones that describe what you want your brand to be. More practical and direct, and helps to describe what it is your brand does. For My Style Vita, I wanted my brand to function as an honest, attainable and relatable space.

3. What are words or adjectives that describe you and your brand?

These are slightly different than the emotional ones, as they describe your content, your images, your entire brand. For me, these words included relatable, cool, effortless, elevated, casual, attainable and informative.

4. What are words or adjectives that DON’T describe you and your brand?

I think it’s just as important to hone in on what you are even down to what you ARE NOT. When I answered this question, a lot of the words were ones that translated easily to fashion. I learned right then and there that I shouldn’t even be sharing styles, or pieces that fall into these categories. It isn’t “on brand” and my reader will be confused.

For example, I’m definitely not preppy or overly girly. I don’t do vintage style, and I’m not some super bubbly happy person. Which all leads me back to who I am in fact, which is more honest, down to earth, feminine, but not super girly. Fashion-y, but not really crazy obsessed with a specific genre. This makes looking at brand projects that much easier. I won’t take on partnerships that won’t align here and coming up with the DO NOT list helps a lot with that.

5. What Problem Are You Solving For Your Reader

This was hands down the hardest for me. Not because I didn’t know what I want to solve, but I think we tend to pigeon hole ourselves in a single little niche. Which is TOTALLY FINE and honestly can be easier! This usually means something like “budget fashion” or “preppy style” or “keto cooking” or “makeup blogger”. It can be limiting, and for someone like me who wants to share lots of content over lots of content verticals like fashion, beauty, decor, I had to solve a problem that made sense in all of those categories.

That part, isn’t easy.

You can’t just slap on a niche like “bargain shopping” to those and it works. I had to really figure out what I was doing with all my content verticals for my readers. I had to finally be able to answer “what do you blog about” in a short, concise few sentences like an elevator pitch. Finally, Amavi Studio helped put this all into wonderful beautiful words. More on that below…But my solution is always to provide practical tips that readers can easily apply for a more put-together and elevated everyday.

Now that you’ve done some word mapping, you can start to pull the pieces together (or apart) and develop a true brand identity. After all of this, Emily of Amavi Studio was able to create a more clear vision, brand identity and definition for me. Not only in words, but also in a color palette, a logo, taglines and submarks. A complete, cohesive brand from start to finish.


What Went Into Creating The My Style Vita Brand

Once we figured out all of the words, who I am and also shared a Pinterest inspiration board with Amavi Studio of what felt like me, she was ready to move forward with the complete package. Here’s how it went.

First Up, Colors & Inspiration

She first sent over a vision board of my style, my vibe, the feelings and moods My Style Vita should encompass. Amavi Studio also included a general brand color palette for me to review. This is what she came up with. The colors are muted and grounded with a touch of femininity with the rouge. The navy, one I refused to get rid of, has been refreshed and updated. I was honestly a little nervous to try something new for the navy, but I love it. And the “brass” perfectly compliments it all. The brand vision board is a compilation of all my favorite things. Denim, brass, deep rich hues like hunter greens and navy and of course, a touch of feminine with the pinks and blushes.

Colors & inspiration for a brand identity.
Brand Inspiration by My Style Vita

Next Comes Logos!

I loved that Amavi Studio put meaning and emotion behind every detail of the logo. The logo is designed to look effortless but yet put together. It is filled with perfectly imperfect details, just as every day life is. When looking at the logo concepts and color palette, it felt so spot on. Here are all the logos, submarks, tag lines and icons that you’ll now be seeing across all of My Style Vita. From Instagram Stories to blog posts and beyond.

Logo ideas for My Style Vita

Lastly, The Brand Identity

Defining the brand on paper, in words, was the part that really made it all feel complete for me. It was the hardest thing I couldn’t figure out my own in a short brief sentence or two. Of course, Emily nailed it.

The brand essence for My Style Vita is the idea of bringing practical tips to my audience’s every day life. Tips that they can easily tackle and makes their life feel just a tad more ‘put-together’.

This brand essence works from making that fun cocktail for friends to styling your neutral couch to finally putting up that gallery wall. It even works for styling your work pants for drinks after work, or how to find your best denim that makes you look and feel good. I always want to provide practical tips that will help to elevate your everyday.

You’ll never see me in a ballgown, you won’t ever see me sharing a 20 step recipe and you most definitely won’t see me in the craziest wildest trend of the moment. It’s just not practical for me and doesn’t work for an effortless everyday.


The new look and flow of the website will also hopefully allow you to digest more content that you may have missed in the past, or may want to revisit. A content-rich homepage is full of various content verticals from my favorite beauty posts, decor, recipes and more. You can still browse easily with my navigation as everything is organized easily by category. Go on, enjoy, read, comment and stay a while. And don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter that’s been revamped too for more personal and exclusive content.

So welcome to the new My Style Vita. Where posts are written with the intention that I hope you leave inspired. That we’re really just Internet friends chatting about life, and our favorite finds so you can feel a tad more put together easily!

Photos by Hannah Michelle

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Leave a Comment

18 Comments

  1. Congrats, it’s beautiful!

    xx
    Cathy, your Poor Little It Girl
    https://poorlittleitgirl.com

    Posted 4.8.19 Reply
  2. Emily Edwards wrote:

    I love the new look of your website and that you shared the intentionality of it. Congratulations!

    Posted 4.8.19 Reply
  3. Ashlee wrote:

    The new site and branding looks great! Love the colors and the logo(s)!

    Ashlee | http://www.ashleehightower.com

    Posted 4.8.19 Reply
  4. Oh my gosh, Jess! It looks great – I love the colors and the different logos/submarks. SO YOU and so well done!

    Posted 4.8.19 Reply
  5. Lisa Autumn wrote:

    It’s such a beautiful website! Well done!

    x Lisa | lisaautumn.com

    Posted 4.8.19 Reply
  6. Maureen wrote:

    Congratulations on the new look of My Style Vita! It’s beautiful and I love reading the story behind it.

    Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com

    Posted 4.8.19 Reply
  7. Shari wrote:

    Congrats on the development of your brand! It’s so inspiring all of the work that you put into it, and I’m excited to see your focused content speak to my everyday lifestyle!

    Posted 4.9.19 Reply
    • Jessica wrote:

      Yes thank you!

      Posted 4.9.19 Reply
    • Kate K wrote:

      Absolutely love it! The colors, logos and overall design are perfect!

      Posted 4.9.19 Reply
  8. Whitney wrote:

    Love the new look and how you shared the meaning behind it all!

    xx
    Whitney

    https://www.fashionandfreckles.com/

    Posted 4.9.19 Reply
  9. This is SO fun to read as a blogger! I love seeing the process of working and crafting on a personalized logo for your brand. You’ve been blogging for over 8 years, that’s impressive! It’s crazy to see the blogging industry continuously evolve over time, right?

    Xo Amanda || http://www.affordablebyamanda.com

    Posted 5.3.19 Reply
    • Jessica wrote:

      It’s changed so much but I’ve loved being a part of it. Thanks for reading!

      Posted 5.3.19 Reply