125 – Industry: Phyllis on Branding and Michele Hofherr on Previously Owned by a Gay Man
On this episode of The Chaise Lounge, Nick chats with industry partner Phyllis Harbinger about branding and email messaging and Michele Hofherr about her business around curating unique items and the story behind the name Previously Owned by a Gay Man.
Checking in with Phyllis on Branding
Phyllis recommends consistent messaging across all platforms even down to your email signature. An email signature is the block at the bottom of your emails that often includes contact information, social icon links, and your company logo. Phyllis also mentioned that including your photo can help people feel like they already know you.
Phyllis also cited that 72% of consumers want to hear from you via email rather than any other method of communication. So, how much is too much in your signature? If you are telling an entire store, include product information, or irrelevant quotes, you may want to consider simplifying the content.
Beyond your email signature, there are other branding components to consider, like your actual email address and logo design. As far as the email address goes, using “@gmail.com,” “@yahoo.com,” etc is a mistake, rather use your company name. This not only supports your brand, but makes you look more professional. A well designed logo can make all of the difference as well. Phyllis and Nick recommend services like Hatchwise and 99Designs. These are both cost effective ways to have a third party skilled designer create a logo for you.
Phyllis recommends finding creative and useful ways to use your logo too. She added her logo to a tote bag to give clients to keep their samples in. They also discussed handmade and personalized gifts for clients, always keeping consistency in colors, logos, and fonts in mind. In closing, take a look at the brands you know, love, and trust. What can you learn from them?
Send Phyllis an email to get in touch and learn more!
Getting to know Michele Hofherr and Previously Owned by a Gay Man
Michele Hofherr is a straight woman married to a straight man. She loves black handbags, Montecito, CA, and red wine. She isn’t a private person, so nothing is off limits; she even admits to loving guilty pleasure, binge-worthy TV.
What the business looks like today
Previously Owned by a Gay Man is a peer to peer marketplace that curates furniture through individuals. Michele and team curte unique items and the individuals list on the website. These items don’t have to be owned by a gay man. It’s about the essence of a gay man, not the literal interpretation.
The name came from the true origin of the idea. It articulates what it was that inspired them. Michele’s gay friends would move constantly, and would have extra items. They gave the items away often to people who didn’t fully appreciate them. While Ebay and Craigslist fill a niche, there is a segment who find those avenues overwhelming.
The business has been up and running for three years. Michele runs the front end. She’s the creative idea person. Her business partner, Lindsay runs the back end, with a focus on technology. Lindsay has never been into design personally.
There are now at least 1000 items listed on the site. The goal is to remain very curated and not too large. Michele wants to prevent the overwhelming feeling that other marketplace sites possess. She wants to have a revolving door of great stuff.
As mentioned prior, Previously Owned by a Gay Man is a peer to peer marketplace. Individuals list their own items and warehouse them, while Previously Owned by a Gay Man facilitates shipping, which is paid for by the buyer. Geoffrey De Sousa, Chief Curator, is a design aficionado with an objective point of view. Everything submitted goes through him.
Learn more at Previously Owned by a Gay Man’s website.
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