Oaklyn Studio – Interview with Hannah Robinson

The dynamic duo at Oaklyn Studio designed Musée Studio’s logo and designed parts of the website as well.  We interviewed Hannah Robinson, branding expert and graphic designer, and she will be sharing about who they are and give advice on how your brand stand out from the crowd.

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Can you tell us a little bit about Oaklyn Studio and how it got started?
Oaklyn Studio first started as a branding studio under my own name (Hannah Robinson Design). I decided to quit working as a Graphic Designer and start my own business after experiencing a bit of corporate burn out. I felt like I wasn’t making a difference, but was merely a tool. It was scary, but through the encouragement of my husband I decided to go for it. The first year was full of a lot of faith and divine intervention, but I came out learning so much and realizing that passions and dreams exist for a reason, and they aren’t to be overlooked. That’s why we are now working towards expanding Oaklyn Studio to include my husband as a web developer. In the next year we hope to be able to have it as our only source of income.

If you could go back in time and share with your teenage self a piece of advice, what would you tell her?
If I could go back, I would tell myself that self-belief is the most powerful asset to changing your life. Self-confidence in my craft is something that I’m still working on, but it has increased dramatically over the past year. If I had been too scared to believe in myself, I know that Oaklyn would have never gotten off the ground. And if I had believed in myself earlier on, I know that I would be further along than I am today.

The path to entrepreneurship is often filled with bumps along the road, what was one of your bumps and how did you overcome it?
It really is a rollercoaster. One of the hardest things is staying sane during the trials. Projects won’t always go perfectly, results won’t always be good, and clients won’t always book. If you don’t have someone you can talk with that truly understands, it’s easy to start dwelling on things that are better left forgotten. One of the most impactful things to happen for my business was finding a group of other creatives that have similar businesses. Being able to share, support, and encourage one another has been my trump card for overcoming those bumps.

In your opinion, what do you think is the most important element that makes a brand stand apart from the rest?
Being authentic. I feel like in today’s age it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of comparison. We are constantly looking to others online for the way we should do things. Because of this, a lot of brands don’t feel impactful. I think the most important thing about small businesses is the people who run them and HOW they run them. It’s how THEY do what they do, not how others in their industry are doing it. Creating a brand that reflects their personal taste and business style, ultimately helps the brand feel more confident and stand apart from others.

What do you think all successful businesses/companies have in common?
A passion to serve. Putting our energy into popularity or income is fleeting. That’s why I feel that loving others and serving them is the definition of a successful business.

What’s a piece of advice you have to business owners seeking to hire a designer for the first time?
Pay attention to their style, and most importantly, personality. There are so many really wonderful designers out there, that the options could be overwhelming. Follow a few accounts that have a style that you like, whatever that may be, and then pay attention to their personality. Branding is a long and thoughtful process. There will be a lot of feedback and emails exchanged, so making sure you get along with their business sense and personality is really important.

 

Photography by:  Musée Studios

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