BRANDING & WEB DESIGNER FOR ENTREPRENEURS & SMALL BUSINESSES
So…you want the down and dirty about me, do you?
I get it. You want to know more about who you’re working with. You want to make sure I’m not a foreign spy (yes, I read too many spy thrillers) or a shyster who will take your money and run (what is it with those people? Wrong on so many levels.)
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m Kat Collins, Designer extraordinaire behind . . . wait for it . . . Kat Collins Design. SURPRISE!
Alright. Let’s get down to the dirt.
Alright. Let’s get down to the dirt.
First, let me tell you why I do what I do the way I do.
I didn’t intend to get into website design or branding. It kinda fell into my lap. I’ve designed websites off and on since around 2000. (Anyone remember Front Page? I shudder now.)
I’m an artist. I paint in acrylics or oil pastels mostly, but also draw in pen/pencil. Since a junior in high school, I’ve studied art in all forms. Got the degree that certified me (certifiably nuts, as my mom would imply. . . there’s some truth to the starving artist cliché). Then pursued a graduate degree in Art Therapy (in the simplest explanation, doing counseling with art as a modality to heal).
. . .
All the while, I worked for large corporate conglomerates and small mom and pop businesses. The corporate world sucked my soul bone-dry. So I quit that while in grad school. In the mom and pop world (mostly at wineries), because of the small scale of the businesses, as a Manager I wore multiple hats (anyone else been there?)
Janitor (yep, that too)
Social Media marketing
Hostess with the mostest
Educator and teacher
Sales (so fun for an introvert)
Sensing a theme?
Let me frank with you. Their websites sucked.
Customers always complained. Sales were low. Info was confusing and jumbled. Many looked like they were stuck in the ‘90’s. Since I was the one who had to manage it all (including the complaints - yeehaw), branding strategy & website designer became one of my roles.
I took it on with gusto. I love tech. Always have. I also love bringing the super power of a brand to life. And the chance to marry my art and design background with it all? Like eating a Hershey’s bar smothered in chocolate syrup over mint chocolate chip ice cream. In other words, def my jam.
So I revamped those websites, brought them into the current century with actual e-commerce tech, updated their brands and brand story, and launched them into the world with resounding success. Sales went up. Complaints went down. Employees were now proud to refer people to their website instead of pretending they didn’t have one.
I think I’m onto something here.
. . .
A PASSION WAS BORN
After working for too many other people, I decided to launch my entrepreneurial dream of riding the world of poorly designed, cookie-cutter, coma-inducing websites and brands. I just couldn’t take it anymore!
I mean, come on…let’s do something with this!
You’ve got an awesome business, let’s design a badass brand and website to match it! Make it your best marketing partner you’ve ever had.
So I put on my cape and here I am!
Now for the quick, real down and dirty about me
I’m a Pittsburgh Steelers & Penn State football fan (Don’t hold it against me)
I have two male cats, 3 years old who like to think they’re my assistants (if you count stealing pens, paper, headphones, laying on keyboards, etc. as helpful)
I’m a #booknerd - You’ll often find me reading political and spy thrillers, assassin thrillers, literary fiction, and self-help business books.
I’m an INFP, introvert who can be extroverted when needed but then need quiet time to recharge
Ice cream is my kryptonite
I’m a pen klepto (should I really admit that?)
I have an office supply fetish
I’m happily married for several years and counting (gotta give kudos to the wifey)
LET’S TALK VALUES
. . .
Being authentic means staying true to who you are, what you do, and who you serve. Clients want the “human part” of your business. Not just the pretty dressing or the sales-speak. I believe that authenticity is a key ingredient in running a successful business and leading a great team.
I'm incredibly empathic, an INFP, and super intuitive but also logical, analytical, and can see the bigger vision of your brand story. I pride myself on being able to build a genuine connection with you, find the clarity and authenticity in your brand message to create a website that perfectly reflects your business’ values and unique personality. In turn, allowing you to organically attract more of your ideal customers. It’s all about the connection, baby.
Every website I build includes Squarespace training to ensure you’re able to run and update your new website all by yourself. I believe in empowering you to be able to manage your website yourself without having to pay someone to do it for you. Whether you're tech-savvy or an online novice, I can tailor my support to your needs. Once your site is launched, you'll also benefit from post-launch assistance from me, a screen recording of our handover Zoom session for you to keep and refer back to, plus Squarespace has amazing 24/7 online customer support should you ever need a hand. (Seriously, those guys are brilliant.)
I’m an artist. Creativity is in my blood. Your brand and website demands to stand out from the crowd. You’re not like everyone else so why try to be like everyone else? Websites should have an intuitive design, easy to navigate to create the ultimate website visitor experience. Your awesomeness will shine! I believe in white space, modern, clean, and inviting design. I’m not about following the latest design trends just for the sake of it. It should stand the test of time. I firmly believe that: Your website should be your hardest working employee.
Remember the quote above? Authenticity is my core. Say what you mean and do what you say. Be real. Be human. Be respectful. Be honest. But above all, be completely YOU - in life and in business. That's how I operate and I expect the same in return.