How working for FREE transformed my business
The past 4 months my team and I have been been working on my favorite project to date… a full branding package and logo for a newly launched charity, Colin’s Joy Project. Colin’s Joy Project is a non-profit based in South Boston whose mission is to enhance play spaces and sponsor children and family programming for families in need.
It’s been emotional, humbling, and the most rewarding project I’ve ever been involved in. It’s given me the gift of using my talents for a greater good and has had a profound impact on my life in the short amount of time I’ve been involved on the project. I wanted to share a little bit about my connection to the charity, how our story began, and how this “logo design & website design” project has changed my life, in the hope that it inspires others to use their God given talents to give back.
In July of 2018, my cousin Emily called me in tears. One of her best friends, Kerri, had just lost her young son in a horrible accident and Emily was devastated. I had met Kerri numerous times and my heart broke thinking that this sharp, brilliant, funny, vibrant woman and her family had suffered such an unthinkable loss. In the weeks that followed, I distinctly remember feeling so personally impacted by the accident. I could not stop thinking about Colin, I talked about him with my husband and my team on a daily basis. I felt so helpless, I wanted to do something… but flowers or a card didn’t feel like a big enough gesture. How would flowers help this family cope with the loss of their precious son?
A few months later, my cousin Emily texted me and told me Kerri and Brendan were starting a charity to honor Colin and asked if we would be able to help them with a logo. My heart was so grateful that God had given my team and I the opportunity to help this family. I immediately replied, “DUH” and we agreed to donate a full branding package and website design to help get Colin’s Joy Project off the ground.
The following 4 months were filled with phone calls, tissues, and emails as we all worked together to create a branding package and logo that would help tell Colin’s story. I felt a tremendous amount of pressure to design a logo that encapsulated Colin’s personality. I wanted it to be personal, I wanted it to be authentic, but mostly I wanted his parents to look at that logo and smile. So we got to work… we took breaks when the emotions took over and we pushed together as a team.
Kerri, Brendan, and I had a very honest conversation about how we should design the logo: what shapes and colors we could use, and what message we wanted people to get from the image. They said their goal was that Colin’s life would touch others, so I asked if I could trace his handprint. I knew it was personal, but I wanted the logo to feel like Colin and in an incredible act of bravery, they said yes. Kerri, with so much grace and strength, pushed past the pain and took out the clay handprints they took of Colin’s sweet hands from the ER.
She sent me the scans and I got down to the task of tracing that precious little memory. I can honestly say, the 4 hours I spent tracing his hand were the hardest 4 hours of my career. I cried. I talked to Colin. I asked him to help me get this right, so I could present it to his parents with pride, and that sweet boy delivered.
The Colin’s Joy Project logo incorporates an exact tracing of Colin’s own hands as a symbol that he continues to touch the world around him. The orange and green colors of the logo were pulled from his very own artwork. The website uses photos of Colin on the playgrounds he loved so much and with his sister who was clearly the love of his life. Every part of this branding project was directly inspired by Colin’s life and my hope is that his legacy will live on through the incredible work Colin’s Joy Project does in his honor.
A couple weeks ago, The Boston news did an interview with Kerri and Brendan about Colin’s Joy Project. The logo and website Lauren and I worked so hard to create were all over that segment. I felt so proud to see that handprint on TV, but the moment that struck me was when Kerri smiled. We were able to give these grieving parents the tools they needed to present the charity they’ve created in Colin’s honor with pride. I’ve never been more grateful for my job than in that moment.
It’s funny to me to think that when this project started I thought we were helping them... But now I realize Colin and Colin’s Joy Project has given me more than I will ever be able to repay them for. I’ve learned the importance of service and the rewards of using your talents for things that are bigger than yourself. It has changed the way I view my own business and inspired me to use the platform @sipdinedesign has given me as a means to empower and inspire others.
So in the spirit of service, we launched a new blog series “Female Feature Friday” , which highlights female small business owners and shares their stories as a way to empower other women out there. And for all of the small business owners out there who are currently building their dreams, but may not have the budget for a marketing agency, we’ll be publishing resources and guides to help them grow their social media free of charge. Because if there’s anything we’ve learned this past quarter, it’s that collaboration, enthusiasm, and generosity cost you NOTHING, and make big waves. So I want to thank Colin for inspiring me to use my gifts for others and encourage y’all to do the same.
Get Invloved with Colin’s Joy Project
Bring Your Gifts to the Table
Do you have services or skills you’d like to donate to help Colin’s Joy Project on their mission to spread joy? Let me know about your business in the comments below, so I can connect you with the Colin’s Joy Project Team.