V SHOP Turns One!
 
 

I'm not really too sure what's going on in the photo above but, if my memory serves me correctly, I believe I was trying to take a cute picture and it ended up being an epic fail. I chose the photo above because it is clearly an outtake. It is not a perfectly posed photo and it is definitely not what I was going for. Much like how my first year in business has gone.

If I'm being completely honest, when I began this journey exactly one year ago, I was not "going for" what it has turned out to be. I did not think my products would be in retail stores, I did not think my products would be featured on television shows and blogs, and I certainly did not think it would be as successful as it has turned out to be. I am not saying that to be boastful, but seriously, I did not think it would be a successful company.

At the end of 2014 I was minding my own business and working full time at my first job out of design school. At that point my mom had been diagnosed with three cancers in four years. The Canadian Cancer Society has been such a significant part of our lives the past few years. Our family has participated in The Relay For Life for a few years now. I knew that this organization was something I wanted to be involved with more. During my mom's journey she had a handful of verses and songs that helped her through the really tough times. The lightbulb went off and I decided to create a collection of prints (The Journey Collection) to help encourage my mom and donate a portion of the proceeds to The Canadian Cancer Society. That was it. That was my business plan. Sell these ten prints and make my donations every month.

When I was registering my business and applying for my PST & GST number with Revenue Canada, I was speaking with an agent on the phone. He asked how much money I was expecting to make in my first year of business. "Uhhh... I don't know..." (Seriously, I hadn't even thought that far ahead!) "Maybe like $1,000?" I said. "Oh, okay Miss, a GST number won't be necessary for you then," he said with a giggle. I knew I had to make my company legit, but I also thought it would be more of a hobby/side business than anything else. That's why I wasn't anticipating much of an income from it.

Fast forward one month in business (April 2015) and I was already creating new products! Another lightbulb moment happened when I thought it might be fun to do notepads. The response was even better than the prints. Then I got a contact to print my graphics on mugs, also a good response! 

One day I was walking around Fort Langley with my best friend. We were going in the opposite direction and then my friend said "hey, let's check out that new store Bella & Wren! It looks so cute." We turned around and went in. I spotted some notepads in stock. Lightbulb. I walked right over to the lady behind the counter and said, "do you like local artists?" Her eyes lit up and said, "of course we do!". At this point in my head I was like, crap, what do I do now?! Then I collected my thoughts and said, "ok, well, here's my business card. I design prints, notepads, and mugs. Would you be interested?" The lady was so friendly and said, "definitely, come by sometime this week with your products and I'll have a look!" I thanked her and walked out feeling pretty good about myself. Then it hit me... crap!!! What did I just get myself into?! Being in the retail space never even crossed my mind. I was so unprepared. I didn't even know what the general protocol was with this type of thing. Now enter my business-savvy parents, who are both sales reps, and they filled me in on all the wholesale lingo. Thank goodness for parents, hey?! I quickly made up a mini catalogue with some pricing and photos and made some make-shift packaging bands to put around my notepads with my information on them. They did not look cute, but they got the job done. I went to meet with the owner that week and bam, she ordered on the spot! And the rest is history! I became more familiar with dealing with retailers, creating new products, and figuring out what was catching the eye of my customers. I began to absolutely LOVE being a small business owner. I was constantly coming up with new ideas and becoming more confident in my products. Once I got a taste of having my products being in retail, I was hooked! It's so much fun working with retailers and expanding my products into different areas. It's been such a fun part of my company!

Fast forward one year (TODAY!) and I have around 60 products in my shop, ten retailers (two outside of the province of BC!), an amazing bunch of followers on Instagram & Facebook who are so supportive and loving, connections with fellow small business owners, new friends, product collaborations, and features on some amazing platforms.

My intention with this post is not to wave around my first year of accomplishments. It is to be real about my whirlwind journey up until this point and hopefully encourage others who are wanting to dive in and follow their dreams, as clichΓ© as that sounds. Being a small business owner is seriously one of the most fulfilling jobs. I get to have personal relationships with my customers and it brings me SO much joy to see others using my products on the daily. It's easy to get the impression from Instagram that this whole year has been rainbows and dreams coming true. While yes, there have been times like that, it has also been one of the most challenging experiences. I have overcome so many fears through this all. I have been knocked down and rejected, I have felt self conscious and scared, and I have been super excited about a product and not have the same response in return. It's difficult to navigate this business. But it's the absolute best thing that has ever happened to me. I wake up every day excited to see what the day will bring. I have so many dreams and aspirations for this business. Something that I thought would just be a hobby is now becoming my career. I am so beyond excited to see what year two and BEYOND has in store!

A big thank you to all of my supporters. Everyone who has purchased something online or in stores, left encouraging comments on social media, sent emails, booked my design services for their companies, my lovely retailers, and more, I could not do this without YOU! I am so overwhelmed by the support and love from so many of you. I hope you'll all stick around for the ride and see what's next for Victoria Senges Design Co.

Join in on the celebrations with us until FRIDAY, MARCH 25 and receive 30% off your entire purchase using the code: VSHOPTURNSONE

 

Rings by: KV Bijou

Connect with us on Instagram!
@victoriasenges

 
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The Crossing | Logo Design

It's been a while since I have had the chance to blog! Life has been so crazy busy these days - but that is a good thing! I wanted to take the time to share that I recently became involved in a new church which is being planted by my best friend Taryn and her husband, Brent, alongside another awesome couple, Benton & Rebekah. When Taryn asked me to be apart of this new venture, I didn't even hesitate! I had attended one church for twenty years, and then I then came to a point where I wanted to branch out and see what else was out there. I found an awesome church but was struggling to get involved as I was merely attending every Sunday to be fed the word of God... which was awesome! But it left me feeling unfulfilled in the work of God.

It has been two months since the start of The Crossing's weekly gatherings, and it has been a great ride so far! We have an awesome community and it has been so great discovering who we are as The Crossing. We are so ready to dive into what God is calling us to do in the Morgan Crossing area of South Surrey. Anyone is welcome to attend on Sundays at 10:30am! If you are interested, please contact me for the address & details, or visit our Facebook page for some more info! 

The pastors also asked me to design a logo for the church! I was happy when they said they wanted to stick to black & white because... well you're on my website, you get it! Take a look at the finished product:


 
 

We are excited for this new adventure and we invite YOU! I get it, going to a new church, or just attending church in general, can be an intimidating thing. However, if you feel you are being called to step out of your comfort zone and attend The Crossing one Sunday, then get in contact with us! We would LOVE to see you there!!

 

What do you think of The Crossing's new logo? Let us know in the comments below!
Until next time,


 
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New Site Launch!

2016 has already started with a bang! I am very tired, very excited, very anxious... all of the emotions! January has been a month of catching up and preparing for this new site & product launch. I have had this vision of what I want my brand and my new site to look like, and I feel like I have achieved it with this new website. It's been an intense few days of putting it all together. I'm the type of person who keeps going until it's perfect. So naturally, I have been up past midnight most nights perfecting little details. I am so happy with the outcome, and I hope you are too!

Along with a new site, we have some NEW PRODUCTS for you to take a look at as well! I have had these final products since before Christmas, and it's been eating away at me not to be able to post them!! I've had to be patient and wait for product shots and the correct timing to launch them with the new site. They say some things are worth the wait! And this definitely was.

So, take a look around if you haven't already. Please let me know what you think of the new site. Any feedback or comments is more than welcome!

Until next time,


Connect with us on Instagram!
@victoriasenges

 
 
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V SHOP Holiday Collection | Sneak Peek

Our holiday collection has been in the works for months and we are SUPER excited to be showing you a sneak peek of what's to come!!

There will be four different categories - prints, notepads, greeting cards & gift tags. What you see below is one select piece from each category. 

 
 

It's been so much fun to create these pieces and prepare them for all of you. 

Our prints will be available in gold AND silver foil. Gold & Silver are both big parts of the holiday season, so it only made sense to make both available for purchase. Each print is carefully hand foiled to add that extra bit of charm.

Our notepads are versatile enough for you to purchase well before the holiday season begins, and to use into the new year. We decided not to go too "Christmasy" with this collection so that you can get the most use out of our products.

Our greeting cards are printed on the highest quality textured card stock which make them stand out from the rest. They come complete with a matching white envelope and are perfect to include with this year's holiday gifts.

Our gift tags have been so much fun to create. We knew that purchasing just one would not be enough for our gift-givers... so we decided to make them into packs of ten. Each pack comes complete with ten of the same gift tag with hand-cut string looped around each tag. Each tag has a fun design on the back to spruce up the ever-so-popular kraft wrapping paper.

As a small business, we find joy in personally designing, printing, and packaging all of our products. Each print is foiled by hand, each gift tag is looped with string, each card is paired with an envelope, and each notepad is packaged up with a magnet.

We hope that you choose to shop small this holiday season and support so many of the wonderful makers out there! 

Look out for the complete launch of our holiday collection on Tuesday, October 13th!

Let us know what you think of this sneak peek by leaving a comment below!
We love hearing your thoughts!

Keep up with us on Instagram to see what we are up to!
@victoriasenges

Company Branding | Trinity Floors

Wow! Another company branding project is complete! Sharon & Ed from Rug and Remnant Floors contacted me around the same time as Michelle from 604 Lifestyle Management did. If you missed our last post on the brand process of 604 Lifestyle Management, take a look here to see how it turned out!

Sharon & Ed Hiemstra are the owners of Trinity Floors. Trinity Floors is a commercial flooring business. They provide new commercial and residential flooring materials and installation to commercial building sites, warehouses and property management throughout the lower mainland. Sharon & Ed already run a successful retail store, Rug and Remnant Floors, and Trinity Floors is the commercial side of their business. Sharon contacted me looking to create a logo for Trinity Floors, as Rug and Remnant Floors already has an established brand. 

Some attributes that set Trinity Floors apart from their competition is that it is a family run business - we love hearing that! They also pride themselves on loyalty, honesty, and a vast knowledge of the flooring business. They will go above and beyond to fulfill the needs of their customers.

When asked what they were looking for in their logo, they stated that they wanted something classic with clean lines. The word strength was something that they wanted their logo to reflect. They also wanted to incorporate the colours black, white and maroon into their new logo. With this information, I created a mood board for them to make sure we were on the same page.

After the mood board was complete, I presented Sharon & Ed with some different logo options...

I really loved the colours they chose. The contrast between all three colours works so well together. I wanted to present them with a "coat of arms" option (3rd option) to reflect the fact that they are a family run business. After some back and forth on different possibilities, and refining one of the options, Sharon & Ed decided on the last option.



I am very pleased with the option they chose! I think that is represents strength and integrity... something that coincides very well with their business! It is also a very versatile logo that can be used well on business cards, a website, letterhead, and even invoicing. 

Now all that is left is to show off the final brand board! I am so glad to have worked with Sharon on this design process. She provided valuable feedback throughout the process. I wish them all the best!

What do you think of this company branding process? Make sure to let us know in the comments below!
We love to hear your feedback!

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