Learning to Authentically Grow Your Business with Novel's Brand Lab
On May 31 in St. Louis, Missouri, more than forty entrepreneurs came together at Novel’s headquarters for an in-depth workshop on brand messaging, photography, social media, audience building, PR and more. We drew from our long, beloved list of successful entrepreneurs in various industries to create a full-day of panel discussions, break-out groups and one-on-one education opportunities for local small business owners.
After the event, we sat down with Brand Lab Co-founder, Brandi Wills to chat about the event and future plans for the lab.
We mentioned that you are the Co-founder of Brand Lab, but you are also the Director of Hum Creative. Tell us a bit more about that.
Brandi Wills: Hum Creative is a branding and marketing consultancy that I founded in Brooklyn, NY, and recently relocated to St. Louis. Hum Creative has helped brands such as Rent the Runway, Naturalizer, Confluence Kombucha and Guerrilla Street Food shape their identities, tell their stories, and connect with their audiences.
Brand Lab was a full day of interesting conversation and packed with valuable education for entrepreneurs, makers and creatives. Are there plans to do other events like this in the future?
Brandi Wills: We hope to grow Brand Lab into an annual event that creates opportunities for growing brands to explore, connect with allies and partners, and move closer to their vision for success. We're exploring various ways to participate beyond the main event, including networking salons, virtual tickets and digital learning modules.
Can you share a bit more about how Brand Lab is structured?
Brandi Wills: Brand Lab is an all-day seminar made up of workshops, lectures and panel discussions. Attendees claim their seats for the day and a main stage plays host to a rotating agenda of entrepreneurs, creatives, doers, makers, and more sharing their stories, tips, exercises, and expertise in various forms.
What are a couple of takeaways that surprised you? Or, what were a couple of things that happened at the event that people may not have expected?
Brandi Wills: We were very lucky to have an impressive roster of speakers this year. While we expected their expertise to be of value, they shared more deeply and intimately about the entrepreneurial experience than we could have hoped for. Their wins and losses, their work-life balance, their insights on rapidly changing digital platforms, etc. The size of the crowd allowed for real-life, one-on-one questions and answers that small business owners and creatives need to know in order to navigate what it truly takes to be a successful entrepreneur.
We were also impressed with the caliber and camaraderie of the attendees. We all know the value of networking, but this group had people at all stages in their businesses who were helping each other develop ideas, make connections, and find the breakthroughs they needed. I know a few businesses have created strong relationships out of attending Brand Lab, and that's the best outcome we could have asked for.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the list for the next Brand Lab event.
Photos by Amy Kuntz.