Honest Alchemy is a sustainable textile and accessory design company that creates products for a discerning, worldwide audience.
Handmade by Philadelphia-based artist Elizabeth McTear, each piece is meticulously dyed according to ancient shibori techniques. It’s a fascinating, yet labor–intensive process that commands much of Beth’s time. Small Wonder plays a supporting role in Beth’s flourishing business by saving her time and fostering growth. This support allows Beth to get back to doing what she does best: designing textiles.
Curious what a typical year working with Small Wonder looks like? Follow our 2014 journey below.
Holiday Gift Guide
Come December, we we're in the throws of the most important retail season of the year. To capitalize on this crucial month for retailers, we focused her hours on all tasks that would focus on direct sales: a tailored Honest Alchemy Gift Guide and product email campaigns.
Honest Alchemy holiday gift guides were promoted on social media and email campaigns with direct links to products in her online store to encourage sales.
Holiday Marketing Collateral
Holiday Email Campaign
With holiday season around the corner, we shifted gears from developing Honest Alchemy's wholesale line to focus on the upcoming retail shopping season. First order of business: writing and designing an email campaign highlighting latest products, upcoming holiday markets, and latest company news.
This email campaign received an incredible open rate of 61% -- the industry average is 16.5%.
Honest Alchemy x Cuttalossa Hangtags
In addition to developing an email campaign, we designed Honest Alchemy a hangtag for her collaboration with another one of our clients, Cuttalossa.
SS '15 Lookbook
Since the fashion industry typically works two seasons ahead, in the fall we set out to shoot Honest Alchemy's Spring/Summer 2015 collection. In shooting her lookbook, it was decided that a model should be utilized to showcase the collection's wearability and range of styling options for chic, everyday looks. In executing the shoot, we pulled clothing from a local wardrobe stylist, styling her clothing with pieces from the Honest Alchemy collection. Pieces like scarves can be worn in such a myriad of ways, so it was key to highlight their versatility in styling each unique look. Post-shoot, images were retouched and use in a variety of applications including social media, marketing collateral, and email campaigns.
Natural Dye Booklet | Press Kit
To supplement the wholesale catalogue we designed for Honest Alchemy, we wanted to make Beth an educational booklet for her press kit that would inform potential stockists about her labor-intensive, yet fascinating process. To educate potential retailers about the process, we included background information about the history of natural dyeing and instructions for making their own dye bath. To glean this content, we interviewed Beth about her process for several different types of natural dyes and wrote informative copy. The copy was accompanied by hand-drawn illustrations of the plants used in the natural dye process.
JULY + AUGUST
In anticipation for the wholesale interest Honest Alchemy would receive in the upcoming trade show season, we set out to make Beth a compelling wholesale catalogue to give to potential stockists. First up: a new wave of product photography to highlight the new styles Beth had been developing for her line. In shooting the catalogue, we wanted to mix detailed product photos with images of the item in a styled environment, plus a styled flat lay of her line for new Honest Alchemy postcards.
After the photos were edited, we began the task of collecting the rest of the content: writing copy, cross-referencing pricing, editing product descriptions. With the content together, it was a matter of designing and laying out the catalogue in line with the Honest Alchemy brand standards. After Beth signed off on the calendar, we sourced a printer for her special project and managed the printing process--hand delivering the catalogues to her in time for an important craft show.
Beth's experience and personality is key to the success of the Honest Alchemy brand. Her audience knows and trusts her because her values are the values of Honest Alchemy: responsibly sourced, high quality, handmade products using techniques that date back to the twelfth century. Capturing Beth in her environment, getting her hands dirty whilst dyeing her products is essential to this message.
The Anthropologie Order
APRIL + MAY
With the Honesty Alchemy brand complete, we shifted gears to the logistics of preparing Honest Alchemy’s Anthropologie order. There were hangtags to be ordered, labels to be designed, textile testing laboratories to be researched, and care instructions to be made! Combing through the copious amounts of manuals, versing ourselves with the URBN vendor systems, creating packing lists and invoices — all the tedious, time–consuming logistics every maker has to go through to organize their wholesale transaction. While taking on these tasks, we enabled Honest Alchemy to get back to doing what they do best.
With our help, Honest Alchemy supplied Anthropologie with 350 organic, handmade scarves
Photography and Marketing Materials
MARCH - APRIL
There’s nothing like showing your audience exactly who you are and what you do. Photography is the way to do this in the most transparent way.
Beth was keen to have us photograph the intricacy and industry which her work involves. Honest Alchemy’s handmade products are the definition of honesty. Time, skill and artistry define Beth’s work; all we had to do was photograph what was in front of us.
In addition to the photo shoot, we also created a new postcard with the updated Honest Alchemy branding. It was important that we create marketing collateral like this postcard as soon as possible to help Beth gear up for the busy market season ahead.
JANUARY - FEBRUARY
Honest Alchemy produce American made, handcrafted, environmentally conscious products for a discerning, worldwide audience. Most Honest Alchemy products are hand dyed using eight–hundred year old techniques, vats of bacteria left for the right lengths of time produce the beautiful results each piece has instilled in its fibres.
It’s a simple, adaptable and honest brand, the strength of which is in their process: take beautiful, natural, responsibly–sourced materials and the time to produce spectacular products using a genuinely organic process. Honest Alchemy are proud to be ‘of the earth’ and to bind the qualities of their craft into every one of their products.
‘Process’ was the fulcrum of our work. Time and pressure led us to the geological comparison we used to define the simple, iconic and mysterious mark. It represents the natural process of material through two forms, marked by the slice through the iceberg/volcano; water into ice and magma into rock, respectively. It's the mark we would have produced eight–hundred years ago and it's no less relevant today.
To provide a nod to the handmade qualities of Honest Alchemy‘s work, the logotype is derived from the Proxima Nova typeface.
It’s important to realize consumers access information in unpredictable ways using a plethora of devices whilst expecting a consistent experience irrespective of their preference. We need to be prepared to satisfy users expectation without sacrificing our brand. This means we have to be adaptable. Below is the logo we’ll present to our audience when we have size limitations.
By limiting the Honest Alchemy palette we’re strengthening their message. We’re not obstaining from color, we’re focusing the brand around a simple application of form and color derived from natural pigments.