Welcome to Beehive Green
Welcome to Beehive Green, a one-woman boutique branding and design studio, based in leafy Hertfordshire, England. This new blog marks the final step in the launch of my studio.
My design business has evolved dramatically from when I first became an independent designer, so it's great to complete the rebranding process I started early last year. To celebrate, I’m writing this post to share my story.
It’s important to trust people you collaborate with. I understand that! So, here you can get to know me – Andrea Boughton – the consultant, graphic designer and brand stylist behind the studio.
MEET THE DESIGNER
Hi, I’m Andrea. Pleased to meet you! I founded Beehive Green last year, but have actually been a designer for almost two decades. During that time I've helped many businesses make their mark in the world – from individual start-ups to some of the biggest well-known brands.
As an accomplished designer, I recognise the return on investment a meaningful, well-thought out and professionally executed design strategy can achieve.
I believe design investment is an essential part of any successful business plan. But effective design is about far more than just a stylish look. To be successful, design must also be functional and of strategic value to make a positive business impact.
The wealth of experience I've accumulated over the years enables me to offer consultancy, support and strategy, as well as creativity. All this is included in Beehive Green's design service – for every single client that I collaborate with.
My supportive approach is reassuring for clients. Especially those who haven't worked with a designer before – which is often the case for the entrepeneurs and small businesses I work with. Clients appreciate guidance and advice. After all, that’s why you hire a professional! And I believe in sharing my expertise to make the power of design accessible to everyone.
My goal with Beehive Green is to close the design gap that is often evident between small businesses and big brands. I'll help you understand the business benefits of good design and show you its commercial value. After all, I’m sure you’ve heard the saying... good design is good business.
BRANDING AND DESIGN SERVICES
Personally, I’m drawn towards simplicity in life. Less is more. In fact, the words of Leonardo da Vinci – simplicity is the ultimate sophistication – sum up my feelings perfectly. And this is reflected in my signature style.
My designs are simple, functional and timeless, focusing on clean lines and a minimalist feel. I consider these qualities important to a strong brand identity too. Some of my clients are successfully using logos that I created over five years ago, proving that functional, enduring design is a good business investment.
Tip: before hiring a creative, do ensure their aesthetic style resonates with you, because design is very subjective. Each designer will interpret a project differently.
As you can see on my website, my niche is logo and brand identity design. I love collaborating with ambitious small business owners. Effective design helps communicate the value of what your brand offers, enabling you to gain credibility, grow and thrive. Your success is important to me!
I like to delve deep and really get to know the people I work with, their business and their aims. This, in turn, enables me to create design solutions that are both meaningful and effective. Collaboration is key; a great client and designer partnership helps achieve the perfect blend of creative excellence and commercial success.
But I don’t just develop a brand identity then stop. That’s not my style – I like to ensure future projects match the branding vision I’ve established and continue the high-quality standard of design.
By extending my service to support ongoing design needs, I fill the role of an in-house designer for clients as well. Small businesses generally don’t have the budget to employ a designer, so it’s ideal to have me on hand. I love continuing the relationships and clients trust my understanding of their business. It’s a win-win!
As I’ve covered my current status, now seems like a good time to rewind and share a bit about my background, as well as tell you why I decided to start up my own design studio.
Let’s start at the beginning...
I’ve always been artistic. I grew up with a love of drawing, reading and writing, so am delighted I’ve been able to follow my passion with a creative career. I graduated with a graphic design degree in 1998 and have been a professional designer ever since. A childhood wish come true!
I started out in design, fresh from university, working in publishing roles (in one of which I also met my husband, but that’s another story!). After cutting my teeth as an in-house magazine designer, I spent eight years as a senior designer and account manager in one of London’s leading creative communication agencies.
There, I learned first hand the value of branding, collaborating with many well-known brands – Eurostar, Sainsbury’s, London Underground and Princes’ Trust – to name just a few. I embraced the buzz of agency life (you just can't beat working in London) and my affinity with branding design thrived. In this role I was proud to become an award-winning designer too! I art directed several publications that were finalists and winners at prestigious UK award events, including PR Week awards and Communicators in Business awards.
However, after years of gaining professional experience working for others, I started a family and found my priorities changed. I loved being creative, but didn’t want to miss a moment while my children were growing up.
The daily commute into London and being out from 7am to 7pm (at least!) really didn’t align with my idea of parenting. Despite my commitment to design, I knew that I didn’t want to compromise family life.
I realised that design agencies generally weren’t a flexible working environment for parents like me. Part-time options, with shorter hours or working selected days, were a big no-no. The ethos was not to work smart and efficiently; instead, long hours were viewed as an indication of dedication. It’s not all doom and gloom though! This was ten years ago – today the benefits of flexible working are increasingly recognised by employers and positive steps are being taken by many industries.
However back then, inspired by a love for design and a desire to work directly with clients one-on-one, I made the decision to start working independently. That leap gave me the flexibility not only to do what I love, but also to be at home with my two children.
I soon started taking on small design jobs. As connecting with my community is important to me, I also took on a voluntary role designing for a local charity which helped further raise my design profile (a role I still hold to this day). Freelancing is very different to being employed, with its own challenges. But before I knew it, I was accepting repeat business and referrals – a real compliment.
DESIGN STUDIO LAUNCH
In 2017, I took my aspirations to the next level with the launch of Beehive Green. I am very open – my motivation was to create a business that inspires me and is adaptable to family lifestyle. But I do have serious ambitions. I offer a premium design service and my aim is to give clients an amazing experience that exceeds their expectations.
My design agency background has been an amazing influence on how Beehive Green operates, guiding me to set extremely high all-round standards, for service as well as creativity. I’ve found that small businesses, who I now partner with, are delighted by my considered design approach and eye for detail. They know they can rely on me. I’ve earned a reputation of trust.
I should point out, my design studio core working hours are now 9am to 3pm, because this fits with my children’s school hours. I’m proud to share this. Limited hours make me far more focused. As I’m upfront and honest about how I work, my clients respect it.
While life as a business owner and mum is both a challenge and balancing act, it's very rewarding too. I am extremely grateful for the career opportunities that have brought me to where I am today. And thankful to the amazing clients that have trusted me to be a part of their story over recent years.
My children are growing up fast (my daughter is 10 and son is 8), but I still love the freedom of being my own boss. I certainly wouldn’t have it any other way! I can organise my work schedule to spend precious time with my children in the school holidays, and simple things like that mean the world.
By reading this, I hope you have got to know a little bit more about me and my motivation. I look forward to sharing more with you along the way. I am so excited about what the future holds and can't wait to get started collaborating with new clients.
And if you’re looking for a fresh new visual brand identity or you've outgrown your current branding, please do keep Beehive Green in mind. I’d love to hear from you and help you grow your business!