In today’s article, you’ll hear from branding expert and CEO of CHAR Co, Char Newswanger. Char shares her story with beauty and inspiration of her journey of launching a branding business, helpful tips of how she inspires the creative professionals that she works with, and how branding can help your organization fulfill its mission. If you want to learn more about branding for your church or small business, check out the CHAR Co weekly blog and take the next step towards building a great brand story by filling out the questionnaire on their website!
When did you launch CHAR co and what inspired you to do so?
CHAR co started in 2010 as a photography business. I was incredibly passionate about learning my craft and showing others their beauty and light with a photo. There was nothing I loved more than somebody’s eyes lighting up when they saw who they were mirrored back with a photo. Bright, beautiful eyes and authentic posing became my signature style. After several years, two employees joined CHAR co, a studio manager and a stylist. This allowed our service to become high-end including a personal stylist and a unique photo experience for each client. Several years farther along the journey, we did a pivot and moved into the Branding industry. We were passionate about the opportunities this gave us to develop a comprehensive service partnering with other businesses. Today instead of a camera, we use brand strategy to mirror back and define an organization’s authentic identity and light. We care deeply about the work we do and consider it an honor to be invited into businesses and organization’s journey. Much like life, business is a journey ever evolving and shifting.
What is one of the most important things that you learned along the way in your journey?
It is easy to feel rushed and to always be hustling in fear of getting behind. Good things take time, intention, and focus. Hustle may be needed for a season but it’s not sustainable or effective in the long term. Do some soul work to clarify the vision for the future, take thoughtful steps in that direction, hold the vision loosely, and trust the process.
Describe how you find inspiration or how you inspire your team.
I believe we desperately need each other. The energy in a room is beautiful and powerful when there’s a group of people sitting around a table, dreaming, strategizing, and creating. The air is palpable with possibilities. I find inspiration for myself and with my team by creating space for inspiration to flow and move.
What role do you see branding playing in churches specifically?
A brand defines the essence and soul of a church or organization. It is the blueprint of how they create a unique experience, connect with others, and fulfill their mission. Unity and effective communication is essential for vibrant synergetic experiences. A brand defines the many intangible elements that are incredibly powerful when engaging with people; whether that is staff, members, or community. People are drawn to a clear messaging, an intentional experience, and a powerful culture. A brand serves as the blueprint for this.
What keeps you going each day, and how can that inspire other creatives who fight discouragement and frustrations?
Take a step back and look at the big picture. Remember, our dreams and visions were placed there for a purpose. Our work is to lean in, find support, and follow our joy. We are partners with God’s divine creative spirit. It flows through us with power and life. We are created for holy creative work. Whether we are an entrepreneur, a teacher, an artist, a business leader, a pastor, or an investor; God’s creative spirit flows through us with vibrance and power. We are partners with God and our work impacts many. We have a brilliant purpose to fulfill!