If you run a creative business having a strong visual brand is simply essential. It makes the difference between your content connecting with your dream clients or aimlessly floating away into the vast social media void.
That’s why is so excited to share my chat with branding maven Rachelle Saevil, the creative director behind Saevil Row.
I first came across Rachelle’s dreamy insta feed whilst she was living in Paris (Fun fact: We first met offline during my time living in Paree) and have had the pleasure of becoming great business friends since.
Discover Rachelle’s tips for how to create a strong visual brand, her incredibly chic studio, reflections on expat life, working remotely and a few of her Sydney favourites.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and what brought you to Sydney?
I'm Rachelle and I'm the Creative Director of Saevil Row. We specialise in creating beautiful lifestyle brands both on and offline. Our client base spans internationally with clients in Canada, USA, Europe and Australia. Moving to Sydney was a small piece of a grand life change, which started in Paris after moving there from Toronto in 2014. I've been in Sydney since 2016 and it's been a great growth experience both personally and professionally.
How did living in Paris impact upon your business?
Paris was a huge turning point for me, because I went into it with zero expectations, but a desire to do big things. I was able to create the space to start Saevil Row and that's really where it all began! My background is in Advertising + Graphic Design, so it was a natural step in the right direction and one that I'm so grateful I chose!
What’s a ‘typical’ day (across multiple time zones) in the studio like?
I'm usually up and ready to start the day around 6:30am... I feel like that's socially acceptable to be taking calls with my clients in North America - ha! I try to get into the office before 9:00am and my day is usually booked back to back with either creative time on client projects or meetings and reviewing projects from our team. No two days are ever the same, which I love because it keeps things fresh all the time! I'll always make sure I'm out of the office usually around 4:00pm and that's when I'll fit in a workout and come home to make dinner for my partner and I.
Your studio space is seriously chic and dreamy! How has it been settling into the space?
I absolutely LOVE my office, it's a total dream and super inspiring. I totally believe I manifested it, because the moment I stepped foot into the space, I would think about it every day until I got a call that there was an availability with my name on it! It's also so great to have the separation of home/office, which is important for a proper life balance.
You sure know how to design beautiful brands. What do you consider when starting a new project?
Creating something meaningful for businesses is one of the reasons I love what I do. It's all about understanding the client's pain points and being able to carve out a direction and vision for them to take on, once we're done creating their brand.
We always start with a strategy session and questionnaire to ensure we're setting our clients up for success. Then the magic happens!
What are the elements of a scroll-stopping brand?
When it comes to brands making a statement on social, consistency wins every time.
Knowing when/how to use your brand assets and elements will help keep your feed looking super cohesive and "on brand". Then it's about creating guidelines about what you post, ensuring it's following the same look and feel of your brand. Creating a mood board can really help with this, if you're ever feeling stuck on what your brand 'should' look like!
What impact has professional photography had on your business?
One of the biggest investments anyone can make in their business is investing in professional photography. Just as you want your brand and business to be taken seriously, especially in a crowded marketplace, having clear, professional photos makes the world of a difference. For me, it's helped capture who my brand is, so that I can clearly communicate that to my audience. It also allows you to achieve that scroll-stopping image we just touched on.
What’s your advice for people preparing for a branding photo shoot?
Preparing for a branded shoot is almost as important as the shoot itself! I usually outline exactly what I'm looking for, the time I'm working with and go from there. If I'm doing a 3 hour shoot, I try to have 3-5 outfits already planned, a couple different locations/settings and a whole bunch of props! A mood board of poses or situations really helps to achieve the look and helps to keep things on schedule.
Do you have a dream client or project?
I'd love to brand a coffee shop from start to finish! Maybe I have a slight addiction to caffeine, but it's one I'd love to add to our portfolio!
What are you most proud of to date?
Growing my business to function remotely, regardless of where I am! Since I'm not from Australia, but my partner is, I travel often and I'm not bound by one particular location.
Is there a piece of advice that you wish you were given when you were first starting out?
Oh goodness, it's hard to pick just one! "Fear is your invite to growth". There were so many times in my life where I hadn't made big decisions for comfort over courage... because I feared it not working out. I really believe that if you have an idea or a dream to do something, write it down so that it becomes a goal and work back ways to make it happen!
Rachelle’s Sydney Favourites:
Coffee / Tea Place: Celsius
Restaurant: Tequila Mockingbird
View of the city: Point Piper at night is a gorgeous view!
Way to spend a Sunday: This will soon change because we've recently got a new pup! But I love early brekkies, casual strolls, a pilates class and then hanging out at home and making a healthy dinner with a glass of red wine.