Finding Our Feet

amber quettan

July 31, 2022

July 31, 2022

startup life

The beginning of Made in July's journey.

Maybe you heard about us through a friend. Maybe you’re a client looking for out-of-this-world solutions to your creative needs. Maybe you’re sitting there wondering: what exactly did they make in July?

We're glad you asked.

A creative name for a creative team.

We started Made in July a little over a year ago. As with many origin stories, we came to be when a need and an opportunity crossed paths 🤝. Hello, serendipitous moment!

In May of 2021, a potential client reached out to MJ and explained exactly what they were looking for in an agency - dedicated, collaborative, experienced players who could provide insightful creative ideas across a variety of platforms.

MJ saw the opportunity and knew of Alain’s creative expertise and capabilities. At a spur-of-the-moment meet-up, MJ asked Alain if he wanted in on this adventure, and the answer was a resounding, “Yes!”

As two friends who had already successfully worked together at Orange Umbrella, we knew our partnership made sense.

We were excited. Uncertain, yet hopeful. We had a vision, and soon after, we solidified our service offerings.

The last piece of the puzzle? Finding a name that was special to us.

Enter, Made in July 🌅.

Coined by MJ years ago, the name represents who we are together. Like a summer sunset, we’re all about blending fresh thinking and collaboration to create work our clients are excited about. Our name is the ultimate expression of being unique and memorable, yet relatable and easy-going.

We hoped for the best, but prepped for the worst.

In keeping with the reality of big dreams, we started our business in small steps.

Our first project was for national residential development company, Forestar. They asked us to pitch the branding for a new community. It was a type of project we admittedly weren’t well-versed in. We thought to ourselves, "Is it common for developers to use creative agencies to brand their communities?"

In the end, the answer didn't matter.

It was our forceful ambition coupled with our healthy understanding of failure that led to our success on that first project.

What we lacked in experience, we made up for in skill, preparation, and eagerness to turn the industry on its head.

Our process was key.

How do you design a brand identity for a residential development? What considerations need to be made for its logo? What sounds do neighborhoods make? What is the HEX code of a marigold?

Collaborating on Marigold Meadows had us answer even stranger questions than these.

We were undoubtedly in uncharted territory. But what did we do? We put one foot in front of the other.

We went back to the fundamentals of a brand identity, even thinking back to the founding of Made in July:

  • use research to generate strategic insights
  • rely on moodboards to lay a creative foundation
  • lean into collaborative ideation at every stage
  • embrace old fashioned trial and error

We went through the steps, made some mistakes, learned from them, and then put together our first client-facing deck. All of our planning and behind-the-scenes work finally took center stage. Our creative fruits were ripe for the picking.

Presenting our first (yes, our very first) round of branding ideas to the client, we heard a string of words we honestly were not expecting to hear:

“We love these, you’re hired!”

What a fantastic feeling. We learned a valuable lesson then. Well, we actually learned several:

  1. The right time to start is now. You’ll never get this moment back.  
  2. Maintain open lines of communication - both internally and externally.
  3. Every “no” sets you up for your next “yes.” A healthy expectation for and understanding of failure is key to walking the path to running a successful, profitable business.

And while we didn’t exactly win every single grand prize on our first go-round, we had a vision and brought it life. Not the client’s vision - ours. We prepared for anything the client might throw at us, trusted in our skills as professional, creative problem-solvers, and maintained a healthy realization that we didn’t have to be the next big thing right away.

We carried that ambitious spirit and balanced outlook with us over into our next project. And then the next.

What started as an idea flourished into a strategy-based, problem-solving machine - one that’s got win after win under its belt, with many more ahead.

Where to next?

Our journey is just getting started. From brand identities for Central Texas communities to expanding our service offerings, big things are around the bend for Made in July.

The great news is that each project we complete helps to build our client base and our capabilities. With only a year and a few months behind us, we know great things are ahead.

Want to be part of what we do next? Drop us a note! Or follow us on Instagram or LinkedIn to see what we're up to.