Anatomy of a Rebrand, The Wrap-Up

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life58 Comments

During my first two months of working with Big Deal Branding we didn’t even touch on logo or website design. Not a word about either. It was all about exploring my business and me. Who was I? What did I love to do? What did I totally not love to do? What were my biggest problems and obstacles? What were my core values? What was my best strategy? What bottle of wine would I take to a deserted island? (Okay, I added that one in, but they would have totally asked me that.)

We explored my strengths and my weaknesses, set goals and worked to refine the core message of the CZ Design Brand. And I’ll tell you what: it was pretty cool and a little scary.

Taking the crap out of scrapbooking wasn’t going to just be a quippy line anymore. It was going to inform how I wrote, how I designed, and how I ran my business.

I do not live a Pinterest-worthy dream life but I love the life I am fortunate enough to live. Life for me is gloriously messy, full of faults and therapy and missteps. My life IS part of my business. That’s how it plays out when you work as a memory keeping professional.

Big Deal spent a lot of time helping me hone in on this and basically slapping me on the wrist every time I started to say, “But, but…I want people to like me!”

Moving into the logo and site design phase truly felt secondary once we had the guts of my business nailed down. And it flowed very easily because of the work we had done on the front, idealogical end.

As a graphic designer, it’s always been a thorn in my side, this idea of coming up with a logo and a visual identity that I truly love. I have one now and it’s been really fun watching it come to life as I slowly start to apply it to all areas of my business.

And that brings us to the here and now.


My goal with this site and my business is to be real and fun and offer you expert ideas and designs to document your life with style, fun and ease. It also now includes cardmaking, which I am personally having way too much fun with.

Your life doesn’t have to be a Pinterest dream either in order to be documented well.

Own your life, document it well and preserve reality. That’s the motto, people. I’m sticking by it.

For many readers, your experience here shouldn’t change all that much, unless it’s just to be slightly more awesome than it was before.

I hope to write more in the future about the business of blogging and how I keep this humble but mighty ship afloat in a sea of internet awesomeness.

If there’s one thing I’m learning it’s that there is a lot of crazy cool stuff out there in the online world and I need to remember the stuff I do best and, you know, do it.

Welcome to the new I hope you’ll come back to visit often. I’ll be here doing my thang.

Find Part 1 here.

Find Part 2 here.

Find Part 3 here.







Cathy ZielskeAnatomy of a Rebrand, The Wrap-Up

58 Comments on “Anatomy of a Rebrand, The Wrap-Up”

  1. #1

    Hi Cathy – love your story. Love your work. Love your sense of humor. Long time fan and cannot wait for the rest of the story. Enough said!

  2. #4

    Just. Plain. Freaking. Awesome.

    Love the redesign and I love that you shared your story of going from point a to point b. I’ve been with you since the beginning and the REAL you is why I keep coming back for more. Love how you share the good , the bad AND the ugly. There would be a great big empty spot in my day without you!

  3. #5

    Hi Cathy, here’s to you. ☕️ I’ve appreciated the honest writing and photos and wish you the best. ((Being as it’s 6:00 a.m. PST, I’m cheering you with coffee). At 5 it will be wine

    1. #5.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Hey Angela, do you mean like little arrows that push you forward or backward on a post? I’m not sure. There are still things i’m trying to sort out with my developer. Let me know!

      1. #5.1.1
        Angela H.

        Yep! Arrows — that’s the word I couldn’t think of earlier! Also, thanks for the update on feedly — working great now!

      2. #5.1.2
        Cathy Zielske

        I know if you are on the main Blog page, each post shows a little, and READ MORE, and at the bottom is a navigation to let you go forward or backward in the post order. Let me know if that helps!

        1. #

          Hi Cathy, I was wondering the same thing as Angela. I see the navigation at the bottom of the main blog page, but I was wondering, once I click read more, is there a way to click to the next or previous blog post from there (rather than going back to the main blog page). I miss just scrolling down your blog, and reading each post without clicking back and forth. Other than that, love the new site and more importantly what you stand for and what you provide your readers. Thanks so much! 🙂

          1. #…
            Cathy Zielske

            Hey Kirsten, I understand now, I think, what you both mean. On the old blog, it was just a straight scroll through. But the way this one is set up, you click to a post, but then have to go back to the main blog page to get to other posts.

            Part of the set up of specific pages is so I can have more flexibility going forward with adding other pages etc. I’m sorry for the inconvenience. 🙂

  4. #6
    Angela H.

    Love the look of the new site, and love hearing about how it happened. Good luck with the feedly issue — that’s what got me over here to catch up, since I can’t get you into my feed yet. 😉 Is there a chance you’ll add a “newer post”/”older post” link within your posts in the future for those of us reading several in a row? Thanks!

  5. #8

    I loved this site before the whole re-branding thing went down and I still love it now. Congrats!

  6. #9

    Congrats on going through this whole thing and making it out alive!! Can’t remember how long I have been coming and reading all the things you have to say… Thanks for sharing your life… And promoting “real”… (I get rather frustrated with the ones with the perfect marriage, kids, pets…). And thanks for taking us on your journey.

  7. #10

    ” it’s just to be slightly more awesome than it was before.” – my new motto. Thank you for being you and slightly more awesome than before. You rock.

  8. #11
    Maegan B.

    Your website looks amazing. It makes me want to give mine a facelift too. What company did you use to help you move your content? I’ve had issues with that every time I’ve made a change and I should probably have someone who actually knows what they are doing help me. I don’t think my husband can take much more.

  9. #13

    “Your life doesn’t have to be a Pinterest dream either in order to be documented well.”
    I love this. I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, and although I never/rarely comment, your authenticity has always been what brings me back. I love the new design…and I can’t wait to see what comes next!

  10. #14
    Lori P.

    ODP = Own it, Document it, Preserve it! 🙂
    Thanks for my breakfast read. Your blog was better than breakfast this morning. A lot better!

  11. #16

    “Own your life, document it well and preserve reality.” i’m going to have to make something pretty with this motto to hang upon the wall in my (s)crap space. xoxo

  12. #17
    Michele H.

    “Own your life, document it well and preserve reality.” – TRUTH RIGHT THERE!

    Love this so much Cathy! I’m thinking this quote deserves to be on a little card for PL:)

  13. #19
    Michelle H

    Oh, Cathy!! This is awesome. I have followed you for a long time and just love what you have done. You are so real and down to earth; I sooo appreciate that! Keep it up. You rock!!

  14. #20

    “Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication”. . .truer words have never been spoken. Mr. Leonardo Di Vinci nailed it with this quote.

    Cathy, you are the true example of this quote. For many years I have tried to model my life in some aspects to this quote. Some believe that being simple is boring. So not true. Simple is just that–not complicated which allows for perspective and clarity.

    This thing you do is excellent and I love that you share it with us mere mortals!

  15. #21

    Thank you so much for blogging about this process! I am also sorta going through a re-branding of sorts. Hehe. I am getting to know myself better and using what I’ve learned so far to also improve on my blog.

  16. #23

    This feels picky and maybe just me…….but….when you reply to a comment it loads above the original comment but numbers itself to the comment directly before. For example, you replied to #6 Angela but it’s numbered 5.1. Is that the intent? I’ve been known to misinterpret and misunderstand all in the same day before.

    And looking forward to hearing more about how you keep your blog boat floating. The new look really jives with your clean and simple philosophy.

    1. #23.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I think I see what you mean, and that is kind of weird. Like, I can’t tell who I’m relying to? Right? I’m going test this to confirm.

    2. #23.2
      Cathy Zielske

      Okay, yep. I see what it is. I have asked the developer to please put the boxes back in to contain the comments and make it easier to see. So, hold tight. We’re still working on the final few bugs and comments and having numbers on comments has been one of them. Thanks! 🙂

  17. #24
    Carol Anne

    Thanks for sharing the branding story, Cathy. I always wondered how that really worked with a small business. My corporation went through a branding thing five years ago and all employees had to develop a personal brand. It was a load of crap. Glad your experience wasn’t like that.

  18. #25
    Pam Abbott

    So freaking love your style. I finally took the time to sit down and read your posts and check out the new site. So awesome. Way to go Cathy! No, I just need to log into Feedly from my desktop so you will be delivered to my app on my iPad each morning… Looking forward to more real stuff sister!

  19. #26

    Love the re-design. I’m with you on remembering that people don’t have to like me, for me to feel ok about myself. Love your take on life.

  20. #27
    Amy Myers


    I just love how you write. There’s a frankness to it that is just so refreshing. I think that’s the change of not trying to have everyone like you. It’s awesome and I love coming here to read about whatever you post about. I love your new site and can’t wait to see more great things come!

  21. #28

    Another great post! I love the new logo and how this all came to be! Looking forward to reading more soon!

  22. #29
    Jenny B.

    Had no idea Dan was going back to school for a degree in Elementary Ed. (I must have missed that, or maybe you didn’t specifically mention it?) Either way, Go Dan! P.S. I like you, Cathy. I really, really like you. 🙂

  23. #30
    Amanda S.

    First time commenting ever I think. This is so great! Enjoyed reading your old blog and so far loving your new one!

  24. #31

    Thank you for sharing this anatomy of a rebrand posts, I’ve enjoyed them a lot.
    They’re probably the reason why I checked again if I could find your books on where I had previously been unable to find them.
    I was delighted to find two used but in good condition copies, shipping from the UK so not as expensive as when I tried to order them new and from in 2011 (which is when I “discovered” you). I recieved the first one – which is actually your second one 😉 – today and I’m HAPPY and in scrapbooking heaven. You ROCK !

  25. #33

    Thank you for sharing these posts! It’s always fun to read the behind the scenes side of this sort of thing. I love the new look, and it’s great to hear even more of the back story for it 🙂

  26. #34

    Cathy! LOVE the new site & I’ve loved all these posts about the re-brand process. Kudos to you! Love your scrapbooking philosophy & motto. Excited for more!

  27. #35

    Love the new look. I’m having trouble getting your blog to show on my reader, Bloglovin. I’ll keep trying, maybe its a bug.

    1. #35.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Hey Carolyn,

      I know that Bloglovin’ is one of the readers that is working. I had some trouble with Feedly for a while. Have you clicked on the RSS button at the very bottom of my blog page? Maybe that will help?

  28. #36

    Really do love your logo! How interesting that it came later in the process. That makes total sense. Love that they wanted to know what makes you tick, first and foremost, since you ARE the brand.

    Always a joy to read your writing…can’t wait to hear more about how you “keep this humble but mighty ship afloat in a sea of internet awesomeness” when the time comes!

  29. #38

    I am just now getting caught up on my Feedly “crap” 🙂

    One thing I have always loved about you is your edginess. And I love your truthfulness. That’s what I love about Ali Edwards too. You both have no problem blogging about real stuff. No Pinterest life portrayed. There are others like that too, but you and Ali are my favs.

    Keep being you! We all love you!

  30. #39

    Congratulations on your new website! I am blown away by the wonderful new layout and the beautiful new look of the site. I’ve always been a fan since the get go so keep it up!

    And thank you for fixing the RSS feed to Feedly. Now I can catch up on a timely manner on one of my favorite blogs of all time.

  31. #40
    Nicola Lubbe

    Hello Cathy! You are a new member of my life and I love what I see. I enjoyed reading your story and have just subscribed to your e mails. I look forward to your posts and your cards and your scrap booking. I have also just invested in my first set of Zig Real Brush markers which is how I found your blog. I have saved your sample chart to print on water colour paper when my markers arrive! Keep up the great work and I will be avidly following you! Ciao for now x x x

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