“Encourage them to follow their artistic dreams.” With Fotis Georgiadis & Andi Eaton

One of my callings is to inspire worth women, to encourage them to follow their artistic dreams and creative endeavors. There’s such a false narrative out there that creative endeavors are second rate, that following an artistic dream will lead to a lifestyle of being a “starving artist.” I, on the other hand, believe creativity […]

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One of my callings is to inspire worth women, to encourage them to follow their artistic dreams and creative endeavors. There’s such a false narrative out there that creative endeavors are second rate, that following an artistic dream will lead to a lifestyle of being a “starving artist.” I, on the other hand, believe creativity is core to being an incredible entrepreneur.

As part of our series about “Brand Makeovers” I had the pleasure to interview Andi Eaton.

Andi is a Creative Director and Consultant offering strategy and support to holistic and consciously-minded businesses through her company Andi Eaton Creatives. She spent over a decade as a senior executive for an Ayurvedic beauty brand, launched a fashion incubator in a post-Katrina New Orleans, and then created her own boutique branding and consulting company in 2016. Since then she’s published two books (most recently Wanderful: The Modern Bohemian’s Guide to Traveling in Style) while running an award-winning blog and working with creative entrepreneurs, gypset inspired fashion designers, tourism boards, retreat companies and wellness brands around the globe. Her personal blog, ‘Oui, We’ is a reflection of her wanderlust inspired life.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit more. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Istarted my career in the music industry. I worked as a junior publicist, writing press releases and brainstorming ideas to sell concert tickets by day — this was the era before social media when radio stations were pulling over the top publicity stunts and landing on the pages of a magazine was the way to get a band noticed. By night, my job was to hustle photographers in and out of the photo pit and schedule interviews for bands like the Black Eyed Peas, No Doubt, Britney Spears and Ozzy Osbourne. It was a wild ride. I loved every second of it.

A few years into it I was recruited by the beauty brand AVEDA to work in sales and marketing for the distribution arm of the business. I spent over a decade of my career there. I was always interested equally in creativity and wellness, and that job was a dream.

During that time I moved to New Orleans to work out of the distribution office corporate headquarters. It was right after Hurricane Katrina and I found myself pulled in a new direction. I became super passionate about helping artists, and specifically, fashion designers in New Orleans, get their feet back under them after the hurricane. With the smallest budget ever I decided to launch a fashion incubator as a side project.

Between 2011 and 20116 my team and I produced upwards of 50 fashion, art, and design events each year, as well as educational workshops with experts from brands like J. Crew, Tommy Hilfiger, Clinique, Anthropologie, Vera Wang, L’oreal Professional, AVEDA, and Goorin Brothers. It was my first experience using digital to target influencers, media, buyers, and tastemakers. My focus was on experiential events and pop up shops offering designers and artists an opportunity to connect directly to new consumers, and I found my stride as a branding expert and creative marketer during that time.

Can you share a story about the funniest marketing or branding mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

As I was growing the fashion incubator and continuing to work on marketing strategies for AVEDA, I launched my first blog. Perhaps the biggest marketing mistake during that time was creating blog content based on what I felt like doing in the moment versus really mapping out a strategic plan. I’ve always recommended testing concepts and ideas and getting feedback from the audience — and that’s what I was doing so well for others, but when it came to my own launch I didn’t truly give it what it deserved. I wasn’t employing the strategies that were working for me in other areas of my business life on my own personal project. Once I left my corporate job and realized I’d be relying on my site to drive parts of my new venture forward I treated it like it deserved. I studied SEO, color theory, graphic design and photography and got serious about getting engaged traffic to my site. The lesson was to treat my personal creative endeavors in the same way I treat business — by being all in. Years later when I got my first book deal, it was that blog that encouraged the publisher to take a chance on me.

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Is there a takeaway or lesson that others can learn from that?

I was always a highly visual person with a love of writing. However, it took time to trust my eye and voice. The tipping point for me came when I launched the incubator and kicked off a season of runway shows to support the designers in the program. I realized then that using incredibly innovative approaches to spreading the word about our events was working. In 2011 my company’s guerrilla marketing strategies landed us in the pages of Women’s Wear Daily. I knew I was onto something. At that time the shape of digital media was changing by leaps and bounds, and I found myself positioned on the front end of that trend. I realized how effective digital, and specifically social media, is for a company with an incredibly limited budget. I share this story with start ups and new businesses now: you can create energy and excitement around your brand with little money with a strong focus on digital and experience.

I personally believe the future of marketing lies in that mash-up: the digital world partnered with experience, and after those 5 years of running the fashion incubator I shifted my focus again. Today I run Andi Eaton Creatives as a Creative Director and Consultant. I’m committed to working exclusively with conscious entrepreneurs and brands dedicated to bettering the planet, and improving the emotional and spiritual well-being of both employees and consumers.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I launched a program called the Conscious Creatives Business School in January and it’s been so powerful seeing the graduates of that program come out on the other side with a true understanding of their brand. They’re ready to pivot, explore their passions further and grow their business in an authentic way with fresh eyes. The program features immersive digital workshops, a mastermind and live events for those aspiring to live a more creatively fulfilled life. The students learn how to create conscious business strategies, design a soulful social media presence, design a brand they love, and attract an authentically engaged community.

I’m also leading intimate retreats and mastermind programs with these same focuses — these programs are a beautiful blend of creativity, entrepreneurship, wellness and mystical thinking.

What advice would you give to other marketers to thrive and avoid burnout?

Well, I’m an advocate for taking good care of the trifecta: mind, body and soul. I’m also a recovering perfectionist — workaholic — control freak, so I learned the hard way. When I was working in the beauty industry working 80-hour work weeks and traveling non-stop I knew I was missing a connection to myself and a higher purpose. I was constantly hitting that burn out wall. It’s why my Business School program includes a blend of business and well-being.

When I closed my fashion incubator program and decided to put full focus on my current company I took 6 months to reset completely. I moved to Spain, traveled every weekend, ate beautiful food, swam in the ocean and vowed to change the way my work days looked going forward.

To truly stay centered and grounded I recommend taking time away from the day to day “do” and be still. Sure, not everyone can go away for 6 months, but it’s what I had to do to get on the other side of it. My advice and what I do now: allow for moments of quiet to re-ignite the spark of inspiration. None of us can come up with brilliant marketing strategies all day long when we’re not giving ourselves the proper rest time. So sleep, eat well, exercise, dream — take care of yourself so you can give to others.

Ok, let’s now jump to the core part of our interview. In a nutshell, how would you define the difference between brand marketing (branding) and product marketing (advertising)? Can you explain?

I operate from the mindset that brand marketing should come first. Your brand is your story. It’s your voice, tone, personality, cause, calling, intention and your core values. Brand marketing at it’s highest expression communicates your beliefs and your promise at every touch point.

Consider: how does my brand sound? What feeling will someone have when they visit my website, see my art, use my service, or purchase my product? These are the questions to ask yourself as you write your marketing plan. I love the example of the beauty brand Glossier. Before Glossier, founder Emily Weiss had a cult following of her blog Into the Gloss. She was a young New Yorker, living at a million-miles-a-minute pace to get through the day. Her people believed in her and identified fully with her ‘5 minutes to get ready, look amazing with minimal effort’ approach.

Glossier’s brand marketing is raw, real, and approachable. When it comes time to the market product via advertising Glossier stays the course of that “girlfriend in the next high rise over” feeling. Glossier considers marketing efforts like gifting product to superfans or naming new products based on crowdsourced Instagram feedback, to be as important as putting up a billboard in Time Square.

Can you explain to our readers why it is important to invest resources and energy into building a brand, in addition to the general marketing and advertising efforts?

Humans want to connect, we’re social creatures. For advertising efforts to get the most bang, a heart-centered connection needs to be present. That’s where the brand building comes in. Whether you’re managing the brand image for a company or for your personal brand, the emotional intelligence and authentic connection to your perfect people, AKA your customer, is conveyed through your brand story.

Let’s now talk about rebranding. What are a few reasons why a company would consider rebranding?

A rebrand is like a megaphone in which you’re shouting through: we’re ready to grow! Change is never easy, but often, it’s the way forward. It’s important to understand that branding is way more than just a logo or the landing page of your website. Your brand image is the full wrap up of the experiences your people, and future people, have with your company. A killer brand establishes trust, credibility and evolves over time.

Why would it be time to rebrand? Here’s a few reasons (and spoiler alert, it’s way more than just because sales have slowed down!): are you changing markets? offering a new featured product or service? changing your niche? interested in attracting a new customer base? Have you outgrown your original mission? received less than reviews? Do you need to shake off an old story?

There’s, of course, so many other reasons to consider a rebrand, but it’s a good reminder, that an incredibly strategic rebrand will remake your business.

Are there downsides of rebranding? Are there companies that you would advise against doing a “Brand Makeover”? Why?

I’ve had business owners come to me interested in rebranding when truly there isn’t a clear understanding of their existing brand to begin with. Again, branding is more than just a name, logo and website. So if you’re not sure that you’ve fully executed on your existing brand vision it’s not necessarily the right move to rebrand. It’s also worth considering: are you ready to fully invest financially and emotionally into a rebrand? Do your existing customers identify with the visuals or voice of your existing brand? In that case maybe you just need a refresh. Are you simply bored of your existing brand? Brands need time to stick, so don’t make big moves when perhaps things just feel a little stale.

Ok, here is the main question of our discussion. Can you share 5 strategies that a company can do to upgrade and re-energize their brand and image”? Please tell us a story or an example for each.

  1. Consider Art and Analytics. Market test everything you’re considering putting out on a large scale. One of my core strategies for considering new brand messaging is to test new creative and copy via dark posts on facebook and instagram. Dark posts are targeted ads. These aren’t boosted or organic posts, rather they’re sponsored posts with super specifics targets that show up in the feeds of users you’re interested in attracting. This doesn’t have to cost a lot of money — you can test dark posts, targeted to a specific audience, using a variety of imagery and copy for $5 per post. You’ll get all sorts of good information this way and it will support you in deciding which creative and copy is best for your brand. Gap spent $100 million on a rebranded logo in 2010, 6 days later, after loads of negative feedback they reverted to their original logo. Of course social media testing wasn’t an option in 2010, but imagine what Gap would have learned, and how much money would have been saved, working through this process.
  2. Re-discover Your Why. Often times, you’ve forgotten your why and that’s the disconnect. Perhaps you opened your business because you saw a missing in the marketplace, but over the years you haven’t revisited your original big why. Ask yourself questions like: Who do you serve? What inspires them to buy? How do you fulfill that need? Why do they choose you over other options? As an example: I work with a swimwear company with a chain of boutique locations on the Florida coast. Sure, it’s easy to look at the concept and say: swim shop at the beach, the why is obvious. However, this particular brand does exceptionally well because their why is ‘to help all women feel beautiful’. Consider the insecurity many of us have in the dressing room, and how that feeling is amplified in a swim shop dressing room. This brand’s why — supporting all women in feeling beautiful shows up in every touch point of their business from the dressing room lighting, to the language the shop attendees use, to the neon wall art over the mirrors with slogans of reassurance and care.
  3. Create Goal Clarity. Sit down with your team, or yourself if you’re a solopreneur, and write out a list of your company goals. Interview your best customers and ask them to share what they believe your goals to be. If you’re a boutique for example and your goal list says something like “offer eco and sustainable products, represent female artisans, support the down-to-earth woman interested in worldly issues” and your customers don’t have similar ideas on their list, consider how to bridge the gap.
  4. Answer the Unknown. Consider the needs your customers might have in their day to day life that they’re not even aware of yet — their unrecognized needs. Ask yourself: what ways can I provide valuable answers to questions my customers don’t even know they have? These answers may come in the way of offering a new product or service, but perhaps it’s new positioning as well. During this new normal we’re experiencing, this idea is more important than ever. Here’s an example: a client of mine offers personal gifting. As businesses began to close doors during the start of the pandemic this business, who has a core value of creating memorable experiences through gifts, considered how they could stay relevant while people were clamoring for face masks and hand sanitizers. They launched a program focused on sponsoring memory-making gifts for local first responders. The business asked the community to join in by purchasing pre-designed gift baskets that would be hand-delivered by the company’s CEO to the firehouse and police station in her local community. Her ability to create a memorable experience for others during a time of uncertainty answered a question her customers didn’t know they had: how can I help, and feel good about myself while doing for others, while I’m stuck at home? She was able to do something good for others while keeping her business moving at the same time.
  5. Be a TrendSpotter. I don’t necessarily think it’s important to be a leader when it comes to new trends, although if it feels right for your brand go for it! However, I do believe it’s important to see what’s happening in the world, what patterns of behavior are emerging and consider where it’s necessary to evolve. When a new trend is born, it’s not about being the first to make moves, it’s more important to take that knowledge and innovate in a way that works for your business. One of my favorite trend examples that truly changed an industry is the Vidal Sassoon mod haircut of the 60’s. Vidal Sassoon modernized the styles of the world’s fashion icons of the day in one haircut. It began with Mary Quant, Carol Channing and Grace Coddington. Then, after cutting Mia Farrow’s hair into an avant-garde pixie style for the film Rosemary’s Baby women collectively said goodbye to the weekly visit to the hairdresser for a set under a hooded dryer, in exchange for a low-maintenance, wash and wear style. Salon owners with an eye on trends adapted to offer the retail products and styling services that we see in salons across the globe today. Rather than losing revenue from their customers scheduling less frequent salon visits, they grew as they offered new products and services aligned to the new trend in beauty.

In your opinion, what is an example of a company that has done a fantastic job doing a “Brand Makeover”. What specifically impresses you? What can one do to replicate that?

As someone who works with fashion brands I love this example: flash back to early 2000’s Burberry — the famous English luxury brand. There was a moment in which the iconic ‘nova check’ design was seen on everything from scarves to baby strollers to dog beds. Then, after a series of mishaps, over-licensing and market saturation the brand was longer championed — it was condemned. The hit upon hit on the brand reputation, which included touches of classism and a co-opted aesthetic — it’s an interesting case study to research — culminated as the brand was banned from pubs across the UK. What did Burberry do? The nova check was sidelined, a new CEO and head designer was appointed. That was just for starters. Intellectual property for the infamous check was bought back, new collaborations were formed, new technology was embraced, new creative was launched, and so on and so on. Ask most CEOs if they’d like to see their product everywhere, like the nova check was, and the answer would be yes. But in reality that saturation didn’t serve Burberry in the long run. The “new” Burberry was chicer, smarter, more technologically savvy, and realigned with core brand values. New Burberry didn’t need to be seen everywhere, and that decision truly saved the brand.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

One of my callings is to inspire worth women, to encourage them to follow their artistic dreams and creative endeavors. There’s such a false narrative out there that creative endeavors are second rate, that following an artistic dream will lead to a lifestyle of being a “starving artist.” I, on the other hand, believe creativity is core to being an incredible entrepreneur.

It’s dawned on me over the last several years as I’ve traveled to places like Colombia, Cuba, Mexico and Bali how many synchronicities there are between women holding space for their big entrepreneurial dreams in communities like these, and the women in business I have the pleasure of working. For example: last year I travel to Oaxaca to learn about ancient artisan crafts from indigenous women. A month later I joined a women’s art experience in Cuba, where the time was focused on creating alongside Cuban artists.

The women in Oaxaca were some of the first to earn an income as artists — it’s beyond motivating to hear their stories. The female artists in Cuba were doing the same. The women I work with are often digging deep into their soul to design a magical life of their own. In both cases, there’s some serious divine flow happening. A commonality? Each of these women have a drive to expand their calling in life. Each are marching towards their potential despite uncertainty.

I’d love to spearhead a moment in which women interested in artistic and entrepreneurial endeavors were given an opportunity to travel to work with women doing their own artistic thing and living their dream in other cultures. I believe a movement like this would be brilliant for fostering new perspective and creative confidence in women.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Ah, that’s tough! There’s so many beautiful writers and words to consider. Here’s a quote I included the opening chapter of my latest book “Wanderful”, I’ve loved this one a long time: “When you’re traveling you are what you are right there and then. No yesterdays on the road.” — William Least-Heat Moon. For me, the trajectory of my life changed when I started to live in this way, that 6 months in Spain and every trip I’ve taken since — and while yes, the quote speaks to travel, it’s as much about being present in every single moment, no looking back, only this moment and onward.

How can our readers follow you online?

My website is, it includes all sorts of resources, freebies, and posts dedicated to building a creatively conscious life, and on instagram I’m @ouiwegirl.

Thank you so much for these excellent insights! We wish you continued success in your work.

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