I am so, so excited to bring you this interview with the delightful Vienda Maria: she of Gypset fame! Vienda is a coach and writer who runs her business from wherever she may be in the world (she has recently been working from and playing in Goa, India). Vienda has strong, dynamic and instantly recognisable brand which we can all learn something from. She was kind enough to sit down and answer a few questions for us on how she has created such an Authentic + Soulful brand across her whole business.
As anyone who has read your blog knows, you are a location independent business owner. How do your surroundings affect your brand?
My branding falls under the term gypset (gypsy + jetset) and I lead by example as well as coach emerging creative professionals on how to live a semi-nomadic lifestyle whilst having a healthy, balanced, amazing life and business. My surroundings are continuously changing and in effect are an integral part of my branding: I show you how I do it and that YOU can do it too!
My surroundings affect my brand twofold:
1. The nature of traveling is inspiring, mind-expanding and very fulfilling for the senses which definitely feeds any creative spirit. In this space between places, in the continuous motion of life is where I feel most at home.
2. The fact that my surroundings are continuously changing simply supports and enhances my brand and my message. I think my brand wouldn’t be anywhere near as vibrant if I didn’t exemplify it’s ethics and values through action!
Do you have an example/s of a time where you had to say a gentle ‘no’ to an opportunity in order to stay true to your brand?
Ha ha! Yes, absolutely. Actually the other day I received an email asking if I would place an advertisement next to one specific blog post about detoxing, for an alcohol and drug rehabilitation centre. I didn’t bother responding.
Firstly, I only promote brands that are in absolute alignment with my own beliefs and values, and secondly, I always check in with my intution before I do anything. Money doesn’t talk in my world. That’s just not how I do business. Things have to FEEL right before I take action and make commitments.
While branding is much more than graphic design, these graphical elements are still obviously important. Can you talk us through your visual identity?
I love, love, love graphic design and am continuously inspired by all the amazing talent out there doing branding and design. When I first started my business I hired an amazing graphic designer to do all my graphics, but after some time I discovered that I get bored quite quickly and like to switch things up.
So I started designing all of my graphics myself using iWorks Pages, several photography apps, and at times, Adobe Photoshop. I like to switch my website up every 6 months or so, as I’m always coming up with new ideas on how to improve, grow and develop my brand.
As someone who develops multiple products (The Gypset Guide To Releasing Rituals 7 Day Program and The Gypset Recipe Book), how do you keep your brand consistent throughout but also give them their own identity?
There is one singular thread that remains the same throughout all of my branding which is the nuance of the gypset lifestyle: free, bohemian, creative, semi-nomadic, vibrant, expressive and financially successful. This is what ties everything together.
Then each product that I create solves a question or a problem that my audience expresses they want insight into and help with. So on one hand it’s about sharing a lifestyle and on the other hand about how we can deal with real life issues within this lifestyle. That’s what my brand is all about.
I’m actually really excitedly working on my biggest and most amazing project at the moment: an eight week course called The Gypset Mindset which is all about the mental, spiritual and practical changes that we need to invite into our lives in order to live the gypset life. I kept getting emails asking: how do you do it? And so of course now, I’m creating an in-depth roadmap on exactly what it takes to be Gypset which will be launching on the 1st of June. It’s really fun, and I definitely have my work cut out for me as there’s so many elements that I want include!
An authentic brand will always grow with us. Has there ever been a time where you had to shake off some old but comfortable branding to uncover something new and fresh?
This is such a good point! Absolutely. When I first started my business, I was really afraid to share my personality and way of life with people. I was just a plain, old life coach and was afraid that people wouldn’t take me seriously because I am a gypsetter. I mean, I’ve been semi-nomadic my entire life and even more so in the past 12 years. How was I going to share this with people?
In a way I was repressing who and what I really am, and trying to fit myself into a box where I thought people would accept me. But of course, being so vanilla and mediocre meant that my self expression and business were stunted.
Then about a year ago, I decided to step it up and show myself as I really am: a really good life coach, with an amazing sense of Spirit and intution who has excelled at living this semi-nomadic lifestyle and who has so much knowledge and experience to share in this field. I’ve been doing it for so long it’s second nature to me which essentially makes me an expert, right!?
When I started to share my truth and who I really am, things just started to transform for me. My life and business excelled, I found ways to share my creative nature and create products, freebies and art for my amazing audience and learnt about the world of business and branding.
Of course, as with any business and brand, I’m constantly growing, learning, changing and advancing the way I do things and how I express myself. But one thing always remains the same: how can I bring the most value, support and change into the lives of my audience and clients? I ask my intuition and inner wisdom for help with this every day, and then do that.
To wrap up, what does ‘Authentic + Soulful branding’ mean to you?
It means digging deep!
In order to be authentic, we have to really know ourselves and our brand. Nowadays it’s common to have personal branding, for example: I AM my brand, and to be authentic, I have to know who I am. What are my values? What sets me apart? What are my strengths? What do I want to share? Digging deep and getting to know who you are as a brand IS what makes your brand authentic and successful.
Soulful branding is doing everything from a place of connection with Spirit. Remaining present and in alignment with our centre and energy in all the things we do in life, including business and branding, guarantees that you are sharing and expressing exactly what the world needs. That’s what we are all here for: to express the Universe through our own unique set of talents, strengths, experiences and perceptions. And that’s what our business and branding serves.
Vienda is a lifestyle coach who guides smart, creative professionals and entrepreneurs in creating a semi-nomadic lifestyle known as Gypset, by strategically using their intuition and inner guidance to make real and lasting changes in their lives, for more freedom, more fun, more ease, more fulfillment and more happiness.
Vienda holds a Bachelor degree in Psychology and her training includes Level 1 Reiki, Diploma in Coaching and Counseling, and completion of several business and marketing courses.
Her published works include co-authoring Love & Oneness from the Adventures in Manifesting series, and the eBooks; The Gypset Guide To Releasing Rituals; The Gypset Recipe Book; and Build Your Own Business Blog.