Behind the Brand Feature: Call Me Bossy
If you call Courtney Ray bossy, she’s not gonna mind.
That’s because she’s the boss behind CALL ME BOSSY, a blog and resource for female entrepreneurs to get all the info and tips they need to start and grow their own business.
Today I’m excited to feature Courtney because she’s one of my guest speakers at my upcoming Brand Clarity Workshop!
A woman of many talents, Courtney is a professional photographer and the boss behind two businesses: Daybreak + Dusk (wedding photography) and Call Me Bossy. At the workshop, she’s going to tell us how she found her clarity for her newer CMB brand as well as share some great photography tips and tricks to help people with their visual branding.
To get behind the brand, Call Me Bossy, and to the biz owner herself, I had a few questions for Courtney:
What inspired you start the brand, “Call Me Bossy”?
Call Me Bossy started as a photo series. As a documentary-style photographer and former journalist, I wanted to photograph female entrepreneurs and tell the story of how they started their businesses, what were the ups and downs and the advice that they would pass on to new business owners. When I published my series, I started to get more questions from female entrepreneurs about starting their own business. The advice they were asking for ranged from securing a business loan to keeping the right mindset for successful entrepreneurship. I realized that we needed a resource that addressed this range of topics, supported and lifted up other female entrepreneurs and gave women a platform to shout about their successes. I want us all to be bossy together.
Can you give us a sneak peek of some of the photography tips and tricks you’ll teach us in The Brand Clarity Workshop?
Yes! I’ll be taking us through the process that I go through as a professional photographer—the prepping, shooting and editing behind every photo. But I’ll be making it an accessible process for everyone—you don’t have to bring a fancy camera, all you need is your cell phone. We’ll be talking about how to set up your photo with simple composition tips; shooting so you get a clear, crisp, clean image; and how to find your editing style.
With composition, for example, we’ll discuss the rule of thirds: When you’re composing your photo, imagine dividing your photos into three equal parts by drawing imaginary lines from the top to bottom. Place your subject over one of those lines, and it will be in a “third” of the photo rather than smack-dab in the middle. When your subject is in a third, then your eye has to travel around the image to find the subject, therefore giving your brain something to hunt for—which is way more fun than a static, easy-to-find subject in the center of the photo. To make it easy on your phone, you can set your camera to lay a grid over the photo you’re composing. Simply position your subject where the lines intersect to use the rule of thirds.
What 3-5 words best describe your Call Me Bossy brand? And how do you implement these brand words in your business consistently?
- (And if I were to pick just one more: Support)
I want to be real about the process of building a business: It’s often ugly, there are constant ups and downs, the obstacles seem endless and there are a lot of challenges along the way, most of them unexpected. I want women to be bold and daring, to start a business and understand what’s in front of them. When I write, I don’t want to sugar coat things. I say things bluntly. I swear. I’m honest. We need to know, without fluffy language or obfuscation, what we’re going to face, because sometimes just feeling like we’re in this with others is enough to get through the hard stuff and on to the success of it all. I try to keep my voice in line with that spirit of strength and support: https://callmebossy.co/2017/08/14/has-anyone-told-you/
What brands inspire you most?
What I look for most is a strong story told through simplicity: Chelsea Leifken, designer and artist, has one of the strongest brands I’ve come across, and I love that she evolves it as she evolves as an artist, but is still able to stay true to a message and an aesthetic.
Blue Bottle Coffee is also a great example of a simple aesthetic that makes for a strong brand. Dazey LA grabbed my attention and pulled me in immediately from an Instagram Story ad—I was so impressed by that! Especially since it’s so hard to stand out from the noise in any advertising.
And Rime Arodaky is a wedding dress designer, but her brand and her business are so tight in their messaging and aesthetic, I’m so addicted to it.
How has your Call Me Bossy brand evolved since you started it?
Call Me Bossy has gone through many iterations. For example, with my branding colors, I started with bold reds and a script font, but it never felt quite right for what we were doing. I finally realized that I didn’t want pinks or reds or script fonts—it was all too girly! (Which is kind of funny with a site built for women specifically.) But really, I want women to learn to support and grow their business, and ultimately make a ton of money. Our recent rebrand features greens + blues and a strong serif font. The strength of the typeface represents the strength of women, and that feels right!
What do you jump out of bed in the morning for because you LOVE to do that one thing in your business?
Create! I always want to wake up and create something, whether that’s a photo, a painting or a piece of writing. I fully believe that the entire reason we’re here in this life is to create. Each one of us is a creative—whether it’s businesses or babies or art or all of it, every single person on this earth feels a pull to create, to build, to make something. I feel that energy strongly every morning, and I can’t wait to celebrate a new day with a new creation.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve learned from a fellow entrepreneur that’s helped you in your business?
No is a full sentence.