All About Ethical Fashion Branding with Marisa Flacks of RISE Creative Co.

We’re diving into branding again on the Spirit of 608 podcast this week – and for good reason: it’s consistently one of the top puzzles independent fashion companies have to sort out. And let’s not forget: you can’t really ever just “sort it” and move on. Great branding requires upkeep and evolution, as well as a helluva lot of content to communicate the right messages over time. But enough about the challenges – you know those. What you want to know is how to crack that nut, like yesterday? Who better to come talk to us about all things branding than a woman who escaped the corporate fashion world to work one-on-one with ethical and sustainable apparel brands and small businesses from her home base in Charlotte, NC?

Meet this week’s guest, Marisa Flacks, Founder of RISE Creative Co.

This episode brought to you with the generous support of badass FEST biz Lyst, where you can search from over 12,000 brands and stores to find what’s perfectly right for you.
What you’ll learn

Why ethical brands, specifically, can get a branding boost from understanding a little about anthropology. Marisa brings her training in anthropology to the brand strategies she helps create for her clients and, in so doing, helps them take cultural issues into account when they’re developing their messaging and positioning. Okay so what does that mean? You’ll hear more on the show, obviously, but just think about the complex web of concerns that comes up when you’re talking about the treatment of workers in, say, manufacturing facilities in developing countries? Or how perspectives on child labor could be different depending on the world in which you live? Marisa is adamant about talking through things like that as the strategy develops – instead of just slapping a green-washed approach onto a company’s messaging and calling it done.

How you’ll be inspired

Putting yourself out there is a scary thing for most people (it’s been disproven, but there’s the oft-quoted stat about public speaking freaking people out more than death). While the thought of being the public face of your company might sound deliciously great for some entrepreneurs, others are beyond uncomfortable with it and put all the attention on their products instead. During our chat, Marisa says that while either preference can work, there is a real benefit to making things personal. Your customers and people watching your brand are, after all, the exact people you’re trying to convince to get so interested in what you’re doing that they’ll give you money for it. No surprise that a down-to-earth message straight from the founder is often just be the thing to get people hooked on more than your product and draw them into the world that you’re building through your business.

What you’ll tell your friends

Oh so you’re having trouble with branding? This branding expert I heard on the Spirit of 608 podcast said, when that happens, you need to check your core message. Examine your why. She said that nothing is more important than a brand’s  story or “why” behind what they do. But zero in on this “why,” you’ll be much closer to locking down your target audience, forming an effective marketing strategy and creating solid content around your brand. Find out more in the full episode.

Resource of the week

Business Boutique: Along with usual suspects like Asana and Google Drive, Marisa recommends The Business Boutique program to newcomers to the entrepreneurial scene.

Connect with Marisa Flacks



Twitter: @risecreativeco

Instagram: @risecreativeco

Mentioned in this episode:

The True Cost

Harper Wilde




Business Boutique

Business With Purpose

The Strategy Hour

Straight Up Paleo

T-shirt motto: In a world of self promotion, promote others.

Did you hear about the Spirit of 608 Survey on this episode? Take it for your chance at some amazing prizes. 

This episode brought to you with the generous support of badass FEST biz Lyst, where you can search from over 12,000 brands and stores to find what’s perfectly right for you.
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