7 Years Ago Today, We Were a Start-Up

We asked our founder and managing director: If you could go back to the day we opened and tell yourself one thing, what would it be?

He said:

“The future is bright; let go of the past. Look forward, and once you’ve executed, look forward again. Don’t get stagnant.”

Chad Willett

Managing Director, West Edge Collective

Since the day we opened our doors, we’ve gone from a team of three people working on cardboard boxes and at kitchen tables; to a full team collaborating in a real physical space; to a whole building of creatives in the heart of the West Edge.

Our core team of less than 10 has steadily grown to a team of 20+, all working together to create really cool, innovative, tech-driven design for our clients.

At our core, we’re still a lot like our first few months.

That spirit of entrepreneurism we followed in the early days is still burning bright, leading to innovation and exciting new pathways in our local economy.

As we’ve grown, we’ve always made time to check in with our core values: The principles we established to ensure we’re here for the right reasons, and that our work aligns with that, too.

For example, we “Help When We Can Help” by engaging with and mentoring the next generation of creatives in our local community, including students at the Cheyenne Boys and Girls Club, Cheyenne high schools, Laramie County Community College, and the University of Wyoming.

We’re far beyond the start-up phase now, but our spirit of entrepreneurism is still going strong—and our recent announcement of The Railspur is a prime example of that.

(And let’s be honest: If you know us, you know The Railspur isn’t the last entrepreneurial project we’ll embark upon.)

By the way: When it comes to supporting entrepreneurs, support is about more than making a purchase. In the spirit of celebrating the entrepreneurial spark, give your favorite local businesses (or concepts) a “like,” a share, or a follow.

Entrepreneurship Week: Feb. 12-19, 2022

West Edge Collective Community Engagement Manager and fellow entrepreneurs speak on LCCC panel

National Entrepreneurship Week celebrates the spirit of entrepreneurship: The very passion that inspires business owners to follow their dreams, solve a problem, and/or make the most out of the lifestyle they want to live.

Earlier this week, our own Community Engagement Manager Desiree Brothe took part in a panel at Laramie County Community College (LCCC) to speak about her experience as a small business owner.

A great takeaway from the panel: People often talk about supporting small businesses, but it’s important to remember that support doesn’t always have to be a purchase. Support comes from a “like,” a share, a follow, a quick congratulations, etc.

Remember: With every post, email, or other interaction, an entrepreneur is putting themselves out there, and your acknowledgment is assurance that one more person is paying attention to what they have to say.

Thanks to Minden Fox and the LCCC Entrepreneurship Program for inviting me to take part in Entrepreneurship Week. It was great to see so many familiar friends and colleagues. These are important projects for our city and our community to support and get involved with.

Desiree Brothe
Owner, Magpie Creations | Community Engagement Manager, West Edge Collective

Here’s your chance to show your support for the Cheyenne entrepreneurs who joined Des on the panel!

Stop by their websites to learn more about what they do, find and follow them on social media, and be sure to “like” and share their posts.

To learn more about National Entrepreneurship Week, visit the sites below:

The Importance of Brand Standards

Brand standards, brand guidelines, brandards, style manual, style guides…no matter what you call them, brand standards matter.

Brand standards are a set of rules and guidelines that protect the look and feel of your organization. It provides a standardized approach to creative work in order to uphold the integrity of the brand. Simply put, the brand standards are far more important than the logo itself.

The top reason brand standards are important – consistency. Brands that aren’t consistent can seem messy, untrustworthy, and unlikeable. The brand is the face of the company and pulls a lot of weight in reassuring customers that they have made the right choice in trusting their business with said company.

So what is included in the brand standards manual? The answer is, it varies. These guides range from basic guidelines to extremely thorough rules with concrete examples of what the brand is and is not supposed to look like. The staples of a brand standards manual include rules around: logo use, fonts, colors, and imagery. Great brand standards go beyond these basics to provide even more clarity and uniformity to the brand. Despite the level of detail included in this manual, it must remain easy to navigate and understand.

It is important that people at all levels of the company understand the brand standards document. It addresses details as small as font type and size in the company letterhead, which is something many employees will touch at some point during their tenure. Brand standards become particularly important when multiple people start to touch the brand. Large companies can have dozens, if not hundreds, of people deploying vast amounts of content for a brand. That content must have the same look and feel, despite it being born from the great minds of countless creative people.

You can think of brand standards as the main tool for managing brand assets. Truthfully, creating the brand standards manual is the easy part, it is managing the assets of a brand on a daily basis that is challenging. Employees, especially creative folks, may resist staying within the strict lines of the brand standards, as they may feel it hinders their creativity. However, it is quite the contrary. Working within guidelines requires that you elicit even more creativity to produce the outcome you envision with all the extra rules and strings attached.

It is important that employees, contractors, and all who touch the brand understand that closely following the standards is critical to the brand experience and creating a brand that has a long and successful life. There is no better way to protect your enormous investment into your brand than to develop thorough brand standards.

But remember, you can’t stop there, the brand standards are nothing more than wasted time and trees if you are not enforcing the standards every single day on every single project, communication, or any other effort set forth by the organization.