Today, we are singing the praises of the ever-delightful and creative Kassidi Gniadek of Plume Marketing Co. Real talk, y’all – Kassidi saved our website!

CONFESSION: We tried real hard to create our website ourselves, but here’s the kicker – we are photographers, not web designers. About a month after we officially launched our business, we looked at each other and said “I’m not loving our website. Are you?” That’s when we knew we had to reach out to our friend, Kassidi for her expertise to revamp and refresh our website. Thankfully (insert praise hands emoji here), she was more than happy to come to our rescue.

Kassidi was so gracious and patient with these two ladies who had slightly different opinions about exactly how the website should be formatted, were united on the aesthetic they wanted it to have, but had zero vocabulary with which to communicate that to an actual web designing professional. She gave us a vocabulary for that, helped us figure out what did and did not need to be changed, and created a site for us that is fresh and clean. We are now proud to call this website ours!

LESSON LEARNED: If you are a small business owner in the planning stages of launching or updating your website, and you are thinking you can DIY it, girl don’t. Just don’t. Make the investment. Hire the professional.

We were so thankful for Kassidi’s help that, when the tables were turned and she needed help with her branding imagery, we were THRILLED to be able to return the favor.

Kassidi told us that it was really important to her to create images that truly felt like like her. She told us before the shoot that she has too many images of herself that are posed where she was “trying to look too pretty”. Specifically, she told us “The photos themselves are fine. They are objectively attractive. But they don’t feel like me, and I don’t like them. Too stiff! Not me.” Challenge accepted, friend!

GOAL: No “stiff” photos. Give Kassidi images and video content that authentically felt like her and illustrated the custom and personalized nature of the services she provides.

Nailed it! Seriously – could she be any cuter? (Said while doing our best Chandler Bing impression…)

By her own admission, Kassidi spends the vast majority of her work time behind a computer screen and she didn’t need a gazillion images of that. While we did capture images of her actually doing her design work, we spent most of our shoot trying to capture images that highlighted Kassidi’s personality and relatability. Being professional doesn’t have to mean being stuffy and too buttoned up. Just like Kassidi, it can also be quirky, creative, artistic, and inviting.

Y’all, we had THE MOST fun on this shoot. We basically, played all over Camp North End capturing Kassidi in all of her favorite spots and it was an absolute delight…so much so that when the shoot was done, we all agreed we wanted to go grab a beer at Optimist Hall.

But, enough about what WE think! Let’s let you hear directly from Kassidi. As per usual, we asked her a series of questions designed to help our audience get to know her better, specifically as a small business owner. Here’s what she had to say:

What does your company do? What makes your service or product unique and notable? Plume provides creative, professional branding and marketing services that are custom-tailored to fit the unique needs of our clients. Whether they’re looking for a new logo and branding, a website, or just someone to help guide them through the vastness of social media marketing — or a little bit of everything! — we’ll make a package and a plan that fits their needs.

What inspired you to create your business? What draws you to the clients you serve? What would you like to share about the impact you hope to have? After working in the marketing departments of various small businesses and nonprofits over the years, I discovered that there’s a real need for quality marketing & design at an accessible price point. I am an independent, entrepreneurial spirit, so when it was time for me to make the next move in my career, I decided to strike out and share what I’d learned with like-minded folks. And Plume was born! It brings me so much life to be able to amplify the businesses and organizations of the passionate people that make up the heart of the professional workforce.

What, if any, books would you recommend to people in your niche or books that you just generally love? Oooh, books! I feel like I learn something from every book I pick up, but here are a few that have really impacted me creatively:

Things Organized Neatly | Universe Publishing, from the blog curated by Austin Radcliffe As you might imagine, I’m a lover of bright colors and fun shapes. Things Organized Neatly is a smorgasbord of visual delights, which I find inspiring as much for the unorthodox contexts of the different objects as for the dazzling color palettes they make together. I’ve had this book for years, and I still flick through it from time to time when I’m looking for a little creative spark.

Culture Care | Makoto Fujimura. There’s much to say about Makoto Fujimura as an artist and a leader — way too much for me to say in this little text box. So about his book I’ll just say: This book was one of the main influences in my decision to embrace my role as an artist in the professional sphere and create Plume. Before reading Culture Care I had always thought about being a creative as something separate from — even at odds with — being a money-making professional, but following Mr. Fujimura’s logic to connect art with business without cheapening either helped me start to connect the dots for myself. It’s a profound read for anyone, artist or otherwise.

Are there any resources or assets (software, apps, courses, etc) that have really helped you uplevel your business? Definitely:

The Wave app for finance / invoicing / expense tracking has been a game changer for my administrative workflow. I’ve used Quickbooks before, but I like Wave even better. It’s easy to use, thorough, and I’ve always been able to do everything I needed without running into a paywall. Do love. is the ultimate tool for creating color palettes, in my humble opinion. It’s great for making palettes out of brand colors for reference while you’re working on a design, or for generating randomized palettes if you’re looking for inspiration. You can see how palettes will look for people experiencing different kinds of color blindness, pull palettes from existing photos or graphics, export your palettes in a handy variety of formats, and about a million other things. For free. Another 10.

What would you say is the main thing that has helped you grow your business? This could be a personality trait, a mindset, an event, etc. Honestly, the biggest contributor to Plume’s growth this past year has been recommendations and word of mouth! It’s so affirming that clients have shared my name with colleagues and friends, and I’m so grateful for the support.

If you started your business over today, what would you focus on first to help you grow? If I had to start from scratch again today, the very first thing I’d do is get my invoicing & billing system organized. Doing it with spreadsheets and manila folders to start out was fine, but man having software has made such a big difference. It’s so much less stressful now that everything is in one place.

What is the best business advice you have ever been given? Easy — the best business advice I ever got was from my dad, who has owned and operated his own residential excavation business since I was little. I’m going to paraphrase (there was usually a longer, fatherly-advice speech attached that I’ll spare you), but it goes something like, “It’s easier and better to be honest with customers than it is to play mind games and try to upsell them with stuff they don’t need. Do good work, treat people fairly, and you’ll always have enough business to support yourself.” This philosophy has seemed to work pretty well for him!

What is your favorite mantra?
When something’s not working or I’m stuck: “Try a different angle!”

What was your absolute biggest challenge prior to doing a personal branding shoot? Honestly, dealing with persistent imposter syndrome has been THE challenge. It’s funny, it doesn’t matter how many years you’ve worked in an industry, or how much training and education you have. There’s something about striking out on your own and asserting your own abilities that is uniquely terrifying. It’s like, what if I was lying to myself this whole time and I don’t actually know anything?? Which is nonsense, of course. But it’s a thing. We have a whole syndrome about it.

How did that challenge make you feel? Terrified! Even though I was sure I wanted to start my own business — it had been a dream of mine for years at that point — that fear of not actually knowing anything made me seriously consider not going through with it. Fortunately, the encouragement of trusted voices in my life gave me the courage to overcome imposter syndrome, and here I am! But it still creeps up sometimes. When I start to suspect that I’m secretly a fraud, I take a breath, turn my music up, and keep designing.

What changed after getting/using your images and videos? So, as you can imagine from the tug-of-war with imposter syndrome, self-promotion has been really difficult up to now. Getting my branding photos and videos from Harmonie House was epiphanous — I kinda went, “Oh, that’s me! Oh, I’m running a real business. Real business owners get branding photos taken, and that’s me.” And I looked the part. The photos are professional and crisp, and they also show so much spirit and personality — they really resonated with me in a way I didn’t expect..

How was your overall experience working with us? Working with Lori Ellen and Miranda is a delight. Through some magical combination of expertise, vision, and compassion, they managed to dispel my (many) nerves on shoot day, and even get me having fun. Oh, and did I mention the pictures are amazing?? Magic. A pleasure to work with, communicative and thorough, professional, so talented, and so fun. 5 stars, 10/10!

Aw thanks, Kass! You hold such a special place in our heart – both as a professional and a friend! To get a peek into the services Kassidi provides though Plume Marketing Co., check out this service story video we created for her brand.

Here’s an idea – check out everything Kassidi and Plume Marketing Co. can do for you here. When you are done there, come back to us for all the imagery you’ll need for that shiny new website. Between our two businesses, we will create a gorgeous online presence that will get your business successfully launched or updated!

Like the images you see? We’d love to chat! Click the button in the side bar to start the conversation!