A Brand All Her Own
Branding can be defined as the promise a business makes to its customer: what that customer can expect of a business’s products and services and what makes that business different from its competitors. It reflects who the business owner is and where the business is headed.
Shivanee A. Patel, founder and CEO of Dignify Designs, understands how important a good branding and marketing concept can be and how important it is to the success of her clients. These days, she is known worldwide for the services provided by her company, sometimes referred to as “The One-Stop Shop for Everything Branding.”
But there was a time when her world was much smaller and she felt trapped “inside the box.”
Born in California to parents who were raised in Gujaret, India, Patel moved to and grew up in Enola in a home where she was much loved but also very much isolated from her peers.
“My parents emigrated from India in their teens and brought their traditional, overprotective, and strict regulations along with them,” she said. “When it came to afterschool entertainment, it was obvious for other students to count me out.”
She did find opportunities to participate in some approved school activities by taking on various leadership roles. Patel realized, however, that even though she often felt trapped in her room, she had a very important and powerful tool right at her fingertips that could help her escape—a tool that provided her with the chance to connect with the outside world.
That tool, she said, was the World Wide Web.
As she discovered all the avenues of opportunity available to her via the Internet, Patel was able to reach out to others and discovered that she had a creative flair that others could benefit from. One of her first endeavors that showcased her creative talents involved writing resumes.
“After being accepted for more than 50 jobs by the age of 18, I realized how easy it was to obtain a job through a proper resume,” she recalls. “Some of my friends saw my success and asked me to tweak their resumes.”
Those who applied for jobs using the enhanced version of their resumes had no trouble finding jobs.
“I was soon doing 20 to 30 [resumes] per week,” Patel said. “Even though the resume business was good, I started to expand.” And Dignify Designs was born.
Since a good resume is, in effect, presenting the “brand” of that individual, Patel was pleased to discover that her talents for branding could be used effectively in a variety of other ways.
Today, her company has expanded into providing branding services through website development, social media, business cards, photography, graphic design, and logo design.
Dignify Designs also provides services for those who wish to become published authors, encouraging them with a program that helps them write a book within as little as 90 days. Patel has published three books herself, the first of which she wrote at the age of 19.
“I wrote all three of my books in one year, and it was largely due to the power of concentration,” Patel said.
Patel firmly believes that many people are spending their workdays at a job that is “nowhere near their aspirations,” she said. “I turned my passion of designing and branding into a profession because I saw the need of expression everywhere I went … [I] did whatever it took to use my gift—even if it was on my own initiative.”
It is her personal goal to ensure that every project her company takes on only reaches its conclusion when the client is completely satisfied.
“From updating clients, managing projects, giving speeches, and taking care of my employees, there are various assignments and duties that are planned out in accordance with one another to ensure completion,” Patel said.
Each day, she allocates time to communicate with existing customers, engage with new prospects, and touch base with previous clients.
“In order to stay creative, I must travel, relax, read, and work—even if it’s all in the same day.”
Although Patel does admit that any given day can consist of blessings and rewards but also of downfalls, tests, and trials, “every day is a good day for me,” she said.
“More specifically, a good day is when someone is admiring my work in my presence without knowing who created it,” said Patel.
Being a woman in the field of branding has opened many doors for Patel, but she also works hard to keep up with the latest technologies and updates in a field that can change daily.
“I make sure to align myself with national experts in my industry to ensure rapid growth,” she said.
She also credits the many mentors she has been privileged to work with and gives back by being a mentor herself, sharing her expertise with others.
Patel holds retreats for her staff, which present the opportunity to not only enjoy each other’s company, but also to review previous work and customer responses and how they can improve as a team.
“My staff members [also] communicate with me through Google Hangouts, Skype, phone, and email,” she said. “If we aren’t at the office, we are at a seminar or restaurant—learning and growing.”
Since the inception of her business, Patel said that she learned quickly that her youth is an asset.
“I learn from others’ failures and mistakes … and with faith and determination, any barrier can be broken, both personally and professionally.”
Patel has also learned that if she is prepared and ready to serve as much as possible, she and her business will enjoy continued success.
“If I have righteous desires, backed by faith, my business will grow organically,” she said. “Deep inside each of us are deep reservoirs that must be brought out … with faith and purpose, alongside with enthusiasm, the world will move for any man or woman who truly knows how to serve with love.” BW