Brand Interview: Kendra Coppey Fitzgerald, Founder, Barefoot Tiger
How long has your company been in business? Please tell us a bit about your company, its mission, goals…
I created Barefoot Tiger in 2005 to create a community where the student in all of us can be cultivated, inspired and supported and to create a community that encourages a thirst for education about Self, other beings and the world around us, so that we can begin to inspire the same in others.
We are a mobile team of 15 fun-loving, inspired and healthy teachers, therapists and trainers, all with the same goal: to teach and inspire others to live healthy lives, in the comfort of their own homes. We visit our clients at home in New York City (and coming soon to LA in 2013!) and make it possible for our clients to fit wellness regimes into their busy schedules.
I’m often asked about how I came up with the name. It was dreamt up in a tiny NYC apartment kitchen back in 2003, the name ‘Barefoot Tiger’ was born as a vision for what optimum health, fitness and well-being really look like. To arrive at your best version of well-being requires invoking the qualities of being barefoot and being a tiger, simultaneously. When you are barefoot, you are connected to Earth. You are grounded, and your sense of calm and stability increases. Being barefoot is also a kind of letting down your guard or vulnerability that is open and honest, yet powerful. The tiger is a strong being, graceful, efficient, powerful and commanding on the outside, yet humble and wise on the inside.
Do you donate to charities? Tell us about that also and why.
Yes. We donate regularly to local school fundraisers, breast cancer support groups, and projects which advance healthy learning. I feel it is important to give back and join together to create support for those around us who need help.
Tell us about your brand.
How did you know what typeface (font) would be right for your company wordmark or logo? If your logo has an illustration, describe why that art was the right thing, animal, place, object, etc…
I worked closely with a designer to create our logo and illustration. She asked me important questions about who our clients are, what I wanted our prospective clients to feel when they saw our brand, and what image we wanted to put forth. She did a terrific job! The fan art in the logo was chosen because it reflected the relaxed and natural image of Barefoot Tiger.
How did you decide on the right color palette to fit your company look and feel?
Because our clients are both men and women, I wanted a color palette that would appeal to both groups. I chose the green and red colors because it reflected the duality of our brand; green represents the aspects of health and serenity, and the red highlights the simultaneous power and strength we encourage. The colors and shades of colors have really played well together to create the brand today!
How did you decide which type of designer to work with, or did you design your own identity and web presence?
I chose a designer to create my logo and overall brand based on work I had done with her on other projects in my corporate-life experience. She had a great portfolio so it was an easy choice. The fact that she asked me so many detailed questions about my ideal clients and the feelings I wanted to inspire with my brand was really encouraging as well. For our latest website redesign (completed in 2011), I chose a company that focuses on design for wellness industry companies. I just loved the sites they had in their portfolio! I had a very long conversation with their team as well about our clients and what image we wanted to promote, and they came up with the perfect options right out of the gate.
In what order did you present your company to the world? Did you start with marketing and products, or website, blog and social media?
Our website came first and then I added business cards, postcards, brochures, and email newsletters. With our website rebrand in 2011, we also added a blog into the actual website which has greatly helped our search engine optimization. Social media was the last thing to add, although we use it the most now to promote our blogs, newsletters and events.
How long after the launch of your company did you start pitching in social media?
We started using social media a lot more frequently in 2011 with the launch of our new site. With a site that inspired me, I wanted to share it as much as I could!
Did you do research or study any software, take webinars, teleclasses, before approaching any area of your marketing or web presence?
I spent a lot of time on entrepreneur.com and reading blogs on creating websites. It was really helpful! My website designers were also incredibly helpful and gave me tips about getting the most exposure from the site, like embedding the blog in the site and the SEO impact that can create and using video testimonials to our advantage.
Do you advertise locally in newspapers and/or nationally in magazines? Are they effective?
Our clients usually come to us through word of mouth and client referrals, so we don’t advertise in newspapers or magazines for the time being. We do, however, focus on editorial advertising and PR opportunities to be featured in articles.
Do you advertise online using Google, Facebook or on other company sites? Are they effective?
Google has worked out really well for us. We usually see an uptick in our inquiries and website visits when we launch our Google Adwords campaigns, but even without those campaigns Google has been great. We also use Yelp where our clients can review us and prospective clients can see our reviews so they know how we can help them!
When you printed your products, packaging, business cards and other print marketing did you choose an online printer or visit a local vendor?
I initially chose a local vendor for my postcards, and quickly decided to switch to online printing at Vistaprint. I now print everything through Vistaprint because of the cost savings and the ability to print things quickly and effectively, with low minimum requirements for printing.
Did you know anything about different types of papers, when you wanted to print your marketing materials?
I did know a great deal about different paper types because of previous experience in publishing, and in the end it came down to a cost issue. I value the ability to choose paper types in my online purchases, and appreciate that those choices are often very economical.
What is coming up in the year or two we should watch for?
We are launching Barefoot Tiger in Los Angeles in early 2013, and are very excited to offer our health and wellness services to the West Coast!
Is there anything you haven’t yet tackled, but will want to do soon?
Yes! I would like to start a video series and online program for those who can’t work with us in-person, and offer workshops and retreats in exotic locations!
To learn more about Kendra and Barefoot Tiger, visit the links below:
- Brand Interview: Rebeca Vallejo, Performance Artist, New York City
- Brand Interview: Dr. Elizabeth Chabner Thompson, Founder of BBFL Co (Best Friends For Life)