Since she started her first agency, she’s built a client roster that includes Fortune 500 companies and public features. Beyond creating powerful brand names and smart visual identities for her clients, Tatiana believes the experience she provides is what makes her agencies so successful. Tatiana has built her team with people from different corners of the world, including Europe, Australia, and the US.
How and why you started your business?
My first idea was to design T-shirts, so I started an Etsy shop that I called PreTee Creative. I created shirts with witty sayings, and did some custom design work, too. From this experience, I learned a lot about balancing business with creativity…a skill that’s definitely helped me launch my agency.
A year after starting my t-shirt shop, I decided to take my creativity to the next level. I became a freelance marketing specialist, and I started looking for clients on platforms like Upwork. I found a lot of success helping clients come up with unique brand names and catchy taglines. In this space, I felt like I’d found my niche.
I started educating myself about branding – I watched webinars, took online classes, and read as much as I possibly could. Though this was a ton of work, I loved it.
After doing a ton of research and taking some online classes, I opened my own branding agency in 2019. I kept the name that I used for my T-shirt business, PreTee Creative, to remind me how far I’ve come. I was nervous to start a business because, so often, I’ve felt alone. I didn’t have any connections, role models, or mentors who could guide me in the right direction. Instead, I had to completely rely on my judgment and trust my instincts for every single decision I made but now, I can totally say it’s worth it.
While I am passionate about branding and everything creative, what I specialize in is crafting brand names. After working with a lot of companies to build brand names, I realized I had a knack for creating meaningful, unforgettable names that stand out in key markets. I believe there’s a special formula to creating powerful names. It’s a blend of strategy, research, linguistic analysis, and creativity and it’s something that really sets me apart from other agencies. This year, I launched a specialty agency that only focuses on brand naming: NamePoise.
What is your biggest success story to date? What customer story are you most proud of?
I’m honestly super proud every time I get feedback from my clients, no matter how small the scope of work is. Nothing compares to the excitement of launching or re-branding, and helping people make an impact in the market is so rewarding. I love getting to be a part of their process and their story.
If I had to be specific, I’d say that my first large-scale branding project has been one of my biggest success stories. I took over the full branding process, from concept to completion, and got great feedback from the client.
Another success story moment was when I received some super positive feedback from a major corporation. They told me that even after working with three of the biggest agencies in the world, they preferred my work. This definitely validated my entrepreneurial decisions and gave me the confidence to complete an additional project for them.
What was your biggest startup challenge? What steps did you take to overcome it? What did you learn?
I’m not sure I can just name one. (Haha.) The road has been bumpy and windy along the way, and there have been so many challenges. Not having a mentor or support system, finding the right team, learning how to scale, managing time…it’s all been a learning experience. I learned to take one step at a time, accept progress (however small), and celebrate each achievement.
What is your #1 tip for entrepreneurs?
Anyone can sell a product or offer a service. So, focus on creating a brand, not just a business. You can stand out by telling your story and selling an experience, not just a product. Create a brand strategy that communicates *why* you’re different than everyone else.
And focus on your customers – the hero of any business is the client, not your product or service.