The role of a doula is to add extra hands—and for Robin Andersen, she’s adding eight to be exact, and in the shape of an octopus—because what better messaging is there than a species that can multitask, change color, survive a millennium, and sport more than one brain when a mom just needs an extra set of hands?
“You know, I’ve never owned my own business and I’m starting a new career and I really felt like Jess could meet me on all three of those levels. From having worked with other doulas and understanding start-ups, Jess understood the whole nine yards of what it means to be a new doula,” said Andersen.
So why the octopus?
“Hands come from the idea of once you have a new baby, you feel like you need to grow more hands to be able to accomplish everything,” said Andersen.
The idiom—and very real struggle to do more than what is humanly possible—became a launching point for Andersen’s branding—and the marriage of Jess Bejot’s, Principal at Blue + Pine, playful approach to branding.
“An octopus is a very smart creature, and they can adapt to change, and blend in with their environment. Their arms work as a team—they really are these amazing animals that have so much imagery,” she said.
As a doula, integrating that fluidity into strategic business marketing represented exactly what Andersen wanted her potential clients to know about her services.
“The idea of a doula coming into your house and being there to support you both mentally and physically but still have the work be playful and positive—often it’s the people with many kids who need doulas. There’s a lot going on and someone always needs an extra set of hands.” Andersen said her cousin had a baby, a year and a half before she had her first child, and she said that her cousin had hired a postpartum doula—which inspired her to train as a doula herself.
“I had no idea what that was, and I guarantee you, I rolled my eyes at her, like, why in the world, would you need that or one? And then after my child was born, I was like, okay, I get it now. And after having my own overwhelming and frustrating spell with plenty of tears, I asked my cousin if I could have the postpartum doula’s contact information,” she said.
Andersen’s instinct to seek out expertise led her to Blue + Pine because when she realized her professional calling as a doula, she also saw that there’s more than meets the eye to running a small business. Bejot, for Andersen, was exactly the right mix of sounding board, creativity, an aptitude to make her new professional path less bumpy—and in essence, be the complimentary octopus to the extra eight hands Andersen has to offer her clients.
“I really felt the need to utilize her entire ability—and I have been so surprised how Jess has been able to streamline so many facets of running a business for me so I can concentrate on the work as a doula—and to still have time to dedicate to my family when I am not working.”
What Andersen found with Blue + Pine, was a consulting firm that could also take on the communication demands, managing email templates and plugins, collecting information from clients, and creating a pipeline so calls to action could be managed with a personal touch.
“Robin hired me to start with her brand messaging. We started strong by exploring her business goals, marketing plans, client journey, client problems, her solutions, and how her services will improve the lives of her clients. We did this through our 3 brand strategy calls,” explains Bejot.
“I then wrote several brand messaging concepts and together we refined her message collaboratively so it would sound and feel genuine and authentic. The brand message helped inspire her business name. Since I had served as a labor doula and worked in the birth world for about 6 years, I was able to aggregate my own experiences as a doula—and fellow business owner.”
Bejot’s customized approach for her clients was shaped around where Andersen was in her process—and that manifested in using something as easy as an app like Pinterest.
“The Pinterest board has been a great vessel to ground all the inspiration and goals,” said Bejot. “Robin has been pinning anything that inspires her based on her ideal client’s anticipated needs and desires. This includes colors, textures, fonts, design styles, and photographs.”
Bejot and Andersen regularly meet to discuss both their inspirations, ideas, and goals with each project they are tackling for Eight Hands. The two began working together in fall 2021 and finalized Andersen’s brand message in late January 2022. Her logo development began in March.
Bejot’s delicate and personalized approach to her clients tends to turn the creative consultant into her clients’ biggest cheerleaders, as she devises a strategy to help each of them achieve their goals. And for Andersen, as a female entrepreneur, mother, and doula—the pride Bejot has in her doula practice is evident throughout their communication and creative process.
“I am so proud of her willingness to step outside of her individualized style choices and think like the boss of her business. She is laser-focused on thinking about her choices from the perspective of her clients. It is an incredibly hard skill to learn, but so important to long-term success,” said Bejot.
At Blue + Pine, branding is viewed as the foundation for all future marketing—and for Bejot, it is imperative that each client’s branding reflect the people she is working with. “Robin is willing to be brave and try branding elements that aren’t as often seen in the birth world. Birth branding is often woman-centered, with highly feminine curves, colors, and feelings—but we are trying to break some boundaries.”
Bejot and Andersen have an ambitious set of objectives for the doula practice’s messaging, and one that is critical to changing family dynamics and needs, hoping to find a more gender-neutral identity—and one that will stick out from the crowd but is still wholly organic, and one that will resonate with any new mom or mom of four, that help is there—eight hands to make the impossible possible—or just get through the day, and have the kids fed and make it to bed that night.