Friday, July 26, 2013

Branding My Business

Branding My Business

Branding My Business was kind of an accident.  I didn't plan it but I was blessed to have inherited this photograph.  The question I am asked most about my business is where did I get the photograph used as my online avatar and on my business card; and who is the woman pictured?  Probably taken around 1929, the woman pictured is my paternal grandmother, Charlotte.  She was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland where her parents immigrated from Poland.  Her family owned and operated a local hotel and restaurant in Fells Point, Baltimore for several decades.

The "photograph," what I now consider my logo and the face of my brand, was taken of her at the age of 19.  Charlotte....or "Lotte" to those who knew her best was never really comfortable being photographed.  I'm sure she would be somewhat embarrassed to know that people from all over the world email me letting me know how much they love and admire her photograph.  Most ask me who she is and how I came to own the photograph.  Some have even asked to purchase a copy as I reluctantly sold one last week at my store in Annapolis.  They said it reminded them of a relative.  It's funny how protective I felt of it because she is MY relative!

I'm not sure what the occasion was in the photograph, but she was dressed in some sort of costume.  This photograph was taken of her and then turned into whats now known as a "photograph postcard" (as shown on the left.)  These "photo postcards" were popular to have made in the early 1900's.  Finding these vintage postcards today is becoming increasingly popular and high in demand with both collectors and dealers alike.

My grandmother's photo postcard, hung on our kitchen wall for more than 35 years. As a child, I always loved that picture and have treasured it for the last two years since I inherited from my father.  My grandmother was always a mystery to me even though she lived with us later in her life when she became terminally ill with cancer.  She lived with us until she died in 1983.  A very private person, she never talked much about herself but since researching our family genealogy a couple of years ago, I've learned a great deal more about her and I feel much more deeply connected to her now. She was beautiful and she worked incredibly hard to raise her two boys as a single mother.  Not an easy feat in those days.  When I think of my business and my shop now, I think of her. She is my brand - the face and the name - Echoes Of Charlotte.  What about you?  Do you have old family photographs that you cherish?  I would love to hear about them!  To read more about me, click here.