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Startup Diary: How We’re Really Building It - Logo Love

Hi there. This is the part of the Tokki blog that gives you a roughly real-time, behind the scenes view of how a company is actually getting built. Not “How I built it”, in the past tense, with the benefit of hindsight and editing. “How we’re building It,” in the present tense, with zero to very little editing (because who has the time and money for an editor?!?).

For me, building a company is my way of expressing optimism and hope. In our small corner of the world, we get to write our own rules and treat each other as I hope the world will treat our children. I’ve also always loved the idea of technology enabling companies to break down the walls between customers and company. To create a different, better kind of “we.”

So here we go. Thanks for being here with us. It’s week 3 after launch, so the best is both now and yet to come.

October 8, 2019: Logo love

I’m coming to believe that the job of a founder is to fall in love over and over again. Lucky for me, I have surrounded myself with people who make that extraordinarily easy. Also, falling in love truly, madly, deeply, is my superpower.

Earlier this summer, it was my job to fall in love with a logo. I had the good fortune to be presented with several beautiful, soul capturing options. At first, I thought it was my job just to pick one.

Which was hard because I don't speak design language. To my untrained eye, there were elements of one that looked more techy and origami-y – reminding of one of my favorite bowls (below, it shipped flat and folded up - now holds all my remotes!).

There were elements of another that seemed organic, sleek but irregular (my favorite combo). I loved them both, differently.

Both were based on “ears” that come together in a heart. The ears reference our name “Tokki,” which is Korean for rabbit. Also, when the edges of the gift wrap fabric are pulled up, they look like ears to me. The designers in my life, Treasure and Loann, reminded me over and over again that it’s all subjective. They told me that it was up to me to pick what felt best to me. I didn't realize how much I missed this.

Towards the end of my time at Julep, I was spending so much time on the road with retailers, Maven events and fundraising that I didn’t get to revel in this kind of picking. Darrell Cavens, Former CEO and Founder of Zulily, once advised me that sometimes we just have to pick between two equal options, but it’s important to do so with gusto – even, and especially, when both options seem strong and have passionate advocates. When choosing between option “Purple” and “Blue”, both of which are beautiful and have their merits, it is our main job to stand enthusiastically behind whichever one we pick.

Loann went even farther to say that it will be beloved because I picked it; not that I have to pick the one that is most likely to be beloved (I had to chew on that one for a bit).

Like a house, there are many logos in which I can imagine a future. The first house we ever bought was a traditional craftsman in Seattle and then we ended up in a flat-roofed modern home. We’ve grown and found happiness in both.

I have realized that I agree with Loann - it’s as much about what you fall in love with as it is about how you fall in love. So here’s to our future home. We have fallen in love and I know we will be happy here.

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