The journey to FIVE12 STUDIO isn’t a straight shot, as most stories aren’t. Like most businesses, visions change as growth happens and revisions need to happen to accommodate them.

Wednesday I blogged about changing your brand’s name and what you should consider before doing it.

Y’all, this is me speaking from personal experience, so I present to you: The journey to FIVE12 STUDIO.

My blood, sweat, and tears.

What makes me happy, what gives me anxiety, which makes me extremely proud.

Back in the day, when I graduated with a second degree, I was quick to think, “How can I market myself while looking for full-time?” because it was important to keep up my skills while I continued to look for opportunities in the workforce.

I knew two things:

I wanted to design and I wanted to do photography.

After some Googling and bouncing ideas, I came up with CNICOLE Photodesign, which I would shorten, ‘cnicolepd’ across the web. C being Clarissa, and Nicole being…well, Nicole.

It worked for a bit. I branded, bought the domain, set up my blog, Facebook, Twitter, and put together a very simple and plain website and started going. I didn’t have a ton to share but I kept in mind I just graduated so that’s OK.

My first website on Weebly. And yes, that header/logo is not that great.

What I did have was family and friends’ photos to show my photography skills and a few internship pieces. With those, I showcased my best assets, willingness to learn and eventually landed temp assignments.

I started blogging after coming across a few popular design blogs because I thought, “Oh that’s cool. I can do that too.” I was very oblivious to behind the scenes of blogging. But here are some of the mistakes I learned from in the beginning: I didn’t map out the vision I had for the long term.


Logo redoes part 1. Better than the last. Still not good.


Because of the economy, I only focused on the very short-term goal (to get income, now). I didn’t have a mentor went out there on my own and really winged it. With no knowledge on building up a freelance presence, I found myself still broke and being used. Remember that post about to free or not to free? That came from personal experience. I undercharged, didn’t have a contract and got completely screwed over a few times.

The last of the Mohicans.

The font stayed, the name didn’t.

It was late 2012/early 2013 when I realized CNICOLE Photodesign staggered what I wanted to do. It was limiting.

I brainstormed and figured out what name would better coincide with what I wanted to do. What would go (and look) well with branding, a collaboration, a product line, etc? It came to me upon a midnight hour (quite literally) to use a variation of my birthdate, May 12.


FIVE12 STUDIO is a way to serve people through more than just this and that. I’m free to add or subtract services.

Honestly, I downright love it.

Are you considering changing your brand’s name? Have you? I’d love to know bit more about your decision!

Until next time,