There's Something Bout A Truck...
Our beloved Bessie...let me just start by saying that I love her has much as you all do. She was the first major decision I made when starting this business, and I have her to thank for the majority of my success. She turned out to be one of my best investments yet. Who would have thought that a simple cow logo could turn into such a popular branding element. Certainly not me.
The truth is, when I first saw her, I hated her. It was far from what I had in mind but I was so desperate that I never even told my designer that I didn't like her. Within an hour of receiving her, I started printing labels and taking photos our very first logo. I remember being nervous the very first time that I posted a photo of her...and then it happened. Everyone fell in love. & quickly, so did I.
She has appeared on soap labels, hats, t-shirts, blankets, and so much more over the last year. I will never forget the feeling of seeing her on that very first tank top and thinking to myself...this is it. This is what is going to sell. And guess what? It did. She sold more items than I could have ever possibly imagined, and for that I am grateful.
Since I have announced the rebranding of Salt Lickers, many have commented about how much they love the original Bessie logo...and you guys, SO DO I! She isn't going anywhere because I love her so much. I made the decision that I wanted to separate the original bath product logo from the new area of my business, fashion. BUT, I never wanted to get rid of her or that brand and the message that she represents. This is why I have chosen a logo for the clothing line that still includes Bessie.
There are a lot of reasons that I have chosen a truck to become a part of my branding. It is actually something that I have always wanted, from that very first moment that I decided that I needed a logo for Salt Lickers over a year ago. I had this vision of exactly what I wanted, and I got Bessie instead. Now, I am not complaining, that ole' girl has been good to me...but it wasn't my dream. Some of the best memories in my life involve old pick up trucks.
I lost my Uncle Dale when I was young, but I still have a vivid memory in my mind of that old blue Model A Ford truck that he would drive around. My favorite picture of him is of him driving down Broadway during the Salem Christmas Parade waving to me out in the crowd with the biggest grin on his face. A wreath hanging from the door. The picture hung in my bedroom my entire childhood, and continues to sit on my desk in my office. He was a one of a kind man.
My Dad had an old beat up orange Ford that I adored. For those of you that don't know me personally (because everyone that does knows this without a doubt), my dad is my person. My Poppy used to call us Sanford and Daughter because of the relationship that we have. Which in a roundabout way brings me right back to a beat up old truck. That old orange truck has a lot of good memories. I went to my first Nascar race in that truck (which we broke down in the toll booth but we won't talk about that...), I learned how to shift gears in that truck, and we rode side by side with our matching American flag 'do rag' bandannas in that truck. If I ever got the chance to buy her back, I would bring her and all of her memories home in a heart beat.
My step father drove truck my whole life, and though it is far from an old beat up truck, it's something that I was always fascinated by. Every night sitting at the dinner table, I would ask him where he was hauling to the next morning and what time he had to get up to leave. I'd ask him how many tons coming and going. I'd ask him how much it cost in fuel. The questions never ended. Every. Single. Night. & every single night he would answer all of my questions about the load without hesitation.
I used to love riding around with him in that Peterbilt, feeling like I was on top of the world as we hauled down those roads. For those of you that don't know Brian, he is the owner of one of the cleanest, prettiest, and most well kept trucks on the road around here...and that is not a biased opinion, it's the simple truth. I used to beg him to let me skip school so that I could go with him and talk on the CB. I used to sit and try to understand his books. Again, a truck.
In high school, we rode around in trucks. Whether it was sitting in that Wawa parking lot, yapping after school out in student parking, finding a field to have a bonfire in, or picking up all of our friends on the way to a party...they surrounded us. Good decisions, poor decisions, and just being kids that thought that we were invincible. All crammed into that red Ford Ranger (my first truck), a bunch of Salem County kids driving around looking for something to do.
When I came home from college was when I got together with my soon to be husband. He is a farmer and I learned all of my mother's 'farmer's wife' nightmares really quickly. Because if you are a farmer's wife, you know that if you want to spend time with that farmer...you are going to have to get out there along the side of him. I loved this about our relationship. I loved (and still do) going to work with him, even if that meant driving around in that old Freightliner or moving trucks to the next field. Even if it meant all of those phone calls while I was in the middle of making dinner that he needed a ride or help. Riding around in trucks is where we have had some of our best conversations.
The Mack that is featured on my website sits behind my in-laws home. & though he is beat up, rusted, and in desperate need of being redone...that truck holds such an amazing message to me. Sometimes, I like to sit and imagine all of the stories and memories that truck must hold. I picture a couple just like us, all of those years ago, rolling down those same country roads. I am a sucker for anything old, and the very first time I laid eyes on that Mack, I fell in love with it.
After seeing the engagement photo session that took place with that very truck, I knew that I wanted to rebrand. Because as much as I love Bessie, I wanted something more personal. I wanted an image that could represent so many pieces of my life. I wanted a truck.
SO, after this long winded explanation to the reasons why I have chosen to rebrand, I hope that you all love the story behind it as much as I do. Bessie will still be featured in the new logo that will be used on some new apparel, clothing tags, poly mailers, and so much more. She will still be on all of my soap labels, my t-shirts, and represent that very first image of success in my mind. It's not time for her to go to the slaughterhouse just yet.
Thank you all for loving her as much as I have this past year. Here's to a new chapter of Bessie.