Becoming Chalk + Chisel: Inside & Out
August 31, 2015Category: Strategy

Becoming Chalk + Chisel: Inside & Out

By Kim Watson

Becoming Chalk + Chisel: Inside & Out

The Chalk + Chisel Account Strategy Team

Since early November of 2014, our Founders had been working to refine the brand we now know as Chalk + Chisel. For months there were meetings, murmurs, and mentions of what we could expect to see until it was finally time to tell the world.

With so much anticipation around the rebrand, we were determined for the launch to reflect the thoughtfulness that not only went into the new brand, but is also a core piece of our culture and work.

As the strategy team came together to talk rollout, we knew two things at the most basic level:

  1. Communicate the change to our clients externally
  2. Create a team-wide understanding of the brand internally

We came together, ideas overflowing about how we would tell our clients, but the conversation quickly shifted. To be more than a name, our team needed to live and breathe what Chalk + Chisel was about.

Looking Inward

The new brand was familiar to us. Relating to the story was easy because it stemmed from a culture that already existed. Making sure that culture could come to life, connect with each individual, and live beyond the original Bolster team was a challenge.

First, we had to say goodbye to Bolster. It was important that this rebrand didn’t feel like a bad breakup. That each team member’s unique meaning of Bolster didn’t feel abandoned, and everyone had a chance to close their chapter no matter how long or short it may be.

Enjoying craft cocktails at Woodberry Kitchen

We closed up shop early and shuttled over to Woodberry Kitchen for lunch and cocktails. This restaurant shares a similar sentiment as the Chalk + Chisel brand: crafting a meaningful dining experience where everything (from the homegrown, rustic aesthetic and locally sourced ingredients, to the beautifully presented meal) connects the customer to their brand. They don’t sacrifice their brand ethos for anything.

Grazing over appetizers, our team learned how to make three of the restaurant’s seasonal cocktails. It was relaxed, intimate, and symbolic - the perfect experience to set the tone.

Custom menu for our nourishment

We ate lunch family-style together from a customized Chalk + Chisel menu, and started to say goodbye. The Founders took us back to the beginning and employees shared their favorite Bolster memories. We shared one last unforgettable meal together before we were officially Chalk + Chisel.

Enjoying the feast

Stepping Into the Future

Bellies were full, glasses were empty, and we made our way back to the office. Walking off the elevator, to the 8th floor was different this time; the logo on our glass door entrance had been replaced. It was all coming together.

Our new logo—it was all coming together

We gathered together and talked about the new brand. What it meant, where it came from, and where we were going. Leadership explained how each member of the team was taken into consideration when creating the new brand. They handed us gifts that were specifically chosen for each of us, encouraging us to embrace our personal craft.

At the heart of Chalk + Chisel, we are all makers.

A toast to new adventures!

We each pursue something beyond our job titles that in an abstract way make our contribution to Chalk + Chisel unique. More than that, it was the company’s acknowledgement that our culture encourages not only the professional development that makes me Kim, the Account Strategist, but also the personal development that makes me Kim, the Interior Decorator.

A final toast closed the day, and together we clinked glasses to an exciting new adventure!

A Hand-delivered Toast

There had been conversations in passing with our clients. Most of them were aware we were going through a rebranding process, but they weren’t sure what was going to be coming out of it. New name? New logo? New colors? Maybe it was just that we would finally have a website.

Knowing this was a major transition, our clients needed to understand the meaning behind change and share in the celebration. After all, several of our clients have been with us from the beginning. We decided a craft cocktail kit was the perfect way to share a toast with our clients.

Sharing a toast with our clients

The gifts were a nod to our commitment to craft, and the Chalk and Chisel club of 1885 that inspired our rebrand. We filled tool crates with hand-stamped Chalk + Chisel coasters , ingredients, and the recipe to make our signature cocktail, “The Finishing Touch”. We also included custom designed tags explaining the story behind our brand and a handwritten card from the team.

We’ve been distributing these in person and enjoying the chance to share in the excitement. We’re lucky to have such supportive clients rooting for us, and can’t wait to move forward together with them.

Cheers to the clients who believed in us, and trusted us to help create amazing things together.

Cheers to the employees who embraced Bolster, so that we could become Chalk + Chisel.

Kim Watson
Kim Watson is an account strategist at Chalk + Chisel