Mek Instagram: @mek.studio
Producing with Purpose Instagram: @producingwithpurpose
Noskin Instagram: @noskin.co
On this episode of Producing with Purpose, presented by Noskin, I speak with Mirella Arapian of Mek Studio.
Previously branded Vertigo, Mek Studio are a purpose driven branding and design studio that re-branded to focus on working with clients that match the ethos of the founder, Mirella, and her commitment to veganism and the fight against the climate crisis.
Pivoting without question
There's no question that succeeding in a business venture comes down to your ability to pivot and to grasp opportunities when you see them. But it can also come down to reinvigorating the passion for your business by pivoting to align it with your values as you change as a person. That's exactly the journey that Mirella takes us on on today's episode, where she explains how pivoting from being an all-encompassing brand and design agency, to focussing only on ethical clients that align with her beliefs was a pivot that came without question.
“Aligning my values with my business - the only thing I regret is not doing it sooner”
I take some time to recap on the early decisions we made at Nōskin when defining our model, and how you assess your market, your goals and your personal passion when deciding which way to drive the business forward, and if you take all of these elements on board, the decision to pivot, even away from something successful, won't leave you feeling regret.
The importance of branding - especially for ethical businesses
“Branding is a vessel that carries your beliefs and your products and services - it isn’t just a logo”
There's no doubt that starting a business is full of expenses, and sometimes, it can be the branding and design that suffers. We talk about the importance of valuing the creative process in bringing your brand to life, but also some of the concerns around using some of the cheaper platforms that are now available to source designers.
Mirella also talks us through the importance of spending time on your brand, especially when you are a business with a purpose, as it's key that you can communicate the value you provide in a succinct way that is distinctive from what is becoming a more saturated market.
“Everyone in this space needs to really pull their finger out and stop cutting corners, because this is beyond you and your budget and your business. This is essentially saving the planet. Invest in good branding and good design, because we all have important messages we want people to act on.”
Another area we focus on is the importance of detaching the concept of cheap, or not for profit, with businesses that prioritise ethics. In some respects, the end consumer will often be purchasing a more expensive item because of the more considered process that goes into design and production, and producers should also value the partnerships along the way to lift the value of the entire industry.
Take your time - but hurry up
We close things out by asking Mirella what statement she would want to share with the world if given the chance. With a clear call-out for people to stop using animals for food, clothing and entertainment, we also talk about the journey people are taking towards a vegan lifestyle, and the urgency that this now requires, as we are facing a climate crisis.
Mirella is an excellent example of someone who has reflected on their business and their personal values, and has made the bold decision to go all in and produce with purpose, and it's inspiring to see.
You can see more about Mirella's work with Mek over on www.mek.studio
“These businesses that we have - they’re our form of activism”