Kalla Berk is the owner of the wedding and event planning brand, Kalla’s Galas. COVID-19 was especially disruptive to the wedding and events industry, but Kalla took the opportunity to invest time back into building a brand she loves. And that started with a new logo! We spoke to Kalla about how she got started in events, and how she’s navigated the tough times of being an event planner during a global pandemic.
What inspired you to start your own business?
After planning my high school prom and university social events too, I realized that Event Planning was the career that I was drawn to. When first entering the workforce, I focused on non-profit events, moving into more corporate and luxury high-end events and expanding my knowledge base as my career went on.
Something was always missing, though. I missed social events! Weddings filled with love, all the showers and birthday parties. I had coined “Kalla’s Galas” as my brand in high school – my reputation of being the “Event Planner” in my friend group. It felt only natural to commence my own brand.
Any advice to entrepreneurs following in your footsteps?
My motto has always been, “Fake It Till You Make It”.
Everyone learns from experience. The way to get experience is to convince someone to trust you and give you a shot. There’s no perfect way to be an entrepreneur, best to be a chameleon. Change as you learn and grow. You’re never too good for anything, and never too scared to try something new or ask for help.
How has your business been impacted by COVID-19?
COVID-19 certainly came as an unexpected surprise. Something I’d never once considered planning for. Event Planners are the King & Queen’s of Plan A, B, C, D…. expecting the unexpected. That being said, it affected everyone in the hospitality and event business. We saw an overwhelming closure of events across the globe.
With events postponed until the indefinite (unknown) future, all our clients for the foreseeable 2020 months ahead re-booked or paused their plans. We’ve proudly pivoted into a support role, with education and blogging to offer valuable information during these uncertain times. Most importantly, we’ve built a platform to support and share other small businesses that could use some business during these trying times.
Why did you decide to design a (new) logo?
It was a long time coming! Our original logo from 2013 was very outdated. I actually refrained from using it for most of my marketing materials until I had time to update it. I made excuses, like not having graphic design skills, or wanting to spend the money.
Like many in self-isolation, I tackled my “to-do list” of tasks undone, and rebranding Kalla’s Galas was one of them! I re-prioritized the marketing framework of my company and went after a new logo. It was so much easier to create than I expected, once I found Looka.
Was not having a logo prior preventing you from moving forward in your business? Was it an obstacle of any kind?
Not having a logo I was proud of definitely wasn’t practical. I wasn’t optimizing marketing opportunities, like handing out business cards or creating administrative templates (invoices, contracts) that I stood proudly behind.
I found temporary workarounds, from standard online templates, and building a strong website to compensate, but it wasn’t the most cohesive brand marketing. It didn’t position me as a professional company in relation to the quality of my work.
What company values does your logo represent?
My logo is representative of a blend of sophisticated styles, which is Kalla’s Galas as a brand. Each event is unique, a combination of different elements all coming together. Personalized and high design, but at the end always crisp, simple, and elegant. The combination of a soft handwritten font balances the sharper and more exact calculated sans serif font.
Having a unique name like “Kalla” and the fun play on words and rhyme of the company name accentuates the personal touch of the company with the embodied handwritten effect. The more traditional “Event Planning” portion offers clarity and refinement. The clean line creates geometric balance and completes the look of exactness and perfection that we strive to bring to each and every event we produce.
How was your experience using Looka to design your logo?
When beginning my design with Looka I had set aside half a day, assuming it would be a lengthy project, maybe even needing to ask the Looka designers for support. As I began working with the platform, the steps it naturally took me through, the defined selections that it asked me to refine my options with, took the overwhelming amount of options and streamlined it right away.
Looka understood what I didn’t know how to show graphically, but had envisioned in my head. Once my vision was starting to come together, it was very intuitive to tweak, play around, save, copy and restart, test on swag, and different backgrounds too. I actually ended up loving my final version so much that I saved it in multiple color variations so I didn’t have to choose.
I did a fun online survey and received a flood of support and praise on the quality of the logo. Now I have many options, depending on the look and feel I’m going with at the time or the medium.
How has having this new logo impacted your business or progress?
It felt like a great next chapter, especially in the unknown times of COVID-19 and the rebirth of many companies.