Colour Kindred Spirits! Maria Killam and I Talk Branding…

decoden phone case, handmade on etsy, scarlett, sparkle phone, cabochons

decoden phone case, handmade on etsy, scarlett, sparkle phone, cabochons

I have always liked taking care of my appearance. Not excessively so – I don’t have plastic surgery and although I indulge myself in a little Botox here and there, I am still a fairly casual girl – definitely not looking like an Real Housewife or anything. Just hopefully looking the best I can at the age I am. I probably feel like I look the best that I ever have, as my style is a bit more refined, I know what works on my body and I am okay with dressing fairly casual a lot of the time.

michelle horsman photography, scarlett musings, pretty pinteresting

Do you find that there is a hole in dressing and style information for 40-ish-year-old hip women? I had dinner last week with an old colleague and kindred-spirit Maria Killam, and she has developed a Colour System for Interiors that will help you choose the right colour for your space every time. It takes the guess work out of picking paint colours, back splashes and other fixed elements.

maria killam, scarlett ballantyne, kindred spirits, pretty pinteresting

So Maria and I were chatting blogging – she has a very large readership that I can only hope to someday copy –  and also about the next colour and style direction for her website: *update 2017 – her new website is live! I am excited to work with her in the new year on this, as she wants some guidance with fashion/makeup and head shots.  And then we chatted about my branding and how to make it more obvious and refined. She asked me a lot of questions, some that I am afraid I didn’t have the answers too. I have been spending a lot of time lately figuring out how to wrap up what I am doing that I haven’t thought much about what I am doing next. Like what is it that I actually do? Am I a makeup expert? A colour expert? A direct sales expert? What do I want to Own as my brand? Is my Brand Pretty? Pinteresting?

Is it obvious to new readers?

This got me thinking. A lot. Despite being very busy with my daughters this past few days, my mind has been going a mile a minute. Maria and I talked a lot about Instagram and Pinterest and visuals and photography. Those are the things I love to do, but to be super successful as a blogger/writer, you do have to have some sort of back-end support and outsource things. I am sort of a reluctant techy; I learn the things I need to learn but it’s not my instinct to be online all day figuring out the details of WordPress. But I do it because I have to and I don’t have partner to work on those things for me. But like everyone, there are just not enough hours in the day to learn it all and do it all. I’m a mother/taxi-driver/architect-of-my-family first. Then everything else second.

**2017 Note: A lot of our conversation really did help me get to where I am now: blogging about That Mom Hustle, with your family first and hustle on the side. 

Maria taught me that I really need to refine my brand going forward…and figure out exactly what I am so it is a little more clear to my readers. Maria has a goal to become the Martha Stewart of Colour. All things to do with colour, she wants to own as part of her branding, as a go-to person and as her overall persona. She wants to be Internationally recognized in her field as the Expert on Colour. And I think that she will be. Because she is THAT clear on where she wants to go.

I have to think a lot about what I want to be….I’ve often thought that I would like to own the space of how to be a hip-cool-mama-blogger-fun-go-to-style-girl-for-what-is trendy. Like-Gwen-Stefani-who-is-a-mother-of-three-cool-girl-over-45-yet-age-doesn’t-matter.


Maria Killam, blogger, decorator

***2017 Note: Since I wrote this, there has been so much growth in my branding awareness and the online resources available on the internet. Even though my website is never exactly where I want it to be, I have changed my focus to align more with my mission, which took me plenty of time to really identify. I have also written dozens of articles around the web, and focused on writing as a side hustle. The key to it all, is being agile enough to move with with current interests, pick something you love doing and to be authentically yourself. Maria Killam also launched her new website with killer photography and a new brand look. While we discussed working together, I didn’t actually end up working with her on the final project. 

scarlett ballantyne, maria killam branding, maria killam colour expert, passion


7 comments on “Colour Kindred Spirits! Maria Killam and I Talk Branding…

  1. I’ll be 45 in January, and fashion is something I’ve always struggled with, even more now that my body changed after having a baby at 40. I’ve never had to work so hard to highlight my attributes!
    Next time you’re in the desert I’d love to have a fashion consultation as a follow up to the makeup one I had in BC. (Makeup has become a daily habit for me!)

  2. Hi! Scarlett, Just wanted to share with you Maria change my life. I know that sounds crazy but what I learned in her course and from her blog is what branded me with my customers. I am a decorative painter, faux painting and plasters as well as general house painter. My customers refer me to their friends and family. The first thing they tell them is how great I work with them on color selection. So many people have an idea of the color they want in their living space but they are amazed at what it takes to get it right. This knowledge has set me apart from typical painters and has been a part of my branding process. I hang on every word Maria says and when I apply it to my life and work… it works!!

  3. Linda! I have known Maria for many years – I even have some old photos somewhere of ME teaching HER colour theory! Everything she has done in her life has led her to where she is today – and I am so happy for her success and just hope to follow suit. She definitely knows her stuff!

  4. Hi – enjoyed your website but you might want to think about updating that Gwen Stefani part…since the
    “happily married” no longer applies!

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