Boho Valley becomes Wallflower Vintage. We go behind the rebrand with founder Valerie Martin
There are perks to being a wallflower, says reseller Valerie Martin — so much so that she recently renamed her online-based shop to Wallflower Vintage.
Martin debuted a new website and brand for the shop formerly known as Boho Valley on Jan. 11, nearly two years after originally founding the business in 2020.
The first name was “something I came up with on a whim,” she says to The Vintage Seeker via email, recalling the popularity of boho-style decor, the “Valley” nickname she had as a kid, and the fact that she lives in Ontario in the Ottawa Valley.
But after seeing success with Instagram sales, Martin, a full-time mom who runs her shop on the side, wanted to level up the business and make it a brand. She began work on an e-commerce website and engaged brand consultant Sara Lepine, founder of brand and web design studio Girls Doing Things, to develop a visual identity and marketing strategy.
Lepine encouraged Martin to rethink the Boho Valley name, noting that it no longer reflected the shop’s inventory — which had extended beyond boho to include ’80s brass, mirrors, ornate framed prints, and vintage Turkish rugs and pillows.
“I want people to know who I am,” says Martin, who says her introverted personality and neutral style influenced the name Wallflower Vintage. “I want to engage more with my followers and give them an experience, rather than just posting items to sell on my grid.”
Using Martin’s inspiration words of “minimal,” “neutral,” “boho” and “antique,” Lepine delivered a primary and secondary logo, brand stamp, colour palette and mood board, social profiles, typography suite, brand story and brand guidelines.
“Sara was really the brains behind this one,” Martin says of the brand collaboration, which took place over the course of a month and included several coaching sessions.
“We gave Valerie her competitive edge […] as a vintage reseller who is known for minimal and boho-inspired finds as well as mom/lifestyle content,” says Lepine via email.
“Building a brand means building a community,” says Lepine. “The goal is to be known for you and your story, not just the items that you sell.” She repositioned Martin’s story to highlight her background as a hobby photographer.
“Since the pandemic, there have been a ton of small businesses that have popped up, which makes it difficult to stand out,” says Lepine, who notes that strong brand development is a worthy investment for a small business that doesn’t have ongoing funds to run ads.
Rather than play to trends, Lepine advises businesses to work to identify their “spice,” or what differentiates them in the market. A strong sense of self makes continual brand evolution possible as the company grows, she says.
And “working with a brand and web designer not only gives you professional and high-quality deliverables, but you also get to create a story versus just a logo,” she says.
Going forward, Martin plans to run more stylized images on her feed, and to highlight her internationally sourced finds. She now offers shipping within Canada and will add product drops directly to the website, with previews on Instagram Stories.
“I’ve niched down even more and only sell what I would decorate my own home with,” Martin says. “My brand really represents me now.”