Beth Dotolo and Carolina V. Gentry know the importance of good branding. The two women started out working in hospitality design before joining forces to open a shared firm, Pulp Design Studios, firm in 2007. Their first branding exercise came with their name: “We named it Pulp because we always wanted to be more of a brand as opposed to Dotolo Gentry, being about us,” explains Dotolo. Since then, the duo has built up a successful interior design practice and ecommerce business with offices in Seattle and Dallas. This spring, they launched their first ever licensed collection, a line of textiles with S. Harris.
As Dotolo and Gentry see it, the line is the manifestation of their careful brand strategy, most of which happens online. For the past eight years, they’ve further fleshed out their brand identity through a blog, and more recently, they’ve shared style tips and peeks at projects (both complete and in-progress) on Instagram, where @pulpdesigns has more than 20,000 followers.
“They said that’s how they found us – through Instagram,” says Dotolo of the team at S. Harris who approached them. “Then they got to our site and saw all the videos we do and our blog and they decided we were a brand they were excited about and wanted to align with.”
To the designers, this reasoning, while exciting, was far from surprising. Dotolo and Gentry have long been using digital platforms to grow their business. “We’ve been blogging for about 8 years now,” Gentry says. “Our blog has been a huge part of growing our firm, because when we started, no one knew who we were and we had no clients. We used social to get clients first. If it weren’t for our blog we wouldn’t be as well-branded or as well-known.”
A bedroom setting showcases the collection’s more subtly-hued designs.