Purveyor House

Founder's Blog

We're in this together.

Notes from Purveyor House founder, Shannon LaBare. Read along for brand building tips, project recaps and a glimpse into the life of a multi-passionate creative entreprenuer. 

"Audere est Facere" | Learning, Loving + Leaving

My husband is an avid Tottenham Hotspurs fan. Maybe "fan" isn't the right term - enthusiast, fanatic, tattoo-of-team-logo kind of guy - is a better way to describe him. I've grown up playing and loving soccer so I get the game, but my fan-dom not even on the same scale as the one who "bleeds blue." We were lucky enough to go to a game in London in February and what an experience it was. The atmosphere was electric and the fans were SO into it, plus we won so husband was in a good mood.

Anyways, we watched a great documentary a few months ago about the history of the club, how they have stood up for their own and their new stadium. One thing that they went over was the club's motto "Audere est Facare," latin for "To Dare is To Do" - a motto I've heard a million times but never really sat and thought about it. I don't know if the timing was right - I just put in my 2 weeks notice at the stable job of 7 years to start out on my own - of if it is just that good, but it rocked my world. It's completely motivational but also begs to go introspective. Those who dare to try, make it. 

“It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low. And we of Spurs have set our sights very high, so high in fact that even failure will have in it an echo of glory." - Bill Nicholson, THFC manager

In that same spirit, I wanted to share a bit behind the scenes - what I'm learning, loving and leaving as I grow this business. I'm daring in this new venture of mine and with the 'dare' comes a lot of lessons I'm looking forward to bringing you alongside me in this journey. 


To be totally honest, I'm learning how to think clearly. To take a step away from the situation, let it breathe and come back with a comprehensive, level headed approach. Too often, I respond quickly and 10 minutes later think of all the better ways I could have handled it. I believe that this type of thinking is rooted in passion and problem solving and that doing it right away shows better resolve, but it actually is counter productive at times.
I've had to force myself to take moments to breathe, relax, and think strategically about everything I do. It takes restraint, but when I actually do it, I'm so pleasantly surprised by the response I get. 


Getting back to designing. I've been designing since high school, through internships and college, from freelance to the corporate world. A few years ago, I was moved off of design at my job in favor of project management. I never knew how much I needed a design outlet more than when that occurred. I amped up my design work on the side, leading to today where I'm now booked with design work. 

Making stuff look great has always been my "thing" and I can't tell you how much fun it is to be doing it. 


I am ditching the computer to-do list. GASP. I've tried it all - Asana, Evernote, OneNote, etc. I find that this is helpful to have in one place, but I can't get over the physical act of writing down my to-do lists in my planner. I have a weekly list organized by client/project and items that need to get handled that week. I write this list either at the end of Friday or Sunday before things get busy come Monday morning. What I love best about this is that it's a living & breathing document that sits next to me as I work through my day and not another window I can close to get out of the way. I have a cute Ban.do planner and love the layout and stickers to jazz up each page. And let's be honest, how satisfying is it to cross an item off the list? 

Well, there you have it. A Tottenham themed post (husband, aren't you proud?) and a bit of my growth as a business owner, designer and brand developer. What are you learning, loving and leaving?

Personal Branding 101

Blissful Retreat, a salon and day spa here in Bakersfield, is in the middle of a brand + website launch with the Purveyor House team! We are diving deep to find out who they are and how to best tell their story, which is one of perseverance and passion. At any company, there are many people that work within its walls, and each of them needs to feel that any change in the company is one that feels right and resonates with them as well. We spent time with the team to share what business development is and what it means for them and how personal branding plays a part in that. 


What is a brand?

Many people think of branding as something that’s not something for them - it’s too corporate, it’s not for someone running a business solo - that couldn’t be further from the truth. Simply, a brand is the culmination of who you are, what you do and why it matters. It doesn’t matter if it’s under your name, a business name or even you within a broader business. If you have an audience, in real life or on social media, you have a brand.

So, what is your brand?

Who are you? What do you do?  What do you want to share with the world? Who could be interested in it? What do you represent? Asking yourself these questions can set a strategy for how you interact with your audience and frame your content to support what you do.

Who Cares?

Start attracting dream clients who gravitate to your passion, your style, and your point of view. Imagine your dream client and build them a personality. Who are THEY? What do they like? How do they like to be spoken to? What can you offer them that'd help them out, either from a business or personal perspective? Making a dream client have a real personality will help you figure out how to reach them and show them why they should care about what you're up to. 

Staying "On Brand"

These days, we are all connected. We love to share what we’re doing on social media. Being a brand, you have an expanded audience looking at you not only for your services but to find out more about you and how they can connect. Everything you share socially, in turn, represents the companies and brands you align yourself with and has an impact. The outcome - positive, neutral or negative, depends on if it’s aligned to their strategies. More than your tribe, your posting affects how people view you currently and who may find you in the future. This doesn’t mean that you have to not live your life authentically. It means taking more care to what you post. Think back to your brand - the fusion of who you are, what you do and what you want to represent. Before posting, think through those three things and ask yourself, “Is what I’m showing and saying true to my brand?” Taking a quick step back will allow you to find ways to build your brand while still remaining true to yourself.

Future Growth

Spending time to define your brand [who you are, what you do, and what you represent] not only helps you understand your point of view but can also show you places that need attention and development. At times, you can be faced with decisions to post one thing or another, or even make a huge shift in your business. Understanding your brand will help you stay true to your foundation and make choices that are true to you and the brand you’re building. It will feel real and right.

It’s a strategy and a plan to help take you to the next level. When you have a personal brand, you can have a broader voice that’s bigger than the sum of its parts - imagine what that could do if you wanted to promote something and you had an audience waiting for the chance to book?

Now what?

Dive into who you are and what you do, think about it - write it down. Start sharing your expertise. Share your story. Create unique, high-quality content that captures your ideal client’s eyes. When you have a solid platform, invest in design to bring your brand even more to life with a logo and unique aesthetic that accentuates it. Live your life, love your brand, and share both along the way.

What is your personal brand? I'd love to see what you are cooking up and how branding has helped you progress. 

[event] Second Saturday x #chlorophyllwall

This past weekend, we had our first ever pop-up shop celebrating the newest mural here in Bakersfield! The #chlorophyllwall was designed by the talented Jeran of Oleander + Palm in partnership with Sherwin-Williams and Bakersfield High School. The concept came to represent the colors of native plants in Central California and was painted at the 17th Place Townhomes.

Decorative walls are such a fun way to bring life to architecture and are all the rage for photo backdrops. Given the location of this wall and it's proximity to a lot of amazing things downtown, we wanted to share it with everyone.

Jeran and I generated a few ideas and landed on the first to be a pop-up shop. It so happened that market gathering was already happening within walking distance so we asked if we could jump on board and sponsor the whole day. In partnership with 17th Place Townhomes, we came alongside the already happening Second Saturday to make #chlorophyllwall a stop on a walking tour of the day's events. 

It was off to the races to plan this event quickly, strategically and on a small budget. I wanted this event to be impactful, but for the right reasons. We could bring people to the wall and take their picture and call it a day, but why not involve some local talent and make it more of a destination? 

Enter in a curated set of vendors, an all locally owned and operated amazing group of people!

Overall, the turnout was great and more than I expected. Our downtown is tricky on Saturdays, but having the support of Second Saturday and those that care about downtown, community and supporting local businesses, I call it a success for sure.

Some event behind the scenes for those curious on how to do an event like this on a budget...

  • ASK FOR HELP! Seriously, let people know what you're doing and where you need assistance!
  • Ask for collaborations! The lovely Stasie came up with a genius idea to involve Ghiladolce Bakery, having them create one of a kind #chlorophyllwall cookies for sale at Cafe Smitten the day of the event. If anyone asked or purchased, the barista would give them a card with our location and tell them more about the event happening down the street.
  • I drove awareness with a $30 event ad in Facebook running for 6 days prior to the event, capturing over 200 interests.
  • I designed and printed the materials, mainly a few posters and handouts.
  • Donations in the form of tables and table cloths were requested and fulfilled, thank you!
  • Photography was one of the hardest pieces to nail down, but thanks to Andrew Rodriguez, we got all these amazing photos you see here. Texting the night before and putting out an SOS really does work sometimes! 
  • Given the bright background and all the vendor's showcases, I wanted our vendors'  booths to shine and not distract from the wall. The only decor pulled together was large green balloons. The goal of the green balloons was to guide those at the other part of Second Saturday down the street to the wall where we were set up. The balloons may not have been the best idea, given it was windy and there were a lot of pokey things around where I placed them. Also, the helium tanks from Target are a joke! I need the heavy duty ones my mom used when she was a clown (another story for another day). Oh well! They looked good while they lasted!
  • Lastly, don't give up. I really wanted a food truck to be there. We had sno cones, but I wanted some substantial food options. Unfortunatly, nothing panned out since all food trucks in Kern County were booked 🤔 for 10-2 on Saturday, but you better believe I was hunting each of them down and emailing, Facebook messaging and texting until the day before. Even without the food trucks, it was a great event. 

To drive this home, putting the event on was a great learning process for me. I've been doing corporate events for years but never felt personally tied to or excited about. Sure, I wanted those events to succeed and to do a good job, but I was just a cog in the broader political wheel of a big company. This was something different. I think it boils down to the fact that I wanted to show that our downtown and people are worth celebrating and I took it personally. I took it as I'm providing a platform for others to share what their passionate about with our community which not only brings them up but the city as a whole. 

Sure, I wanted it bigger. I wanted more vendors. I wanted people to see creativity.  To just show up. To support those like Jeran who are doing amazing things for this town and elevating our design cred. I wanted people to come from other parts of town and see what cool things are happening downtown. I want them to see what I see and be excited.


But, this is a start. A really cool one. 


In honor of Mother's Day, I thought I'd share a few tidbits I've learned from my toddler that have helped me in my business journey. He's a wise, old soul with a tenacity that doesn't quit

  1. If you hear "no," ask again.
  2. Learning to walk is hard but running comes soon after.
  3. Be picky - your taste is one of a kind.
  4. Ask for help.
  5. Try your best to wake up with a smile on your face.
  6. If you do something awesome, treat yo' self.

Ok, most of those are super tongue in cheek pieces of "advice" - but stay with me here.

  1. If you hear "no," ask again.
    • I've heard this so many times as I've worked through proposals, idea pitches, the like. Keep pitching. This is not groundbreaking advice - we've heard it a million times before, every blogger, entrepreneur, what have you probably has a blog post or podcast on this. But, thinking from a toddler point-of-view can really drive it home - That thing behind the NO is all you can think about and you won't let it go. You can't, it's what drives you. Nothing else matters, so TRY AGAIN.
  2. Learning to walk is hard but running comes soon after.
    • We stumble, we fall. We cry for a while (all day, all night). We sulk. We brush it off. We get back up. We learn that it takes one foot in front of another. Slowly it starts to pay off. Then we can't do anything else but walk, so we walk faster. Then we run. 
  3. Be picky - your taste is one of a kind.
    • Toddlerhood is rough and food decisions are one of our biggest pain points. A picky toddler can turn a great morning into a crazy power play. If I'm trying to not think about this morning's episode and take something from it, it's that being picky is actually a good thing as a business owner. From who you hire, to what type of projects are right for you - being picky propels you forward and keeps you in alignment with your goals. 
  4. Ask for help.
    • Once my son could talk, I wanted him to learn how to ask for help. The whole non-verbal babyness was hard for me, I never knew what he wanted. Once he could at least point or ask for help, it became so much easier. The guessing game was over (well, almost over. try reasoning with a 2-year old that popsicles aren't on the menu for breakfast). My point is that there will always be a time where you can either go it alone and wish you had help OR you could just ask for it from the beginning. The first option leaves you open for resentment and wishes while the other builds community and relationships. Just do it, ask for help. It's not a weakness to ask for help, it's actually the strongest thing you can do.
  5. Try your best to wake up with a smile on your face.
    • Besides the few days when he's woken up with a stuffy face cold, I'm almost always greeted with a "hi mama!" and some resemblance of "good morning!" How wonderful is it to face the day with that type of optimism and happiness? I suppose adulting shapes us into skeptical and cynical folk, but if we could just start the day in a happy, centered way, I'd bet that your day goes so much smoother. When I worked out in the morning on a normal basis [i'm trying to get back, really I am] - those days were filled with energy and clarity. I loved that about working out in the morning. It was hard to get up but by the time work came around, I was ready because I had already smashed the hardest part of the day. 
  6. If you do something awesome, treat yo' self.
    • Self-explanatory. Works for toddlers & works for adults. 


In Uncharted Territory

Over the past year, I have immersed myself into business books, creative entrepreneur podcasts, conferences, webinars, freebies... you get the picture. I've consumed a lot of good content, advice, and tools from the masters. 

No amount of freebies will prepare you for what happens when you're actually IN IT. Sure, you can have some great takeaways and a checklist to not repeat another's fumble, but learning for yourself will ingrain that lesson 100x more. 

One area that I'm continually learning is that it's ok to not have it all together. It's ok to be vulnerable. I started this journey trying to pitch that Purveyor House's services are the only thing that people cared about, no story behind any of it. That they couldn't possibly want to know more about me as a person. I couldn't tell anybody that this is a new venture for me. I wanted everyone to think I was a seasoned pro. More than that, that Purveyor House wasn't just ME, it was a TEAM. 

If you take what I just wrote, you'd see that just putting these statements in a more confident light can shift everything.

  • The story is irrelevant > the story IS the story
  • Purveyor House is new > our experience is vast
  • One woman show > lead by one, but we partner with the best

It's all in how you frame your thoughts. Adding in negativity and putting that spin on things won't get you anywhere - it sure hindered me. 

Now that I'm weeding through my own business strategy, one thing remains clear. It's ok to figure it out as you go. It's ok if your message evolves. It's ok to show that you're human. 

This is uncharted territory, but I'm ready to explore and figure it out as I go. I have to.

We're in this together.

So, Purveyor House huh?

For years I've had "Purveyor House" on the back burner. There was a blog once. There was a facebook page. There were a few posts. But mostly, it was another quick idea that was infused with big dreams yet no time to make it happen.

Fast forward to last year - Rivett came to mind and I thought it was IT. It's no secret that I've always wanted to do this thing - the own a business, help other businesses thing - heck I'm doing it right now. I've always had this need to BRAND it right. Rivett seemed like it was the missing piece and the best way to describe it all. 

The more I shared Rivett, I started to feel weird about it. It was good for a moment but I couldn't help but feel that it just wasn't ME. If I couldn't stand by the name or say it with confidence, then how would anyone get behind it? 

Not to mention, SOMEONE failed to do an extensive market research for the name and its use in other areas. I thought I looked enough, but nope, definitely didn't. 


That was the final straw. Through all of this, Purveyor House came back into play. I did some rebranding with the name for another idea. It was weird to dive back into it after 5 years but something about it was still resonating with me. The new branding brought a new vibe and freshness to it. 

What is PURVEYOR HOUSE? It's me. It's the talent in artists we partner with to make amazing creations and work for our clients. Purveyors of fresh ideas. Purveyors of classic design, innovative techniques. 

When it's right, it's right. Trust your gut, if something feels off, don't ignore it. Dive deeper and explore. To own anything and to get buy-in from potential clients and collaborators YOU have to be 110% behind what you're pitching. Anything less is a disservice to you, your brand and your future.