How Chandler Stephens Drives Her Rising Brand
In-house writer Chelsea Miller recently caught up with Chandler Stephens, creator of Rise & Set, a Product Development, Content Creation and Branding studio for fashion and entertainment-focused brands, where she shared her thoughts on her own personal brand journey.
Q: What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “personal brand”?
Chandler: In the age of rapid and vast information sharing, I think of the way the individual or organization obtains, organizes, and expresses information. For myself, and for Rise & Set, I represent influencers in the entertainment industry who are maintaining a lifestyle outside of mainstream norms, ultimately leading change in others through positivity and high quality product design.
Q: How do you weave your personal stories and experiences into your brand?
Chandler: I thrive the most, in my personal life and business practices, when I’m creating and sharing something new. My career moves and my lifestyle choices reflect the changes I am seeking. Surrounding myself with positive people and new ideas has helped me to create from a diverse pool of mental and physical resources. In 2009, I entered into an awesome relationship with Brandi Russell, a dedicated apparel designer in Dallas. The success of her company, Sacred Heart Collections, attests to the importance of the exchange of ideas. An important factor in branding success is maintaining a balance between consumption and creation.
Q: What are the top three values that drive your decisions in life and work?
- Create: Our craft and its expression are our choices to create concrete, tangible experiences from the strength of our own thoughts. Creation follows our lead and leaves a path for others.
- Exercise: Move different muscles, apply new approaches, and use learned skills for everyday advancement.
- Stay cool: Find calmness in adjusting energy exertion and applying focused attention on what will bring out the most authentic expression for the present moment.
Q: Is there a personal brand that has inspired yours?
Chandler: I take a lot of inspiration from leaders who immerse themselves into their culture, their chosen industry, and their lifestyle choices. Virgil Abloh, innovator and designer from Illinois, has shown how to pair learned skill with authentic creativity to create elevation in the fashion and entertainment industries. By using his degree in civil engineering and a master’s in architecture, he applied his creative vision to his surroundings and in his work. He is now a global influencer in fashion, music, and business by staying true to his standard of expression and working with friends.
Q: Do you compare yourself to others, or judge yourself against your own goals and expectations?
Chandler: I’ll admit, being into fashion and other visually creative lifestyles choices, it’s sometimes hard not to compare what you have going on to others. But the beauty of creation is that you can use what you see, apply it to your life or task, and curate that vision into an expression that works for you. When your goals are aligned with your own truth, unrealistic expectations diminish and positive approaches flourish.
Q: How do you help people make meaningful connections to your brand?
Chandler: Think of the Sun and its role in our life: it helps us to observe and to grow. Rise & Set encourages positivity and progress through the expansion of creative viewpoints. I gravitate toward strong, minimal visuals as a means of expression and communication.