The Foxtrot Branding Story
“Life is About What You Put Into It"
The Success Story of Foxtrot Branding
In the rural city of Cookeville, TN lies the ever blooming and bright Foxtrot Branding, a branding company developed by two talented graduates of Tennessee Technological University. After completing their undergraduate degrees, Cassidy Laulo-Phillips and Amanda Kail set sail on a journey towards combining their talents in design and photography to create a branding company, Foxtrot Branding. Their goal is to help other businesses reach their dream clientele, and they have succeeded. From studying at Tennessee Tech University to developing skills in various realms of the arts through working for organizations like TN Tech’s Center for Rural Innovation (TCRI), both Cassidy and Amanda have continued to climb their ladders of success, portraying Israelmore Ayivor’s vision of success when he states, “Don’t just create; create to change; change to improve; improve to increase. Aspire to inspire.” The creation of Foxtrot Branding is already changing, improving, and inspiring others in Cookeville and other states.
Amanda Kail, co-founder and graphic designer of Foxtrot Branding, graduated from Tennessee Tech with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Design in December 2018. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, Amanda did amazing things as a student worker at the TN Tech iCube (the innovation center at Tech), including developing a map portraying the Opioid crisis throughout the state of Tennessee for the “Tennessee Together” project, supported by then Governor Bill Haslam. The TCRI was in need of a talented graphic designer, and Amanda’s name was recommended highly. Before graduating, Amanda worked as a student worker for TCRI, specializing in branding for the organization while learning business strategies. These experiences have helped to shape Amanda’s current success as co-founder of Foxtrot Branding, in which she is now using her learned skills in graphic design and “big business ideas” to explore “other forms of using creativity” in her business.
Cassidy Laulo- Phillips, co-founder and web designer & photographer at Foxtrot Branding, graduated from Tennessee Tech with a Bachelor of Science in English with a concentration in Professional Communication. Throughout her undergraduate career, Cassidy found joy in using her skills as a photographer to assist businesses and individuals to “communicate to the masses.” Before co-founding Foxtrot, Cassidy dreamed to pursue a career in design and marketing, enjoying the idea of social media particularly. At 22, Cassidy is helping others find their dream client, striving to “constantly … [find] ways to improve.” Cassidy and Amanda’s experiences have shaped their brilliant and ever-growing business, in which their strengths and vision continue to inspire innovation.
In order to co-found and run a business from scratch, co-founders must be in sync. Ironically, the development of Foxtrot Branding began in September 2018. In the summer of 2018, Amanda was in need of a photographer for headshots for her own freelance business. After seeing Cassidy’s work on social media, she solicited her work as a photographer, not knowing yet just how much they had in common when it came to their desired career paths. Cassidy had just graduated college the previous May, and Amanda was preparing to graduate the following December. Upon realizing that they both had dreams to create individual businesses based on their design talents to assist others, the vision of starting a business together was inevitable. The idea had been planted! In September 2018, Cassidy and Amanda met at the Biz Foundry while searching for a place to run their business. The Biz Foundry is a partner of TCRI, and both organizations have had the honor of continuing to be a mentor of guidance in the development of Foxtrot Branding.
As of May 2019, Foxtrot Branding has been continuing to flourish for more than nine months. From a dream to an actual business, Foxtrot Branding has become a successful branding company, using Brand Identity Design, Website Design, and Brand Photography to assist both individuals and businesses to create “strategically branded visuals” with a “problem-solving mindset.” Foxtrot Branding builds strong relationships with its clients, digging deep in communication to understand the goals of its clients and in turn assisting them to reach those goals. From creating logos and designing websites to generating brand photography and professional headshots, Cassidy and Amanda have succeeded in assisting over 30 businesses in reaching their dream clientele in just nine months! The business does not “just design ‘pretty things.’” Instead, Cassidy and Amanda value “thoughtfully designed brands that turn prospects into paying customers” and are always ready to meet clients where they’re at in their businesses and in turn leading them to where they want to be.
Foxtrot Branding is based out of The Biz Foundry, an entrepreneur center for the Upper Cumberland. The Biz Foundry allows space for Amanda and Cassidy to work on projects or to meet with clients, in addition to offering mentorship to the co-founders as their business expands. Both women co-founders have developed great relationships with all of their clients, including the founder of BGBO Co and BurgerFit (Cooking With My Friends), Alane Boyd. Foxtrot Branding helped to design the BurgerFit cookbook in addition to styling and creating the food photography for the book. Kellie Fitzpatrick, the founder of Lenny & Eva (a jewelry business that creates pieces to inspire women), hired Foxtrot Branding to develop her branding and photography for Kellie’s various businesses. Foxtrot has continued to help other organizations, including providing photography for The Biz Foundry. According to Cassidy and Amanda, they have “profited from the beginning. Their local community wants to keep lifting them up,” and the community is certainly lucky to have them.
Cassidy and Amanda will continue to expand their branding business, and they dream to work with higher profile clientele in hopes of finding their market niche despite their forever changing and expanding vision. Both co-founders are thankful for their degrees at Tennessee Tech, and as Cassidy stated, “You get out of school what you want to. I used classroom project opportunities to learn Adobe programs, camera skills and marketing skills. You can start a business without being a business major.” Similarly, Amanda states regarding her experience in TCRI that “Tech puts resources there, or just the opportunity to find them. Life is about what you put into it.” Tennessee Tech is proud to watch two successful alumni climb ladders to their dreams, and TCRI is excited to continue to support Foxtrot Branding in its inevitable and continuing growth.