Pandr Design Co. is a team of boss ladies based in Southern California. Roxy and Phoebe, the co-founders and owners of Pandr Design Co., are on a mission to crush the stereotype of the starving artist through bold and unapologetic murals. They cater to businesses looking to up their Instagramability, making bright and unique pieces you can’t help but photograph yourself in front of – boosting the business’ presence. You may recognize some of their higher profile collaborations with world-famous companies such as Red Bull, Bumble, and Kenneth Cole. Starving artist stereotype? Smashed.
We chatted with Phoebe about some of her favourite collaborations so far, and the team’s future goals. Read on about the illustrious female lettering duo to keep your eyes on.
You have worked with some world-famous brands. What is the one project you’re most proud of? What do you think made it such a success?
We’re always proud of our most recent project. We just completed four storeys of a parking garage in Orange County and that was pretty challenging. It was our biggest project to date because it involved so many walls, but it was a lot of fun. Our murals really changed the look of the typical, boring parking garage.
Your Instagram is not just a gallery of your work. A lot of the pictures you share are lifestyle pictures in which you invite your followers into your life. Is that a strategic choice, or did it happen organically?
It’s both strategic and organic. Obviously, I don’t post anything I’m not totally comfortable sharing with 19,000 strangers, but at the same time, it’s important to be vulnerable. Social media has taken our world to a really weird place and a lot of what you see seems really fake.
When someone opens up on social and shares their imperfections, the behind the scenes, their “real” life, you feel more connected to them.
I want my followers to feel connected to me and what goes on at Pandr Design Co.
You have built an impressive following on Instagram. Why is that so crucial to your brand and the way you market Pandr Design Co.?
I have to give Roxy all of the credit here. She has taught me everything I know about Instagram and is really the brains behind our marketing strategy. I actually met her through Instagram a few years ago because she had a large following on Instagram. She was my celebrity crush! Roxy saw the value in Instagram before what it is today.
She started posting artwork on there and realized that people would begin to commission her for logos and various design projects… meanwhile I was still just posting pictures of the beach or whatever funny thing I did that day.
The shift from personal to a business account was very crucial because it has really helped us leverage our business. We get a lot of inquiries via DM. Our main revenue streams are now murals and we’ve been able to grow that side of the business via people tagging and re-sharing our murals.
It is the age of the perfect Instagram backdrop!
Tell us a bit about Drunk on Lettering. Why did you decide to start a podcast, and how has that helped you market your business to a bigger audience?
Roxy and I started Drunk on Lettering because we wanted to get to know the personalities behind all of the cool artwork we were seeing on Instagram. There’s plenty of podcasts out there that talk about inspiration and design practices but not about what the designer likes to do for fun, what they’re binge-watching, and who their celebrity crush is. The design world can get really serious, so we wanted to take a light-hearted angle. It’s also a fun release for us after a long week of work. We get to goof off, chat with new friends, and have a few drinks!
The podcast has certainly put us on the public speaking map. We started speaking at conferences and have gotten really comfortable talking to strangers.
Once you’re on stage, that automatically puts you in front of customers so our talks have led to a few mural gigs!
Your portfolio includes collaborations with both local and world-famous brands. Other than their budgets, what other differences have you noticed in the way these companies approach you? How is it working with these big brands, in comparison to working with local brands?
Budget is definitely the number one factor, otherwise, I would say there aren’t huge differences. You’d be shocked at the unprofessionalism you’d get at a big company vs. the coffee shop down the street (or vice versa). It really varies and I feel that at this point, I’m not easily phased. I have zero expectations until the contract is signed.
You went into business as partners. Have there ever been any issues? Did the relationship change?
Everyone asks us this. It’s like getting married, so of course we’ll have our tiny issues here and there. Overall it’s been a smooth ride and I’m really lucky to have Roxy as my partner! I think as we’ve gotten to know each other better we realize our strengths and weaknesses, and we use that to our advantage. It’s also been wonderful to work with someone that’s started the exact same way that I did. Neither one of us knew how to run a business, knew how to paint a mural, knew how to record a podcast… we’ve done all the firsts together!
What’s the most important piece of advice you have received?
That’s tough. I can’t pinpoint any single bit of advice but from experience I can say that we’ve learned that nobody really knows what they’re doing. We’re all just making it up as we go along, so just go for it!
Done is better than perfect. If we all waited until we were totally and completely prepared, we’d never get anything done.
How do you make sure you’re always innovating and staying inspired?
Roxy and I get bored pretty easily, especially when clients have seen something that we’ve done before and ask for the same thing. We hate repeating styles so we try to trick clients into letting us do something new. We draw a lot for our podcast, as well as “just for fun”. So, that’s when we get to experiment.
What’s one thing you can’t live without at your disposal when it comes to marketing?
What is one success in your career that you’d credit to good marketing?
Cold-emailing. For whatever reason, creatives are really weird about being sales people but I have no shame. I love going after potential clients and cold emailing them. It’s how we’ve gotten some of our biggest jobs!
What are some of your future goals, personally and professionally?
Roxy and I want a TV show. It sounds crazy but if you get to know us, you’ll understand. We also want a book deal (which is on the horizon), we want to paint a rooftop mural, we want to paint in all 50 states, and we want to sign a six-figure deal in 2019.
Personally, I’d love to purchase an ocean-view home at some point in my 30s (I’m currently 28). I’d also like to travel more internationally.
Marketing mantra or key belief you couldn’t do your job without?
It’s a numbers game. You can’t get discouraged by one (or twenty) “no’s” because eventually someone will say “yes” and that’s when it’s all worth it!
Give Pandr Design Co. a follow on Instagram and listen to their podcast, Drunk on Lettering, on your favourite podcast app.