Bright Idea is turning five! Our business baby's a toddler now: celebrating the story so far

Katja Brunkhorst July 14, 2020

I remember the day like it was yesterday. Five years ago tomorrow, I spread my wings and took off on my own.

I’d had enough of the pain of killing dead precious hours of my life due to a culture of presence.

Enough of the heartache of never feeling like a good enough mum because of rigid office hours, picking up my poor four-year-old last from the creche, stressed off my nuts.

Enough of the constrictions to my frankly amazing mind, and being told what to wear.

WAY enough of the #metoo-like antics (this’ll be a whole different story to be told some day…) and the hierarchy bollox around our old white alpha whale, erm, male.

Enough of my old job, where I was constantly undervalued and overworked.

Enough of thinking: “But I could do that too, and so much more whole-heartedly, creatively and effectively!” – and then lacking that last bit of guts’n’ladyballs to follow through.

Then, finally, after a stint in a burnout clinic followed by quite a bit of mobbing, the day came where I was prepared to jump into the unknown, without any security net. With the involvement of an awesome lawyer my trade union provided, Bright Idea was born on 15 July 2015.

That name is the promise I made to myself then and there – the feeling my own business would create for myself and my clients, in a nutshell: liberating, light, authentic and exciting. The opposite of suffering needlessly and wasting ANY more precious time in this short life!

I started off as “just” a copywriter, and to my surprise, I hit the ground running, working almost immediately for big companies, hidden champions and, through my agent in Amsterdam, for really big brands such as NIKE. My first tagline for Bright Idea was: Authentic Communication and Creative Consulting, and we still offer that today.

But it quickly went much wider than that, when we got a phone call from an unknown number while browsing the shelves at a DIY store in January 2016. “I LOVE your website!”, the caller shrieked excitedly, “and I want one like that for my own business – I don’t care how much it is!”

We looked at each other with astonishment – yes, we loved the website we had created together (to be found here today, including that very first blog post and MANY more – and in dire need of a relaunch!), too.

However, absolutely nowhere on that site did it say we offered websites…but hey – why not give it a shot and work together again? It could not be any harder than figuring out our own website (and believe me, doing that for yourself is a tough process, especially if you’re the expert).

And you know what? We found: we LOVE working together! As long as it ain’t OURSELVES we’re talking about, our perfectionism actually comes in handy for our clients.

So does the fact that we’re uniquely positioned as a duo: Hans studied journalism before turning to design in Amsterdam, and I was supposed to study fine art in line with my Brunkhorst artist genes before pivoting to my greatest love of all, literature and philosophy. We each understand both good copy and good design, and we’ll have creative arguments to ensure each client is seen – and shown – in all their uniqueness from a 360° perspective.

In January 2019, Hans joined Bright Idea officially and full-time at last. And our work has evolved to include what many clients describe as a deep transformation, in any and all of the things we offer. You can still get THE best copy, branding & website for your biz in our 1:1 packages, of course; and that process will lead to both personal as well as business development.

Thanks to my amazing and inspiring mentors such as Marie Forleo, Denise Duffield-Thomas and, above all, Sigrun, we now also offer two seriously good online group coaching programs as well as 1:1 mentoring, VIP days and retreats. Weeeheeeee! All of it is so much FUN.

Fittingly, our claim has been REVEALING IDENTITIES for the last two years, with the tagline: Holistic branding and kick-ass communication, and in 2020, of all years, we are likely to reach that fabled six-figure threshold at last. Slower than others, maybe, but sure as hell steady as she goes – in integrity with our strong values and ideals, bringing to the table our full experience as rock musicians, plus mine as a yoga teacher and philosopher, and Hans’ programming AND leadership skills (he used to run an infamous RnR bar at the dyke in North Holland – in fact, this is where we met – I played there with my band…again, another story for another day).

Anyway, about those five years: I’m incredibly proud of that, since 95% of businesses never even make it past the 5-year mark (thanks to the incredible Lisa Johnson, along with Jade Jemma – as a coaching duo, they are unbeatable. Ladies I’ve also enjoyed 1:1 s with who are insanely good: Zoë Lavender Stuart, Katrina Young and Chantelle Adams – cheers, you guys!

But what has made Bright Idea work, and grow, and what humbles us and makes me super excited for the next five years, that is the incredible people we have been lucky enough to work with: every one of them is a shining light and a fellow TEACHER HEALER FIGHTER WRITER MOTHER LOVER.

First and foremost, there was that force of nature, Katharina Maier. She needs no introduction, and neither does our most loyal client and friend we’ve been lucky to work with for nearly three years by now, the Ayurveda Wunderkind, Doctor Janna Scharfenberg. Dude, we owe you so much and you ROCK, always leading with generosity and integrity!

We’re proud of an extra-special project we’ll unveil any day now for Claudia Kuhlmann – who, small world, I kinda went to school with and who has extra special gifts to help heal this sick world of ours and a goal that WILL bring tears to your eyes when you read about it…it did to mine.

Then, there is our founding gang for Brand New Du and DIY Kickstart, our “group coaching veterans”, who are all about to kickstart their own courses BIG time in Sigrun’s #sombasummerschool – we’ll introduce them and all our other clients and their projects one at a time, over the course of this summer in order to CELEBRATE them and their own bright idea. Because: #werisetogether!

For now, you can check out some highlights of our copy, web & branding work here – we call it “the proof that’s in the pudding”.

THANK YOU if you’ve walked part of our way alongside us, as a mentor, peer, mastermind buddy or, most importantly, one of our treasured clients (or as a long-suffering tech partner like the fabulous and ever-patient Kerry Moorse).

And keep your eyes peeled – there will be some cool, light, free celebratory stuff coming up this summer (via our newsletter, in our FB group or on our FB page) to help you build your brand with ease, in depth & from the inside out.

With TONS of appreciation,
OM and rock ON!

Your breath of fresh branding air,
Katja & Hans x
PS: Do you need a last push to walk away from something unhealthy – or a bit of guidance to where you’re walking towards? Let us know – we’d LOVE to support you on your own path to brightness.

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