Inspire Greatness Aveda Institutes (IGA) is a renowned school of cosmetology and Esthiology. Its comprehensive curriculum inspires the next generation of beauty entrepreneurs. To create more brand champions and build a proud sense of community, Aveda inspires its students with branded apparel, drinkware, and more through its “Inspire Greatness” swag portal.
Aveda wanted to design its own version of the Lululemon Everywhere belt bag and offer it to students through the swag portal. Aveda worked with Boundless and its amazing manufacturing partners to create a custom belt bag that would get students excited to represent their school.
The cult-favorite Lululemon belt bag has been all over social media, where many students spend their time and get their shopping inspiration. Naturally, IGA thought that creating a "dupe" was unique to their brand and aesthetics would be super wearable, on-trend, and stylish merchandise for their students.
Initially, IGA ordered all-black belt bags with its logo in white. While students loved the bag itself, it seemed like there was an opportunity to test an updated design concept. They decided to experiment with more eye-catching pastel colors and designs in the next round to take advantage of the current trends while also being timeless.
IGA hoped that this new, custom belt bag design would appeal to an on-the-go student community that values creativity, individuality, and current trends. Aveda students are known to be a creative group of individuals who appreciate the power of color. While the pops of pastel were a departure from Aveda’s signature all-black look, which made the belt bag a bit risky, IGA’s Digital Brand Director Sherrie Adduci used her knowledge of their student population to provide the students another option to purchase.
After looking through several sources of design inspiration, IGA landed on an inspiring and energizing starburst design. Sherri worked with Boundless Brand Consultant Lanae Wallace to create the branded version of the design featuring the Aveda logo — in a new soft pastel palette.
IGA started with a small order to test the popularity of the pastel bags. They were a smash hit with students and sold out in the IGA swag portal.
Although Aveda isn’t known for its pastel branding, this belt bag project gave the brand the freedom and flexibility to be creative. By breaking a little outside of its standards and following hot trends, IGA created an experience with a coveted product. Knowing its students’ imaginations, taking risks, and running with customization helps the brand remain relevant.
After using creative and trending merchandise to Inspire Brand Love™ — and being inspired by the project’s success — Inspire Greatness Aveda has ambitious plans to create branded onboarding kits, tees, drinkware, and planner journals to support and motivate students through graduation and beyond.