Saint Jane founder Casey Georgeson talks about the art of branding
Casey Georgeson has always loved to paint. As a child, she decorated the walls of her bedroom, her carts, trikes and bikes, all with the blessing of her parents.
But when it came time for college, his parents vetoed his dreams of being an art major in favor of something more practical, and Georgeson then found other outlets for his creativity, including in starting brands.
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During his career, Georgeson has led the development of iconic brands both inside beauty (like Marc Jacobs Beauty and Kat Von D) and outside (including Cupcake Vineyards).
Her latest company is Saint Jane, the luxury CBD-based skin care brand that has quickly spread to other actives and plants since launching in January 2019.
“I am a designer,” she says. “I get so much inspiration and value creating things.”
This does not mean that she lost her childhood pleasure in painting. Not only does she still enjoy the thrill of filling a blank canvas, but she now does it with her three daughters: Sofia, 12, Juliet, 10, and Cece, 6. One of their favorite family activities is filling giant canvases with original works of art, which they then hang in their home. The Georgeson studio has been particularly active lately – the family recently moved from the Bay Area to Manhattan Beach, California, meaning there are plenty of new walls to fill.
Georgeson describes his style of painting as “abstract”.
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“I like things that look like a mood or an emotion,” she said, noting that her favorite palette includes calming colors like light blues, muted pinks and pastel greens. The scale of the works is large – the canvases can measure 50 x 50 inches or 40 x 60 – a size inspired by a trip Georgeson took to the Museum of Modern Art as a teenager, where she fell in love with ‘a painting by the Russian painter Wassily. Kandinsky and brought a huge poster back to the West Coast.
Even as a major in English, she managed to incorporate visuals into her work, such as with an honorary thesis, for example, where she created a project from photos she had taken of Maasai warriors during the ‘a safari in Africa. “I’ve always brought a visual component to everything I do,” Georgeson said. “I love visual communication, which is why I love creating things and telling stories. It’s an integral part of what inspires me as a designer.
Having a deep visual vocabulary to draw from was instrumental in Georgeson’s development as a brand builder. “You have to visually create a story for a brand in the blink of an eye. You don’t have a lot of time to tell who you are, so visually you have to work really hard to pass the blink test.
It’s a lesson Georgeson learned while working in the wine industry. “You walk down the aisle and literally see 5,000 different wines. You have five seconds to grab someone’s attention and convey the brand promise to them.
Today, painting gives a busy working mother a sense of calm. “My normal state of balance is that I find it hard to do just one thing – if I watch TV, I have to work or read,” she said. “When I paint, I go into a zen state. It is probably one of my happiest places.
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