Over the past twelve years, SHINE has evolved from a salon trainee program into a holistic and trauma-informed school program for girls and young women at risk. For CEO Rebecca Millar, this transformation has sparked a long list of learnings.
In 2010, Mandy Jolly launched SHINE, to support the children of women who had experienced domestic violence. As a hairdresser, Mandy knew that salons provided a safe space for women to talk and connect with each other. As a supporter at a local women’s shelter, she also knew that safe spaces were a missing element in the lives of the children who’d come from homes affected by domestic abuse.
Making a connection between the salon and a safe space for girls and young women, Mandy launched a pilot school engagement program.
Twelve years later, SHINE has evolved from its hair and beauty salon focus. It’s now a holistic program that supports its vulnerable young participants, by helping them find a sense of belonging and place in the world.
With Mandy moving on and CEO Rebecca Millar now at the helm, 2022 looks to be a year of change and growth. We spoke with Rebecca about SHINE’s transformation, how their colorful new rebrand represents their vision, and how it all began with a logo.
Same same, but different
Although SHINE has evolved over the past twelve years, their core values and impact on young people remain the same—to support, educate and empower girls with the skills to thrive.
Many of the girls who come into the program “have really significant barriers in their lives,” says Rebecca Millar, SHINE’s CEO. “These girls are survivors.”
“We sometimes expect that once children put their uniform on and head to school, they’ll automatically be in the right headspace to learn. But if there’s been trauma involved, it can be very hard to do that.”
At the heart of SHINE, is their approach to talking about relationships, confidence and self-esteem. “The children we work with don’t always have healthy relationships modeled for them at home or in society. And although our organization has evolved away from the salon, what has stayed consistent is our commitment to teaching each girl how to build healthy relationships—whether that’s a friendship with another girl, a romantic relationship, a relationship with their parents or siblings, and with the world.”
These relationships are so important because they can offer the foundation for building a healthy adult life.
When it came to their logo, SHINE faced a key challenge: their existing logo represented where they were. How could they represent where they are now?
Their CEO Rebecca suspected that SHINE was still seen as a hair and beauty program for girls in their local community.
Though their community knew the programs were and are still great, they “now work both inside and outside schools, have expanded [their] programs across a range of year levels, and have alumnae work in the community in a variety of careers.” SHINE is no longer just programs in salon and beauty, they have art, crafts, cooking, sports and many more programs that can support communities and young women in their diverse interests. They wanted a logo to capture the diversity of women and the diversity of their programs.
Branding is so important for us to be able to tell our story. To acknowledge and to be proud of where we’ve come from, but to also look forward to the future.
It wasn’t just what the logo represents, it’s also how people perceived the logo.
“We asked some people (who had never heard about us) what they thought of the old logo,” says Rebecca. “One comment was that it resembled the logo of a well-known shampoo brand. Other comments were that the logo looked like a flame, that the red and black colors were confronting, or that the colors were reminiscent of the 80s!”
While local people recognized the logo and felt a strong connection, many commented that with changes in society, stylized femininity wasn’t reflective of the diversity of identities people have.
Their new logo needed to represent strong women and thriving communities, the growth and diversity of their programs, and capture the diversity and individuality of the women they support.
The first step was to get program beneficiaries, sponsors and partners on board. Changing a logo that’s been loved for a long time can be a challenge.
It’s normal to form an emotional bond with a logo and feel a sense of pride from it. “It’s like a footy team!” laughs Rebecca. “Imagine if you tried to change the West Coast Eagles colors. It’d be controversial—a big deal!”
Knowing why you’re making the change is an essential part of how you can get stakeholders on board. Showing the stakeholders how people perceived their logo and brand and where the organization was heading was a clear argument for what needed to happen next.
With the stakeholders on board, 99nonprofits, a global initiative that provides free design services to organizations making a positive impact, stepped up to support SHINE in creating their new logo. They were able to tap into our global community of talented designers to find the right designer to create a logo that reflects where they are now as an organization.
“I love our new logo. We wanted to show that everyone is on their own journey, and the directional rays of the sun in our logo were designed to represent the individuality of those pathways.”
Tips on rebranding for a nonprofit
Are you a nonprofit in the process of a rebrand? We asked Rebecca for any advice she had to share.
1. Firstly, don’t be afraid of change
The evolution of a brand is a natural process, and for nonprofits, it’s especially important.
“Just look at what’s happened in just the past few years”, Rebecca points out. “You’ve got the #metoo movement, you’ve got Grace Tame and her advocacy for sexual assault survivors, you’ve got all these amazing female voices who are finally being heard! As an organization working with girls and young women, these are conversations we need to participate in.”
Knowing these conversations were important to be part of, it was necessary for their organization to move on from where it began and to move toward the needs of the community and world. “We can’t be afraid, and we can’t get stuck in time. If we want society to continue changing for the better, then we have to find a way to be a part of that conversation.”
They started by taking a look at their brand and logo, and how to rebrand to reflect where they are and where they are heading. “It might seem strange at first, but branding is actually a part of what it means to advocate for change,” says Rebecca.
2. Get clear on your brand’s story
Rather than applying your brand’s colors and fonts to your logo alongside generic imagery or icons, consider digging deeper into the ‘why’ of your nonprofit, and the story you want to tell.
“There are people who understand you, and who have been with you for the whole journey”, Rebecca says. “They just get it. But don’t assume that someone who’s meeting you for the first time will understand you in the same way.”
Find out how your organization is being perceived. “Talk to your community,” Rebecca advises. “Having conversations with people outside of your organization can help you understand if your branding is projecting the story you want to tell.”
Once you have your ‘why’ it becomes a tool to help make the case for a rebrand and to use as a guide through your rebranding journey.
3. When you’re a nonprofit, every cent counts
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of 99nonprofits,” says Rebecca. “As nonprofits, we need to acknowledge help and support when it comes our way.”
Since 2012, 99nonprofits has provided complimentary graphic design to hundreds of nonprofit and social impact organizations around the world. After their successful application to the program, SHINE used their free platform credits to support their logo redesign contest.
With help and creativity from our designers, SHINE’s new logo and rebrand are set to go live in 2022!