20 Feb 2016, Posted by bthrasher in branding,Uncategorized,web design. Tagged beth hall thrasher, branding, jason thrasher, mermaid cottages, photography, sea stars cottage, tybee island
We loved staying at the Sea Stars Cottage circa 1932 on Tybee Island, a Mermaid Cottages cottage this winter. Sea Stars is a big, historic cottage on the beach side of Butler (which means it’s just a few steps away from the ocean) with lots of room to spread out and visit with friends and family, plus there are all kinds of special places in the home where you can hide away with a book, or cozy up by the fire.
The Sea Stars is a starfish themed cottage, but the amazing thing is that if you take those few steps to the beach, make a right, and head for the jetties…
…you’ll run into an actual starfish habitat. My girls and I spent an afternoon saving a few sea stars left out past the tides, studying the starfish, making photographs of them in their habitats, and making drawings and paintings of them when we got back to the cottage.
We all know summer at the beach is amazing, but winter can be a special time to visit. In the wintertime, there aren’t any crowds to navigate, and you can take long, quiet walks without having to dodge bikini-clad frisbee throwers. Even though there’s still plenty of warm sunshine in the winter, we don’t feel guilty about lazing around inside by the fire, or working on art projects, or just plain reading.
In fact, winter is the best time to enjoy the charm and unique style inside each of the Mermaid Cottages which you can book through the friendly Mermaids of Tybee Island, like the one featured throughout this post, the lovely Sea Stars Cottage!
Every little detail in a Mermaid Cottages home is unique and charming.
And the great thing about Tybee in the “off-season” is that all of the great restaurants and shops are still open for business year round (except maybe the snow cone shop)- even in January. We had our daily coffee and smoothies at the Tybean where we saw some great black and white surf photography, and we enjoyed lunch and dinner at
A-Js, Social, and Sundaes Cafe— and we found some cute paintings and other seaside art in the small art gallery house next to SeaSide Sisters.
Now that I have your attention, I’d love to tell you the whole Thrasher Photo and Design + Mermaid Cottages Story…
Ten years ago, Jason and I had planned to meet my sister Louise and her boys on Tybee Island to celebrate my birthday and show off our new baby (who is turning eleven this week!) If you don’t already know, Tybee is a beautiful barrier island just south of Savannah, GA. It was summer of 2005, and it was our first overnight stay on the island, and though we had visited several times before with professors when we were working with SCAD, we had never really explored Tybee. We reserved a cute place on the island through the home’s owner, but when we got there, we found that the house wasn’t available. Instead of being unhappily stranded, this happy accident turned into one of Thrasher Photo and Design’s favorite branding projects.
Diane Kaufman, a past Marriott executive, was a friend of the owner of the house that wasn’t available. Diane showed up and not only immediately found us another place to stay on Tybee, she also brought us a home-baked chocolate cake for my birthday! We all got to talking, and Diane mentioned that she was thinking of starting a vacation rentals company on Tybee. We said, “Hey we know some people who could really help you with your branding and marketing!” Namely, me (Beth Thrasher)- the web designer and marketing “whiz,” and Jason Thrasher- the photographer (both of the then-brand-new Thrasher Photo and Design in Athens), and my sister Louise Coleman- the amazing illustrator/graphic designer (with her own Coleman Creative Design Studio in Beaufort, SC).
Just a few months later, Jason, Louise and I were meeting with Diane, and her dogs, at Dutton-Waller, to brainstorm ideas– and, in a nutshell, we were hired by Diane to help brand her new business and come up with the original look and feel of the logo, signage, website, plus the online marketing plan– everything down to the “mermaid green” you see on the mermaid signs and the service Volvo, and tshirts, and well, you get the picture.
Here’s Louise’s iconic Mermaid which came out of our many hours of brainstorming with Diane… and if you’ve been to Tybee, you have definitely SEEN this Mermaid!
And just like that, with some fairy dust sprinkled on top, Mermaid Cottages was born.
Louise’s illustrated mermaid is now on each of the lovely hand-painted signs in front of the many Mermaid Cottages on Tybee; I built the Mermaid’s first website in 2006 in straight html, featuring lots of Jason’s great photos of the original Mermaid Cottages. Since then, Diane had me consult with the actual WordPress developers on the Mermaid’s newer site based on our original design (Yes, the creators of WordPress oft vacation on Tybee!). And of course Jason shot photos and video of many of the original Mermaid Cottages. Along the way our original team (with a few other helpers, including some great SCAD and UGA art students mixed in here and there) came up with ever more Maps, Product Labels, T-shirts and lots of web marketing for the Mermaids.
Here’s one of Diane’s early single cottage sites I made circa 2006- ish, featuring a Jason pic, and another fun Lou illustration.
Here are Diane’s Beach Bum Biscuits (each doggie staying at Mermaid Cottages’ pet-friendly homes gets to try the biscuits!). This was a design collaboration between SCAD students and Thrasher Photo and Design.
Ten years later, Diane manages over fifty vacation rental cottages on Tybee for Mermaid Cottages!
Diane says, Beth Thrasher is one of the primary reasons why Mermaid Cottages has grown so successfully! 99% of my marketing is done on the web, and Beth has been my sole source in creating and implementing my online strategy. From spearheading the original website and map designs, to orchestrating the copy and Jason’s photography, to managing my online ads- Beth does it all! Her sister Louise’s beautiful mermaid is the Mermaid icing on the top!
Here’s the latest rendition of the Mermaid Cottages logo– and the one currently used in print today, to reflect the historic status so many of the Tybee Island homes have now acquired:
Of the many Mermaid Cottages we’ve stayed in over the years– (we’ve rented a few dozen homes, some even pet-friendly since we got our new doggie; some big, some small)– each one of them was unique and wonderful in its own way, Sea Stars is the most recent and freshest on our minds. We can wholeheartedly recommend the Sea Stars Cottage circa 1932– a big, beautiful, classic, historic Mermaid Cottage, which you will be sure to love– on Tybee Island! (Here is the cozy fireplace at the Sea Stars).
Did I mention that we love Tybee? Eleven years of memories and counting… thank you Mermaids!
For having a great time at the Sea Stars, please call Mermaid Cottages:
To learn more about how Beth Hall Thrasher and Jason Thrasher can help visually launch your ideas into a business, or re-brand an existing business, please call
Thrasher Photo and Design: 706-372-2655
To see more of my sweet sister Louise’s beautiful illustrated logos, and other art, please visit her website.
See y’all at the beach!