Behind the making of a brand: Pinup Girl Pastries and Coffee Co.


Sebrina owner of pinup girl pastries and coffee co

I thought a good way to introduce you to some of our recent work with Pinup Girl Pastries and Coffee Co, could also be to guide you through the entire process of its branding creation.

A great brand starts with research

Before starting a branding project, there are a few things we need to know, and the best way to get started is with a questionnaire.

The questionnaire contains key insights that push the direction of the branding’s exploration. This information is key and helps the client and us connect the dots and develop concepts.

During this process, we unearth the WHYs; why the company exists or is starting, what makes it special, any hidden meanings, history or background, and define the WHO; who the ideal target customer is.

The Story Behind PGP

First, let’s learn about the story behind Sebrina Grillo and the launching of her new business Pinup Girl Pastries and Coffee Co (PGP); what it stands for and who it’s for. Then we can get into the brand building process where we personally think all the fun begins!


Sebrina: I have always been a bit of a rebel, living “outside the box”, so I think I was really suited for opening my own business. I have done many things prior to this; I was a hairdresser, I worked as an educator for a product line, I did a network marketing business, and cleaned pools for a while. Prior to this I had a house cleaning business, which I owned successfully for almost 8 years…basically, all roads led to here!

I am single, and I never had kids. My dad always rode motorcycles, and I was really drawn to that and about 10 years ago I got my first bike. That is my passion! 5 seconds down the road my stress is always eased.

I love to bake, my house is known as “cupcake land”. I love trying new recipes and nothing makes me happier than to watch someone devouring my creation and licking their fingers.

I like to run and every year I do the Nike Women’s half marathon in SF and raise money for Leukemia Lymphoma Society.

In December, I was telling my Uncle my dream job would be to bake something every day and feed it to people, driving around in a mobile cart. He thought it was a fabulous idea and encouraged me, and here I am!

BFF: Here’s what we understood about Sebrina…

She’s a go-getter! She’s girly, yet edgy at the same time. Her Harley Softail Deluxe motorcycle “Lucy” has rhinestones on her, yet Sebrina can still get down and dirty, sleep in her truck and go without makeup. Her style is classic retro – she loves pinup, clothing from the 50’s and likes to mix things up with a little bit of sexy. What I love about Sebrina is she’s INDEPENDENT, DETERMINED and EXUBERANT and guess what…the essence of PGP are these 3 branding words!


Pinup Girl Pastries and Coffee Co.

Sebrina: Because of my long term love of pinup and focus on pastries and coffee, it was a natural fit.


PGP’s ideal customer is someone like Sebrina; determined, independent, fun, hip, edgy, strong, a connoisseur of quality coffee and fresh baked pastries. Why? They simply GET each other, they run in the same circles, they enjoy and like the same things.

Because the goal was to have a brand that attracts someone like Sebrina, everything would point towards creating an experience that resonates with someone like her!

Sebrina: PGP is for the bold and the empowered who want quality fresh roasted coffee and fresh baked pastries with a smile. At PGP, we are dedicated to bringing people together through food and community; we care who you are, that you have fun and leave feeling better than when you came.

The Brand Building Process

Once we knew the story behind Sebrina and the name, what the business stands for, and who it’s for, we were able to start creating the brand.


Pinup Girl Pastries and Coffee Co Logo 2
The PGP logo concept came from Sebrina seeing a tattoo version of Rosie the Riveter and being drawn to it. It was something that would appeal to her love of pinup and the style of the 50’s, plus it would appeal to her ideal customer.

We love how the final logo design reflects the character of the company, establishes the right tone and sets the proper ethos…the key elements of an effective logo!

Side note: I love how one woman in a parking lot saw the PGP mobile trailer “Laverne” with the logo on it, raised her arm and said, “I love it, girl power!” This is the reaction and experience we aimed for!


We start searching terms to describe the type of vibe or style we are looking for. For PGP we used the 3 branding words; independent, determined, and exuberant. But we also kept in mind wanting to represent the unconventional rebellion ‘freedom’ side of things, while still being fun and uplifting.

The psychology behind color meanings and the effect we wanted to convey led us to a color palette of orange + the classic black and white.

Here’s the branding we created for PGP:

Pinup Girl Pastries and Coffee Co Branding

And now you know the process behind the making of a brand…the Pinup Girl Pastries and Coffee Co brand.


When Sebrina contacted us to help her “build an empire” brand and launch her new business, Pinup Girl Pastries and Coffee Co., we were ecstatic! (I’m not kidding, Sebrina’s ultimate dream is to eventually franchise and we were excited to be part of this journey!)

We absolutely loved working with Sebrina and hearing about her passion and life goals. If you’re ever in Sonoma County (CA), find “Laverne” the PGP mobile trailer and stop in…

Pinup Girl Pastries and Coffee Co Mobile Trailor Branding

Or if you want great coffee shipped to your door each month, you can join the PGP monthly coffee club, learn more here!

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  1. Branding needs planning. You can’t simply work on brand promotion unless you have some solid plan with you. I like the way Pinup Girl Pastries has done a lot of work before branding them online. It is essential that you provide really some extra and value added services to create a brand impression. Once, you are done with that, you can work on branding. You can do it on your own if you have the required skills. Or else you can contact a branding company.

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