Case Study : Family Promise Knoxville

Recently, Rustic Roots had the privilege of working with Mary LeMense and Family Promise of Knoxville to develop a new website for their organization. We spent a few months in development, and now that the site is live, we're excited to share it (and Family Promise) with you! 

Family Promise is a nonprofit organization that unites with the interfaith community to help homeless and low income families achieve sustainable independence. We first met Executive Director Mary LeMense while on set for a United Way of Greater Knoxville video shoot at Family Promise. After hearing Mary speak so passionately about Family Promise, the realities of family homelessness, and what Family Promise is doing to play their part in bettering our community, we knew we would jump at the chance to be a small partner in their work.


Challenges :

When we began discussing the opportunity for a website redesign with Mary, one of the first things that came to our attention was that their previous website needed some work. Over time, the staff had been locked out of the website editor, information was out of date, and it just left everyone feeling a little defeated and out of the loop - and that's the exact opposite of what a nonprofit's website should be doing! So, our task was clear : design a new website that would appeal to both staff and visitors, have a functioning editing portal that would be clear and easy to use, brighten up the place, and have a display area to feature current events. 

Process : 

One of our first priorities was to understand the real mission of Family Promise. When we learned that key elements to the website were to share with the community and gather support, use as a communication tool between Family Promise and their interfaith partners, and to raise awareness of homelessness in our Knoxville community, our goals started to become defined. We set out to create a website that was clear and bright, directed people to key pages, shared stories and events, raised awareness of the needs in the community, and prompted involvement in some way. Through several rounds building, getting board approval, and some final edits, we launched the new site in late March!

Results :

Old website

Old website

New website - check it out!

New website - check it out!

It's been such a transformation – not just visually, but in functionality as well! What was once a dark, overcrowded website is now a clean, bright, organized website full of helpful and current information! There's a place for Mary to update supporters on the Director's Blog as well as stay in contact with their interfaith partners. New photos and videos are coming soon, gotta keep things in tip-top shape from now on.

We're so excited to see the final product come to life! Working with Family Promise on this project was a great honor, and we hope this website serves them for many years! 

Our First Intern!


Over the last few months Rustic Roots has been growing, and we're so excited to introduce our very first intern to you! Kendall Hayden is the newest member of our team, she's a cinema studies student at the University of Tennessee and is very excited to be working with Matthew, Khloe, and the nonprofits of Knoxville.

We asked Kendall some get-to-know you questions, so enjoy her little intro.....

1. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
I'm a dark green crayon - because I only go well with Earth tones.

2. What would you do if you won $10 million?
I would travel everywhere and make sure my family was set for life, then build nice, affordable housing for underprivileged peoples and fund missions and churches. I'd use it all lol

3. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a rock star!

4. Favorite pizza flavor?
I like Margarita pizza, with fresh everything!

5. What's a quote that inspires you?
A poem from Rumi :
"This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond."

6. Go-to comfort food/snack?
Kettle chips (I have a problem)

7. Favorite cereal?
Captain Crunch

8. If you could have a superpower, what would you choose?
I would want to be able to breathe underwater

9. If you could do anything, and make a living at it, what would it be?

10. What’s a binge-worthy Netflix show in your book?
Too many to choose from, but The Office is probably one of the best!

Great Design and How Nonprofits Can Benefit

Great Design and How Nonprofits Can Benefit

Design is a really big word, and unless you know what someone is talking about, “great design” makes even less sense. To put it somewhat simply, design is a conceptual form of communicating with a specific function, purpose, or result in mind. The purpose of graphic design is to maximize communication by engaging multiple senses, while conveying an intellectual idea/experience not just verbally, but visually as well.