Exeleon Magazine

Kris Jones

Transforming Businesses One Story at a Time

Kris Jones Red Door Designs Exeleon Magazine

Kris Jones: Transforming Businesses One Story at a Time

Great stories are timeless. They are passed from one generation to the next, with a flavor of honesty and authenticity. Stories build human bridges, elicit emotions, and forge bonds that withstand the test of time.

The same goes for design. How things look and feel—their colors, shapes, and textures. Like the comforting hug of your favorite armchair, familiar and inviting. When design is thoughtful, it speaks a language that goes beyond words and finds a place deep in your heart.

When storytelling and design join hands, they make each other better. It’s like when two things come together and create something bigger than you’d expect, 1+1 equals 3. Imagine watching a movie without a musical score; it feels incomplete and lacks depth. That’s how important they are to each other.

An example of a leader who excels in blending storytelling and design is Kris Jones. With over 20 years of experience in the marketing industry, including working with renowned brands like Nike and Adidas, and most recently as the founder of Red Door Designs, Kris has discovered a simple and effective formula for success: clarity leads to prosperity.

In this cover story, we delve into Kris Jones’ personal journey, exploring the ebbs and flows that make her the ultimate innovator. 

A Visual Storyteller

For Kris, storytelling wasn’t just an interest — it was her calling. She shares a memory when, at the age of 7, she convinced her neighborhood friend to engage in a creative adventure.

Together, they crafted a trifold vacation brochure using her mom’s stack of National Geographic magazines. “We cut out photos of exotic cheetahs, jungles, and beaches… Then we collaged them onto an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper and folded it into 3 panels — and voila!”

This early experiment of visual storytelling was an innocent foreshadowing of her future career path in design.

Kris Jones

Discovering a Passion

Kris Jones’s journey into marketing and design began with a sense of adventure and a desire to explore the world. After completing college, she embarked on a backpacking trip that led her to a picturesque beach town in southern Turkey.

It was there, amidst the beauty of the coastal paradise, that she met a pair of Australian designers who introduced her to the industry of marketing and design.

This encounter sparked a profound interest within Kris, and upon her return to Portland, Oregon, she decided to pursue her newfound passion by enrolling in design school. She shares, “The moment I stepped into that first class, something clicked. I knew for the first time in my life, I was exactly where I was meant to be.”

For Kris, the next few years were a blur of living and breathing design. It wasn’t long before she landed a gig at a local design firm, worked her way up to becoming an art director in an ad agency, and eventually landed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work at Nike.

During her time there, she was surrounded by some of the most talented designers in the world. It was a chance for her to learn from the best in the industry and elevate her skills. This experience solidified her passion for design and set the stage to launch her own business.

The Start of Red Door Designs

Leaving behind the cubicle life at Nike and driven by a desire for greater freedom and purpose, Kris founded Red Door Designs, a Portland-based brand and website design agency specializing in Storybrand strategy.

She was drawn to serving the underdogs of the business world: service providers and small business owners. She found immense fulfillment in working with these passionate professionals who were often overwhelmed by the demands of design and marketing. She adds, “They’re the real deal, living their purpose, but often juggling too much and spreading too thin—especially when it comes to marketing.”

Kris shares that the name “Red Door Designs” was inspired by her love for red, which symbolizes passion. In many cultures, a red door represents prosperity and a warm welcome, embodying the values she wanted her business to stand for. Her goal was to help her clients thrive while ensuring their experience felt like a warm hug, rather than a daunting project.

Even after twenty years, Kris’s principles haven’t changed, and her mission remains the same: to help every client she meets grow their business easily and make the experience of getting there enjoyable.

The Early Stages

During the early days of her entrepreneurial journey, a beautifully designed website was all any business needed to thrive. Yet, as the online landscape evolved, just a pretty design wasn’t cutting it anymore, both for Kris’s business and her clients.

“I was relying solely on referrals and started to worry about how long I could keep it up. The inconsistent lead flow and unpredictability stressed me out,” she shares. This period of uncertainty enforced the need for adaptability and innovation in her career.

It was during this period of doubt that Kris encountered a turning point with her client, Elyse. Although Elyse was an accomplished writer, when it came to crafting her own website copy, she found herself utterly stuck. The task of translating her vast ideas into engaging website content left her paralyzed. Kris shares, “I couldn’t design the site until she finished her website copy. I desperately wanted to help her write it, but I didn’t feel equipped”.

Thanks to Elyse, Kris made it her mission to crack the code on how to write great website copy paired with beautiful design — so this would never happen again. “I dove DEEP into storytelling. I traveled across the country to attend workshops, I read countless books, and I even got certified as one of the very first StoryBrand guides (based on the book called Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller),” she shares.

Kris’s dedication to storytelling transformed her approach to website design. Aesthetics were still important, but crafting a clear message came first. Design is an essential tool for bringing that story to life. Her clients immediately began to see remarkable results, including a significant increase in revenue, lead calls booked, and close rates.

Her own website started doing the heavy lifting of attracting high-quality leads, further proving the power of story to accelerate growth.

“I used to help my clients build beautiful websites; now, my greatest joy comes from helping them build effective websites that tell a powerful story.”

Decoding her Storytelling Success

At Red Door Designs, Kris and her team keep it simple. They offer service-based businesses just what they need to grow, nothing more, nothing less. Their main service, ‘The Signature StorySelling System,’ is perfect for business owners who find it hard to explain their work in a way others can easily understand. Often, entrepreneurs are too close to their work to describe it simply and effectively.

Red Door helps by crafting their Signature Story and turning it into an eye-catching website that appeals to their ideal customers. But they don’t stop at websites. They also cover everything else a business owner might need to keep things running smoothly and profitably, like help with social media, video scripts, and sales funnel planning.

Unfortunately, many business owners don’t realize how important it is to connect emotionally with their customers. The truth is, that customers usually choose the business they feel a connection with, not necessarily the most qualified one. That’s where storytelling shines. It’s a powerful tool that Red Door uses to build trust and create connections like nothing else can.

Kris Jones

Adapting to a New Era of Storytelling

Reflecting on her more than two decades of experience in marketing, Kris has seen unimaginable changes, especially in how stories are told. “Back when I started, the conversation rarely touched on story. It was all about the aesthetics: eye-catching designs and memorable visuals were king. A beautiful design paired with a catchy headline! That was your golden ticket.”

Yet, over time, the digital landscape became more saturated and competitive. Marketers realized that having a beautiful website was no longer sufficient to stand out. The industry began to shift towards storytelling as a crucial element of marketing. It became evident that story was not just important, but essential for differentiation and establishing a deep and authentic connection with the target audience.

Kris adapted to this change by pivoting her approach. She started to view design not just as an end in itself, but as a powerful tool to bring stories to life. The narrative became the driving force behind her designs, rather than an afterthought.

This shift in perspective has fundamentally altered how marketing professionals, including Kris, serve their clients. The emphasis is now on crafting compelling stories that resonate with the audience, using design to enhance and communicate those stories more effectively.

Empowering the Future of Story-Driven Marketing

Kris feels more energized than ever about her work at Red Door Designs. Their core service will always be ‘The Signature StorySelling System.’ It helps clients craft a clear story and use it to drive remarkable growth. Her passion for the craft keeps growing, and she’s excited about what’s to come.

Kris’s new book, ‘One Page, Endless Profits — The Busy Entrepreneur’s Guide to a One-Page Website That Converts Visitors into Clients,’ offers a roadmap for business owners. It transforms their frustration with an ineffective website into confidence with a page that tells their brand story and attracts new clients.

“We’re taking the stress out of marketing and copywriting, streamlining everything into a manageable package that leaves our clients feeling confident and clear,” Kris concludes.

The mission is to simplify the marketing and copywriting process, eliminating guesswork and ensuring that clients’ messaging is effective, and conversion-focused.

Additionally, her latest workshop, ‘Tell Your Story, Make More Sales’ promises to uncover the most powerful marketing tool in one weekend. Kris and her team provide attendees with everything they need—guidance, support, and story-driven copy that truly resonates with the audience.

Kris Jones Red Door Designs in Exeleon Magazine