My friend Katie called me New Year’s Day. It was officially 2014 and she was ready to talk wedding invitations for her June ceremony. I had worked with her in designing her save the dates and she was hopeful that I could also create her wedding invitations. “Absolutely, I would love to!” I replied. After hanging up the phone, the pressure set in. I’ve done plenty of graduation announcements, shower invitations, and save the dates – but the idea of a wedding invitation scared me a little. It is possible that this invitation is the single most important invitation in a girl’s (or guy’s!) life.
I was extremely lucky in that Katie knew what she wanted and that her soon to be hubby, Alex, was in agreement. She had an idea in mind, but also allowed me to put my own spin on things. The teacher side of Katie kept mentioning that she wanted the information to be “organized”. She wanted bold and block-like fonts and her colors were navy and grey.
“The Katie” is a dark grey panel with a pocket on the back side. The response card and envelope slide into the pocket to create a bundled look. The invitation itself is navy with cream lettering and printed on a coated card stock with a hint of gloss. This was mounted on a cream puff mat to break up the layering of the dark colors. The cream was also tied in by using a cream colored mailing envelope. I hand assembled the invitations and printed the guest addresses on each envelope.
The final product was beautiful, if I do say so myself. I was thrilled with how these turned out and received a lot of great feedback on the invitations. They are classically modern, looking fresh and sleek. Taking the leap to the intimating wedding invitation was scary, but I’m so glad I did it. It feels amazing to create something for one of the most special days of a friend’s life. I can’t wait to embark on the journey of working with more brides to make their big day dreams come true!
The amount of things that you are able to plaster your name upon now are countless… from pens and koozies to coffee mugs and t-shirts, the list goes on. I quickly realized that seeing my logo on anything and everything makes me happier than a camel on a Wednesday.
My rubber stamp purchase has been one of my best yet. The purchase was accompanied by several colorful ink pads and I have yet to run of out things to stamp my name across. As always, I like to purchase from Etsy when I can and found Stamp Out Online in my search (https://www.etsy.com/shop/stampoutonline). I was able to design my own stamp and the turnaround was lightning speed. Although they are based in California, I had the stamp in my hands two days after placing my order. I have absolutely no idea how they do it, but it’s WONDERFUL!
I’ve always had a slight obsession with snail mail. My favorite part? Writing the addresses on the envelopes. I hate licking that sticky part on the back, but luckily they make a product to take care of that. It took me awhile to figure out why I loved preparing the mail and it finally hit me: my third grade teacher. Mrs. Harrell started a post office within our school where we could mail letters to each other. Naturally, I was picked as a student helper to start this post office. It all makes sense now…
How many emails do you get a day? I get emails every day, all day. They are rarely special. Mainly there are reminders that I need to pay a bill or the bombardment of sales for each and every store in the mall. Of course, I am lucky enough to receive the pleasant emails that I have sold an Etsy order or that someone has posted a comment to my blog. With our present fast-moving society, having the immediate ability to send email is obviously necessary.
How much snail mail do you get a day? My snail mail counts seem to be much lower than that of my email and although some of those pesky bills and unnecessary coupons show up, I am always excited to see an envelope with my name hand written across the front. Sometimes you are expecting an invitation, mainly because so-and-so just asked you for your address three days ago. Sometimes you are completely caught off guard with what lies inside this envelope. Do you open it immediately, standing at the mailbox? Or do you stuff it into the pile with the other mail and take it inside to open? Wherever you may choose to open your envelope, you know that there is a very good chance something positive will be in the contents. (Because we all know the bill companies aren’t handwriting envelopes!) You have just received an invitation, announcement, thank you note, celebratory card, or personalized hello! Someone has taken the time to invite you or thank you by sending you a piece of snail mail.
Often, what you have just opened represents a special moment or milestone in someone’s life. Because they chose to send a tangible memory, rather than an electronic message, you are able to hang it on the universal home bulletin board, the refrigerator. If you are like me, that piece of paper might stay on the fridge for months and will be seen by visitors. Formal events should begin by sending a formal invitation. Special moments should be broadcasted with a special announcement. And don’t ever underestimate the power of sending a hand-written thank you note for a gift or interview.
We have the ability to send information at the swipe of a finger, but I believe the joy of receiving something in the mail cannot be replaced.
“I love the rebelliousness of snail mail, and I love anything that can arrive with a postage stamp. There’s something about that person’s breath and hands on the letter.” –Diane Lane
To say I have unrealistically high expectations would be wrong. Well, it is half wrong. I do have high expectations. However, they are not unrealistic.
Yes, I am a small business. No, that does not mean you are getting any less of a product than if you were to order from one of the large websites. Even though I am just a one-girl-do-all operation, I can only assume that my customers expect perfection from me. If I am not 100% happy with what comes out of the printer, I go back to the drawing board until I am fully satisfied. Sometimes this can turn into a stressful and/or frustrating process (for both myself and my printer)!
One of the driving forces to start oh my! designs was my unsuccessful attempt to print DIY invitations I ordered from Etsy. There was no way the perfectionist in me would send out less than perfect invites to a friend’s baby shower. After the time spent trying to fix them, I ditched them, and ordered from the big guys. That was over a year ago. I have since learned a lot about printing, as well as design, so that I can provide people a stress and frustration free option. I like to think people pay me to be crazy about their papers, so that they don’t have to. And why shouldn’t they? Throwing a party or announcing a special moment should be a solely positive experience!
When I think about how far the business has come in just 8 short months and all the potential growth there is, it makes me so excited I just want to do cartwheels.
It still blows my mind that a small idea in my head has become a small, real life, growing business! Who woulda thought?! To complement the invitations and designs themselves, I wanted to create a blog for my friends and fans to keep up with the ever evolving oh my! designs. Words and writing have always been something I enjoy. You can even check out the blog I kept from my final semester of college, in which I studied abroad in Ecuador, here: http://stephgoesabroad.wordpress.com (throwback!).
I do not claim to be an expert of writing, teaching, learning, designing, creating, color, fashion, patterns, accessorizing, nor marketing. However, I have dabbled in each and have found that the aforementioned are all things I am passionate about. My hope is to continue learning about each one to see where I am led. I’ve got BIG plans for the future, but am going to allow life to take me in the direction that seems right. Continue to check back for new products, design inspiration, and just daily realizations of attempting to launch a small business!
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” -Eleanor Roosevelt