Starting your own business isn't easy. It's a mixture of exciting and scary at the same time. This year I'm celebrating my tenth year in business and I'm proud of how far I've come. I'm not going to lie and say ten years ago I knew exactly what I was doing and I had this whole entrepreneur thing figured out. Actually, it was quite the opposite. I had a dream and a vision for my business, but I did not know how to execute and be successful.
Owning a business is a series of trial and error, learning new skills and growing as a person. You must push yourself to try new things and take risks, but you also check your ego at times and seek help. There were numerous times when I tried something new and realized it wasn't a fit. In the world of design, I'm constantly reinventing myself and thinking of new ways to creatively portray my message. Some efforts work better than others.
I've designed hundreds of custom invitations and countless one-of-a-kind pieces for my clients. Recently I've had several inquiries about logo design and branding, which inspired me to redesign my own logo. Through the process, I realized how much fun I was having creating something new for myself that would represent me as a designer. The difficult part is combining all the things I love into one piece of art.
As a graphic designer, I understand the importance of a good logo. It's one of the first impressions of your brand and a glimpse into what makes you unique and sets you apart. The fonts you choose, the colors and the artwork are all elements that are equally important to the end result. When I am designing a logo for someone, I ask a lot of questions about their business and about who they are. I want to use elements of their favorite things to paint a picture in my mind so I can create a logo that represents them. I create with purpose and intention and every element of the design is well thought out.
I recently deigned a logo for Eternal Roots, my husband's custom documentary business. The name originated from our annual trips to the Sequoia National Forest. Every summer we take our family and escape from the grid for a week in nature. It's when I feel we really connect with each other without the distractions of the everyday routine. My husband visited the same campsite as a young boy with his family so it holds a very special place in his heart. Now that we are continuing the tradition with our own family, it was a perfect catalyst for the design of his logo and branding. His business started with the idea of simply wanting to preserve his grandfather's story on video. He also created a transcribed book of his grandfather's interview including old photos. The business concept grew organically from there once others heard what he had created and wanted him to create the same precious keepsakes for their families.
When sketching and conceptualizing his logo, we knew it had to look natural and have an organic woodsy feel. Through our research, we found Erik Linton, an artist who creates stamps from slices of fallen tree trunks (www.etsy.com/shop/LintonArt). He had so many beautiful pieces and we knew we had to incorporate one into our branding. We created business cards, brochures and marketing materials that were all based on elements and colors found in nature.
The entire process from conception to completion was so much fun and I love how it challenged my creative mind. Logo design and branding is so important in business and I began to notice how this important element often gets overlooked. Sometimes the job is given to someone who has little to no experience in design and the end result is less than spectacular and appears disjointed from the overall business concept. I decided it was up to me to make this world a better place, one logo at a time and have expanded my portfolio of services to include logos and marketing materials for businesses. Recently I have worked on several custom logo designs and quite a number of re-branding projects which I will feature in upcoming blog posts and in a business portfolio section on my website. If you are interested in preserving your story, please check out Tom's website www.eternal-roots.com. You can contact me directly for inquiries on logos and branding at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I recently pushed myself in the world of design. It wasn't anything new or innovative, in fact, a lot of people are doing it right now. However, I knew absolutely nothing about how to do it or the steps I needed to take in order to make the vision in my head a reality.
When you work in a creative field, it's easy to master a style or process and get stuck doing it over and over again. At the same time, when you have that creative vein, there's a part of you that wants to push the envelope, think outside of the box and do something that's never been done before. So when my client wanted to incorporate gold foil on her invitations I was both excited and a little scared. I wasn't sure if I had the skills to get it done beautifully and to the high standard I expect of all my work.
This is my 10th year owning my business and if look back at where I started and how far I've come, it's pretty amazing. I remember in the beginning running around town hunting down paper and envelopes. I would make daily trips to the craft stores buying rhinestones and ribbon and most times I would have to drive to several to find the quantity I needed to complete a single job. I was unfamiliar with the design programs and had a difficult time calculating the amount of time needed to design and complete a project. I spent endless hours researching the best glue, scissors, rhinestones, paper cutters and spending lots of money testing them out so I could have the best for my clients. My standards were high but in the early years of my business, my skills weren't mastered yet. I knew I had to provide quality products and impeccable service to set me apart from other designers so I kept learning, researching and working on my craft. Over time, the things that were once difficult became easier and through the process I found my design style.
Now 10 years later, I'm still learning to master new skills and expand my design sense. Through my recent process of designing with foil, I learned so much and in the end I know it made me better. It was uncomfortable at first, but when we make ourselves uncomfortable, that's often where we grow the most. I want to consistently push myself to learn new skills and design techniques so I can continue to provide beautiful work for my clients. I am as passionate about the process as I am about the final piece and I find joy in the journey. After all, the journey is where the magic happens.
I remember times in my life when I felt like I didn't have a direction. I was unsure of what I "wanted to do" and felt I needed an answer. A solid, unwavering, full-proof answer. Sure, I have tons of things I love. Things that excite me and make me happy but how would I make that "my thing"? It needed a title and I couldn't give it one. In fact at 40, I still can't and that's just fine with me. After all, so many people define themselves by their profession but is that REALLY who we are? I love music that's played too loud and the way the sky looks electric at dusk. I love helping others, meeting new people and making strangers laugh when I feel they might be having a bad day. I have an eye for art, design, photography and architecture. I love squeezing my children, making them giggle and acting goofy. I love fluffy animals, insanely good margaritas and the smell outside after a rainstorm. You see, all these things make me who I am and they connect me to my purpose. Instead of using a map and narrowing it down to fit in a box, use the things that excite you to find your own path. Your own purpose. After all, a person who enjoys the journey and where it takes them is never truly lost.
Scrolling through Facebook one day I saw a video about a Marine who lost three limbs in Afghanistan and woman who fell in love with everything about him. I was immediately drawn to their love story and touched by their connection. Hearing their story moved me so much that I wrote to Katie, the bride-to-be and volunteered my services for their wedding invitations. She responded and we clicked immediately.
I've been in this industry for almost 10 years but these two amazing people are some of my favorites. I live in San Diego, while Katie and Mike live in Florida. Therefore the entire process, from conception to final product, was done via phone and email. I hold a special place in my heart for active military, veterans and their families because of the sacrifices they make to serve our country. I felt very honored they allowed me to work with them to design their invitations. Helping with their wedding was my way of saying "thank you".
Their story touched me even more when I learned Mike was not only marrying an amazing woman but also gaining a daughter - Katie's daughter Callie. A beautiful, bright girl with an incredible smile and heart of gold.
Throughout the entire process, Mike and Katie collaborated on details for their invitations. My experience has been that brides always take the lead, while the grooms seldom participate at all. In contrast, Katie always included Mike and wanted his design ideas and input. They envisioned a "secret garden" inspired by gorgeous florals in shades of pink and green blending classic elegance with natural elements. We used an off-white textured card stock for all the printed pieces which included custom floral designed gate cards wrapped in twine. The soft shades of pink and green were offset with rich burgundy and gold lettering and included gold shimmer envelopes with custom floral address labels. The end product was warm and romantic and truly reflected the couple's style.
The couple was married this past March at Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club in Tampa, Florida where Mike's parents said their vows 33 years ago. All their amazing moments from their wedding day were captured by Divine Light Photography. See their love story featured on ABC Action News here.
What could make this story any sweeter? These two newlyweds are expecting a baby boy in February.
It's finally here and I'm so excited to launch my new website. When starting this business 8 years ago, I had no idea how far it would take me, how many amazing people I would meet and how many friendships would develop. Let's just say I'm a people person and I love anything artsy so I blended them together and here I am!
paper scissors print
Not your average paper design/wedding invitation/stationery shop. I craft custom pieces giving my clients EXACTLY what they want.
I have been so blessed to be asked to participate in numerous styled shoots over the years and I will be featuring them in the upcoming weeks here on my blog.
Graphic designer, music maniac, dancing fool