November 3, 2014

My 120 Challenge for 2015

Halloween has just passed. That means Thanksgiving is on its way, with all the delicious mid-century recipes that I continue to make out of pure nostalgia. 

Overnight Salad
thank you 1960s and mayonnaise for this Thanksgiving winner of a side dish

After that, I am officially allowed to listen to Bing Crosby on repeat, to watch Charlie Brown Christmas as many times as I like, and to start baking, baking, baking. 

The holiday season wouldn't be complete
without a little Bing Crosby

After Christmas, that last big event is New Year's. Bring on the holiday joy. 

This year, I've decided my New Year's resolution a little early. In 2015, I want to complete 120 wedding invitation orders through my etsy shop

Q: So, why am I sharing this on my blog? 
A: I want potential clients to know what their patronage means to me and my small business.

Now, I'm sharing this on my blog for one very specific reason. I want to take this opportunity to share with potential clients my motivations for growing my wedding invitation business. I currently have a day job, one that I actually love. So I do understand how completely confusing this may be. That said, I have a few bigger life goals that I want to help accommodate by building up my side business:

  1. I want to start a family. Day care is very expensive, and even more so since I live in London. By building up my business online, I'm hoping to create a scenario where my return to work doesn't cause my home greater expense than otherwise. At this time, working full time and taking care of young children sounds like a tall order. So my thoughts are that I really ought to start now. 
  2. I want to finish paying off my student loan. I finished a PhD, and as a result was essentially studying for 12 straight years. Whilst I'm proud that my student debt was far below the national average for my level of education, my completion of my goal in 2015 would mean that I am able to say bye-bye to monthly loan payments. Until it's gone, all proceeds from my etsy shop go directly to the retrospective funding of my education, in art history, which will also influence the form and shape of the new invites I'll have to design. 
  3. I need reason to design more, and more often. Enough said. 
Next Steps
I've received a few orders in the last month or so, which is really inspiring. I only have two designs on my Etsy shop at the moment: 

Barley Wedding Invitations
available in four ale-inspired colors

Hops Wedding Invitations
First things first: I need to hit the design grindstone. My two current designs were inspired by my love (and longing for) my beer-loving home town: Portland, Oregon. I'll be breaking beyond that boundary a bit in coming designs, but still sticking within my original concept of sharing my own Love's Leftovers. 

If you're reading this post and have an idea for a new wedding design concept that you'd like me to develop, just leave your comment below. 

June 20, 2013

Barley Wedding Invitations, Perfect for a Pub or Microbrewery Wedding

I've been talking about this for ages, and working on these new ones for (embarrassingly) months. Just yesterday, I posted my first two listings on Etsy of my new Barley Wedding Invitations.

I've hand designed my barley graphic, and have developed four different colour schemes for my designs. These will be available in Stout, Irish Red, Amber Ale (pictured below), and Hefeweizen.

I'll post more photos of the other colours soon. The grey English summer kept me from photographing all of them at once. Here's a peek at the new Barley wedding invitation suite in the warn and welcoming Amber Ale colour scheme:

Amber Ale invitation cards, $1.75 each (minimum order 50)

I used my grandparents names in these samples. Love them, and love these cards!

RSVP postcards, $1.50 each (min. order 50)

Invitation inserts, $0.75 each (min. order 50)

The paper components of the full suite, soon to come: new photo with address labels and gorgeous matching silk ribbon.

May 21, 2013

Happy Customer! Feedback from a recent bride-to-be

The shop has been open for nearly two months now, and I've already had the privilege of working with a few new brides-to-be on their stationery. I received an email from a client today that brightened my day. So much so, in fact, that I wanted to share her feedback with the rest of you.

"Everyone LOVES the invites! Thank you so much. People have been wanting to keep the post card because they love it so much. "

Happy bride-to-be, happy invitation designer! More designs to debut soon, so keep an eye out.

May 7, 2013

Fantastic updates to my beer hops wedding invitations now available on ETSY

Full invitation suite, new and improved!
I've been working on this for a while, but thought I'd share full details of the upgrades I've made to my wedding invitations. My invitations are now printed on really fantastic new papers, giving and even better weight and feel than my originals.

RSVP Cards with gorgeous drawing of hops plant
RSVP cards are now printed on 300gsm card with a matte overlay. The heavier weight really gives the suite a fuller texture. The matte overlay preserves the image while in the post.

Invitation with hops graphic at top
Invitation cards and inserts are printed on 280gsm textured card in a lovely light cream color. This picture does not do the card justice! The weight and texture of the new material makes the invitation as special as your big day will be! For better photos of the texture of the card, see my instagram photos from my earlier post: 

RSVP card back
Customers can now choose to order invitation components a-la-carte. Previously, I only sold these invites as a full suite. Now that I have these fantastic papers, and a great printer to go with them, I am better able to process orders custom to my clients tastes. 

Portland, the best beer town in the US, maybe even the world

Photo from CNN, "8 Best Beer Towns in America"

I woke up this morning to the happy news that CNN has given my home town, Portland, Oregon, top marks in its ranking of the "8 Best Beer Towns in America."

Now I haven't actually resided in Portland for nearly five years now, but my love of finely crafted ale endures. I now live in London, a city also known for its affinity for real ale. Despite my best efforts, I still have not come around to the flat, slightly warm English ale. They're fine. Don't get me wrong. They just are not as good as what I was spoiled with in Portland.

A proud day for me and my home town. Congratulations Portland! I miss you.