I’ll make a confession, I used to be like everyone else when people mentioned stationery. “What like, invitations? Yeah, those are cool, but the party is what’s important.”
I never considered they had value beyond what you could pick up in a 24 pack at Staples or, if you got fancy, Michael’s or Target (I admit, I still love some of Target’s designs and purchase them for myself!).
But looking back, I can see how I got to my present stance. There were hints along the way that lead me to believe in the value of quality design and fine stationery.
When I was 10, I designed my own birthday party invitations. They were drawn on pieces of paper, probably with my folding briefcase art kit, because I loved that thing. I remember giving a VIP card in each envelope for my friends. I made 10 VIP cards and mailed them out. Unfortunately, I also learned the value in sending out invitations with notice, as mailing invitations to friends a week before my labor day weekend birthday (a blessing now that I get that holiday off from work!), was simply not soon enough and they had already made plans.
Yep. My first custom invitation design was a complete flop.
I did my undergraduate studies with an advertising and public relations major. I followed the design track with a dream of working for a big-time ad agency and designing magazines or at least ads for magazines. I didn’t believe that magazines were a dying industry. I believed in paper.
Yep. Agency life was a real personal goal.
I graduated from college and moved back to New York. I got my first job at a small stationery shop in Greenwich, Connecticut. The job description sounded awesome! I’d be designing things for the highlights in people’s lives: Weddings, holidays, birth announcements, graduation parties, these were the milestones that people wanted to celebrate. How awesome is it to be part of the BEST events of people’s lives? It was also the only job I applied to where I didn’t question if I’d actually be able to design instead of shadowing and getting coffee.
And let’s be real, Greenwich, Connecticut is a wealthy area. These people know how to throw parties. I got to meet event planners who planned events like a Bat Mitzvah in Rockefeller Center where the guest of honor came into the event on a sled made completely of ice and had Flo Rida perform.
Yep. That was a real event I worked on.
All these elements combined, I couldn’t turn my back on fine stationery after I left New York. I had been spoiled with seeing the finest stationers and custom designs. I saw how the invitations reflected the overall quality and impression of the event.
I’ve always appreciated the details, and something that drives me to the point of obsession is texture. The wood grain, metal etching, and stippling of letterpress make me crazy. They bring me way too much happiness to be normal, but hey, that’s why I love creating them for others. There are only so many invitations I can create for my dog’s birthday.
Yep. I created birthday invitations for my dog.
Why revelry + heart?
Although I’ve been creating stationery since 2000 (with maybe a 10-year gap to get a foundation in technical skills :)), it’s only this year that I’ve had the skill, confidence, and resources to be able to create a company of my own. revelry + heart is built on a couple of core values:
Means celebration (a boisterous one, loud and with some influence of alcohol). I love champagne because I love celebration, so I wanted this to be a pillar of my brand.
Represents the super personal aspect I put into my work. I’ve been told too many times that I care more than others. I go on journeys with my clients in times in their life where emotions run high. There is a twinge of sadness in each of the “happiest” celebrations. Graduations mean children leave their homes. Weddings mean women may feel a loss of their identities as daughters or sense of self. Children come with a sacrifice of independence. I am very transparent about these emotions, and I know they’re part of the best moments in life.
Perception is important.
I create luxe stationery and design. I know the finer side of stationery. I see first-hand how a guest gets an immediate impression of an event from the moment they see calligraphy on an envelope. What I create reflects my brand as well as the identity of my clients. I create the very best work because I am vested in the process.
Genuinity is critical.
If I’m creating something that isn’t at least 50% you, I haven’t done my job. I create personalized, custom stationery. It should reflect you 100% with me as your guide. I encourage constructive criticism throughout the design process. My wedding invitation detail questionnaire takes at least 20 minutes to complete. This is intentional. The more I know about you and your relationship, the better I can translate that into a truly personal design.
Strive for brilliance.
I am here to make my clients shine: To stand out in a crowd with an industry dominated by mass production and seasonal trends. I design against that current completely and create something that makes trends irrelevant, which makes you shine. This is where my motto of “Following hearts, not trends” falls perfectly into play. I am always working to find new mediums, hearing new love stories and finding new methods to bring those stories to your stationery.
“It’s just paper that goes in the trash can.”
Well, that’s negative.
I am always going to come to bat when people say this because there are two sides to that argument.
Food gets eaten.
But, you can’t deny these are part of the experience of your event. They all come together the day of to provide guests an experience that they will [hopefully] remember.
The invitation to your event could get thrown out, but it also is the first impression of your event.
It sets the stage, and it arrives alone, without any context. If you create something that is as exceptional as the event itself, it might not get thrown out.
Also, your invitation doesn’t have a lifespan. You can keep them forever. I’m quite personal to framing them.
And for the record, my favorite invitations are not made on paper. 🙂
Where do your loyalties lie?
I know that custom stationery is a niche. I know not everyone will find the importance of what I do to be valuable. It breaks my heart a little, but I GET it. I don’t expect to convert everyone: coexist and all that.
Some people splurge on flowers. I see you out there, pinning images of peonies and flower walls. These are beautiful, (seriously, they’re gorgeous.) and I love you for putting your budget towards blooms if those are important to you.
“As long as you have good food and good music” is another adage I hear often. Again, I see you. I think food and music are critical. I also think champagne is critical. These are my personal values.
[bctt tweet="Champagne is a personal value."]
7 tier cake. Traditional cathedral church. Open bar. Mashed potato station. Live feed photo streams (Zap shots). Sparkler exit. Everyone has their own idea of what’s important to them, and I know that.
I know customized personal stationery isn’t for everyone. I know it’s a splurge. If you don’t think it’s important, I do not hate you.
But to my tribe, my people who understand when I’m FREAKING out about THAT WAX SEAL DETAIL…
And I’m booking clients from now until further notice with revelry + heart.
I am training a s a wedding planner and trying to write my mission statement . I cam across your blog post while re-searching. So inspiring and you just gave me such a heartwarming feeling what your brand is all about…. Thank you!