It’s here, it’s here! I present to you Hello Tenfold’s new wedding invitation collection!
This collection was a huge learning process for me, and a chance to grow both as a designer and a business owner. It is the end product of many of late nights, some risk-taking, and a bit of chaos. I tend to de-emphasize this fact but today I am owning it: I am a one-woman show. And I am a new mom. Therefore, launching this collection happened largely over nights and weekends. It also took some help. I am pretty risk adverse, so choosing to hire a stylist and photographer to shoot this collection was a big step for me. Not only was it a financial risk, but it meant working a little more slowly than I usually do and revising until I had a collection that felt worthy of that investment. It also took a lot of help from my husband, both in moral support and design critiques.
Because it has been a long time since I did a real shop update, I wanted the 2015 collection to be substantial. I started working on it last summer, and over 6 months or so I narrowed the initial ideas down to 10 brand new invitation suites. Each suite is complete with save the dates, invitations, detail cards, rsvp cards, envelope liners, envelope designs, programs, menus, table numbers, place cards, thank you cards, and sometimes wax seals, bands, and hang tags, too. We also re-photographed 3 of Hello Tenfold’s most popular invitation suites.
Once the suites were complete, I started a private Pinterest board for each to communicate to the stylist, Michelle Smith, the look and inspirations behind each suite. The amount of photo shoot prep was intense, maybe almost as much work as the designing! I spent months hunting down props, fabrics, and compiling those Pinterest boards. Michelle gathered a ton of amazing props that worked perfectly with my original ideas, and she did a fantastic job expanding on my ideas, too. I wish you could have seen the chaos of the studio during the photo shoot — so many pretty props. For the suites that I had a hard time envisioning stylistically, Michelle filled in the blanks perfectly. I learned so much by watching her work (but that’s for a future post!).
Lastly, photographer Lissa Gotwals was able to capture the new suites beautifully. She worked quickly, helped me stay on budget, and gave me so many amazing images that choosing the finals seemed impossible.
I also owe a big thanks to my studio-mate Jessie Gladdek, also an amazing photographer, for her support and photo taking and editing tips (I took a bunch of photos for the new collection, too, and Jessie helped me make them look good!). Alana from Serendipity Designs put together beautiful flowers and greenery which we used in so many of the shots, as well as some calligraphy envelopes to use as props. Miya from Layers of Loveliness also provided many calligraphied envelopes for props, and my neighbor Sam from Pack and Post provided the vintage stamps.
I’ll be working this week on website updates and uploading the new images to the shop. Keep an eye on the blog as I’ll be introducing each invitation suite in full over the next few weeks. You can see more on my instagram and pinterest.
If you’re a newly engaged bride or groom, I would love to customize one of these suites for your wedding! One of the best parts about my job is seeing how differently my designs look in couples’ chosen fonts, colors, papers, and patterns — the options are endless and I can’t wait to see what we come up with together. Here’s how to get in touch.
Happy New Year! I hit the ground running this year with a photo shoot scheduled this week for my new collection. I’ve been having a blast looking through my closets and drawers for props, pulling together invitation samples, sketches, and magazine cut-outs from the past couple years, and playing with the way all of those things work together. Today I pulled together some real-life inspiration boards and feel excited for fresh images and new designs (eleven of them!).
This week I sent the bulk of the 100+ pieces from my Hello Tenfold 2015 invitation collection to print. It started with one late night this Fall where I was on a pattern-making roll, loved it all for about two weeks, and then decided it was possibly all crap. I’ve spent months working, re-working, completely scrapping, starting over, and then going back to those original patterns and re-working again. At this point, I can’t even tell what’s good any more. But I finally pulled the trigger, just in time for the photo shoot in January (I’m a little embarrassed to say that although Hello Tenfold is 5 years old, this will be my first photo shoot). Thank goodness the holidays are around the corner because I need a break; I’ve officially driven myself up the wall.
Sooo, it was an unexpected treat to find out that my 2015 collection for Bella Figura is live! I feel proud of this one, and it feels like a happy way to end 2014.
This year, Bella Figura added flat printing to their repertoire. It completely changed the way I was able to think about the 2015 collection. It encouraged me to work with more colors (I tend to stick to 3 max, to keep letterpress prices reasonable) and then combine all that color with some shiny foil.
For this collection, I wanted to branch out a little and do something modern and non-traditional, something a little artsy. And so Briolette came. I also wanted to play around with some vintage floral illustrations and collage, which led to romantic Josephine. And lastly, I have never had the chance to play with blind debossing, so I resurrected an old favorite pattern for simple and sophisticated Odelet. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but that’s tawny matte foil for the text. I can’t wait to see this one in person.
If you’re a local, you can check out my Bella Figura pieces in person over at Love Ply in Chapel Hill.
Transitioning into parenthood is difficult for almost everyone. It’s not that hard to anticipate the challenges themselves, but it is hard to understand how they’ll affect you, and how hard it will be to navigate all those new changes with your partner. This summer, soon after our daughter turned one, I placed a teary phone call to Brendan. I was feeling frustrated with how hard it was to be the parent with the “flexible schedule,” which basically meant that it was my job to do all the parenting that needed to happen between 8:30 and 6:30 while still running my own business. I love being a mom, but I also really love my job. A lot. And I did not anticipate how hard it would be to be the main caretaker. I also knew I should feel lucky to have a flexible schedule, to be the one spending so much time with our daughter, and to have a husband so dedicated to doing his best at work while being a bang-up parent when he was off work.
About 30 seconds after that teary phone call, Brendan called back and excitedly told me he’d come up with The Solution to all of our problems. He’d quit his job, and we’d start a company together. And then in the movie version of my life I cried tears of joy.
Brendan and I talked about his job transition a lot throughout August. We wrote down dreams of what our life could be like, down to a daily schedule, and brainstormed the logistics of working abroad with a toddler in tow (that side-dream is for 2015 or beyond). We made lists of all the things that could be great about it, and all the things that could be really bad. We did some budgeting that involves cash envelopes and prayers. In September Brendan gave notice and he had his last day in November. We invited some friends over for a brainstorming session and decided to name our new venture “Harbor.” My studio-mate and I moved around some furniture to make room for an extra desk, and as I type this, I can see Brendan just over my shoulder. It’s a dream come true. We are scared but we are happy.
Now, we take turns with the morning routine. One day a week I’ll head into the studio early to get working, and Brendan will stay home with our daughter until it’s time for daycare. The next day we switch. We both leave work in the late afternoon to pick her up and spend a few hours together before her bedtime. To make up for the afternoons, we often work from home at night, or one of us will head back out to the studio. On Monday mornings, we sit down over coffee to talk about our schedules and needs for the upcoming week, and to pick each others’ brains on our projects.
I am still busy with my stationery company Hello Tenfold, but I am helping with Harbor part time and Brendan is helping with Hello Tenfold part time, too. For Harbor, I do some project management, and occasionally design, and Brendan helps me with business decisions and some design input for Hello Tenfold.
Through Harbor, we are taking on projects including branding, logo design, web design, advertising campaigns, copywriting, and social media communiciations/management/advertising, and have a team of other freelancers we’re working with as needed. We have launched a temporary website, as well as a facebook page, twitter account, and instagram. Please give us a like and a follow! We’ll need your help making this dream stick!
If you’re a Durham, NC local, you can now buy the Hello Tenfold zodiac birthday calendars at The Makery on Geer Street! They’re beautifully letterpressed on thick cotton paper. While you’re at it, stop in next door at my studio and say hello.