Mariam’s Family Heirloom, Turned into a Custom Art Print

My family loves to cook—we’re definitely in the “live to eat” rather than “eat to live” category. My grandmother, Sophie Sun, was a great cook and loved making food for me. She was born in Shanghai in 1918, moved to Hong Kong in the early 1950s, and then to California in the 1970s; she passed away in 2004, during a trip back to Shanghai. I was lucky enough to spend time with her as an adult and wrote down some of her recipes as she gave me cooking lessons. Recently, I was going through some old papers and found Sophie’s “Chicken Plus Soup” recipe, which she had written for me in a lined notebook. It’s a great winter recipe that includes traditional Chinese ingredients like dried scallops, ginseng, and ginger, and my grandmother swore it was a restorer of health. She encouraged me to have this soup often when I was pregnant with my first child.  (For those of you trying to read the recipe, there is a good interpretation of the same recipe here.)

This year, I realized I could take advantage of Minted’s new Completely Custom Art service and turn my grandmother’s handwritten recipe into a framed, foil-pressed art print, which I’ll be giving to my mom, aunts, uncle, and cousins as a gift this Christmas. (Our talented design associates are able to turn pretty much anything into a beautiful foil-pressed keepsake—kid’s drawings, your pet’s silhouette, you name it!) Check out how it turned out, below. And, of course, I ordered one for myself, too—I’m planning to hang it in my kitchen in honor of Sophie.

—Mariam Naficy, Founder & CEO of Minted

Holiday Gift Idea: Family Recipe Keepsake Art Print

 

 

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Announcing the Winner of our First Outside Art Challenge!

For the very first time, Minted is taking your art to the streets—our street! We hosted our first Outside Art Challenge in October 2015, and we were blown away with the number of fresh and modern submissions we received. Out of 342 submissions, we have one winner, 10 runners-up, and one Special Editors’ Prize.

We’re thrilled to announce that the winner, as voted by California voters, is “Wind in the City” by Yuke Li! “This is an image of wind passing by,” Yuke says. “When the wind blows, the dandelions fly.”

windinthecity.jpg

We just finished painting “Wind in the City” on Minted’s headquarters building this week. We are so excited to share it with all of you and our neighbors in San Francisco’s Jackson Square neighborhood, where indeed it can get windy! Check out the video below to see our blank wall turn into a beautiful canvas.

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Holiday Photo Card Challenge: Top 41-50 Winners

While most people are wrapping up the summer, everyone at Minted is focused on the upcoming winter holidays.  And we’re excited to announce – the Holiday Card Winners are here!

“The Most Wonderful Time” was our eighth holiday card design challenge. I am thrilled to say that this was the strongest holiday card design challenge we’ve had in our 8 years; Minted’s community of independent designers produced breathtaking and exceptionally creative designs. I appreciated how much designers took to heart our request for creativity and to carve their own creative path.

Here is this year’s challenge by the numbers:

  • The artist community submitted a total of 4,661 designs
  • Designers held 856 design polls, and participants submitted 8,305 comments and 79,948 likes

As ever, we want to thank each and every designer who submitted a design, gave a critique, voted in a design poll, or shared festive posts in the Minted Community Facebook group to help their fellow community members get in the holiday spirit. Our community is truly what makes Minted unique and is, without question, the very reason we have the best design and art in the world.

Let’s not keep you in suspense any longer – here are your 41st-50th place winners. Stay tuned for 31-40 tomorrow. Huge congrats to our first batch of holiday winners!

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Big News: Fabrics and Stores!

Today, I’m excited to announce that Minted is expanding into textiles and has opened more than 1,000 stores for competition-winning designers and artists, turning Minted into a platform-enabled marketplace and providing Minted’s customers more direct access to the world’s best designers and artists.

Over the past seven years, Minted has focused on creating beautiful one-of-a-kind paper goods – stationery, party décor and art – and starting today, you’ll be able to find the same high-quality, highly unique assortment you’ve come to expect from us in fabrics, sold by the yard.  In order to assemble the gorgeous assortment of fabrics you can now find on Minted, we quietly held a design competition and received 1,400 breathtaking submissions by independent artists around the world – from Cape Town, South Africa to Milford, Michigan.  The winning design, Sweet Leaves and Berries, was created by Erin McManness of Atlanta, Georgia.  And that’s just the beginning!

In other news, we are also announcing that more than 1,000 winning designers have been invited to open their own stores on Minted. Going forward, if you win a prize in a Minted design challenge, you will be invited to open a store on Minted where you can launch your any art prints and fabric designs you choose without going through the competition process, using Minted’s back-end fulfillment and customer service to operate your business.  You can easily upload your art print, for example, and sell large format prints, framed, directly to consumers – with Minted handling all of the printing, framing, and customer service.

As I sat here writing this blog post tonight, I saw countless art prints being launched to the site.  In fact, Erin McManness (mentioned above as our fabrics design challenge winner), coincidentally launched this quite adorable art print, “French Flower Shop” as well the beautiful “Little Terrarium Succulent Illustration” while I was writing about her!

Finally, in order to help designers and artists continue doing what they do best – create beautiful, one-of-a-kind goods – and in order to help us do what we do best – make and ship their creations on-demand  – we’re happy to also announce that Minted has raised $38 million in a Series D round led by Norwest Venture Partners, with participation by Technology Crossover Ventures.

To our customers – we thank you for your patronage and we continue to strive to serve you better each year.

To our community of designers and artists – thank you for your continued support, you make Minted special and we are honored to have you be a part of our curated marketplace.

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Holiday Photo Card Challenge: Top 21-30 Winners

By Mariam Naficy, Minted Founder & CEO

Today, we continue to make spirits bright with the announcement of the 21st-30th ranked designs from our ‘Let it Snow!’ Holiday Card Challenge. Seeing these wonderful pieces together gives me a very warm feeling. We are continually blown away by the quality and quantity of submissions to the holiday challenge, and to be voted into the top 30 is truly an incredible accomplishment. My most sincere congratulations to these very creative talents!

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Holiday Photo Card Challenge: Top 31-50 Winners

By Mariam Naficy, Minted Founder & CEO

It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year once again! While most folks are wondering where the summer went, here at Minted, we are already looking forward to winter. It feels like each year the holiday challenge is bigger and better. Let it Snow!, our seventh holiday challenge, was definitely no exception. Here is this year’s challenge by the numbers:

4,103 Submissions from 481 Artists
646 design polls, 11,047 Comments, 62,513 Likes

As ever, we want to thank each and every designer who submitted a design, gave a critique, voted in a design poll, or shared festive posts in the Minted Community Facebook group to help their fellow community members get in the holiday spirit. Our community is truly what makes Minted unique and is, without question, the very reason we have the best design and art in the world.

Let’s not keep you in suspense any longer – here are your 31st-50th place winners. Stay tuned for 21-30 to come tomorrow. Huge congrats to our first batch of holiday winners!

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Every 2 Minutes

Every 2 minutes, a woman somewhere in the world dies from complications of pregnancy or childbirth.

I serve as a board member for Every Mother Counts, a non-profit founded by Christy Turlington Burns to save women’s lives by providing women around the world with access to healthcare during pregnancy and childbirth.  In honor of Mother’s Day and the moms in both our customer and our designer/artist communities, I thought I would share with you a trip I took with Christy and the rest of the Every Mother Counts board to Haiti.

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Top 10 ‘Oh What Fun’ Holiday Challenge Winners!

By Mariam Naficy, Minted Founder & CEO

This is the final moment that truly makes September feel like the ‘most wonderful time of the year.’ Today, as we reveal the top results of our 6th annual holiday card challenge, we honor not only the ten individuals featured here, but also all of the designers who contributed to the success of these designs with comments, critiques, and encouragement.

I am always thrilled to see designers who are new to our community rise to the top of the charts. Likewise, I find it immensely gratifying to watch familiar faces grow over time by participating in our design challenges. There are even a few designers in this year’s top 10 who submitted to the very first holiday challenge!

We truly celebrate designers at every stage and are very grateful to have you all in our community. With that, I give you the top 10 ranked designs. Congratulations, designers!

1st Place Winner: “Hand Lettered Christmas Wishes” by Jill De Haan

We were absolutely thrilled to see Jill De Haan’s “Hand Lettered Christmas Wishes” land in first place. Jill is fairly new to the Minted Community, but has made a huge splash with this design. The sweeps and curves of her hand-lettering make for such a beautiful layout. It takes incredible skill to make this artwork look so effortless. We love the flow of the watercolor and the unusual pairing of red and pinky-cream for a holiday card.

I was able to surprise Jill with the news last night at a Minted Meetup in her hometown of Salt Lake City, UT.  It was so much fun getting to know the SLC Minties and getting to tell Jill in person about her first place win! We’ll be posting all about the meetup and the surprise very soon.

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Top 11-20 ‘Oh What Fun’ Holiday Challenge Winners

By Mariam Naficy, Minted Founder & CEO

Today, we keep the holiday ball rolling with the announcement of the 11th-20th ranked designs from our ‘Oh What Fun’ Holiday Card Challenge. Looking at the designs below, it’s easy to see why they were so loved by designers and consumers alike. Congratulations to the exceptional talents behind these stunning designs!

11th Place: “Merry Holly” by Fig and Cotton Paperie

Oh what fun this design is! We love Erin’s quirky font choice; those playful swashes and alternate letterforms add so much personality to “Merry Holly.” The sweet little sprig and berry provide just the right amount of color against the bright white type.

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Top 21-40 ‘Oh What Fun’ Holiday Challenge Winners

By Mariam Naficy, Minted Founder & CEO

Even though the phrase makes most people think of winter, here at Minted we think that September is truly the most wonderful time of the year. Summer was a whirlwind of submissions, critiquing, voting, and file requests, and now we have arrived at the very best part: announcing the winners. Today we begin our ‘Oh What Fun’ Holiday Card Challenge announcements with the winning designs that came in ranked at 21st-40th place, as voted on by the community of customers, designers, fans, and friends.

In this, our sixth annual holiday challenge, we received a record-breaking 3,348 submissions from 470 independent designers. Over the five and a half weeks of submission and voting, designs received a staggering 58,876 ‘likes.’ I think it’s safe to say that this was one of our best (and most competitive) challenges yet, which speaks even more highly of the incredible talent demonstrated in the designs listed below.

I want to thank each and every designer who submitted a design, provided feedback, voted in a design poll, or simply cheered on fellow community members. The design community is what makes Minted special and is what allows us to continue to provide customers with the most beautiful and unique designs in the world. So, without further ado, I give you the top 21st-40th place winners. Congratulations to our first batch of holiday winners!

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