Written by Julie Black
January is a time of reflection here at Minted. We pour ourselves a third cup of coffee and take a step back to look at all we accomplished together, celebrate milestones, and plan for the coming year. Every year, we see that the best moments are those with our community. We’re so grateful for all of you and everything that you’ve done to make 2019 one of the most monumental years yet. Here’s a recap of just some of the memorable Minted moments from 2019.
Camp Minted and growing the Minted artist community to 100 countries (and all 50 states!)
You knew we would start with Camp Minted, but can you blame us? After nearly 200 artists poured into the JW Marriott Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 29, we realized we were in for a life-changing three days. As the largest Minted community event of the year, Camp Minted is a space for Minted artists to develop long-lasting relationships with like-minded creatives, be creatively inspired, develop their technical craft, and seek creative and physical refueling and rejuvenation. “Camp Minted is for people to recharge, rejuvenate, and to do so while seeing people they really love and care about — which is their professional community,” explained Mariam Naficy, Minted Founder and CEO in this Lonny article covering the event.
A dozen international artists attended Camp Minted. Pictured at our awards ceremony: Lynette Rieper of Kampai Designs, Phrosné Ras from South Africa, Caitlin Considine of Hudson Meet Rose from Austrailia, Catherine Everett of Everett Paper Goods from England, Sweta Modi of Creo Study from India, Gerrie of chocomocacino from Czech Republic, seated with Katie Myrick from the Minted team and Jaade Wills from the Method team.
The Minted artist community grew to represent 100 countries this year, and a dozen international artists from as far as South Africa and Australia joined us for the highlight of the week, Minted’s Community Awards Ceremony. Even Minted artist David Michuki of Kenya, our 100th country, called in to share what the Minted community means to him. “It sparks my imagination, and inspires me” he shared.
From start-to-finish, Minted artists were major players in creating Camp Minted 2019. Many joined planning committees or led workshops in which they offered their own knowledge freely to their fellow artists. (Pro tip: These sessions are now available to our entire community as part of the Camp Minted Learning & Development Series in our monthly newsletter The Palette.) In the brief moments between jam-packed sessions, Minted artists united with their best friends from across the world. “It’s so great to talk face to face with people I’ve spent nearly 10 years ‘talking’ to online,” said Sarah Brown.
Surprising the first-place winner of our 12th annual Holiday Photo Card Challenge
We flew our winner, Eve Schultz, from Gatineau, Quebec, Canada all the way to our Minted office in San Francisco to surprise her in front of the entire company. We broadcasted the surprise, including a lifesize Elf, during our September quarterly VoiceIt! conference call between the Minted artist community and the Minted team.
We broadcasted the surprise during our September quarterly VoiceIt! conference call between the Minted artist community and the Minted team. In attendance was a lifesize Elf — paying homage to the world-traveling elves sent to artists by the Minted team as a way to spread holiday cheer in the community. Scott Hsu (his community-given nomicker) traveled from San Francisco to Iceland to Australia to London and even to Tasmania, picking up sweaters, bowties, and new skills along the way.
Eve’s design “Wonderland” won first place in the So Very Merry Non-Foil-Pressed Holiday Photo Card Challenge, which had a total of 5,474 entries and nearly 1.6 million votes from our broader community of customers, fans, and artists.
Expanding our Target partnership, and the move to monthly Target sales commission payments
Minted is creating more earnings opportunities for artists by growing our audience for your designs in three major ways — expanding into new categories, building a wholesale business, and launching new brands — to help us break into mass market opportunities with lower retail prices. Minted first launched everyday greeting cards in September 2017 at just over 500 Target stores. We expanded our partnership to include Minted holiday, Mother’s Day, and Valentines’ greeting cards as well as gifting products and more at Target.
As our Target partnership grew, our teams were heads-down in 2019 on updating our cross-functional processes to increase the frequency of Target sales commission payments from quarterly to monthly, so we can get commissions to community members faster than ever.
Minted Licensing brings independent design to global brands, Samsung and Method
Minted launched a new licensing business featuring unique designs by independent artists on products by major retailers and brands in 2019 with a kick off during “The Final Round” on Yahoo! Finance. Our first partners were two like-minded brands also dedicated to design and innovation — global consumer electronics company Samsung and global home and personal care brand method. “The launch of Minted’s licensing business gives us the unique opportunity to power product design for top retailers and consumer brands,” said Mariam Naficy, Minted Founder and CEO.
Minted artist Sarah McInroe’s “Lyrical” displayed on Samsung’s The Frame TV.
Digital versions of art prints created by Minted’s community of independent artists are featured on Samsung’s award-winning lifestyle smart TV, The Frame. When not used for viewing movies or TV, The Frame displays a dynamic gallery of art.
Minted and method collaborated on a limited-edition collection of soap and home cleaning bottles featuring designs by members of Minted’s community of independent artists. Using the work of Minted’s artists as both inspiration and backdrop, method created four new fragrances.
Bringing unique designs on new innovative formats for holiday customers and engaged couples alike
“Matchstick Black” by Tanya Lee Design as a carry-all slouch tote.
In 2019, we partnered with a small studio in northern India to craft one-of-a-kind gifts that combine the unique designs from our independent artists with a variety of traditional printing methods on personalizable products: carry-all slouch totes, canvas snap backpacks, snap totes, weekend totes, catch-all pouch sets, casual clutches, sheer cotton scarves, and pillow covers. And that’s not all. For the first time, we brought independent design to new personalizable pillows and ‘triangle chairs’ (kid-size bean-bag chairs).
As a leader in stationery innovation, Minted introduced a new card format for holiday, the grand holiday card (a 6” x 8” sized card). We repurposed hundreds of existing holiday designs to create the assortment, offering customers an exciting new way to shop the independent designs that they already love.
On the left, “Branches Framed” by Amy Kross pictured in our classic 5” x 7”, and, on the right, in our new Grand 6” x 8” size.
“Etched Peonies” by Chris Griffith in Gloss-Press™.
Minted continued to position itself as a number one online wedding destination with innovative product launches in 2019. We introduced new ways for customers to create the perfect end-to-end look including, among other things, 1) a new exclusive printing technique Gloss-Press™ which debosses opaque or translucent gloss onto paper, 2) colored envelopes with luxurious white ink address printing, and 3) a range of wedding signs. Additionally, we introduced the ability to mix and match your choice of design colorway with any of our available foil colors. To better showcase artists’ work to engaged couples, we completely redesigned our wedding sample kit.
“Galeria” by Kelly Schmidt custom wedding sign as a seating chart.
Minted PR places independent artists front-and-center on the TODAY show, The View, at creative events, and more
In June, the Minted PR team hosted an event at Festoon in Culver City for press, influencers, and vendors in the wedding industry, featuring Minted artist Leah Bisch who created hand-lettering and watercolors live at the event. A month later, the team headed to the east coast to host a Holiday press preview event in New York City. Minted artists Morgan Ramberg, Sara Harding of Robert and Stella, and Annie Mertlich of Wildfield Paper Co. created artwork live at this inspiring ‘Maker’s Night,’ and walked our record-breaking number of VIP attendees through creative activities, offering a unique, hands-on experience.
Minted artist Leah Bisch created hand-lettering and watercolors live at the event.
Our PR team also found many creative opportunities to showcase the work of our community members in the press. Here are just a few places where artists’ work was featured in 2019: the TODAY show, Wall Street Journal, Martha Stewart Living, Property Brothers, Good Morning America, People Magazine, The View, Business Insider, and Domino Magazine.
Minted at the National Stationery Show and International Contemporary Furniture Fair
Minted artists united at the Community Cocktail party on February 4 in New York.
Like years past, Minted artists traveled near and far to meet up with Minted at the National Stationery Show (NSS) held February 3–6 in New York City. Petra Kern and Maria Murphy of Lulaloo flew thousands of miles from their respective homes in Slovenia and Switzerland, Afton Harding of Clara Jean Design and her mother Shauna Little traveled from Utah, and Mansi Verma made a jaunt from New Jersey.
Minted artist Keren Toledano with her art print “Drop the ball.”
Shortly after NSS, Minted’s community of independent artists took the stage at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair 2019 in New York City. Over 900 exhibitors from more than 60 countries and 38,000 attendees attended the conference including Minted artist Keren Toledano whose piece was displayed.
Minted and Every Mother Counts in Guatemala
Minted’s charitable partner, Every Mother Counts (EMC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere. Back in 2017, two Minted artists, Karly Depew of Oscar & Emma and Briana Nielson, won a Minted contest to join Minted Founder and CEO, Mariam Naficy, and EMC Founder Christy Turlington Burns on a trip to Guatemala. The purpose of the trip was to experience firsthand the work that EMC grantees are doing to provide skilled and compassionate care to mothers throughout their pregnancies.
On November 3, the winning artists embarked on a week-long trip in Guatemala along with two Minted customers and team members from Minted and EMC.
Launching the innovative Minted Greeting Card Subscription
Just in time for Mother’s Day, we introduced a new Minted Greeting Card Subscription to offer a year-round assortment of unique greeting cards to our customers. Through a collaborative effort across Minted teams, we launched a collection of over 600 greeting cards created by Minted artists and copywriters sourced from our greeting card Challenges from the past two years. The New York Times commended our on-trend and independent card designs in their piece, “The Superpower (and Stay Power) of Greeting Cards”.
Minted artists on the big screen
For the second year in a row, Minted graced the big screen. Our Minted commercial showcasing custom artwork by a number of Minted artists aired across at least 25 cable networks like Lifetime, TLC, Hallmark Channel, Lifetime, E!, and many others. In addition, the ad also appeared on platforms used to stream your favorite programs, such as Hulu, Roku, Amazon Prime Video and more.
The Minted artist community coming together to help their fellow artist and her family
Minted artist Cristiane Cunha entered her first submission to the Minted x West Elm Art on the Big Stage Challenge in 2016. Soon after entering the competition, she was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. During her treatments, she was thrilled to receive the news that her piece “The Typewriter” had been selected out of over 6,000 submissions. In December 2019, we shared an update about Cris in the Minted Community Facebook Group — the cancer had spread and both Cris and her husband are battling stage 4 cancer. Because traditional approaches have not been successful, they are currently investigating integrative treatment.
The response from our community was overwhelming. Minted artists from across the world responded to express their love for Cris, offer support for her family, and share their own experiences. As a company, we wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for our artists. We’re especially thankful for the love and care we see community members show one another every day. You share personal stories, celebrate each other’s victories, and support one another through difficult times.
Investing in peer critique to help artists learn and grow
We believe in paying it forward and cultivating a strong community of artists based on respect, trust, and honesty. With those values in mind, and since many artists have expressed they want to improve their designs through more quality feedback from peers, we introduced new features for peer critique in 2019.
To keep the valuable design conversations flowing, we introduced threaded comments on submissions and the ability to tag fellow artists to generate an email. Every comment or tag also will now show up on the NEW artist notifications feed in the top right of minted.com which provides an easy way to find updates on your designs and conversations with other artists, as well as help Minted better communicate with the community. Artists, new and seasoned, connected through intimate live chat critique groups, as well as through the updated Minted Buddy Group Program. More than one artist we spoke to credited their first win in a Minted Challenge to their participating in the Buddy Group Program.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Julie Black is Minted’s Associate Manager of Community Support, joining Artist Relations from Minted Operations where she created content and communications. Julie and her team keep the artist community informed of Minted Challenges, product launches, and other updates. She’s a coffee and cat obsessive and passionate about all things denim.No comments