5 Tips for Refreshing Your Minted Artist Store in Q1

Ready to give your Minted Artist Store a seasonal refresh? To help you think through your merchandising strategy and the products to spotlight in your Store, we’ve compiled these five tips with the insights of Minted’s marketing and merchandising leaders.

Alexandra Dzhiganskaya updated her Store shortly after New Year’s, prioritizing her winning Valentine’s Day designs and spring floral art.

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6 Tips for Non-Custom Self-Launch Stickers and Labels

Self-launch non-custom stickers are the eighth product of Minted’s self-launch offering for Minted Artists with Stores. This release includes two products: stickers and labels. The only difference between the two is the paper they’re printed on—stickers are printed on an adhesive-backed paper; labels are printed on a coated paper with a slicker, waterproof surface.

Minted’s assortment of customizable stickers are recommended for use as envelope seals and for adding a special touch to stationery and more. Minted’s assortment of customizable labels are recommended for a number of uses, including a durable way to identify kids’ bottles, food containers, and sports equipment.

One of the most important things to keep in mind about self-launch, non-customizable stickers is that they cannot be personalized by customers. If you’re looking for ideas for the endless possibilities for stickers, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find valuable insights from an experienced Minted sticker designer along with Minted’s merchandising, marketing, and technical leaders.

Guapa” rounded stickers by Kelli Hall

1. Fill a gap

“Self-launch stickers have potential to be very popular with consumers,” says Erica Krystek, a prolific artist whose Minted Artist Store includes a range of stickers. When it comes to creating new products for your Store, we recommend creating your own strategy based on your strengths and interests in addition to filling a gap in the Minted assortment. What do you feel is missing from the Minted sticker and label assortment, and how can you create something unique?

If you’re looking for more precise merchandising advice, Minted CEO Mariam Naficy’s vision for self-launch non-custom stickers revolves around greater flexibility for gift-giving. She recommends creating gift tags with the “From:” and “To:” fields not filled in, allowing for everyone in a family to use the tags. “We’re considering promoting non-custom stickers in the Minted shopping cart as an easy, last-minute ‘add to cart’,” she says. “Kind of like chewing gum at the cash register.”

2. Take a seasonal approach

Mary-Kevin Stuart, Minted’s Senior Merchandising Manager of Baby and Kids products, recommends designing stickers for events and holidays. “Stickers could be used for holiday treats or favors,” she says. “For instance, a sticker that simply reads, ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’.”

You may also want to create gift labels that are versatile enough to be used year-round, or create seasonal stickers (such as themes for spring, summer, fall, and winter) or holiday- and event-themed stickers, such as for birthdays, winter holidays, etc.

Rollin’” sticker by Erica Krystek

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Meet a Minted Artist: Julie Green of Up Up Creative

Julie Green of Up Up Creative doesn’t do New Year’s resolutions, but she does usually choose a word to sort-of nudge her in a direction of growth for the year. Her word for 2016 is practice. “I’ve been self-employed since 2008, and I guess I feel like I’ve reached a certain level of proficiency as a designer, and as a human being,” the Rochester, New York, artist says. “If I want to continue to grow, I need to remind myself to practice new skills and keep challenging the status quo.”

Here, the longtime Minted artist shares interesting corners of her life, from her love of Baptiste Yoga, “being the worst multitasker,” and her healthy obsession with fonts.

GET TO KNOW JULIE GREEN
You have 11.5K Pinterest followers, with 117 boards. How’d you build such a strong following?
I know it’s called social media, and I definitely use Facebook and Instagram to engage with people in a more social way, but Pinterest is something I use just for me. It’s where I gather ideas and inspiration; it’s where I imagine my own life and the lives of my clients and customers; it’s where I go to observe trends in my own interests, tastes, and styles. As for how I built that following, I sure wish I knew! But maybe it’s partly that I didn’t try to.

Cool and All” save the date card by Julie Green of Up Up Creative

You’ve gotten great press. What’s your favorite feature and why?
My favorite was Martha Stewart Living (December 2012 holiday gift guide), because it was the first magazine I was in that people in my life actually read on a regular basis. When you’re a freelance graphic designer with children—whether you work while the kids are napping or you work full time from a studio, or you do something in between—most people in your life don’t really get what you do and don’t even always think it’s a real job or a serious thing. When you turn up in one of their favorite holiday gift guides, suddenly you’re having conversations with them about your work. That’s pretty cool.

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Minted’s 20 First-Place Challenge Winners of 2015

We’ve entered 2016 head-on in our continual quest to discover the best in stationery, art, and home decor design. Of course, we couldn’t do it without the Minted Artist community and our customers who cast their votes in Minted Design Challenges.

Before we bid adieu to yesteryear, let’s take a look at Minted’s first-place Challenge-winning designs of 2015. The 2015 collection is a mix of heartfelt sentiments, breathtaking photography, colorful expression, and a dash of humor for good measure.

Congrats to the Grad! Quickfire Challenge
Past and Future” by Laura Bolter Design
Announced February 27, 2015


Three Cheers! Minted x West Elm’s 3rd Art Challenge
Directions I” limited edition print by J Ryan
Announced March 11, 2015


Baby on Board Baby Shower Invitations Challenge
Special Delivery Bouquet” by Karidy Walker
Announced March 19, 2015


Fall & Winter Digital Invitations Challenge
Holiday Soiree” Holiday Party Online Invitations by GeekInk Design
Announced April 10, 2015

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How To: Make New Year’s Resolutions and Goals That Stick

When it comes to kicking off a new year of creative ambition, do you believe in New Year’s resolutions or goal-setting? That’s the question we asked Stacey Meacham and Raven Erebus, Minted artists who, as it turns out, advocate for setting attainable goals. Read their strategies here.

Stacey Meacham
Atlanta, Georgia
Stacey’s Minted Artist Store

I’m a list maker, so I am all about setting goals. I tend to set goals throughout the year, though, and am not a fan of one-time New Year’s resolutions. I feel like big, grand gestures can fall flat, so I like to set quarterly goals, which range in size. I like to set small, attainable goals and big-picture goals, and I try not to freak out if I don’t hit all of them. I just kind of add them to the top of a new list and start to chip away at that. Setting goals and thinking of new ways to generate business helps me focus. Making lists helps me prioritize which goals are most important at any given time. For example, I’ve had one goal on my list for some time now and haven’t even scratched the surface of making it a reality, but I’m fine with that. That day will come. For now I am happy to have other goals that were on my radar for some time ticked off. It’s such a feeling of accomplishment to cross off a list item. It shows that you are making progress—and I am all for progress.

I think it’s important to be realistic with your goals early on. That’s not to say don’t dream big, but if you need to take a workshop or class to hone your skills, be real with that expectation and make that one of your goals. I realize things take time. Overnight success is not the norm, so setting goals is a good way to work toward something bigger without setting yourself up for failure. Especially if you have mini-milestones along the way. Pat yourself on the back and recognize your little successes as well as your big ones.

Looking Sharp” save the date card by Stacey Meacham

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Q&A: What’s Your Advice for Collaborating With Someone?

Ever thought about working in collaboration with another artist or designer? For some artists, working solo-style is best for them, while others choose to collaborate for short sprints or long-term projects. Many Minted artists also say they benefit from the collaborative nature of critiquing each other’s work during the Design Challenge process. For this edition of #ArtistAdvice, we asked full-time design duos Baumbirdy and Rose Lindo and her husband to share their best advice for creative collaboration.

Sarah Baumgardner and Carolyn Doogan
Baumbirdy

Chicago

Our best advice for working in a collaboration with someone is to have good communication from the very beginning. Honest communication is best. Sounds simple, but it can be really hard in the beginning not to take things personally, especially when dealing with something so personal as art.

It’s easy to say, “I like this color palette,” “That looks nice,” or “What do you want for lunch?,” but the true progress comes from “real” critiques. Being able to openly give and take advice and criticism is essential in creating trust and open-mindedness between one another. Being able to recognize and talk about one’s strengths and weaknesses are essential to creating an efficient design process.

Floral Peace” holiday card by Baumbirdy

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Meet a Minted Artist: Laura Condouris

When we asked Laura Condouris to name her favorite Minted designs, she prioritized those that were created by artists other than herself. That’s the kind of selfless artist she is. Based in Baltimore, Laura works full time from home as an independent calligrapher, illustrator, and type designer. In this interview, she talks about her passion for animals, her most memorable experience of the year, and all the Minted designs she loves.

Do you think of yourself as an artist or a designer or both?
What a good question! I think everyone is a little of both. Design is just applied art.

How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
I started doing freelance calligraphy and design work while working full-time office jobs. After the hours of my freelance work began to tip the scales of my regular work hours, I had to make a tough decision. The first few years of freelance-only were very, very hard, but in the end, I’m glad I made the switch.

Skyline-New York” wedding invitation by Laura Condouris

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Minted artist finds inspiration despite health challenges

Kailyn Glassmacher, who is deaf, is one of 10 people in the world who has a rare muscular dystrophy-like syndrome. She recently won her first Minted design challenge, and we were blown away with her response to our question: What was most inspiring about 2015? Read her story here.

This was both a difficult and inspirational year for me.

I was born profoundly deaf with a rare form of muscular dystrophy-like syndrome. I am in a wheelchair full time and communicate using American Sign Language. My syndrome was only recently identified, and I am only one of 10 people in the world who has this disease—I am the oldest and only girl to have it.

Although it has been difficult, I haven’t let it stop me. I graduated from Gallaudet University with bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Graphic Design. I now work as a freelance graphic designer and continue to search for a full-time job that matches my artistic style.

In 2015, I was hospitalized twice for significant periods of time. I joined the Minted community between hospital stays to share my work and improve my art skills. Joining Minted kept me focused on my art and allowed me to forget about my illness. It helped me to develop a passion for stationery design that I didn’t know I had. I began working on the designs for my older sister’s wedding, which came out looking great! I am so proud of them. The wedding was wonderful, and I was well enough to fulfill my duties as maid of honor.

Although this was a tough year with my health, it was also a surprisingly wonderful and inspiring time in my career as an artist.

American Sign Language Love” Valentine’s Day Greeting Card by Kailyn Glassmacher

We’re honored that Kailyn has joined Minted’s global community of independent artists and designers, and we hope to see more of her designs in our assortment of holiday cardslimited-edition art, and home decor.


What was most inspiring about 2015 for you? Share your answer in Comments below and on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter with the hashtag #WhatInspiresMe.

READ MORE #WHATINSPIRESME
Does routine inspire or stifle your creativity?
Has anything ever scared you so much it’s inspired you?
How does food inspire your creativity?
Who’s your biggest creative influence?

Published December 10, 2015 • Learn how to become a Minted artist here.

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The EveryGirl leads Makers Night with Chicago artists

What do you get when you combine artists, bloggers, and a DIY project? Minted Makers Night, a celebration of Minted’s independent artist community, talented writers, and crafty cheer.

On December 2, Minted and The EveryGirl co-hosted the third Makers Night at Interior Define, a modern custom sofa company, in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. While noshing on hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, everyone worked on the featured project: a wood serving tray covered with fabric designed by Chicago area Minted artists. Bloggers from The Golden Girl Blog, The Sweet Season, Michaela Noelle, and more participated as well.

Artist Angela Marzuki said the best part of the evening was catching up with other members of the Minted community. “There is so much time spent online critiquing each other’s work, cheering one another on, discussing common goals, and sharing both the successes and failures,” she said. “It really does feel like you already know one another, like getting together with a bunch of really great friends.”

Chicago Minted artist duo Baumbirdy designed the event invitation, “Floral Peace.”

Minted artists and Chicago bloggers connected over their shared interest in beautiful design.

This Minted table runner, “Simple Sprig,” was designed by Chicago artist Erin Deegan.

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Meet a Minted Artist: Lori Wemple

Lori Wemple has had quite a year. When we asked her to name the highlight of 2015, she said, “I can’t name just one!” Among just a few of her high points, the work-from-home illustrator listed spending time with her kids in the summer, a cruise with her husband, and lettering the Minted booth at the National Stationery Show in New York. Here, the North Carolina artist-designer talks about balancing her career with family, everyday inspirations, and how Minted changed her life.

How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
I’ve worked a variety of design jobs, including prepress for a printer, newspaper art director, grocery chain designer, and museum designer, and each one taught me different aspects of design. I feel like all of those things have come together to help me work independently.

What’s a typical day for you?
Each day is a little different. My daughter is home with me most days, and I like to really enjoy our time together. We go to the park, play with friends, or visit the library and then pick up my son from school. Then the three of us do something together before dinner (including swimming and art classes), then homework and reading stories. I often have to catch up on work at night after they are in bed.

How did you first hear about Minted?
I saw an ad for Minted while flipping through a magazine during my maternity leave with my daughter, Elle, in 2011. I loved my full-time job, but I really wanted to find a way to work and be home with my kids with a more flexible schedule. I am ever-grateful for that fortunate moment because it literally changed my life.

What do you enjoy most about the Minted community?
I’ve made so many friends through the community and found people who share the same joy for design, and struggle with the same challenges of balancing work and raising a family. The community is so enthusiastic and supportive, and I am so happy to be a part of it and give back the support that I have received.

What have you learned from being part of the Minted community?
Design is a process, a struggle, a challenge that you put your whole self into, and it feels personal and emotional. It feels this way for all those who create, and accepting those challenges and staying positive are so important. Realizing that we all feel this way, and being there to support each other and cheer each other on makes us better designers and better individuals.

In the Flowers” by Lori Wemple

Your Minted work spans a variety of categories, from Stationery to Home Decor. Which category do you enjoy most?
I truly love them all. I enjoy trying different mediums and being able to experiment and step outside of my comfort zone. Each category has its own challenges and advantages. I’m recently exploring soft toys; it’s so fun to see a two-dimensional piece of art come to life.

Lori Wemple’s son Connor and daughter Elle. All portraits by Candy Howard Photography

What’s your family like?
I have a wonderful husband, Brian, who is devoted to family and passionate about his work. I have such admiration and respect for his passion. I have a 6-year-old son named Connor, who’s so smart and creative. He has an engineering mind but loves to paint as well, and I must admit that I often borrow from his palette choices. My daughter Elle is 4 and the happiest, most enthusiastic soul I’ve ever known. She loves to dance and sing and just lights up any room she’s in.

How did you meet your husband?
We went to separate all-girl and all-guy high schools in Tampa. These two schools had extracurricular events together, and we met our senior year in Masque Club—he was the whiz technical guy, and I was an actor. We were fast friends but didn’t start dating until our freshman year, when we decided to take a spontaneous trip and meet in New York, because we attended different colleges at the time. New York City is a special place for us now, because we had our first kiss in front of Radio City Music Hall, and my husband proposed to me a few years later in the same spot.

Lori and her husband Brian

Click through to read more from Minted artist Lori Wemple

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