Meet a Mintie: Linda & Harriett.

Happy week-of Christmas everyone! This monday morning, I bring you a fine treat: a Meet a Mintie with Liz from Linda & Harriett. Liz is a relatively new member of our community, but boy did she get into our holiday challenge, submitting several stunners!

First things, first! Who’s Linda and who’s Harriett?
My mom’s name was Linda & my middle name is Harriett, also the name of my great grandmother. When I was thinking of names for my business, my husband mentioned using these names because they’re pretty old-fashioned unique names & obviously mean a lot to me. As a result, I get called Linda a lot. But I never mind because it reminds me of my mom, who passed away when I was 17.

How did L&H get its start?
I started Linda & Harriett as a custom stamped invitation business. I made rubber stamps & used them for people’s invitations & personalized stationery. It was a lot of work & a lot of hand-work, but there’s something so gratifying about putting ink to paper for an immediate result – and one that changes depending on that moment of contact – the pressure of your hands, the ink saturation, the paper, the rotation of the stamp – it all adds up to something slightly different each time. It’s fun, and I’ve just gotten back into it again.

I’ve moved away from the custom work & now concentrate on a few key products that I really love from start to finish – namely, our calendars. I love creating them, selling them & giving them as gifts. I stand by them 100% and I’ll keep doing them as long as that’s the case. Cutting back on our line has also freed up time for other projects, like creating designs for Minted!

As you know, I’ve been purchasing your calendars for five years and counting now and am a HUGE fan. How do you go about designing it each year?
My process for our annual letterpress calendar, which I’ve been doing since 2008, starts in January of the prior year and is by far my favorite project. In my sketchbook, I list all 12 months & over several weeks, I take notes on what I want to do for each month. The summer months are usually the first to fill up with ideas. I’m a total sucker for sea life images – whales, crabs, sailfish, anchors, seagulls. I could do June, July and August twenty times over each year. But back to the process. So I take notes & sketch possible layouts in January. The next few months are spent sketching the images & month titles. The last part is deciding on colors. I tape Pantone swatches in my sketch book next to the months to make sure I’m not overusing or missing a color or duplicating colors in back to back months. This is the part that definitely takes me the longest. I hem & haw over colors so much that sometimes I spend most of the day deciding on a shade of blue. I’m not really that picky of a person, but when it comes to my colors, I’m crazy. We go to print by April and debut the calendar at the National Stationery Show in May.

Speaking of the National Stationery Show, that is where I met you! Natasha told me about Minted while I was still in the thick of custom work, so it didn’t feel like the right time since I was busy with my own clients & production schedule and couldn’t imagine taking on more. Cutting back on custom work over the past year freed up some time, and I submitted my first designs this May for the Holiday Card Challenge. Sometimes I feel like I work in a vacuum a bit, so getting immediate feedback in comments & then later in sales is particularly fun for me. And I have to admit, I do love a good challenge!

I loved meeting you for the first time–I am such a big calendar fan that I was quite starstruck. What is your favorite design for sale on minted now?

My favorite design of mine on Minted right now is my Handlettered Merry Christmas card. I ordered it as my company holiday card (non photo, citron green color — so cool!) and will use it as our family Christmas card, too, with a big photo of Griffin, my one year old son. I like that it’s simple enough to let the photo shine, but has personality in the loose lettering. It feels light-hearted – and to me, that seems like the perfect sentiment for the season.

How is your letterpress work different than designing for minted’s flat printing?
Designing for flat printing is a bit different than letterpress. Letterpress printing gets more expensive with each color you add, so I typically use one or two colors, sometimes three and almost never four. And even though I can use more than three colors for flat printing, my designs for Minted have so far rarely exceeded two colors. I can’t help it:) I also think that when you’re using photos, it’s best to limit the number of colors in your design. Too much can be too much.

How does your new son Griffin fit into your work / life / balance?
When I was pregnant with Griffin over a year ago, I started anticipating work life with a baby. I realized pretty quickly that my time was about to turn to gold & I didn’t want to waste it. So with that in mind, I cut back on things in my business that I didn’t enjoy & didn’t have faith to grow. I cut back on a lot, actually. It was risky, but I am so happy I did because it’s allowed me a whole day off a week to hang out with Griffin and has given me more time for other projects, such as designing for Minted! So really, Griffin brought me to Minted:)

Isn't little Griffin's bum adorable on her Merry Merry giftag?

And we’re so glad he did!! Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season Liz!! Thank you for letting us get to know you a little better. Keep in touch with Liz over on her blog here.

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Meet a Mintie: Palm Papers.

I’ve got the perfect anecdote to the craziness of the holiday season; a very fun interview today with Lauren from Palm Papers! Lauren shares how she recently found her passion and made a big career switch, as well as dishes on letterpressing, wedding logos, and being an Apple convert.

How does an accountant become a stationery designer?
I was always creative growing up, but never thought much about an artistic career. When I went to college (at Texas A&M University), I thought the business school was the best place to figure out what I wanted to do. I was leaning towards a Marketing degree, but when it was time to choose a major, accountants were in high demand and I actually ‘got’ the whole accounting thing (and nerd alert: I kind of enjoyed it), so I went that route. After 5 years of school, I graduated with my masters, got my CPA license and started working for an oil & gas company.

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$5,000, Hand-Delivered By Our CEO

Our CEO & founder Mariam Naficy recently flew down to Southern California and hand-delivered a $5,000 prize to Rachel Simonsen of Alethea and Ruth, the winner of our 2011 ‘Sending Good Cheer’ holiday card challenge.

Here Rachel (left) and Mariam (right) are in Laguna Nigel. Mariam said, “Rachel is incredibly talented and has a vision all her own. We had a great time over glasses of wine and with a view of the Pacific Ocean, discussing her upcoming wedding (which will be gorgeous!) and future opportunities at Minted.”

Two very happy ladies indeed!

Rachel’s winning design was Kraft Ribbon. A big congratulations again to Rachel! We’re all so thrilled for you and hope you have big plans for that check!

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Minted Holiday Cards + West Elm Accessories.

When your friends’ beautiful holiday cards start arriving at your home, how do you artfully display them? Everyone we know is seeking a solution, and we set out to provide one.

We asked the designers on our team how they would display holiday cards in their own homes. We were obsessed with the gorgeous ornaments and accessories in West Elm’s catalog this year (particularly the mercury glass votives that reminded us of our holiday advertising shoot at blogger SFGirlByBay’s house), so we asked West Elm to provide accessories to us for this post. They kindly agreed!

MODERN CRAFT BOARD: Inspired by West Elm’s Merry + Bright Collection.

This display conveys festivity and warmth, and is great for displaying many cards. It is cheerful and crafty and is perfect for offices, dens, great rooms, kitchens, and foyers. Best of all, it fits virtually anywhere, no matter how small the space. You can also make a statement by displaying a series of these modern craft boards—each focused on a different theme or color.

THE DISPLAY: The cards are pinned to the board with circle pins. All of the felt snowflake and Christmas tree ornaments that give the board dimension and texture are from West Elm.

THE CARDS: Use the envelopes and liners of holiday cards to create a ‘mat’ around each card. Minted’s kraft envelopes and patterned envelope liners add visual interest and a ‘craft’ feel.

TIPS TO Do It Yourself:

• The linen pinboard is modeled after one available at Pottery Barn. In this case, our styling team used spray adhesive to cover an extra thick piece of foam board with linen. The excess was wrapped neatly around the back and secured with strong tape.

• The pins are Tim Holtz Ideology Memo Pins and were found in the craft section at Aaron Brothers Art Supply.

SILVER FROST GREETING TREE: Inspired by West Elm’s Shimmer + Shine Collection.

We love how this unexpected arrangement provides the perfect canvas to display your holiday cards. Perfect for tabletops, foyers, holiday sidebars and coffee tables, it artfully turns everyday objects into a real focal point.

THE DISPLAY:

Branches covered with glitter are arranged in a glass vase. The overall footprint is framed with a lacquer tray, and mercury votives and felt snowflake ornaments are added to complete the montage (thicker branches and all accessories available at West Elm).

THE CARDS:

Cards with simple typography and classic colors, such as big & merry, noel stardust, and cheers happy new year’s card designs, are great because they really stand out when displayed.

TIPS TO Do It Yourself:

• Affix your holiday cards to the tree using miniature wooden clothespins for a chic rustic look (the clothespins are available at Michael’s).

• This montage works because everything is united by a silver color, and the whole display is itself contained within a beautiful tray.

• When adding additional elements to complete the display, like votives, keep in mind that odd numbers work best when adding accessories to your display.

• Don’t overdo it; in this size arrangement, just a few ornaments create a perfect finishing touch.

SHIMMER AND SHINE: Inspired by West Elm’s Shimmer + Shine Collection.

A mirrored surface, combined with shimmery ornaments and garlands, presents a rich, festive backdrop for holiday cards.

THE DISPLAY:

We draped reflective garland across the mirror and used round clips to attach the cards to the garland. The mirrored garland, glitter snowflake ornament, and mercury votive holders are all from West Elm.

THE CARDS:

Cards printed on Minted’s Pearlescent paper reflect the light of the season and are perfect for this shimmery display.

TIPS TO Do It Yourself:

-Use a light wire to gather the garland and strong tape to attach it to the back of the mirror. Then round silver clips attach the cards to the garland.

-Don’t worry about overlapping cards—it gives a great, layered result.

-If possible, display the mirror or tray in front of a similar color or texture.

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Meet a Mintie: Griffinbell Studio

Happy Halloween Minties! Today we interrupt your celebrations to get to now Lynn Knipe and her Griffinbell Studio a little better. Lynn has been a prominent member in the minted community for the past two years and we’re very lucky to have her; she has such a broad range of talent and has really excelled in every genre–no easy feat. Enjoy this sweet treat!

First things first: how did you come up with the name Griffinbell Studio?
Griffinbell Studio is named for my two children, Griffin and Bella.

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Calling cards in Southern Weddings.

We were very excited to be included in the Fab Finds department of Southern Weddings latest issue.

We made up calling cards for the entire staff.

As you probably know, here at Minted we’re always up for customizing anything. The gals at Southern Weddings asked us to turn four wedding invitations into business cards and of course we were happy to oblige! Here’s what we did: apple harvest by lovell avenue, Sweet Bees by oscar & emma, stem striate by Stacey Day, fireflies by cadence paige design. Business cards for the bride are such a great idea as it saves you all the effort of having to give every single vendor you meet with all your contact info and wedding date / locale, etc. And how fun to have your calling card match your invites?!  Now that is perfectly coordinated.

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Meet a Mintie: Francesco Bongiorni

Italian designer Francesco Bongiorni lives in Spain and illustrates the covers of everything from the New York Times to Frankenstein. He is an incredibly talented “ideas guy” and we are thankful to have him drop in on a Minted challenge from time to time! Today he talks with us about the advantages of living abroad and travelling and how his work takes him into the minds of people all over the world. Thanks for taking a minute to let us get to know you Francesco. We look forward to seeing what you submit next!

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Meet a Mintie: Kristen Smith

Happy Fall Minties! We hope you all had a wonderful Labour Day and short work week.

Whether it be her one-eyed monster Halloween card or beautiful floral branches bridal shower invitation, we’re quite certain you know the work of Kristen Smith. Read on to get to know the lively gal behind her festive designs.

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