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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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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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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Introducing: New Minted Mentors!

This is a very exciting time of the year for Minted. With the launch of the 2011 Minted holiday assortment fast approaching and a huge wedding design challenge on the horizon, we thought this was an excellent point to select three additional Minted designers to join Amy Ehmann of Design Lotus and Sydney Newsom as Minted Mentors! It is my great pleasure to announce that Ann Gardner, Hailey Myziuk of Hello Hailey and Jennifer Wick will be joining the Mentor team. We feel very lucky to have these inspiring ladies as part of the community and feel their shift into officially guiding, engaging and informing their fellow Minties is a completely natural one. In the weeks and months that follow, our community has a lot to look forward to. The Minted Mentors will be kicking off fun, interesting and informative threads in the Forum, connecting designers with the resources they need to participate in design challenges and making sure that Minted receives the feedback we need to constantly improve the community and customer experience. Newbies take note; these are the ladies you want to chat with.

Ann Gardner was Minted in February of 2010. Not only does she have a ton of well-deserved wins under her belt, including three first place prizes, Ann has also been extremely active in the challenges by voting and commenting on her fellow Minties’ designs. Ann doesn’t just create incredible paper creations either; she’s also a formally trained pastry chef. You can see some of her gorgeous edible creations and learn more about this Minted Mentor here.

Hailey Myziuk of Hello Hailey was Minted in March of 2010. It’s been wonderful to see Hailey’s warmth and personality shine through so many of her winning designs. Her bubbly personality also comes through while she’s actively commenting on submissions and threads in the Forum. When Hailey isn’t creating beautiful designs for Minted, she freelance designs for some amazing causes and created illustrations for an adorable children’s book called ‘Daddy Can You.’ See more of Hailey’s work and learn more about her here.

Jennifer Wick was Minted in September of 2010. Happy first anniversary of being a Mintie Jen! We’re so pleased to have Jen as part of the Mentor team as her enthusiasm and energy are contagious. Her big wins in a variety of categories, coupled with the thoughtful comments she leaves on design submissions and in threads in the forum have made her such an asset to the community. Find out more about Jen and her budding design business here.

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Meet a Mintie: Yolanda Mariak Chendak

Today we’re pleased as punch to get to know Mintie Yolanda Mariak Chendak and learn a little about how her graphic design career started and how she does the career / mother juggle now. I know you’ll especially enjoy peaks into her Polish heritage (especially the eggs!!), corporate career, wedding and her idyllic family life!

Yolanda with her husband David and their two sons Austin (2 yrs) and Aidan (5 yrs) we are at the Annual Balloon Festival in their hometown Whitehouse Station, New Jersey.

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Meet a Mintie: Hailey Myziuk

We’ve got a very hip force with us today: Brooklyn’s own Hello Hailey, below with her beloved cat Mucha last Halloween. (Psst… Minted offers Halloween Cards now!) Hailey is a multi-faceted designer, comfortable with anything from designing card typography to painting book illustrations to creating web pages.  If I had one word to describe her work it would be happy! All of her designs are so full of life and have such a lightness to them. Read on to find out what her favorite day planner, dessert, and (of course) blogs are!

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Meet a Mintie: Coco Paperie

I know everyone is probably either exhausted from the holiday challenge or needs a break from voting for all of the amazing designs, but luckily we have Deb from Coco Paperie to take you back from December to June! Read on for amazing Pinterest boards, straight-forward advice on how to design, a suitcase inspired by a holiday card, and “incredibly sexy” typefaces!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer?
Ever since I was kid I gravitated toward art: watercolors, clay, macrame, painting, you name it. I didn’t have label for what I loved until high school. There was a teacher at Pittsford Mendon H.S. who really encouraged me to follow my dreams. Back then it was called “commercial art”. Does that date me? LOL.

I would spend hours redecorating my room: rearranging furniture, painting the walls… I spent a lot of time expressing my creativity with my clothing. My poor mother put up with crazy combinations from the ’80s and ‘90s.

Really though, the icing on the cupcake was a trip to NYC to visit my cousin Helen while she was in school at Parsons. She took me around to her classes and allowed me to tag along while she finished a catalog design. I was hooked. Check out one of her gorgeous bridal shower invitations available on sale at Minted!

Deco Lights Bridal Shower Invitations by Coco Paperie

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