‘Become the Face of Minted’ top model awards.

We are pleased to announce most of the awards from our ‘Become the Face of Minted’ top model challenge.

Without further ado, the grand prize goes to Carrie, whose ‘Red Wagon for Two’ entry garnered 1553 “likes” making it the most “liked” photo submitted. Carrie will receive $750 in cash + $200 Minted gift certificate… not too shabby!

It’s not tough to see why this photo took the cake; we’re all very familiar with sibling play bordering on patty-cake bordering on quarreling… and this image captures that tender exploration perfectly. The red wagon is also just such a nostalgic, childhood touchstone. And the colors are lovely… the hats are fresh and neutral while the red wagon, red tee, floral dress, and the field flowers have just the right amount of light to be the nicest hue of pink/red.

The other Grand Prize, for the “Editors’ Award for best photo of a single child”, will be announced in the near future, along with additional editor’s picks. Our editors are still poring over all the entries making a few additional selections for our 2012 holiday ads.

The ‘Best photo of a family’ award goes to Kristy for ‘Our Family.’ Kristy will take home a $250 minted gift certificate.

We’ve talked before on this blog about how nice it is when a photographer is able to capture a half-staged, half-candid moment; it is so refreshing how Dad is looking straight at the shutter, but Mom is clearly smiling about something and Daughter is looking up admiringly at Mom. It’s easier to get a window into the heart of a family when they’re not overly posed. And of course we never tire of that iconic New York skyline.

The ‘Best photo of newborn twins’ goes to Trisha for ‘Newborn Twins.’ Trisha will receive a $250 minted gift certificate.

Ahh! There is nothing like a tiny, little newborn… the only thing better, really, is two (2!) tiny, little newborns! You really are a grump if this super sweet photo doesn’t make you warm and fuzzy inside.

The ‘Best photo of grandparents with grandchildren’ goes to Erin for ‘POP!’ Erin wins a $250 minted gift certificate.

Talk about capturing a moment!! That expression is too much. And the shutter-speed was just right; the bubbles are crystal clear.

The ‘Best photo of family with teenagers’ goes to Marcy for the ‘Kellen Family.’ Marcy will receive a $250 gift certificate.

Who knew a human dog pile could result in such expression! The unique personality of every kid really shines through here.

The ‘Best Set of Photos’ award goes to Heather for her series of family shots. Heather will take home a $250 minted gift certificate.

It’s really pretty amazing that Dena Mullen managed to capture so many different, yet all amazing shots of one, very sweet family. Love the girls in ruffled dresses with floral headbands. And they really do seem just as relaxed and content in one creative set to the next… This really is one happy family!

A big thank you to everyone who entered and look for additional awards in several weeks! Have a great weekend everyone… maybe even stop for a quick second to capture a few fun moments like those above! It’s never too early to get a jump-start on that holiday pic.

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Fiesta party at NSS.

We hosted a fun party at the National Stationery Show for our designers and interested designers, as well as a few members of the press.

The party had a fun fiesta theme.

It’s not easy to make an exceptionally bland room at a convention center cheerful, but the theme went a long way to helping!

And so did yummy margaritas!

I made a trip to a manhattan greenhouse and picked up some catci… which I then covered with pretty Mexican ribbon that I picked up at M&J, the most amazing ribbon store in the world! See more about the DIY behind this project here.

Then we popped the catci on some large print-outs of the backer to andres montaño’s Papel Picado invite.

The favor for all guests in attendance was a new minted tee-shirt. They are so cute!

Here the minted team is making final AV adjustments before everyone arrives…

And here our lovely CEO Mariam Naficy thanks people for coming and tells everyone a little more about the company she founded…

… while guests enjoy nibbles and cocktails.

I snuck a shot of Allison from The Social Type. Loved her green dress and colorful necklace.

I think everyone had a really fun time! And I’m definitely going to be borrowing the Mexican theme for a party again soon!

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Minted sweeps the Louies!

Another fun thing about the National Stationery Show was sweeeeeping and I mean sweeping the awards.

We were really honored to be nominated for three Louies!

And in fact we went on to win three Louies! We are SO proud of our designers.

The greeting card association put on a very fun circus-themed night at the National Stationery Show to announce the winners.

It was pretty much the Oscars of the stationery world.

Alison & Jen proudly represented Minted!

Alston B. Wise won for ‘Best Custom Invitation or Announcement, $2.50 and below’ for her ‘Perfect Match‘ save the date.

The Louies had a nice exhibit of all the nominees at the entrance to the show.

The Perfect Match really is such a clever design; I’m not at all surprised it won!

Here Alston is with her award in the Minted booth.

Cambria Evans of J.Bartyn Design won for ‘Personalized Photo Card, $2.50 and below, for ‘Year in Review.’

And here is Cambria with her award–doesn’t she look amazing in red?!

Rachel Nanfelt (previously Simonsen) of Alethea and Ruth won for ‘Best Invitation Suite, $7 and below, for ‘Banner and Branches.’

Unfortunately Rachel wasn’t at the show, but we did mail her trophy to her!

But not before gracing our mantle for a few days of the show!A huge congratulations to Alston, Cambria and Rachel!! You couldn’t be more deserving of this tremendous accolade.

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Minted’s Booth at the National Stationery Show.

We were so excited to have a booth at the National Stationery Show this year.

Alison (left) and Jennifer (right) were the masterminds behind the booth design. Didn’t they do a great job?

The booth was a lovely gathering spot for all of our favorite people in the world, namely, our designers! And lots of photos of designers, some at the show, some not, were showcased in a pretty heart on the back wall.

From left to right: Lauren Chism of Palm Papers, Jen, Lesa Abney of Paper Nest by Lesa, Laura Hankins, Kimberly FitzSimons, Alison, myself. Our booth featured some holiday card winners from 2011 and a mantle handmade by Jen’s boyfriend.

It was very exciting to see our brand new art prints framed and hung! Don’t they look fab?

Here’s a close-up of our holiday cards, along with some cute little succulents.

It turns out our holiday cards look pretty great as mantle art!

I think Meg Gleason of Moglea agrees!

The other great thing about the booth was having somewhere to sit!

Walking the show is tiring work! Kimberly FitzSimons.

And requires flats and ample caffeine.

Tanya Lee of Frooted Design.

Megan Davis from Toast & Laurel.

Sandy Pons & Lena Barakat.

Annie Clark (center) enjoys a nice chat with press and designers.

Darcy Miller (Martha Stewart Weddings) with our founder and CEO Mariam Naficy.

Here I am (right) showing Vane (Brooklyn Bride) some of our latest samples.

From left to right: Alston Wise of B. Wise Papers, Amy Ehmann of Design Lotus, Kelli Hall. Not only are our designers the most talented, but they’re also quite chic, don’t you think?

Jen and Linda Birtel of Bella Expressions.

We also gave a little shout-out to our Chronicle winners from the stationery challenge last year. So great to see everyone!! Thanks for stopping by.

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Minted’s new art in Matchbook magazine.

We were so honored to find a full-page spread about our art launch in one of our monthly must-reads: Matchbook magazine. We like to think the Matchbook girl is an awful lot like the Minted girl!

Make sure to check out the spread in full detail here: page 24. And don’t miss all their other great articles on Cynthia Rowley, classic gifts for Father’s Day, and perfect picnics.

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The White House’s Women Entrepreneurs Creating Jobs Interactive Timeline.

President Obama’s Senior Advisor Valerie Jarret just posted an exciting interactive timeline of women entrepreneurs who have contributed to job creation–adding 4.3 million jobs over the past 27 months.

We were thrilled that Mariam Naficy, our founder and CEO, and Minted were featured on the February 2011 date. We’re in very good company with 15 other fascinating women and their interesting ventures!

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Party invitation in Pregnancy & Newborn.

We are so excited that Tyler Tea’s Molecular Bond was featured in the June issue of Pregnancy & Newborn!

The editors did such a fun job of styling a scholarly themed party… it would be perfect for an early birthday or baby shower even.

We worked with their editors to re-purpose Tyler Tea’s design, which was originally a bridal shower invitation, and turned it into a birthday party invitation. Being able to customize anything you want is definitely one of the best things about minted… I always love to know no one will have exactly the same design!

By the way, if you’re like me and wondering where that awesome lightbulb candle came from: it’s from Pylones.

Pretty cool right?!

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2012 Minted Baby & Kids Top Model Contest.

Kids are just too darn cute!! And boy did we have an overdose of cute when going through all of the submissions to the 2012 Minted Baby & Kids Top Model Contest. We are so thankful to everyone for sharing their loved ones with us and are thrilled to announce two winners who all perfectly capture the very best side of their too-cute-for-words kiddos. They will look smashing in any of our upcoming 2012 holiday cards or awesome birth announcements.

1. There’s no faking a real smile and these kids are clearly genuinely happy. We still love the idea of popping real furniture in an open field… the dried grass is rustic and homey, but the leopard chair is modern and unexpected. And of course, no family photo is complete without the “favored child”: your beloved pup! Congratulations to Tamika Garscia for submitting something so stunning!

2. Oh painted brick wall, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways: Your yellow is so bright and fresh, you are perfectly uneven, your uniform color makes any card design really pop, and you put the emphasis on what we really care about: our little ones. And those adorable little jeans, with that matching yellow tie, combined with a perfect look of interest and wonderment take this photo, submitted by Aubrey Hansen, of a very good looking young gentleman to another level.

There were so many great photos submitted, I just can’t help but share a few other favorites from the editor’s picks with you.

Editor’s Pick: How cute is this little baby all wrapped up in a knitted bundle? And how sweet are those little folded hands? Ooh and what about those pretty flowers? Submitted by Sangeeta H. Landau.

Editor’s Pick: What’s better than a baby in a basket? Two babies in a basket!! I will just never tire of the Moses basket shot. Submitted by Alison Danielson.

Editor’s Pick: A photo should really capture a moment… it’s very hard for a posed shot to compete with the serendipity of real life and the best kids photography gives a glimpse into your child’s personality! I love how natural her expression and hands are. And of course those pigtails don’t hurt the cuteness factor either. Submitted by: Rachael Boer Photography.

Editor’s Pick: I love this photo because it shows how matchy-matchy can look really good! It helps that the fleeces and hats couldn’t be any cooler. I love the background texture from the bright green grass and moss covered bench. Submitted by Casey Dué Hackney.

Editor’s Pick: This is just such a great, very natural family shot. The fact that the little girl isn’t staring right at the camera actually adds to the image’s charm. Everyone is perfectly accessorized without being over-styled. And the green of the grass is very fresh and relaxing. Submitted by: Betsy F. Chen.

Editor’s Pick: Anything can be a great back-drop… even a rusty ol’ truck! And, again, here we’re reminded that it’s more interesting if not everyone is staring straight at the lens. Doesn’t this family look both so real and so happy? Submitted by Heather Rasmussen.

Please note: There are many more winners! We will be in touch with all of you early next week. Thanks for your patience!

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Minted Launches Art Prints.

We’ve finally done it after dreaming about it for three years: Minted has launched a unique, carefully curated selection of art prints from our talented global community of designers and artists.  It may come as a surprise to lots of folks that inside the company, we have never thought of ourselves as a stationery retailer, but instead as a design community.  With the launch of our art business, we’re thrilled to provide further access to exposure, income, and community to creative geniuses everywhere.  We know consumers are interested in the work of independent artists; with Minted’s art collection, they can access the work of independent artists but also enjoy the trusted printing, paper, and customer service quality that Minted has come to represent over the past four years.

Christy Turlington Burns and Mariam Naficy at Minted's art launch party.

We are also thrilled to announce that we are partnering with Every Mother Counts, an organization dedicated to reducing the deaths of women and girls worldwide due to complications from pregnancy and childbirth.  Every Mother Counts was founded by Christy Turlington Burns, the model, yogini, and director of the documentary film “No Woman, No Cry”.  Christy founded the organization after experiencing a life-threatening complication during the birth of her daughter. Minted will be donating 50% of the sales of our children’s and nursery art collection to Every Mother Counts in the months of May, June, and December 2012, and 6% the remaining months of the year, all the way through May 2013.

To celebrate the launch of our art business and our partnership, Christy and I co-hosted a party at my home in San Francisco last week.  Minted community designers ERAY (Eric Comstock) and Hello Hailey (Hailey Myziuk) were flown to San Francisco at Minted’s expense to attend the party, based on their performance in a recent art competition.  I thought you might enjoy pictures from our very fun day:

2:30pm: Christy stopped by Minted headquarters in San Francisco to speak to our employees about maternal mortality and what they could do to help.

Art prints at Minted

Art prints at Minted

Christy Turlington Burns speaking at Minted

Christy Turlington Burns speaking at Minted

Christy Turlington Burns with the Minted.com team

(L to R): Janae Leininger, Mariam Naficy, Christy Turlington Burns, Niniane Wang at the Minted office

4:30pm: we traveled to my house in San Francisco.  Minted asked interesting people from the technology and design communities to curate art from our collection, and we displayed their picks throughout my house.  Jeremy Stoppelman, the founder/CEO of Yelp, Marissa Mayer,  VP at Google, Tabitha Soren, the former MTV VJ and now amazing fine art photographer, Victoria Smith (the blogger behind SFGirlbyBay), and Alison Pincus, the co-founder of online decor site One Kings Lane, all picked beautiful curated sets which were displayed on the walls of my house (I’ll do another post about framing and creating those collages later!).  When we walked in, this was Christy’s reaction to the art (you can see the wall she curated in the photo at right – her choices fit perfectly with the style of my home!)

Christy arriving at Mariam Naficy's house

Christy and Erin arriving at Mariam's home

Christy Turlington Burn's art choices from Minted

Christy's curated art picks from Minted's collection

Christy changed into a very gorgeous dress, then we sat down to discuss details of our partnership.  Here are Erin Thornton, the executive director of Every Mother Counts, Christy, and I sitting in my living room.  Erin and Christy are incredibly bright, caring, dynamic women.  The Minted team learned so much from them about global maternal mortality – more than one thousand women die every day from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, and more than 90% of these deaths are preventable.  Christy and Erin recently launched a No Mother’s Day campaign to remember moms who are lost every day, leaving families behind.  We brainstormed ideas including fielding San Francisco and New York Marathon teams to raise awareness and funding.

5:15pm – Minted community designers Annie Clark, Hailey Myziuk (Hello Hailey) and Eric Comstock (ERAY) arrived at my house – they were pretty excited to see their art up on my walls!  It was really meaningful to the entire Minted team to be able to celebrate the launch with them.

Hailey Myziuk (Hello Hailey) and Eric Comstock (ERAY) with Christy Turlington Burns and Mariam Naficy

Hailey Myziuk with her piece "Elegampersand"

Hailey Myziuk with her piece "Elegampersand"

Eric Comstock with his piece "Fun Games that Make You Laugh", which we hung twice in a row for effect.

Annie Clark with her piece "In a Row", which was chosen by Yelp's CEO as part of his curated picks.

Here I am standing in front of selections from Minted’s children’s art assortment, one of my favorite things we have launched.  I think people have been looking for a personal connection to art for a long time.  Our customizable art is still indie chic, but allows the customer to make it her own by choosing colors and text personal to her and her particular space.  Our customizable art includes family trees, maps, wedding celebration art, and more. The children’s selection is fresh and modern, and includes a variety of customizable and non-customizable prints for children’s rooms and nurseries.

Mariam Naficy and Minted's children's art collection

Mariam Naficy and Minted's children's art collection

6pm – The party was in full swing, with an interesting mix of design, technology, and retail people turning out to see Minted’s art collection and to hear more about Every Mother Counts.  All of our guest curators came to explain why they chose what they chose.  Hiroki Asai, the head of graphic design at Apple, was there and a hit with the designers.  Bloggers Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day and Victoria Smith of SFGirlbyBay were among those to make it to the party.

Alison Pincus and Gary Friedman

Ali Pincus, founder of One Kings Lane, and Gary Friedman, CEO of Restoration Hardware, in front of Ali's curated picks.

Alison Pincus, Tina Sharkey, and Dick Costolo

Alison Pincus, Tina Sharkey, and Dick Costolo

Victoria Smith, the blogger behind SFGirlbyBay, chatting with Mariam

Hiroki Asai, head of graphic design at Apple, and his wife April.

Hiroki Asai, head of graphic design at Apple, and his wife April.

Lara Deam, founder of Dwell Magazine, in front of art selection curated by Marissa Mayer

Lara Deam, founder of Dwell Magazine, in front of art selection curated by Marissa Mayer

And finally… here is a shot of the extremely hardworking, fabulous, intelligent Minted team at the party.

Minted team with Christy Turlington Burns

Minted team with Christy Turlington Burns

I would love to hear ideas as to how Minted can continually improve its art business and also how we can all help Christy and Every Mother Counts.  Please feel free to leave your comments here!

PS – Minted prints art on museum-quality, cotton rag archival paper.  The initial offering will range in size from 5”x7” to 44”x60”.  Crowd-sourced from an ever-growing community of thousands of artists and designers, the Minted art collection will be continually refreshed.  All artwork is available in several colorways, in order to allow customers to match art prints to their home décor.

PPS – Except for the photos of the Minted team and Lara Deam, which were taken by Drew Altizer, all other photos were taken by Elisabeth Fall.

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