Coming of Age: No. 9

We are in for a very sweet surprise today with Jana Volfova’s Tweet Sixteen.

Now I love Twitter as much as the next gal, so it’s no surprise that this little riff is a phrase after my own heart! The cheery colors is what really makes this design stand out to me–magenta and orange are so perfect together. And surprisingly, we have had two designs with cross hatched background in a row, which is kind of fun. I especially love how you can see the striped pattern behind the letters in ‘sixteen.’ Jana joined the community six months ago and although she is on the newer side of things, she is already producing incredible work! We can’t wait to see what else she will come up with!! Congratweetations!

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What happens when you win a judge’s prize.

Christmas has come early at Minted and for Oscar+Emma, who won Woman’s Day Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Mayhew‘s special judge’s prize. Her Nordic Snowflake design was featured in a full page of Woman’s Day’s Special Christmas issue, on newsstands from September through Christmas.

Doesn’t her stunning design, which also won the judge’s prize from design work life and won third prize as voted by the community, look incredible?! I love the coordinating envelope liner–it’s the epitome of Scandinavian chic!Elizabeth is literally the authority on stationery so Karly should be quite honored! She has one, if not the, most impressive stationery collections I’ve ever seen! The New York Times even featured her stationery armoire in their Lettered Set article.

Woman’s Day has a circulation of 3,800,000, and claims a readership of more than 22 million with 15 issues a year so this page is sure to let lots of families know about Minted and Karly’s great work this holiday season! It’s really a great special issue, so be sure to pick up a copy. My personal favorite is the last page, which is all about the importance of writing a thank you note. There’s also a great 9 decades of Christmas cookie feature and some really creative gift wrapping ideas.

Thank you Elizabeth and Woman’s Day and congratulations Karly, who has had lots of great news as of late. She also just welcomed her first daughter Maeve Irene on September 13th!

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Joy Photo Contest Finalists

All of us at Minted had a great time looking through all the entries in our Joy photo contest.  Every single photo brought a smile to our face, and definitely got us in the holiday spirit. Thank you to everyone who shared a photo with us or chimed in with a “like” or “comment” about which photo they thought best embodied the spirit of “joy.”

It was a difficult decision, but we have chosen the five finalists below based on a combination of Facebook comments and internal voting. Now we’re leaving it up to you to select the winner.

To vote for your favorite photo, simply leave a comment below letting us know which photo you think should win. (One comment per person, please.) The photo with the most number of comments posted during the “voting” period will win the top prize. Please leave your comment by 11:59 pm PST on Thursday, 10/14. We will announce the winning photo on Friday, 10/15.

The winning photo will win cash (up to $300) toward a professional photography session, as well as $250 credit towards our gorgeous holiday cards, designed by independent designers from around the world and printed on thick, luxurious paper. The remaining four finalists will each win $100 toward holiday cards.

On Friday, we will also be announcing guest judge Joy the Baker’s pick. The winner of the judge’s award will win $200 toward our holiday cards.

Presenting, the finalists of the Joy photo contest…

Finalist A -- "Joy is having a best friend who happens to be your twin"

Finalist B -- "Elvin II decides to jump for joy everytime Auntie 'E' comes over."

Finalist C -- "Joy is wondering what they are thinking about."

Finalist D -- "Joy is getting an unexpected hug from someone you KNOW loves you!"

Finalist E -- "joy is.. autumn walks with your most loyal and precious friend ♥"

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Coming of Age: No. 10

It’s been the holidays here at Minted for quite some time. We’ve been working hard to get everything ready for this year’s season, which is sure to be our best yet! But we’d like to take a little break to celebrate another major event that happens not once a year, but once in a lifetime!  Depending on your religious and cultural heritage, we all celebrate a teen’s coming of age in different ways… Sweet Sixteen, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Confirmation, or Quinceanera. Regardless of your choice of celebration, we’re all agreed that it is important to mark this major milestone of becoming an adult. We’re excited to kick off a series of blog posts celebrating the winners of our recent Coming of Age Challenge, which we’re sure will result in the most modern and gorgeous assortment the world has ever seen!

Pretty in Paper‘s Gift of the Spirit is an incredibly versatile design. It would work well for any Christian confirmation ceremony with just a little text adjustment and we especially appreciate how well it would work for a male or female. This very classic design takes this important event seriously, but is still fresh and modern. I am certain it would appeal to both parent and teen–which is no easy feat! I really like the cross hatching in the background–it’s something we haven’t seen a lot of–and I like how it ties in with the border around the cross. Wonderful work Anne!

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Fling Wedding Invitation in Southern Weddings

Whether or not you hail from the South, you simply must pick up a copy of the latest issue of Southern Weddings.

It is simply divine and also happens to include our very own Andrea Mentzer’s Fling Wedding Invitation in a breathtaking shoot!

Have green, aqua, and a little teal ever looked so good together?

Congratulations Andrea–I definitely think you should frame this one! And kudos to Emily and all the other great gals at Southern Weddings for producing another masterpiece that I for one will be adding to my permanent magazine collection.

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Meet a Mintie: Dish & Spoon

Carrie of Dish & Spoon broke records with Robot Friends, the highest-scoring design in Minted design challenge history. It scored a 4.12 out of 5 in the Make A Wish Birthday Party Challenge and won over voters with its whimsical yet modern illustrations of robots. Carrie’s design style is a mix of illustrative and modern, with a touch of handicraft and fun. Looking at her body of work, you get the sense that she is a smart, sophisticated, and deliberate designer who crafts her designs with the utmost precision and thought — an observation verified by our production team, who swears that her art files are always immaculate and a breeze to work with. I’ve been a huge fan of hers since she submitted the so-adorable-it-hurts design “You’re a Blast” to the Be Mine Valentine Challenge and was excited to catch up with the creative genius behind Dish & Spoon in this week’s Meet a Mintie.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a traditionally schooled graphic designer.  I went to school and studied that and never changed my major, which is pretty rare. At the time, I wanted to get into web design, so I took a lot of classes like Flash and Animation, thinking that it’s what I wanted to do. Luckily

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Women’s Initiative Entrepreneur of the Year Award Ceremony

If you are in the Bay Area and free on Tuesday, October 12th we can’t think of a better way to spend a night than celebrating great female entrepreneurs. So we hope you’ll consider attending the Woman’s Initiative Entrepreneur of the Year Award Ceremony, where our very own Mariam Naficy will be honored alongside 12 other very talented ladies. She would very much look forward to celebrating with you!

Tickets are $75. The event is being held at the Julia Morgan Ballroom, which is really a beautiful old-world San Francisco space with beautiful wood paneling and great views. The ticket price includes wine, heavy apps, and dessert–but most importantly this is a very worthwhile initiative that supports micro-loans to low-income women entrepreneurs and all the proceeds benefit the initiative. And really, what could be a better cause? If the 12th doesn’t work for you, take a look at additional dates in surrounding Bay Area communities. Congratulations again to Mariam and all of the other very talented women with whom she shares this honor. Cheers, cheers!!

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Minties in the City

When you are part of an online community, you spend a lot of time getting to know people through email, forums, online chat, and the phone. Nothing replaces actual face-to-face interaction though and whenever possible, we love getting together with designers for a cup of coffee, a cocktail, or lunch.

(Quick shout out: if you are ever in SF, drop us an email! We’d love to meet up).

Last week, we had a super-sized Minted Meet Up by inviting three designers from different parts of the U.S. to join us in San Francisco for a few days. The lucky designers — or should I say, the designers we were lucky to be able to hang out with — were Brandy of Marabou Design (Seattle, WA), Sydney Newsom (Dothan, AL), and Amy of Design Lotus (Baltimore, MD).

(L-R) Sydney Newsom, Amy, Kerry of Paper Dahlia, Mariam, Brandy, Annie Clark, Jody of Jody Wody, Robert of Waui Designs; (Bottom) Andres Montano

This was our first time ever inviting designers to come to SF and needless to say, we were really excited.

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Fortune’s 2010 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs

We always knew Minted CEO and Founder Mariam Naficy was a force to be reckoned with, and this just reaffirms it. From more than 200 nominations, Fortune has selected Mariam and 9 other amazing women to honor as the 2010 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs. Read more here.

Mariam will be headed to D.C. next week to speak at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, a three-day conference bringing together prominent women leaders in business, philanthropy, government, education, and the arts. She’ll be joining some pretty impressive company, and we couldn’t be prouder of our boss. Congratulations Mariam!

If you want to drop her a note, leave a comment here or find her on twitter at @mnaficy.

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