The Straight-Up Truth: 10 Things You Should Never Say To Your Stationer

April 25, 2012 § 3 Comments

So, we’re back…finally…

First, I think I owe everyone an explanation of why I disappeared for last 6 weeks or so (oh my gosh! how has it even been that long!?!).

Hip Ink is mostly a one-woman operation – while I have a few people who help out with assembly etc., I’m on the hook for everything else – and don’t get me wrong, generally I like it that way. And if you’re a frequent reader you know that I am fiercely committed to making this blog happen every week. But sometimes in chasing your dreams, you forget about the reality that comes along with them.

The reality is, that I have been nearly drowning in work – not necessarily something I should have the right to complain about, but nevertheless, it’s turned things a bit upside down lately. I’m thrilled to have so many couples wanting to work with us, and orders from our new collection, but it has been a juggling act to try to keep up the same standards when it comes to response time, delivering on schedule and most of all, quality.

As much as I love The Invitation Blog, I know that my commitment to my work and my clients has to always come first.

So…I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. We’re still busy, but in a more manageable way now that the crazy rush for early summer weddings is over, and so it’s back to blogging for me!

Sort of.

Today I wanted to share with you guys something that is so well-written, so truthful, so brilliant (and something that I’m so jealous I didn’t write myself) that I actually bumped my very first Invitation Advisor post in weeks, just so I could post this instead.

It was written by the lovely and talented Melinda Morris, owner of the fabulous Lion In The Sun Paperie in Park Slope, Brooklyn and appeared in The Huffington Post Weddings section on April 20, 2012.

I think it’s important read for any couple embarking on the wedding stationery adventure, and I think it’s equally important to read the whole article in it’s native form, so rather than reproduce it here, I’m going to tease you with Melinda’s “10 Things You Should Never Say To Your Stationer” and ask you to please, please follow the link below to read the full, amazing, article.

10 Things You Should Never Say To Your Stationer

1.  “They are just going to end up in the garbage anyway”

2. “It’s only paper, why is it so expensive?”

3. “I could do that myself on my home computer and print it on Day-Glo copy paper.”

4.  “Can you just make me one and I can just photocopy or email a scan of it to everyone?”

5. “I know I approved the proof, but we changed the time of the wedding.”

6. “But we only need eight more invitations.”

7. “I left the invitations in the trunk of my car and then went to the car wash” or “We were drinking red wine while assembling the invitations…”

8. “We’ve addressed all our envelopes already, but I mail-merged the guest list incorrectly and all the zip codes are incorrect, what do you mean you don’t check each of our guests’ zip codes for us?”

9. “I sealed the envelopes and I realized I forgot to stamp the reply cards” or “We just used regular postage and dropped them in the mailbox on the street.”

10.  “We would like to put ‘monetary gift only’ on the invitation.”

***READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE***

I’ve actually addressed many of these things on The Invitation Blog in the past, but it’s great to see them all in one place. At times it may sound like putting stuff like this together is just me (or whomever) preaching to couples out there to try to make my own life easier  – I can assure you that isn’t the case.

When my couples are happy, I’m happy. When a couple makes a mistake on their invite, when they need “just a few” more, when they use the incorrect postage etc., those things affect me as well. While there isn’t always anything I can do, and while often those issues aren’t my reponsibility, I still feel for couples who find themselves in those situations. So some of the above deserves to go in the “the more you know” category, because it will only help you to keep those things in mind when dealing with your wedding invitations.

The first four are more related to just being respectful of the stationer/designer you are meeting or working with. While I can understand why a couple might say some of those things, in reality it makes little sense to walk into a lovely stationery store or meeting with a stationery designer if you don’t understand or appreciate the value of what they do. If you feel that their invites are “too expensive”, if you think, “hey, they are just going to end up in the garbage anyway”, if you’re happy with printing your own invites on copy paper or photcopying or emailing your invites – to be perfectly honest, you’re in the wrong place.

As a stationer, I believe it’s every couples’ right to do whatever they want when it comes to their wedding invitations – whether or not I agree with it, like it, find it attractive or think it’s in good taste, the point is that it isn’t about me. It’s about you and your wedding and your guests. But when a couple comes in with an attitude that’s disrespectful towards how I make my living, towards my “art”, that makes me a little testy.

It’s a good lesson in general, to think about what you say to your vendors when meeting with them. By all means, ask questions – but make sure they understand that you are there because you respect what they do and their work, and you’ll find they’ll give you their best.

From The Studio: And Now We’re *Finally* Live on Etsy!

March 7, 2012 § 3 Comments

Whew – what a whirlwind the past week has been!

I’m happy to announce a few things:

1. Hip Ink Paper Co.’s Etsy shop is finally live, with sample and deposit listings for all 20 Hitched by Hip Ink design collection invitations (and more to come over the next few months!). Currently Etsy is the only marketplace where you can purchase Hitched by Hip Ink, so do mosey on over and check it out, y’all.

2. That means that I can officially stop pimping out Hitched by Hip Ink designs on Wednesday, and get back to showing off some really cool custom designs. But don’t worry, I’ll be featuring one of our Hitched designs every Friday, with an in-depth look at the design and the inspiration behind it.

On a personal note, launching this design collection has been a labour of love, and I use the word labour on purpose. It’s literally been about 9 months since I made the final decision to design and create a Hip Ink invitation collection, and it’s been 9 months of growth, change, nervous anticipation, joy, sadness, doubt and everything in between. But now my babies are out in the world and I couldn’t be happier.

Most of all, I’m thrilled to be able to share my designs with a much wider audience. As a custom designer, I can only work with a limited number of couples every year, to insure that they receive the best quality product and experience possible. While I absolutely love creating custom designs, I realized that I was turning away so many clients because of a tight schedule, or a modest budget, and I realized that many of the potential clients didn’t necessarily need a completely custom invitation, but rather were after that Hip Ink signature look – something fresh and modern, and something not available in every invitation album or big box store out there.

So that’s when Hitched by Hip Ink was conceived – an invitation collection that takes the best of what I have to offer as a designer, and makes it accessible to anybody, anywhere (and for any event).

Here’s the low-down:

The Hitched by Hip Ink collection is digitally printed on your choice of extra-thick specialty paper:

White Matte (110 lb) – paper has a smooth flat texture
White Metallic (111 lb) – paper has a metallic sheen and sparkle
White 100% Cotton (118 lb) – paper has a soft luxurious texture, tree-free (eco-friendly)

The basic Hitched invitation set includes the following:
* Main Invitation and matching envelope
* Choice of response card and matching envelope, or large enclosure
* Digital PDF proofs with up to two rounds of revisions, personalized with your wording and choice of style for response or insert card
* Choice of paper

Many designs also include choice of colour(s) from over 40 available standard ink colours (custom colours are also available for an additional fee).

In addition, we’ve got lots of add-ons and upgrades available (including addressing) and invitations are available without response/enclosure cards as well (for use as Save The Dates, shower/engagement party invites etc.).

Prices start at just $4 per set (based on quantity ordered and paper selection), so what are you waiting for?

I’m so thankful to everyone who encouraged, supported, nudged or downright pushed me to complete this collection and I hope you’ll find a favourite somewhere amongst these new designs too!

Announcing Hitched by Hip Ink: Eye Candy Part 4

March 2, 2012 § 1 Comment

Whew! Thanks for sticking with us – proud to show off the last 5 designs of the brand new Hitched by Hip Ink invitation collection!

SAKURA

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ROSES

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MAGNOLIA

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ANEMONE

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BIRDCAGE

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Stay tuned – more details on Hitched to come next week :)

Announcing Hitched by Hip Ink: Eye Candy Part 3

March 2, 2012 § 2 Comments

And we’re back…lots more eye candy to come!

LEAVES

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GLASSES

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GALLERY

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BIRCH

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MODERN

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Finally, we round out the rest of the collection in just 15 minutes :)

Announcing Hitched by Hip Ink: Eye Candy Part 2

March 2, 2012 § 2 Comments

Ready for more? Here we go!

WATERCOLOR

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SILHOUETTE

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CHEVRON

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GARLAND

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HEXAGON

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Next up, Part 3 in 15 minutes :)

Big News: Hitched by Hip Ink Has Arrived…Sort Of!

March 2, 2012 § 1 Comment

Have you ever had one of those days? When it seems that technology has forsaken you? Yep…that’s today (and yesterday, and most of the day before), which so happens to coincide with the launch of our brand new Hitched by Hip Ink invitation collection.

Sort of…I say sort of because our new Etsy store that was supposed to be ready to show off all our fab new designs is not quite ready for it’s big debut – that will be early next week though, I promise!

But, I won’t let some pesky tech issues keep me from showing off our twenty new Hitched designs…nuh uh. In fact, I am going to post them right here, right now over four posts – so get ready y’all ;)

First up, some of my favourites:

LOVE

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STRIPE

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AMPERSAND

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BANNER

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MOROCCO

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Woo – 5 down and 15 go. Watch this space over the next hour for 3 more posts full of Hitched eye-candy just for you!

Workshop Wednesday: Sneak Peek At Our Brand New Hitched by Hip Ink Collection

February 29, 2012 § 1 Comment

Ok, so the Invitation Advisor took a break from doling out pithy commentary on invitations and etiquette this week to get our brand new invitation collection, Hitched by Hip Ink, ready for launch on Friday!

And so normally what you’d find on Workshop Wednesday is some photos of one of our custom invitation project – today what you’re going to get is a sneak peek at one of our new Hitched by Hip Ink designs…

I am really excited to finally be able to share this collection – it has been months in the making, through many trials and tribulations, re-designs, throwing out ideas, bringing them back, wanting to give up, feeling elated – what a roller-coaster ride it has been.

But, I’ve kept on because I think there is room out there for some hip, funky modern invitation designs that fit today’s wedding – the kind where anything goes. Casual, backyard affairs to ballroom extravaganzas and everything in between!

On Friday, we’ll have a full launch post, with many more details on the line and a link to our brand new Etsy shop where you can purchase Hitched by Hip Ink.

‘Till then…here’s a look at one of our new designs, Hexagon:

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Click on the image for a larger version

Click on the image for a larger version

Each invitation design includes a matching RSVP and additional insert card design, and most designs can also be used for other wedding-related paper needs including showers, engagement parties, save the date cards etc. and will be customizable in a wide range of colours to suit your event.

We’ll be adding to the collection over the next few months as well – exciting times ahead!

In order to give each of the new designs a little time in the spotlight, we’ll be upping blog posts to 4x weekly (yes, 4 times!) and shuffling things a bit.

We’ll keep Tips n’ Tricks Tuesday (home of The Invitation Advisor) exactly where it is, as well as Workshop Wednesdays (showcasing recent custom work from the studio), but we’re moving our encore posts to Throwback Thursdays and introducing Feature Fridays, when we’ll be featuring one of our Hitched collection designs weekly.

Really excited to share all this new stuff with you…soon. The countdown is on!

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