Stationary and Design Brands That Inspire

Stationary and Design Brands That Inspire

As a member of the Rising Tide Society, an organization that educates and empowers creatives to thrive in the spirit of community over competition, we are encouraged to highlight and collaborate with other creatives locally and nationally. I love this group of creatives and learn new things from them every day.

So in the spirit of highlighting other creatives, I wanted to share some of my favorite stationary and design brands that inspire me to do what I do here in Oklahoma. 

Rifle Paper Co. has taken off in the last few years with their vintage floral designs on iPhone cases, stationary, gift wrapping and more. I see their stuff everywhere, and I love it. I'm drawn to the muted vintage, yet simple colors, florals and typography. A lot of their inspiration for design comes from Europe and their travels around the world and the U.S. 

I also love the fact that just five years ago Rifle was started by co-founders and married couple Anna and Nathan Bond in their garage apartment. What a fun husband and wife team. They also share the same believe I have that life's sweet messages and encouragements are best shared through a hand-written letter or hand-picked card. 

I am one that saves all my birthday, anniversary and holiday cards to look back on them and feel loved. Do you? :)

The sweetest hand-written birthday message from my husband right before we went on a weekend getaway to Branson, Missouri. Reading this reminds me that I am loved (because he took me to Branson to see the Titanic museum!) and to soak up the simple things in life. 

The sweetest hand-written birthday message from my husband right before we went on a weekend getaway to Branson, Missouri. Reading this reminds me that I am loved (because he took me to Branson to see the Titanic museum!) and to soak up the simple things in life. 

I have also used Rifle's paper before as envelope inserts for my wedding invitations. They are amazing and make any invitation suite look beautiful with a pop of color. 

Modern Wedding Invitation Suite with Rifle Paper Co. Inserts and Backing

Photo by Erin Goodrich Photography

Another brand that inspires me is Crane and Co., which was started by Stephen Crane in 1770. That fact alone draws me to the brand, because I LOVE history. I love antique shopping, documentaries, old films and all the stories behind them. 

If you read about Crane's history on their website, you will learn super fun facts like Paul Revere engraved bank notes on Crane paper which helped finance the Revolution. The Queen of England announced the celebration of her 100th birthday on Crane paper. And, our paper money is made from Crane paper! 

Another thing I love about Crane (among the many things) is the fact that they are a library of knowledge when it comes to stationary and invitation etiquette. And they would know the proper way to say something when they have been around for so long. 

Not only are they a wealth of etiquette knowledge, they share their stationary etiquette tidbits and best practices on their website and even published a paperback book, which I own. 

Crane and Co.'s Modern Stationary Etiquette Book  Photo by Rachel Kathryn Designs

Crane and Co.'s Modern Stationary Etiquette Book

Photo by Rachel Kathryn Designs

Regardless of the time and trends, Crane stays true to the classic and traditional ways . They truly believe that paper and stationary, when done right, is timeless and altogether lovely. And I do too. 

These are just two of the brands that inspire me to love paper, learn about the printing process and design stationary items that will make your loved ones feel adored for a lifetime. :)

Ashton and Brent are Getting Married!

Ashton and Brent are Getting Married!

A couple months ago, these beautiful watercolor invitations that were printed on cream linen paper were sent out to 200 guests for the wedding of Ashton Thomas and Brent Sheik. And the day is finally here. Today, on this beautiful, warm summer day, Ashton and Brent will say I do in Stillwater, Oklahoma and become man and wife. Their guests will finally get to see the wedding day that they only had a glimpse of on the invitation. 

Back in February, when the air was bitterly cold and snow was still on the ground, I first met with Ashton and Brent at Panera Bread to discuss their wedding invitations. So graciously, they paid for my drink and then Brent took a drive around town with their French Bulldog so that Ashton and I could chat about the girly details of weddings that make women giggle. 

As I listened to Ashton gush over her vision and the details for the special day, my mind was spinning with my own vision for their invitations. 

My head was spinning with images of soft floral designs for their invitation suite. 

Over the next several months, we began to see the pieces put together, and when the final set arrived I couldn't wait to see the smile on Ashton's face when she could see and feel the first detail of her wedding day. 

I had mixed emotions when I handed the invitations over to Ashton and Brent. I was just a little bit sad to see them all go, because they were so beautiful. I could just stare at them all day. But most importantly, I was so so happy to hand them over to their owners so that they could be dispersed out to all their loved ones. 

I was so happy to hand over these beautiful invitations to the bride and groom. I couldn't wait for them to mail them off to their loved ones! 

Ashton and Brent, I am so happy for you guys. Enjoy your day from the moment you wake up to the second you close your eyes to sleep. It will go by in a flash and soon be only a memory. But it will become one of the most important memories you will ever make. Always look back on this memory during the hard times, and there will be hard times, and remember the sweet vows you made to one another to love, honor and respect each other to the end of time. 

Even the reply card was designed with care matching the invitation. 

Ashton and Brent opted to have a wedding detail card to inform their guests of their wedding website and the hotels that were saving special rooms for them the weekend of the celebration. 

My First Year of Owning a Business

I received a phone call today from Google Plus. 

"Do you own a business?" the representative said on the other end of the phone. 

"Uh, yes? I think you have the wrong number?" I stammered back. 

She did not have the wrong number. Since I launched this web site a month ago, she was calling to confirm my business contact information for Google. I told her that I'm not used to officially admitting that I am a small business owner. 

I still have a ways to go and so many "to do" lists to grow Rachel Kathryn Designs. But when I look back over the last year and everything I have accomplished, I feel very proud. 

Although my love of paper started when I was a child, I began learning how to design just over a year ago. Once I started learning, i became a little obsessed. I spent all my free time learning how to change colors, place pretty florals in just the right place on an invitation and learning all different kinds of beautiful fonts. The beauty of design is the learning never stops. After a few months of learning, I began designing invitations pretty quickly and quickly had my first handful of clients. 

Next I went on to learn all about paper (my favorite part!). I love, love, love all the sizes, weights and textures of paper options that are available for your invitations. I want to touch them, smell them and own them all. Kinda silly, I know. Like I said my obsession with paper started long ago. (I used to collect boxes and boxes of Post-It notes, blank journals and Hello Kitts note pads. 

And just a few months ago, I dove into learning all about the art of calligraphy. Calligraphy takes practice, practice and more practice. I love making beautiful words and phrases. 

I desire to create beautiful sets of invitations for your special events in your life. By meticulously choosing the right paper, fonts, colors and even the envelope the final invitation communicates your wish for your guests to  join you in celebrating a very noteworthy event. 

I feel so overjoyed when I hand off off those final invitations perfectly packaged together to my clients. The paper is so perfect and so smooth. I'm almost sad to see them dispersed in the mail for fear the mailman will indeed "mess them up." But I feel complete when I see the smile on my client's face and a sigh of relief that I took great care of something so special to them. 

So, yes I am a small business owner. It may be small, and I may still (and always will be) learning the art of invitation making. But, I deliver a beautiful product from start to finish with great detail and care. 

Rachel