Behind the Stationery: MaeMae & Co.

There is something about Meg(an)s in stationery – there are so many of us! This is Megan of Mae Mae is she’s often known for her stunning mood boards that grace her Instagram. She’s got a killer aesthetic and has learned how to maximize and change the way she works with brides on their custom invitations. With so many options for brides (and their many requests!), Megan is here to share the system she set up for working in the custom world. Take it away, Megan! –The Other Megan
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Photo by Bethany Platter

I started MaeMae when I was a senior in college. I was studying art and LOVED all things paper and print. I thought I would pursue a career in book design/publishing after school. After graduating I couldn’t get a job (2008 – woohoo!!) and so I pushed into this tiny business I had as a side project and hustled to make it work. I call the first two years of MaeMae my “unpaid internship”. I have always worked at MaeMae “full-time” (sometimes much less, sometimes much more) but couldn’t have survived or made it work without the support of my husband, Jason, who has encouraged me, cared for me, and sacrificed a lot as I pursued this dream.

MaeMae-68-2Photo by Canary Grey

As most creative businesses do, MaeMae has evolved overtime. When I started the business I only did custom wedding stationery. Three years into MaeMae I created a collection of characters that were ready-to-order and retailers across the country began to carry an album I created that was filled with these designs. I dug into this route because I wanted to be able to scale my business, take on more orders, and work with more people without having to start from scratch every project.

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Photo by MaeMae & Co.

My collection of characters have been alive (and growing!) now for four years, but rarely do people order the designs as they were created. I’ve realized that the nature of my style/designs and our array of print methods and paper options invites (nay, tempts!) people to customize their suite further by meshing the different characters together, requesting custom patterns, illustrations, etc. We offer almost all print methods since we outsource our production (flat, engraving, letterpress, embossing, foil, etc!) and so just requesting a change in print method oftentimes requires digging in and redesigning. Instead of pushing back on the natural inclination to really want something totally unique from us, we run with it.

Photo by MaeMae & Co.

We are currently back where we started – offering all custom invitations but inviting people to start with an existing character if they so choose, which reduces the customization fee. I LOVE IT. It was a wonderful and necessary exploration, but I’m happy to call my work “custom” once again and I adore the imaginative and open-minded clients and wedding planners we have been working with now.

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Photo by Bethany Platter

MaeMae is currently located in Minneapolis, MN – one of the world’s best cities. I started MaeMae in the Los Angeles area and moved here three years ago. I love the collaborative spirit, buzzing creative community, and craving to be outside during the warm months here. I recently moved into a really amazing space downtown called Restore Collaboartive. It is a co-working space filled with lots of other creatives who work for themselves by themselves or with a team. The energy in here is INCREDIBLE. My favorite thing about joining this space (vs. running my own studio space) is being inspired by the hustle happening all around me and the white noise of people brainstorming, talking to clients, and making cool things.

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Photo by Bethany Platter

I would love to have a schedule!! I think…maybe I don’t and that’s why I don’t. 🙂 My day consists of responding to emails with clients, production partners, and collaborative projects; creating concepts and art direction; designing; meeting with new people; helping new designers; working with my designer/stationery consulting clients; styling photos; and dreaming up new ideas. Never do all of the things happen in one day. My designer Anna handles the bulk of the wedding orders and new inquiries daily, and I handle my creative consultation clients and big picture direction on our wedding designs.

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Photo by Bethany Platter

Any success of MaeMae ALWAYS comes from moments where I am most myself and make things that reflect how I feel, what I’m into, etc. I feel like side projects, my Instagram feed, etc, create the most buzz around my company because those are the truest expressions of who I am and what I want to make. I’m inspired by stories, music, editorial shots, interior designs, and dance. Check out the MaeMae Movie for more about my artist process and sourcing and using inspiration.

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Photo by MaeMae & Co.

Interested in participating in the Behind the Stationery column? Please email Megan at [email protected]

  1. Great post! I totally feel Mae on the supportive husband aspect. I’ve been running my stationery business full-time since I started, with the same “sometimes much less, sometimes much more” practice. My husband has allowed me that freedom & I can’t thank him enough for that. Cheers to incredible husbands who get it & who want to help us grow & follow our dreams!

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