We’re going to the land down under in our next installment of Behind the Stationery featuring Ellen of Blushing Confetti! Located in Brisbane, Australia, Ellen’s stationery business – full of confetti and foil – started when she was a graphic designer in the publishing industry. Taking us through her team’s daily routine and her design process, here’s Ellen! —Megan Soh
From Ellen: Before I entered into the crazy world of stationery, I was a graphic designer working away in the print industry. After studying four years at University across design and advertising, I moved to big old London town and was super lucky to land my dream job at IPC Media (now Time, Inc). For anyone that watched The Devil Wears Prada, it was like a scene out of that – only not as mean. I worked with magazine brands like Marie Claire, InStyle, and Look while simultaneously working for clients like IKEA, Westfield, and Puma. It was probably the coolest job I ever had, aside from running my own business of course. When I came back home I kept on with the publishing work until I found my love for wedding stationery. That’s where it all began! Fast forward through a hell of a lot of blood, sweat, and tears and a ready-made line of stationery (and no more bespoke wedding stationery), I slowly reduced my days at the agency until another business and business partner came along. Believe it or not, my jump was made by introducing another business into the mix!
Blushing Confetti is a tongue-in-cheek brand that is serious about providing stunning stationery and aspires to deliver the unexpected to our customers. We offer a whole range of cheeky stationery and are increasingly expanding into gifts. Our agendas have been super popular and we can’t wait to reveal next year’s choices (eeeep!). Most of our stationery goods have a foiled element to it because, if you can’t tell, we are into pretty and shiny things! I have always had a passion for beautiful printing techniques and the business started off with a strong focus in foil. I don’t see that going anywhere anytime soon!
Our HQ is located in the sunshine state of Australia: Queensland. Tucked away in modest Brisbane, we work away in our warehouse and office right by the river. We really do have it pretty good! You will always find confetti in every nook and cranny and lots of random cat and pug references. We’re all about the animals in our office, and if you don’t already follow us on Instagram stories you’re missing out on all the cute dog and cat pics.
A typical day in Blushing HQ always starts with coffee (always!) and music is automatically popped on! #TBT is a popular playlist choice. We generally catch up in the morning and talk through everyone’s priorities and see if anyone needs any help in a certain area. Then we are on our way with our individual tasks, whether that is packing orders, illustrating patterns, designing an e-newsletter…the list goes on! Lots of laughs and food are generally had throughout the day and we don’t take ourselves too seriously unless it’s deadline time!
I spend the bulk of my time these days working on product development. Whether that is hand lettering funny words for cards or figuring out what paper stocks we will use, it sure does keep me busy! I think I am pretty lucky in the way of not having many daily business struggles, however come deadline time for a product run or a trade show things can get tough, especially internationally. Lots of planning goes into our yearly activity of traveling across the world to New York, whilst we totally love it and wouldn’t change it for the world. When something goes wrong, it feels a thousand times worse when you are in a place you don’t know. Luckily I get to call on some great local industry friends if I ever am in a bind!
Our design process is a little different depending on the product type, but we seem to have it downbeat (albeit somewhat chaotic at times). Our cards are usually thought up anytime throughout the year and have usually come from experiences we have had with a partner, friend or ex-boyfriend. Our experiences come into these card themes and we just start lettering until we have the perfect combination of words. The team normally all have a say in what the end result is.
When it comes to designing an agenda for instance, we decide what formats we want to do based on what people previously have ordered from us (big, small, medium sized, spiral, etc). Then we work with both local artists and our internal design team to design some creative based on the theme we have all decided on for that season. After design time and many, many rounds of proofing, our agendas are off to be turned into samples. From there we decide if we want to change anything or sometimes we even scrap that design if we think it turned out differently than we hoped. Once all those decisions have been made we are on our way to final production and everyone’s goodies are shipped across the world (that’s the best part!).
All photos courtesy of Blushing Confetti.
Want to be featured in the Behind the Stationery column? Reach out to Megan at megan [at] ohsobeautifulpaper [dot] com for more details.