Behind the Stationery: Hello Tenfold

The talented Ellie of well-respected stationery brand, Hello Tenfold, is here sharing how she turned the key of an unfortunate situation and opened the door into a full-time custom wedding invitation business. Full of behind the scenes client inspiration boards, Ellie shares how having a toddler has affected her workday and where she goes to get inspired (clue: shopping is involved!). –Megan
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I’m Ellie Snow, and I’m thrilled to be on this beautiful blog today! I started my stationery company Hello Tenfold in 2009, around the time that I got married and designed my first set of wedding invitations – my own! – alongside my then-boyfriend. We got some encouraging feedback on our work and my business was born. Although it didn’t feel lucky at the time, soon after our wedding and the launch of Hello Tenfold, my husband and I were laid off from our graphic design jobs and self employment became a reality. It had always been a goal of mine to be self employed, and life went ahead and gave me the shove I needed! Since then, I’ve been lucky to have my work featured in magazines like Martha Stewart Weddings, Southern Living, Brides Magazine, and HOW Magazine, among others. More importantly, I get to spend my days doing something I absolutely adore.

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After working from home for a few years, I began to rent a studio space, which was an enormous help for productivity (not to mention mental health and, um, cleanliness). Today my studio is located in a part of Durham, North Carolina dubbed the “DIY District.” The studio is next door to a boutique selling handmade NC goods, and a stone’s throw from a favorite coffee shop, a brewery, a music venue, a ballpark, and too much good food to mention. As a bonus, the studio’s store front windows make for excellent sunset watching. My coworkers are my husband, who started his own design business last Fall, Harbor, our studio-mate, photographer Jessie Gladdek, and the various local business owners who make my job possible — printers, shippers, baristas.

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Over the years Hello Tenfold’s collection of invitations has grown to be over 25 different suites, and most of the jobs I take involve customizing those suites to fit the weddings of the couples I work with. Sometimes it’s as simple as changing a color scheme, and other times we use the invitation design as a basic starting place and create something totally different by changing the layout, fonts, envelope liner pattern, printing method, and so on. Occasionally a client’s request for a design will get my wheels spinning and turns into a new design for the shop — Florentine, for example, started as a custom invitation for a couple in Chapel Hill, and last week a bride asked me for a vegetable-and-animal themed suite (hmm… stay tuned!).

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One of the things I love about designing wedding invitations in particular is the opportunity to have so many different paper items, each with a unique look but cohesiveness throughout the suite. I love mixing patterns, and many of my designs start with inspiration from some bygone era. In the summer, I love spending Saturday mornings at antique stores, and my phone is full of photos of details in wood furniture or interesting patterns found in rugs, fabric swatches, or book covers.
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A typical week at Hello Tenfold starts mid-morning. I was never an early riser, but my one-and-a-half year old is working on it. We spend the morning getting the three of us fed, bathed, dressed, and packing various bags that we each need for the day ahead. My daughter goes to her nanny’s house and my husband and I head to our studio. At work, my day starts with emails. I send out quotes for potential new clients, answer questions, and then start in on design work. This means making edits to proofs, sending clients new designs and variations, and sometimes it means an impromptu photo shoot. Like, showing a bride the subtle difference between Bright White and Soft White paper and how each of those look in gold foil, alongside 8 different neutral paper options for the corresponding envelope liner.

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Since most of my clients are not local, photos and phone calls can be key! I save projects like shop updates, social media, packaging and shipping orders, assembling envelope liners and invitation bands, checking on printer’s proofs, and assembling sample packs for the afternoons. If needed, I call in back-up… I’ve got a few trusty ladies with tape gun talent. Just before 5pm there’s a mad dash to pick up our daughter from daycare on time. We play outside or run errands, cook dinner, and do the bedtime routine. A few nights a week, my husband and I work after our daughter is in bed, unless the couch calls our names and we snuggle in with some TV or good books.

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I love sharing the projects I’m working on (and a few cute baby pictures for good measure)! You can follow along on instagrampinterestfacebooktwitter, or my blog Mint. Thanks for having me!

Photos by Lissa Gotwals and Ellie Snow, styling by Michelle Smith and Ellie Snow, calligraphy by Layers of Loveliness.

Interested in participating in the Behind the Stationery column? Reach out to Megan at [email protected]

Jen + Levi’s Alchemy-Inspired Wedding Invitations

These beautiful illustrated invitations come to us from Jen of Shipwright & Co. – created for her own wedding earlier this spring! The invitations feature alchemy-inspired designs and handfasting elements that were also incorporated into the ceremony. So sweet!

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From JenThe entire suite was inspired by the Digby & Iona signet we chose as my husband’s wedding ring. Each piece has alchemy-inspired designs, including the clasped hands featured on the ring which we used in the save the date. Because we also included elements of handfasting in our ceremony, we felt the symbolism was especially perfect.

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Our wedding was in our backyard and very small, so we also sent out announcements to friends and family that didn’t come. One of my favorite things ended up being the coasters, which we wrapped in vintage silk ribbon and gave away to the guests afterward. The beautiful flowers are by my friend Jaime of The Monkey Flower Group.

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Thanks Jen!

Check out the Designer Rolodex for more tal­ented wed­ding invi­ta­tion design­ers and the real invi­ta­tions gallery for more wedding invitation ideas!

Photo Credits: Emma K. Morris

Sarah + Anthony’s Preppy Chic Wedding Invitations

Happy Monday everyone! I thought we’d start the week with these preppy navy, gold, and white wedding invitations from designer Kaydi Bishop. The chic design combines stripes and polka dots with geometric shapes – so fun!

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From KaydiI had a blast working with Sarah and Anthony to create their perfect wedding invitation suite. Since Sarah is a lover of fashion, we narrowed the direction to a fun and sophisticated mix that was best described as Kate Spade meets J. Crew. I coined their theme “Preppy Chic” and ran with it!

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I loved using their classic navy and gold color palette on unexpected square, hexagon, and circle shaped elements, giving a chic flair to a seemingly traditional design. Preppy patterns of stripes and polka dots added just the right amount of contrast to the clean and sophisticated layouts. A fun “Wedding Eve Celebration” invitation was flat printed on luxe cotton paper to achieve a solid bold navy color that popped against the other pieces while carrying the circle theme from their personal monogram emblem. The main components in the suite were letterpress printed on luxe cotton paper in navy ink and gold foil by Czar Press.

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Thanks Kaydi!

Design: Kaydi Bishop

Letterpress Printing: Czar Press

Check out the Designer Rolodex for more tal­ented wed­ding invi­ta­tion design­ers and the real invi­ta­tions gallery for more wedding invitation ideas!

Photo Credits: Kaydi Bishop

Happy Weekend!

Happy Friday everyone! Well, it’s officially NSS mailer season – best time of the year! Also, the Kentucky Derby is this weekend! If you’re looking for a Mint Julep recipe for any Derby Day festivities you can find a Basil Mint Julep here and a classic Mint Julep recipe here. But in the meantime…

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Photo by Katie Stoops via Instagram

…a few links for your weekend!

This week on Oh So Beautiful Paper:

Check back this afternoon for this week’s cocktail recipe! Have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you back here on Monday! xoxo

Lauren’s 2nd Annual Derby Day Party Invitations

You might remember these super fun Kentucky Derby Day party invitations from Lauren Chism last year – I loved the preppy navy and green color palette and stripes! Well, Lauren and her husband decided to make their Derby Day party an annual tradition, and I’m thrilled to share this year’s invitations today!

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From Lauren: When it was time to design invitations for our annual Derby Day party, I felt the pressure to design another fun invitation (self-imposed of course). I loved how last year’s invitations turned out, so I wanted these to be equally as special, without overlapping in style since we were inviting a lot of the same people. I kept the color scheme the same-ish with cobalt blue and kelly green, but that’s where the similarities ended.

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I wanted to wow guests right out of the mailbox, so I planned the envelopes as much as the invitations. I used white digital ink for the addresses, which just popped on the kraft paper and each envelope had a mix of vintage postage that I curated from various Etsy shops. From the horses to the roses, I don’t think I could have found more perfect postage for a derby party.

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Wait, it gets better on the inside… the invitations were square gate fold format, but I had the back facing up, so that when guests open the envelope, the first thing they see is “2nd Annual Derby Day.” When they flip it over, the cards were sealed with a little bow-tie sticker. The green stickers popped on the background of patterns, inspired by jockey silks.

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On the inside, I utilized the unique format to layout the party details. From the mint juleps and southern snacks to requesting guest wear ‘derby attire’, I made sure I all the information was there but love how the layout was simple and fresh. We had fun with the puns too: calling our house ‘Chism Downs’ and asking guests to RSVP with yay or ‘neigh’. Now, we just need to make sure our party is as much fun as the invitations!

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Thanks Lauren!

Lauren Chism Fine Papers is a member of the Designer Rolodex – you can check out more of Lauren’s work right here!

Photo Credits: Lauren Chism Fine Papers