Behind the Stationery: Fox and Fallow

Today we’re taking you all the way to Australia to meet Janet from Fox and Fallow! Her bright designs and style reflect her surroundings in Brisbane. Janet shares her schedule for creating new product collections, how she brings each new product to life from design through production, and how her team helps to get it all done and shipped out each day. Take it away, Janet! —Megan Soh

Behind the Stationery: Fox & Fallow

From Janet: My background is in graphic design and art direction but after spending 10 years in design studios and advertising I felt like I needed a bit of a change. I really wanted to build my own brand after so many years of building other people’s brands. I fell in love with weddings after designing our own wedding stationery and signs and in 2013 we began creating wedding stationery and signs for couples as a side project. After about a year and a half I really wanted to reach a wider audience and create products of my own. So in 2015 we jumped right into the deep end and we launched our brand at the National Stationery Show in New York in 2015 and haven’t looked back!

Behind the Stationery: Fox & Fallow

We’re located in sunny Brisbane, Australia. It’s a fabulous city, the people are laid back, the food and bars are great and we’ve got more sunshine than we can handle! Our style is bright, fun, intricate and we love foil, so most of our paper goods are offset printed and foil stamped. I like to design in collections, releasing 3-4 collections per year, each with a totally different theme and style. This keeps things fresh and interesting and allows us to keep evolving our style each year.

Behind the Stationery: Fox & Fallow

Our studio is part office, part warehouse. All the design work, invoicing etc. gets done in the office and orders and products are checked, assembled, packaged and shipped out of the warehouse.We make a wide range of paper goods including greeting cards, gift wrap, flat notes, gift tags, prints, journals, notebooks, notepads and calendars.

We also make clipboard packs which are a really fun gift item and we make the clipboards in house, which involves sourcing the wood from a local supplier, laser cutting and engraving them, sanding, riveting and shrink wrapping the whole pack together.

Behind the Stationery: Fox & Fallow

We take care of the design, quality checking, packaging and assembly but leave the printing to our local and offshore printers. We make most of our products locally in Brisbane or Sydney, but a few products we had to get manufactured offshore to make sure the price points work for our customers.

Behind the Stationery: Fox & Fallow

I usually start with a double espresso and an attempt to clean out my inbox (which rarely happens)! We’ll get any orders from the previous day and ones that have come in overnight to the team to pick and pack so they’re shipped out ASAP. We try to wrap this up by 2pm so they’re ready to be collected by our couriers. After the orders are done for the day the team often keeps working on quality checking, assembling and packaging products and anything else that needs doing before finishing up around 5pm. If we’ve got a big order to get out, it’s all hands on deck and we’ll do some pretty big hours to get it out in time, but it’s great we can be flexible and have our team take product home to package – which works great! No one wants to be working late in the office right?

Behind the Stationery: Fox & Fallow

I’ll usually grab another coffee and get started on artwork, product sourcing, bill-paying and general day-to-day business things. Darrell and I are both night owls, so we usually work pretty late. I wish my days were filled with painting and making new products, but as I’m sure all creative business owners know, the creative part is a tiny sliver of the running-a-small-biz pie.

Behind the Stationery: Fox & Fallow

Behind the Stationery: Fox & Fallow

I start each collection with a bunch of random thoughts in a notepad file on the computer and on my phone, then I’ll scour Pinterest, Google or books for snippets to create a mood board. I like having the inspiration and colours for each collection all nutted out on a mood board so I can show Darrell and get his thoughts. Once we’re happy with the direction it’s a matter of more research, sketching, scanning, detailed ink sketches, painting, scanning, colouring and refining and deep-etching each element in Photoshop.

Behind the Stationery: Fox & Fallow

Behind the Stationery: Fox & Fallow

I like painting all artwork as separate components so I can change the colours easily in Photoshop and change the size if needed. If I’m working on custom typography I’ll usually start with sketches and then use a brush pen and ink before I scan each word and vectorize them in Illustrator. I composite all artwork in InDesign and send it off to print for the proofing stage. Once we’ve checked and approved the proofs we wait for the finished goods to arrive.

Behind the Stationery: Fox & Fallow

This is the most fun part of what we do and it’s so rewarding when we see our retailers and customers loving our products. We love doing trade shows and pop up events as you really get to see people’s reactions to your products – it’s super valuable having that face-to-face contact. We love it when we meet people who are discovering us for the first time – it makes all the hard work so worthwhile!

Behind the Stationery: Fox & Fallow

All photos by Fox & Fallow.

Want to be featured in the Behind the Stationery column? Reach out to Megan at megan [at] ohsobeautifulpaper [dot] com for more details.

Fill Your Cart with Color

This post is sponsored by eBay.

I’ve been an eBay shopper since college, back in the days when I used to spend hours and hours hunting for original vinyl copies of my favorite albums. These days, my shopping habits and tastes are a bit different, but I still turn to eBay when I need to find something really special and unique. I’d been wanting a cute wicker purse to add a bit of whimsy and texture to my wardrobe, so I headed straight to eBay to start my hunt!

Vintage Mint Green Wicker Purse from eBay

I love adding a vintage element to every outfit, whether it’s jewelry, a purse, or even shoes. It’s a fun way to add a layer of individuality and your unique style to an outfit, the same way that vintage pieces add character to home décor. And for me, half the fun is in the search itself! There are approximately 1.1 BILLION listings on eBay at any given time, so you know you’ll always find what you’re looking for. I knew that I wanted something wicker, but I was flexible in the color and shape, so I just searched “vintage wicker purse” and let all the pretty options roll in!

Vintage Mint Green Wicker Purse from eBay

I found the CUTEST mint green wicker purse that I absolutely love. The minute it popped up in my search results, I knew it was the one for me. Everything is perfect, from the rounded shape to the circular handles fit that perfectly over my wrist. The mint green color is the perfect way to add a pop of color to a casual outfit, and this particular shade of mint green happens to be one of my all time favorites. Even the barista at my local coffee shop complimented my bag, which was definitely a first for me. I’ve been carrying this beauty everywhere, from weekday lunch dates with girlfriends to date nights with my husband.

Vintage Mint Green Wicker Purse from eBay

If you’re looking for your own vintage wicker purse, there are plenty of options in this search. I particularly love this white versionthis 1950s purse with gorgeous lucite handlesthis bohemian floral wicker purse, and this black wicker purse with gold handles. Wouldn’t they be so cute for holiday parties??

Vintage Mint Green Wicker Purse from eBay

Vintage Mint Green Wicker Purse from eBay

If you’re not feeling the vintage but still want a cute wicker purse for weekend brunch or special events, you can find plenty of new options on eBay, from Kate Spade to JCrew. I bought my purse instantly with the “Buy it Now” feature and it arrived at my doorstep in less than three days! Plus, 67% of items on eBay ship for free, which is a nice additional bonus. Be sure to shop now to find the perfect purse for your next night on the town!

Photos by Anna Meyer Photography

This post is sponsored by eBay. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Oh So Beautiful Paper possible!

Happy Weekend!

Happy Friday everyone! Did you have a good week? A good Halloween? This was a pretty good week for me, but the last few weeks have been super busy so I’m feeling kinda zonked today. Does that happen to you? Where you’re just going, going, going for weeks and then it all just catches up with you all at once? Yeah, that’s where I am now. Time to take it easy for a few days! But in the meantime…

Washington, DC in the fall

…a few links for your weekend!

Gold napkin rings cast from natural herb cuttings – wouldn’t they be so lovely on a Thanksgiving table?

The most amazing Stranger Things viewing party

Nordstrom is having a 40% off Fall sale! I’ve been browsing the shoe selection, and my favorites are these velvet slingbacks, these asymmetrical leather flats, and these peep toe booties

Also from Nordstrom: My dream winter coat in the most beautiful shade of lavender (it’s only $150!)

Cute fill-in party invitations!

Totally obsessed with the color of these chairs

Loving the idea of a cocktailgating party

This woven pendant is my everything

Sweet potato crostini – such a great idea!

MAKE: Salted caramel and apple babka

 

This week on Oh So Beautiful Paper:

New illustrated November wallpapers for your phone and desktop

The design inspiration for Common Room Studio! Plus a free Small Business Best Practices Guide from SunTrust in celebration of National Entrepreneurship Month!

The best colorful walls and murals in DC

Introducing your new favorite Fall cocktail: the Stone Fence

Romantic wildflower-inspired wedding invitations

 

That’s it for me this week! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you back here on Monday! xoxo

Romantic Wildflower Inspired Wedding Invitations

We love it when wedding invitation designers draw heavily upon the wedding venue for design inspiration! Michelle of Honey Paper (a member of our Designer Rolodex, naturally) designed these romantic wildflower inspired wedding invitations with the lush wildflower varieties of California’s Santa Ynez Valley in mind. From crisp honeysuckle to bristly blue fiesta flowers and pale leopard lilies, the delicate foliage in this suite is spot on – and so pretty paired with equally delicate text in pale green script!

Romantic Wildflower Inspired Wedding Invitations by Honey Paper

From Michelle: Nicholas proposed to Katherine under the open skies of California’s Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County as the heads of lupines and poppies unfurled like antique quilts shaken out and smoothed. As native Coloradans, the couple felt a connection to this peaceful land between the mountains and wanted to share the gentle, pastoral countryside and local culture with their loved ones on their wedding day.

Romantic Wildflower Inspired Wedding Invitations by Honey Paper

The venue, florals, stationery details, and seasonal menu all drew inspiration from the generous, natural beauty of the region and the couple’s shared interest in sustainable food and love of the outdoors. I created original watercolor illustrations for the stationery and dinner menu inspired by the wildflowers of the region. An oval wreath of native ferns, chaparral nightshade, lilies and blue fiesta flower with its bristly foliage encircled the text of the invitation. An elegant script in green, the color of weathered copper, suggests the wandering stems of California honeysuckle.

Romantic Wildflower Inspired Wedding Invitations by Honey Paper

The deckled edges of the invitation and response card highlight the artistry of the mould-made paper by Fabriano, a distinguished Italian paper company wholly dedicated to renewable energy and sustainable business practices.

Romantic Wildflower Inspired Wedding Invitations by Honey Paper

Bright white envelopes with old-world flaps were lined with my original watercolor illustration of the pale leopard lily, an abundant native plant often found alongside hedge nettles and stream orchid. Long, billowy stems with silky petals gracefully reach toward the first hints of the morning sun. Fess Parker Wine Country Inn and The Bear and Star were a perfect venue pair. Nestled among meadow, hill and stream, The Bear and Star restaurant boasts a closed-circuit ecosystem, meaning its menu is entirely crafted from the harvest yielded by Fess Parker Home Ranch. While quail, pig and cattle roam pasture, heirloom vegetables and fruit cling to vine and branch like baubles and gemstone.

Romantic Wildflower Inspired Wedding Invitations by Honey Paper

As favors, guests took home some of the garden spoils in packets filled with heirloom seeds from the year’s previous yield which read, “Let Love Grow,” with a running border of leopard lilies. The Bear and Star’s Chef John Cox prepared a family style dinner which started with a farm fresh hors d’oeuvres bar and the local Pinot Noir, Riesling and Syrah. Guests gathered at long tables on the veranda under a gentle sky and helped themselves to scoops of heirloom beans, quail egg and spring radish.

Romantic Wildflower Inspired Wedding Invitations by Honey Paper

Envelopes were addressed using a romantic script the unmistakable green of spring’s first sweet pea shoots and paired with monochromatic vintage stamps. What an absolute delight to be part of this beautiful wedding day that was both a celebration of love and an homage to the riches of the earth.

Romantic Wildflower Inspired Wedding Invitations by Honey Paper

Thanks Michelle!

Design: Honey Paper
Paper: Fabriano Paper

Honey Paper is a member of the Designer Rolodex – check out more of their beautiful work right here or visit the real invi­ta­tions gallery for more wedding invitation ideas!

Photo Credits: Ashleigh and Erik

Common Room Studio: Design Inspiration!

This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Oh So Beautiful Paper possible!

Alright y’all, it’s time to talk about the design inspiration for Common Room Studio! You’ve already seen some of the before photos, and today I want to share our color palette and the overall vibe for the space. November is National Entrepreneurship Month, so it feels like the perfect time to talk about this new facet of my business. I’m partnering with SunTrust to share some tips from their Small Business Best Practices Guide, including a few tips that I wish I’d known when I first started Oh So Beautiful Paper! As entrepreneurs and small business owners, our businesses are always evolving, so it’s never too late to incorporate good advice and best practices into your business plan!

Common Room Studio Style Board and Color Palette

Some of the materials and colors for Common Room Studio: Sherwin-Williams paint in Alyssum, Snowbound, Zircon, Extra White // Scallop Marble Tile // Semihandmade Supermatte Black cabinet fronts // Butcher block kitchen countertop // Quadrostyle Harlow vinyl floor sticker (using these in the bathroom!) // Fireclay mint green tile samples

Because I started Oh So Beautiful Paper as a creative outlet, I spent the first couple of years treating the blog more like a hobby than a creative business. I didn’t even set up a business banking account until I had already quit my previous job to focus on Oh So Beautiful Paper full time. Oops! I wish I’d been able to read SunTrust’s Small Business Best Practices Guide when I first started my business; it definitely would have made things a lot easier in those early years. If I could go back and do things over, here are three things I would tell myself on day one based on what I know now:

  1. Establish good bookkeeping and banking practices from the very beginning. Keep all of your personal and business accounts totally separate, and invest in bookkeeping software that connects to your various financial institutions to keep track of expenses and spending habits. It can be a lot of work to set everything up at the very beginning, but it will save you so much time and energy down the road!
  2. As your business grows, focus your time and energy on the things that you enjoy the most and truly do best, then outsource the things that you either aren’t good at or really don’t enjoy. For most small businesses, bookkeeping is one of the first things that gets hired out. But you could also consider investing in a part time assistant to help manage your social media, or handle all shipping and mailing responsibilities.
  3. Review your pricing strategy on a regular basis to make sure your pricing reflects the full value of your products or services. If you’re a service-based business, remember that it’s totally okay to raise your prices as your business grows and evolves. Just because you start out offering a product or service for one price doesn’t mean that you’re stuck at that price forever!

Anything's possible if you've got enough nerve - JK Rowling

The SunTrust Small Business Best Practices Guide covers six important financial management topics to help small business owners navigate their entrepreneurial journey. With the addition of Common Room Studio, I’m in a growth and expansion stage of my business – so I found the section on Growing Your Small Business to be really helpful. I was particularly interested in the points on evaluating options for accessing funds to finance business growth, because hello build-out expenses! There is lots of seriously good financial advice for entrepreneurs and small business owners at every stage in their business. You can check out the full guide here!

Start Somewhere

Start Somewhere

Now that the big construction phase is behind us at Common Room Studio, our current challenge is to finish decorating the space! I’ve decorated plenty of apartments and my current home, but I’ve never decorated a commercial space before. Turns out, the process for decorating a commercial space is quite different from decorating a house! I want Common Room Studio to be a bright and open space that can serve lots of different purposes, but I also want it to be an inspiring place that creates a warm and inviting impression the minute you walk inside. I started by thinking about the colors, materials, and textures that I wanted to bring into the space, along with how I wanted the space to function as a whole.

I always create moodboards to help define my vibe and guide future design decisions, but I also roped in my friend and interior stylist Michelle Solobay to help me finish the space. I’ve been collecting inspiration on this board since I first started hunting for studio spaces, and then continued adding to it with this particular space in mind once I had signed the lease. Here’s what we’ve got so far!

Common Room Studio Moodboard

Sources (clockwise from top left): Jenna Kutcher; Light Lab; My Scandinavian Home; Pigment‘s workshop space via Mon Voir; garlands in the Pigment retail space; pink plaster kitchen by Jersey Ice Cream Co.; Sarah Sherman Samuel

Here are my goals for the space:

– Create a bright and open space that can serve as a blank box for photo shoots, workshops, and other events. Furniture in the workshop space must be able to serve multiple purposes and be easily moved and/or easily taken apart and stored to suit the needs of different events. 

– Because the space needs to be visually neutral, our color palette is pretty limited: bright white walls and floors to bounce natural light around, with accents of pink, green, navy blue, and black. Copper, brass, and matte black for metal and hardware.

– Incorporate natural materials, textures, and plants to soften the industrial vibe of the space. Butcher block countertops for the kitchenette, wood chairs, woven baskets and pendants, and house plants in varying sizes scattered throughout the space.

– Hang garlands from the ceiling and woven wall hangings to bring in bright pops of color and add additional texture/visual interest.

– Create a cozy seating area in the front room to welcome guests and provide a space where people can sit and socialize during events.

So there you have it: Common Room Studio, coming very very soon! I am BEYOND excited to bring it to life and share the whole process here!! If you have any decorating or layout advice, lay it on me in the comments. I’m all ears!

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust. All opinions are my own. Check out the SunTrust Small Business Best Practices Guide right here!