Tuesday, September 1, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY ETSY SHOP!



photo by Michelle March

photo by Jose Villa


 photo by Best Photography


 Photo by Michelle March
 

 

It's my little shops birthday today! I thought I would share a few significant photos to celebrate, especially my wedding suites that have been so beautifully photographed over the years.  I owe so much to the talented people (other photographers, planners, cake artists, florists) who first got me involved in styled shoots.  When I started out I was mainly doing custom wedding work. Being published on wedding blogs brought so much exposure and new clients to my little baby shop.  I can't believe how it has grown since beginning this journey. Before I go all nostalgic rambles on you,  I am offering 20% off today ONLY.  I rarely do coupon codes but this is a special day!  The code will be valid today only and can be used for prints, cards, and notepads (sorry, custom orders and wedding suites do not apply). Enter BDAY20 at checkout to receive the discount. 

Now, if anyone wants to hear a back story on the shop / beginnings of my illustration career then read on... 

I opened my shop when I was still in art school in 2009.  My mom's friend told her about Etsy, that's how I originally found out it existed. As I hopeful, budding designer I immediately created my own account. I believe it was called "SKCdesigns" back then. haha. Let me back track by saying that in school I was majoring in fashion design.  It's a funny thing because what I took to immediately was fashion illustration and the production side of things (fashion shows, photoshoots, styling).  Upon taking my first textile design class I truly fell in love.  While learning Adobe Illustrator for the first time was beyond frustrating and time consuming, there was something so special about creating patterns that would be turned into fabric that would be turned into beautiful garments... We all know I love wearing/creating a good floral print, so you see how this all starts to tie together.  Pattern making (CAD, ugh) and sewing were unfortunately not my strongest suits in school, however I enjoyed making bathing suits and thought this might be calling, so I did what any hopeful would do and slapped those babies on Etsy along with a few fashion illustrations (insert a million laughing/crying emojis here).  I didn't think much of the shop then. Social media wasn't big yet (no instagram and for awhile I just refused twitter and Facebook because I thought it was weird, lol). So I didn't really have a means or know how to get much exposure (not that my bathing suit collection needed any).  As school came to an end and "real life" was upon me, I knew art/fashion was my calling but I hadn't quite pin pointed it yet.  I took a job freelancing for a major department store doing some textile designing right after graduation.  Again confirming that I loved this side of fashion and I also LOVED doing this from home, as I only had to present designs in their office every two weeks. After that I accepted a design position at smaller apparel company.  Fast forward through eight months of misery.  I knew that I was not meant to be artistically confined to a box in a cubicle while commuting and working weekends.  My mental health, social life, and creativity were suffering bad. With the support of my family (and many promises to them about how hard I planned to work) I quit that job and never looked back. I began vigorously researching and painting...planning and painting, painting, and researching some more. I started my blog (all hideous content at first, obviously) got a Facebook business page and just began posting random artwork and photography.  Jumping ahead, I helped a few friends with wedding stuff and took the time to create some suites to add to my etsy shop.  A few cards here and there. But mostly I just practiced and played with different mediums.  I doodled, sketched, lettered, and tried everything under the sun to find my voice.  Slowly but surely, through much trial and error and a few big fails, I found it. Then after that, people started noticing.  I did a couple styled shoots that got published and more brides started to find my shop. I got asked to do more styled shoots, thus sending even more brides to my shop! I felt inspired again and began painting whatever I wanted on the side.  Slowly some prints crept into the shop, I practiced with lettering quotes that inspired me, really anything that inspired me I painted. This is still true today although I've learned to curate and learned much more about branding in the past couple years so not everything I doodle makes the cut anymore. 

My original intent was never to "start a business",  it was just to do what I love and be my free spirited self, while hopefully inspiring others through art and photography. I was literally livin' on a prayer and my dream for awhile. Over the past few years I've learned so much about business, patience, and dedication, all of which have helped me to turn this into my full time career. Etsy has been an amazing platform to connect me with all types of people, clients, and even press. All good things definitely take time.

"Jump. And you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall"

Thank you for stopping by and reading this today. Your support and kind words about my work here and on instagram always mean so much to me! Enjoy the coupon code and remember, it just lasts until midnight tonight!
XO

Monday, August 31, 2015

ICELAND PT. 5 // SCENES FROM THE ROAD


































As you can see from the angle of some of these, I literally took them out of the window of the car while my sister was driving.  Mind blowing scenery everywhere. The lonely stretches of road were so gorgeous, so majestic, and so diverse. These were taken gradually from leaving Selfoss to nearing the north towards Husavik (these were from a couple days but all in all a stretch of about 6 or 7 hours).  I had so many from the car window I thought they deserved their own little post.  I also wanted to prove that although the ring road may seem like a lot of driving if you are fitting into a week or so, but clearly so worth it.  Everything was absolutely photo worthy along the way. 

XO 

Friday, August 28, 2015

HAPPY FRIDAY + SOME LINKS


Happy Friday y'all!  This has been a week filled with wedding projects and wrapping up some 'day of' decor for my fall brides.  I've also started on holiday items, I'm quite excited about them.  Even though I'm technically behind in stationery world, this is the most ahead I've been since adding greeting cards to my collection last year. It feels weird to even think of Christmas right now! It has certainly pushed my creative limits lately since I was so far from being in holiday mode.  A challenge is always welcomed though.  Stay tuned for some exciting news and more Iceland photos after the weekend! 

As usual, some favorites: 

*Fashion buyers picks for Fall via The Coveteur - swoooning!
*Frida Kahlo at the NY Botanical Gardens, looks so pretty! I'm hoping to make it when I'm there in October.
*These are looking like the perfect black flats for fall
*This picture, because... [heart eye emoji]
*Lace Free People dress, so beautiful and comes in four colors. The green would be a perfect holiday party dress
*This Valentino floral print is beyond gorgeous, one can dream...
*Free Peoples boudoir lookbook shot by Harper Smith, dreamy  

XOXO

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

ICELAND PT. 4 // VESTMANNAEYJAR ISLANDS













A funny story about this leg of our trip... When booking a hotel to stay near Vik on our third night we looked on booking.com for places that were in or on the way there. We  were planning to spend some time at the beaches and had a glacier hike the next day.  As we neared Vik and decided to call our hotel to make sure we were on track and ok to check in late (all the hotels and guesthouses we stayed at happily accommodated our late arrivals every night).  Long story short, the hotel owner told us that in fact Vestmannaeyjar was an island and we would need to take a 45 minute ferry ride to get there.  The ferry dock? Oh, we had passed that about an hour ago and the last ferry was leaving at 10pm.  It was 8:30pm, no big deal. lol.  We scurried back and made on time, thankfully.  Honestly, I was not all that pleased that we hadn't taken the time to look into this further (it was my fault).  We were a little disappointed that getting back to land the next day would cut into our time at the beach. Wrong... 

As we approached the string of small islands around 11pm (still light out of course) we were so pleasantly surprised by rock formation, beautiful scenery, tons of puffins, and the cutest little fishing town (Iceland does not disappoint you guys, not in any way).  Our kind hotel owner picked us up totally unexpectedly.  He must have felt bad that we were clueless about the location and since we arrived so late it didn't leave us much time to explore so he personally drove us around the perimeter of the island.  He took us to some beautiful spots and with so much pride, explained the history of his little island to us.  There are only about 4,000 people who live on the largest island.  The others are uninhabited but some have small hunting cabins (like our guides family had... as in one family owned cabin per island, ha). Vestmannaeyjar has many active volcanoes above and below sea level, when a huge eruption occurred in the 70's much of the island was damaged and people were evacuated.  It was crazy to see the lava, the "new" part of the island, solely built up from this eruption (as were all of the smaller islands from various volcanic eruptions).  Also, these photos were taken from about 11pm-12:30am.  Craziness.  After trying to find us food, then carrying our giant suitcases up four flights of stairs, our guide excused himself for bed and was back up at 6am making a delicious breakfast.  What began as frustration and nervousness ended up being a completely amazing experience.  We were so thankful for his kindness and willingness to accommodate us. We boarded the ferry in the morning only to wish we had more time there!

I have a few more posts on Iceland to share then I plan to do a complete itinerary roundup. Hope you all are enjoying the photos. They are taking me back and making me so happy to sort through. 

XO 

Friday, August 21, 2015

HAPPY FRIDAY + SOME LINKS


As of late, the end of the week comes and I'm like 'how is it already Friday?!'  I have to say, I am a little sad to come to the end of August. Where did summer go? My happiness resides in the fact that fall is a wonderful and exciting time of year (to clarify; I do not like summer, the Florida heat and humidity is a little much for me. ha. So I'm not sad to see that wind down, just incredibly baffled how this year is flying)  I feel like once September hits and the excitement of the holidays just makes it even more non-stop.  

Ok, enough rambling and on to some of my favorites from the week:

*This wall for a walk in closet, so fun
*Flowy caftan dresses are my favorite, I love these from Free People, pink and blue
*This post about letting your partner dress you made me laugh and of course I had to experiment (out of curiosity) on Hunter. ha
*This sneak peek of Asos Christmas has me pretty excited
*Cozy fall feelings 
*I have this bag from Free People and it's been amazing to hold all my junk and I often use the clutch for nights out, obsessed with this new color 
*Rose Gold strappy sandals by Ted Baker
*Another interesting read on Man Repeller, are illustrators the new fashion bloggers?
*This office is lovely

Savor your weekend, ok? I hope it's a great one! 
XO