Friday, December 28, 2012
(Left to right: NPR reporter Elizabeth Blair, Heather Noss, NPR producer Liz Baker)
If you heard a recent interview on NPR with a local wedding invitation designer in DC who got her start on Etsy, it was in fact me, “Rose”, aka Heather Noss! Since I have heard from a lot of friends and clients who heard the story and had other questions, I thought I would expand on the story here!
NPR’s Elizabeth Blair came to the Digby & Rose studio in NW DC recently to talk to me about my experience starting the business, from a the perspective of a seller who successfully grew a business through Etsy. The story focused on Etsy’s growth and how it has changed over the years. Although it’s true that the focus of the site and profile of sellers has changed, when I started my own business at the end of 2008, it was a perfect place for a “micro” business to get a start. (At the time calling it a “small” business would have been too generous!)
I read once that every small business entrepreneur has had a moment of insanity, which strangely enough happens to coincide with the very moment they decide to start the business. My moment came when I decided that October 2008 was the perfect economic climate in which to quit my government job as a Foreign Service Officer at the State Department, become a professional artist and inventor, and start my own handcrafted paper business out of my home. The kitchen table became my workspace, and over time every other available space in my apartment became the home of boxes of envelopes, printers, paper cutters, and stacks of paper. Thankfully I had early encouragement, as within 3 weeks of starting the business I had my first sale, a box of 6 handmade thank you cards.
As a generous boss, I gave myself a lot of opportunities to work on all the sections and departments of the business. I was the head of Accounting, Chief Photographer, VP of Customer Service, IT guru, lead consultant for Special Projects, and of course “the one who makes the stuff”. Once I even scored Employee of the Month! For a long time it was on Etsy alone that my sales grew, and at the same time I was able to grow as an artist and a business owner.
At the beginning of 2010 the limit of operational capacity in my apartment was reached, and I was able to move into a first studio space, which is now one of three studio spaces at the current Digby & Rose retail location in NW Washington, DC. The business naturally moved beyond just selling on Etsy, as referrals from previous clients and a local reputation grew. (Also a worldwide reputation, as I’ve now done invitations for clients as far away as Uganda, Switzerland, and Argentina…and we’re really big in Australia!) By now I think we’ve graduated from “micro” to “small” business!
So I now get to work with customers that are at a particularly happy moment in their life, on a very personal item, their wedding invitations. It’s a chance to be creative and indulge a love of letterpress, where every finished order is like a new present. A big thank you goes out to all of my clients who have put their trust in me to make invitations they love. There was a lot of hard work involved with many of the ups and downs you’ll hear from many small businesses, but getting started was really made much more possible by the ability to sell my first items through Etsy. For all it has changed and all of the criticisms mentioned in the NPR piece, for myself I can only say Thanks Etsy for Helping Me Grow a New Life!
Sunday, December 23, 2012
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Basketball Bat Mitzvah Invitations by Spark
- Colors & text your choice
- 100% cotton paper
- Matching pieces available
- Minimum order quantity 50
Want a great way to embrace your basketball loving daughter’s unique personality as she approaches her Bat Mitzvah? These letterpress invitations were designed with a fun and vibrant basketball theme to represent her favorite sport. The orange and purple graphics and text were designed and laid out to provide a Sydney-personalized NBA logo, with her nickname where the basketball team’s name would be. These invitations were a slam dunk in setting the tone for a championship night of celebration.
The Significance of a Bat Mitzvah
When a Jewish girl turns 12, she celebrates her coming of age. As she is called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah, the little girl is accepting her transformation into a fully responsible young woman. She is now ethically responsible for her own actions and decisions and will so forth have the same rights as an adult. The Bat Mitzvah is also a momentous celebration, complete with a party!
When your little girl celebrates her Bat Mitzvah, she takes her first steps into adulthood, but don’t worry, she still has her childhood dreams! If one of those dreams includes a passion for basketball and hopes of becoming a WNBA star, why not use that passion and dream to best represent her during this significant moment? Personalized basketball Bat Mitzvah invitations are a great way to portray your daughter’s unique character, while at the same time providing an attention-grabbing invitation that won’t be forgotten. If you’re looking to design a custom invitation, contact us today to get started. We’ll help you choose the colors, graphics and paper to make your invitations perfect.
Friday, December 21, 2012
Summer has been associated with weddings for years and, in fact, prices and availability for wedding venues, flowers, tuxedos and just about everything else tend to spike, especially during high wedding season in June. As a result, plenty of wedding parties are beginning to look for inspiration in other seasons and winter is quickly becoming the new summer when it comes to a beautiful seasonal backdrop for wedding ceremonies and parties.
Winter and Holiday Themed Weddings
Winter weddings can be a heck of a lot of fun because they often take on a Christmas or festive theme in order to play up to all the aspects of the season. Holiday themed flower arrangements pop with color thanks to the deep red of poinsettias against the vibrant greens and bright whites of other Christmas flowers like holly and mistletoe. The colors for winter and Christmas themed weddings can be anything from the ultra-traditional red and green to more modern takes on the season which incorporate white or silver with a crisp light blue and brown or a deep burgundy against a forest green with gold accents.
Christmas Themed Wedding Invitations
Wedding invitations sent out for Christmas-time weddings need to stand out so that they don’t get jumbled up with the usual round of Christmas and Holiday cards that become commonplace after mid-November. You can make your invitations stand out just by using soft cotton or bamboo envelopes that are addressed by a calligrapher. Another way not to get lost in the shuffle is to consider a royalty size invite (6 X 9).
- Sending out Save the Date cards at least 9 months in advance, will put the event on the calendar by April and then send out the invitations by the beginning of November to ensure ample notice and to allow time for an RSVP;
- Using a unique and memorable, single non-folded card with and elegant script font with simple information of who, what, when and where. It’s usually-Save The Date-Lisa & Steve-Are Getting Married-December 21st 2013-Washington, DC. There are no rules to follow for a Save The Date, just have fun with it; they don’t even have to match your invites. We suggest that they’re interesting and pretty enough to be displayed for the months leading up to the event. Here’s one we did that features a calligraphy style DC Metro map.
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year… And Your Life
Planning a winter wedding can make your special day truly stand out – not only for your guests but also for you and your future husband or wife. So embrace the holiday aspects of the season to make your wedding unforgettable – all the way from your initial Save the Date and Invitation cards through to holiday inspired decorations and the cake. There are plenty of themes to play on through the winter and best of all in cities like Washington, DC the winter months are off season so hotel rates and packages can add up to quite a savings with plenty of things to do including a brand new ice rink in the heart of Georgetown that’s bigger than the one in Rockefeller Center in NYC.