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Small Business, Stationery

Erin Ruth Gift Wrap

August 30, 2007

I’m excited to share the launch of reader Erin Ruth’s new collection of couture gift wrap, available October 1, 2007 (bookmark alert!). Each paper is available as oversized 24″ x 36″sheets (great for gifts or craft projects) or rolls (2 sheets per roll) and printed on 80# text paper with a silk finish for an ultra-luxurious feel.

Erin Ruth Gift Wrap
The paper is high quality, in fact it doesn’t even crack when creased. If NYC had a signature gift wrap, I think it would be any of the papers by Erin Ruth. It just has that New York attitude, sophisticated, stylish, timeless. I can see tastemaker Kate Spade wrapping her presents in these patterns, especially Hannah, a darling black and white houndstooth.

Erin Ruth Gift Wrap
I’m blogging this a month in advance of her store launch because a lot of shop owners read decor8 and Erin is looking for wholesale vendors nationwide as well as online retailers. She’s looking for any help we can give her for this budding business.

And for readers, if you’d like to order something you see now, Erin will gladly take your order via email: contact AT erinruth.com, just tell her you saw her on decor8. Thanks Erin for telling us about your new gift wrap company – best wishes for a happy launch!

(images from erin ruth)






Etsy Faves, Stationery

Modern Printed Matter

August 24, 2007

Have you heard of papergoods from Modern Printed Matter in Rhode Island? In business for a few years already, this small business was primarily in the wholesale biz up until recently when owner Anna Cote found out about etsy and decided to branch out and meet some of her customers by opening a small store there under the same name. Her designs are bold and I love the VW bug travel journal because c’mon, how many of us would love to own a vintage bug like that? Have you seen my vintage Audi? I keep it over in Germany… And yes I’m kidding but it’s the car I’m secretly hoping the owners will sell to me someday.

Modern Printed MatterModern Printed MatterModern Printed Matter

(images from modern printed matter)






Inspiration, Stationery

Papaya Stationery

August 15, 2007

I heard about Papaya via Yvonne and fell in love with the imagery and colors used in this stationery line. Some of these cards would be so pretty framed, others to give (of course), and still others to incorporate into your collage art, decoupage projects, or simply to tack on your inspiration board. I say this all the time, but use things like fabrics and greeting cards to create a palette for a room you want to redux. Why stress out over pulling together the perfect colors when you can look at your favorite pattern and pull the colors from there?

Papaya StationeryFor instance, if you love a card, take it with you to the paint store and match paint chips to the colors in the card. Match them as perfectly as you can. Then bring them home and lay them out on a pure white surface next to the card. Having the colors in solid squares helps you determine where you’d like the color in your room and how much of it. Look at the card design to determine how much of each color was used in the design.
Papaya Stationery
Let’s say you like this card. Here you see vibrant turquoise and pinks, tempered by gray (the card border), black (in her hat), brown (in the wings), olive and other tones of green, etc. Then there’s this tiny hint of mustard. So I’m thinking that if you build a room around this card, you can either use mustard as gold (hardware), or mustard can be part of a textile you find. The brown can be your wood tones. You may even decide that you’d like to translate the colors a little differently, maybe less pink and more mustard. Bring pink in with flowers or a ceramic bowl for your keys.

Get inside the mind of a graphic designer for a minute as you lay out your colors and inspiration before you. If you have magazine clippings of the sofa you want, the chair you’ve been drooling over, pull these in too. Determine where you want your colors. Do you want color on the wall? Or just the soft furnishings? Do you want to paint your walls white and paint only the moldings in color, perhaps in a pale turquoise? There are so many options when it comes to decorating, and for those who find themselves color confused, taking inspiration from textiles, cards, etc. is a great way to get your creative wheels turning. You can start by looking for your inspiration right here.

(images from papaya)






Etsy Faves, Stationery

Simply Photo

August 3, 2007

Simply Photo sent over her new postcards the other day, they are so pretty and I like the simplicity, I think we’re all charmed by simple things because life can be pretty complicated and our homes can become quite cluttered as a result. At times, we find ourselves craving a simple way of life. Simply Photo offers us a glimpse into what that life might look like, if only we could attain it… :) As always, beautiful work Jen!

Simply PhotoSimply PhotoSimply Photo
(images from simply photo)






Etsy Faves, Shopping + Products, Stationery, Travel

JHill Design *New* For Fall & Etsy Boston Show August 2nd

August 1, 2007

Boston’s own Jennifer Hill of JHill Designs sent me the nicest email today announcing the release of her Fall collection of “Places I Have Never Been” (Thank you Jennifer!). You can pick up her colorful travel-inspired notebooks and things right here.

JHill Design *New* For Fall & Etsy Boston Show August 2nd
And if you happen to be in Boston tomorrow night (August 2), visit her and her friends between 6pm-8pm at the Etsy Boston show in Jamaica Plain at the Corner of South + Carolina. For more show information, click here.

(images from jhill design)






Etsy Faves, Stationery

Turtle Papers

July 31, 2007

I think it’s important for creative types, especially those who work on their own as independent artists, to continue pushing the envelope and design from the heart, let go of fears, not design based solely on what will sell or according to what trend setters forecast to be the next big thing, but show your true colors and what you stand for in your work. Isn’t that what indie artists set out to do in the first place, rebel a little and have ultimate creative freedom?

Turtle Papers
And while I’m completely open to trends and enjoy shopping for something trendy now and then, I set a rule for myself as a consumer that I’ll only buy something that’s a so-called trend if I truly like it. No peer pressure, in other words. For example, I’m not about to hop on the skull-as-a-motif bandwagon simply because it’s a trend. I don’t like skulls and no matter how hard I’m being told that I should, I don’t and that’s the end of it. I’m also not a fan of chintz. Call it my southern upbringing, but I think being around it for years has left me a bit uninspired by it. (Sorry, Domino.)

As consumers, we have the choice to shop for what we like. As indie designers, you have the right to explore the possibilities and dive into whatever it is that you’re passionate about. Jump!

This is precisely why I like Turtle Papers. This lady designs what she likes, using motifs she enjoys, and sure cupcakes are a bit trendy, but it’s okay to incorporate a popular motif into a collection if you truly like it and you’re taking a popular motif and giving it your own spin. But if everything you create is based on a trend or what the market is telling you will generate the most money, then designers may find themselves losing their joy and passion over time. Isn’t that why some leave corporate in the first place, because they are tired of designing what their company tells them to, according to their standards? Some of the most successful small business owners are those that go into something because that is what they wanted to do and they are designing products that reflect parts of themselves. As a result, they may not always generate huge profits, but they are happy and happiness is priceless, right?

At the end of the day, being happy and authentic, being yourself, is more important to me than anything else. So if you are considering opening a store selling your wares, go with your gut and push the envelope. Design products that you are passionate about. Put the independent back into independent design.

(images from turtle papers)






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