Posted on Mar, 16. 2010 Category the big days Tags
I had been working with Asia since mid-2008, so I’m feeling pretty excited as her wedding date draws nearer! She sent me a box in the mail full of beautiful materials to work with, like the velvet ribbon wrapped around each handle and almost all of the buttons.
The buttons in Asia’s bouquet were given to her by her friends and family, which is cool because it’s like she’s holding a little part of them and their best wishes for her as she walks down the aisle.
The big rhinestone pin in this hairpiece belonged to Asia’s great-grandmother and it has special meaning to her because Asia remembers seeing her wear it often. I love all of those kinds of details. The pin is also removable still in case she wants to put it on another flower or wear it alone.
I also made tons of boutonnieres, pins, corsages, and three bridesmaid’s bouquets!
See the rest of Asia’s flowers on Flickr. xo
Posted on Mar, 14. 2010 Category in my closet Tags
I spent a lot of time this week getting ready for the Omaha Fashion Week VIP runway preview show. That’s a big mouthful! It’s March 31. I have a discount code that can get you 25% off the ticket price that I’ll share later this week when I post more about that.
The Spring/Summer just-throw-it-in-the-bag handbag of my dreams arrived a few days ago and I’ve been taking it everywhere. No more big black bags! Out with the hardware, in with the canvas and pastels! I’m ready for beautiful weather!
Really, really running out of clothes.
Shirt: Forever 21
Wrap: Tee Party
Bag: Heritage Leather Co
Bracelet and Watch: Vintage
Posted on Mar, 13. 2010 Category in my journal in the studio Tags
Today Decor8 posted a very thought-provoking article written by Erika Firm, president and designer at Delphine Fine Stationery and Design about the noticeable increase in “duplicate it yourself” projects in design industries–especially among brides, wedding blogs, and the wedding industry as a whole. This issue is particularly touchy for me and there is a great discussion going on in the comments. I felt moved to post on my own website with my impressions. Peppered throughout are some photos of my most amazingly original customers who inspire and motivate me every day.
Photo of Alex and Kim by Calla Evans Photography
These are the main thoughts that came to my mind after reading the article:
- Trust your vendors. We know that you want your big wedding day to be special, unique, memorable, and in this day and age, blog-worthy! You hired us in the first place because that is what we are experts at producing.Â As Amanda from Ruffled said, trusting your vendors is important because “…creative vendors, such as stationery designers, photographers, event designers etc. have the talent to use the unknown to create something completely unique.”
- You are creative! Jessica from Sweet Eventide wrote, “I have many friends who say point blank, ‘I am not creative’ and I just donâ€™t believe it. I think every single person has an ability to be creative but it takes effort to learn about yourself.” Projects like making an inspiration board and identifying what kind of design moves you is the first step toward claiming you own creative voice. use those photos and clippings as a jumping-off point and try to figure out what it is that draws you to that style. Is it something about the texture in the photos, the soft lighting, or a common detail like eyelet lace or natural wood? Use that knowledge to branch out of what has inspired you and think of other things you could incorporate and claim as your own.
- There is a real person behind every design (a point also emphasized by Erika, the original post author.) My business supports my family, enables me to hire employees and support their families, represents my true passion, and was built with years of hard work. Copying the work of a designer is not only potentially harmful to their bottom line (So what to you, right? You’re on a budget, right?), it’s also emotionally painful. Our ideas are our capital and copying it results in lost revenue, lost jobs, and missed opportunities whether the copier’s intentions are good or not.
- Open an honest dialogue with a designer if you find that the cost of their work is prohibitive to you. Every friend I have in graphic and textile design is happy to do this, so don’t be afraid that you are offending them. We often have other options, we can substitute materials, we can help you visualize a lower cost option. What is offensive is asking a designer for a price quote, then telling them you’d rather do try to make it yourself for less.
- If you copy a designer, they will find out! We see you!
Photo of Mariam practicing a dance for the reception by Christine Chang
I have felt very strongly about this issue–”duplicate it yourself”–for years. The first time I found that I was being copied by someone trying to make a profit–and I’m talking cut for cut, stitch for stitch–I became so depressed. It was in 2007. I lost days of productivity and just kept wondering and worrying. What if I can’t ever make a living doing this? How many customers have I lost? How many people have seen this embarrassing second-rate workmanship and associated it with me? What if I lose all my customers because this person charges less money? I was in the ethical “right,” yet I felt embarassed and ashamed and thought it would be unprofessional to say something publicly, let alone confront the copier.
Phil and Amy’s UK wedding photographed by Pete & Sue Hanysz
And it IS hard to know what to do. I wish that we designers had more knowledge and resources to learn how to deal with copiers. What is the best way to communicate disappointment and maintain professionalism? If legal action is appropriate, what do you do then? With the internet, it’s easy to feel like a small fish hiding in a big sea but we always do find out.
Sara Jane and Meg’s wedding photographed by Sarah Maren
Like I briefly mentioned in my most recent Questions From You post, I used to get extremely privately bent when I found someone on Etsy or elsewhere copying my work and my concept. Now I feel better because I feel like I have had enough mainstream exposure to establish myself as the authority on my designs. But, I admit that I see it as a “race to Martha.” Whoever gets on that show first with the embroidered felt flower bouquet and button boutonnieres will win in my mind. And that includes you, Martha–don’t you dare show your audience how to make one of my projects without me standing next to you sweating and stumbling!
Heather and Kevin’s DIY scrapbooking wedding photographed by guests!
The question posed by Erika on Decor8′s post is, “How do we, as a creative community, get others who might not see the difference to understand why copying is wrong (and get them to stop asking us to do it and get them to stop doing it themselves).”
What do you think?