Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Inspiration Day: nautical stripes

It's funny how our client's designs tend to bleed into our every day lives without us even realizing it. For the past two weeks I've been obsessed with getting a yellow cardigan. Not just any yellow cardi, either. It needs to be a canary-mustardy yellow. It all began with this nautical striped shirt I bought from Gap.

Photo credit: gap.com

It's cute, right? And it's all the rage with fall trends. So I happened to be walking by H&M and there it was. My yellow sweater was in the store window. It was the exact shade of yellow I was looking for and it was the right price. I immediately ran in and began scouring the racks, but it was no where to be found. (This is why I have a love/hate relationship with H&M.) So I asked a sales associate when a new shipment would be coming and apparently the store gets them every day, but they don't know what ships when. So, of course, I've been incessantly going to H&M for no reason to look for my yellow cardi. So far, no luck.

I began to wonder what my problem was. Why did I need to have a yellow sweater to go with my nautical striped shirt? Besides the fact that all the fashion & home blogs are talking about it, what was really my inspiration behind my madness? It finally hit me this morning as I was going through my pintrest boards. We have been working on a lovely Save The Date for a St. Barths wedding and I found my inspiration:

Photo credit: pintrest

Photo credit: pintrest

Photo credit: pintrest

Can you see a theme here?

The bride actually found us while on a flight to San Fran. She was sitting next to Jen on the plane and was searching for wedding invites. Jen found out that she lived in San Fran and was planning a destination wedding in St. Barths. Long story short, she became our client (and ironically lives down the street from Jen!) and we are now doing her STDs. The couple wanted a travel/ St. Barths theme for their wedding suite and the yellow / blue combo seemed to fit perfectly. Before doing this wedding, we didn't know much about St. Barths besides the fact that:

1) It's in the Caribbean

Photo credit: go.cvg.com

2) It has gorgeous blue water

Photo credit: go.cvg.com

3) Celebrities like to play there, such as Jay-Z, Lindsey Lohan and Fergie.

We think that is Jay-Z's yacht, on the very bottom of the pic :)

So, we created several options for our bride-to-be; most of them having a touch of the blue and yellow color scheme that I've become obsessed with. We'll get to show those chosen design to you soon. (Sorry for the tease!) In the mean time, I'll be on the lookout for an alternative to my yellow H&M sweater. Any good suggestions on where to find one?

Friday, August 19, 2011

The little booth that could

Here she is. Our little booth. She's a beaut, right? After our crazy-hectic-running-around-getting our-shiz-ready-for-the-show-week we were ready to show off our booth in all of her glory. We called her Booth #1929 (only because that was our registered number in the show catalog, but that's besides the point). We birthed a really cute booth that we were really proud of.

Here is a smattering of our new cards. They're making their way to our etsy site, so be on the lookout for them! They are being added daily and should all be posted by next week.

So we had this fun idea for figuring out which cards the buyers were liking. We had about 20 different little jars to put beside our cards and whichever jar was the full of jelly beans at the end of the show, the buyers would get a discount on that card. Well, we learned a few things during this show:

1. Be sure to take into account the extra room the jars will take up on the shelf when planning out the booth. We had to take about 15 of the jars down because we didn't have the room for all of our cards! This led to buyers not being able to vote for a certain card they liked. Oops.

2. Buyers like to look and not participate in silly voting games. We thought it would be fun and interactive, but it turned out to be a bit of a flop. We got some people to vote, (thanks voters) but in the end, it wasn't as many as we had hoped. We weren't really worried about it though. Jen and I basically ate all the left over jellybeans anyway.

common, look how cute those jars are!

We had to take a picture of our orange ends! They look good, right?

Thing #3 we learned about tradeshows: People love free stuff. (we knew this already having a background in advertising) but we didn't realize how powerful a bowl full of jelly beans can be. People were making a B-line to our jelly beans and they weren't even a) buyers b)interested in our cards c) were buyers, but did not sell stationery. We were totally glad to give them away, though. Jen's dad bought us 3 huge jars at Costco and we needed to get rid of them. Especially since we were eating jelly beans for breakfast, lunch and our afternoon snack.

We also gave away jelly beans in little SWAG bags. Those were a hit!

Here were our business cards and catalogs stacked next to each other. We had a few comments about our cards looking like coasters. Maybe b/c they were in a stack?

Our catalog was letterpressed as well. We were so happy when people complimented us for our unique catalog.

....And this was us after the show. Ready to have a drink and relax and start thinking about the next gift show we are going to do.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Kim K's Wedding Affair

Being part of the wedding biz, we (and everyone else out there that gets sucked into celeb gossip) have been uber-curious about the Kim Kardashian wedding. We put "the" in front of Kim because this feels more like a holiday spectacular, rather than a wedding. It's so much about Kim that we tend to forget that she's getting married to what's-his-face; that super tall basketball player with curly hair. Obvi Kim's people are pretty tight-lipped about the affair, but thanks to E-news, TMZ, and twitter a few details have leaked.

Here is our breakdown (or, rather, our snarky remarks) on what we have found out about the wedding:

1. The guest list: Top celebs who may or may not attend - Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, Will and Jada Smith, Ryan Seacrest, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Kanye West, and Eva Longoria. We get the Ryan Seacrest connection and the other A-listers, but why is Justin Bieber being invited? It's a bit odd in our book. He said he had a crush on Kim. They were told to do a photoshoot together, and now they are best buds? Wonder what Selina Gomez or the tall basketball player thinks about this:

2. Dress attire: Black Tie, however guests must either wear black or white. Don't get us wrong, we love a great LBD, but we've never been to a wedding where we were told what to wear. Sure, it's an honor to be a part of the wedding party, but that means you forfeit your rights to what actually looks good on your body type. We've all been a victim of horrible bridesmaids dresses, so it would be slightly annoying to be told what to wear when you're not in the wedding.

Pics courtesy of tackyweddings.com
Note: We totally could have looked at ugly bridesmaids dresses online for HOURS. It's quite the blackhole to get sucked into. Try it out. You won't regret it, but you'll realize that 2 hours has snuck past you and you'll wonder if you were accidentally rufied.

3. The Wedding invitation: Alright, they got us. We don't really have anything snarky to say about this one. We gotta admit, this invite is stellar. The monogram is beautiful and the detail flourishing is gorgeous. It totally conveys the look of the mandated black and white attire and the box, (book, holder... whatever you would call it) makes the wedding feel regal. We'd love to find out how much it cost to create and mail these invites, but thanks to reality TV, the Kardashian name and all of Kim's business ventures, I'm sure it was a drop in the wedding budget bucket. Our only questions is what will guests do with this invite? You can't really hang it on the fridge or post it on a bulletin board. And what will you do with it when the wedding is over? It's considered a sin in our book to throw away anything letterpressed, so will guests throw this phonebook-invitation in the trash? Ugh. It hurts our hearts to even think about it.

Overall, we are sure this will be a beautiful, celebrity wedding. The Kardashian's are known for their great taste and fashion sense (plus large sums of cash can make anything look amazing) so we can't wait to see the whole shebang when it's all said and done. We bet there will be pictures leaked by Sunday morning and you better believe we'll be the firsts to check it out on Enews! online and Perez Hiton. Wedding comments to commence next week ;)

Monday, August 15, 2011

What a long strange trip it's been...

To quote the late, great Jerry Garcia, these past two weeks have been one long and strange trip. From the moment I arrived in San Fran to the time I got back on the plane bound for Atlanta, it was all systems go. We thought the San Francisco International Gift Fair (That's SFIGF for those of you in the trade show biz) would be a way for us to dip our feet into the trade show pool. Little did we realize that once we committed to such a thing, we were on the high-high-dive of that pool and some sassy, smartalec kid was shoving us from behind making us fall head-first into the deep end. Let's just say the learning curve for gift showing was steep. However, with what little sleep we got, the excessive amounts of caffeine we consumed and the love and support from our friends and fam, we had an uber-successful gift show! We even met some really cool people along the way and learned that the love of paper is still alive and well. Those people made our hectic week totally worth it.

So, for all of you curious peeps out there, here is part uno of our booth set up. As you can tell, I had the camera most of the time, so Jen was our model for each step we captured. (Thanks, Jen for being a good sport).

Step 1: Buy shelving and spray paint it

This is Jen showing off her SoCal tagging skills from back in the day.

It case you can't read that, it says "Lil Dragon". Maybe tilt your head to the side?

We thought it would be super cool to paint the ends of the shelves orange. No one seemed to really notice, though, but we knew it was there.

Step 2: Go to the trade show center and paint the booth. There was literally no one there when we arrived at the Moscone center. They didn't even have our booth set up.

This is our "where is everybody" depiction.

Notice the guy setting up our lighting as we paint.

This is me jumping up the wall to try and paint the areas we couldn't reach.

Step 3: Install our beautifully painted shelving. Can you see the orange ends?

Step 4: Put up our name decal. This was the most nerve-wracking thing we had to do. Two sticky sides to the sign, plus psyching ourselves out b/c we if we screwed up we couldn't get a new sign= no bueno.

Step 5. Hang up framed signage. At 12:30 the night before we could not figure out the configuration we wanted for these signs. It was probably b/c our minds weren't firing on all cylinders. We finally figured it out by 1am and it paid off! We got many compliments from passer-byers on the signage. Win.

Step 6: Move in furniture. Then step back and admire the booth. In this picture, we were pretty much done w/ all the heavy lifting. We just needed to add our final touches and our cards.

Stay tuned for part dos of the booth set up. We'll be posting that later in the week, so you can see how awesome it looked. When it was all said and done, we pretty much loved our booth and were sad to take it down when the show ended.

Oh! and on a funnier, or shall we say ironic note, a few posts back we were stressing about the carpet and what we wanted to do for the flooring. Well, we scrapped the idea of putting floor tile down because my dad pointed out it would have taken over an hour to lay the tile. (thanks, dad) And the rug that we bought from Overstock was poo-poo, so this is what we ended up with:

It was the actual carpeting that came with the booth. Not too shabby SFIGF ;)