Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday Talk :: A new series + an interview with me

Welcome to Tuesday Talk! A new series...yes another one!...where I interview someone (usually) in the paper/stationery/wedding industry.

I used to do something similar to this when I first started my blog. But, I was still looking for my voice & discovering the purpose of this blog, so it fizzled out. I think I've got that figured out...but more on that in a second.

On Fridays, I used to post a weekly round up of stationery - Cards of the Week, remember? I loved that series. After telling a friend of mine that I was doing that - posting a round up of other stationers cards each week - she said,

What? Why would you promote your competition?

My blind went blank. What was she talking about? I didn't see it that way at all. By promoting other stationers...my comrades in paper...I'm promoting my industry. I'm networking. By doing that, I'm helping my business, not hurting it.

There is a saying: there's a lid for every pot. Well...there's a style & greeting card for every occasion. Maybe I create it. Maybe someone else does. The point is to entice & encourage you, dear reader, to send cards. To send proper invitations. To make life fun & beautiful for you & others through paper & accessories. Snail mail rules! That was the point of Cards of the Week. And that is the purpose of Tuesday Talk.

Let's get started...with me.

Where does your business name come from?

It’s my name! Well, my first initial & my married name. I played around with a lot of different business names. K. McBatty was a strong contender – it’s a combo of my maiden & married names. But, getting married & having my husband in my life is a HUGE reason I’m able to do what I do, so I felt it was important to honor that in my business name.

We are heavy into wedding season! What kinds of choices are you seeing brides make this season? Any similar themes or colors this year?

I have had a million (ok…a little less…) requests for quotes for my wedding menu doilies this year. So, the handmade & vintage looks from the last few years are still going strong. Brides seem to be choosing darker ink colors this year though.

Also, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that kraft envelopes for invites are going strong. I’m very happy about this trend!!

Did you design your wedding invitations? Can we see???

Yes! I did & you have! You can see them again on this earlier blog post. I still love them. Which is saying something because I felt a lot of pressure to have an awesome wedding invitation. You can’t tell people you’re an invitation designer & then not blow their socks off with your invitation. Fortunately I've been told: mission accomplished.

Your style is very clean & uses lots of white space. Elaborate:

In design school, I started thinking of design in terms of layers. You put them on, you take them off…you adjust until you are communicating your message the way you intend. I suppose I’m a minimalist! I like small touches in the design – like a bright color or interesting font. I don’t like to add design elements just to fill the page…I seriously have a little claustrophobia & it bleeds into my work. Apparently. I also like balance & organization so I tend to chose fonts that all line up nicely.

How’s it going with your calligraphy practice?

Slow…now that A: I have a puppy & B: it’s warmer outside, I am forced away from my winter habit of sitting inside all day. It’s harder to make time to practice, but I’m still doodling here & there. Don’t worry. It’s not going way!

Tell me your favorite/most memorable/funniest greeting care you’ve received.

Oh man. That’s tough. I have a collection of my favorites from over the years. I love to pull them out & re-read them. Each one brings back memories.  A few come to mind – when we first started dating, Chris (my husband who I always refer to as Mr. B on the blog) gave me a card with old cheerleaders on the front. The inside made a remark about “shaking my pom poms” for my birthday. It still makes me laugh. 

Also, a fellow art director at an agency I used to freelance in drew a card for me based on an office inside joke. I was SO touched! Everyone signed it! I could go on! I've saved post cards my parents sent when I was in Europe, birthday cards from girlfriends. All special memories!

Your shop really expanded in 2013. Notepads! Gift bags! How do you decide what kind of product to launch next?

So much of what I do & design is driven by 2 things – what I want to use in my own life & questions I get from clients. I love fun notepads…so I started designing them. I LOVE fun wrapping paper. So, I’m working on that. Last fall I overheard 2 people talking on the sidewalk about taking a bottle of liquor to a party. I noticed they were carrying a bottle of something, but it was in the brown paper bag from the liquor store! All crumpled & generic. What?! A product idea was born.

I also look at the reasons that people give gifts, send cards & have parties each year. I ask myself if I’m providing a product my clients need for that time of year or occasion? Do I offer enough options? And I go from there…

Do you have personalized stationery & what do you use it for?

Yes! I use it for everything! I recently letterpressed my first set of monogrammed stationery. I also use the Dottie & Framed Monogram sets from my shop. I use them for thank yous, hellos, miss yous…gift enclosures…sending articles to my mom…paying bills…whatever I need. I include a handThat is the beauty of classic monogrammed stationery. You can use it for anything.

{postcards I ordered from One Fine Dae}

Where do you go when you need a greeting card?

First, I usually go to my own stash. Both those that I make & those I’ve picked up here & there. When I see a greeting card I like, I buy it regardless of if I have an occasion coming up to use it for. Many of the cards I sell in my shop were created because I needed a card & couldn’t find what I wanted. Voila – an idea is born!

A few of my favorite shops: Papel on Court Street in Brooklyn, Kate’s Paperie all over NYC, Greenwich Letterpress in the West Village.

Online: Etsy is full of great cards! The Cheeky Kumquat is one of my new favorites. She is hilarious!!

Who are a few of your favorite Etsy shops?

Oh man, the list is loooooong. Here’s a random assortment:

Ilara Designs – great baby gifts & I have one of her pillows.
Frits and Fraulein – swoon worthy bags & accessories. Love.
BowSprite – great illustrations.
The Sitting Tree – I’ve been learning how to knit. Love her buttons!

And 2 stationers we’ll be hearing from in this column soon: Farewell Paperie & Puddleduck Paper Co.

What are you up to this summer?

Finishing my e-commerce site. Get ready for a big holiday push! Taking some trips to North Carolina to see family. Boat rides on Long Island with Chris. Post something else other than pictures of Sophia on Instagram!

It's not often that I talk to myself (as far as you guys know. Ha!) & I hope you've enjoyed it. In a few weeks I'll be talking to Mattie Tiegreen of Puddleduck Paper Co! Come on back!

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