A year in review - 2018
I wasn’t intending on opening this blog post with the usual, “ I can’t believe its the end of the year already” “Another year been and gone…” but seriously where in the hell has it bloody gone!? I really enjoy doing these yearly write ups as I think its so important to look back on the year you’ve had, and its always the case that you have achieved far more then you thought. So here are some of my favourite highlights from this year:
Back in January (which genuinely feels like a lifetime ago now) I launched my new branding and business name, Violet Paper Studio, from former name Vicky Perry Wedding Stationery. At the time this business and journey had grown and matured so much that is was time to give it the new lease of life it deserved. Detaching my own name from the brand allowed me to see it from a different perspective and it took away all personal connotations which at the time was holding me back from making certain decisions.
I really loved the whole rebranding process from choosing my name to designing the new logo and branding materials. I had the intention of creating a blog post around the rebranding process and how I went about it but time just slipped away as it does, so here is a little insight into the name making decisions and the very sketch that turned into my logo.
I started the process with researching to really define my brief and my outcomes for what I wanted this new branding to be. The books How to Style your Brand & Brand Brilliance both by Fiona Humberstone were my bibles and I loved using these as my tools to create my brief. I went through every stage from establishing my customer architects to brand colours and visuals. This led to a whole stack of papers and scribbled notes and I really felt like I had put down every thought possible. Which was so important when I needed this new brand to really stand the test of time.
Once I was happy with my notes I created more of a digital mind map to start the journey of putting together visuals and mood boards.
After sketching on screen I decided to opt for a more hand drawn feel to reflect the creative nature of my products, see below for the original sketch!
After a lot of tinkering and adjusting I had my finished logo and brand elements and I was so pleased with the results. I launched the new branding on January 7th and its been doing me well so far!
In March I packed up all my things and trekked through the awful snow to the Truman Brewery in London for a weekend exhibiting at Most Curious Wedding Fair. I know I have banged on about it enough but it really was a real highlight for me to be in amongst so many amazing suppliers and the couples that I met there have been some of my best clients to date. I wrote a full post about my experience previously so if you scroll down a little further you can have a read all about it.
One of my goals for the year is to release a new template design, at best a couple. This for me is where I get to really design something that is 100% me and allow future couples to see my style. This year I released two templates, Olive & Botanic, and now Botanic has over taken Vintage Floral to be the most popular. These two templates have seen a big variety in terms of the couples who purchase them and how they decide to adapt them to suit their own needs. Colours, fonts and sizing have been adapted and I personally love it when a couples can create their own look using a template design. In my opinion this is one of the factors for a successful design.
Eeek! Possibly one of the most exciting points in this list is in April I took a giant leap of faith and decided it was time to quit my design day job and really try to make a go at this little business. Now it’s December and I can whole heartedly say I am SO proud of myself for taking that leap. It has definitely not been easy, really bloody hard in places but the most important thing to remember is that I am doing things my own way and making my own money from something that started as a hobby, and that is something that nobody can take away from me.
I didn’t quite realise how miserable my day job made me, having to design for people and companies that I didn’t care for and that they didn’t care for me, the designs I was creating were purely transactional, and it now brings me so much joy to say that I honestly love creating each and every design for my clients. If you can see a better future for yourself just bloody go ahead and do it, time is so precious!
Now, this could seem a strange one to include in my highlight list seeing as I didn’t actually win, but being nominated for a regional award and going through the process of applying and gathering my client votes really was a great experience for me. I remember having that moment of doubt when submitting my application thinking what on Earth am I doing! I’ve only been trading for 2 years and I simply don’t have the numbers to win. But learning that the voting process was based on an overall average score rather than the amount of votes I thought that this could possibly be something exciting. I entered because I truly believe I offer an exceptional service, and seeing my votes from clients come in was so nice to see this being a reality (and not just something that I had pictured in my head!)
Receiving that news of being a regional finalist was major for me, it was a real moment of acceptance within this incredible industry of professionals, I was on parr with some of the best. And despite attending the ceremony and not coming home a winner there was no way I could not include it in this list because of the great things that it did for me. And heres to the awards next year, because you never know right!
Another goal of mine for this year was to get involved with a styled shoot as I hadn’t done one before and I could see the real potential it had in terms of advertising my designs and services. I got in touch with the lovely Helen from Margots Wedding to see if I could be a part of her Nordic inspired shoot she was creating for a new feature in her magazine. After happily accepting I felt my Botanic range was perfect for this and I also created some acrylic place name cards with wax seals and foliage to go with the designs.
I absolutely loved seeing the final images when they came through and below is just a few, I won’t share too much as the full shoot will be featuring in their special January issue which will be in print on the shelf for the first time! I can’t wait to get my copy.
As a nice way to round off I thought I would share some of my favourite bespoke designs from this year. I have had a real mixture of briefs for a range of completely different weddings and that is one of the best things for me, to be able to offer multiple styles to suit any theme.
I feel so lucky to have such a range to choose from and every single client has truly been a dream to work with, I can’t thank you all enough.
Here’s to celebrating all the things achieved this year and hopefully a bigger and better 2019 (where I’ll be tying the knot too! eeek.)