06/29/2013

it’s been waaaayy too long!

Posted in business, meant to be sent, NSS national stationery show tagged , , , , , , at 4:24 pm by meant to be sent

Image

a big hello! and whoa. it’s been FORever! i’m still here and a super busy bee (hence the looong silence!). soooo much has happened in the past few months! i have lots of fun new stuff to share in the coming weeks!

for now a few quick things…

first. the mtbs brand got a little makeover!!! SO excited about it… it’s so me and (i think) the perfect evolution of my brand.

the updated logo incorporates a version of my “happy arrow” design (that i’ve been having so much fun using in a few new products too!)…it seemed like a perfect fit and the “mark” that my brand has been missing. i thought it was such a fun way to incorporate more of my full color palette into the logo, too! and it complements the candy stripes pattern i use as an accent graphic and in lots of products too!

oh, and the update also involves the touch of glam i’d always planned to incorporate — shiny gold of course! ahhhh. just right. all these little details add up to the “casual luxury” aesthetic behind my designs and the perfect look for mtbs. i hope you love it!

me and my shiny new brand went back to nss this year too, with over 100 new paper goodies and a shiny new booth design in tow! (we built it this year so lots more to come on that!) it was tons of work but the show was AMAZING. insane as always (especially the prep leading up to it topped off by a house fire the week before the show! we had to move out for over a month!!! :/ ) but, it all worked out and the show went better than i could have hoped for —  tons of awesome new stores added (updated list coming soon!), some super amazing new connections made and maybe the best part…catching up with old friends.

now, here i am (in nearly the middle of summer(??) seriously. where has the time gone?!) busy filling nss and wedding orders, working out details of some exciting new things (!) and definitely trying to take take in the summer while it lasts!

that’s the quick update for now! but the whole new line will be available in my new shop — which yes, is STILL in the works. *sigh* BUT is getting very close and am hoping for a launch still this summer.*fingers and toes crossed*!

BUT, you can still check out the paper goodies catalog and let me know if you’d like to order something! or if you have a retail store and would like to carry mtbs in your shop, drop me a line!

ok, that’s all for now! but stay tuned for lots more updates and an nss recap too!

xo
robyn

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02/09/2013

meet the style library designs :: tee time

Posted in style library collection, wedding invites, wholesale tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:07 pm by meant to be sent

tee-time-suite

next up, from the perfectly preppy collection — the tee time design.

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the tee time design was created for a preppy pair with country club style. they swoon over fun colors and sweet details. and since they met at a company golf outing…naturally he got down on one knee on the green.

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about the style library…
at mtbs, we are all about color, pattern, simplicity and something for every style and budget. so this, and all of our designs can be customized with colors and fonts and printing to fit with your personal style. then, dress it up even more! add envelope liners, bellybands and backing layers to mix and match pattern and color to create a one of a kind look!

each of these designs (and more!) will be available in our online shop (launching soon!!) and are already in stores nation wide! check out our list of stores on our website to find a retailer near you! or contact us directly if there’s not one nearby :)

if you’re a retailer interested in carrying our line, please contact us and let us know which albums or products you are interested in!

awesome photos by caroline & evan photography / styled by every last detail

meet the style library designs :: cabana chic

Posted in style library collection, wedding invites, wholesale tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:31 pm by meant to be sent

cabana-chic-suite

next up, from the perfectly preppy collection — the cabana chic design.

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the cabana chic design was created for a the couple with sophisticated, seaside style. their taste is impeccable, but they’ve got their casual side too. in fact, they’re the perfect mix of casual and luxury…and certainly don’t mind getting sand between their toes.

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about the style library…
at mtbs, we are all about color, pattern, simplicity and something for every style and budget. so this, and all of our designs can be customized with colors and fonts and printing to fit with your personal style. then, dress it up even more! add envelope liners, bellybands and backing layers to mix and match pattern and color to create a one of a kind look!

each of these designs (and more!) will be available in our online shop (launching soon!!) and are already in stores nation wide! check out our list of stores on our website to find a retailer near you! or contact us directly if there’s not one nearby :)

if you’re a retailer interested in carrying our line, please contact us and let us know which albums or products you are interested in!

awesome photos by caroline & evan photography / styled by every last detail

meet the style library designs :: gramercy park

Posted in style library collection, wedding invites, wholesale tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:38 pm by meant to be sent

gramercy-suite

next up, from the perfectly preppy collection — the gramercy park design.

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the gramercy park design was created for a preppy pair with modern style. they love pattern, but want something classic, yet with modern sensibilities. oh, and they’re not afraid of color! they love to take strolls in their quaint downtown and wouldn’t miss a round of golf at their posh country club. you can bet they’ve got a super chic event planned.

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about the style library…
at mtbs, we are all about color, pattern, simplicity and something for every style and budget. so this, and all of our designs can be customized with colors and fonts and printing to fit with your personal style. then, dress it up even more! add envelope liners, bellybands and backing layers to mix and match pattern and color to create a one of a kind look!

each of these designs (and more!) will be available in our online shop (launching soon!!) and are already in stores nation wide! check out our list of stores on our website to find a retailer near you! or contact us directly if there’s not one nearby :)

if you’re a retailer interested in carrying our line, please contact us and let us know which albums or products you are interested in!

awesome photos by caroline & evan photography / styled by every last detail

01/12/2013

nss prep school :: budgeting

Posted in NSS national stationery show, wholesale tagged , , , , , , , at 12:30 am by meant to be sent

hello all! it’s approaching that time of year again…time to prep for a major paper-palooza….at NSS of course! so i’m picking back up on my NSS series from last year (oops! i promise to try and post tons more!) and i thought it’d be great to pick up with a post on budgeting.

this is a somewhat tricky topic because it all depends on the individual. BUT. there seems to be an overall budget range that i fell into and have heard many other first-time and repeat exhibitor friends say they landed on as well.

i thought since we’re all creative types, it might be fun to look at a visual representation of a basic budget….enter, the nss by the numbers infographic! i had a lot of fun putting this together and was a great refresher on budgeting for my own planning purposes for this year’s show!

this is of course in no way affiliated with nss and is just a basic budget based on my own show expenses. so, take what you will from it and hopefully it will help you to see about how much to expect to spend in some general categories.

nss_infographic

the infographic is divided into these categories:

  • booth costs: booth fee, walls, electric, lighting, furniture, flooring, fixtures, general supplies (office type stuff, like pens, scissors, stapler, xacto knife, ruler etc., along with every kind of adhesive under the sun for quick booth repairs if needed)
  • marketing: preshow mailer, catalog, press kits, order forms, line sheet, giveaway, business cards
  • travel + shipping: your travel / airfare / cabs, shipping (freight and/or shipped boxes)
  • lodging: hotel / apartment, food

one thing the infogrpahic does not include is cost of actual products. this is SO different from person to person, so there’s no good way to put a number to it. so that will need to be figured separately — and should be anyway, since it is likely not part of the SHOW cost as much as part of the cost of goods you’ll (hopefully) sell!

that being said, producing products for the show CAN be a big cost, so definitely consider it in your overall budget! especially if you are producing invitation albums with all new designs, or doing cards with specialty printing like letterpress or foil. because, you’ll want to be able to represent the actual finished product, and with letterpress for example there’s really no quickie way  to fake it til you make it…so, you will likely have to do a full run pre-show . which can really add up when running several new designs.

however, if your products are flat printed, digital is a great way to run samples of your work for minimal cost just for the show and then do a full offset (or larger digital) run after you gauge interest at the show. either way, plan to drop some cash on product production!

some other things to consider are: parking (at the airport or in the city if you drive), entertainment (there are lots of fun things to see and do in NYC along with events and parties during the show!), also, consider the many opportunities to enter awards shows and other competitions during the show — some are even FREE!!!

there will inevitably be some unexpected costs and things you may have to add on-site or ship last minute (which always costs more than doing ahead of time!) but in general, this should be a pretty good guide to how much you can expect to spend to exhibit at NSS in an 8×10 booth with foam walls and hang out in NYC for 6 days.

i hope you find this helpful! another post coming up soon with a bit more detail budgeting and more specific costs!

07/18/2012

yay hooray! my shiny new site is LIVE!!!

Posted in branding, business, meant to be sent tagged , , , , at 3:04 pm by meant to be sent

yay hooray!! it’s been a looooonng time coming, but it’s finally here!!! the shiny new meant to be sent website is live!

i am so beyond excited to announce the new site and can’t wait to hear what you all think of it!

the site is the result of a pretty epic design collaboration that started well over a year ago. (YES. a YEAR.) that’s when i realized that, as a designer, it’s pretty hard to design for yourself. so after much searching for the perfect partners, i finally enlisted the help of some fab designers to help bring my vision to life!

and some pretty big thank yous are in order…

first things first…
mtbs got a complete overhaul, so it started with branding. i had a LOT of ideas of what i wanted for my new look and kendra from hi design helped me sort it all out. we worked closely together to come up with the new design…it turned out that two heads were better than one and our collaboration was the perfect look. she also brought my pattern ideas to life and put together an amazing color and font palette. i can’t thank kendra enough for her patience, ideas and general awesomeness. major xo :D

then came the site…
once i had the general look nailed down, i collaborated with lauren at aeolidia on the site design. lauren was equally awesome and i loved working with her! she took my zillion ideas and plans and molded them into something amazing. and, was so patient! her willingness to collaborate made it so fun to bounce things back and forth until we came up with a look that was just right. huge thanks to lauren and aeolidia for all their help and guidance in this huge project!! thank you! thank you! thank you!!!

soooo…
what took a year?! good question :) i wrapped up working with those fab girls quite a while ago, but launching a new site is a TON of work. i had all sorts of delays on my end and still had a few pages to design…then, the more time that passed the more my brand evolved as did the site design. so some tweaks here and refinement there and a TON of work in to styling the content areas to make it all flow in a cohesive but unique structure…and…then there was the photography debacle of 2011. it took forever to find just the right photographer and stylist (more on this in another post!!) enter caroline & evan photography and lauren from every last detail…these girls ROCK. they were just the combo i was looking for and the last piece of the puzzle…and then…

there was the coding. oh my the coding…i have a basic understanding of coding, but um..yea, no. i stay out of that! that was alllll joseph from the producer studio. and he did an amazing job. i can’t thank him enough for all his hard work, patience and insight. seriously awesome work!

and…

tada! the new meant to be sent
so what’s shiny and new? everything!! the new site is a cozy new home for my designs with a focus on custom work. it’s alllll about the pretty pictures…of course there’s details and info and all that, but it’s really a place to show the work.

be sure and check out our readymade (style library and signature) and custom wedding + party invitations…and if you’re a retailer, be sure to check out our wholesale section! we’ve also got a list of stores where you can buy the new style library designs (with more coming soon!) and tons of details about ordering custom designs.

that’s not all…our new online shop is just around the corner, launching later this summer! it’ll be packed with all of the style library and signature collection designs along with a whole new line of paper goodies — notebooks, notepads, cards, giftwrap and more! i cannot wait to share it with you!

be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay in the loop and be the first to hear about all the deals and steals and when the new shop is open!

have a look around! i hope you love it!
xo
robyn

06/10/2012

meet the style library designs :: yacht club

Posted in style library collection, wedding invites, wholesale tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:56 pm by meant to be sent

next up, from the perfectly preppy collection — the yacht club design.

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ahoy mate! with a love for all things nautical and a life full of adventures,
a wedding aboard a yacht was a must for this couple. their their style is
simple, but full of personality, so mixed typography and simple graphics
are the perfect combo to pull this look together.

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about the style library…
at mtbs, we are all about color, pattern, simplicity and something for every style and budget. so this, and all of our designs can be customized with colors and fonts and printing to fit with your personal style. then, dress it up even more! add envelope liners, bellybands and backing layers to mix and match pattern and color to create a one of a kind look!

each of these designs (and more!) will be available in our online shop (launching this summer!!) and are already in stores nation wide! check out our list of stores on our website (launching this week!) to find a retailer near you! or contact us directly if there’s not a retailer near you :)

if you’re a retailer interested in carrying our line, please contact us and let us know which albums or products you are interested in!

awesome photos by caroline & evan photography / styled by every last detail

05/29/2012

meet the style library designs :: park avenue

Posted in style library collection, wedding invites, wholesale tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:07 pm by meant to be sent

next up, from the perfectly preppy collection — the park avenue design.

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the park avenue design was created for a preppy pair with park avenue style. they’re not afraid of color, or mixing stripes and polkadots for that matter! and are likely to be found weekending in the hamptons and jcrew is surely their favorite shopping spot.

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about the style library…
at mtbs, we are all about color, pattern, simplicity and something for every style and budget. so this, and all of our designs can be customized with colors and fonts and printing to fit with your personal style. then, dress it up even more! add envelope liners, bellybands and backing layers to mix and match pattern and color to create a one of a kind look!

each of these designs (and more!) will be available in our online shop (launching this summer!!) and are already in stores nation wide! check out our list of stores on our website (launching this week!) to find a retailer near you! or contact us directly if there’s not a retailer near you :)

if you’re a retailer interested in carrying our line, please contact us and let us know which albums or products you are interested in!

awesome photos by caroline & evan photography / styled by every last detail

05/27/2012

meet the style library designs!

Posted in style library collection, wedding invites, wholesale tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:08 pm by meant to be sent

long long overdue, but better late than never :)  …a new series highlighting each and every one of the style library collection designs!

first up, from the perfectly preppy collection — the row house design.

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the row house design was inspired by the chic parties that i imagine take place in the quaint row houses in new york’s upper east side. a silhouette is the focus of the design…it’s paired with crisp barbershop stripes and bold colors…making row house a perfect invitation suite for a couple with a uniquely modern, super-polished yet fun style.

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at mtbs, we are all about color, pattern and simplicity and something for every style and budget. so this, and all of our designs can be customized with colors and fonts and printing to fit with your style. then, dress it up even more! add envelope liners, bellybands and backing layers to mix and match pattern and color to create a one of a kind look!

each of these designs (and more!) will be available in our online shop (launching this summer!!) and are already in stores nation wide! check out our list of stores on our website (launching next week!) to find a retailer near you! or contact us directly if there’s not a retailer near you :)

if you’re a retailer interested in carrying our line, please contact us and let us know which albums or products you are interested in!

awesome photos by caroline & evan photography / styled by every last detail

05/20/2012

NSS 2012

Posted in meant to be sent, NSS national stationery show, wholesale tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 2:26 pm by meant to be sent

it’s that time of year again…time for the biggest paper party around — the national stationery show! the party’s in NYC but this year, we’re doing something a little different…a VIRTUAL BOOTH! (a little preview of the site above!) we couldn’t make it to the show this year, but we  have a ton of fun things in the works and still wanted a way to for retailers, press, reps and the like to be able to see what we’re up to! the result: a virtual booth you can check out right from your computer!!

we’re working on a whole new line of paper goodies — sweet treats for your paper cravings — that includes notebooks, notepads, matchbook notes, giftwrap sheets + tags, and flat and folded notecards and greeting cards! the booth is just a preview of the new goodies that are shipping this fall, but you can pre-order now to be the first to carry these in your shop!

we’re really sad to miss the big show, but super excited about all that’s shiny and new at mtbs and hope you’ll check out our virtual booth! you need a password, so if you didn’t get our mailer and are a retailer, member of the press or rep, contact us to get the secret password!

also, launching in just a few days…the brand new meanttobesent.com!

stay tuned…so much going on around here! :D

xo
robyn

06/02/2011

NSS recap :: part 5…pulling it all together

Posted in meant to be sent, NSS national stationery show, wholesale tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 10:58 pm by meant to be sent

though the researching phase never realllllly ended, (actually is STILL going on for a few minor things) i did finally get to a point where i had gathered a ton of info, vendors and ideas (TOO much!) and it was time to make some decisions and begin to pull it all together.

like i mentioned, my branding was TBD for most of the planning process…which made it a bit more difficult to decide on anything, but it finally started coming together just in time to pick out and finalize all the fun stuff!

also, i had been testing several printers to use for my new collection, but had pretty much narrowed it down…and just in time because the it was finally coming together plus i had some super fun ideas for my catalog/mailer (one piece would double as both) and press kits to do. so now, to just execute it all and make some FINAL DECISIONS. but honestly, making decisions and moving on was one of the hardest parts…because every decision feels so monumental. but, once they are made…it is the. best. feeling. ever!

there was a ton to pull together, so where to start…lets see…how about…

the line…
as my line started to come together, the concept for the collection did too and it was feeling more like a real line. i had decided on four styles (perfectly preppy, completely classic, well traveled and very vintage) to launch with and the designs were really starting to feel like a cohesive collection. so i finally got everything together (all four books!) and sent it off to the printer (which i finally picked too!!)…and a few days later i had a TON of paper goodness delivered to my door!!! this made it all so real…i actually screamed out loud (and may have jumped up and down) when opened it! eeeek! it was like christmas at my house for a good week or two with everything arriving…

below :: the shipment of alllllllll my new designs :D

SO. with the designs all figured out, i was super excited, but felt like i still was missing just a little something for my line…

the basic premise of my collection is “something for everyone”…hence the different styles…soooo to build on that even more, i decided to offer several types of printing —digital, offset/thermography, letterpress—for all of the designs in all books. this worked well since most designs lend themselves to all types of printing, so it seemed like a plan! and something for every budget too! and that was the missing little something…check!

even tho my designs were all printed, i was still having a zillion convos with my printer about using special papers to help set my line apart even more, at least for digital printing (actually STILL finalizing this, but should know this week!). so along with the different printing came different pricing…to help keep it super simple, i decided to offer pricing based on printing and type of piece across the board instead of different pricing per suite. easy-breezy.

to even further expand on the something for everyone idea, i took six designs from the preppy collection and turned them into a line of boxed imprintables…those REALLY came together at the last minute as there was a printing mistake and had to have them redone and shipped to my HOTEL! ahhh! so i literally packaged them up in our hotel room right before the show started! yep. that’s them below in a horrible iphone picture on the bed at the hotel! :)

while i was finalizing the collection, i started to realize that i was essentially creating a library of style books…so i started referring to it as the “style library”…and bam! it all started to fall into place. (well, at least conceptually :D)

along with my new style library concept came all sorts of fun ways to tie everything together and really have things feel cohesive. i was SO excited to have a bigger idea to wrap everything around…

and it all started with…

the albums
even before the name came to me (and maybe this actually sparked the whole idea!) i knew i loved the idea of a library spine on my books, as well as the idea of a thick chipboard cover….just something about the mix of the textures that spoke to my aesthetic and what i typically do with my custom work (i.e. tons of layers and texture whenever possible!!)

so i asked some of the album vendors i had found to price these out, and ultimately, i picked a vendor that had awesome fabrics and allowed me to do just the number of albums i needed to do for the show. (that was a HUGE relief since a lot of places require you to do 50 or 100 as a minimum and couldn’t fathom that at the time)

at one point, i thought i might want to do a different color spine per book…but i couldn’t decide which colors!! i had gotten hung up on enough of these kind of decisions and was running out of time…plus it felt right to keep them consistent, airy and neutral like the booth, and let my designs bring in the bold colors and pop out of the books. so i found an awesome shimmery whitish cream color that was perfect against the greyish chipboard. yay!

i decided to add a pocket to the inside to hold “style boards” that would show all of my colors, papers and fonts for easy viewing while looking at a design in the book (rather than having to flip back and forth with these on pages in the binder). all about keeping it simple ;) oh and the pocket was also made of the shimmer fabric..it turned out sooooo neat!

below :: a picture of the chipboard and fabric swatch from my album vendor and the sketch of the pocket i added.

i got it all finalized and ordered soon after…the books came in and they were SO stinkin’ cool! it made it feel like everything was finally coming together…except you’ll notice the books are blank!

below :: the books when they arrived!

for the outside of the books, i had to improvise at the last minute because my original plan to screenprint each book title and my logo on each book was astronomical at such a small quantity. so, i had to kick researching into overdrive again and thought i had found a local vendor to pull it off (and for a great price), only for them to bail on me the week before the show. NICE. so i tried to think of any way i could to salvage the plan…i considered doing decals, iron ons, rub-off transfers, you name it. but ultimately i ended up doing a sticker on the spine and a raised plaque on the front with my chevron pattern and logo, both printed on shimmery paper to match the look of the spine. it turned out great and will be keeping the cover plaque but screenprinting the spines for the albums that were ordered at the show!

here’s how they turned out

{ tip: it is SUPER important, and might seem like a no-brainer…but you need to make sure that everything is consistent…from your website to your biz cards to your mailer to your products and booth to your catalog and press kits. it just makes everything feel like you have a strong brand and a solid business as well as a professional and pulled-together look. definitely something you want! :) }

to keep with the neutral, high-end look, i decided to use chipboard pages in the same greyish color. they seemed perfect since they were super substantial (1/16″ thick!) and of course matched perfectly with the books since it was chipboard. but to my surprise, even the super-thick board still tore during the show from all of the turning of the pages! which i guess is good because that meant a lot of traffic! but i was so not happy that happened…so i have since found another route that is super similar and even stronger, since it is not as soft as chipboard. more on that later….

the rest was in the details…
coming up with terms, pricing and process for ordering. finalizing the color palette (SO not easy if you heart color like me!) and font list for my style boards along with the paper swatch board…and finally laying out and sticking the printed samples to the chipboard pages. it was amazing how everything really came together when i added the fun envelope colors.

below :: pictures of the madness in progress!

this is the process of making the swatch boards. i xyroned my paper colors and used my handy-dandy accucut to cut out sticky-backed squares for the boards! brilliant! (or so it seemed at 2 am two nights before i left for the show!)

doesn’t this shot remind you of candyland!?

more candyland…and as you can see a big ol mess…running out of space too!

album pages in progress!

the booth…
for the walls, as my branding was finalized, i knew i wanted to use the all-over chevron pattern and i had a pretty solid idea of how i would layout the whole booth. from the start i knew i wanted frames of some kind (real, printed or decals) on the walls to represent each collection and that i would fill them with the different designs. and i knew i wanted the whole thing to be pretty neutral (so i could let the work stand out against what could be a crazy pattern!). though i felt really good about it, it just seemed SO scary to send the art over to be printed on a BIG scale and not see it first! yikes!

so i had asked the vendor i was almost positive i would use… A. if i could get a test print (aka chunk proof) so i could at least see the how the colors and pattern would print on the material and on their printer. and B. when is the last possible date i can get you the artwork (crucial to know this!!!) so i would know how much time i had to tweak.

they were AWESOME to work with and more than happy to send chunk proofs (and fast!).

so i did a quick mini mockup of one wall and some swatches of color and my logo to see how it would all print. i did a couple different navys and tested some different tints of the chevron pattern and frames. they came back and looked great, so i easily narrowed it down, but still somehow kept tweaking the design ever so slightly up until the last possible day i could send the art. ha!

below :: the chunk proof with swatches of materials for my albums

i had a few vendors in mind for the walls…but the pricing pretty much decided for me! so at least that part was easy and proved to be the right decision all around!!!

whew! what a RELIEF that was settled!!

on to the rest of the booth.

like i mentioned with the furniture, i had all sorts of scenarios and combinations of pieces in mind…and only one thing was constant—the ghost chairs!  i knew almost right away (though i very seriously considered using some fabulous louis chairs in a cool pattern or bold pop of color) that these were perfect and would add to the airy feel i was after, and not feel heavy in a super small space. all of the rental places i looked into had the ghost chairs too, so that wasn’t an issue. but, i was on the fence about the table i would use with the two ghost chairs, and was still deciding if i would move forward with the cabinet i had designed (see below).

instead of the cabinet, i was considering a buffet/console type table but it was all dependent on how much product i would have and was waiting to see if i would need the extra space or not. in the end, i did not end up having the extra product ready in time, but i still went with the big display cabinet and was glad i did because it gave me lots of extra space and a lockable cabinet!

below :: initial sketches of booth and cabinet design

again, i asked this vendor to give me a “MUST ORDER BY” date to help me keep everything straight and on track. (i work better with deadlines!) i pretty much made the decision on the walls, the cabinet, and the furniture all at once. then i just prayed it all looked good together when i got there!!! (thank god it did! pictures of everything in the next post!)

so now, the only big thing that was outstanding for the booth was flooring. i had finally decided to use interlocking foam carpet tiles, A. for comfort and B. cost was not bad. and TONS of places sell these, so i was able to find a spot that had good prices and would send me sample swatches of the colors.

i knew i wanted grey to go with the rest of the look, but as you can imagine, its hard to tell from the swatches online, so i eventually got the samples i requested (after like a week of wondering if they were even sent despite my urgent request) only to find they did not even send the lightest grey color swatch, which of course was what i realllllllly wanted! i found out there was an error on their website and that the light grey color was not available in the cheaper tiles! UGH. more money! but luckily not TOO much more…but now the problem was, i was out of time and couldn’t wait for another sample. but they assured me the color was MUCH MUCH lighter grey than the two swatches i had…and so again, i ordered and prayed it was right! (and it was!! whew!)

carpet settled!

{tip: request samples (early if you can!)…even if you have to pay for them…and, have your final order shipped direct to your booth or hotel! most stores i ordered from seemed open to that…just beware of extra handling charges that javits applies for sorting anything that is not part of a freight delivery)

then there was lighting…i hemmed and hawed over that for a while too, but kinda decided somewhere along the line that clip-on lights from home depot were jussssst fine. especially when i found out that to have them provided by javits was $99 PER LIGHT to RENT! yikes! so i bought the home depot ones a couple weeks before the show and, to keep it easy, shipped them as part of a bigger shipment direct to my booth, despite the extra handling fee. which meant that WE were installing them, (which you are allowed to do in a small booth space up to a certain number of lights). it was not difficult and worked out fine. but this was one of the things i compromised on from my original just-have-it-all-done-for-me-no-matter-the-cost plan.

so the booth was pretty much set (but we were about three weeks away from the show so it better be!! )

now on to the mailing!

i had a super fun idea for my mailing and was on the fence about doing a catalog since they would be another huge expense and take lots of time to design… so, instead i had planned to do a dual-purpose piece that would be used as a mailing and a catalog type handout at the show! it was one large sheet that would be mailed out folded, but as it unfolded, each panel revealed more information about my line. and finally unfolded to a 17×22″ poster showing 3-4 designs from each of the style library collections! was a fab idea, and totally would have worked but i was cutting it a bit too close with time and budget to print enough to cover both the mailing and handout quantities i needed.

so, i ended up doing it but printing a smaller quantity of the poster and designed a simple postcard to mail out instead. saved big-time on postage and printing going this route! and being down to the wire, totally needed a little savings!

below :: the postcard mailing ready to go out the door!

{tip: postcards are only 29¢ to mail vs 48¢ for a letter rate/1oz size. even the bigger companies do postcards, so don’t sweat it! though, if your time and budget allow DEFINITELY consider a more unique approach that will stand out in the mail…i design a LOT of direct mail stuff at work, so trust me on this ;)

poster images coming soon!

press kits
next up, i had to tackle the press kit.

i was super excited about these and had a fun way to tie them into my style library concept. i handmade custom chipboard folders that mimicked the look of my albums and added a library pocket and custom library cards to the inside front cover with information about my business and my line…on the right hand side i created slit pocket to hold the poster and added slits for my shiny new business cards! i lined the inside front cover with printed shimmer paper with the chevron pattern and of course my booth number! (you will hear about your booth number A TON as you look into exhibiting. it is pretty much as important as your SS#!) i finished them off with a shimmery library spine and a wrap label with a circle sticker that had my booth number stuck at the end of the label. i was SO happy with how they turned out. one of my favorite parts and really glad i stuck to my plan and was able to pull it together.

below :: the kits in progress

the cover with library spine

the library cards (the top card was set up to look like books had been checked out and those books….were from the style library of course, with the date checked out being the date of the show :)

the second card was some info about meant to be sent and the last two were blank cards for taking style notes!

the inside spread with folded poster, biz card and chevron panel!

the final inside spread with the library pocket in place

the front cover with wrap label

back cover wrap label and circle sticker

lots of kits piled up and ready to ship to javits!

aside from those i had one other thing to put together…i had been nominated for the best new product competition in two categories! yippie! so i had to put boards together super quick before we left for the show…here is one from the perfectly preppy line, entered in the “all things wedding category”! sadly, i did not win, but it is AMAZING exposure just to be entered. your boards are prominently displayed at the main entrance for all to see. DEFINITELY enter if you choose to exhibit!

so i think that about covers most of the pulling it together part…all up until just hours before we hopped a plane to JFK!

up next: PART 6—showtime!

04/06/2011

NSS update!

Posted in NSS national stationery show, wedding invites, wholesale tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:49 am by meant to be sent

whew. it sure has been a while! but i am still here :) just been working like crazy getting ready for the national stationery show (just over a month away!!!! ahhh!) there is SO much going on behind the scenes over here and hope to start posting some pics (if i remember to take them!) of all this stuff very soon! so what has kept me so busy you ask? i have been working on an entirely brand-spankin’-new line of wedding stationery (which i hope to debut ALL of at the show, but it is still TBD just how many will be completely polished and ready for the world…BUT i will tell you there are 60 designs in the works! and some of those designs will also (eventually) be offered as DIY imprintables, as well as notepads and some other fun items. i cannot wait to get this all done and ready to show you!

so, how about a little more detail on the new stuff?
this entire process of developing the new stationery line has been based on one main idea :: a fresh, simple approach to wedding stationery. not only in look and colors, but also in the shopping and ordering process. i wanted a new idea that i could wrap my collection around that wouldn’t feel as overwhelming and cumbersome as some of the giant albums out there. so i decided to shake things up and create a style library —you guessed it!— with books organized by style/theme! with the way weddings continue to evolve and become more and more personal, it just feels right and new and fresh…and a way to really focus on personal style when looking for the perfect wedding stationery. each book within the library will also be a bit streamlined (15-20 designs per book) with its own color palette, papers and fonts selected specifically for each style. pricing and options will be clear and simple too! all designs will be offered with flat printing with some available in letterpress and thermography. as i mentioned, the initial roll out at NSS is TBD as i polish them up but hope to initially include  four styles—perfectly preppy, completely classic, well traveled, and very vintage. and the line will continue to evolve into a full library of styles with something for everyone!! the books will be offered to retailers individually or as a set for a special rate.

the designs will be available for wholesale, thru retailers and on my new site. (eeeeek!) yes, that is what else has been going on—a complete rebranding, new site + blog are in the works! my new look along with my new line will debut at the show…and for the site, i will likely do a soft launch right before NSS and have the fully functioning, shiny new site ready just after!

so. that’s the scoop! stay tuned for more NSS updates and be sure to stop by my booth #2154 and checkout some books from the style library and my shiny new look! :)

01/12/2011

a little math + a preview!

Posted in invitations, wedding invites, wholesale tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:43 pm by meant to be sent

wedding season + a new collection + new branding + new site and blog + national stationery show = a super busy girl!

that is going to be me for at least the next four months while i get my new collection, branding and site launch ready, all before the national stationery show in may.

it. is. a. LOT. of. work. and definitely going to be tough…but, i am so so so excited that it makes it all a little easier. i cannot wait to finish it all and show you guys! so stay tuned for updates and sneak peeks along the way! i am going to attempt to log my progress pulling this all together on my personal blog.

so. my new collection. well, it will definitely include a wedding album (of course!) with lots of fun, fresh new designs in four mini collections with something for everyone! in addition to the wedding invitations, i am planning holiday, baby, everyday and accessories albums in the near future.

though i am still doing some planning + tweaking + editing + deciding…below is a little update / quick sneak peek at a couple of the ensembles i am working on, just to give you a little taste :) these designs are from just a little part of one of the mini collections…hope you like them…i would love to hear what you think!

my new albums including these designs and lots more will be available for wholesale purchase for retailers, and on my new site as well!

 

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11/11/2010

collection preview + a contest!!!

Posted in wedding invites, wholesale tagged , , , , , at 12:40 am by meant to be sent

omg i am so excited.

i have hinted at it. even teased with peeks at patterns and parts of designs on twitter. this time…a preview of a SIX designs from my brand new wedding collection (much more to come!) AND a chance to win a set of 100 invites before you can buy them!!!

how do you win you ask? just head on over to broke-ass bride and leave a comment on the site. yup. that’s all! and each comment per post counts toward an entry!

and, if you somehow don’t know all about dana and her fabulous site, broke-ass bride you must check it out! and don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter so you can always be the first to know all of the best deals and steals. so spread the word, join the conversation and win!

i can’t wait to work together! good luck!

09/27/2010

a little sneak peek…

Posted in wedding invites tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:11 am by meant to be sent

so as i mentioned, i am so excited to finally be working on some super fun new designs for a whole new line of mtbs stationery albums… i have been thinking about it for about a year and a half now, so it’s about time!

each pattern is inspired by a texture, fabric or material, like herringbone or moroccan tile, or a style like nautical, preppy or mod…

here is a sneak peek at just a few of the patterns that i am working on and will be incorporating into my new line. lots more to come! all will be available in several fun color combos and of course will be part of fresh new stationery designs!

interested in wholesale/carrying my new line in your retail shop or online store? just email! :)

09/20/2010

big big things happening at mtbs!

Posted in advertising, branding, wedding invites, wholesale tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:41 am by meant to be sent

ok, i just can’t contain myself any longer. there are so many new and exciting things in the works at mtbs i can hardly stand it :) that being said, i can’t help but give a teeny tiny sneak peek at what i am up to…


eeeeek! ok, branding makes me happy (if you couldn’t tell!) and has always been a passion of mine. i just love the idea of creating a whole new look and bringing a brand to life with its own unique personality…logos, color schemes, typography, identity systems, style guides…i love it all!

starting in november, i will begin offering branding packages for small businesses…at first i will be taking on just a small number of branding clients, and will open up more slots in the new year. so if you are interested, step right up! email me for package pricing, to reserve your spot and get the ball rolling. (and get a special discount for the first group of clients too!)


and speaking of branding…you will soon see a fresh new look for meant to be sent too! it’s been a few years and is time for a bit of a polishing. so stay tuned for that plus a whole new site and blog design too! hoping to launch all of that fun stuff in early 2011!


i am SO excited to be adding wholesale to my business!! it is a whole new world that i cannot wait to explore. i am in the process of designing all sorts of fresh new pieces for my stationery albums and eventually packaged cards and DIY kits too! if you are interested in preliminary wholesale information email me for details and more info about what i have planned as well as anticipated launch dates. { a little hint } you can count on bold colors, fun patterns, layers, texture, sweet details and TONS of fun typography…


along with a new blog design, i will also be adding space for a small amount of ads for all of you fabulous wedding vendors out there! more information to come on that…but of course feel free to email me any time if you are interested!

and, there’s even more in the works! but for now…back to regularly scheduled programing…up tomorrow :: tuesdayshoesday, of course!


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