Meet Josie, owner of Ivory Isle Designs, a design studio focused on wedding stationary and watercolor portraits of wedding locations.
Josie started her business quite by accident. As a bride-to-be searching for wedding stationary, she was looking for options that spoke to her and fit within her budget. When Josie couldn’t find what she was looking for, she used her design experience to create her own wedding stationary!
We asked Josie to tell us about her business: “At Ivory Isle Designs, we paint custom watercolor portraits of venues and animals, and design wedding stationery, both with the paintings we create, and without. Our stationery includes Save the Dates, Wedding Invitation Suites, Itineraries, Welcome Signs, Programs, Place Cards, Table Numbers, Bar Signs, Thank You Cards… you name it.”
When asked what she loves most about her job, Josie told us about her passion for the job by saying that it really doesn’t feel like work at all. Josie tells us that she’s “always loved creating – whether it be painting, sewing, graphic design or woodworking – I’ve been building my entire life.” When it comes to designing custom pieces for clients, she uses what she’s learned as a life-long creative: “Each client we take on is its own challenge: how do we put this client’s love story to paper in the most beautiful way, at an affordable price? I love those challenges. I’m always pushing to try new techniques, to find those personal details in a couple’s story that can be added to the painting or design to make it even more special.”
So, how can you order from Ivory Isle Designs? Josie tells us, “Some clients choose to order from our website and it’s a simple and brief transaction. However, most clients come to us when they are looking for Save the Dates and stay with us as their stationery all the way through Thank You cards after the wedding, so we can sometimes have years of getting to know them, which is fabulous!”
When it comes to working with clients to create their perfect stationary, Josie says, “The clients and I each bring different ideas to the table. They know what they like and what they are wanting the wedding day and, in turn, the stationery, to feel like. I know design, art and paper and I take their ideas and bring them to life. It’s a working partnership with a lot of communication, and it does also involve some trust. My clients know my work, and my history of 15 years in the business. They share all the details they can with me, and then trust me to be the artist as I put together initial concepts. They also trust that I know the ins and outs of wedding stationery etiquette so I can guide them to ensure everything is just how it should be.”
What is her most popular product? Josie says the watercolor venue portraits are the most sought-after item. And the best part? This item is very versatile! The portraits “are often used on Save the Dates and can be reused or used solely on wedding invitations, envelope liners, vellum wraps, belly bands, programs, thank you cards, wedding day signage, etc. The options are really endless, so most portraits get used more than once. Our clients also get to keep the original watercolor paintings to matte and frame and have as a really special keepsake of their wedding day, which means so much to me.”
If she could give advice to couples when it comes to their wedding stationary, Josie would tell them “to create stationery designs that feel like an extension of you as a couple. If you’re understated and classic, stay traditional in your stationery. If you are bold and wild, let that energy come through! If your venue is beautiful or personal, highlight it, especially on the Save the Dates. It gives your guests a glimpse at what they can expect on your wedding day and it really gets them excited. Create wedding stationery with a professional whom you trust. Don’t try to go it alone. Many times, it can be more affordable than you imagine. Many of our clients say, ‘When I first saw your work, I didn’t think I would be able to afford you!’ They are often pleasantly surprised to find that they can have wedding invitations designed just for them without breaking the bank.”
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Josie as much as we did! To learn more about Ivory Isle Designs and to see Josie’s work, visit their website.
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