Mooching around the Etsy Wedding Fair, we were struck by a Sepia Smiles arrow (visually, not literally) and were taken with its originality. Looking around at the other designs on view – pretty pastel colours with a whisper of metallic glitz – we stopped to talk shop with its creator, Rosey, who has recently given up her day job to follow her passion and craft unique wedding and events stationery and accessories.
I have always been a creative person and loved drawing, but it wasn’t until I found out about Etsy that I started to teach myself to design and make things to sell. Initially I made unique handmade cards and then I started getting requests for wedding invitations in a similar style.
My best designs happen when I’m happy…I get inspiration from so many places – sometimes I find inspiration on social sites like Pinterest, sometimes while I’m out and about browsing in shops, watching films, anything really. And sometimes it just comes out of nowhere. My best designs happen this way – I open up a blank page on my design program, put some tunes on and away I go. That’s when I am at my happiest!
I think, what makes my designs different is that I don’t get inspired by the usual suspects. I am very much into the modern design aesthetic found on American and Canadian design blogs and stores. They always seem to be two-three steps ahead with design trends compared to us in the UK. I also do not design for the mass market. I create what I want and if it doesn’t sell like hot cakes that’s fine with me. I just can’t design and sell something that I am not really proud of or that is too ‘normal’.
Some clients know very clearly what they want and some are happy to be completely led by my ideas, so the first thing I do is to find out what sort of style and impact they are looking to achieve. I often suggest they take a look at my Pinterest boards for inspiration. I find Pinterest is a great way for me to collate ideas for products and to give people a good feel for my design aesthetic.
If it is possible I will always try to meet with my couples, but this is rare as most of them are quite far away or in another country.
After discussing their design preferences, finishes and quantities etc. I will go on to create some proofs and see what they think and go from there. I always like to keep my clients informed on where I am in the design/production process and when they are likely to receive their order by way of a planned timeline from the initial design stage through to receiving the order. I understand wedding planning can be stressful so I would rather keep them up to date than have my lovely clients worrying!
One of my most popular designs are my decorative ‘cupid’s’ arrows. I always get asked about them, but I can’t quite pinpoint exactly where the idea for them came from. They were trending a couple of years ago and I remember thinking they would make great decorative items for weddings and events. They are quite unisex too so they appeal to both men and women so are ideal for those who aren’t looking for something different that isn’t ultra feminine like most ‘traditional’ weddings. I also love anything boho or Najavo inspired so this probably had an influence on my adding them to my shop. Plus, I am a bit of a romantic at heart and love anything ‘cupids arrow like’.
Three of my favourite Sepia Smiles designs include a vintage style postcard I designed for a couple getting married in Dubrovnik. I loved designing this one as it gave me a chance to explore retro/50s travel style. Two other projects that stand out to me were a Gatsby themed wedding I designed stationery and confetti bags for and lastly some really sweet botanical floral invitation booklets I made for a Greek wedding.
If I had to give one single piece of advice to a couple planning to get married, I’d say to remember what the wedding is all about – one thing – it’s about love.
The first thing I would pack when going on honeymoon or holiday proves my vanity! It’s my make up bag! My make up bag is like a ‘grown-ups’ version of a ‘blanky’ I can’t go anywhere without it! The last thing I’d pack would be my phone and charger. I’d rather not be without it but I would cope, and probably like most people it would do me good to be away from it for a while.
View our favourite pieces from Rosey’s Sepia Smiles wedding stationery