We are spicing things up a bit this afternoon, and handing over the blogging reins to one of our favorite stationery stars, Gia of Betsywhite Stationery, for our first monthly installment of Behind the Scenes – where we pull back the curtain to the studios of some of our favorite designers! You’ll understand why we are kicking off the series with Betsywhite once you take a look into their lovely studio and see the amazing way their brain goes from inspiration to stationery reality with each design they touch. It’s really amazing, so I’ll stop blabbing and let Gia take it from here!

Hello SMP readers! I’m so thrilled that Abby has asked me to share a little about our studio with you! First, let me introduce myself. I’m Gia Graham, owner and Creative Director of Betsywhite Stationery – a design studio offering invitations and stationery for social events.

As a graphic designer, I initially started out in the world of corporate design. After working on countless boring brochures, I decided that I needed something more inspiring to fuel my creativity so I started designing wedding invitations about six years ago. I quickly realized that although it was important to create beautiful stationery, it was just as important to make sure those designs were reasonably priced. With that in mind, I set out to build a collection of deceptively affordable invitations and stationery. We launched our online store in 2008 and we’ve been designing invitations for brides worldwide since then!

I love the atmosphere in our studio – it’s a bright, airy, music-filled space. We’re pretty laid back around here. A typical day starts with a quick meeting to talk about what’s on the agenda for the day and to make sure everyone’s on the same page. The first part of the day is spent answering customer inquiries, revising proofs and filling sample orders from the day before. The rest of the day is usually spent creating proofs for new orders, packaging completed orders and depending on the time of year, working on new designs.

I think it’s important to be surrounded by the things you love and things which inspire you, especially if you work in a creative field. Here’s a sneak peek at our space

The details:
fig. A: My desk
fig. B: Aimee’s desk (one of our designers)
fig. C: The vintage Hermes 3000 typewriter my hubby gave me for my birthday a couple years ago (it makes me happy)
fig. D: The Hermes 3000 types in an insanely adorable script font. Every now and then I type a little note so I can admire the font.
fig. E: Vintage postcards
fig. F: Tulips are my fave!
fig. G: My pinboard

The design process:
Ideas for new designs are constantly bouncing around in our heads. I usually jot things down as I think of them, or I pin things (on my actual pinboard or on my Pinterest boards) that spark new ideas. Sometimes inspiration will come from an object, a trend or even a color palette. Before a design makes an appearance in the store, it usually goes through several revisions, variations and critiques. We’re pros at nudging and tweaking around here!

Here’s a peek at how our minds work…

For the Dylan wedding invitation, I wanted to play with hard lines and feminine details:

With the McKenna wedding invitation we wanted a romantic, vintage feel:

The Arya wedding invitation was inspired by colorful sarees and ornate mehndi:

One of my favorite things to design is our wedding logos. More often than not, these designs begin as quick sketches and it’s such a thrill to see the final designs used by brides to brand their entire event, from invitations to favors. Here’s a look at how a couple of those designs began…

Thanks so much for taking a peek into our world! Congrats to those of you who are recently engaged… we hope you’ll join our circle of fabulous Betsywhite Brides!

fig. 1: Thread art by Dominique Falla  / fig. 2: Scallop lanterns via Martha Stewart  / fig. 3: Wooden scallop image found here / fig. 4: Thread art by Dominique Falla  / fig. 5: Doily image found here / fig. 6 + 7: Gertrude Jekyll and the Country House Garden via Design Sponge / fig. 8: Doily photo by Jose Villa via Style Me Pretty  / fig. 9: Image found here / fig. 10: Mehndi image found here

Thank you Gia for sharing all of the prettiness that is your day to day! So inspirational! xoxo, A.Blaire