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Behind the Scenes is quickly becoming one of our favorite features here in SMP land, because we LOVE seeing what makes the talents that inspire us tick. What their workspace looks like, how they do what they do (so well). And today we are getting a sweet sneak peek at how the minds at Minted work – the source for some seriously stylish stationery. It’s a feature you don’t want to miss, so settle in and get to know how all of those designs you adore go from inspiration to accessible reality…

Minted offers an extremely fresh, and ever-changing assortment of wedding stationery, printed on the highest quality paper. What makes Minted different from other stationery houses is that they crowdsource all their designs from an ever-growing community of indie designers. Each month they hold online design challenges for wedding stationery, holiday cards and other paper goods. Designers from all over the world participate in Minted’s challenges. People vote for their favorites and Minted sells the winners with the designers receiving a cash prize, as well as a commission each time their design sells.

Today, we get a behind the scenes peak at three of Minted’s incredibly talented designers’ workspaces, their creative processes, and some of their newest designs. When you buy from Minted, you are directly supporting uber-talented ladies (for the most part—they do have a few male designers, as well) like these!


Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a Midwest girl from small-town Wisconsin. I moved to Southern California for college and stayed there after for my first (and current and awesome) job with a scrapbook company. I’m recently married and a new transplant to Seattle. In addition to my designing job, I enjoy doing designing for Minted on the side. I drink way more coffee than a person should, love listening to podcasts and audiobooks and doodle pretty much compulsively.

Obviously we love your space, what was the first piece your purchased?
Thanks! The chair was the first piece I bought. My workspace is actually in my living-room (our one bedroom city apartment encourages creative solutions!) so I wanted a chair that wasn’t too office-like and could spin around to become an extra seat for when guests are over.. Other than your living room where do you pull the most inspiration? Fashion – I rip out so many pages of catalogues and magazines. Color combinations and pattern mixing, even the styling of certain layouts, is inspiring to me and often gives me a jumping off point. Also, my mini-notebook / sketchbooks. I keep about 7 mini notebooks amongst various purses and desk drawers – I constantly doodle, while listening in church or waiting for a file to save. Mindlessly doodling is so often a good place for me to stumble on new ideas or forms. I’ll peruse those when I’m stuck on a drawing.


Where are you most productive?
At home, switching between my desk and the couch – usually between the hours of 10pm and 2am.

What/ who inspires you most within the wedding industry?
Style Me Pretty is a huge inspiration! I love the sneak peeks into so many different styles of weddings. And I suppose that is also what inspires me – couples who make their wedding unique and honest to who they are. I love that the industry these days has a kind of ‘all things go’ attitude - it’s so refreshing and inspiring to see people make the most of a day that really is all about them and their families and the life they are starting together.

What does your work day look like? Are you scheduled? Do you like to take each day as it comes?
I work from home, so 8-5-ish I do work for my job as a designer for a scrapbook company. I usually take a couple hours break in the evening – go running, make dinner with my husband or just hang out – and then do additional Minted-related work later in the evening.

What was the main inspiration for your creative space?
Hmm… I don’t think I had a real inspiration for my workspace. The biggest challenge, like I said earlier, was making it work in the living room. Balancing attractiveness, functionality and space constraints has been tricky! I tried to keep things simple, clutter free and still leave room to keep visually inspiring reminders out on display.

Describe your creative process – from initial idea to end result (as best you can).
I usually start out with drawing – sketching ideas or drawing icons and type. I’ll scan these in and use them as starting elements. I use my wacom tablet often to draw. I make a huge mess on one illustrator document – seriously, it’s a terrible idea and has caused my illustrator to crash a few times – but I need to see everything in one place, and have the ability to move quickly from one design to another (i’m not a patient person). When I think I’m happy with a design, I move it to a clean illustrator document.

What makes you love what you do?
It’s fun! I love working on an idea (or half an idea) and seeing how it takes on a life of its own. Final products are so satisfying to me – I love when functional, practical objects are beautiful and designed well and I love (and feel honored!) that something I designed would be used by someone for such an important event!

Tell us a little bit about how you came up with these three designs.
Chalkboard was actually a bit inspired by my own wedding. I was drawing all sorts of pine and leafy branches for our just-after-christmas wedding and used some of them to frame the text on this invite. I was picturing an invitation that could be used as a chalkboard-type design element – I love how chalkboards have texture to their rich color. I love patterns- all different kinds, all over everything, mixing them up. When I was working on Simple Floral I was thinking of fabric and wallpaper patterns and wanted to make an invitation that made a pattern center stage. I kept the type super simple and modern so it wouldn’t look too fussy and busy. Ladybug Garden was an excuse to use all sorts of florals. I was thinking of whimsical outdoor weddings and more playful elements like felt, bright colors and ladybugs.

Chalkboard Party Board: 1. Minted Chalkboard Invite INV/chalkboard  / 2. Sequin Dress / 3. Wine Bottle Numbers / 4. Mercury Glass Candle / 5. Glitter Cake server / 6. Black + White + Color Reception / 7. Geronimo Balloon Sparkle / 8. Sequin and soft pink / 9. Wreath from Studio choo 

Simple Floral Party Board: 1. Outdoor dinner party / 2. Shoulder Bloom / 3. William Morris Wallpaper / 4. Cameo Mirror / 5. Magnolia Botanical Illustration / 6. Elderflower Presse / 7. Zinc Letter / 8. Wooden Letter / 9. Ghost Candle holder / 10. Minted Simple Floral Invite

Ladybug Garden Party Board: 1. Minted Ladybug Garden Invite 74O-INV/ladybug-garden / 2. Flower Vases / 3. Felt flower bouquet / 4. Quilt Wedding ceremony / 5. 31 Bit Bracelet / 6. Fentiman’s Rose Lemonade / 7. Wheatgrass centerpiece


Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a 26-year-old designer from Decatur, Ga., where I spend most of my days sketching and designing all things pretty. I have 2 cats, Desmond and Penelope, and in my free time, can be found reading copies of Entertainment Weekly and Real Simple while snacking on a bowl of popcorn. I feel so lucky to do what I love each and every day with the support of an amazing network of family and friends.

Other than your studio/office/workspace/couch where do you pull the most inspiration?
I am a fairly crafty person and truly enjoy the process of creating something new, whether it be a scarf, necklace, wreath, etc. I draw a lot of inspiration from my other hobbies and also find it a great way to refresh my mind creatively.

Where are you most productive?
I am a total night owl, so I am most productive at my desk during the wee hours of the night when there are little to no distractions.

What/ who inspires you most within the wedding industry?
I am in love with the calligraphy from Primele, and Saipua has the most stunning floral arrangements, which I could seriously stare at for days.

What does your work day look like? Are you scheduled? Do you like to take each day as it comes?
I would love to think that I keep a schedule, but truthfully I don’t. The thing that keeps me on track are the many lists I like to make, with a few going at all times.

What was the main inspiration for your creative space?
Because I work entirely from home, I wanted to make sure I had an open space that I could easily move around in while feeling cozy at the same time. I also love keeping plants (real or fake) around whenever I can since they help to give a little more personality to a space.

Describe your creative process – from initial idea to end result (as best you can).
I typically work on several different designs at one time, so my workflow is a bit messy. I don’t ever start in the same place, and I definitely never end up in the same place. When starting a project, I try to at least have a handful of good ideas, and once I start working, it becomes clear the ideas that will work and the ones that won’t. At that point, having them all side-by-side is a huge help! It is obvious the ones I should move forward with and the ones that should be scrapped. Usually I work from pencil sketches done on tracing paper or on a sketchpad. Then I scan, edit, and add all the finishing touches.

What makes you love what you do?
I think the diversity in projects and techniques is what I love most. There is always something new to try: a new idea I can’t wait to get on paper, a new client that inspires me to really push my limits, a new typeface I am dying to get my hands on! The change in pace definitely keeps me on my toes. That, and the feeling of holding a finished, printed piece for the first time…nothing like it!

Tell us a little bit about how you came up with these two designs.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream came from a picture I saw in a magazine. The image was of this insanely gorgeous garden with vine-covered trellises, hanging flower baskets, and all types of exquisite florals. I remember thinking it was the perfect spot for a garden wedding, and I wanted to design an invite to accommodate that type of wedding. The Shore is my take on a modern, beach wedding. I wanted it to be simple, clean, and carefree. I loved doodling all of the little watercolor shells and starfish. Obviously we love your office, what was the first piece your purchased? I think the first piece(s) I purchased were the many, many storage bins, boxes, and cases. I have more supplies than I know what to do with, and to save my sanity, I definitely needed a way to keep everything organized.

Mango Board: Floral dress / Roses in tea glasses / Glasses / Hair accessory / Wedding Party / Bride / Bouquet of flowers / Shoes / Ring / Cake / Table Setting

Garden wedding: Gray dress / Bouquet / Old Car / Ruffled chair covers / Couple under chandelier / Table setting / Couple

All photos of Kristen and her workspace are by Jon-Michael Sullivan/ The invites were taken by Kristen Smith.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Besides being a graphic designer & illustrator, I’m married to a terrific husband who helps me with the not-so-fun business side of my work. I am blessed to have three great kids (9,11,13) who keep my life anything but boring. I’m left-handed and gregarious. Everyone says they love coffee, but I REALY LOVE coffee, especially when it’s from my favorite drive thru, and will make any excuse to get it. When I have time, I enjoy working on my flower beds, playing my violin for church, and watching American Pickers with my family.

Obviously we love your space, what was the first piece your purchased?
It’s still a work in progress, but thanks to Pinterest, I have many ideas of how I want my dream office to look. My office is in the sitting room off of our living room, so I can be near my kids, yet in my own space to work. My favorite piece in my office is my desk, which my father built for me as a sofa table long ago.

Other than your studio/office/workspace/couch where do you pull the most inspiration?
My children are a great source of inspiration with their ever-changing hobbies and interests. I definitely go through phases where I’m into a certain style, such as mid century illustration or block prints, which will lead me to new sources of ideas. I also have my favorite design blogs and sites that I like to visit. If I’m struggling to think of a new idea or not feeling very inspired, I will take a break and work in my flower beds, or go on what I call “visual interest” field trips. I will purposely drive a new way to go to the store, or go to the public library and spend a little time looking through wonderful books.

Where are you most productive?
Definitely at my desk in front of my computer. Walls could be crashing down around me, but when I’m at my desk, I’m in my zone.

What does your work day look like? Are you scheduled? Do you like to take each day as it comes?
I would say both. When my children are in school, I have a great routine and get a lot of work accomplished before they wake up and while they are in school. So while I enjoy having a general timeframe of when I work, I don’t always know what I will be working on each day. All bets are off during the summer…

Describe your creative process – from initial idea to end result (as best you can).
I still use the same process I learned from my Penn State design professors for creating designs. Whether it’s a corporate project or new design for a wedding invite, I think of it as a visual problem to be solved. If I already have ideas in my mind, I will grab a few sheets of white paper and a pencil and sketch thumbnails. I don’t filter any of my ideas even if I think they are silly. If I see a winner among my sketches, I will either spend more time drawing a final version of it, or scan it and move on to the computer to finish the design. I have a fun exercise I make myself do if I feel like I’ve been using the same colors or fonts too much. It’s my version of the game Clue. So instead of the weapon, room and suspect, I pick a genre of design, a country/location and a color. So for a wedding invite I might challenge myself to design a mid century inspired wedding invite with French influences in the color yellow. That gets my inspired to design just thinking about it!

What makes you love what you do?
Great question! I can’t imagine being anything other then a Designer/illustrator. I enjoy the diversity of projects I get to work on, everything from stationery design, to package design for a candy company, to a new identity for a scientific company. It’s so validating to have a bride build her entire wedding around my invitation, or to see a company take such pride in an identity I created. To know that I designed something uniquely special that is a part of a something greater, such as a wedding or new business start-up, makes me feel that I have made some level of impact in the lives of others. I know that my talents are a gift from God, and that’s what drives me everyday to do the best work I can.

Tell us a little bit about how you came up with these two designs.
A More Perfect Union was the spin off of one of my previous designs that I had trouble getting off the ground. My first idea was to create a vintage type invitation in black and ivory with the phrase ” In order to form a more perfect union…”. It sounded better in my head, but was not looking very wedding like, so I started over by sketching the word Union. As I kept exaggerating the letter forms and I knew I had the centerpiece for that design. I came up with the idea for Column Rule, while I was working on a large identity project for a genome research center. I was designing life size posters with large type surrounded by small bodies of type so that the viewer could catch the main message of the poster, then come closer to read the whole story. That’s when the idea came to me to create an invitation where the names would be large in scale, complimented by small blocks of copy to balance the design.

Column Rule Board: Photography by Picotte Weddings via Style Me Pretty / Flowers: Karin A Fotografi / Place cards: Kate Harrison Photography / Desserts: Martha Stewart Weddings / Cake: Erica O’Brien Cake Design / Macarons: Closer To Love Photography / Couple Kissing: Yvonne Wong Photography / Reception Image: Sylvie Gil Photography


More Perfect Union: Lanterns: Rasvan Photography / Bride: Murphy Photography via Style Me Pretty / Bouquet: Murphy Photography via Style Me Pretty / Book: Cooper Carras via Style Me Pretty / Lanterns: Sophie Murdoch of the Collective Photographers via Style Me Pretty / Ceremony Aisle: We Heart Photography / Cake: Joy De Vivre Wedding Design photography by XX / Tablescape: Tec Petaja via Style Me Pretty

It’s inspiration overload of the very best kind, and it gets even better. Oh yes, because there is a giveaway involved and it.is.a.good.one. All that stationery you’ve been swooning over can be yours because they are giving away $499 towards any Minted wedding stationery of your choosing, including wedding invitations, save the dates, menu cards, escort cards, thank you notes and more. All you have to do is click RIGHT HERE and enter to win! Good luck stationery-loving SMPers! xoxo

BHLDN is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Lovely Bridal Shop and Closer to Love Photography are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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