Studio tour: Maybelle Calligraphy + Illustration

Name: Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls
Location: Oakland, California
Company: Maybelle Calligraphy + Illustration

What is your aesthetic? Japanese tea house meets Paris flea market. Rustic simplicity.

How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic?
The best way to describe my work is that it is perfectly imperfect, an understated elegance. This allows some of the other details of a wedding to stand out without forgetting about the guests. It makes someone feel so special to be given personalized attention by something as simple as their name written by hand in pen and ink.

Favorite part of your studio? By far, it has to be the commute, which  consists of a walk down a few stairs. My studio is located in a underneath our house and as a working mother of 9 month old twins, I feel very fortunate to be able to do this.

Where do you go for inspiration?
Japan. I can never sleep on the flight so I often stay up and sketch during the long flight. I get my best ideas this way. When the weather is nice, I like to go on walks along the redwood trails near our home.

What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? Don’t laugh. A raw potato. Its my secret weapon. A former calligraphy teacher showed me this trick to clean the ink off the pen nib, and I swear it really works!

Is there anything you’d upgrade to? Taller ceilings and more windows. I love working in natural light.

Anything else we should know?
You can now find a few of my designs for your wedding invitations at Bella Figura, and I am in the process of updating my website so please check back very soon!

[images from Maybelle]

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Studio tour: poppies & posies

Can these girls BE any cuter??  And their space is to DIE for!!

Name: Juliet Totten + Sierra Yaun
Location: Upper West Side
Company: poppies & posies

What is your aesthetic? I’d say our aesthetic is country garden meets fabulous vintage shop.  We love bold, bright flowers and found objects, and what happens when you put the two together!

How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? We’re surrounded by vintage vases, antiques, and found objects that we use in many of our designs and they certainly keep us inspired!  Also, the more permanent parts of our studio, like our old farmhouse table (now desk) and old industrial toolbox, reflect our belief that beauty can be found and realized in unexpected places.

Favorite part of your studio? The big shuttered windows let lots of light pour into the space which makes for a pretty great place to work!

Where do you go for inspiration? Our antiquing trips outside of the city really inspire us. It’s really fun to find little treasures and use them in our designs. We recently found a vintage hat box that said “park ave nyc” on it. We bought it and filled it with flowers for an event.  Also, any place with fresh flowers and produce.  We’ve definitely been known to go to the farmers market and come back with huge amounts of herbs and vegetables… excited to turn them into some fabulous centerpiece or bouquet.

What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? Clippers… Juliet is especially attached to her clippers and really hates leaving the house without them… this is especially awkward at black tie events :)

Is there anything you’d upgrade to? Sometimes we daydream about our future retail shop.  We’ve already designed the whole space in our heads.

Anything else we should know? We really love when we get the chance to work on the overall design of a wedding.  It is so exciting to help our clients take their personal sense of style and turn it into an environment that reflects them as a couple.  We also love getting to handcraft all of the tiny details… we’re mad for the crafty stuff!

[images from Oh Darling! Photography]

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Studio tour: La la laurie

Name: Laurie Cinotto
Location: Tacoma, Washington
Company: La La Laurie

What is your aesthetic? Vintage inspired, fanciful but not whimsical, curated craftiness, and on occasion, borderline kitschy.

How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? I feel the things I choose to surround myself with, and the way I present them in the space, truly represent my craft style.  Most words used to describe the things I make, could describe the room I make them in.

Favorite part of your studio? What I love most about the space is the light.  It’s a corner room, with windows on the south and west side.  In the afternoon on a bright day when the sun hits the  “foam flower pink” walls, the room is aglow.   Close seconds are the vintage linoleum floral “rug’ or the farm scene mural.

Where do you go for inspiration? Estate sales, antique stores, and flea markets are always great for inspiration.  I love old things. Mother Nature is a great source too, especially when it comes to color.  I worked as a florist for many years and learned everything I know about color from the flowers.

What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? Floral corsage tape.  I swear, if I were ever lost in the wilderness, I would hope to have a roll of it in my pocket.  Corsage tape works miracles.

Is there anything you’d upgrade to? I would love a larger space with more storage.    It’s a constant battle to remain organized, and keep the things I use most at my fingertips.

Anything else we should know? More than anything, I care a great deal about the quality of the things I make.   I use old-school techniques and never take short cuts with my crafts.  Yes, I own a glue gun, but I prefer a needle and thread. Also, I have a paper flowers book/craft kit coming out in February of 2011.  It’s for Fall Rivers Press, a division of Barnes and Noble.

[images from La la laurie]

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Studio tour: Vanilla Bake Shop

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Name: Amy Berman / Co-Owner & Executive Pastry Chef
Location: Santa Monica, California
Company: Vanilla Bake Shop

What is your aesthetic? Our aesthetic usually leans towards a modern, clean look mixed with classic elements.

How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? Our studio/office space is the opposite of our bakery space in regards to the over all “look”. Our bake shop is pale pink, white, happy and bright. When we expanded and rented the office next door to our bakery we were in the mood for a more masculine look with dark chocolate walls that were almost black and white crown molding as a contrast.

Favorite part of your studio? My desk. I have baking books, pictures of events, wedding magazines, & design materials all at arms reach for inspiration. I also have a great picture of some elementary school girls I taught a baking class to last year. There’s so much innocence and promise in their cute little faces! I love looking at it.

Where do you go for inspiration? Inspiration comes from everywhere. Window shopping, interior design, art, stationary… When I want to create a new cake design I often look at different fashion designers like Jason Wu, Tory Burch or Diane Von Furstenberg. I check out their lines from each season and get inspired by different patterns, textures and color palettes.

What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without?
My mac lap top which lets me work from anywhere and my iphone for emails, texting and twitters.

Is there anything you’d upgrade to? A larger kitchen space, shop and parking lot… And, while we’re at it… a new car and a vacation home in Spain.

Anything else we should know? My husband is my business partner and I’m so glad he decided to go into business with me after law school. I also have the most AMAZING staff. They work so hard, and all make us laugh on a daily basis. I’m just really happy I decided to follow this path in life. You know you really love your job when a 12hr day feels like a 2hr day!

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[images from Vanilla Bake Shop]

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Studio tour: Craig Paulson Photography

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Name: Craig Paulson
Location: New York City
Company: Craig Paulson Photography

What is your aesthetic? People say my photos are honest, unstuffy and organic and yet still very modern.  I’m a very easy going person and I really make an effort to connect with the people I photograph and I think my images show that.

How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? I like my studio be a social place and we encourage kids, friends and spouses to stop by and have a chat. It’s cozy like a living room and filled with photographs and artwork by my kids.

Favorite part of your studio? The view of Union Square.  Look out the window and you really feel like you are in the heart of the city.  Oh, and the endless supply of jellybeans.

Where do you go for inspiration? I have a yurt upstate where I spend time with friends and family.  We have a river running through our property and I do manual labor sorts of things like chopping wood and building things.  Spending time up there really stokes my creativity and helps me focus when I’m back in the city.

What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? My studio manager.  She takes on all the nit-picky things that take time away from working on images and promoting the business.

Is there anything you’d upgrade to? Hm, maybe a larger bowl for the jellybeans.

Anything else we should know? When I come in to the office, I take off my shoes and put on my office slippers.  I really look forward to coming to work because it’s a warm, inviting place.  We have so much fun, it doesn’t even feel like work.

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