Studio tour: Wiley Valentine

Name: Rachelle Schwartz and Emily Owen
Location: Southern California
Company: Wiley Valentine

What is your aesthetic? A new approach to all things vintage. We pride ourselves on offering a wide array of styles, and adore working with brides to create something completely custom as well. We definitely have a mix of modern and vintage.

How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? I think our studio has a warm, homey feel to it. In the professional world we have established great relationships with retailers, brides and our employees. I would say our work environment is very fun, playful, we are like a big family. We all eat lunch together each day, laugh and sing all day. It’s important to keep things light and fun especially when things can get stressful and very busy.

Favorite part of your studio? I love the office I share with Emily. It has a comfy couch, a vintage chandelier and book shelves stocked with vintage books. I also love our inspiration boards!

Where do you go for inspiration? Vintage books, photographs, nature, travel. Sometimes i just need a good hike outdoors to clear my head and allow for the new ideas to flow in. I also have a book filled with collaged pages from old magazines. It provides a fabulous inspiration boost.

What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? My bagasse notebooks from staples. It sounds simple but they are eco friendly notebooks made from sugar cane waste and I fill them with my ideas, daily tasks etc. I also can’t live without my iphone.

Is there anything you’d upgrade to? I would LOVE an ipad. It’s not like I really NEED one, it’s just so fabulous. And I would love a new office chair.

Anything else we should know? I (Rachelle) am expecting my first child in June! Very excited to become a mother. Always open to suggestions from other working moms on how to juggle the two though!

[images from Wiley Valentine]

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Studio tour: Paperfinger

Name: Bryn Chernoff
Location: DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) | Brooklyn | New York City
Company: PaperfingerModern Calligraphy & Hand-Drawn Design

What is your aesthetic? Organized | Tasty | Comfortable | Contemporary | Natural | Spacious

How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? A place for everything and everything in its place. It’s important to me that when I walk into my studio each morning that it is the kind of space that makes me excited to sit down and start working.  On a clean wooden desk, whatever is spread out while I work looks good in the process. I work mostly to natural light thanks to the large windows. And I get immense pleasure from the organized drawers stocked with pens, inks, paper samples. My studio has pops of color here and there but still has a quiet, graceful feel to it.

Favorite part of your studio? My tackle-box of nibs. It’s my version of a candy store.

Where do you go for inspiration? Children’s books. A photo of myself at age 7 that I keep on my desk. Plants. World wide web.

What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? Harvest, my bookkeeping and invoicing software. I love everything about it. It makes invoicing fun.

I have to give a shout-out to my geeky device that helps me keep straight lines on opaque envelopes, the Phantom Liner.  Oh and one more must-have! My wireless Sennheiser headphones that I wear all day and keep on my head all the way across the office and at the sink while I’m washing nibs.

Is there anything you’d upgrade to? A giant studio where I could explore larger format work, host events, work with friends, run around.

Anything else we should know? I used to have a radio show called “Plus Size Soul” featuring women vocalists from the first generation of jazz, blues and soul. I relive those days by posting a song to my blog, Paper Tastebuds, every Friday. The music is diverse and is always a song that I’ve been listening to that week in the studio.Via my blog, I also continually add ideas to a wedding gift guide if you’re looking for unique presents. Come visit and listen in on Fridays!

[images from Emily Gilbert]

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Studio tour: SugarB Studio

Name: Kari Becker Beard
Company: SugarB Sudio
Location: Washington DC

What is your aesthetic? I would say my aesthetic is clean, simple and modern.

How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? I tend to create designs, whether they be print or web, that are crisp, clean and modern. I adore white space, little visual clutter and deliberate of use of color.

Favorite part of your studio? The lighting in my studio is fantastic. I get great light throughout the day. Also, I share my studio space with my co-worker Snickers, a rescue greyhound. He finds the lighting to be just right for his grueling nap schedule.

Where do you go for inspiration? When I need inspiration I look through different design and illustration books. I also have a “like it” file, these are things that I have clipped out of magazines, received in the mail or taken home from a favorite restaurant over the years. Living in our Washington, DC,  I can always find amazing architecture from the 1800s to the modern era. It is inspiring to see the way our society can turn something outdated into something new and functional again. Getting out, exploring the city and taking a walk with Snickers also helps clear my mind and come up with fresh ideas!

What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? I love creating comps and trimming things out. In order for my work to be of high caliber I need to ensure all measurements are exact. The ruler and the exacto knife are the simplest tools that help to verify the quality of my work to ensure the satisfaction of the customer and myself.

Is there anything you’d upgrade to? I could always use more surface space! I would love to have more flat space to create demos on and be able to layout my work on.

Anything else we should know? Each piece I create – whether it is a wedding invitation, brochure for an event, or website for a business is created for the individual with time and care. My goal when I work with each person is to provide them with the design and creation that best represents them and their need. I love being able to be creative while also providing a service to people. I love my job and take great pride in the things I create. I really love what I do and feel so lucky to be able to say that. I have a few other projects up my sleeve, that allow me to be creative away from my computer. Check out my photo blog: & my adorable hand-knitted baby hats:

[images from SugarB Studio]

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Studio tour: Blossom & Branch

Name: Sarah Brysk Cohen
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Company: Blossom & Branch

What is your aesthetic? We create modern, structured floral designs with lots of texture and color.  We aim to surprise and delight our clients with special touches – everything we do is custom.  We will use vintage brooches, paper mache birds or unusual flower combinations in our work.  We are thrilled when people say “I have never seen that done before with flowers!”  We find that brides and other clients who are themselves creative people tend to be attracted to our work – artists and designers, especially.

How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic?
I am compelled to incorporate fabulous color into everything – from colored paper clips, pens and ribbon, to bright containers for floral arrangements, to the picture on my iMac desktop wallpaper!  And I am a bit of a collector, so you will find bins and trays of cards, trinkets and knick-knacks around the studio that I save because I think “I will use this someday in a floral arrangement or on a tablescape.”

Favorite part of your studio?
The open space and enormous windows.  We are blessed with a nice amount of room and year-round streaming light, as our studio is in a converted loft that was a turn-of-the-century underwear factory!  Apart from the desk and granite island, everything from our Parsons work table to our files are mobile, so we can configure the space in any way that suits the particular event on which we are working.  When the space is filled with flowers it is truly magical in here.

Where do you go for inspiration? With floral design, inspiration is easy – we are inspired by seasonal flowers!  My favorite time for the flowers is definitely spring – we love to use fluffy blooms like peonies, lilac, garden roses and anything else fragrant.  I also take cues from fashion, interior design magazines, the Brooklyn Flea market…anywhere I can be exposed to color and pattern inspires me to create new and unique combinations with flowers.

What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? I am so grateful for our Honda Pilot that I have named her – Frannie.  She holds a miraculous amount of flowers and gear.  Some mornings at the market I am absolutely certain I have bought too many flowers to fit in one trip and somehow it always works.

Is there anything you’d upgrade to? My upgrade fantasies involve refrigeration – a massive walk-in floral cooler and a refrigerated truck.  Lately when I am out and about in the city, I fixate on the giant trucks I see and wonder how hard they would be to drive and whether or not they could be refrigerated for our flowers!

Anything else we should know? We adore being a boutique floral design studio – this gives us the flexibility to do flowers for intimate gatherings or grand affairs and provide incredibly personalized service.  We love it when a bride or a client comes to us and says something like “Please create flower arrangements inspired by vintage candy…” (which we recently did!).  A light switches on and the creativity just flows.

[images from Blossom & Branch]

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Studio tour: Simply Jessie Photography

Name: Jessie and Eric Stevens (Jessie Speaking)
Location: Chicago Illinois
Company: Simply Jessie Photography

What is your aesthetic? Our aesthetic is simple, modern with a hint of whimsy.

How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? Our studio is full of space, sunlight and modern lines.  Both physically and mentally we strive to have space to allow our creativity to flow freely.  Our studio is mostly a lovely charcoal grey and a background to our creative endeavors.   We have work space complete with computers and paperwork coming out of our ears, along with a sofa to sit, read and chat it up with clients.  Our studio gives both us and our clients space to be themselves. We are passionate about capturing and telling each couple’s story through images.

Favorite part of your studio? My favorite is our big windows that spill sunlight into our space.  Not only do they bring in sunshine and a  summer breeze but also the cheerful sound of our neighborhood.   We are in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Square where there is always something going on, including lots of live music, festivals and good eats.  I love being in the center of it all, and our business being an active part of this lovely community.

Where do you go for inspiration? The natural world is where I glean my creativity and rejuvenation.  I believe that beauty is in the ordinary all around us. I take daily walks to stay connected to the nature around me and to escape my computer.  I put a lot of energy into gleaning all the joy I can from each moment that comes my way.

What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? Aperture.  I love Aperture for workflow and post processing of my images.  It simplifies the process of organizing, color correcting and pumping out awesome images.

Is there anything you’d upgrade to? A dark room and a new polaroid. (I’m a little obsessed with Polaroids)

Anything else we should know? We love telling stories through images and meeting new people.  We are still booking weddings for 2010 and onward into 2011.  We’re friendly, so let’s connect!  Click here to check us out or you can find us on twitter and facebook as well!

[images from Simply Jessie Photography]

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