St. Louis, Missouri
Over the years I have been introduced to some of the most awesome people. I met Julie back when we worked together at an advertising agency. She a designer, and I an account executive. Who would have thought that we would somehow end up as good friends and working in the wedding industry?
Just as I was leaving that agency to work for another, I started wedding planning and styling. Nearly two years after starting my business, she became a client of mine, as I helped with her wedding. It was somewhere within that time frame she started using her design background to create truly custom and beautiful wedding stationery. And, trust me, girl can design.
So, I couldn’t help but get excited when she told me she was going to be launching her site soon. I knew she needed to get her name out there, and was rooting her on to pull the trigger. I’m so thrilled to be featuring her on the blog today. A day after she launched her website. She’s one of the sweetest and most down-to-earth people I know, and if you haven’t heard of her already, you should absolutely check out her work!
How did you get started in the world of paper and stationery?
I knew I wanted to design paper products almost from the get-go. Even in high school, I loved going to stationery shops and making cards for my family and friends. When I got to college, majoring in Graphic Design was a no-brainer. My classmates teased me for getting so excited about paper and print design. All in good fun, of course.
After college I worked for a series of advertising firms and in-house design departments for larger companies. I gained valuable experience and I still work full time, but I knew I had to eventually take a leap and start my own business. I began designing invitations for my friends’ weddings, and after my own wedding I decided to really give it a go and launch Ten Four Paper. I truly believe this is what I was meant to do!
What is your biggest source of inspiration when designing?
My biggest inspirations are the couples I work with. I love a good love story, and everyone’s story is unique. I really try to hone in on what makes each couple tick, and what is special about them. My design inspiration comes from them… what they like, where they met and their personal style as a couple.
I also obsessively read graphic design and wedding blogs. I aim to stay current with wedding and design trends. I have a lot of great friends in the wedding and event industry as well, and they continually inspire me to think outside of the box and push myself out of my comfort zone.
What would you classify your stationery / invitation style as?
I like designing invitations that are a bit out of the ordinary, and truly unique to the people that send them. I tailor my designs to fit the design style of my clients, but in general I would say I am a fan of fun color and font combinations and unexpected details. I want people to open an envelope that is both fancy and cool, and say to themselves, “Wow! That’s a really neat invitation!”
What do you think sets you apart from other vendors in the industry?
I am a very open and approachable person, and I love getting to know my clients. I like forming relationships with them and I am genuinely EXCITED when I get to design invitations for a couple. I think that enthusiasm is a bit contagious, and I think brides can count on me as a friend along their wedding planning journey. Clients aren’t just clients to me. They are people who trust me to tell their love story, and that’s a pretty important job!
What advice would you give to a bride and/or groom who is on the hunt for their perfect invitation suite?
My strongest advice is to stay true to your personal style. If you are traditional and feel comfortable with elegant scripts and fine linen paper, your invitations should reflect that. If you are a bit edgy and like crazy colors, the same rule applies. I am a firm believer that there is no “wrong” way to do anything for a wedding. If you express your love in a way that is true to you as a couple, that is what is most important.
Outside of the world of paper, what do you enjoy doing?
I love doing anything creative, and I’m constantly redecorating my house or taking a new art class. I adore spending time with my husband, Matt, (the inspiration behind my business name) and our little dog, Pogo. Together, we love taking walks in Forest Park, listening to live music and traveling the world. I also love eating ice cream (probably too much) and a secret mission of mine is to learn how to bake the best chocolate chip cookie!
Photography by L Photographie