Mar 25, 2010

Embellished by Emily

Hi readers! Please welcome the next guest blogger in my series of wanting to hear more from you. Meet Emily, a graphic designer friend of mine who has awesome talent! She's here to share a little bit about her business (the likes and dislikes), and how sometimes being your own boss is harder than you think! Take it away Em!

Hello all you fabulous readers of Love Everyday Life! My good friend Becky asked for guest bloggers a while ago, and I volunteered. After thinking about what I could possibly blog about, and remembering that Becky's wedding invitations were one of the first I ever designed, I decided to blog about none other than my side business which she had a hand in starting.

I love being a graphic artist! It consumes my day job at a news service where I put together informational graphics and illustrations and then moves on into the evening for my side business as a custom wedding invitation designer. Embellished by Emily was born in 2007 after being asked to help with many friends' wedding designs. What started as simple invitation design has blossomed into so much more than that.

It's difficult to make things "pretty" and "cute" as a news artist, mostly because news topics are hardly described as such. Embellished by Emily allows me to go beyond restrictions and really let my creativeness soar. My favorite clients are the brides that come to me saying, "my colors are green and silver...what can you come up with?"

I present back to them multiple ideas and price ranges and they get to choose. On the other hand, my least favorite clients are the ones that send me an email saying, "How much do you charge for 120 invitations?"

I work with all kinds of budgets, so it's frustrating when price is the first thing out of someone's mouth. You don't typically walk into a dress shop (in search of a beautiful white gown) and say, "I need a dress. How much does it cost?" Each and every dress is different. They are made of different quality fabric, beading, sequins, and they are made in various parts of the world.

The same holds true for the very paper used for your invitations. A simple 5x7 cardstock is not going to cost nearly as much as a pocket fold invitations with multiple components. Most of this is because of the large amount of materials needed for the larger invitation (paper/ink/ribbon/monogram tags). However, time also plays a large part in the costs.

It has taken me three years to perfect my price list and actually get the guts to request payment for my services. At first I just charged brides for the materials used and did not include my time in the cost. Once the pocket folds became really popular, though, I found myself spending 12 hours putting them together. My boyfriend got tired of watching me spend so much time on them for no pay and encouraged me to come up with a pricing plan. So far it has been well received.

One of the most rewarding parts of putting together wedding invitations/programs/save the dates is when the bride comes back to me and asks me to make her baby announcements! Through Embellished by Emily I've really been able to live out my passion for graphic art!

Thanks for guest blogging Em! I had a really hard time picking which pictures to post, so be sure to visit Emily's website or blog to see more of what she's done. (And yes, one of the pictures in this post was a wedding invitation for the mister and me. Can you guess which one?)

*Some names and information has been changed


Danielle said...

Yay Emily!! I am one of those frantic, crazy Brides that Emily has helped. Her style is clean and chic and her prices are more than reasonable. So far, all the guests have mentioned how much they loved their invitations!! You truly have created the best first impression for our day :)

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