Hi friends! What a busy time of year we find ourselves in. I just love it. Cozying up to the fire, wearing boots, seeing the leaves change. It’s a most welcome change after the heat of summer.

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I can’t wait to host a Thanksgiving gathering for family at my house. Now to figure out how to make a turkey…hmm…maybe these recipe cards will get some use then :-)

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These recipe cards showed up in Lowcountry Parent magazine. Very exciting!

Some of our holiday cards also cropped up in Charleston Magazine’s gift guide…

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I really love how those turned out, and such an honor to see them published so quickly! Along with all the other normal stuff, we are also busily preparing for the Buy Local Block Party coming up on the 22nd. Hope we’ll see some familiar faces there and some new ones too!

Otherwise, life is continuing on as normal around here. We will be closing next week – the 26th thru the 30th – so I’ll see you back here the first week of December. Pay attention to your email and social media though…we just might be running some fun promo’s (I know, along with everyone else in the world) after Thanksgiving!

What are you up to lately? Anything new and exciting?

We’re active members of Lowcountry Local First, and I am so excited that the organization is hosting a “Buy Local Block Party” on November 22nd. We haven’t vended at a fair or anything in awhile, so it’s going to be a lot of fun to get back out in the community with some of our cards, meet new people, and shop a little too.

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An awesome part of this event is going to be the “Maker Tours.” One tour will be of downtown and another will go up to Park Circle, taking you to the workspaces of some of Charleston’s makers (think Rewined, Landrum Tables, etc.) and, of course, a brewery too. I might have to find someone to mind our table so I can catch one of the tours! If you are interested, you can buy tickets here. They’ll be available the day of the event if they don’t sell out, but don’t count on it! :-)

Hope to see you there – we’ll have lots of goodies and holiday cards just in time for the holiday shopping season!

I stumbled on Zio & Sons on Design*Sponge one afternoon while eating my lunch. I absolutely fell in love with their awesome product styling and, on a whim, reached out. Luckily, Anthony, the owner, has a thing for paper, so it was a great match. We have some really lovely collateral we’re working on for Zio (can’t wait to see the photos of those), and in the meantime they took some fun photos of some of our stationery.

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I love the more lifestyle feel of these photos. Product photography is something we small business people always seem to be struggling with – white backgrounds, colorful backgrounds, in use or just the product itself, etc. I don’t think I’ll ever settle for good on one way or the other. I spent a fair amount of time over the summer re-shooting almost every card we have on a nice white background in order to get our wholesale catalog looking consistent and clean. But, I really love these beautiful lifestyle shots to compliment all the straightforward white background ones. That’s where I am right now with it – but who knows what I’ll decide later on :-)

Don’t they just make you want to sit down, eat a yummy pastry, and write a letter?
xoxo

Happy Fall, y’all!

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Inspiration struck one afternoon to get clever with some of our cards. The experimentation continues with product photography :-) What are your Halloween plans? Mine usually just involves junk food, a movie, and being amused by trick or treaters, and this year isn’t much different. Wouldn’t have it any other way!

We got into the spirit of the changing season with October’s Paper Junkies mailing.

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Kraft or “Paper Bag” folded notecard with ecru envelopes lined in a deep aubergine purple. Classic but oh-so-autumnal.

Happy Wednesday! xoxo

In addition to touring a whole bunch of big old houses, we leisurely wandered the streets of Newport over the few days we were there. There’s something so nice about a few aimless days – eating, sleeping, walking, exploring. Good for the soul!

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Notable in Newport

  • They call milkshakes “Awful Awfuls,” and it’s one the must-do’s while visiting to go to Newport Creamery.
  • The Cliff Walk is awesome and you should definitely check it out. Head’s up: it is very much a cliff walk, so much so that at parts you’re wondering if you’ve accidentally gone rogue and shouldn’t be climbing over rocks on the edge of the sea. But rest assured, you’re on the right path.
  • Beautiful, beautiful sailboats and sunsets.
  • Obviously, the summer cottages.
  • Really fun old-timey signage and cedar shakes everywhere.
  • And that concludes my mini-tour of Newport, folks! Have you ever been? Where should we travel next? Happy Wednesday!

I had never been to New England before this trip and it’s long been on my list of travel destinations. When the opportunity popped up to visit Newport, I confess I wasn’t familiar at all with the city. We had an offer of a place to stay and some dates that worked, so the research began! I’m going to share photos and thoughts over a few posts, so today I’m talking history + houses.

Turns out, Newport is a fascinating city with a really rich history, and I’m just the kind of person who really digs that sort of thing. R sweetly gave me a book all about it that I started reading before I got there, so suffice it to say I spent lots of time recounting anecdotes from my book which I’m sure he just loved.

The Vanderbilts, Astors, and many other wealthy families at the turn of the century built opulent “summer cottages” in Newport. It was the place to be during “the season.” In the middle of the century, many of these houses were just too cumbersome for anyone to maintain (think requiring a staff of 40 people or more), so the Newport Preservation Society began trying to save many of them and open to the public. They have a great system now where you can purchase one ticket and visit five of the houses whenever you’d like. It was really nice that it didn’t have a two day limit or anything like that – you can get kind of big-house’ed out after a little while when you do so many in one day.

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Home to Alva Vanderbilt, who was quite the irreverent character. She built an authentic Chinese teahouse on her property because, you know, why not when you have millions to spare?

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Just…opulent. The property is amazing of course. Owned and built by much tamer Vanderbilts than ole Alva (who was a Southerner who married {and divorced} a Vanderbilt, by the way).

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Green Animals

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The gardener at this property spent his whole life training and growing these amazing topiary, and his son picked up the art too. The owner of Green Animals gave the property to the Newport Preservation Society so that her animals would never “leave through the front gate.”

The house is modest by Newport standards – really more of a true old Victorian – but get a load of that property…

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We also toured The Elms and Rosecliff. Except for Green Animals, which you need a car to get to, they are all very walkable and easy to get to from downtown Newport. It is a lovely little city in that respect – the beaches and the water and downtown all right in one area. And obviously, if you’re into history and interior design, it’s the perfect place to visit!

hello friends! I haven’t been much of a blogger lately, I’ll be the first to admit. But I truly do miss sharing what’s going on in our world and seeing what’s going on in yours. So, I’ll ramble a bit, and get to my point eventually, I promise.

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Things are going swimmingly here at dodeline. It has been interesting and fun to get used to being truly a team of three instead of a team of two. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I definitely have moments when I look around and am just so in awe that this bustling little office is my creation. Overall, it’s been great and such a relief to be able to handle curveballs and hectic times with less stress knowing there are more of us around to get things done.

In addition to learning how to manage our team, I’ve also been working a lot on workflow and systems and processes. I don’t think that gets mentioned very often in the discussion of starting a business and it’s something of which I’m becoming much more aware. In reality, it doesn’t matter as much I guess until the business is comprised of more than just the owner, but it’s quite the task to figure out even so.

When I worked for American Eagle during college for example, there was a set process for how everything needed to be done. There was a form or a script or whatever it may be. When you make up a business out of thin air, not one scrap of that exists until you (the owner) remember to make it. And that just isn’t easy.

For me, the most difficult thing to work into my day to day task list is bookkeeping. It is so far from my favorite thing to do. Not once did I say along this journey, “I want to start a business because I think invoicing, expense tracking, and general accounting are a really good time.” Nope, not this girl. But it literally doesn’t matter what kind of business you start – bookkeeping is part of it.

So over the past few months, I’ve been working really hard to establish rituals and systems for the things that never seem to get done when they should. Bookkeeping is one of them. Marketing a little more consistently is another (i.e. our email newsletter). Working on our standalone shopping website was a big one (hey, check it out here if you’re so inclined). Developing our wholesale catalog (done! Thank goodness).

Blogging is another. I used to be a lot better about that when things were not quite so busy and it was just me. But it occurred to me over the weekend that if I just gave myself a more manageable plan – say, a weekly blog post – it’s much more likely to happen. So friends, here’s the first of what I hope will be many weekly blog posts!

xoxo
Sarah

I was so excited when the girls at Hazel Lane reached out to us to include us in their Charleston subscription box.

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If you haven’t seen them before, Hazel Lane is a curated selection of goods from a different city every month. One thing I really love is that they have a bunch of options – a couple different price points of boxes and several lengths of time you can sign up for.

This lovely service was just featured in Travel and Leisure magazine too! We sent out our items a couple weeks ago and you’ll find a sneaky peek on their Instagram of some of what will be included…

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So if you signed up for a box this month, you’ll be getting some goodies from dodeline!

I have to admit, I’m quite fond of this month’s Paper Junkies. A fun script for the names, diagonally set on the shimmery card.

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We mix and matched so there are a few polka dot liners and a few striped.

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The curry yellow envelope was actually what I used for my own wedding suite, so I suppose it makes sense I’d be a big fan, huh?

Psst…find out more about Paper Junkies here!

A few weeks ago, the Charleston Wedding Planners Association put on a great seminar on etiquette. I know, I know – it doesn’t sound like a thrilling topic – but for this crowd, it kind of is. Etiquette questions and guidance are a huge part of our day to day work.

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Coleman Hall – formerly Tidewater Chapel – hosted the event and it was beautiful. We got there in style via Lowcountry Valet’s awesome restored vintage buses.

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Before the seminar, I was so glad to see Brit Croft there photographing. She grabbed a quick shot of Kellie and me – Laurel managed to dodge the camera! We’ll get her next time. She was sweet enough to provide the beautiful photos for this post, so pop over to her blog and say hi if you have a second.

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After mimosas and delicious pastries, Peggy Post from the Emily Post Institute spoke and signed copies of her lovely new book. I loved her spin on things and it’s one I fully endorse – etiquette is about considering other people as much as possible. Thinking before you speak. Considering how your words and actions could be perceived. Loving any idea for 5 minutes before raising opposition.

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The presentation was followed by a fabulous lunch by Cru Catering. And desserts by Christophe Artisan Chocolatiers arrived on a gorgeous stand.

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I could get used to this.

Lovely, lovely day and so much fun to bring the whole Dodeline team (even though I can hardly believe I have a team ;-)). Happy weekend!