Monday was a busy day – full of phone calls, constant emailing, errands, conversations, order processing, and the like. In the midst of the chaos, I got my oil changed at the car dealership, and like I always do, I set up my computer on the counter and got down to business while I waited. I am always, always multitasking it seems.

One of the fellows that worked at the dealership seemed interested in what I was doing and asked if I was working on homework. Side note: I try to be grateful that I look young, but sometimes looking like I’m still in high school gets old. When I said I actually owned a business and really wished their internet would start working, he said, “really? You look so young.”

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A little while later he came back and asked what it was like, running a business. It must be awesome, he said, getting to just do what I wanted to do all the time.

What a misconception that is. That and my lunchtime conversation with a good friend who left her small business to take a job with a firm lead me to pondering all the pro’s and con’s of owning a small business. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for entrepreneurship, but I think knowing what you’re getting into is important too. So, here goes nothin’…

Cons (for lack of a better word)

- Many days, I am working before the world is awake. It’s the only time of the day I can work without emails rolling in every minute or the phone ringing like crazy. So if I leave work a little early, it’s usually because I’ve already been at it for 10 hours or so and my brain can’t handle it anymore.

- I rarely, if ever, take the proverbial “lunch hour.” It’s usually lunch at the desk, reading the news or industry updates for 15 minutes or so.

- Although we are closed on the weekends, we are often putting in several hours just to keep the accounting, legal, and “corporate” side of the business straight. As small as we are, I simply don’t have enough hours in the day to keep client projects going and do that too during business hours. You have no idea what a paperwork monster running a business is until you have to start doing all of that for yourself.

- Just because I run a business that technically falls in line with my passions doesn’t mean that there aren’t a whole bunch of parts of it I don’t like. I think that’s the biggest misconception out there – you like to fish, so you start a fishing business, and you love everything you do all day long. Unfortunately, that’s just not life — see previous point: paperwork, taxes, billing, and days when the fish aren’t cooperating. It’s not all sunshine and roses even when the business is based on your passions.

- Days off are almost impossible. When you have a job with a boss, you can usually ask for the day off and the office knows you are off so they more or less leave you alone. When you are a small business, you have no one boss, you have a whole lot of clients. You can’t really inform all of them that you’re taking the day off, so needless to say it’s a bit difficult to do.

- Basically, it’s all on you.

On the flip side, the Pro’s:

- I have the choice to decide that I want to get up at the crack of dawn (or before) and work so I can take off a bit early one day.

- Even though there are parts I don’t love, there are absolutely a whole bunch of parts I do love too, and that more than makes up for it.

- It honestly is really hard to take a day off – there’s just no way to manage to tell everyone that and it seems someone almost always ends up thinking you are ignoring them. But, you do get to be in control of when you want that vacation time / sick time and it doesn’t have to actually be “approved” by anyone.

- I do get to make the choice to have a long lunch every now and then if a friend stops by or I got up early to work.

- Again, it’s all on you. It’s a double edged sword – wonderful and terrifying all at once.

Really, I think it comes down to control, doesn’t it? It’s wonderful to have the choice of when and how you want to work, but the bottom line is that there is still a whole lot of work to be done. So while you have the choice of when to do it, you aren’t hanging out at the pool in the afternoon without sacrificing somewhere else in your day, whether it’s that the business isn’t doing well or that you were up at the crack of dawn.

Have you ever run a small business? What would you consider small business pros and cons to be? What are the pro’s and con’s of working for someone else?

These invitations are all about FUN, and I just love them. The color scheme is fabulous too – coral and a pretty pale blue just sing spring.

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The bride and I hit it off right away – we had all sorts of fun conversations about books and the Great Gatsby and everything in between – so it was so much fun to create these invitations for this sweet couple. We did a mad lib RSVP postcard, an adorable map, and really fun and unique wording for the invitation itself. This couple is tying the knot very soon…so excited for them!

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And with that, invitation extravaganza week is over. Hurray weekend! I’ll be back next week with some more house posts and other fun things. Have a great weekend!

I was so so happy that the weather held out last weekend for this gorgeous blush and gray wedding by Engaging Events. From what little I got to hear in some of our meetings, there were flowers galore and I cannot wait to see photos.

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This invitation is absolutely to die for – the whole suite is letterpress in a beautiful color combination of blush and gray. We used calligraphy for some of the elements complemented with beautiful floral patterns. I love how they did the “emblem” on the back and we used that in several other elements of the wedding, such as menus and programs.

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Thank you to Bridgit McBee for taking these fun photos!

Right about now, hopping on a plane and taking off to a sandy beach in Mexico sounds pretty fantastic…and these invitations will make you want to do just that! This bride is planning an amazing destination wedding on the beach in Mexico, so we wanted the invitations to be fun, coastal, but still a little bit elegant too.

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beach destination wedding invitation

beach destination wedding invitation

beach destination wedding invitation

beach destination wedding invitation

I really love the pale blue petalfold pocket that opens up to reveal all the little details and the invitation itself. Wrapped up with a belly band and it’s the perfect package!

Happy #WeddingWednesday friends!

Oh my, these are pretty. And one of my all time favorite, sweetest brides, I must say. Jennie came in to our office over a year ago absolutely dying to start talking paper. A girl after my own heart!

We started with the save the date, of course, and we created a lovely marsh scene inspired by the Lowndes Grove reception location. The save the date was letterpressed and we actually did a mixture of envelopes – some sage green, some blush pink – all with a seersucker champagne liner. Just a little Southern, no?

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For the invitation, we moved on to incorporating a beautiful lace alongside Lowcountry scenery. The invitation is double sided letterpress on awesome thick Crane 220 paper.

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blush wedding invitation

blush wedding invitation

Paige Tanenbaum did the beautiful calligraphy on inner and outer envelopes. We also used the handwritten address for the return and response.

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blush wedding invitation

blush wedding invitation

blush wedding invitation

I love the fun little detail of printing the envelope liner with a phrase or something cute. We decided to do a phrase instead of the lace since we had a fair amount of that already, and I think it definitely adds a little something unique.

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Jennie and George tied the knot this past weekend – congratulations you two!

It’s official – wedding season is upon us and all of the amazing brides we’ve worked with for months are tying the knot! Krissy and Eric, an awesome Yoj Events couple, said “I do” in mid March and their modern green and gray invitations are some of my favorites we’ve recently done..

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Bridgit McBee was sweet enough to take these fun photos for us, and I saw a quick sneak peek of the beautiful day over on the Yoj Events Facebook page…

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I can’t wait to see more of the decor! The greenery looks incredible and I love succulents in a wedding. Happy Monday!

Happy Monday friends!

I am in love with this gorgeous fireplace, and completely unable to comprehend that it’s in my house. Photographic evidence of the splendid-ness provided by Seastar Arts…

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I remember when we first toured the house and how the realtor and R both were a little surprised at how strongly I disliked the existing fireplace. It was, in fact, a fireplace, which I loved, but it kind of ended there.

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First of all, I really don’t like yellow-y wood tones. Secondly, pairing yellow-y wood with black granite tiles is a no-go in my world and, even though I know I’m no photographer, it just made the whole thing a black hole. Thirdly, the surround is not EVEN and goodness gracious how that would have driven me crazy. Fourth, it’s too tall for the space. The mantle was obviously a find from somewhere else that was thrown into this room, but the living room is really not very big and has your standard 8′ ceilings. The scale is off all the way around.

Originally, I budgeted for and planned to paint the mantle and change out the tile. I also thought about adding some paneling above to take it to the ceiling. All of that changed when we decided that the fake paneling had to go, though.

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In order to rip the paneling out, the tile had to come off, which is not an easy feat. The mantle was actually held up by two nails (really?!) and laid OVER the tile. So I was pretty glad we pulled it down.

In all honesty, we could have just put the mantle back up, I know. But once you had a raw room with all those possibilities….and once you’ve spent two weeks babying drywall into becoming beautifully smooth walls….it just didn’t feel right.

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So out came the drawing board.

Luckily, my dad and husband were around this whole time and tolerated my crazy. Let’s be honest though, the three of us together are sort of like the Energizer Bunny or something – all very intense people who want things done right, aren’t afraid to figure it out, and will not quit (even when it’s good for us).

With the rough plan drawn up, we started wandering around Lowe’s to determine how we were going to build this thing. My dad has built lots of things before and R and I were lucky to get to learn from him. All in all, the mantle is made from a combination of 1×4′s, 1×6′s, 1×2′s, etc. that we bought off the shelf at Lowe’s.

 

 

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If you break it down, it’s really quite simple in its geometry, but the effect of creating the “raised panels” makes it feel higher end (I hope). Also, I had been determined since the beginning to bring it all the way to the ceiling.

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I think that’s probably enough rambling for today. We’ll get into part two – tile surround – in the next post…happy Friday + happy weekend!

Finally, finally, we should be having some springtime weather here in Charleston today. They promised it to us yesterday too but the sun didn’t show up until 4:00 and it was still chilly, so I’m not counting that. Although our “chilly” is probably warm in a lot of places. Oh, well.

So in honor of springtime, we are debuting some cheery springy new cards today! Just in time for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and all those springtime birthdays and parties that will start popping up soon.

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We wanted to play with all the beautiful colors on trend right now – golds, mint green, radiant orchid, and pretty pinks. The talented Jeni of Seastar Arts took these fun photos for us so we couldn’t be happier!

Shop these cards in our Etsy shop. Happy Thursday!

Hello friends! I’m sorry I suddenly went AWOL. Between small biz ownership, wedding season, a largely DIY home renovation, and packing for the move, something had to give.

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Since we’d spent every waking moment at the new house over the past five weeks, there hadn’t been much moving prep to speak of. So on Thursday, after a late night of “final” painting work Wednesday, we had planned to box up the apartment. Unfortunately we discovered in a trip to the new place that that our ceiling touch up paint in the new kitchen was not successful – you could totally see it – and found ourselves repainting the whole ceiling instead. Luckily we’re kind of pros at that now. So Thursday was another late night packing.

We moved in on Friday and, with the help of the great team at Sure Load Moving, were able to get almost everything to the new place on that day.

Let the unpacking commence.

Unpacking is much more fun than packing, although the not-fun part was that, for the same reason the apartment wasn’t packed, I was wwaayy behind on laundry. I think I spent all day Saturday doing laundry, but I didn’t mind too much. It gave me a chance to spend a little time with this house of ours.

The past few days we’ve been able to settle in a bit more and try to get used to house-living as opposed to apartment-living. There are definitely differences that I had kind of forgotten — although I grew up in a house, I haven’t lived in one really since I was 18.

The first and only thing to get hung on the wall so far is my vintage key hook I brought back from our last Paris trip, because it is WAY harder to find your keys in a house I’ve discovered. Plus, I haven’t hung this in any of our houses before, and it’s just so wonderfully symbolic, isn’t it?

I actually purchased it on New Year’s Eve 2012, right before attending an amazing concert at Sainte Chappelle in Paris, and I dumbly bought it forgetting I would have to carry it through security. Somehow they didn’t even stop me, and I’m not really sure how I feel about that..? Either way, it has a great story and I’m excited to be able to find my keys!

Stay tuned for new cards, house pics, DIY tutorials, and messes in the kitchen…hurray for normal life again!

are we there yet? can we officiate the sprunging of spring? dear weather gods, i hope so! ’cause this month’s stock is so chock full of springtime, it’s nearly exploding at its very own seams.

meet march’s gorgeous, flowery, monogrammed goodness.

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for me, this sweet stationery set denotes scents of gardenia and roses and jasmine … a garden party, if you will …ladies who lunch + brunch …and Easter and babies and all of that glory. if last month’s round was teetering at feminine, this month, our favorite design gal said, to heck with it, and gave us full-on girl, like, frolicking in fields of lavender, girl. and i’m so there. in fact, i’m never leaving.

xoxo
lisa

thank you to seastar arts for the lovely photos!