We’re so excited to share a peek at one of our newest PEARL members! We adore having Cardinal and Straw on board!
From Emily at Cardinal and Straw :
Being affiliated with such respected and talented wedding professionals is a real honor for me. I was so impressed when I first heard about Pearl and saw the quality of professionals who made up the group. I was so humbled to have been asked to join!
Please share the story your business name, Cardinal and Straw?
Haha…well, my husband laughs every time this subject comes up. I am a Chi Omega and Cardinal and Straw are the sorority’s colors. Even though my college years are far behind me I am still very involved in the organization - the largest women’s organization in the world by the way! I serve as an advisor to the women at the University of Kentucky and am the President of the Lexington Alumnae chapter…I debated for a long time about what to call my wedding invitation business - I wanted to incorporate the name of something that had meaning to me - had my children been born yet their names would probably have been in there, but at the time Cardinal and Straw spoke to me…I think it has a nice ring!
What inspired you to start your business?
I studied Art History in college and art museum education in graduate school and spent 10 years working in art museums in the Washington, DC area before my husband’s job landed us in Kentucky. I wanted to continue working on creative endeavors and had an interest in graphic design so it evolved from that. After being in Kentucky for a few years my husband and I decided to open up a commercial printing business franchise (Minuteman Press) so this just fit perfectly! I split my time doing design work for our business clients and wedding clients - it’s a great mix…and I have had more than one bride become a business customer which is always fun!
Will you please share with us a handful of your favorite fonts?
I am obsessed with fonts.
My favorite of late is Feel Script by Alejandro Paul of Sudtipos type studio…this font rivals the lettering of a calligrapher, has the dreamiest swashes and alternate characters…it works beautifully for monograms and brides swoon when they see their names written in it.
I always like Bickham Script by Richard Lipton…it is more of a quill type calligraphy script and has amazing ligatures (when 2 letters connect together to make one pretty design element)...it is probably the most requested of all of my fonts.
For block fonts, I am using a lot of the Mrs. Eaves family right now but I am kind of a traditionalist and really like Garamond for a Serif font and Gill Sans for a Sans Serif.
There are also so many fun free fonts out there…I could go on and on…
What’s something most clients don’t know about Cardinal and Straw?
We can take care of pretty much all of your wedding printing - save the dates (cards, postcards, magnets), invitations, favor tags/labels, programs, menu cards, seating charts, water bottle labels, napkins, tote bags - you name it! We do all of the design work and printing here so even though “custom wedding invitations” might sound fancy and expensive, it really can be quite affordable because there is no middle man here - we do it all in house. Also, we offer not only flat printing, but thermography printing (raised ink) and my favorite, letterpress!
It’s evident that there’s an ease with working with brides wherever they are (Lexington or otherwise) - Tell us a little about how this process usually works…
Brides usually contact me about 8 months prior to their wedding date to begin working on their save dates (which usually get sent out about 6 months prior to the wedding)...that gives us time to design a monogram or signature element that we can then tie into all of the printed collateral for her wedding. After the initial consultation (which takes place in my office for local brides or via phone for out of town brides), I work primarily through email - sending .pdf proofs of mock ups for brides to review…this is a back and forth process and (unlike if you walk into a big shop and pick out an invitation from a big book), brides are never locked into anything they tell me initially…if they decide they want to adjust the colors, don’t like the fonts, want a larger invitation, etc. I will make the changes until my bride is 100% in love with her invitation suite.
If you could offer a piece of advice to a new bride about her wedding stationery, what would you like to tell her?
In terms of design, sometimes less is more…don’t feel like you have to tie in EVERY element of your wedding into your invitations…I think some of the most beautiful invitations we have done have been the simplest. Work with your stationery designer on a simple signature element that you can carry throughout all of your printed materials and you will easily achieve a cohesive, coordinating look that you will love to look back on in 20 years.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give to a new couple about their wedding in general?
Relax. I really believe everything happens for a reason. Do your best to choose reputable vendors who will get you through the planning process with ease. Use a wedding planner if it is in your budget.
At what point in the planning process do clients typically contact you? (or what do you recommend?)
8 months is great if you are interested in sending out save the date cards…I like to have about a month to turn around custom invitation designs.
What are some of your favorite places in Lexington (can be anything—restaurants, shops, parks, etc!)
My non-work life and activities are pretty much devoted to family right now. Our neighborhood is on a working horse farm and there is a small lake we can walk around…I love taking my babies for a walk in the evening when the horses are out and will come up to the fence for my daughter to pet…my 2 year old also just started dance class at Gotta Dance in Lansdowne Shoppes and I so look forward to the sheer joy on her face during that hour every week - their staff is unbelievable with 2 year olds.
We know you love your job! What’s your favorite part of being involved in weddings?
When a bride sends me photos of the big day and I get to see how all of the materials she had printed were incorporated into the wedding - I love seeing photos of the “bride and groom ” signs we printed tied to the backs of chairs and the welcome bag labels on pretty bags tied with bows and the programs nestled in a basket.
What other type of events do you design stationery for?
Any type of social events - baby showers, anniversary parties, birthday celebrations, you name it…I also do nuts and bolts commercial designing and printing - letterhead, business cards, envelopes, etc. and marketing materials - brochures, postcards, newsletters, etc.
What’s a tip you can offer to brides to be resourceful when it comes to wedding stationery? (or costly mistakes to avoid?)
Forward the proofs you receive to everyone - your mom, your future mother in law - your fiance - your wedding planner, your maid of honor, EVERYONE… have everyone look through for design, spelling, dates, etc…I have had more than one bride approve wedding invitations only to realize once she was showing them to someone that her fiance’s name was misspelled…it sounds crazy, but a bride tends to look at the invitation design from an aesthetic perspective and the other details become secondary…so show it to everyone and then email back with changes! Also, order 25 extra invitation suites over whatever your final count is…it can be very costly to do a small reorder after the fact.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do for fun?
Spending time with my children - Sadie Ann is 2 1/2 and James (JJ) is 9 months old - they are so much fun.
We’re so excited to share a few samples of Cardinal and Straw’s gorgeous work with you below! Hope you enjoyed getting to know Cardinal and Straw, we’re so excited for 2012!