For the first 15 years of my career I worked in London as an art director. Creating beautiful images and designing publications, showcasing a brand’s products.
It was a lovely way to spend the working week but, towards the end, I was desperate to start a family and shoot schedules were playing havoc with my personal life.
So I decided on a complete change; I wanted to be able to work from home, not have to commute each day or travel to far flung places for photoshoots.
I LOVED my job — I truly did — but setting up my own business, especially doing something that I had always done as a sideline for friends and family, seemed the obvious thing to do.
I turned from art director to wedding stationer — and Mooks was born.
The wedding industry is a crazy one. Lovely in one sense — you’re privy to a couple’s top secret plans and can be wholly drawn into the excitement and anticipation of their big day— but not so good in another. Dealing with anxious brides can be pretty stressful.
So stressful, in fact, that when you realise that your 30-something client is more demanding than your 5 month old twin babies, something has to give.
So after 5 years of designing wedding stationery full time, I decided to change direction again.
I still design the odd order — and have got a couple of lovely clients on my books at the moment — but it’s a joy rather than a chore and it’s lovely hearing my client’s plans about their impending nuptials.
At one time, venues would arrange all the decorations for you. These days so many people want a Pinterest worthy-wedding day and couples spend hours scouring charity shops for mismatched china teacups — or vintage glasses — or finding the perfect vase or table centrepiece.
Wedding are big business.
High street stores like H&M, HomeSense and IKEA sell fabulous — and reasonably priced — candlesticks, letters spelling out Mr & Mrs or beautiful bell jars and domes to display flowers or cakes.
Then you’ve platforms like Etsy and Not On The High Street selling a vast array of personalised guest books and unusual wedding favours.
I still make and sell a range of personalised favour tins on there, in fact. I love making them and — even more — I love receiving messages from happy brides and grooms, afterwards, telling me how much their guests loved them :)
I still love chatting to my clients about their plans; the colour-schemes and little personal touches they have in mind. Interesting ways they’ve thought of to display a seating plan or the wedding cake.
Bunting and flowers — there are so many lovely ways to personalise the venue and make it a memorable day. And to be honest, I find it a lot easier getting excited about these plans, rather than stressing that a menu card is a milli-shade darker than the invitations.
Life is funny isn’t it? The way it twists and turns.
From art director to wedding stationer, now I make prints and papercuts which I sell in my little online shop.
So when the confetti has blown away and my lovely clients settle down to life as Mr and Mrs, I occasionally hear from them again.
Sometimes they come back for one of my wedding papercuts, to mark the anniversary of their first year of marriage. Traditionally, a gift made out of paper is given, so a papercut is a lovely choice.
And sometimes it’s for me to make birth announcement cards or Christening invitations for their new babies.
So lovely; the circle of life and many happy events in between.
This is a collaborative post but all thoughts, words and images (unless otherwise stated) — as ever — are entirely my own.