Happy Birthday… To Us!
Well, it’s officially been one whole year since the launch of And Here We Are.
In some ways it feels like so much longer, and in other ways it feels like the time has flown by. I thought it would be fun to do an end-of-year recap of all we’ve done this year- and hopefully turn it into an annual thing.
So here’s a look back at some of the things we’ve made and done in this, our first year:
Start at the Beginning
First things first, we needed a name… and a mission. I decided to focus on my own strengths and loves: lettering, branding systems, and letterpress printing– which all meld perfectly into the Wedding & Event realm. And because the work is mostly in the announcing of big life events, particularly weddings, births and anniversaries, I named the company And Here We Are (as in: here we are, doing this big thing, moving into this new life stage, et cetera).
When it came to branding AHWA, I knew I wanted to have a hand-drawn script, incorporate gold and watercolor, with modern typography- so I started working on the logo and website (which I also coded myself), then extended the other collateral from there. I printed the business cards myself, letterpressed with a gold painted edge.
I also went through the necessary headaches of incorporating And Here We Are. It just seemed like the right move to go ahead and do it right from the start.
Then I went about creating the announcement/mailer that I would send out, doubling as a holiday gift: hand-letterpressed and -foil stamped holiday hang tags, along with a hello letter, and sent to potential future clients and collaborators, announcing our grand opening.
We were hired this year to work on several weddings for friends and clients. I was able to do more hand lettering, hand painting, and print methods such as foil-stamping and letterpress, all while developing what is sure to become our signature style of mixing modern and classic design elements.
As of now, all of our bespoke projects are still handled directly by me, which has certainly been keeping me on my toes!
Events & Partnerships
This year we participated in New York City’s first NotWedding, and did a styled photo shoot with Roey Mizrahi Events and Jessica Schmidt Photography. We also joined the Knot and Wedding Channel network, where clients can see and leave reviews and recommendations. And we have a very exciting collaboration coming this spring that I can’t wait to share.
We’ve been adding new cards and tags to the shop here and there, mostly as type and letterpress exercises of mine, and sort of as a test to see how well they’re received. Still trying to find that sweet spot between ready-to-sell items and custom per-client designs. We also sell custom wax seals and rubber stamps.
Lettering & Type Design
I’ve continued to create new lettering styles for use on stationery and invitation designs, and I’m just wrapping up my first term in Type@Cooper Union’s Extended Typeface Design program— scheduled to finish next summer. I’ve not only been learning how to design and code successful typefaces, but also participating in lettering and calligraphy workshops with amazing artists such as Cara Di Euwardo, Ken Barber and John Downer. My plan is to begin turning some of my lettering into typefaces over the next year, but haven’t yet decided whether to release them to the public or just offer them on our designs.
We started off with a flurry of posts featuring our 2012 holiday tags, and then in January were thrilled to be listed in 100 Layer Cake’s Favorite Wedding Invitations of 2012. Throughout 2013 we continued to garner press, with features on Style Me Pretty, Green Wedding Shoes and Oh So Beautiful Paper; a Vendor Spotlight on Merci New York; a giveaway on Style Me Pretty NY. And, bizarrely, starting in around May, photos of last year’s holiday mailing started to go viral on Pinterest.
So What’s Next?
There’s already so much in store for 2014. We are taking on new bespoke and custom wedding clients, working on a line of ready-to-customize invitation sets, lining up press, partnerships and collaborations, creating more items for the shop, definitely more hand lettering, and hopefully a few typefaces. I’m already exhausted just listing it!
I’m also really enjoying just see how one project leads to the next, and watching the portfolio grow in new and exciting ways. I’m excited and curious to see where we go this year, as I finish up my typeface design program next year and add a whole new set of skills to our offerings.
Here’s to a fantastic first year.
Thanks to everyone who keeps me going, whether doing business together or just encouraging my work- I really couldn’t do it without you! A special thanks to my amazing husband for putting up with me this year.
MeghanTags: Adventure, Beginnings, Custom Invitations, first year, Graphic Design, Greeting Cards, Hand Lettering, Lettering, Letterpress, Recap, Small Business, Wedding Design