You saw Ivory Isle Designs sage advice in changing your wedding date, now get to know them a bit more here! Below, we chat with Josie about how she ended up in the industry by chance and her latest venture into custom watercolor designs with the help of her parents!
Q: Let’s get to it, what’s your business’ specialty?
A: We design and produce specialty wedding stationery, often featuring hand-painted watercolors of locations important to our clients.
Q: Where can we find you?
A: 235 West Main Street, Suite 200, in Waconia, MN, in the office building above the Waconia Brewing Company (score, right?!) which overlooks the lake.
Q: Tell us when and how Ivory Isle Designs began.
A: This business began as a bit of a happy accident when, 15 years ago, my fiance and I were looking for invitations for our wedding that were personal to us without breaking the bank. When we couldn’t find anything that felt like us, I used my design experience from working in advertising in Los Angeles to make them myself. Friends saw them and asked me to design their invitations and with a lot of hard work and persistence, the rest was history!
Q: What makes your company unique from others?
A: My parents are both watercolor artists. I’ve learned to paint over the years from them. The three of us paint custom watercolors of venues and watercolor monograms, which has really become popular over the last few years. This skill lets us offer our clients custom paintings at affordable prices, and when we pair that with on-trend stationery design and high-quality materials and print production, it’s a winning combination for both us and our clients.
Q: How long have you been in the industry? What do you think has changed the most since then?
A: April 1st will mark Ivory Isle Designs’ 15th anniversary. Since we’ve entered the industry, I’ve seen wedding stationery become much more personal. Couples are putting themselves, their love story, into the design of their invitations. It makes me excited to create each piece just for one specific wedding, one specific couple.
Q: Walk us through your average day.
A: My day often starts with answering emails and inquiries that came in since I turned my email off at 5 pm the night before. I do this with a cup of coffee, still in my jammies, from my home office, often with my puppy on my lap. Then I head into our office in downtown Waconia where my day is split between painting watercolors for clients, designing stationery suites, corresponding and consulting with clients, and managing production with our press partners.
Q: What would you want couples searching for your business type to know?
A: I would want them to know that they have more options in their budget than they think they do!
Q: How far in advance should a couple book with you?
A: Our painting queue is usually 2-3 weeks, just for the custom painting, so booking far in advance is a good idea if you are wanting custom art, as stationery design and production needs about an additional month after that. If a client is wanting something more standard, such as a photo Save the Date card or magnet, we can turn those around in less than a week.
Q: What’s your signature style?
A: Light and airy watercolor is what we’ve become most known for. Romantic, aspirational images of where a wedding will be held, or image groupings that represent the couple in a custom monogram for them.
Q: What’s one wedding trend you’re over?
A: I personally am over pocket fold invitations. I remember when I started in the industry before every car had a GPS and every couple had a wedding website, we needed to do a response card, an insert for directions and another for accommodations, and yet another for the reception details. Pocketfolds made sense to hold all those pieces together, but they just aren’t needed today. And for the inserts that are still needed, there are other more innovative ways to hold them together, such as belly bands and vellum wraps.
Q: What trends in stationery/calligraphy are popular with couples at the moment? What trends will we see more of this year?
A: Hand lettering is still big and deservedly so, especially when paired with our watercolor paintings. It has a natural, personal feel to it that is easy while still being elegant.
Q: What show are you binging right now?
A: Breaking Bad (how did I not see this when it first came out?!) and Schitt’s Creek.
Q: You’re in charge of the lineup for your dream concert. Who are your headliners?
A: I hate to let you down. It would be a line up of podcasts and TED talks. I may be the only artist alive who chooses talk over music.
Q: Gold or Silver?
Q: Black Tie or Casual?
A: Black Tie to make it special. I’m casual every day.
Q: You’re at brunch. Are you going for something sweet or savory?
A: Savory. Most likely with a Mimosa.
Q: Favorite board game?
A: Charades as long as my son is playing. It is not possible to keep a straight face when he’s up!
Q: Do you have any favorite podcasts?
A: A lot of business podcasts which keeps me inspired to always evolve.
Q: Mountains or Beach?
Q: Who would you like to sit next to on a plane?
A: My best friend. I would choose someone who knows me well over someone well known to others every time.
Thanks so much for chatting with us, Josie! Head to their site to begin your stationery journey with Ivory Isle Designs.