There is something so special about having custom-designed wedding invitations and signage. D. Johnson & Co Greetings began with a goal to provide couples with top-quality, beautiful stationery with a focus on serving people of color. If you are looking for a small, locally-owned business to create any paper goods for your day, get to know Deniesha and her amazing company below!
Q: Let’s get to it, what’s your business’ specialty?
A: D. Johnson & Co Greetings caters to the culturally specific niche of the greeting card industry primarily for African Americans and other people of color because representation matters. At D. Johnson & Co Greetings, our focus is to share creativity and love in custom, handcrafted, one-of-a-kind cards of the finest craftsmanship and artistry quality, made uniquely for you! We aren’t just limited to making just greeting cards, we also make custom event/business stationery.
Q: Where can we find you?
A: You can find our cards on our website in our shop. Boutiques can find us on fair.com but local shoppers can visit Roseline’s Place (St. Paul & Minneapolis), GiftyWrap pop-ups, LaNoire Bridal, and Queen Anna to find a limited selection of cards.
For our event stationery, we can be found on our website and we like to meet our couples for a consultation at a local coffee shop or meet-up space to discuss details and visions.
Q: Tell us when and how your business began.
A: I founded D. Johnson & Co Greetings in May 2020. This business was my calm and center during the storm (the COVID-19 pandemic). My contract ended at the end of March due to COVID and while I took a few weeks to just enjoy my two children; we binged DVDs and Netflix, we played games and worked on puzzles. I even decided to take on the hobby of sewing but quickly got bored of that. I desperately needed something to keep busy so I went back to what I know best; crafting, art, and design being a very creative person at heart. I started thinking of things I could do or make just to keep busy. I then realized I could make cards using my Cricut for Mother’s Day that was coming up. It was then that I learned this would be an outlet for me to be creative, share my gifts, all while I gave a little love & kindness in every card I made.
Initially, I started making custom cards and stationery years ago, but mostly as an added service to my event planning business going as far back as 2010. Over the years, even though I stopped planning events, I continued to make cards and event stationery on special occasions for close family & friends to make them feel special and I quickly learned that it was another great business venture.
Q: What makes D. Johnson & Co Greetings unique from others?
A: What makes us unique from others is that we make complete customizable items from greeting cards to event and business stationery to align with the customer’s specific needs. Unlike other stationery businesses, we don’t just customize the color, font, or message detail; we can make your vision come to life.
Q: How long have you been in the industry? What do you think has changed the most since then?
A: I have been in the industry for 2 years now. In the two years, I feel like people are going big and full out because they couldn’t for those two years we were in the pandemic. The look is more eclectic, dramatic/extravagant, and very unique… Everything is foiled too. I call it the YOLO style. Tomorrow isn’t promised so live it up as lavishly as you can today. Before, the big trend was calligraphy typography and rustic-style stationery, it’s a huge change to now.
Another thing that has changed due to the pandemic is a lot of couples are having reception-only “weddings”. They’re getting married intimately or privately and then having a big celebration with friends and family afterward. And their suites are becoming fewer items as they’re utilizing their wedding website more for other correspondence.
Q: Walk us through your average workday.
A: As a single mother of two, my average workday or week isn’t set by a specific time frame due to the times I need to be available for school drop offs and pickups, homework/lesson plan, meal preps/cooking. I generally get my day started around 8 am with social media posts. Once or twice a week (days and time picked randomly based on availability), I take about an hour to create content to be shared on my social media pages. I then spend about an hour responding to emails and DM inquiries. Most days I write out my to do list for the day or week and begin making the orders based on the priority and deadlines requested. This may take anywhere from an hour, all day, or a few days depending on the order size and level of detail. Some days I make errand runs to pick up materials needed to complete the orders and it may require I deliver the orders when they’re finished to the customer or to the nearest FedEx/USPS location.
Once a month, towards the last week I make updates to the opening message on my website home page. I also make updates to the website shop upon completion of a new product design that I can offer. Usually around this time too, I’m updating my financial spreadsheet with orders (revenue) received and expenses made out for material or bills.
Most nights can end as late as 10pm, other nights with larger orders can end around 2, 3 or 4 am.
Q: What would you want couples searching for your business type to know?
A: I am a personable fun maker. All of my items are completely customizable, and I am willing to work with you to create your vision. My background is in art and design, I’m an artist/crafter by nature since birth and am passionate about it. I have made sculptures, paintings, drawings/sketches, and I have even refinished furniture. However, from 2005-2016 I worked as an event planner on the side of my 9 to 5 where I made custom stationery items for my couples for their events. I also love the challenge of creating something new and trendy.
Q: How far in advance should a couple book with you?
A: Orders over 150 cards/items should be placed 4-6 weeks in advance of when you would like to send them out. This way, I’m not rushed and am less likely to make a costly mistake on your order, but it’ll also allow me to make your order in a timely manner so that you can receive it when you need it, if not sooner.
Q: What would your dream paper suite consist of?
A: Velvet envelope with foil lining, a velvet and foil booklet with an acrylic invitation. Foil font and detail on the acrylic with 110# paper set with foiled and printed details. I picture those paper items and the acrylic are in a fun shape.
Another idea is to have full image printed on a curious cosmic paper; it has a smooth soft touch almost like touching velvet but the image is brought to new heights with real depth. I’d love to top it off with embossed foil details enclosed in a velvet booklet and envelope.
Q: What’s your signature style?
A: I can’t really say that I have a signature style because my stationery projects have varied from fancy cut designs, minimalist looks, fancy typography, geometric shapes, and even fun closure options. Again, as I make the stationery completely customizable to the client’s request every design is different from the others. The one thing that seems to be consistent though is I love a romantic clean look, and I’m always asked to provide the foiling element to the items.
Q: What trends in stationery are popular with couples at the moment? What trends will we see more of this year?
A: Trends that I have noticed that I believe we’ll see more of is highly visual save the dates and even invitations, Vintage and art-deco styled invitation suites are popular based on the era that best reflects the couple’s wedding style. Reception-only invites are pretty popular coming from the pandemic where a lot of people celebrated their union intimately. Now that we can celebrate again in person, a lot of people are still choosing to privately or intimately tie the knot yet share the party with their loved ones and friends.
QR codes to lead guests to the wedding website or wedding registry are becoming a trendy thing as are natural, contemporary-styled suites. But the biggest trend has been conscious shopping practices where people are looking to work with small and minority-owned businesses for their stationery needs, this trend I appreciate being a small and minority-owned business myself.
Q: What show are you binging right now?
A: Grey’s Anatomy for the umpteenth time lol, I can’t get enough of that show.
Q: You’re in charge of the lineup for your dream concert. Who are your headliners?
A: Beyonce, Usher, Kendrick Lamar, Tems, Bruno Mars, Chris Brown.
Q: Gold or Silver?
Q: Black Tie or Casual?
A: Black Tie, I love a good excuse to get dressed up fancy.
Q: You’re at brunch. Are you going for something sweet or savory?
A: Sweet, I love a good pastry at brunch… croissants or waffles topped with whip cream and strawberries, yum!
Q: Favorite board game?
Q: Do you have any favorite podcasts?
A: Dead Ass Podcast with Khadeen and Devale
Q: Mountains or Beach?
A: Beach. I love a good white sandy beach with a clear blue ocean.
Q: Favorite place you’ve traveled to?
A: Barcelona, Spain because of the architecture and culture.
Ready to begin your design journey with Deniesha? Check out her website and submit and inquiry now!
All images courtesy of D. Johnson & Co Greetings