Watercolor Baby Shower Invitations

"Let's celebrate the little deer!" This watercolor baby shower invitation suite I think is one of my favorites I have ever done. All the watercolor elements for these, the deer family, banner, flowers, liner and ribbon tag were all hand painted and then digitally reproduced and cut for each set. 

I scan my original watercolor illustrations into photoshop then work from there to lay out all the pieces. These were so fun to make and such a joy to open. You can find these invites in my Etsy Shop! This client wanted a gender neutral color scheme and theme. They were waiting until the baby was born to find out the sex. This was also a couples shower.

Moody Black & Gold Wedding Invitations

Designing and putting together our wedding invitations was one of my favorite parts of our planning. These beauties are one of a kind.

I knew I wanted black and gold to be our wedding colors so I really planned the rest of our wedding decor and feel around these invitations. Your wedding invite sets the tone for the whole event. So think about what kind of wedding you want as you're deciding what kind of invites you want to purchase. Colors, paper, texture, stamps and liners all play a role. 

I wanted pressed gold foil on a black background so I ordered the actual paper invites from Minted.com. Now Minted doesn't offer colored envelopes, so I ordered those from cardsandpockets.com. The Liners and band I made by hand from an amazing photograph I found on Etsy. The calligraphy really added something so special to these. I knew I was never going to be able to address these by hand to the level I wanted them so I found a calligrapher who had some wonderful samples of gold ink in. The images below show everything all together including the vintage stamps I also purchases with a corresponding color scheme. 

Where everything came from:
Calligraphy: Seniman Calligraphy
Floral Photograph for Liner/Band: Kristybee Photography
Gold Foil Pressed Invites: Minted
Vintage Stamps: usmintsheets.com 
Black Envelopes: Cards & Pockets

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Wedding Bells

I'm married and it's amazing! I feel like though I have really fallen down on the job this past year with Brilliant Critter and my Etsy Shop. I knew it would happen. There is only so much creative time and juice to go around and all of mine over the last 12 months went to my wedding. So it's official! I am Mrs. Kristin Shockley Rapisardi and I couldn't be more excited to start my married life with my husband. 

Now that the wedding is over and the days of obsessing about table seating arrangements and envelope liners are done I plan to go full steam ahead in 2017 with new artwork and ideas for my Etsy Shop! So make sure you stay tuned! Before we are too far into the new year though I do want to share some (yes this is only some) of the amazing photos from our beautiful day with you.

I realize this is not a wedding blog or website but for this one post I beg your indulgence because I just love these photos so much and with the amount of work I and all my vendor friends put into this day they need to be shared, so enjoy!

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The amazing vendors and friends I worked with to make my designs and ideas come true.

Photography: David Schwartz Photography
Coordinator: Uniquely Yours by Pearl
Venue: Chrysler Museum of Art
Hair: Flawless: Beauty on Site
MakeUp: BlushTones
Floral Design: Black Iris Floral Events
Caterer: Cuisine & Company
Wedding Dress: House of Maya
Desserts: Hummingbird Macarons and Desserts
Rentals: Distinctive Event Rentals | Black Iris Floral Events
Paper Goods: Designed by The Bride

 

 

 

Etsy Shop Tips and Advice

Just let me start off this post by saying I'm certainly not the be-all end-all when it comes to Etsy advice. There are many others who have been selling much longer then I have and have made a lot more money then me. But that being said, after selling on Etsy for 3 years and growing year over year, I do have some helpful tips and general observations that have helped me make it to the point I'm at today. I have also gotten several requests for general advice from new shop owners and friends so here we go!

1. PHOTOS! PHOTOS! PHOTOS! 

I put this one at the top of my list because it might be the most important and I'm going to take a hot minute expanding on it. When you're selling a product online your photos are the only thing a buyer has to connect with. They can't touch it, try it on, smell it... you get the idea. So you better have some fantastic photos of your product that make people stop and look. Note: I said FANTASTIC photos. Not average, so so, maybe these will work if I throw my dog in there, photos. I mean professional grade product photos should be your goal. Invest in a SLR camera. Don't use your iPhone. I would also suggest investing in a photo editing program as well. Photoshop is my fav but I'm partial to Adobe products. You are competing with other shops that sell what you are trying to sell. So do everything you can to stand out. I see so many shops in the Etsy Forums asking why isn't my product selling? So I visit their shop and they have one photo per listing that probably was taken in the darkest room of their house, out of focus on the worst background choice possible. Take a minute to educate yourself on how to take a good product photo before you open your shop. If taking photos really isn't your thing find a friend who is good at it and offer to pay them a little to take them. Trust me it's worth it.

2. LISTING TITLES & TAGS

When you list a product for the first time in your Etsy shop, you'll have to fill out the Listing Details and Tags for that item. When choosing your listing titles select a set of words or a few phrases the best describes your product and that people would type in the search bar on Etsy. If you are selling a purple scarf something like: Women's Purple Scarf - Knitted Purple Scarf - Long Knitted Purple Scarf is what you want to go for. You should then use those same words and more in the Tags listing section. Use phrases again rather then single words. This is how people will find your product when they search and it's part of how Etsy ranks your products in searches.

3. CUSTOMER SERVICE & RESPONSE TIME

Everyone wants to feel like they're important and making your customers feel that way is key. I'm still honored every time I hear my Etsy phone cha-ching alert go off. "You like me..? You really like me!?" That sound means someone liked my product enough to give me their money. Even though I have had my Etsy shop for 3 years I treat every order, no matter how small with the same respect and love. I fill orders as soon as I can, usually the same day. I put care into my packaging and shipping so when someone receives their order they say wow, this is special...I feel special! I also answer private messages or questions I get ASAP no matter where I am. These days people expect immediate answers for things online and that is one way you can make sure you get the sale and they don't drift to another shop while they are waiting for an answer from you. Customer Reviews on Etsy play a huge roll in the sales process. I know as a buyer myself I will choose to buy or not buy based on a shop's reviews. 

4. ROME WASN'T BUILT IN A DAY

It really wasn't and your Etsy shop won't be either. One of the biggest things I learned really quickly with my shop is the orders / money will not come rolling in the minute your shop goes live. If it does, high five and drinks on you! But normally it will not. I only had 1 order the first month I opened and it slowly took off from there. Just plug away at it and keep adding more products. Whether Etsy just provides you with some extra spending money or you hope to do it one day as a full time job, everyone starts out the same and you will get back what you put into it. So have some patience but have fun too!