Thursday, November 5, 2009

Holiday Shopping Guide - 20Lime Design

Today's featured Etsy artisan is Jennie from 20Lime Design.  If you're looking for stationary that is both hip and classic looking, 20Lime is the place to look. 

How did you get started crafting? 

I've always loved stationery. There is something so classic and traditional about having stationery with your name or monogram on it to send thank you notes, condolences, etc. In the age of email, social networking, and cell phones, taking the time to sit down, write, and mail a personal note is a touching and significant act. I think that the paper the note is written on should be just as special as the person writing it. It's a chance to express your personal je ne sais quoi and send it along with your words.

I got started doing stationery while still in design school (a quarter-life career change, see below for more on that.) I wanted to make a special gift for a friend's 30th birthday and "voila!" my Tulay design was born (I named it after my friend.) She loved it! I went on and did another set for my Mom's 60th birthday (my Diamonds design.) And then I couldn't stop, I'd think of a friend and what made them unique and special to me and then I'd design stationery for them. I love the smaller realm of A2-sized cards (4.25x5.5) and transforming it into something that really reflects a personality.

Why did you decide on 20Lime Design for your business name?

20Lime Design is not a reference to popular cocktail garnish. It's actually an address...

I spent my twenties living in Beacon Hill, a very unique and historic neighborhood in the heart of Boston. I renewed my lease for seven years to rent a tiny one bedroom apartment at 20 Lime Street. It's right around the corner from the Charles River and the Advent Church, with it beautiful bells that gong-ed and chimed me every evening. The haunting echoes bounded off the brick sidewalks, and weaved in and out of gas lanterns lining each street (or maybe that was just me.)

The walls of that apartment witnessed all of the silly and profound adventures of young woman learning to stand up on her own two feet. While navigating the minefields of a fledgling corporate career, I embarked on the sometimes funny and often frustrating search for Mr. Right and blasted marinara sauce all of the ceiling during dramatic first attempts at cooking.

Looking for something extracurricular to do, I took an intro to graphic design class at the New England School of Art & Design, Suffolk University. I was hooked and enrolled into the program to pursue a degree. It took 6 years, mostly going part time, but I did it! Turns out I found my true calling and abandoned my business suits and cubicle for jeans and a mac.

So when I began to think about bringing my dream of a design studio to life, it seemed so obvious (and has a nice to ring to it.) 20Lime Design, from whence it all began, my niche, my nest, my fortress, my flophouse, my home.

Although I no longer live in Beacon Hill (I finally found Mr. Right, married him, and moved to Maine) the spirit of my days on Lime Street thrives. It has become a sanctuary for my design and my art. A place where I can create the medium for love letters, thank-you notes, announcements, and holiday wishes.

PETAL personalized stationery set

Do you have a muse?
I started designing stationery for friends, and they are often unsuspecting muses for me. I like the challenge of trying to capture each unique personality and turn it into a stationery design.

I'm also greatly inspired by interior design, believe it or not. I love House Beautiful magazine and ideas are often sparked by a wallpaper pattern, color scheme, rug, or hanging plate. The Tulay design was influenced by an embroidered pillow and Beads came from a hanging, beaded curtain. Diamonds was inspired by the ultimate preppy decorating on the east coast of Florida.

At the same time I don't limit myself at all. I try to keep my eyes open to ideas anywhere. aOK came from a classic hand gesture that I felt had a great energy and positivity to it that I wanted to bring to paper.

Do you take custom orders?
I do. In addition to personalized stationery, I also do announcements, invitations, save the dates, calling cards, and whatever else anyone can think of.

I also do business design work, including logos, brochures, advertising, signage, etc. I especially like working with small businesses that are getting started.

What does a typical day look like for you?
That's the beauty of being self-employed. Every day is different. Who knows what I'll wake up to every morning. It usually includes plenty of time in my home studio, with my siberian husky, Chewy, smooshed under my desk (he snores too!) I generally have a couple projects going at once so my desk and work table are strewn with watercolors, markers, paper stock, pages from magazines for my inspiration files, etc. It's cluttered, but that means I'm submerged in art all day and I love that. At the end of the day I like to unwind in the kitchen, cooking with my husband and playing backgammon.

Where would you like to go with your business?
World Stationery domination! In all seriousness, I'd just love to get my work out there in the universe and be a recognized player part of the vast and diverse stationery marketplace. I'm planning on adding a line of A7 (5x7) greeting cards to my Etsy shop very soon. So stay tuned...

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