Today I am pleased to get back to posting our regular guest post feature, supplier spotlight and this week were chatting with the talented Nikki, owner of Knots & Kisses wedding stationery…..
- When did you set up Knots & Kisses wedding stationery and what led you to start-up your own business?
I set up Knots & Kisses in 2009. I had spent most of my life working in Visual Merchandising in London and had enough of the daily commute and being packed onto a train for an hour every morning!
I had always wanted to set up my own business doing something more creative and wedding stationery seemed the natural thing … I had previously made all of my sister’s wedding stationery and then also made the stationery for a couple of colleagues and a really good friend and found I just loved everything about weddings and being involved in someone’s big day.
So after long chat’s with my other half we decided that I would give up work and give it my all.
- What is it that you love most about what you do and why?
I love working with clients and being involved in their day … receiving an excited email from a Bride or Groom who has just received their samples or invitations is the best feeling ever! Obviously there is a lot of hard slog and admin involved in running a business but those times when I get to sit down with my sketchbook and computer and design a new range or come up with a design for a couple’s stationery make it all worthwhile.
- Where do you get inspiration from for your designs?
All over the place! My other half and friends are very used to me suddenly coming up with an idea whilst we are out and about! I once started sketching a design after a walk in the woods in Centerparcs at a friend’s birthday!
Generally my inspiration comes from pieces of art, vintage interiors and fashion trends. I love all things floral so much of my ideas start with a piece of floral fabric or perhaps an item of vintage jewellery. I have a passion for vintage interiors and accessories and so there is often a slight vintage feel to my designs.
I love colour as well … I don’t think anyone could accuse me of designing ‘bland’ stationery … it’s not for everybody but plain cream stationery is just so not me!
I also often develop ideas for new ranges from work I have done on styled shoots and photo shoots which have been organised by others in the wedding industry. This is a great way of developing new lines as I will be given a brief for something that I may not have thought of before and that gets my creative juices whirling!
- What would you say has been your most challenging brief to date & how did you manage to over come your obstacles?
That’s actually quite an easy one! By far the most challenging bespoke brief I got given was by a lovely couple who I worked with for well over a year.
The bride was catholic and from Botswana and the groom was English but with a Hindu /Indian background.
They wanted to incorporate both of their heritages into their wedding stationery and also wanted a slightly rustic feel. I ended up coming up with a ‘colonial’ theme wrapped in hessian which bridged the gap between Africa and India, and incorporated Indian motifs and the Botswana flag in the form of vintage stamp details.
It was also very challenging as it was by far the largest order I’d ever worked on … about 300 invitations in total!
- At what stage would you advise couples to start thinking about ordering their wedding stationery?
I think these days it’s not as straightforward as saying you need to send your invitations out 2 months in advance of your wedding and therefore you need to order your invitations a month before that.
I think every case should be looked at individually.
For example if you are organising a wedding abroad or have lots of guest coming from further afield then you should probably send your stationery much earlier … up to 6 months before the wedding if flights need to be booked, and also look at sending save the dates out 9 months to a year in advance to give people the opportunity to book holiday off work.
It also can depend on the type of stationery you are looking to order. My ranges which are totally flat printed designs can be made in much less time than those with lace or string embellishment so the turnaround time on my stationery designs (including the proofing process) can be anything from 2 – 6 weeks depending on the style of stationery.
You should also take into account that popular busy designers may be fully booked during busy periods so I would advise getting in touch with your preferred stationer at least 2 months before you wish to send your stationery out just to check on their availability.
- What would be your top tip to couples that are unsure where to begin with deciding on the design of their stationery?
If you haven’t got a specific colour or theme in mind for your wedding then my biggest piece of advice would be to sit down and brainstorm a list of all the things you love, what you have in common, what sort of wedding you would love to have … this will often bring up themes naturally … it may be fairly obvious after brainstorming ideas that you want an outdoors wedding and something more rustic which can be a brilliant starting point for a stationery design. If you are looking for something bespoke let your stationery designer know this and they can often build a design idea for you around this.
Your venue, if you’ve already picked one, is also a great starting point as the style of the venue may naturally dictate the style of wedding and therefore stationery you are going to have. Barn weddings call for something a little more rustic … where a manor house venue would suit something much slicker and elegant.
- What types of services do you offer clients?
I offer a wide variety of options for people looking for wedding stationery. There are 15 ‘off the peg’ ranges of stationery which can be ordered from .. including everything from invitations, placecards, order of service to table plans and guest books.
Each range also has a version in the form of a ‘Ready to Write’ Invitation Packs. These are great for couples on a strict budget or who are looking to get invitations out super quickly. They are blank for you to write your own information on but still in the distinct style of the original range.
I also offer a complete bespoke service with various packages available to purchase so I can come up with a design which is totally personal to your wedding.
This year I’ve also launched ‘Digital Wedding Invitations’. For a fee as little as £12.00 clients can order a digital invitation which they can then either print off themselves or email directly to their guests for a completely environmentally friendly wedding invitation!
- Could you tell us a little more about the process involved with a bespoke order?
Of course. If clients decide they would like a bespoke package they have 3 options they can choose from on my website, from bespoke colour changes to an existing range to a full bespoke package.
Once a client has purchased a full bespoke package I will arrange a consultation with them via phone or in person if they are fairly local to me to fully discuss their stationery requirements. We will discuss ideas on colour and design, how much stationery they will need, how many guests are coming, and what they want from their stationery.
From this consultation I will usually produce 2 or 3 ideas in pdf format for them to look at before then going ahead and sending physical samples for them to look at.
Depending on which design package they have chosen further design amendments can then be made via email or physical samples until the design is just perfect.
I then ask clients to order their stationery via a booking form before making their stationery.
I would say that clients should allow 2-4 weeks for the bespoke design process plus the normal turnaround times for delivery of the stationery.
- What are your future plans for Knots & Kisses wedding stationary for the rest of 2014 and beyond?
I’ve always got plans brewing! This year has already been a busy one with the launch of 4 new ranges and a brand new range of Digital Wedding Invitations in September.
I’m also just adding to my existing range of greetings cards with new Christmas Card Pack designs recently launched and available in my Etsy shop.
There are some very exciting developments coming in the next few months and into next year … including the possibility of ordering much more of my stationery directly from my website, making the order process even easier … plus a little foray into homewares and accessories … lots more on that to come soon!
Thanks so much to Nikki for giving us an insight into what goes on in her wedding stationary world! I for one am very excited to hear about her future plans, in particular the homewares & accessories so watch this space as they say! If you would like to keep up to date with Knots & Kisses stationary, follow the links below: