We recently connected with Hilary Fruiht of Lovely and Gracious. Her blog is about wedding style and design but Hilary also operates the Lovely & Gracious Design Studio, and she creates and sells stylish yet affordable wedding invitations available on her Etsy page.
Hilary answered a few of our questions:
Who are you / What’s your story?
I’m a total printing and design geek. I studied graphic communication (which is basically a bachelors degree in printing) at Cal Poly, a state school on the central coast of California and I had the time of my life there. Since school I have been in outside sales at a number of printing related companies and decided there is no time like the present to follow my passion and strike out on my own. I live in a tiny, overpriced apartment with my boyfriend of five years (yes, I’m hoping for a ring soon and can’t wait to create my own invitations) and I love to read, to cook and to be outdoors and I’m so grateful to have one of the best families in the world!
Why did you start Lovely and Gracious Design Studio?
I have always wanted to do something like this, but was scared that I might fail. I’ve done invitations for friends and family for a while now and one day I decided that if I don’t just start something that nothing will ever come of it. So I started designing, and I’m getting good response on Etsy. I like that I can help brides that don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on their wedding invitations get beautiful, professional design and I have big plans for the coming months. I’ll be adding more designs, building out my site, and creating additional pieces to coordinate with my invitation suites.
Tell us a little bit about your company.
We are a printable invitation studio for do-it-yourself brides that are willing to put a little time and effort into creating their invitations in order to save some money, but that still want professional and personalized design. Our invitation templates have been specially formulated to print at home on your inkjet printer and are delivered as high quality PDF files customized with your colors, invitation wording, and any other touches you would like to add. I am inspired by every bride I work with and although all the invitations start out as templates, I try to inject the spirit of the couple into each piece I do. Also, as a printer with connections in the industry I offer affordable printing services for people that like my designs but don’t want the hassle of printing the invitations themselves.
What can brides find at the Lovely and Gracious blog?
The blog is a place for me to live out my own inspirations and ideas. I try to make every post unique and colorful and full of beautiful images. I try to feature some of my favorite DIY projects from around the web on my blog as well as real weddings and events that inspire me. I like events that are whimsical and don’t take themselves too seriously, so I’m sure you’ll find a lot of that there as well. As I continue to grow my business you will find more and more freebies and downloads on the site.
What makes you different from other wedding blogs/sites?
I am definitely a crafty girl and I believe in the power of doing it yourself. Anyone can go out and hire an event planner or floral designer to create their wedding for them but there is something very powerful and satisfying about envisioning and executing your own event. I try to bring that spirit to all of my blog posts, so you’ll find a lot of DIY ideas and inspiration boards.
What geographic regions do you serve?
I live in beautiful San Francisco, but it is so easy these days with email and technology to help brides all over the world. I’m currently designing an invitation for an Alaskan couple living in Japan, and have found that I am popular with brides in the midwest for some reason.
Do you have any advice for brides planning their weddings?
I think being true to yourself and your fiance is the most important thing. Personal touches that reflect your personality go a long way and those are the things your guests will remember long after what the cake tasted like or the songs the DJ played. Also, as a design girl I love the idea of executing your theme through your paper goods. The invitation is the first impression your guests will get of your event, so it should reflect you and the event you want to hold. Coordinate your program, table numbers and favors.
Why should brides avail themselves of online resources like your blog/company?
I love Etsy! The site has brought an international platform to all the talented and creative people out there that haven’t had the opportunity in the past to sell their items outside craft fairs and home shows. These items are made by real people that are doing this because they love it, which means that they will be open to helping you customize a piece so it will be perfect for you.
Do you have regular categories or features on the blog or is it just as subjects come up?
I am still new at this so I’m trying to find a voice that is my own on the blog. I want to do things that are different than what is out there so I’m experimenting with features and ideas, but you will surely find lots of DIY inspiration, color inspiration and etsy love on the site.
Hilary’s Special Offer: Any brides who contact Hilary and mention SnapKnot will receive 15% off all design and printing services!
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