OMG I LOVE STATIONERY! I used to buy notebooks, invitations, envelopes – you name it – and keep them all in a drawer just to ‘have.’ I never actually used anything because I didn’t want to ruin those beautiful pages. Anyway, my appreciation of all things paper as a child then grew into the full blown obsession that it is today and the newest name to add to my list of amazing stationery talents is the fabulous Erin Hung of BerinMade. This girl is A-MAZE. Naturally I needed to find out everything about her (can you believe we have a friend in common as we both grew up in Hong Kong and we went to the same uni for undergrad?) It was obviously meant to be. Anyway, this feature commemorates Erin’s new website being live for just under a week and the launch of her totally beautiful, modern, graphic wedding invitations and so much more. Have a read below to find out more about BerinMade and drool over the super duper designs.
Photos above by Marianne Taylor,
1. Tell us about your background and how you got into wedding stationery.
I took a somewhat convoluted but exciting route to where I am today. My background is in Fine Arts in which I have my BA from Central Saint Martins, and an MA in Contemporary Art focusing on Art History and Theory. After graduating, I landed a job at a high profile auction house in London where I worked for a year or so in their Contemporary Art department. For an art history graduate, it was a dream come true.
However, over time I felt that I was stuck in a rut and pigeon-holed into a glamorised office job. Around then, I secretly started my Etsy shop to sell some paper goods which served really as an escape from my office grind. They were mainly gouache drawings I’d made put onto greeting cards and postcards. I spent my weekends and spare time sketching and drawing, and at the same time, producing DIY projects. Before long, some of my work got circulated around the web and somehow landed on HGTV.com, which gave me huge exposure. Some people started to enquire about little illustrated pieces. Someone else commented that my style would be perfect for their wedding. Brides slowly trickled in on Etsy.
It was an exciting time but actually quite scary too. I knew what would make me happy: to own a business where I can be creative, call the shots and manage different areas of my little enterprise. However, I was faced with a mountain of difficulties, mostly doubts of my own abilities! I began to train myself, reading online and offline and buying books to learn about the design industry, as well as learning about small businesses to hone my skills. When I found myself at crossroads in my day job, I found myself biting the bullet. I quit it to focus on my shop.
Creatively, I was determined not to pigeon-hole myself again. I took jobs from clients from a wide range of industries to keep my ideas fresh and to apply my work in different ways. Presently, my clients include magazines, wedding couples, bloggers, and private commissions for stationery. I am also a freelancer at American Greetings and my work is sold at retailers. I participate in styled shoots and write a DIY column for Love My Dress. I want BerinMade products to not be just printed paper, but to champion the spirit of love, playfulness, youthfulness and above all creativity. In many ways, weddings celebrations embody just those things, and there is so much potential for creativity when your heart and souls is poured into this one single celebration.
2. About the Mix and Match Invites:
I’m very excited about the Mix and Match Invites! The idea first came to me while I was walking around Topshop. I thought, women nowadays are so design conscious. Thanks to the media, and wedding blogs like OMG, brides are no longer happy to accept cookie cutter products (I know I wasn’t) because they know that there is so much more out there– at the same time, we are also budget-savvy. I decided to take a leaf out of the high street shops.
The Mix and Match invites are compiled by a swatchbook (much like fabrics) of readymade floral and graphic elements. Couples are welcome to mix and match and colour customise any element. The result can be as matchy-matchy or as eclectic as they’d like. Like how some of the best outfits are a clash of patterns and colours, so are these invites. I work with each bride through a round of drafts to get all their details and their vision right. So, the possibilities are endless, and without the pricetag of a custom set of invitations! (A 3 piece suite starts at £4.30 each, and Save the Dates start at £2.50 each)
3. About the Shoppe:
Every item in my shop is created or conceived by me, and I’m so passionate and excited about every single one. In particular, I love my multi-purpose origami pockets, which can be customised with names and floral pattern. They come with PDF instructions on how to assemble (so easy!) and can be used for holding confetti, favour bits, or seeds (like the image) to accompany a Save the Date.
The wall decal is another new one that I am just over the moon about! These are such an affordable way to dress up a space to give a wow factor. The lettering is commissioned by you, and there are a host of colours to choose from! They can be used for photobooths, favourite quotes, dessert corners, and just about anything you’d put your imagination to.
4. What advice would you give to a couple when starting to look for wedding stationery?
Listening to some of my clients, I find that stationery really is one of those areas where couples tend to cut back on, because weddings are just that expensive. I totally understand that. The other side of the story is that the paper goods are the parts that get distributed to every single guest of the wedding. The great ones are kept in keepsake boxes, framed on mantel pieces, even scrapbooked and passed down to the next generation. Not every guest will touch your awesome wedding gown (though awesome it will be), but the stationery is a little piece of your wedding that everyone will get to keep, and with a little bit of creativity, it won’t cost the earth. Consider how you can make it special, and choose something that makes your heart beat faster– be it a fun concept, your favourite colour, or just some good old luxurious paper.
Choose a vendor whose sense of style and work ethic resonates with you. Planning your wedding is a stressful time, so pick someone who is responsive, willing to explore your ideas, and accommodate you where possible.
5. Anything else you’d like to tell us?
Yes! Brides: above all, love and enjoy every single detail of what you’re planning. It’s a truly special time of your life. Don’t let the stress overcome you and look forward to a marriage with the person you will love for the rest of your life.
Oh, and OMG readers get 10% off by quoting OMG I’m Getting Married for mix and match invitations until the 1st of June 2012 so GET ORDERING. I, myself am trying to figure out what sort of party I can have so I can order a set!
AMAZING!!! Check out the BerinMade website for more details and scroll on down for some totally amazing stationery options for your modern day wedding! Who else wants one of those decals?!?