What's Up Wednesdays: Watts & Ward

     Welcome to my newest blogging series, "What's Up Wednesdays!" This will largely be bi-weekly musings either about local RDU happenings or design trends. It should be no secret by now that I love both my city and home decor! 

 

     I'm kicking off this series with a new speakeasy in downtown Raleigh. Alvin and I spent much of our first year's dates in an underground speakeasy so I'm sure you can understand our excitement when a new one opened up! This entire space has a warm den feel to it. It's laid back while maintaining excellent service and delicious drinks served directly to your table. 

 

 

     Of course, I loved the furnishings and decor! There are tufted couches, leather club chairs, and a library room. Oh! And tin tiles on the walls and ceilings! It was beautiful. Unfortunately it was dark when we went, so you'll largely just need to trust me on this one. Check out their website here to see for yourself.

 

 

     I enjoyed the Carolina Lily, a bubbly based cocktail. It was superb! Alvin had a whiskey based drink that I can't remember the name of. I don't normally like whiskey but his drink was quite tasty as well. I won't be hungry when we leave the house, but it never fails that by the time we sit down for drinks I'll be ravenous. Luckily, Watts & Ward has small plates to enjoy. I'm vegetarian so I had the caprese skewers, which were SO good. Alvin wasn't hungry, so he didn't order any of the other options but I'm sure they would have been equally as good. 

     Don't worry, we'll be back soon to test this out for you ; ). Seriously though, this speakeasy quickly landed a spot on our "regularly visit" list! Y'all should check it out! 

 

Shop Small Saturday: Raleigh Calligraphy

"My creative hobby unexpectedly turned into a little business, and Raleigh Calligraphy & Design was born."

     I never really saw myself featuring a calligrapher on this series because I wanted to keep it in line with home goods and products. When I think of calligraphy, I think of envelopes and maybe really well written letters. Boy did Tiffany's account prove me wrong! Her framed prints stopped me in my tracks! I immediately reached out to learn more about her and her business, Raleigh Calligraphy. 

 

     Tiffany and I had actually worked together on the lemon brunch styled shoot. Her work was impeccable, so I was surprised to learn that this was a relatively new venture for her. She says, "Trying my hand at calligraphy had always been on my creative bucket list, and three years ago I pick up a nib pen." Love it! Anyone else have a creative bucket list? She and her husband welcomed their first baby in 2014. When Tiffany decided to leave her job and stay home with the little one, she found some spare time during naps.

 

Photo by  Kelsey Nelson

Photo by Kelsey Nelson

     Tiffany used her free time wisely when she decided to use her newfound calligraphy skills to help out with a wedding. Then she did another wedding and slowly the referrals started to roll in. As she puts it, "My creative hobby unexpectedly turned into a little business and Raleigh Calligraphy & Design was born." I adore hearing about such serendipitous events! Since then, she has expanded her business to include invitation design, stationary, art prints, and a small selection of home goods. On top of all that, she does a lot of custom work for weddings, businesses, and even state agencies lettering certificates! Seriously, she's mompreneur goals! 

 

      Raleigh Calligraphy stands out from the crowd as it features original designs and includes various mediums such as calligraphy, photography and watercolors. Tiffany loves beautiful, simple designs and strive to create a balance between typography and design. Gorgeous blooms and lush greenery are a repeating pattern in her work. I'm a big fan of travel and our connections to others so I especially love how Tiffany keeps up with her connection to her clients. She says, "It’s so inspiring to think of all the places and people around the world that encounter my designs. I actually keep a map of the world in my studio and mark off a new section each time I get an order from a new place. I love getting an order from an obscure place on the globe- that will never get old!" 

 

 

    How great is it that our little creative businesses can connect us to so many different people and places! She's growing her business to reach even more people by recently launching a line of wedding invitations suites. Tiffany loves the process of designing packages tailored to fit different wedding themes.

 

    If you're now as in love with her work as I am, you can purchase products, book calligraphy services or order a custom piece on her website here. After you're finished with your order, you should enter our giveaway! Enter for your chance to win the "It was always you" print that you see in the first photo! Go to our giveaway page to enter! Giveaway runs through Wednesday. The winner will be announce Thursday, May 11th. Good luck! 

 

 

Bradford Styled Shoot

     Last month, I was asked to join a styled shoot last minute. I was feeling a bit crazy that week so I accepted, and I'm so glad I did! While I don't normally jump in on shoots last minute, this one was extra gorgeous and I just couldn't pass up an opportunity to see the lovely Bradford in person! 

 

Photo: Laura memory photography

Photo: Laura memory photography

 

     Another bonus was working with some amazing vendors. A few I have had the pleasure of working with before, and a few I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know while there. I think that's one of the things I enjoy about these styled shoots. Getting to know other vendors, other girl bosses, and the community of coming together to produce something wonderful. It's always a day full of energy! 

 

photo by me                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Amazing vendors doing work

photo by me                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Amazing vendors doing work

   

      This styled shoot was a bit different than some of the others I've participated in, in that they only needed my furniture rentals and not the decor and styling service. For event rentals and styling, these two services can always be booked separately with Minted Spaces. It was a lot of fun being able to provide the furniture pieces and watch their vision come to life! 

 

photo by blue bell photography                                                                                                                                            Meagan of MAGNOLIA Grove Weddings perfecting the details

photo by blue bell photography                                                                                                                                            Meagan of MAGNOLIA Grove Weddings perfecting the details

 

     Let me tell you what, the Bradford did not disappoint! Seriously, so pretty. Everything came together beautifully and I just adore how Ashlynn of Blue Bell Photography and Laura of Laura Memory Photography captured everything. I'm slightly obsessed with how the honey oak table looks on the patio! Plus, all the gold accents give me all the heart eyes! 

 

photo by blue bell photography

photo by blue bell photography

photo by laura memory photography                                                                                                                                                                                                                   cAke by love cake

photo by laura memory photography                                                                                                                                                                                                                   cAke by love cake

photo by blue bell photography                                                                                                                                                                                        Place cards by dana reid calligraphy

photo by blue bell photography                                                                                                                                                                                        Place cards by dana reid calligraphy

photo by laura memory photography

photo by laura memory photography

photo by laura memory photography                                                                                                                                                                                  hair & Make-up by erin kelly make-up

photo by laura memory photography                                                                                                                                                                                  hair & Make-up by erin kelly make-up

photo by laura memory photography                                                                                                                                                                                          Florals by every BLOOMIN' thing

photo by laura memory photography                                                                                                                                                                                          Florals by every BLOOMIN' thing

Photographer: Blue Bell Photography   l   Videography: Laura Memory Photography     l     Planning & Styling: Magnolia Grove Weddings     l     Photographer: Melissa Toma Photography     l     Calligraphy: Dana Reid Calligraphy     l     Furniture Rentals: Minted Spaces     l     Florals: Every Bloomin' Thing     l     Cake: Love Cake     l     Hair & Make-Up: Erin Kelly Make-Up     l     Venue: The Bradford

Shop Small Saturday: Wordsky Designs

        It's time for another round of Shop Small Saturday! This one is extra special because I know Kyle and have been able to watch his company grow through social media. From the get-go I have loved his designs. I mean really, it's a local showing the city and state some love! It's perfection!

         I also love his story. It is like many other successful entrepreneur stories, only they don't all tell you about the failures. It's easy to forget that many of us fail over and over again before finding what works. That perseverance it what makes entrepreneurs! 

Kyle with one of his designs

Kyle with one of his designs

         Here's a bit of background. Almost a year ago, he got the idea of trying to make some coffee tables to sell.  In order to set himself apart, he put the outline of NC on the table tops. He sold three in total. He then had one table left, but couldn't sell it because the table top on it started to warp.  On that particular table top, he had painted in the NC flag inside the outline.  So, in a bit of ingenuity, he added some rope to the table top and made it a wall hanging instead.  Wall hangings became his new thing! 

           With his newfound inspiration he worked on new designs, eventually creating this Raleigh skyline. As he was waiting on that trademark for t-shirts, Hurricane Matthew flooded the house he was renting. You guys, if my house flooded I would be sorely tempted to call it quits! But Kyle took the need of moving back home and turned it into opportunity! He started messing around his his dad's shop and from there he decided to cut the Raleigh design out of wood and here we are!

The Raleigh Skyline

The Raleigh Skyline

          How cool is that?! Multiple times when he could have just thrown in the towel and called it a day. But he persevered and now his designs are in local spots all over town! You may have seen his wood cutouts in places like Raleigh Brewing or the home of your best friend. Point is, he and his designs are going places. 

         So what's all the fuss about? Um, these here awesome wood cutouts! It started with the Raleigh skyline but he takes requests and has produced some pretty impressive pieces. What makes his standout is that he does these all BY HAND using a jigsaw. No laser cut outs for Wordsky! They come in two different sizes. That one above my desk (first photo of this post), is 44" x 18". The perfect statement piece! They also come a bit smaller at 22" x 9", which is perfect for a gallery wall! 

California Request Order

California Request Order

          These pieces are surprisingly light, even the larger one above my desk! When I saw the size, I thought it would be a nightmare to hand up. So did Alvin! But you guys, it was probably the easiest piece we have ever hung! Kyle placed the hanging do-hicky (no idea what that thing is called) perfectly so the weight is evenly distributed. We had it up on the wall less than five minutes after I asked Alvin to do it, haha.

         As of right now he is mostly taking orders from clients. However, he just made the plunge and quit his day job to pursue his dream so you can expect the inventory to build! If you're interested in watching Wordsky Designs grow, you can follow him on Instagram here. If you want one of these pieces for yourself (or a custom design just for you), you can check out the website here

 

 

As always, if you are interested in being featured in a Shop Small Saturday post, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at minttosell@gmail.com. 

Our First Styled Shoot

We have kicked 2017 off with a bang, y'all! Multiple stagings already finished and a styled shoot! I was so excited to have linked up with Jenn Gallardo of The Wild Bloom Photography. She was the organizer and leader of this shoot and did a fabulous job with it all! There were three other photographers and a videographer there to capture our work. I will share a photo from each at the end of this post so you all can see their talents and unique styles! 

In case you aren't aware, a styled shoot is when a group of vendors get together to create a mini photo shoot. These shoots are used to build portfolios, create inspiration, and meet/work with new vendors. This particular group had a jewel toned winter boho vision. 

Lynsey provided some wonderful jewel toned stationary with a unique marbling pattern on pieces and gold foil on others. Christin, of Every Bloomin Thing, provided greenery and deep colored floral pieces. These look especially stunning on the naked cake that Frosted Bee Company provided! The shoot took place on a new, expansive venue, Carlee Farm in Oxford, NC. The farm was beautiful in the winter, I can't imagine how stunning it must be weddings in other seasons with bright greenery or fall foliage! The only thing that could make this any better would be an adorable couple, with the bride wearing a dress from a local bridal salon. Oh, we had that too! Gilded Bridal provided the perfect winter gown for us. I mean, long sleeved lace?! Who doesn't love that?

I learned a lot from this styled shoot. The most important being, I adore styling tables for weddings and parties. I was worried that maybe it wouldn't make sense to expand the business this way even if it's all rentals and styling in the end. Having had this experience, I no longer care! It was wonderful and I had a blast and we will keep providing these services as long as people ask for them. 

Other things I learned, Wow does it take a lot of organization to pull off a shoot like this! Y'all, Pinterest makes it look so easy! Aside from the countless emails I sent in the weeks leading up to the shoot, I've never wanted my own endless supply of clear storage bins more than I did the day we packed up the decor. And finally, how to style a table for photos versus what may actually look best in real life. There was definitely some on site tweaking going on.

Alvin learned that he desperately wants to be the subject of a styled shoot. I'm being very serious. If you are reading this and are a photographer in the Triangle, NC area please help me out and make his dream come true! He seriously can't stop talking about it, haha! 

Looking at these amazing photos, though, can you blame him?! Who wouldn't want to be dolled up and photographed in such an amazing location by talented people?!

Photographer: The Wild Bloom Photography

Photographer: The Wild Bloom Photography

Photographer/Videographer: Charis Weddings

Photographer/Videographer: Charis Weddings

Photographer: Elizabeth Ellen Photography

Photographer: Elizabeth Ellen Photography

Photographer: Melissa Toma Photography

Photographer: Melissa Toma Photography

Photographer: Echo Photography

Photographer: Echo Photography

Photographer: The Wild Bloom Photography

Photographer: The Wild Bloom Photography

Photographer: Elizabeth Ellen Photography

Photographer: Elizabeth Ellen Photography

Photographer: Echo Photography

Photographer: Echo Photography

Photographer: The Wild Bloom Company

Photographer: The Wild Bloom Company

Photographer: The Wild Bloom Photography

Photographer: The Wild Bloom Photography

Photographer: Melissa Toma Photography

Photographer: Melissa Toma Photography

Photographer: Echo Photography

Photographer: Echo Photography

Vendors:

Photographer: The Wild Bloom Photography

Photographer: Melissa Toma Photography

Photographer: Elizabeth Ellen Photography

Photographer: Echo Photography

Videography: Charis Weddings

Florist: Every Bloomin Thing

Stationary: Lynsey Trembley

Staging/Rentals: Mint To Sell

Cake: Frosted Bee Bakery

Models: Laura and Drew

Hair: Hair Art by Naomi

Make-Up: Kim Barry

Dress: Gilded Bridal 

Venue: Carlee Farm

Here are some of my favorite "behind the scenes" shots some of us got. As you can see, we all had a blast and were very much "in the zone"! I hope to do it again soon!

Photographer: Laura Memory Photography

Photographer: Laura Memory Photography

Photographer: Mint To Sell, we were just playing around. We don't do this professionally!

Photographer: Mint To Sell, we were just playing around. We don't do this professionally!

Photographer: Echo Photography

Photographer: Echo Photography

Photographer: Laura Memory Photography

Photographer: Laura Memory Photography