This week's featured shop is Sugarcoat Paperie.
Tell us about you and your shop.
I began Sugarcoat Paperie late last summer as a creative outlet for my spare time, because I planned to become a stay-at-home mom. All of my designs are kid-oriented – from baby announcements to children’s birthday party décor – and that’s probably because I had babies on the brain when I opened the shop. But in November, my plans of that happy life were shattered when my baby girl, Grace Evangeline, died in my womb due to a random cord accident at 38 weeks of pregnancy. The past five months, I have looked for anything and everything to distract me so that I don’t get too lost in sad thoughts. I do freelance graphic design for salons and spas full-time, and then I work on Sugarcoat Paperie projects to fill the rest of my waking hours.
My designs are hand-drawn, from detailed stippled cupcakes to elaborate nursery illustrations, which I then scan and re-draw in Adobe Illustrator. Each element is one-of-a-kind, so you won’t see it anywhere but Sugarcoat Paperie! And, I will confess, much of my stuff is really girly. (But, what would you expect with a name like Sugarcoat?) I’m in love with pastels, florals, soft textures, and saccharine imagery. Everything is printed with archival inks on deliciously thick paper.
How did you get started in your craft?
I was brought up in a super-creative family – my dad worked from home and supported his five daughters, my mom, and grandma, all with a not-so-starving fine artist’s career – so, card making and drawing were just second nature to us all. I rebelled against my artistic upbringing by majoring in journalism in college, but later ended up minoring in art and getting hired to do graphic design almost right out of school.
After getting engaged and beginning wedding planning, I noticed a lack of beautiful choices for stationery – everything was boring, cream or white with gold lettering. So, I decided to create my own save-the-dates, programs, etc. That led to shower invitations, which eventually led to baby announcements and more!
What is your favorite material or tool?
I couldn't’t live without my Adobe Creative Suite (just got version 4)! High-quality card stock would be a close second.
From where do you get your design inspiration?
Antique stores and rustic farms really get me motivated. I live in the dull suburbs of northern Virginia near Washington D.C., so I have to travel outside the bubble every couple of days to relight my creative fires. Browsing Anthropologie will do the trick in a bind ;) Otherwise, lately I get my ideas from friends requesting custom designs.