I am so excited to announce the opening of my new shop!
This has been a dream of mine for a couple of years now, and even if I don't make a single sale, I am just so happy that I was able to make this happen. Here is a little bit of why I wanted to open a shop and some of my inspirations. I want give you a sneak peek before opening day this next weekend on October 3rd.
Why "The Story Smith?"
Playing off the origins of my last name "Smith" I decided that just as a sword-smith makes swords, I make stories, and that makes me a Story Smith. The name "The Story Smith" really started when I was a kid. I read books like crazy, and many of the life lessons I gained in my childhood, came from those books and stories that I love.
"All the secrets of the world are contained in books." - Lemony Snicket
I would often also write and illustrate my own stories. I loved making things up and then bringing them to life into something you can see and touch. With stories, you can be anybody you want to be and the world is anything you want it to be. I just love that sort of notion, that we make our own stories around us. I suppose that love never left me, and that's one of the reasons I made this shop.
Once Upon a Time
So the first section of my shop is illustrations for kids called "Once Upon a Time."
I hope with this section of the shop, I can help kids believe that they can be anything they want to be. I hope my artwork can give them something positive they can look at on their wall when they wake up, giving them the strength to face the crazy world we live in. I also want to make them characters of their own stories, and bring their imaginations to life.
For me, this shop has never been about the money. It's something that I love and want to give back to the world. If I can make one kid smile and belief that they are just as strong and amazing as the heroes of their favorite stories, that's when I'll feel like my shop is a success.
Happily Ever After
The second section of my shop is going to be a hand-crafted wedding invitation shop called "Happily Ever After."
My favorite type of story to tell is a love story. I love helping couples plan their special day and invitations are my favorite item to work with. I love it because it gives every guest, family member and even people who won't be able to make it to the wedding a little glimpse into the couple's story and it's like a preview for what's to come on the wedding day. I just love the excitement when a bride sees her invitations for the first time. Almost every bride I design for tells me that when they first see their invitations, that's when their wedding all starts to feel real. I just love making that experience. (Sorry I know it's cheesy, but I am a hopeless romantic who loves all the wedding ooey gooey love and fun)
Turning the shop into a Reality
Inspiration for the Look and Feel
This was so exciting!!! Being a professional advertiser and designer, my absolute favorite thing to do is branding. This project is probably the funnest branding I've ever done because I got to just reach down and pick out all my favorite things and mash them together into something that can be my brand. I know this is super cheesy, but I feel like it's figuring out what my brain and imagination looks like from the inside. So here is my process....
First I started thinking about my love of kids and fairy tales and storybooks. What would a modern magical storybook shop look like? My inspiration stemmed from there and kept going .
I love using this iridescent look (Inspired slightly from Cinderella's dress) combined with these classical illustrations from old fashioned picture books. It helps give it that children's storybook feel while still keeping it really modern and eye-catching.
Using this inspiration board, I picked my colors. I mostly just made a color palette of all my favorite colors. I guess that is the fun part of working for yourself. These colors have a whimsical feel that can be softened or deepened, plus they feel like something out of a children's book.
I am obviously going to need photographs of my products on the site and in my branding, so I wanted everything to be consistent. I picked the look below because if feels clean and fresh, yet it is still really playful and youthful.
Up until now, I've just had a name of a site without a logo.. It's about time I should probably make one. For this I took out my watercolor brush pen (which is my favorite thing to write with) and wrote out the name. I like having it in my own handwriting because it adds a bit of me. The handwriting is the older hand done element, then to add something modern in, I used a really geometric new typeface and added my name or "shop" depending on where it's used.
In addition to all these things I need branding material such as business cards, brochures, a pop-up shop booth for craft fairs and lots of other things. So to supplement my logo I wanted a specific illustration style that will be consistent across all the different elements. Taking inspiration from some of my favorite illustrators such as Katie Daisy, Mary Blair, Anna Rifle Bond, Adam Grason, and a few others that I thought had a simple but modern feel to them.
See it all come together
So there is the process of getting to where I am now, I'm going to leave the rest to be a surprise! Hopefully this was a preview of what's to come in the next couple of weeks! I will for sure be launching the Once Upon a Time Section this Saturday and the Happily Ever After Shop Soon after!
Now I want to give a HUGE thank you and ask a tiny favor from all my family and friends and followers (thats you ;)
So first of all thanks so much for anyone who has supported me in starting this up, anyone who has listened to me rant non stop about how excited I am for it to open, and anyone who has made it this far in the article without exiting because I talk so much. Thank You Thank You Thank You.
Secondly I just want to ask a little favor of you all. Opening up a shop is no easy endeavor, especially when you are just a passionate nameless person like me. It takes a lot of labor, a lot of money and lots and lots of love.
If you like what you see, please please PLEASE share my shop around on Facebook, tell your friends, if you know somebody with kids or if someone is getting married soon, give a little nod to the story smith in your conversations. If you know anybody with a little internet fame or with a popular blog, I am totally willing to do some giveaways in exchange for mentions. Also I would love if a few of you pushed the follow button on my shop Instagram, My tag is @storyillustrations.
As a huge thank you to everyone, for the first month I am open, I will be putting all my products on a big sale for everyone who wants to buy.
I love you all THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!