A few months ago I got a sweet note from a Florida stationery designer called Ashley Brooke Designs. She said that she admired my work, was new to the business and would like to “pick my brain” when she was in town to see the National Stationery Show. I explained to her that I am a small shop and simply making my rules up as I go along – but that it would be a pleasure to meet up and share our experiences…
…a pleasure indeed! After a few minutes of chatting we came to realize that she and I have both left the interior design world for paper – strange, isn’t it? My thought has always been that there are plenty of brides out there for all of us “paper people” to have work. Each stationery designer has their own style and it’s reflected in the designs that they create. The design element that sets Ashley’s designs apart from the rest – hand drawn sketches! Ashley’s clients send her a photo of the person/family they want featured on the stationery and she will hand draw a fashion sketch of the person/family down to the Lily Pulitzer tennis socks that they’re wearing. I am not kidding. She told me that a second proof with her client usually includes “adding more highlights” or “adjusting the length of capri pants” Cute, cute, CUTE!
The very best part of our whole meeting??? I got to help keep Ashley occupied while boyfriend Manuel prepared to “pop the question!” His plan was to take her (after our meeting) to eat dinner and then take her for a carriage ride in Central Park where he planned to pop the question. After many, many emails and text messages – I suggested that he ask her on the carriage ride and then go to dinner. Otherwise, he’d be preoccupied (with a ring burning a hole in his pocket!) and she’d wonder why he was rushing through their meal. Needless to say I sent them to one of my favorite Upper East Side Restaurants right off the Park after the carriage ride. I was also happy to give them a multitude of suggestions for other places to celebrate and enjoy NYC while they are on such a special trip. The last thing I’d want for them is to end up at all the touristy places and miss what NYC really has to offer. They were sweet enough to send me the photo from moments after he proposed and called a later in the night to say “Thanks” for being in on it! It was such FUN to be part of such a HUGE surprise. I was delighted to help make such a darling gal sooooo very happy! Much love and many congratulations to the newly engaged couple ~HOORAY!!!
Ashley truly is a ray of sunshine. She will draw you better (and more fashionable) than you’ve ever looked and print it on anything from notepads and post-it’s to personal stationery notes. Be sure to check out her website, Ashley’s Blog or follow her (like I do) on Twitter.