Ask me anything – Sarah Drake Design
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Ask me anything

April 06, 2021 | 0 comments

I (sort of) remember the moment when I realized I didn't have to ask a question anymore, and could just ask the internet. It was watching my SIL's show, 2 Broke Girls, season 2 maybe, circa 2012, where Beth Behr's character, Caroline, asked Kat Denning's character, Max something, and she basically embarrassed her, telling that's what the internet's for...

But back in 2005 when I started Sarah Drake Design, I didn't have an encyclopedia in my pocket. And, if you are in a job interview or meeting, and get asked a question you don't know the answer to, well, it doesn't matter what year it is, you might just bomb the question, like I did when I landed a meeting with a famous event planner in NYC, brand new to the wedding business and marketing my invitations like crazy. 

I was pretty brave when I started my business, booking meetings and getting press right out the door. All because of some pretty great advice from my dad, le mieux est l'ennemi du bien. Don't speak French? Me either. Penned by Voltaire, it's actually an old Italian proverb that means Perfect is the enemy of the Good.  Basically, he was watching me agonize over my first website, trying to get it perfect before launching. And, not launching it. But, he was right. You just have to start before you're ready, or you could perfect something forever, maybe missing that spark that people who don't know what they're getting into have before doing something brave. Like if you knew what it really entailed to starting that business or buy that 100 year old house, or have a baby, would you have taken the risk? 

my first website:wedding invitations

2005/2006... taking my risky moves, setting up meetings before I was ready, sending samples to magazines, hitting up big stores' buyers, and basically just deciding I had the best invitations in the country. It worked too, I had a few designs and they were getting press in In style, Real Simple and Style Me Pretty right away. (we've been featured in SMP 47 times!)  Back in 2005, a mention in Daily Candy, a coveted email newsletter, could actually launch a business, and it really helped me start out strong and sell Park Lane and Spring Green, two of my first designs, over and over again.

green wedding invitations

green floral invitations

Sitting in the waiting room of this event planner in her Manhattan office, I did feel a little intimidated holding my chocolate brown Kolo 3 ring linen binder filled with invitation samples. The meeting went went well at first. She seemed impressed I had them letterpress printed, on thick cotton paper. There was a consistency in the work, and it was different than what was being offered at the time, in my initial signature style, influenced by simplicity and the Japanese culture I was raised in. But then she asked me a question I had no idea of the answer, Do you offer beveling? I had no idea idea what beveling was at the time, and really was so caught off guard that I answered honestly: What is beveling? The look on her face was all I needed to know. The meeting was over. I never heard from her again. I was certainly embarrassed, and pretty humiliated too.

letterpress wedding invitationBeveling: cutting a thick, heavy paper at a 45 degree angle. The edge is often painted with a color or metallic ink.

Unless you're starting a stationery company, you probably won't be embarrassed to not know what beveling is, but when you are getting married for the first time, you quickly learn that there are so many details in the world of weddings that are unknown to you. It can be really overwhelming to learn the ins and outs of catering, venues, room blocks, place settings and within each specialty, the minutiae of detail can be A LOT. 

Now, 16 years into it, I can name a paper by sight, explain the ins and out of ALL the printing processes, and pick the best pantone color for your wedding invitation out of a million tiny squares. I can say with confidence I am a printing, color, and paper expert. And you better believe I know what beveling is now.

The thicker the paper, the deeper the bevel

But since you might not, (and why would you?) we are hoping to alleviate that unknowing with our free 15 minute intro calls. You can ask me anything about paper, etiquette, vintage stamps, calligraphy, timing, dress codes, how to address, when to send, what to send and I'll let you know what I know. I will point you in the right direction if we aren't the right fit. And, you can be sure that if I don't know the answer, at least I'll be honest.




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