22/04/15 Blog # , , , , , , ,

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day all! We love our paper goods here at Vibrance Designs. We also love making the world a beautiful place and making sure it stays that way.

How do we ensure we do our part?

  1. OfficePlantRecycled Papers. Did you know, all our card stocks are FSC Certified? Even our specialty papers – like those beautiful shimmers, are made from recycled materials. (The recycled shimmers actually have a tiny bit more sparkle to them, than non-recycled shimmers!)
  1. Shut Down. Computers and printers take up a lot of energy, so as much as it’s a pain to start it up every morning, we shut down our office computers and personal printers every night.
  1. Paperless Office. Although we produce paper products we do try to keep the office as paperless as possible. This means online calendars, quick notes and all.
  1. Food & Green Bins. Stay green while eating your greens! Our team is big on waste-free lunches. You can easily decrease the amount of garbage you throw out and increase the amount of recycling and compost.
  1. Lights out.  I LOVE sunlight! My office space has a huge window that I can’t live without. With all this natural sunlight why do we need our office lights on? I place my desk right beside the window so I can take in as much natural light as possible and only use the office lights in the winter (when it’s basically dark out at 4:00) or for those occasional late nights.

Every little action can have an effect on the environment. Comment below and tell us how you stay green!

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16/04/15 Blog

They’re here!

*Drumroll Please*

Our wedding invitations have arrived!

Getting the invitations and seeing my vision come to life was surreal.

Everyone keeps asking me if I love them – and I really do, but I feel like I’m living a dream.

Did I just design these for my own wedding?!  

I’m not sure if I can say, “I’ve been dreaming of this invitation my whole life,” but I know one thing for sure – this IS MY invitation. I poured my heart and soul into every inch of the design and like I do for all my clients spent hours sketching, illustrating, and tossing colour palettes to make this as beautiful as possible.

This design is not only for Mr. Fiancé and I, but for all of you – even those of you who don’t know me. Trust me I was thinking of my audience with every stroke. I love every inch of the design and the reaction I’m getting. The cherry on top – my print team loves them – which is huge for me because they not only know what I’m capable of, but also, what the possibilities are.

Mr. Fiancé reaction was classic. He congratulated me (hahaha!). I’m not sure why, I don’t think he knows either but he loves the invitation and it’s really hitting us now.

The most fulfilling part of my artwork is that I create something beautiful for my brides and grooms and usually it’s the first time they see their names together with the word wedding. It’s quite emotional and I’m always on a high whenever I hear back from a couple telling me how their invitation made things “real.”

Now it’s my turn. This is just too surreal.

Let the countdown begin…

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25/03/15 Blog , Inspiration Vibes # , , , , , ,

Not The Only One

This past weekend, my good friend and colleague, Paras Mehta invited me to his home where he hosted a ‘Discover Your Core-Reveal Your Purpose’ workshop. In only a few hours I learned about my thoughts on money, my life, relationships and that I’m not the only one. Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 12.40.31 PM

Running a design studio I spend a lot of time by myself, but in this time I’m never focused on me. It’s always about pleasing my clients and ensuring those around me are happy. This workshop peeled away all those roles I play, and let me take a moment to just be with “me” (as one of the guests put it).

It was also a huge eye opener. I’m not the only crazy one! I’m starting to discover most creative people are very emotional just like me. I don’t mean mood swings, but overall we get so involved in our work we think that it’s a direct reflection of us. I’m not saying our work shouldn’t be part of us – but it’s should take over our life mission. I always say a client’s happiness is my happiness. If the clients not happy with something I could very well absorb that and bring it into my personal life. I’m learning to stop this and it’s really nice to know I’m not the only one. In fact, even some of my mentors feel this way.

I’m also learning to take breaks. I use to feel guilty doing this but I’m beginning to realize my life mission is to make the world beautiful and I can only do that if I have some food in me, am healthy, active and happy.

Being a girlboss I still have a lot to learn but I’m happy to be surrounded by so many strong, positive and likeminded people that help me and raise me up vs. pushing me down. This is only the beginning of my journey and there is a lot more to come. I’m growing everyday and slowly learning how to be the best me and deliver that to my work and life. If you’re going through the same then remember you’re not the only one.

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18/03/15 Blog , Design Vibes , Stationery 101 # , , , , , , , , ,

The 3 C’s

There are 3 C’s in stationery design that I often see people mix up.  As consumers you should know what’s out there and what service suits your vision.

So what do the 3 C’s really mean?

  1. Customizable – essentially this means you’re working with a template. You choose a pre-made design and the stationery designer alters the information or sometimes even the fonts/colours to create something that is perfect for you. Many will have the same design as you – it’s like you and your frienJBW2PXDOL6d buying the same jeans but in a different size. (Side note: check out the Etsy shop for our customizable items!)
  2. Custom– this is similar to customizable design but you have a bit more wiggle room. You can choose from templates,
    pre-assembled structures, pre-made artwork and mix them all together to create your perfect piece of stationery. This is often confused with couture because you’re able to choose from different areas and create something that is your own. There will still be others out there that will have the same or a similar design as you. It’s like you and your friend buying the same jeans, but in different colours and perhaps mixing it up with different accessories to get that distinctive look.
  3. Couture –With a couture service you sit down with your stationery designer and create a suite especially for you. You choose everything from the paper, structure and treatment. Many do couture differently but for us this also means a hand-drawn illustration that matches your style. It’s like creating a custom piece of art exclusively for you. The creation process is definitely something that everyone should experience once in their life. It’s like Marc Jacobs creating clothing just for you – with your body shape, trends and personality in mind! You can only imagine how beautiful that collection would look on you! 😉

For many years, Vibrance Designs only offered Couture Invitations and Stationery, it’s only recently that we ventured into the customizable market with our Etsy Shop. We do offer some custom work but that’s on a smaller scale.

If you have more questions on this topic or another – leave us a comment and we’ll be happy to answer all your Stationery 101 questions! 

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11/03/15 Blog , Wedding Vibes # , , , , , ,

Off to print we go!

I did it, hit send, the invites are officially off to print. unnamedWow, even just typing that gave me the butterflies. Not the fun kind where there are little hearts roaming around your head and all of a sudden Shah Rukh Khan comes out playing the violin. This is more like the one where your hands start to shake and you’re constantly praying even if you’re an atheist.

At Vibrance Designs we never send anything to print without final sign off from our couples. This time I’m the couple. I have been cross-checking like crazy and probably driving my minions (aka sisters) insane.
Mr. Fiancé and I are both happy with the invitation. Every piece of it makes us excited for the wedding. The in-laws and my family can’t wait to hold it in their hands!
I’m always a little excited sending stationery to print and seeing the final result. I trust my team and the tools they use; they have never let me down! In fact, they always make my designs come to life.

I’m really proud of this invitation.
I’m excited to share it.
I trust and know my print team will make it flawless.

So why am I so nervous having this baby go to print?

Maybe because it’s real?
Maybe because it sets things in stone?
Maybe because it makes a statement about our event that I can’t take back?
Or maybe it’s because I don’t want to let anyone down and meet everyone’s expectations?!

Who knows…

Whatever the case may be, they are in print-production now. Wish me luck! xo

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04/03/15 Blog , Wedding Vibes # , , , , ,

Wedding Planner Please!

This post is from one bride to another.  I’m hiring a wedding planner for our day of coordination. Many people think because I’m in the industry I don’t need a planner.

Very wrong.

See I may not need a “full planning package” because I work with many vendors on a daily basis and know what styles suit our wedding; but at the end of the day I’m just a girl getting married who wants everything to be flawless.  I want an unforgettable, fun, stress-free experience. I don’t mind the stress leading up; but a month or two before the wedding day  – my family, fiancé and I should just be having fun!

We recently met our wedding planner and even with just day of coordination, (which is more than a day – seriously) we felt instant relief. All of a sudden, I am super excited and giddy for our big day! I never felt this way before. It’s not that I wasn’t excited till now – but with that excitement I always felt a bit of anxiety, just praying everything goes perfectly and hoping not to forget any details. First of all, I felt like I found a long lost friend, it was so easy to talk to her and for her to understand everything we want for our wedding. We have nothing to worry about now; even those tiny details are all going to be taken care of. It was more so the vibes she gave us than anything else that made us insScreen Shot 2015-03-03 at 9.27.44 PMtantly trust her. That feeling of having someone to take care of all that stress is unbelievable. I felt like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I wasn’t even that stressed to begin with.

One piece of advice almost everyone gave me was to hire a planner, this was especially stressed by my friends who didn’t. I’m so happy with our decision and honestly have never felt more excited about getting married now that I know I have a fabulous team by my side. This is a feeling every bride should feel.

My advice on picking a planner:

  1. Make sure you get along with them – they should give you good vibes only and literally peel the stress around wedding planning away from you.
  2. Ensure the package is exactly what you need. Many people offer many different services and all packages vary. Shop around and make sure you get a package that suits your wedding style.
  3. It’s like hiring your own wedding superhero – who wouldn’t want that? (ok that’s not really “advice” but that’s how it feels!)
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25/02/15 Blog , How To # , , , , , ,

Sending, Sending, Sent!

One of the most popular questions I get asked by everyone (and I mean everyone – even people no where near getting married or planning an event) is when to send out [insert: Save the Date/Wedding Invitation/Thank You cards]?

Simply put – the earlier the better. However life is never simple, no matter how organized you may be. In which case, you should follow the rules of etiquette listed below.

Save The Dates

Getting married locally?
You’re good to send these out six to eight months prior to your wedding date. I personally think a year in advance is always best. This allows your guests to book off any time they may need and ensures they keep the date on hold while waiting to get your beautiful invitation.mailout

Got that travel bug?
If you’re taking the destination route, I highly recommend sending out a save the date as soon as you get your bling! Your guests are not only going to need to take time off but some may also need to budget and start saving! At minimum I would say nine to twelve months in advance.

Wedding Invitations

Two – three months is your minimum especially in more popular seasons (Spring/Summer). There comes a time in everyone’s lives where it seems like everyone is getting married – take that into consideration. Letting your guests know two to three months in advance gives them enough time to pencil you in and ensure travel arrangements if they need to attend two events in one night – I’ve never had to do this but I know a few troopers who have.

If you’ve sent out a save the date, then 6 weeks (PUSHING IT) to two months in advance is also considered proper traditional etiquette.

So basically, fair game is two months for your formal invitation.

If you’re planning a destination wedding, you want to send this out as soon as possible. Anywhere between three to six months prior to is considered good etiquette! This gives everyone enough time to book their tickets!

Thank You Cards

The rulebook says that you should send out thank you cards two to three months after your wedding. Here’s where I don’t mind encouraging breaking the rules a tiny bit. Post wedding, most couples go on their honeymoon and then it’s back to the grind. Sometimes you just need time to relax and take in that you just got married! I say, within six months is nice, hey if you can pull it off in three go for it, but if you take a tiny bit longer, it’s all good.

The reason I’m a bit more laid back with this is simple; no one has to book time off. You’re doing it out of love and I strongly believe each note should be personable. So take time and thank everyone who came from near and far to celebrate your big day and do it with love, even if it takes a couple of extra days. Just don’t go over the six-month mark, because then it almost becomes old and you really don’t want to be close to your anniversary date!

Proper etiquette revolves around many things. If you’re looking for more than what this post covers, leave us a comment and we’ll be happy to answer, or might even write a post on it!

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18/02/15 Blog , Wedding Vibes

Vendor Love | Part 1

It’s finally here – after multiple requests the countdown is now over. Wondering what I did for my own engagement party stationery? Or who I chose as my vendors? Well here it is!

My piece of advice when choosing your vendors is simple – go with who you instantly connect with. You know how they say about true love …you’ll know when you know. The same goes for your vendors.

For the engagement we wanted a winter wonderland theme without it screaming winter wonderland; so no snowflakes! The invitations made this statement and set the tone for the whole event. We opted for a winter inspired color pallet and threw in winter floral – because I ADORE flowers. The shimmer paper brought in the first snowfall look (you know when the snow just sparkles) and of course for that bit of extra magic – silver foiling! We also had fun with the text (6:30 – till late) it let our guests know that they were in for a late night and huge party! We wanted to have fun with our day of stationery too and pre-events are the perfect place for this! We “signed” our welcome sign, which made it very personal and a huge crowd pleaser was our bar menus – I swear it was the most posted picture of the night (#pujasumit2015)!

Our vendors were chosen based on their creativity and this word Mr. Fiancé keeps bringing up, “budget” not sure what it means but I’ll look into it once I’m done planning the wedding. Jokes aside, we knew we wanted to spend smartly and have a creative team that would bring our vision to life. There are so many amazing vendors out there, so if your planning your wedding, it’s time for you and your S/O to grab a bottle of wine, some Thai food, and pick your dream team!

Shout outs to all my vendors for being nothing short than amazing!

Setting the Tone

Invitation & Stationery: Vibrance Designs – of course 😉

Décor: G.P.S. Decors 
They brought our style to life with white paper flowers, lace, shimmer draping and beautiful sequence placed throughout.

Creative Memories

Photography: Banga Studios
Gurminder had us posing in every way possible. At one point he, himself was standing on chair in the dance floor while the crowd danced around him just to get the perfect shot. We jumped, wrapped our arms around each other and even screamed, on his demand. The end result was exactly what I wanted: Art!

Videography: JF2 Films 
Joseph brings a fresh artsy edge to his work; combine this with his super caring personality, makes him such a pleasure to work with! Counting down till we can see and share the video!

Make me Beautiful

A big thank you to these ladies who had me looking and feeling gorgeous – just like a real life princess!
Bride’s Outfit: Shabi’s
Bride’s Jewls: India – sorry kids!
MUA: Mala Gupta
Hair: Salimah Mavji 

Make him Handsome

Mr. Fiance looked dashing in his outfit too!
Grooms Outfit: Harry Rosen
Groom’s Shoes & Accessories: Little Burgundy & Banana Republic

Let’s Party till late

DJ: Team Guru
Venue: Dreams Convention
The key components of any good party = a good DJ and delicious food – check and check.
PS: Next time someone save us a plate, we were too busy dancing to try the yummy food you all keep talking about!

Click on any picture to open the gallery

 

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11/02/15 Blog , Inspiration Vibes # , , , , , , , , ,

Just Me, A Dream and Passion

unnamedLast night I had the pleasure of attending an industry event hosted by ISES Toronto “How to Run a Profitable Business and Have a Life at the Same Time,” featuring the fabulous Ceci Johnson. If you know me personally, you know that meeting Ceci has always been on my to-do list. Yes, if you look from afar she is a competitor, but I also respect and LOVE her work.

In a digital world the ultimate luxury is paper – Ceci.

This quote stuck with me. I dream, live and vibe with paper every day. Although I’m happy to produce items that will only live online, the ultimate luxury comes from paper products. It’s not something you need to have – it’s something you want to have!

I came home on a high, excited to implement lessons learned into my businesses. However as per Ceci’s advice, I decided to get some sleep – because we all need to recharge! Today is a new day and I’m excited to make a sharp turn on my path and get my business exactly where I want it to be.

Being a creative person in the wedding and events industry, it’s hard not to get tangled emotionally with your clients or your work. Last night reminded many of us that we are still a business. This is really important. We are in the service industry and help people with one of the most memorable days of their lives. It’s hard not to get emotionally involved. Clients often may not realize the countless hours we spend making their vision come to life. Many of us, do not give ourselves enough credit.

Here are my top 3 take aways from yesterday:

  1. “Just Me and Passion”
    Ceci opened her presentation mentioning she had no investors or a financial backing from her family. It was “just me and passion.” This line hit home. Throughout my personal journey there have been people trying to kill my passion with their reality. But if the passion is strong enough it will make your dreams reality.
  1. Get Ready to Sweat
    If you want your dream clients you have to get ready to work hard and create a brand; no shortcuts! By focusing in on what we love doing and the reason we started our business we can build an empire that will sell itself. Most of my clients come through word of mouth. So what does it come down to? Sweating for your clients, building that empire and getting press from those who love your work – for your work! It’s just like what Sam Smith said at the Grammy’s “It was only until I started to be myself that the music started to flow and people started to listen.”
  1. Know You Value and Stick To It
    This is the hardest one for myself and some of my vendor friends. I never give myself enough credit. Everything I create is hand-drawn. I spend countless hours with my clients from their invitation all the way to their thank-you cards. This includes meetings, emails, phone calls and somewhere in all of that I sketch, create, print, and deliver beautiful invitation and stationery.

    Value yourself, your time and the services you offer. If you don’t, why would your client?

    You also need to create a financial plan. In running a creative business we get wrapped up in the thought that if client is happy everything is good, but what we tend to forget is that we are a business and have a bottom line. I’m sure you’ve all been there – I know I have! So to my industry friends reading this, it’s time we value the work we put out there; only then that can we grow and become the businesses we wish to be.

Thank you once again Ceci for being such an inspiration. I’m taking everything you’ve taught me and implementing it so that Vibrance Designs becomes the studio I know it can be. For all my readers, be sure to check out her work, as an artist I truly admire everything she creates and who knows maybe one day we can collaborate! 😉

XO,

Puja

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03/02/15 Blog , Wedding Vibes # , , , ,

It’s Official.

The recovery period is always the hardest when it’s mixed with withdrawal. What was I recovering from?

*drumroll please*

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 8.37.12 PMI’m officially engaged! Confused? Let me explain; my fiancé proposed back in August (more about my fairytale proposal to come) and I of course said yes but we’re not considered officially engaged until we get 250 of our closes family and friends together to celebrate!

For those of you shocked by my “small” number I dare you to talk to both sets of my parents (if you’re able to get through to them you get insane bragging rights! I might even make you a plaque.)

Mr. Fiancé and I are both Hindu Punjabi, so customary to this we had a small ceremony, where we welcomed him into our family and vice versa.

This included grand entrances, tons of gifts, delicious food, sweets and an open bar to fuel the dance party! I remember at one point in the night my girlfriend turned to me and said “I think brown people invited the rave.” It was an epic party!

Sure things went wrong; my headpiece took forever to get on, freezing rain made us late, but at the end of the day who cares? I’m the bride I’m allowed to be fashionable late and this my motto for the peanut gallery.

If I could give you one piece of advice – don’t ask the bride why she is running late; the last thing you want to do is stress her out. Luckily being in the industry, I have been on the other side of weddings quite a bit and I know stuff happens so just take a deep breath bring in some good vibes and move things along.

No matter what happened, nothing could’ve ruined my night. It’s so important to not let the little things stress you out on your big day (or your big pre-event in my case). Trust me as the main couple of the evening, your mood will be reflected on to your guests. So happy vibes only! 😉

Now that I’ve gone off topic… back to the party…

Days leading up to this involved packing gifts, figuring out outfits, jewelry, timelines, ordering a weave (hehe ok hair extensions but I feel more Beyoncé when I say weave) and much more. It was CRAZY in both our houses.
Our family flew in from all over the world to celebrate with us for just one night. I had one cousin who drove more than 17hrs! Mr. Fiancé looked at me as we were sitting up on stage and said “all these people are here just to celebrate us tonight. ” That feeling is incredible. I don’t know how to describe it – you feel beyond loved and it makes all the craziness of a big fat Indian wedding worth it. Having all those people just celebrating our engagement made it so real.

It’s now official. I’m getting married.

WAIT! What did my stationery look like? And who did I use for my engagement party? Wouldn’t you like to know 😉 … but that my dear is for another day and another post. Xo

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