If we haven’t formally met, I’m Anissa, founder and designer at PaperCrush! As both a creative and hopeless romantic, it seems like opening a luxury wedding stationery studio was fate. Every day I live out my dream of marrying my passion for love and paper by helping engaged couples create unforgettable wedding stationery for their big day. But how exactly did I become a wedding invitation designer? Well, let’s rewind a bit….
Love (for print) at first sight
As an only child, I was an imaginative little girl, constantly finding creative ways to entertain myself. This is where my interest in arts and crafts sprouted. I made posters to decorate my room, drew pictures and sent them to my school crushes (*facepalm*), and even won a few contests in grade school (my mom still has that cookbook from 3rd grade on her shelf)! Later, my Grandmother–a professional quilter–taught me to sew, and you could always find me making something new: pillowcases, fabric purses, and even large quilts!
My creativity followed me into high school where I took art classes and further developed my drawing abilities. Junior year I joined the yearbook staff and by senior year, I moved up to the coveted role of design editor. This was my introduction to graphic design and Adobe Creative Suite. My high school’s yearbook wasn’t just any old yearbook though. It was 300+ pages of blood, sweat, and tears that myself, the editors, and the staff poured our hearts into for an entire year. It won awards for writing, design, and content at both the state and national levels. We transformed a blank screen into a printed and bound book (which, yes, sits on the shelf next to the cookbook), binding the memories for years to come.
This experience of creating something that will last a lifetime–something you can’t just see, like on a computer–but physically hold and feel in your hands, had a profound impact on my life. It altered my future—it was the sole reason I applied for Art School and find myself in the creative field today!
my College Years
After graduation, I went on to attend the School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan. It was here that I learned the principles of design, typography, composition, and color. I also had the opportunity to study abroad for a summer in Florence, Italy, where I had the once-in-a-lifetime experience of learning the traditional print techniques of printmaking, silkscreening, and batiking. This practice shaped my senior thesis project, a year-long endeavor on the exploration of print design techniques; silk screen printing, letterpress printing, packaging design, editorial/layout design, paper study, etc.
From Corporate Employee to Creative Freelancer
Fresh out of college, I did what so many young artists do, and I moved to the east coast in search of a job in New York City. After several interviews–the first one being at a boutique stationery company, ironically–I landed my first design role at a Sports Agency in Manhattan. While the job wasn’t quite as print-focused or editorial-heavy as I had hoped, it was during my ten months there that I really harnessed my technical Photoshop and Illustrator skills (which still come in handy to this day).
Feeling in need of a change of scenery and inspiration, I drove across the country in pursuit of the gold coast where I worked as a designer for a large corporation in the hotels and resorts industry. It was here that I had more opportunities to work on print projects, continuing to fine-tune my layout and editorial aesthetic. On the side, I would freelance for small local businesses and take on odd design gigs, which happened to include a few wedding invitations for friends. Eventually, I left my corporate position to freelance full-time, enjoying the freedom and flexibility that came with it.
Making PaperCrush Officially Official!
With all of my experience in design and print, I decided to launch my dream business, none other than a paper company. In October 2019, PaperCrush came on the scene as a fine paper goods company (think sassy rose-gold art prints)! Shortly after launching, a dear friend asked if I would design her wedding stationery—this is when the lightbulb went off and I realized this is the space I was destined to be in!
Over the next few months, I completely revamped my website, started creating stationery designs, researched and met with local printing shops, and ordered way too many printers. In February 2020, PaperCrush relaunched as a luxury wedding stationery studio and I couldn’t be happier! I toss and turn all night with new ideas, excited for a new day and another chance to create beautiful keepsakes for soon-to-be newlyweds. I love collaborating with couples to bring their stationery vision to life through my designs. It’s truly an honor to help couples and play a small role in the best day of their lives!
I hope this post inspires you! You can keep following along at @papercrush on Instagram!
If you are ready to take your wedding invitations and envelopes off of your plate, click the button below to book your complimentary consultation!
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