Wednesday, January 26, 2011

We are quite obsessed with.....WH Hostess - exclusive interview and giveaway!

We first were introduced to the lovely Kelly of WH Hostess by the amazing ladies at LaunchHER. We had a very special first birthday feature coming up and we knew exactly who could help - WH Hostess! Kelly immediately starting working on our custom designs from everything from beautiful invites to cupcake toppers to centerpiece sticks -- just wait, you won't want to miss how amazing her work is - and her turn around time, is ummm, like 2 seconds - seriously, she is amazing. We also adore how everything comes right to your door, printed on high quality stationary paper and ready to go -- this isn't a printable, this is true quality right to your finger tips. 

Next month we will be showing off her amazing work she did for cupcakeMAG but we have a little peek at the invite above! Isn't it a beauty? The perfect invitation for the shabby chic vintage meets sparkle princess party we are planning. Love right? Yes, we have fallen in love all over again with WH Hostess. Read on to get to know the genius designer herself and to win a $50 shop credit! 

{1} At what point did the light bulb go on to begin WH Hostess? Tell us about your baby & the name.

I have always had a love for all things paper, so now I look back at the path I have taken and say life has pointed me in the right direction.  But....the light bulb truly went off after about 9 months of writing/inspiring on my party-planning blog, The Party Dress.  I was pulling together party inspirations daily and people kept e-mailing me asking me to create or plan parties for them.  Pulling from my background in graphic design, I started playing around with designs and my first few collections were born.

I have nurtured WH Hostess this first year like it is truly my baby.  Although my biggest focus is on designing fresh, modern invitations and party goods, I also wear the hats of research & development, accounting, public relations and marketing, merchandising and quality control!  We have grown into such a wonderful little business in such a short time...I am thankful every single day that I found this new dream.

The name WH Hostess also comes from the blog's full name....The Party Dress ~ Inspirations from the Well-Heeled Hostess.  I have a love for shoes and fashion (and worked as a retail buyer for many years), and when it comes to planning a party one of the first things I think of is "what will I wear?!"  Almost always, my outfit is coordinated around a fabulous pair of shoes!

{2} What is your favorite item to custom design? 

The custom design process always starts with the invitation design for me.  I feel the invitation sets the tone and theme for a party, so it's important to create a high-quality, stylish invitation.

{3} What celebrity are you just dying to work with?

There are many ladies out there that I associate with the top of my head, I would say Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kourtney Kardashian, Tori Spelling, Jennifer Garner, just to name a few!

{we love these ladybug centerpeices}
{4} Where do you pull your inspiration from?

Everywhere!  In my fashion days, I did a lot of product development/swatch buying - so I would sit and play with swatches of fabric all day long.  Pulling together patterns, colors, and textures until I found the perfect assortment.  I find myself still pulling from that process when it comes to designing stationery and party goods.  My local fabric store is probably one of my favorite places to "get lost" for a couple of hours when I am looking for inspiration for a party or new collection.  I read a lot of magazines, look at a lot of books and listen to what people ask for....  Pattern plays a big role in all of my designs, so once I have the main concept down - I go back to my roots and start working in an assortment of patterns to compliment the collection.

{5} When you aren't working away, what can we find you doing?

Well, I work a LOT these days!  But when I am not working, you can find me either entertaining friends at home (I love hosting family dinners or small parties with friends), decorating my first house, shopping with my mother, helping my sister plan her upcoming wedding, or spending time with my best friends and their kids - I love being "Auntie Kelly!".

{6} What are your own personal party tips? Most important thing at the party?
  1. Brand your party!  Choose a color palette, a style, a pattern and carry it throughout your will make your party look very stylish and cohesive.  
  2. Do as much prep work as possible, so once your guests arrive you are playing "hostess" instead of "worker-bee".
  3. Mix the high and low: pull out the good stuff (china and crystal) for everyday fetes, and mix it in with your dollar-section or IKEA finds to create a unique look.
{the cutest placecards}
{7} What are you favorite blogs to read?

I have always been a fan of Hostess with the Mostess, and I love following Amy Atlas's blog (especially reading the behind the scenes articles!).  I also love P is for Party, Eddie Ross, One Charming Party, Sharnel Dollar, Style Me Pretty and Celebrate at Home for party inspiration, and Belle Maison, Twig & Thistle and Coco + Kelley for home decorating.

{to-die for dessert table} 
{8} What do you never leave home without?  

My iphone.  I literally run my business and my life on it daily!

{9} So you are quite the multi-tasking queen - you have your biz, your blog & contribute to Project Nursery? Are we missing anything? How do you manage it all?

It's a balancing act and I am still perfecting it!  There are some days I get thru my to-do list, take a deep breath and say "okay!  I can do this!"  and then there are days where I could keep working thru all hours of the night and still not get everything done.  Each month I look back to review what I did well, and where there is room for improvement in the future.  The best part of owning your own business is that you control it's destiny!  I am trying to be better about taking some time during the day for myself.  Whether it's grabbing a quick cup of coffee with a friend, or doing a half hour of yoga, or running thru a local store looking for inspiration - it's good to put the laptop (or iphone) down for a bit and interact with people!

{10} And last, what do you think is the perfect outfit for a party?

I'm always a sucker for a party dress, but I like to be comfortable too!  You can typically find me in either a sweet little shift dress, or a fun, silk blouse and tailored pants.....with a fabulous pair of heels, of course!

Ahh, we just adore Kelly! Don't you? She is pretty perfect! Now, time to have some Kelly in your life - enter to win $50 to WH Hostess now. Read on to enter! 

Giveaway: $50 Shop Credit

Visit WH Hostess and tell us just what you would spend your $50 on. This comment is mandatory.  You also must be a follower of cupcakeMAG and cupcakeMAG for Littles. 

For each extra entry just let us know (each in a seperate comment) telling us you have done so! The more you comment the better chance you have to win! 

1.) Follow cucpakeMAG on Twitter.

2.) Follow WH Hostess on Twitter.

3.) "Like" us on Facebook!

4.) Subscribe to our updates --- just sign up with your email in the top right corner above. 

5.) Tweet about this giveaway and include @cupcakemag -- you must tweet, not just follow. Also, make sure you tell us YOUR twitter name. 

6.) Tweet about this giveaway and include @WHHostess -- same as above. 

The winner will be selected by on Thursday, Feb. 3rd after 11pm. Please make sure you leave us your email in one of the comments as well! 

Details: Giveaway winner to be chosen on the date above. You will have 24 hours to respond if you are the chosen winner. Another winner will be chosen if you do not respond within this time period. Open to US. The opinions expressed in this review/feature are strictly cupcakeMAG opinions & we were not paid to show our love. 

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