Friday, April 1, 2011

The Scoop on Kelp Designs: Chatting with the designer, Katie Hunt -- plus a giveaway!

Just a few weeks ago we were introduced to the FABulous Katie Hunt of Kelp Designs - thanks to the ladies at LaunchHER. Ever since we have been completely smitten with their stationary goodies. As you may know - we are basically obsessed  with all things paper and Kelp Designs tops our list! So you ask, what's the absolute we-are-so-in-love-with-faves? Kelp Designs flat & folded notecards and bookplates! They make great mother's day gifts too! (wink, wink)

Read on to get to know more about Katie and her amazing biz, Kelp Designs
Don't forget to enter the giveaway too! 

{1} Tell us about yourself, the FABulous designer for Kelp Designs and your oh-so-cute biz!

First of all, thanks for featuring Kelp Designs on CupcakeMAG today!  My family and I live in Manhattan Beach, CA - a sleepy beach community in Los Angeles.  I spend my free time chasing my toddler and enjoying her laugh, traveling with my family and spending time with our extended family.

Like a lot of stationery designers, I got my start designing my own wedding invitations; which led to a lot of referral work and inevitably the launch of Kelp Designs in late 2008.  Our wholesale line launched in May 2009 at the Stationery Show and I'm looking forward to attending the National Stationery Show for the 3rd time this coming May!

I've always been drawn to beautiful stationery and sending letters by mail. Think there is nothing better than receiving a surprise or fun news by mail.   Actually, my Hubby and I wrote letters back and forth to each other early in our relationship when I was away at college (this was before email was really around, which is weird to admit) -- I still have and treasure all of the letters he wrote me and remember how fun it was to go check the mailbox everyday.

{2} At what point did you realize you were ready to start your own biz.

In some sense, I think I knew I wanted to start my own business when I was 7 or 8 years old -- when I got excited about selling girl scout cookies, friendship bracelets I had made or setting up lemonade stands during the summer.  Ha!   I knew I was onto something with Kelp when the occasional favor to design something for a friend turned into more referral work than I knew how to handle; and forced me to set some standards for the business to streamline things. 

I'm not sure if you really ever 'know' that you're ready to start a business, but think if you have the mindset that you're willing to take a risk and do something you believe in and enjoy... it is absolutely worth it to try.  I think owning and running a business is a constant learning curve, wherein one should strive to be innovative, to push the status and produce things, services or ideas that make a difference.  I feel that small business owners are constantly being challenged by the many hats we wear.  We're not just the owner, but often the designer, bookkeeper, marketer, sales person, distribution and production arms rolled into one.  It can be tough, but well worth it, in my opinion.

{seriously stylish Luggage Tags}

{3} What is your favorite product from your line?

Our blue diamond flat notes and matching bookplates are my favorites for the moment :)  But, I am in love with some of our new designs that are being released at the National Stationery Show in May.  Can't wait to unveil them.

{cupcakeMAG's TOP fave!} 

{4} Do you find it challenging having a little one while running a biz?

Balancing family and the business (plus all the other responsibilities life throws at you) has been challenging, but thankfully I have a supportive husband and family who believe in me and what I'm doing with Kelp Designs.  While no two days are the same, I do a lot of my work in the evenings, and my Saturday mornings are when I tend to meet with custom clients or have designated 'design time'.   Like all working parents, you find a way to make it work.

{oh-so-pretty magnets}

{5} What are you currently working on & what is up next for Kelp Designs? 

We're putting the finishing touches on our 2011 designs, which will be launched at the National Stationery Show in May.  We'll be adding new flat + folded cards to the line as well as corresponding accessories (bookplates, luggage tags, magnets, etc).  We're also releasing recycled cardboard clipboards this year in two sizes -- which we're thrilled about.

On the custom side, we're also compiling a new collection of personalized products which will be for sale this summer.  This line will included folded and flat notes, address labels, coasters, gift tags and other fun paper goodies.  Really excited about how this new collection is shaping up!

For all things Kelp Designs you can find them online through their Site, Facebook, and Twitter!
Enter below to win a set of folded notecards and matching bookplates. WE LOVE! 

Giveaway: Set of folded notecards and matching bookplates -- winner can choose the design.

How to win: Visit Kelp Designs and tell us what you are obsessin' over!. This comment is mandatory. You also MUST be a follower of cupcakeMAG and cupcakeMAG for Littles. 

For extra entries you can do the following below and leave us a separate comment for each letting us know. The more you comment the better chance you have to win!

1. Follow cupcakeMAG on Twitter

2. Follow Kelp Designs on Twitter.

3. Make sure you "Like" us on our Facebook page.

4. Make sure you "Like" Kelp Designs on Facebook.

5. Subscribe to our updates (top right corner above) - just sign up with your email!

6. Tweet about this giveaway and include @cupcakemag -- you must tweet, not just follow.

7. Tweet about this giveaway and include @kelpdesigns -- you must tweet, not just follow. 

8. Write a blog post about this giveaway on your blog and send us the link.

We will select a winner via on Tuesday, April 12th at 11pm. Please make sure you enter the mandatory comment first before doing the extra entries.

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