I’m really excited to be chatting with Patti, owner + designer of Easton Place Designs. She’s a fellow stationer based in Connecticut, yay me! I had the pleasure of meeting Patti for lunch and we instantly hit it off. We could’ve talked for hours if I didn’t have a train to catch.
So let’s see the behind the scenes of Easton Place Designs.
Tell us about your business.
I am the owner of and designer for Easton Place Designs. I create “fine paper lovelies” including invitations, stationery and greeting cards to name a few items. Over the past 10 months I have incorporated graphic design options into my line up: Logo design, web banners, and website element designs.
How have you grown your business from an idea to where it is now?
As any business owner will tell you, it takes a lot of hard work, dedication and a willingness to learn (perhaps most importantly) in moments of failure as well as during successes. I actually took a break early on after starting my business. Once my oldest started kindergarten, and my younger son was still in nursery school, I just couldn’t keep up with the multi-school schedule, volunteering etc, so I basically closed up shop… until 2010! Since then I’ve moved full steam ahead with adding new products and offering new services.
Why did you begin your business?
As many stay-at-home mothers will tell you, there is a tremendous need for an outlet while filling the most important roll of “mommy”. Motherhood can be all consuming. For me, I realized after the birth of my second son I needed something creative as well as mentally stimulating so that I could be a more engaged mother, wife and friend.
Where do you draw your inspiration from and how do you apply it to your business?
I love photography… specifically of nature. I will often photograph something that has an amazing pattern or line that grabs my attention. Flowers, leaves, forest floors… there are so many amazing elements to draw from. And of course I draw from current trends: color combinations, or design elements. I love looking at color boards on ColorSchemer 2. They often put the wheels in motion for a new pattern. And my latest favorite application for my iPhone is “ColorSnap” by Sherwin Williams. It allows me to photograph something and then get a color match that I can translate into a color palette via ColorSchemer 2. LOVE that app!
Describe a typical day.
This year my boys (ages 11 & 13) are on the same bus schedule and I’m super excited about that! So here is what my typical “school day” schedule looks like…
6-6:45 wake up, walk the dog or walk on the treadmill when weather doesn’t permit
6:45-7 pack lunches for the boys and make their breakfast.
7-7:40 feed the dog, wake & feed the boys. Get the kids on the bus.
7:40-8:00 Clean up the kitchen and usually put away a load of laundry (boys use a lot of clothes!!)
8-2:45 I’m in the studio! Fill orders, answer emails, design, social network etc.
Two days a week I play tennis in the morning, so the work day doesn’t actually start until 11:30 on those days. I usually squeeze in a few emails or a trip to the post office before tennis actually starts.
2:45-3 Prepare afternoon snack for the boys
3-9:00 Mommy time! The boys have a different activity nearly every day of the week. Religious school on 3 afternoons. Jacob has rowing in fall and spring with training in the winter and tennis year round. Ben has Lacrosse in the spring & tennis year round. There’s also homework and dinner mixed in here. I try to not over schedule the boys so I allow for one focused sport for each and tennis for fun. If they had it their way they’d each have another competitive sport or activity. Bath/bed for the kids at 9-9:30 then I head back to the studio. During afternoon sports/school with the boys, there is usually time to reply to a few emails or catch up on twitter & facebook. Otherwise, I’m doing some shopping at the market or running household errands.
9:30-Midnight: Back to the studio for order filling, packaging etc. and to return any emails or write a blog post/newsletter etc. Though sometimes I just turn in for the night
Name 3 interesting facts many people don’t know about you.
1. I am a classically trained flautist.
2. I was voted class clown along with my best friend, Carl, my senior year of high school.
3. I’ve never had a facial nor a massage. The thought of a stranger rubbing my back or scrubbing my face gives me the heebbie-geebies!