The power of letting go

Oh Swan Friends, I have had you on my mind for weeks on end. I know I have been terribly quiet. I've just been mulling things over, letting thoughts sink into my soul and allowing my heart to feel all its feels.

Thing is, I have decided to take a sabbatical from client work. Which mostly means a sabbatical from wedding work.

There, I said it. 

It has been such a hard decision for me to make and one that I dreaded telling you of. This work has been my baby. When asked about what I do, a smile would fill my whole being as I explain how lucky I am to have my days filled right to the brim with happy thoughts, pretty making, and love. This has been the bestest best time. I have loved it. 

But as we grow, we change and our needs shift. We start dreaming new dreams. New adventures grab at our heart. And so it is, that I have decided to step away from custom design work for now. I'm freeing up space to work on some of my other dreams: to create new products and work on projects I have had on the back burner. To learn, fine tune my skills and open my horizons. And guys, I am SO excited! It's been a while since I have been this excited about all the beauty ahead. 

Change isn't easy, but knowing that this space will allow me to share the pretty with an even bigger audience than before, makes me feel all tingly inside.

Much love, Anelle

A Year in Review

In the Seven Swans studio

I can hardly believe that this month marks the sixth year of this pond’s existence. In fact, looking back feels rather dizzying! Thank you for all of you who have been following along right from the very beginning (you’ll never quite know how much you have meant to me) but also a huge big whoop to all the new friends we have made along the way. You're pretty neat too! ;) 

The past year has been quite a whirlwind. A glorious (and sometimes scary!) one filled with lots of new endeavours and a couple of exciting collaborations (yay!). To kick off the new blog of ours, I thought it might be nice to look back at the past year and give you a peek behind the scenes of all the pretty making.

Seven Swans started out as a design studio exclusively creating wedding stationery. It still is our first love. Few things beat crafting beautiful designs to announce a couple’s ‘ever after’ and I am not sure my heart can ever beat any faster than when I receive news back from starry-eyed clients exclaiming how real this love story of theirs suddenly feels.

We put our hearts and souls into creating these pretties. We hold our breath as we choose the best quality printing methods, papers and finishes we possibly can. We spend hours carefully assembling invitations sets by hand putting all the love and attention into every single invite that heads out of our door. This is the way we believe bespoke invites should be created: with every ounce of our attention. And we can’t imagine doing it another way.

There came a moment though when we realised we had so many different invitation sets on our desks for SO many clients, we might start to loose track of it all! Worried we would stop adding that extra touch of love into every invitation, I came to realise we would need to change things up over here. Creating bespoke wedding invitations remains our favouritest thing in the world but over the past year we have added a couple extra exciting things:

  • Inspired by the old-world, luxury printing methods we adore for wedding stationery, we created our own range of art prints in 2014. This would be the start of a whole new business avenue for us, and boy, did we have loads to learn!
  • Adding to our art prints (and our love for paper goods) we developed a range of gifting stationery including tags, note cards, wrapping paper and gift bags
  • Seeing our products sell online and in beautiful stores around the worlds has been a dream come true for these swans!
  • Getting contacted by Superbalist to create a new range had us doing cartwheels in the studio (okay not really… our studio is forever spilling over with paper goods so there was no space BUT we were mentally doing them, promise!)
  • Adding lovely Ashley to the team to help us manage all the orders has been a heaven-sent blessing!

Having a retail arm to our business meant we could take in fewer wedding stationery clients (and spend more time perfecting each set) AND also made our work available to a much larger audience than ever before. We love that all our swan friends could now use our products, not only couples getting married.

But we still felt there was more that could be done to ensure that we don’t run a hamster wheel of bespoke stationery creation here at the swan pond.

  • Partnering with Minted has been another dream come true. Having our work featured amongst those of designers from all over the world and being bought by customers from all parts of this planet is nothing short of mind boggling.
  • Through Minted we also get to create stationery for celebrations outside of the wedding world be it parties, personal use or gifts. Our range of customisable stationery is ever growing but currently we have personal stationery, customisable photo art pieces, a fun Wild Rumpus themed birthday invite, as well as a full set of gold foil wedding stationery (yay for gold foil menus, table numbers, thank you cards THE WORKS!)
  • One of our designs was even picked to be sold in the brand new Minted Retail Store in Union Square, San Francisco! Can you say EEP! ;)

It’s all been very exciting, daunting, new and exhilarating! AND we have even more excitement up our sleeves which will be revealed over the next couple of months.

Thanks for following along on this small-business ride and for loving the pretty as much as we do!