Photography is a key component to branding, marketing, and selling your product. All businesses use high-quality photos to catch the viewer's eye and market their products. Instead of spending countless hours (and money) styling and prepping for all the photos you need, stock photos are an effective way to add a professional polish to your products and brand. Professional images can be costly but there are a lot of online resources that offer free, beautiful stock photos. Here are my favorite websites that offer free (or inexpensive), professional stock photos.
We're in the holiday spirit over here at Paper by JLee so we have a fun, festive watercolor tutorial for you today: painting christmas tree ornaments! This can be a great piece to use as you decorate your home for the holidays, or as a Christmas card to send to family and friends.
We have another set of fall wedding invitations for you this month! This wedding took place in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania at the bride's home church. The wedding colors were a gorgeous mix of navy and gold so we worked hard to create a custom invitation that would showcase this really beautiful color combination.
We're ready for Paper by JLee: Step 7! The final (at least in this series) step! In the previous post (step six) we talked about the people who supported both me and the business as I launched Paper by JLee and now I'll outline what I've done to help grow the business since opening the shop.
This past fall I worked on a custom watercolor for a dear friend. Her (super smart) husband was defending his dissertation and she was looking for a gift that incorporated his epitaph, the John Muir quote: "The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark." Check out the final design here!
I have another wedding invitation suite for you this month! I created this set for a fall wedding in Pennsylvania. The bride and I worked together to create this floral-themed set full of reds, oranges and greens. See photos of the final designs here!
We're ready for Paper by JLee: Step 6! In the previous post (step five) we looked at the various ways I market and grow Paper by JLee. In this post I'll talk about the people who supported both me and the business as I launched Paper by JLee: family, friends and fellow small business owners.
I'm in a festive spirit right now so today we're going to paint a holiday wreath! This can be a great piece to use as you decorate your home for the holidays, or as a Christmas card to send to family and friends. In this post, I have a step-by-step guide to painting the wreath as well as a time-lapse video showing the whole process.
We're ready for Paper by JLee: Step 5! In the previous post (step four) we looked at how I started branding my business. We covered everything from a logo to name to brand colors. In this post I'll talk about how I set out marketing my new shop.
The most wonderful bride-to-be contacted me through my Etsy site last summer and asked if I could design some custom pieces for her summer 2016 wedding in Ithaca, New York. Over the course of a year we worked together to create multiple items to help bring her wedding day together. See photos from the wedding here!
Today we're going to paint watercolor sunflowers! I love painting flowers and as a native Kansan, sunflowers are among my favorite. This sunflower stationery set is one of my best sellers too! In this post you'll see a step-by-step guide to painting sunflowers as well as a time-lapse video showing the whole process.
In January 2015, I was contacted by The Big Fake Wedding invited to participate as a vendor in the 2015 NYC Big Fake Wedding. I jumped at the opportunity to get involved and provide thank you cards for the event. Take a look at the final product and photos from the event here!
Custom stationery designs are some of my favorite orders to work on. I recently created a custom watercolor stationery set based on a photo of a beloved family vacation spot. What started as a photograph eventually became a lovely set of greeting cards with a personal touch. Today, I'll describe the steps I take to create custom stationery.
In the previous post (step three) we covered the steps I took to create the physical stationery: paper, printing and shipping. Now, it was time to look at the branding of the business. First, I needed a name and then, I needed a logo.
Today we have a special guest post from my financial planner, Julie Ford, the founder of Ford Financial Solutions, LLC. Julie will take us step-by-step through some of the financial issues related to starting your own Etsy shop. Next week, I'll build on Julie's advice and walk you through exactly what it cost to start Paper by JLee.
The wonderfully talented Elvira Kalviste contacted me last year and asked if I wanted to be part of a styled shoot she was putting together. I created the menus, table numbers and place cards for this modern, geometric inspired wedding shoot. Take a look at the final photos from the event and the products I contributed!
Sometimes I get custom watercolor requests (which I love) and recently an old friend asked me to create a custom painting based on a John Donne poem, "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning." After reading the poem I was inspired to paint a night sky and the goal was a dark and beautiful sky (think evening a storm is rolling in) overlaid with the image you get when you take a long shutter-speed photo of the stars. I've published a post dedicated to the creative process behind the painting but, for now, I'll just share a few tips about how to paint the sky I created for this painting.
We've made it to step three! At this point (as we discussed in step two) I had a few designs from previous projects I could edit and turn into stationery. Next I had to figure out how to make the physical stationery. The three largest issues I had to solve were the the type of paper I should use, how to print the stationery, and how to ship it. This post will be dedicated to these three questions.
An old friend recently asked me to create a custom painting based on a John Donne poem, "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning." In this post I'll walk you through the inspiration I drew from the poem to create the final image I painted and I'll show you how, through many draft paintings, I moved from an idea in my head to a final painting.
Lately, I've been painting a lot of roses for a client's upcoming wedding. After some watercolor trial-and-error I landed on a pretty easy way to paint these tricky flowers and I thought I would share them with you.
I've found a lot of great resources, supplies, and articles while starting and growing this business. I've listed a few below and I'll keep adding to the list as I find more articles and information. Maybe something I've found helpful will be useful to you too!
Step two in the Paper by JLee process: At this point in the start up process I (with my mom and sister) had an idea and general concept about what I wanted to sell. The next step was figuring out what that looked like in terms of design. As I mentioned in my step one post, I already had a few designs from past projects that I could edit and use as stationery.
Today I enter the world of blogging. I will document my journey into the world of small businesses and creating art, two things that don't naturally mesh well together. Thankfully, I'm a type-A creative (is that a thing?) so hopefully that contradiction will serve me well in this endeavor.
Hey there. I'm Jennifer Whisenhunt, owner and designer of Paper by JLee. This blog is about two things: 1- the ins and outs of how I started this business and keep it running and 2- how I create the products I sell. Enjoy!