We are back with another great vendor interview today! This time it is Raygan Ketterer owner and designer for ChikPea Graphics your one stop solution for custom stationary! I met Raygan last week at the Fredericksburg Expo Bridal show, I noticed her checking out my booth while I was snapping photos of other vendor booths. Low and behold when she got back to her booth I was there oohing and ahhing over her designs and snapping pics! We both went with a fun rustic vintage vibe and both grabbed items from our homes to complete our vision. Seriously I think we are long lost twins ;) Check out her gorgeous custom wedding invitations, Save the Dates and more at her Etsy store! Also find her on Facebook! If you are getting married and want something that truly represents you contact Raygan to get started on your own custom designs!
1. Tell me about your business! What do you do?
What is ChikPea. That could be a loaded question… but in a nutshell, ChikPea is my answer to the assembly line wedding invitations that most brides and grooms are forced to use. I wanted to create a haven for those that want their personality to shine. I offer completely customized stationery that the customer has control over. I’ve been in the design industry for over ten years and I’ve realized that there is a demand for good design and quality products that you don’t have to take out a small loan to have. I really enjoy working with people and taking their ideas and needs and bringing them to fruition. I have also been having a long not-so-secret love affair with paper and ink (shh, don’t tell my husband) and being able to share that with people is nothing short of magical. Seriously.
2. What was your inspiration for opening your business?
My inspiration came from my in-laws and parents, actually. They have really been pushing me for a long time now to start my own business. I have always been the friend that everyone went to the second they got engaged. They would tell me all about their dream wedding and the colors they have been thinking about for the past three years and knew I would be one of the few people that would get just as excited about it all as them. I’ve always loved working on weddings and actually would take on the entire gig with a few friends: flowers, decorations, and invitations. Though, I quickly realized that my little body couldn’t possibly move fast enough to do this regularly, so I’ve scaled back to invitations only. I LOVE staging and decor, but alas, something had to give.
3. What is your favorite part of your job?
My absolute favorite part of my job is the initial meeting and the flood of ideas that stem from it. I love to meet a client in person at first and just talk like old friends. Chat about the wedding, who they’ve booked for certain things, location, how they met, and just get to know each other a bit. It really helps in being able to get a feel for what sort of design they would be looking for. Design is so much about personality and getting a good feel for the client is great starting point. Plus, who doesn’t love talking about one of the happiest days of their lives? For those people: I am all ears.
4. What inspires you?
Inspiration can come from a lot of different places, but more often than not, it comes straight from my clients. No two people are the same, so it’s fun to see how the design evolves from the initial meeting to the final product. My most recent project came from a friend. Her and her fiance met in Bali, so she wanted something that had a Balinese influence to it, she had also decided on plum and pink as her colors. So with that, I got thinking and I researched Bali and found some great images of Batik fabrics. So I took the fabrics and rendered a design from the pattern. She was so thrilled with the design that she got just about every coordinating piece that she could. That’s the best inspiration, really. To always strive to create designs that people can not only relate to, but just couldn’t imagine having anything else. Totally. Radical.
5. As a graphic artist what is the number one piece of advice you would pass along to brides regarding their invitations?
My number one piece of advice for brides: Don’t be afraid to be yourself in your invitations. Times have changed and the world is your oyster. There is no right way or wrong way to do your invitations. You can have them read and look any way you want, so don’t get wrapped up in Emily Post, too much to decide what you “should” do, but do what you want to do. No one will condemn you for it, promise. Most people will say “Wow, I’ve never seen that before. How cute.” Which is WAY better that no one saying anything at all. Way Better. Also, don’t wait until the last minute. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get the right design and have everything in order well before ‘d’ day.
Melissa Arlena Photography is an award winning wedding, newborn, maternity, anniversary, engagement, lifestyle and family photographer in Fredericksburg, Virginia and surrounding areas. Ready to book your session? Contact me now for more information!