Launch day is such an exciting day for my branding clients, and today is no exception! Kelly and I have been working together since the beginning of this year to create a new look for her photography business, Kelly Pullman Photography. Having a graphic design background herself, Kelly had a pretty clear vision of what she wanted for her rebrand but decided she didn’t want to tackle the design portion herself. Right from the beginning I knew Kelly would be a great client. She fell in love with photography when she was in high school and hasn’t put down the camera since. It’s amazing to see how passionate Kelly is about photography and I love the heart behind her brand. Kelly’s mission behind her business is to capture beautiful images that will later become heirlooms. Her hope is that the moments she captures will be passed down for generations and cherished by her families forever.
The main goal of the logo I created for Kelly was to design something she felt connected to and represented her personal style. Behind the camera Kelly’s style is very feminine, light and airy, but her personal style is sophisticated and trendy. I think we captured all those feelings perfectly in her new brand, what do you think?! Enjoy the gorgeous new brand for Kelly Pullman Photography!
The heart behind Tracy’s business is simple; to make women feel beautiful. She prides herself on capturing images of women that they can look back and love for years to come. Tracy gives her clients a high-end experience, while at the same making each client feel comfortable.
My goal for Tracy was to create a new look for the Boudior by Tracy brand that felt sophisticated and feminine, but also luxurious. I hope you enjoy what we came up with for her new look!
I remember meeting her like it was yesterday. We were at the Creative at Heart conference back in January of 2015 and I remember thinking to myself “man, that girl has the most beautiful red hair”! After spending the weekend chatting at the conference, I quickly realized how much I loved Lauren from So Lovely Weddings and Blooms. Over the past year and a half we’ve met up for dinner, coffee, and collaborated on a few styled shoots. Not only is she hilarious and sweet as can be, Lauren is also incredibly talented when it comes to floral design. Seriously guys, this girl blows me away with her creativity. She’s not afraid to take risks and design things that are a little outside the box, that’s one of the many reasons why I love her work so much!
When Lauren emailed me about rebranding her floral and event planning business I was SO excited! Working with your friends is such an amazing feeling – it almost doesn’t even feel like work! So after a few months of brainstorming the perfect name and working on a few logo concepts, Lauren emailed me with some crazy news (I’m pretty sure that was actually the subject of her email)…..she was joining forces with yet another red-headed beauty, Alyssa from Lovely & Bubbly Events! Alyssa was fairly new to the wedding industry, but the moment I started following her it was so clear what a natural she was at event planning and design. Alyssa’s work is amazing and completely packed with so many details, I knew these two were going to make a such a dream team.
Moving forward, Alyssa, Lauren and myself collaborated together to create a feminine, whimsical, Anthropologie-inspired brand that was perfect for their new business. Lauren wanted to keep her signature dusty blue from her old brand, but we updated the rest of the color palette to include soft purple, pink, navy and of course…rose gold! I’m thrilled to share with you the brand reveal for Ginger & Blooms!!! I love you love it as much as I do!
Lauren & Alyssa…..you ladies were amazing to work with, I can’t express how happy I am for you both! I know Ginger & Blooms is going to be such a success and every bride and groom you work with are so lucky! xo
It’s hard to believe that a year ago this month I met Leah from Feather & Oak photography! The two of us met at the Creative at Heart conference and I was so excited when she reached out to me about working on the rebrand she’d been dreaming up. We worked for months to put together a brand that was exactly her, and I’m thrilled to share that with you today! One of the things I love about Leah is her passion for nature, the outdoors, and being adventurous. What’s even better is that she knows exactly the kind of couple she clicks with…..one who envisions exchanging vows at the top of a mountain or the base of the waterfall.
In the early stages of the branding process, I knew we needed to incorporate the outdoors and a nature-inspired color palette into Leah’s brand. I also challenged myself by tying in some soft shades of plum, Leah’s favorite color. Here’s the inspiration board I came up with!
After weeks of getting the logo just right and creating some custom patterns to tie everything together, the brand identity for Feather & Oak Photography was born! What do you think friends?
In celebration of her new brand, Leah is hosting a GIVEAWAY! That’s right friends, one lucky couple will win a free photo wedding package! Head over to Leah’s blog to congratulate her on her new brand and enter to win! Yay!
Back in May, Erin reached out to me about working together on the branding for a secret project her and her husband were dreaming up. They were opening up a gourmet popcorn business! For this foodie, branding a popcorn company was seriously a dream come true….I can’t tell you how excited I was!
This Cinderella inspired wedding is straight out of the pages from a fairy tale, bursting with the most gorgeous details. Collaborating with Sincerely Amy on the invitation suite was a dream, I mean check out those gorgeous flourishes…..they seriously took my breath away! I’m in love with every single image from Alicia Lacey, but below are just a few of my favorites. You can see more of this stunning shoot flawlessly coordinated by Ally Allison Events over on Elizabeth Anne Designs!
Photography: Alicia Lacey Photography
Venue: Swannanoa Palace
Stationery: Jess Creates
Calligraphy: Sincerely Amy
Coordination: Ally Allison Events
Florals: Love Blooms
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik
Gown: Hayley Paige from Lovely Bride DC
Ribbon: Frou Frou Chic
Cake: Haute Cakes Pastry Shop
Rentals: Sammy’s Rentals
Hair & Make Up: Lou Stevens Glam Squad
Ring Box: The Mrs. Box
Be still, my heart. This may be one of my favorite invitations to date! The moment that Ashley of V.A. Photography asked me to create an invitation suite for her secret garden themed styled shoot, I started dreaming up the perfect design in my head. Who doesn’t love blush and coral with hints of watercolor? Kat of Dear Sweetheart Events worked on the styling and it was beyond beautiful. Here are some of my favorite images from the shoot, but you can also check out alllll the gorgeous details over on Glamour & Grace!
Photography: V.A. Photography
Styling: Dear Sweetheart Events
Paper Goods: Jess Creates
Rentals: Paisley & Jade
Paper Flowers: Sweet Pear Paper
Hair and Makeup: ELLE Style Studio
Dress: Tiffanys Bridal
Videography: Violet Iris Studios
Venue: Tuckahoe Plantation
The moment I met Emily in person, I instantly just loved her. She’s of those girls that is so kind and genuine, she can literally light up a room. Emily was one of my roommates at Creative at Heart and we hit it off instantly. I mean, she arrived with a batch of homemade salted caramel chocolate chip cookies, so I knew we were destined to be friends! Over many late night chats, we spent time those few days together getting to know one another. I knew right away that Emily had such a passion for photography, it didn’t surprise me one bit that she launched a blog and debuted her business a week later.
Shortly after, Emily approached me about working together on the branding for Emily Marie Photography. We spent months researching, finding inspiration, and really digging into the core of her business. Here’s the mood board we put together for Emily’s brand:
Emily is completely obsessed with anchors and surprising enough her love for them has nothing to do with the ocean! It’s more about being a symbol of strength for her, but I’ll let her share that story with you another day. We knew that an anchor needed to be a significant part of her branding, but she also wanted to keep things simple, modern, fun, and approachable. I’m so excited to share with you the final result for the new Emily Marie Photography! Enjoy!
Emily, thank you so much for trusting me with your brand! I’m so glad our paths crossed and I can’t wait to watch your photography business grow!
Days like today, when the weather forecast is reaching almost 90 degrees, I want to close my eyes and pretend I’m at the beach! That may not be realistic, but I do have these gorgeous photos from our Seamist Styled Shoot to hold me over! I’m so thankful when my creative, industry friends ask me to collaborate on such fun ideas. Brooke from North Star Events asked if I would provide an invitation suite for their upcoming shoot in the Outer Banks. Without a doubt I was on board, especially if that meant I could team up with Sincerely Amy to provide calligraphy for the suite. Enjoy these gorgeous images captured by Amanda Hedgepeth Photography and check out the full feature over on Glamour and Grace! You may also recognize the gorgeous bride in these photos, my sweet friend (and talented florist) Michelle!
Photography: Amanda Hedgepeth Photography
Planning: North Star Events
Invitation: Jess Creates
Calligraphy: Sincerely Amy Designs
Florist: One Sweet Day in May
Cake: Buttercream Dreams
Rentals: Paisley and Jade & Renee Landry Events
Gown: Bridal Impressions
Hair: Bombshell’s Studio
They say that everything happens for a reason……and that my friends, is so true. There must have been a reason why I stumbled upon Katelyn James years ago, later became a KJ Bride, and eventually crossed paths with Kat. If it weren’t for Kat and Creative at Heart, who knows if I would even be writing this post! Nevertheless, I’m so thankful for how things have worked out. Over these past few months I’ve been able to connect with so many amazing women. Women with beautiful hearts who want to encourage, inspire, and build this creative community. Today I want to introduce to one of those incredible women. Friends, meet Rachel Tenny.
I first read about Rachel when Kat did a post about her back back in 2014. I remember cracking up after seeing her “I love you more than taking off my bra after work” print. I instantly fell in love with Rachel’s clever cards, beautiful floral paintings, and gorgeous illustrations. I have loved following along on Rachel’s business journey and watching her #spreadjoyandhappymail movement grow.
Rachel truly is SO talented and has the BIGGEST heart. If you haven’t heard of her, I can go on and on about how amazing she is. Not only is Rachel a talented artist, she’s also one of the most genuine and encouraging people I have ever met. When she emailed me about working together on her rebrand, I couldn’t have been happier. I don’t know what it was, but in just those first few email exchanges I felt instantly connected to her. Plus, she’s a lover of teal and red wine, two keys to my heart.
Rachel and I quickly got to work by creating an inspiration board for her brand. Not only is this is one of my favorite parts of the branding process, but it’s also one of the most important steps. The inspiration board acts as a point of reference throughout the project so we made sure to select the perfect imagery, textures, and color palette to represent the direction for Rachel’s new brand.
After the inspiration board was finalized, we went through a handful of logo concepts before Rachel selected her favorite. From there we refined that design until I hit pause for a second because I had a crazy idea. What I was dreaming up in my head wouldn’t have worked without a little bit of handiwork from Rachel herself. So I asked her to paint some blooms for me that I could turn into illustrations and incorporate throughout her branding! For someone with such a unique style as Rachel, this was the perfect way to personalize her brand. I wanted these illustrations to be unique and truly represent her. So what better way than to have her put some watercolor to paper…literally!
Once the blooms were perfected, I married them with the finalized type treatment and made some complimentary patterns to tie everything together. We even threw in some cute little icons for #spreadjoyandhappymail! Here it is friends, the new branding for Rachel Tenny!!!
Rachel’s mission is to spread joy, encourage others, and bring color into people’s lives. I hope you love this fun, colorful, new brand as much as I do! Head over to Rachel’s new website and show her some love!
Rachel, thank you so much for trusting me with the design of your new brand. It was a joy working with you and I’m grateful that I made a great friend out of this experience too! I can’t wait to see what amazing things are in store for you.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of working with yet another incredible team of vendors on this beautiful styled shoot. Safa and I met briefly at the Creative at Heart conference back in January, so it was wonderful to reconect with her and collaborate on this amazing shoot. When I asked Safa what her vision was for this, she said she wanted the shoot to be very understated glamorous with a color palette of champagne, white, touches of blush and coral. Alongside the beautiful blooms, berries, pearls and other small details she wanted to have a slight French feel, while being simple yet bold at the same time. I knew with incredible vendors like V.A Photography, Sorby Sweets, The Proper Petal and Paisley and Jade, this was going to be drop dead gorgeous. I think she knocked it out of the park, don’t you? Below are some of my favorite images, but you can swoon over the entire feature over at The Perfect Palette!
After I returned home from Creative at Heart, I received the sweetest email from Sterling of Sterling Dawn Events asking me to collaborate on a styled shoot with her. She was dreaming up this gorgeous rehearsal dinner shoot taking place at the Field Guide, and I knew within minutes of reading her email that it was going to be lovely. Her vision of berry-hued florals, sparkly details, and hand lettered signs sounded amazing so I got right to work creating an invitation! I loved seeing how everything came together and Daytona May Photography captured the shoot in the most beautiful way. Here are a few of my favorites, but check out all the lovely details over at Tidewater and Tulle!
Photography: Daytona May Photography
Event Coordination: Sterling Dawn Events
Paper Goods: Jess Creates
Florals: Peonies & Company
Hair & Makeup: Sammi Harrah
Diamond Ring: Adele Diamond
Linens: Waterford Rentals
Venue: Field Guide
I can’t believe it’s been almost 3 months since the first Creative at Heart Conference, where does the time go?! Since then, so many great things have happened with the wonderful friendships I built when I was there. C@H was a one-of-a-kind experience for me (you are read more about my experience here and here), but today I wanted to share a little about what to expect and how to make the most of your time there. For some of you, on top of all that excitement there may be a little bit of underlying anxiety and nervousness. Your bags have been packed for days, but you’re still obsessing over finding just the right outfit, picking out that perfect statement necklace, and making last minute trips to Target for cute PJ’s. The funny thing is, none of that really matters. What matters is what you DO at the conference. With that said, I wanted to give you some tips and share some insight from my experience. Trust me, I totally understand that it’s very intimidating to attend a conference where you don’t know a soul. However, I’m hoping these tips are useful for you first-timers and help alleviate any stress you may be feeling!
1. INTRODUCE YOURSELF
I know it sounds really nerve wracking, but trust me, it’s one of the best things you can do. Before the sessions start or during breaks, turn around and say hello to the people sitting around you! It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, just a simple “Hi, I’m Jess from Jess Creates! I’m run small graphic design company, which specializes in wedding stationery and branding for small businesses. So nice to meet you”. You never know what will come out of that simple conversation! Chances are that person has already done their research (aka cyberstaked you) and may already know who you are! In my case, some girls even recognized me from Katelyn’s blog and said how much they loved our wedding, which was so, so sweet.
2. GRAB DINNER WITH YOUR NEW FRIENDS
There’s usually a little bit of downtime at least one of the nights before the evening activities, so I highly encourage you to grab a group of your new friends and have dinner together! It’s such a great way to get to know folks a little better. Many of those 20+ girls who I chatted with over tacos and margaritas have become great friends! We spent time talking about our goals and dreams for our businesses, but we also got to know one another outside of “work”, and it was so much fun. I can’t begin to tell you how much has come out of those friendships I made that night; styled shoots, dinner dates, and so much more. Believe it or not, a handful of those ladies have also become clients! You just never know what can happen!
3. BE PRESENT DURING THE SESSIONS
I’m such a note taker, but I highly recommend really trying to put your pen down and be present during those presentations. If you’re too busy Instagramming, you’re going to miss out on some great information! As hard as it can be for some, tuck that phone in your purses, check out from social media, and soak in those powerful words. You want to be as free of distraction as you can while you take in all the valuable information from the speakers. They will change your life!
4. MAKE TIME GET TO KNOW YOUR ROOMMATES
Whether they’re a professional in their field with a huge following or a freshman in college with a big dream, you never know what will come out of the relationships with your roommates. You may feel like you don’t have much in common with a photographer or an event planner, but I’m here to tell you some wonderful things can come out of those relationships! For example, one of my roomies at the time didn’t have a business yet but just weeks after the conference she got a businesses license, launched her website, and we’re currently working together for her branding – which is amazing! I can’t tell you enough to make the most out of your time with your roommates, no matter what creative skill they have or what stage their businesses is in. If you’re a photographer and your roomie is a stationery designer, maybe she’ll need some styled shots of her invitations!? If you’re a calligrapher and your rooming with an event planner, maybe you can brainstorm some fun gifts for her clients that feature some of your beautiful calligraphy!? No matter what, take time to invest in those relationships. Those ladies you’re having late night chats with will be your biggest cheerleaders and hold you accountable for those big dreams! It’s incredible!
5. CONNECT WITH OTHERS IN YOUR FIELD
This is a big one guys. If you haven’t realized this yet, you’ll learn quickly that community is more important than competition. Don’t let the ugliness of comparison and fear hold you down. And don’t worry….there’s plenty of work to go around! I’m such an advocate of making friends in your line work and you know why? Because you need each other! Those people understand you! Also, for example, if you’re a stationery designer and you have an inquiry from a bride that you simply can’t accommodate – what do you do? Instead of just declining the project, wouldn’t it be great to refer her to someone else? Especially if it’s someone you trust and admire? Not only does it show you care, but it also speaks so much for your personality. Plus as an added bonus, I’m sure the inquiring client will be so grateful for your recommendation! So overcome that little voice in your head that’s telling you otherwise and make friends in those break out sessions!
6. IF YOU CAN, BRING SNACKS (and maybe a bottle of wine….or two)
Leave it to me to always talk about food, haha! You’re probably thinking I’m crazy at this point….but hear me out. I knew I lived within driving distance from the hotel the first time around, and I had this secret hope to have a little impromptu get together. I wanted another excuse to get these new friends together, and what better way to do that through delicious snacks (Emily’s salted caramel chocolate chip cookies to be exact) and wine! So the first night before dinner, we kept our hotel room door open, opened a couple bottles of wine, and invited every person that looked familiar from the conference to come in and join us! Next thing I knew, we had almost 20 girls sitting in our room, laughing, and chatting. It was such a great time and one of my favorite memories of the conference.
7. KEEP IN TOUCH AFTER THE CONFERENCE IS OVER
I understand that it’s sounds impossible to stay in touch with 100+ people. After the conference is over you’re going to be so inspired and excited, you’ll want to run home and apply everything you just learned to your business. One word of advice though….don’t forget about all those amazing people you just met! Of course you’re going to have a fire in your belly to start making changes to your business, but one of the things that was invaluable to me was taking the time to reach out to the people that really made an impact on me in some shape or form. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy email by any means, but there were some people that were SO inspiring to me, I felt like I needed to reach out and thank them. Also, don’t be afraid to connect with those people that you wish you had time to talk to, but didn’t! After the conference I found out Emily G. and Alicia both lived literally minutes from my office. So I blindly reached out to them after and scheduled a time to meet for lunch! We met up and instantly I felt like I was meeting up with old friends. So after your time is over at C@H, make the time to continue those relationships or even make new ones!
8. MAKE THOSE BIG PLANS HAPPEN!
I remember one night sitting in the lobby chatting with a large group and Ashley mentioned she had always dreamed about doing a styled shoot. She had the vision in her head, but just needed some vendors to make it happen. Minutes later, Ashley had a handful of people step up and volunteer to make that vision a reality. Sure enough, we have a styled shoot with a handful of amazing vendors scheduled for the end of April. This weekend you’re going to be surrounded by tons of creatives. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas, you never know who will volunteer to help you. Once those ideas start flowing, make them happen!
9. HAVE FUN!
Seriously, have fun. Check out from work, forget about all those unanswered emails, and try not to think about that never-ending list of things to do. Dance to Taylor Swift, enjoy meaningful conversation over cupcakes, hug your new friends, and make friendships that will last you a lifetime.
You guys are going to walk away with so much after the conference has ended, I really can’t find the right words to express how much those few days changed my life. You will laugh, cry, and leave more inspired than you could ever imagine. I’ve been to countless graphic design conferences where I’ve left with nothing more than a notebook full of notes. I’m telling you friends, this is going to be unlike anything you have ever been to in your life. You’ll know from the moment you arrive that this is different…something truly special.
I hope these few tips have given you a better idea of what to expect and how you can make the most out of your Creative at Heart experience! I’m secretly jealous that I won’t be there in person, but you’ll be getting a little something from Jess Creates, so I’ll be there in spirit.
Have an amazing time friends!
Back in January I shared my inspiration board and a branding for Black Sheep Coffee and today I’m so excited to share how some of the printed materials turned out! We wanted to stay true to the rustic and industrial feel of the building , so all the collateral items (business cards, rewards cards, etc.) were printed on thick, recycled kraft paper. Chance also order a custom stamp with the Black Sheep logo and plans to stamp the coffee sleeves, bakery bags, and anything else he can get his hands on – how fun! I love the idea of using a stamp on your collateral. Since each impression is slightly different, it’s gives things a touch of personality. Love it! If you live in the Harrisonburg area, or are passing by, definitely stop in for a cup of coffee and one of their sweet treats (made in-house daily). Not a coffee lover? They also have a great assortment of teas and artisanal sodas.
I can’t even begin to explain how excited I am to share these business cards for Royal Flair! Founded by Jennifer Haye, Royal Flair Events specializes in creating intimate social gatherings, festive themed parties, and lavish celebrations. Royal Flair Events is committed to providing each client with exceptional customer service, attention to detail, and a unique and notable design for their specific event. Their work is absolutely stunning and we wanted Jenn’s business cards to be a true reflection of her style. I knew right away that super thick, luxurious letterpress cards would be a perfect way to go and the gold foil details would elevate the design even more! I couldn’t help myself, so we even threw in gold edge painting at the last minute. I hope you enjoy the end product of these gold foil business cards as much as we did!
Cranes Lettra Paper
Black Letterpress Ink
Gold Foil Stamp (front and back)
Gold Edge Painting
I can’t believe that I started working with Dawn and Chamaya of D.C. Soirées back in the summer! Serving Washington D.C., VA, MD and beyond, the primary focus of this event planning business is to focus on providing a seamless, all-encompassing level of service to perfect their client’s experience. No matter the size of the event, they want to ensure their clients can create memories and not have to worry or stress about all the details! D.C. Soirées will execute your vision and exceed your expectations by allowing you to actually enjoy your event, while at the same time impressing your guests with an unforgettable soirée!
For their branding, Dawn and Chamaya wanted a modern and sophisticated feel, but still have a slight feminine touch. We incorporated their preferred color scheme of bold chartreuse mixed with black and white paired with various patterns to tie everything together! I think it turned out pretty nice, what do you guys think!?
I’ve known Ashley for years so when she approached me about designing her wedding stationery, I couldn’t have been happier! I love it when I have the opportunity to work with friends and create stationery that’s a true reflection of them. For me, it’s all about the details and in Ashley and Jon’s case, they really wanted start by incorporating an outline of WV (with a little heart where they live) into their Save the Dates. They weren’t sure how this would work, but that element was very important to them. So I dug deep into my little creative heart and surprised Ashley by also adding the lyrics to “Country Roads” on the back of the Save the Dates. I think it’s safe to say she loved it.
The wedding invitations themselves were a nod to how Ashley and Jon envisioned their wedding…..with all their friends & family celebrating and dancing under the twinkling light of bistro lights. Our little WV graphic also made an appearance as well. What do you think?
Now for the wedding!! Tucked away in a beautiful orchard, you will find The Barn at York Hill. Leading up to the big day Ashley shared a lot of details with me so I couldn’t WAIT to see how everything came together. When Bob and I walked up the path to where the ceremony was taking place, I couldn’t believe my eyes……chandeliers hung in the trees, a dresser that served as the gift table, hot cider station, the most beautiful chaise lounge, and a vintage AIRPLANE! Ashley really outdid herself. When we walked into the barn itself, I was surrounded by even more details that matched this rustic, “Anthropologie” style wedding. The most gorgeous flower arrangements in tones of gray and peach, pumpkins painted white, old fans, vintage books, and apples right from the orchard delicately arranged on various tables. The newly renovated barn was transformed with bistro lights and lace fabric was draped in the rafters…..just stunning. I’ll let the images speak for themselves, here are some of my favorite photos captured by Pangtography of this perfect day.
VENUE: The Barn at York Hill
STATIONERY & SIGNAGE: Jess Creates
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: BHLDN
WEDDING DRESS: J & B Bridals
GROOM’S TUX: Tommy Hilfiger
CATERER: Gourmet Cooke
If you haven’t seen this announcement on my Facebook or Instagram page, this past week as been amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not only did my dear friend Katelyn James unveil her new, beautiful brand (go check it out, it’s gorgeous, so Katelyn, and oh so perfect) but she’s giving away a DREAM WEDDING to one lucky couple! That’s right, you read that correctly. You could win a FREE wedding! I’m SO excited to announce that Jess Creates is part of the #weddingcollectivegiveaway! We’re collaborating with Katelyn James Photography, Big Spring Farm, Amanda Veronee, Shaina Koren, Paisley and Jade, Tart Event Co., High Cotton Ties, Emily Hudspeth, Shaner Sound, Sorby Sweets, Tiffany’s Bridal, and The Weekend Type!
Visit here to enter!! Hurry friends, entries are being accepted until February 2nd!! Good luck!!
Several weeks ago, Chance and Miranda shared some exciting news with me – they’re opening a coffee shop! And not just any coffee shop, they will be one of many businesses finding a home in the newly renovated Cassco Ice House complex located in downtown Harrisonburg, Virginia. This landmark, built in 1934, has been a focal point of Harrisonburg’s urban core for over 75 years! The building is located at 125 West Bruce Street and 217 South Liberty Street and sits on over 2 acres. Just two blocks west of the Harrisonburg central business district and less than two blocks north of James Madison University’s (JMU) campus, Black Sheep Coffee will join The Yellow Button, Ice House Studios, Pale Fire Brewing Co., and many other restaurants and businesses in this revitalized space.
Early on in the logo process we decided to keep things simple, but also incorporate the rustic and industrial feel the coffee shop will have once complete. Make sure you check back in a few weeks as we unveil all the printed materials and website…but in the meantime I’m happy to share the final brand board! Follow Black Sheep Coffee on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date with the construction process!
After almost two weeks, I still can’t believe how full my heart is from Creative at Heart. As promised, I wanted to share some of my biggest takeaways from those two incredible days. My plan is to incorporate as many of these lessons into my business this year that I possibly can! I’ve also made quite a to-do/goal list for myself too! Katelyn made a great point though, if you make goals…write them down, it makes you accountable!
So here we go…my takeaways from Creative at Heart:
First up, the lovely Katelyn Alsop spoke about building a business on blogging. She shared the importance of creating content that’s valuable, blogging for a purpose, and sharing things that people want to know! Remember, your blog is your voice and your reputation, and it should be a true reflection of you. Most importantly, she spoke about being a leader and leading with intention…from the heart. Disclaimer: I can write pages and pages about this women. She is such an open book, so gracious, so loving, such a beautiful person (inside & out) and such an inspiration. I cannot say enough about her and even though I’m not a photographer, I feel like she’s made me a better creative business owner.
Natalie also spoke about blogging regularly and explained that consistency instills trust, something I never thought of before but makes complete sense! She also shared some incredible information about social networking. Specifically this simple tip: BE SOCIAL. Take the extra second to comment and share your thoughts on someone’s post. It’s so much more thoughtful and genuine then just tapping on that heart over and over. And finally, what stuck with me most…STOP COMPARING. Stop trying to create this ‘Pinterest perfect’ life. Stop looking around and start looking inward. That’s what matters most.
Krista totally rocked my SEO world and taught us how to make Google our new best friend. I learned very quickly how important it is to fill out all those text fields that I’d been ignoring in WordPress! Eek!
I just wanted to get up and hug Lauren during her presentation on branding. Seriously, she answered the question that I get almost daily, “What is branding”? Friends, I’ll tell you this…branding is so much more than just a logo. Here’s one of my favorite quotes Lauren shared that sums up that question pretty perfectly. “Your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be, and who people perceive you to be.” – Entrepreneur.com
On day two, things got real as Rachel went over some legal topics. She shared five mistakes all small business owners are making and I pretty sure I’m doing four out of five of them (don’t worry, I’m kidding). Honestly though, her presentation was very eye opening. Everyone, drop what you’re doing and take a closer look at your contracts…and stop doing things for free, except if it’s for your Mom!
Michael shared tons of valuable financial tips that gave me a huge reality check. My biggest takeaway from his presentation was to be responsible and realistic with my finances and start paying more attention to what I’m getting back from my investments. Does it make sense to spend $50 on each bride for pretty packaging that’s just going to be tossed in the trash? Probably not. I also realized that I need to be more organized with my expenses and take a good hard look at where exactly my money is going. Thanks for the good kick in the pants, Michael!
Alexandra discussed something I think a lot of people in the creative industry struggle with…”What exactly do you do?” Let me break it down for you, friends. Photographers do more than just take pictures, event planners don’t just plan events, and designers do more than make pretty things. They work hard, very hard…and there’s SO much more that goes on behind the scenes then most people realize. And yes, they are real, full-time jobs. So what do you do when nobody takes you seriously? Work hard and take yourself seriously. If you’re confident in what you do, than others will feel the same way.
I can’t lie, I definitely got a little choked up during Bonnie’s presentation. Mostly because as she was sharing the struggles she had early on in her business, she was telling my story. Exactly. Word for word. As I sat there and soaked in every word of her discussion, I found myself somewhat paralyzed. Why? Because for so long I’ve struggled with guilt for neglecting my friends, family, and husband. I’ve felt exhausted for working 24/7 and never taking breaks. I’ve been so underwater trying to juggle a full-time job and Jess Creates. What stopped me dead in my tracks though, was that Bonnie (someone who I totally admire, if I didn’t mention that already) went through the same exact thing. I couldn’t believe it, but it made me feel this sense of relief. Bonnie’s main solution was BALANCE, and that’s going to be one of my top priorities this year. After the conference was over I personally thanked Bonnie (while trying not to cry) for what she shared. She may never know what an impact that hour long discussion had on me. Bonnie, you’re the best.
The waterworks continued as Kat wrapped up the conference with the final presentation. I don’t think there was a dry eye in that place, this girl seriously has a heart of gold. She encouraged us to make goals, to believe in ourselves, and to make things happen through hard work (and a little bit of fairy dust). The one thing she stressed that I plan to keep close to my heart moving forward, is this: COMPASSION over COMPETITION. Don’t be afraid to share and build friendships in your industry, folks. If I learned anything during my time at CAH, it’s the importance of community!
Kat and Taylor. I cannot thank you enough for following your hearts and creating this beautiful experience. You have gifted me with so much; confidence, new friends, encouragement…I could go on and on. Creative at Heart is an experience that I will never forget! I’m forever thankful for you two.
I had no idea what to expect going into Creative at Heart, but with an all-star line up of speakers including Katelyn, Bonnie, Natalie, Laura, Abby, and Lauren (just to name a few) I knew it was going to be amazing. My expectations were high, but friends…..they were blown out of the water. I’ve been to tons of conferences in the past and NONE of them touched what I experienced here. Kat and Taylor planned this absolutely perfectly from the overall message everyone walked away with to the little tube of “fairy dust” the attendees were given on the last day. I can honestly say that I’ve never been surrounded by so many like-minded, creative women in my life and I loved every second of it. Typically at conferences I keep to myself, but at Creative at Heart I felt…..at home. It may sound funny, but no matter who I turned around to talk to, we had something in common and that was amazing. It was such a great feeling to walk up to people I’ve never met in my life, introduce myself (which is so out of character for me, but felt awesome!), and receive such a warm and genuine response. There were even a handful of people that remembered me from our wedding, how sweet!
Each person I hugged and chatted with made some sort of impression on me. From our first dinner together (table for 30, please!) to gathering in my hotel room with 15 other new friends drinking red wine out of plastic cups, each moment was better than the next. The speakers each day were absolutely incredible, but I walked away with SO much more. Creative at Heart isn’t just 85 photographers, designers, florists, calligraphers, event planners, and other creatives brought together for a few days….it’s the beginning of a revolution folks, one that will change the wedding industry forever. If I learned anything this weekend, it’s to grab the hand of people in this industry and walk together instead of racing for the finish line alone. It’s to live a life full of intention and purpose. It’s to choose joy everyday. It’s to spend less time comparing yourself to your competition and instead, encouraging and supporting them. It’s learning to balance your time so you can do the things you love, but not miss out on making memories.
I’ll follow up with another post to dig into my conference takeaways, but for now I just wanted to say thanks. Thank you Kat and Taylor for following your hearts and chasing this big dream. Thank you to all my new friends that laughed, cried, and shared their stories with me. Thank you to the amazing panelists for sharing your knowledge and even taking the time to talk to me one-one-one. Thank you everyone….my heart is so full and I feel so inspired. I love you all and can’t wait for what’s to come.
“A creative at heart believes in always showing compassion over competition, in building purposeful community right where you are, that sweet starts lead to joy-fillled journeys, in inspiring the hearts of like-minded women, that we are cherished, loved and worth it.”
Friends! I can’t believe that today is the last day of 2014! Where does the time go? I just wanted to take moment and thank all of you for your support, encouragement, and kind words. Jess Creates wouldn’t be what it is today without my amazing clients, friends, family and husband. Before we jump into the New Year, I wanted to share some of my favorite work and moments from 2014! Cheers!
I can remember Lesa’s first email like it was yesterday. She had reached out to me after seeing our invitations featured on Style Me Pretty and wanted me to design something similar for her daughter’s wedding. Not only was Jackie and Tanner getting married at Pippin Hill (the same place Bob and I tied the not), but they were also working with Cody from Amore Events who happened to be our wedding planner too! Cody was such an instrumental part of our wedding day and I couldn’t have been more excited to work with her again.
After exchanging a few emails, Lesa and I quickly realized we lived less than an hour from each other! It’s not often that I get to meet my clients face to face, so I was elated when she suggested we get together. A few weeks later, we chatted all about Jackie and Tanner’s wedding over coffee at Starbucks. We immediately hit it off and I felt like Lesa was an old friend! After getting to know her more we realized we had a few friends in common – what a small world!
Over the course of the year, Lesa and I met several times to discuss all the design details for Jackie’s wedding. We started with the save the dates, then moved on to the invitations, and later created the day of items. Jackie wanted the overall look and feel to be romantic, but not too feminine, and have touches of soft pink, gray, and lace. It was also important to incorporate the skeleton key somehow, so I designed a small icon that was carried throughout all of the paper goods. Here are a few images from their big day. How beautiful is the calligraphy from Meant to be Calligraphy?! If you never need a calligrapher, Michele is your girl. Thank you Rothwell Photography for the beautiful images!
A few months ago, Ashley of V.A. Photography reached out to me about doing a styled shoot and I couldn’t have been more excited! She explained that she was putting on her first ever workshop (go girl!) and part of that was a styled shoot designed by the one and only Kat of Dear Sweetheart Events (who I just adore). Better yet, it was ‘Mexican inspired’ and was talking place at her favorite Mexican restaurant. So fun! I loved working with these two amazing ladies, both are such an inspiration and oh so talented! Ashley captured all these images from the workshop and I’m happy to share them with you today! Pop on over to Ashley’s blog and Every Last Detail to see more! You’ll love all the little details! Enjoy friends! xoxo
Photographer: V.A. Photography
Planning & (gorgeous!) Florals: Dear Sweetheart Events
Invitations & Stationery: Jess Creates
Bridal Salon: Reflections Bridal
Hair & Makeup: ELLE Style Studio
Reception Venue: Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant
Who doesn’t love an engagement party?! Especially when it involves drinking sweet tea
vodka out of mason jars! I had the pleasure of creating these fun engagement party invitations for our dear friends Kerri & Matt. Inspired by her wedding this October wedding, where there will be lots of burlap and chalkboard signs, here are her engagement party invitations!
There are some major updates I plan on making to the website/blog over the next couple of weeks. Until then, I can’t wait to share all the work that I’ve been up to! First up is a logo and branding for my friend Robin Day and her hubby! Jason recently started a Valley Eco Electrical Corp, an eco-friendly electric company in our area. They were so much fun to work with and I can’t be happier for Jason and his new endeavor!
Once Bob and I were engaged, there were so many things about the wedding day I was looking forward to, but designing my own wedding invitations had to be close to the top of the list! Over the years I have designed so many invites for friends, family, and brides all over the country….I knew I had a lot to live up to when designing my own. So after a ton of revisions, this is what I came up with! I wanted to keep things simple, have a few accents of our wedding colors (mint & coral), but also incorporate elements that would represent our rustic, yet chic & elegant vineyard wedding at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyard.
Thank you to the lovely Katelyn James for capturing these beautiful images of our wedding invitations! xoxox
You know the feeling when you meet someone for the first time and you feel like you’ve known them forever? Well that’s how I feel about Nicole. Nicole is so sweet and has such a great sense of humor, I was so sad when she left our company to work somewhere else. Lucky for me, I had the chance to create a new logo for her awesome blog! Her passion started with an awesome wedding blog, Big Day for 10K, then evolved to Ever After, Happily, where she blogs about married life, DIY projects, and life as a newlywed.
Most people say that you can’t work with your friends, but I totally disagree! I love designing and evolving other people’s businesses and it’s even better when you can do that for your friends! Julie is such an amazing photographer and I was so excited when she contacted me about created a new logo for her business. The result was something very clean, simple, sweet and sophisticated – much like Julie herself.
This week marks the beginning of Third-Thursday’s here in my hometown! Presented by Discover Downtown Charles Town, each month there’s an evening of fun events planned for everyone of all ages. Don’t miss out! To kick off these series of events, I thought I’d share the logo I created for DDCT!
I am the worst. It’s been SO long since I’ve blogged……but I have an excuse! I’m getting married!!!!
I’ll get into the proposal, the ring, and our beautiful engagement photos in another post. This post is just for my favorite ladies! My friends are so very important to me and being the creative person I am, I wanted to do something different when I asked them to be in my wedding. After lots of thought, I ended up making these little cards and presenting them in a small box, topped off with paper flowers I made myself. The cards included general info about our wedding, import dates, and I ended with writing a small blurb about each girl. These were so fun to make and even more fun to give to my girls. It was so awesome seeing the reaction of everyone! Anyway, I’m beyond excited for our big day and I have SOOO many projects to share with you guys. Stay tuned. xoxo
Let me preface this by saying I don’t market myself as a photographer. There are plenty of talented photogs in the world and I don’t pretend to be one of them. However, I do enjoy taking photos and I don’t think I’m tragic at it or anything. Mostly the images I take are of family, friends, or friends of friends. Anyway, the other weekend I had the pleasure of meeting Stacey and her adorable children for a photo shoot. Stacey’s kids were so adorable and comfortable in front of the camera, taking there photos was such a breeze. Enjoy a few peeks at some of my favorite images. Also, thanks to the fabulous Stephanie from s-rinehart photography for being a trooper and joining me on this photo shoot. (images 1, 5 & 9 were taken by steph)
Hello my dear friends, I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth! I have, however, been a busy little bee. Here’s what I’ve been up to!
To start, my cousin got married in NY, so we packed the car and headed to Buffalo to celebrate her big day!
Then it was off to South Beach to celebrate with Tiff for her bachelorette party!!!!
And finally, Jess’ Bridal Shower!!!
Check back this week for some new work! xo.
Ok, so I’m probably a little biased, but Carson has to be one of the most beautiful babies I’ve ever seen! It could be because he is just so darn small and cute and precious……OR…..maybe it’s because he’s my godson.
Reguardless, this has been one of the most fun projects I’ve designed recently. I knew when Natalie and Jason announced they were having a boy I had to come up with something unique, fun and sporty. So here we have it ladies and gentlemen – Carson’s WVU ticket inspired birth announcement. Let me know what you think!!
When my girlfriend Lexi was having a forest animal themed baby shower, I couldn’t have been more excited when she asked me to design the invitations. Check out what we came up with!
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to work with Growing Roots, a non-profit organization in the San Antonio area. The purpose of the organization is to educate and empower low-income families with children with disabilities. Through interactive classes, they teach parents how to become experts regarding their child’s diagnosis by using material that considers linguistic, cultural and/or socioeconomic diversity. Their classes teach and model healthy social emotional development as well as connect families to resources in their communities. By participating in classes, parents achieve a comprehensive understanding of their child’s needs in order to meet their family’s greatest potential.
I designed the logo for Maria and these are the business cards she had printed.
I ‘m a little behind on this post (I’m blaming it on the holidays) but I promise, it’s worth the wait. I loved our California trip so much. The conference I went to was amazing, the weather was beautiful and the food was to die for. Here are some snapshots of blog worthy dishes we had over our trip. Trust me, if you are ever in the LA to San Diego stretch – these places are a must stop.
Bottega Louie (Los Angeles, CA): Lasagna, Portobello fries (!!) and Macaroons!!!!
Senor Grubbys (Carlsbad, CA): Yummmy Tacos
The Mission (San Diego, CA): Berry French Toast
Umami Burger (Santa Monica, CA): Best burger I’ve ever had in my LIFE. Too bad I forgot to take a pic. The sweet potato fries, cheesy tots and tempura onion rings were just as amazing though.
Oh man, just looking at these images again are making me miss California….
Today’s sneak peak is of Courtney & Andrew’s wedding invitation which was held in September. Congrats to the newlyweds!