As I am getting closer to my first 'Blush and Gold' anniversary, I thought I'd put a blog together to recap all the fantastic things that I have learned and that have happened in these past 12 months. I still can't believe it's only been a year. So many good things have happened and I really feel like I have grown and changed so much. When I look back at where I started from, it really feels like a long time ago...maybe it's because I have spent every waking moment doing something for 'Blush and Gold' or thinking of new designs or products?
When I first started, I really didn't have clue of what I was doing. I knew how to draw and how to create lovely designs, but I really didn't know much about paper stock, postage companies, invoicing (what?!). I had to have a crash course on Excel spreadsheets...I even had to google how to add a signature to my emails!! None of it was particularly outside of my abilities, but definitely not what I imagined when I started Blush and Gold.
So, how did I start?
Well, it was kind of out of the blue. Let's rewind and go back to the beginning.
The very beginning...
I was born in Italy, in a village in the north of Milan. I studied languages in high school and then I graduated as a Graphic Designer at the Politecnico of Milan. I then decided to move to the UK to do a Masters degree in Visual Communication and that's where my life in the UK started. I completed my degree and then I started working as a Graphic Designer for a small agency in Birmingham, where I really leaned most of what I know now about designing!
I left my job as a Graphic Designer after 4 years. As a 20-something, I wanted to really make a difference and help others, andI felt that sitting in front of a computer all day just wasn't for me. Don't get me wrong, I have always loved designing and I have spent most of my time in education and employment doing just that, but I just didn't feel it was the right job for me at the time.
so that's when I decided I'd be a teacher.
I started working for a huge College in Birmingham, first as a technician (screen printing, photography and textiles) and I knew straight away that education was the right job for me. I love being around people and helping them in any way I can. Supporting students through their journey was really gratifying and I just loved being surrounded by all the other amazingly creative lecturers (see at the bottom for links to their own websites). So I got my teaching qualification and thought a wide range of creative subjects at a couple of colleges for a few years until... I got engaged!
How Blush and Gold started...
Yes, my boyfriend of 7 years proposed to me just over a year ago and it was amazing! I'll never get tired of telling this story. He took me to London for the weekend we had an amazing time! We stayed at a really posh hotel, went to the top of the Shard and then we had the most delicious meal at Vanilla Black. The next day he took me to the Greenwich Planetarium, which I have wanted to visit forever. It was a pretty rainy Sunday morning so I didn't pay much attention to the fact that we were the only visitors. So we sat down, the light dimmed out, the Astronomer started talking and showing us the most glorious starry sky and... 'will you marry me?' came up among the stars! I think I cried for a good 5 minutes before I said yes!
So I spent the next following days looking at invitations which included the 'stars' theme. I have always known that I would be designing them myself, but I thought I'd do some research before starting and I just couldn't find what I was looking for (since then I have found some gorgeous designs by some really talented Wedding Stationers, but I am glad I didn't find them straight away or I wouldn't have started Blush and Gold!) so I started designing one exactly how I wanted and the 'Sky at Night' collection was born. From there, I designed the 'Starry Night' collection as an alternative... and I haven't stopped designing invites ever since! Once I did a couple of designs, I soon realised that I could probably sell them so I took some pictures and I built a website in about a week. I got a few samples printed of those two collections plus a few new ones and I attended my first wedding Fair where I got my first order!
As the wise man says...the rest is history... (and I'll take about it more in the next blog post!)
A few amazing artists and friends I had the pleasure to work alongside while I was teaching: