IN CONVERSATION WITH // MELISSA DUDEK – PAPER HALO
HI MEL, TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF, WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO CREATE PAPER HALO?
I’m a wife and a mum to almost 2 year old Ava, I’m also a primary / middle school teacher and still currently teaching, whilst balancing a busy business in Paper Halo.
In January of 2015, I took a massive leap to “just do it!” and start my own business, as teaching wasn’t giving me a creative outlet to follow my dream of designing beautiful invitations and stationery.
After some gentle persuading from friends and family to start something, I had joked about for years, I went for it and haven’t looked back since.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
It has to be working with beautiful people who allow me to have a creative input in their event and chapter of their lives. I feel really passionate about creating high quality designs that allow people to have beautiful stationery, that often tells a story about the couple or person I am designing for.
I also love that there are so many different aspects and avenues I can pursue in this design field – one day I can be working with a Bride who has a wedding of 300 guests at the most elegant of venues in South Australia and then the next day I can be talking to a mum who wants a first birthday invitation made that incorporates their child’s personality and likes into the event.
I think the bottom line is I LOVE people and I LOVE designing and I have the perfect mix of both!
WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM OTHER STATIONARY DESIGNERS?
I haven’t worked directly with a lot of other designers but I have spoken with many previous clients about my work and processes. Without a doubt I know that I provide a high quality product with an extremely high level of communication.
I truly believe that every person I speak with deserves a really honest, relatable human being at the other end and I have always been true to creating an authentic experience, regardless of the dollar amount or event I’m working with.
I offer Bridal Consults which are a tailored meet and greet that specifically detail every aspect of a Bride’s wedding stationery, so that when they walk away they can trust that I am going to create something breathtaking.
CAN YOU TELL US WHAT GOES INTO PUTTING TOGETHER A STATIONARY SET? HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FROM CONCEPTION TO COMPLETION?
Such a tricky question! There is so much work and often when a Bride or client picks up their wedding set I always hear how little they knew about just how much work was put into their order.
A usual timeframe from when I first start a design (this is after many emails of gathering the necessary information and maybe even a Bridal Consult!) to when it is completed is 2-4 weeks.
Depending on the complexity of the design, how well I’ve nailed the design brief and the print type used (foiled, letterpress, flat print) or even the amount of personalisation that is involved (individual guest names, wedding stationery such as place cards, thank you cards included in the set also) will determine how long it takes.
My favourite part of the process is making a time for collection and looking at my clients face in admiration!
WHAT DO YOUR CLIENTS NEED TO CONSIDER THE MOST WHEN DESIGNING AN INVITATION WITH YOU?
That personalisation and creating something different is not only okay – it is what I love to do.
Stepping away from what you think you should have and tapping into your personality and story will create magical stationery for any event.
I also feel strongly about budgeting. It’s an area that a lot of people think they can cut corners with or get something cheaper and I believe like most things in life you get what you pay for.
Have a clear budget in mind, factoring in things like print type and card stock but also things like stamps, postage fees and costs that may be included once I have handed over your stationery!
ARE THERE ANY NEW TRENDS YOU SEE EMERGING IN EVENT STATIONERY?
Without a doubt geometrics trends, hand drawn watercolour illustrations as well as out of the box designs that scream uniqueness and personalisation are trending right now.
I feel that although trends do come and go, timeless designs such as mono prints with beautiful print types and simple calligraphy script will always be magical in my eyes!
YOU MUST SPEND A BIT OF TIME WITH COUPLES AND ARE PART OF THEIR JOURNEY, CAN YOU SHARE WITH US ANY UNIQUE OR SPECIAL MOMENTS?
I feel like I do! Often I will start organising wedding stationery with couples up to 12 – 18 months in advance, and I feel like I get taken on a ride with them. The best part for me, each time is getting a photograph sent through to my email or even better my letterbox of that magical moment of them on their wedding day.
For me I think that is why the love for what I do and why, just keeps getting stronger. That magical day is all over in what feels like a split second and being part of those handful of great people by your side to pull it all together is a truly fab feeling!