Meet a Wedding Stationer in Washington, DC: Nay-Lilly Designs (1)

Today’s wedding stationer interview is with Washington, DC based designer Nayvette Fowlkes, of Nay-Lilly Designs! Enjoy:

How did you get started doing wedding invitations?

I have always been drawn to paper. Even when I was young, I loved the different textures, the colors and – most of all – the wonderful things that I could create. As a young girl I actually wanted to find a way to purchase my own large printer to make business cards. I just recently remembered that early childhood goal, and even if it didn’t come to fruition then, it certainly has traveled full-circle now.

I also have been managing a nonprofit organization since 2004. The organization’s name is Bringing On New Direction Inc. BOND has given me many opportunities to hone my skills by designing flyers and other promotional materials. When I began receiving requests from friends and family to create designs for their personal use, the vision of starting my own design business began to take shape. However, it wasn’t until after the constant urging – and sometimes nagging – of a few close friends that I finally decided to take the leap and open my own design business.

Read the full interview after the cut!

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What is your favorite color combination?

Hmmm. That’s a tough one because it all depends on the day you ask me and the type of project. However, I find that I’m drawn to purple, fuchsia and gold. I love the boldness and the “in your face feel” that results when I use one or a combination of those colors. In the world according to Nayvette, you can never go wrong with those colors.

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What is the most unique invitation you have designed?

Honestly, every one of my invitations is unique. They each have a memorable story. To date, if I had to choose one, I would have to say my most unique invitation was my very first wedding invitation as the owner of Nay-Lilly Designs. Boy was I scared out of my mind! The bride was my first wedding stationery client, and I had no idea what to expect.  The request was for a layered wedding invitation suite that was made into a booklet. Talk about upping the ante! I worked tirelessly on that suite as if it were my own wedding. I learned a great deal from this project, and it helped pave the way for other brides. I was nervous as heck because I wanted to ensure that she and the groom were blown away by the invitations – not only the couple but their guests as well. The bride reported back to me that her guests were awed by the invitation. Her suite was rated very high among her other friends who were getting married as well. This positive feedback gave me the boost I needed to convince me that I made the right choice in starting Nay-Lilly Designs.

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Do you have a favorite typeface?

I don’t really have a favorite as it depends on the type of project I’m creating. However I do find myself always going for scripted fonts especially Bikram and Champagne Script.

What is the most bizarre request you have received?

Fortunately, I’ve been quite blessed. I really haven’t had any requests that I consider bizarre. I’ve been lucky enough to knock the ball out of the park for all of my clients. I think part of the reason is because I invite a great deal of dialogue before I begin to work, and if there is anything that doesn’t seem clear to me or that may be difficult to execute, we resolve that to my client’s satisfaction right at the beginning.

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Ampersand or the word “and?”

Since I love having options, I’d have to go with the Ampersand. There’s so much you can do with it. Why not take advantage of it?

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Any advice for brides?

I always advise brides to:

  • Share (at a minimum) her likes and dislikes with her wedding stationer during the initial consultation. It’s always helpful if a bride has an idea of what she would like to see on her invitation, such as preferred colors or even a theme. This gives her stationer a general direction and usually moves the process along more quickly.
  • Allow enough time for her stationer to create the invitations. Waiting until the last minute to request invitations, while it may be possible, can stifle the stationer’s creativity because he or she will be more concerned with pushing out a product rather than creating a masterpiece that speaks volumes to the bride and groom.
  • Consult with the groom on what he would like to see incorporated in the wedding invitation suite because it is his wedding/special day too!
  • For those brides sitting on the sidelines of making a decision whether they would like to make the invitations themselves – while I appreciate anyone who goes the DIY route, I would encourage brides to be honest with themselves to determine if that is something they really want to do. There’s so much more to wedding invitations than meets the eye. A lot of hard work, determination, resources, and patience are needed to create memorable invitations.  I encourage busy brides to incorporate stationery costs into their overall budgets. It will save them a ton of time and headaches.

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Do you offer more than just stationery?

Yes, besides wedding invitations, we also design invitations for most special occasions. We also create event favors and dessert stations for special events as well as corporate events. There are a couple of other items brewing in the shop such as offering wedding websites, gifts for the bridal party, and branding packages for businesses. We have so many great new ideas on the horizon that we can’t wait to share!

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Thanks Nayvette! For more information about Nay-Lilly Designs, please visit her WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to her website.

Do you have any questions or comments for Nayvette? Add them to the comments below!