Today’s wedding stationer interview is with Michelle Nicosia Coyle, Owner and Creative Director of Shelly’s Touch, based in Cinnaminson, NJ. Enjoy!
How did you get started doing wedding invitations?
I graduated in 2007 from The Art Institute of Philadelphia with a BS in graphic design. My first job out of college was a graphic designer at Blue Tulip in Princeton, NJ. This was a retail location that had wonderful gifts and accessories. They also had a whole section of their store dedicated to invitations. We were able to set up our own proofs and print everyday occasions on site. I also worked with brides using our albums, but we could do custom as well. I would always talk brides into letting me do something custom! This is the place where I truly fell in love with paper. I was only employed there for a year when they suddenly laid me off and went out of business. The disappointed brides became my first clients. I decided to work for myself, doing what I loved.
Read the full interview after the cut!
What is your favorite color combination?
One of my favorite things to talk about in a meeting with a happy couple is their color theme! Being traditional at heart, I do have a love for classic golds or cream with a simple embellishment, such as a ribbon. But one of my favorite pairings is purple and silver. Also being the color of the year, I feel that purple (or ultra violet) is a beautiful bold color that can carry through a wedding seamlessly. From flowers to dresses, it is beautiful. Having been in two weddings myself where I had to wear purple, I have to say, I enjoyed wearing it! Silver makes a great pairing not only on paper but for accents in flowers and dress accessories.
What is the most unique invitation you have designed?
My cousin got married in 2015 and had a lovely wedding theme. The groom had a passion for airplanes. Particularly small planes from the 40’s. They had their wedding in an airplane museum which was truly fitting. They wanted an invitation that looked like a vintage plane ticket. I custom designed an airline logo that had their initials. It was mounted in a red folded card that had a cut one side to show the logo. It was nicely packaged and wrapped with a string and a ‘luggage’ tag on the outside. Even the mailing envelopes were the first impression of the suite.
Do you have a favorite typeface?
Not only do I enjoy making invitations, but I love handwritten notes and artwork. Although I have not mastered the skill of calligraphy myself, I know many wonderful people who do beautiful hand lettering. I love how over the years, there have been many new font styles that look like calligraphy. I’ll admit that I have a large library of these typefaces. One of my favorites to use right now is Carolyna. I particularly love pairing that up with a nice block typeface. During my initial consultation with a couple, one of the things we talk about is the font they want to be used throughout their suite. Since I have a passion for typography, I will ensure that their names will look fabulous in that style!
What is the most bizarre request you have received?
When I got married back in 2010, I didn’t have the wonderful world of Pinterest at my finger tips to help me plan. Today, it is a great tool for inspiration and great ideas. But, it also results in some inquiries that make me really have to think hard! One of the most bizarre requests I have gotten was in 2016. A couple inquired that they wanted a rainbow theme pocket invitation. At first, I was thinking I can create custom artwork for the background that would be very colorful. I later learned that they actually wanted each color to be a layer in their pocket fold invitation and adding some glitter papers in between. Knowing in my professional opinion that this would be very thick and heavy to mail, I still wanted to make them happy. In the quote process, I offered a box invitation instead where we could have a little more fun with layers. Although we were able to work out a different invitation from what I have done before, it certainly was a challenge I was trying my best to work out.
Ampersand or the word “and?”
In today’s world, we shorten words in emails and texts to get to the point. I enjoy what I do because it is more formal and allows for traditional etiquette. On most of my invitations, you won’t find many abbreviations. Dates and times are spelled out (including the word ‘and’). The only time I use an ampersand is in a wedding logo.
Any advice for brides?
This is the happiest time of your life! You should be having fun and not letting the little things stress you out. I recommend you work with local small businesses for all your wedding needs. Not only do you get great customer service, but the satisfaction of knowing your money is staying within your community!
Do you offer more than just stationery?
Having a background in graphic design, I like to design digitally as well. Over the years, many of my happy couples come back to utilize my other skills. I do email and social media marketing, as well as logos and branding. I specialize in helping small businesses, especially those in the wedding industry. It is something I hope to expand in 2018.
Thanks, Michelle! For more information about Shelly’s Touch, please visit her WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head striaght to her website.
Do you have any questions or comments for Michelle? Add them to the comments below!