Seattle Wedding Show is almost here!

With the new year comes one of our favorite events, The Seattle Wedding Show. The creative energy has been flowing in our studio and we have designed some beautiful new invitation suites and hand dyed silk ribbon colors for the upcoming wedding season. Stop by our booth to take a sneak peak or visit our updated website. Now mobile friendly!
http://www.custompaper.com

Handmade seeded paper wrap with belly band and poppy

6 x 9 handmade seeded paper wrap with belly band and poppy

5 x 7 recycled panel with handmade paper print

5 x 7 recycled panel with handmade paper print

5 x7 handmade seeded paper panel with queen ann's lace

5 x7 handmade seeded paper panel with queen anne’s lace

2.5" hand dyed cream and gold silk ribbon

2.5″ hand dyed, cream and gold, bias cut silk ribbon

Seattle Wedding Show
Washington State Convention & Trade Center
705 Pike Street, 4th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101
Of The Earth booth #1124

Saturday January 14th, 2017
10:00am to 5:30pm (ticket sales open at 9:30am)

Sunday January 15th, 2017
10:30am to 5:00pm (ticket sales open at 10:00am)

Tickets are $17.00 per person and can be purchased at the door.
Children twelve and under are admitted free.

Come to the show Saturday, get your hand stamped on the way out, and come back Sunday for FREE.

http://www.weddingshow.com

Seattle Bride Feature – A question of etiquette for the modern couple

Seattle Bride Magazine Cover

As a wedding professional with 20 years experience, I am regularly consulted on proper etiquette.  I always reply with two things in mind; what I already know about the event in question and what would kindness dictate?

In most answers I attempt to influence my customer with kindness as the guiding principal.  Should we include everyone’s name on the invitation or just the bride’s parents if they are issuing the invitation?  If you risk hurting someone’s feelings, choose kindness.  Should we send thank you notes to every guest that attended or only ones that brought gifts?  Were you happy that they attended?  Send them a note to express your thanks.  Choose kindness.  Should we include information about our gift registry on our invitation?  Do you want your guest to feel like a gift is their admission ticket to your wedding?  Don’t mention gifts with your invitation.  Having your family and friends witness your wedding vows has nothing to do with loot and everything to do with supporting the new couple from the very beginning of the sometimes rocky journey that is a marriage.  Choose kindness.  Don’t cheapen your ceremony with the slightest impression of greed.

If someone is asking their invitation guy for advice; they are either trying to find out quickly without doing their own research or they are checking to see if their mom is really right.  In most cases, mom is right so listen to her first.  She represents half of the invited guests and knows what is common or appropriate for those guests.  You may need to temper what mom offers up as there are two families being joined and they may have different ideas of what is proper.  This can be based on cultural or regional etiquette that is best to work out with the families involved.  What this becomes is a learning moment for the bride and groom, one of many in the planning of the event.  You need to ask the question of each other “Is it important to you that we are formal or casual in our planning and execution for our event?  Once you agree on the tone you can ensure that you follow the etiquette that represents the proper level of formality.

To ensure that you follow proper etiquette for your event you really have to have a conversation (or several) with your parents, with your bride or groom to be, with your wedding planner, and even with your invitation guy.  Once you have gathered the myriad opinions I suggest you make your decision based on kindness.  There really are a million ways you can plan your special day and once you have decided what is proper for your event, there will be opinions contrary to yours.  If you do choose kindness, it will never be the wrong answer.

Kevin Graham

January 14, 2015

Of The Earth

A quote from this article was published on page 50 in the January 2015 edition of the Seattle Bride Magazine.

 

 

 

Pocket folds are finally here! DIY invitation pocket folders in Lotka handmade paper

Handmade paper pocket fold invitation

Lotka pocket fold invitation

Lotka pocket fold invitation 13 x 7

Handmade Lotka pocket fold invitation

We are loving our new die cut machine and all of the wonderful dies that we have to experiment with.  For our 2015 bridal season we hope to stun the brides with these unique, highly customizable, earth friendly invitation suite holders.  These are currently being made in all of our card weight stocks.  Both the cotton and the lotka handmade papers display wonderfully.  Pictured here are the lotka fibers.  We offer the seeded papers too!

 

Lotka pocket fold invitation

Lotka paper pocket fold invitation

Currently we have them sold only as single pieces.  Coming soon will be full invitation suites with reply cards, custom printed invitations and envelopes.  We will also be adding options for you to embellish these and make them more personalized with matching ribbon, belly bands and hand dip dyed edges.

 

You can find the new pocket folds here, invitation_pocket_fold order your sample or set today.

The trouble with online reviews – How do you decide who to listen to?

A close friend of mine just had one of the worst weeks a small business owner can have. There are many challenges we face and overcome from every angle you can imagine but one of the toughest is from difficult people. He had to fire an employee this week that may end up dragging out into much drama over the next several months (or even years if it goes all courtroom). I think the hardest part for him were the very personal attacks that this employee threw around like so many dangerous, virulent seeds. These squeaky wheels get so much more attention than they deserve and as the one under attack, we often feel that there must be some truth to their accusations, otherwise they wouldn’t be saying those hurtful things right? Not so. Some people are only happy when they are stepping on other people. We need to be able to filter those people out.

With that in mind I have found a way to address an unhappy individual that I dealt with last November. I wanted to respond to her Yelp review, I wanted to find her own Yelp business page and leave her a few choice comments, I wanted to scream and throw a tantrum, but I chose to not dignify her comments with a response. And then today we received a lovely email from a customer and this is how I have decided to address the issue; by speaking about it here on our own blog.

Thanks for reading and understand that in our very connected world your every action has the ability to ripple into far greater lengths than ever before, so be nice!

Hi Kevin!

I happened to go on Yelp today and noticed that you have two Of The Earth pages on Yelp…and the more current one has only one review, a repeat of the one negative review from your original page. I wrote my own review with five stars, but combined with that other one you still only have a 3-star average.

If you didn’t create that Yelp page you can probably claim it and delete it — it’s better not to have two, so you should be able to just update the address on your original one, I’m not sure about that though. Let me know if you do delete that one and I’ll be happy to put my review on your other page.

Thanks again for the invitations — they are amazing!
Anna

Anna,

Thank you for your message. I am very glad that you are happy with your invitations.

Thanks for the gift of your time in leaving a public review for us. We really do appreciate it. I think Yelp can be a helpful tool (I have used it to find out about yoga studios close to home) but I have a bit of a beef with them (as you might guess) for more than just the Of The Earth listing but also from our many business owner friends who have spoken of their feelings of extortion when dealing with Yelp sales people.

We moved our business last July (and five years prior to that move). When we moved in 2008, our one five star review (at the time) moved with us. When we moved in 2013 to our dismay we discovered that our Yelp page was not going to move with us. Yelp had changed their policies and we had to rebuild, with new images and data our Yelp page for our new location. None of our reviews moved with us.

In December of last year we received our first review on Yelp in our new location. In Yelp’s business plan it made sense to them to ensure that that review was posted on both locations. You see, if we pay Yelp $1000 a month (no joke I talked to them at length) they ensure that any bad reviews are pushed to the bottom of the stack, perhaps even get lost on a back page, as long as the payments keep coming.

In life you have to take a few lumps, so we have put pictures and data and our hours of operation on Yelp but we don’t have to pay them or support them in any way. We also don’t have to tolerate extortion from potential customers, even if that means facing an unpleasant public statement of questionable veracity.

I am excited to read your review and again thank you for taking your time to let folks (on the interwebs) know that you were happy with your experience with us.

Wishing you the best,
Kevin

Kevin Graham
kevin@custompaper.com
www.custompaper.com
Of The Earth
7706 Aurora Avenue North
Seattle WA 98103
1.888.294.1526

Scout Mob

Link

We have been getting ready for a new partnership with a company looking to promote our papers.  You may have heard of them; scoutmob.com.  They find companies they like to feature their goods and tell their story which hopefully leads to selling their products.  We are excited to see what the response is from their customers.  They have asked us to share a bit about our work which triggered an impromptu photo shoot.  I thought it would be fun to share that shoot here on our site so you could see what they do with the raw files.  I will add a link here to the scoutmob sales feature when it is online.  They will be offering discounted retail prices off of the handmade paper and bags they have selected.

Here’s the link  –  They are now live  http://scoutmob.com/seattle/of-the-earth

They chose some of our seed papers and some non-seeded lotka papers, some papers that we make here in Seattle and some from our facility in Nepal.  We are looking forward to see what the scoutmob customer finds interesting.

Floor mats

Somewhere to put your feet

Handmade paper tool kit

Tools for paper

Paper trimmer

Sharp steel

Don't try this at home

Watch those fingers

Paper pulp closeup

Paper pulp – Recycled lotka fibers

New Holiday Handmade Papers – Eco Friendly Gift Wrap

Here is a look at our latest additions to our lotka paper line. We hope you like these new designs. These should just whet your appetite however as we are looking to add many more designs as we stock our new retail store in North Seattle! We are excited to keep taking small steps to our grand opening celebration.
We will keep you posted as we creep closer.

The papers below are all ready for the holidays. We have them in 20″ x 30″ sheets in our light weight (20g) material. These papers can be used multiple times if you are one of those people who carefully lift the tape rather then tear your packages open.

Let us know what you think!

lotka golden print

SONY DSC SONY DSC

orange poppy paper

gold and red floral print paper

Red with silver branch print paper

Love and Marriage – Seattle style

I was recently asked on our Of The Earth Facebook page if we would have a problem working with a couple from the LGBT community.  For those of you who don’t know that stands for Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender.

Here is her question:

I want to share your page because I think this is pretty awesome but I need to know if you have a problem with doing invites for LGBT before I do. I would have in boxed but I couldn’t. So you can delete this and inbox me. (I’m not starting trouble, just don’t want to promote to my friends who are in the LGBT community if you don’t offer them services). Thanks.

And my reply:

Of The Earth Myssi – The best part about working in the wedding industry is being in constant contact with people who are head over heels in love with each other. It doesn’t matter who they are, how old or young, how fit or flabby, their skin color, political party or gender – we love being a part of folks getting married! The more people we touch with our earth friendly wedding dogma, the better!
I wanted to share this with you here as I have struggled over the years with sharing personal views in a  business setting as it is always important to find new customers and I don’t want to alienate anyone just because we don’t agree on everything.  The time for that timid behavior is over.
 In Washington state people from the LGBT community were finally given the right to marriage equality in December.  This long overdue passing of law should help us as a country continue to recognize how much alike we all are.  In subtle ways the differences between all people should continue this slide into acceptance of one another.  We all struggle in life with real challenges.  Having additional barriers in our way put up by small minded people needs to stop and I am happy to witness that change happening.
As another Valentine’s Day passes I am again reminded that like with the rest of the holidays we celebrate in this country we should not stop celebrating mothers, or fathers, love, the birth of this great country or the veterans that have fought and died defending it just because their respective holiday has passed.  Each day we should celebrate the people in our lives with kindness and love.  Be grateful that you have another day to live and breathe.  Hold doors open for people, smile when you make eye contact with a stranger, tell the people close to you how important they are.  Too soon it is all over and your chance to say the things you wanted to say has passed.
Do it now.  Celebrate every day.  Love universally.
Okay, back to work.
Kevin

More Photos from the Seattle Wedding Show

seed paper invitation with eco-twist paper twine

Bifold invitation closeup

Seed paper natural petal paper invitation with larkspur flower

Larkspur stem wedding invitation on display at the Seattle Wedding Show

Natural, rustic seed paper wedding invitation display

Of The Earth at the Seattle Wedding Show

Just wanted to share with you photographs of our seed paper invitations display at the January Seattle Wedding Show.  Wallflower Photography came by our booth and wanted to snap a few photos of our display, we of course said yes!  They just sent these to us and we love them!

Please note how much better professional photographers can capture our handmade invitations – even without studio lighting.  If you look at our earlier post you can see a dramatic difference.  Think about that next time you are shopping online; how bad photos can really impact your impression of a product.

Thanks so much for sharing Wallflower Photography!  We love your work!

You can find the full set of photos from the Seattle Wedding Show on Wallflower Photography’s special wedding show photography webpage; the direct link to the 2013 SWS photo gallery is www.wallflowerphoto.com/weddingshows/galleries/SeattleWeddingShow2013.

 

If you want a sample invitation to hold in your hand so you can see the difference between your screen and the real thing, just visit our sample request page so you can get yours for free!  Be sure to tear off a bit and plant it to watch what grows.  Our unique blend of seeds that are embedded in our papers is listed below.

Our North American wildflower seed blend paper contains all of the following wildflower seeds:

Perennial
English Daisy

Perennial
Tussock Bellflower

Annual
Lilac Godetia

Annual
Monkeyflower

Biennial/Perennial
Foxglove

Annual
Dwarf Spurred Snapdragon

Perennial
Showy Evening Primrose

Annual
Red Corn Poppy

Biennial/Annual
Catchfly

Perennial
Creeping Thyme

This blend is specifically designed to be mailed and planted in all growing regions of North America. With the proper care some of these flowers will thrive from New Mexico to New Brunswick.

 

 

Elegant, speedy, affordable and earth friendly wedding invitation options by Of The Earth

Christmas is just a week away and when the festivities and visits
with family are over, the realization hits you.  It’s January and that
spring wedding you had so much time to plan for is fast approaching!

Before the panic sets in check out invitation DIY kits by Of The Earth.  Both of our DIY kit collections contain seeded paper which, when planted, will sprout a bouquet of wildflowers.

Of The Earth DIY invitation kits come in many different sizes and paper styles.  All of
the paper is handmade, biodegradable and environmentally friendly.  Choose
from handmade papers produced in Nepal to papers made by local artisans in our Seattle, Washington studio, made the same way as when we started 17 years ago!

The Nepalese paper, we call Lotka paper, is made from the bark of the Daphne bush.  Harvesting the bark does not kill the plant, it 6-7 years the still living root ball generates another harvestable crop naturally making this a great renewable material.  The Lotka DIY kits come in five different colors and 8 different sizes ranging in price from $57.40 to $88.25 for 25 torn edge invitations and handmade envelopes.

Lotka invitation kits contain 25 seed paper cards, cut edge overlays,
online instructions, templates for punching and folding (if needed) and enough Eco-twist to assemble the entire order.  All of the components are biodegradable and the seeded paper will bloom when planted.  These invitations range in price from $2.30 -$3.53 each set.

lotka_diy_4x9_banner lotkakitstack4

The cotton DIY kits are made from paper produced in our Seattle studio.
Each sheet is individually made then the invitations are hand torn in our studio.  The
Cotton DIY kits come in 5 different seeded flower paper options and 8
different sizes.

il_570xN.406634691_pvqc

2s_kit_Invitation_bundle1

The cotton kits contain 25 seeded hand torn cards, cut vellum overlays,
online assembly instructions, templates for punching and folding (if needed), envelopes  and enough Eco-twist to assemble the entire order. All of the components are
biodegradable and the seeded paper will bloom when planted.  These kits also
contain enough supplies to make 25 invitations, ranging in price from $47.29-$112.46.

Both the vellum and seeded overlays can be printed on your home computer.
By doing the printing and assembly at home you are saving significantly over the printed and assembled invitation costs.  The kits containing gate-folds and bi-folds come with a folding template.  All of the printing and assembly work is done at home.

The staff at Of The Earth is available Monday-Friday form 8:00am-5:00pm Pacific time to answer any questions or assist you with assembly concerns.  We can also be reached from our customer service page on www.custompaper.com.

Our invitation kits typically ship on the same day you order or within 24 hours.  If you would like to order custom printed or assembled works we are happy to help you with our speedy one week production time.