Jacklyn Kelley is the founder, owner and designer of Luna Lynn Creative, your one stop design experience for meaningful, bespoke, custom-made wedding invitations and stationery featuring clean design and typography, handcrafted embellishments and custom poetry.
We caught up with Jacklyn to find out why she thinks handmade is so important, how she set up her business and exactly what you need to add to your wedding preparations to make it that extra bit special.
House of Coco: What inspired the creation of Luna Lynn Creative?
Jacklyn: After studying graphic design in college, I always had an inkling that I wanted to start my own company. I just wasn’t quite sure what it was I wanted to do yet. For years, I bounced from job to job, searching for my place in the design world.
I worked at t-shirt and textile companies, a website design company, a local news station and a photography studio, all of which were great learning experiences and stepping stones along the way. Each led to my personal and professional growth in many different ways. However, I never truly LOVED what I was designing, and I always felt myself longing for more.
I began to write poetry on the side as a creative and mental health outlet. It started off a bit depressing, as most popular modern poetry is. I received great feedback and began exploring other ways that I could use my poetry as a creative outlet, in a more positive way.
I discovered that I had a niche for ghost writing poems. I wrote for those who wanted to give their loved ones a meaningful gift, whether they were celebrating an anniversary, birthday or wedding. I would then create a poetry greeting card or a print they could frame.
Shortly after I dove into this experiment, I decided to finally leave my 9-5 and begin working for myself. I am a Sagittarius after all. You can’t keep us free spirited folk contained in a cubicle.
I started my company in January of 2018. At first I took a variety of freelance jobs, but I quickly discovered that I was putting myself in the same position I had been in for years. Working for other people, designing things I did not want to design.
Then came my first wedding client. My mother’s friend was getting married and she trusted in ME to design her invitation suite. As I began designing mock ups, and searching Instagram for inspiration, I immediately fell in love. I remember following so many stationery designers, and filling my feed with pretty paper. I was addicted. I was no longer interested in everyone’s selfies and food pics.
Instead, I filled myself with as much knowledge and inspiration as I possibly could from vendors in the wedding industry. As I was creating my first suite, I knew in my heart it was what I was meant to be doing. I then had the brilliant idea of combining my poetry and design skills to create poetic stationery that tells unique love stories and brings an extra bit of romance to my couple’s special day.
When brainstorming names for my company, I wanted to make sure it was truly a part of me. I wanted to feel a deep connection to my company, to really show how much I believe in what I’m doing. My pen name as a poet is Luna Lynn. I gather a lot of inspiration in my designs through the poetic side of me. I consider it my better half. It’s the part of me that takes my clients’ love stories, analyzes the words and paints a picture that will bring their story to life. I thought it would only be fitting to include that significant part of me in my company name. And so, Luna Lynn Creative was founded.
Hoc: What products do you create and what options do clients have to play around with?
Jacklyn: I create a variety of stationery products for weddings and special occasions. This includes save the dates, wedding invitation suites, special occasion invitations, table numbers, place cards, menus, vow books, programs, signs, personal stationery and greeting cards.
All of my stationery is custom designed and hand crafted in house. Essentially, this means the possibilities are endless. I love dreaming up new and unique ideas that will speak to my clients’ love stories. Anything is possible here. If you dream it, I can create it. No two designs are alike and I never repeat designs.
Although some day, I will have a semi-custom collection, for those who don’t have as much time to dive into the intimate experience with me. Even so, all designs are original. Once I receive the photos for inspiration, I think of ways to take that idea and make it poetic.
When dreaming up new ideas, I use a simplistic design approach with elegant typography. This leaves room for beautiful embellishments and custom poetry. Embellishments can include silk ribbon, wax seal, thread wraps, vellum wraps or overlays, monograms, belly bands and envelope liners.
I then ask some questions about my clients’ relationship in order to write a custom poem and use it as a design element. I’m not afraid to get intimate with this part. I love knowing the adventures they’ve taken together, the places they’ve explored, their favorite memories, their honeymoon plans, etc.
It really helps me to get to know them, and ultimately write a beautiful poem that speaks to their unique love story. Custom poetry can be used as a design element on the details or rsvp cards, on a belly band, envelope liner or even table numbers! I’m always dreaming up new ways to add poetry.
Hoc: For our readers planning their weddings, what are the items people often don’t think about having made?
Jacklyn: When I’m going over all of the details for my clients’ weddings, many of them aren’t thinking about the special sentiments, such as vow books. I always suggest vow books, because I believe in the beauty of an heirloom piece they can cherish for years to come.
Think about that first anniversary. They can pull out their vow books and exchange them with each other, reminding each other of their special vows and the intimacy of their day. It’s so much better than writing them down in your phone and letting that get lost in the thousands of notes, for all of time.
My clients are also not usually aware that I can make thank you cards for them as well. I always suggest designing them, because I love implementing their design aesthetic from start to finish. It unifies the stationery for the entire celebration and reminds their guests of the beauty from that special day.
Thank you cards are such an important sentiment, and their quality should not be overlooked after your wedding has passed. They are just as important as your other stationery, if not more. Your guests will appreciate you taking the time to personally thank them, using beautiful handcrafted stationery.
HoC: Why do you think hand embellished or written stationary has the edge over print?
Hand embellished stationery is one of a kind. When you choose to buy stationery from an independent designer as opposed to ordering online from a large company, you are guaranteed to receive a beautiful product made with love and care.
Independent designers, such as myself, care deeply about the quality and craftsmanship that goes into our work, and even more so, we care about your happiness. We love being a part of the special adventures that life is taking you on. I, for one, pay special attention to every detail in the design and production process, to make sure my clients are receiving an end result that exceeds their expectations.
I keep close communication throughout the process via text and email, sending updates and photos along the way. This is also the beauty of choosing an independent designer. You aren’t just buying a product, you are buying a service, and an experience.
HoC: Do you have a favourite style of stationary to create?
I love creating elegant and romantic designs. Typically this involves a custom poem, hand deckled (or torn) edges, and a silk ribbon or wax seal. In my world, less is more.
I love letting the words have their moment together on beautiful textured papers. I find so much joy in taking romantic, elegant fonts and marrying them together. You don’t always need graphics on the invitation itself.
I love finding creative ways to incorporate your story into your stationery by designing envelope liners, choosing the right envelope colors, and adding beautiful embellishments. I believe in the power of words. Let the beauty of your names becoming one speak for themselves.
HoC: What do you think are some of the challenges of running a creative business in 2019?
Jacklyn: I think the hardest part of running a business as a creative are the tedious tasks that come with the business side of things. I started my company, picturing days filled with designing and crafting, and that is just not always a reality.
As a one woman show, I have to keep up with emails, marketing, social media, bookkeeping, quoting and invoicing to name a few. All of these tasks take up a lot of brain power, each in a different way, and it can feel daunting at times. It’s hard to juggle design work with these tasks, and occasionally I put them off to the side for a little too long.
There’s still plenty to learn, and I am finding new ways to work smarter and not harder. I ask for help wherever I need it. The beauty of running a creative business is that there are so many resources, workshops and like-minded individuals willing to collaborate or lend a piece of advice. It helps us to learn and grow with our companies, and makes us feel less alone in the process.
HoC: What piece of advice would you give to our readers who want to set up their own business?
Jacklyn: My advice is to just go for it. If I would have known in the beginning what I have learned in my first two years of business, I may not have ever started. It would have scared me away.
“Because honestly, sometimes it can be terrifying.”
There are so many fears involved with entrepreneurship. Am I keeping up with my QuickBooks properly? Did I pay my taxes on time? Who do I choose as my accountant? What if people don’t like my designs? What if I don’t have enough clients in a month and I can’t pay rent?
There are so many things going through our heads, that if you knew, you would immediately hand us a large glass of wine and say “Here, you’re gonna need this.”
But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It is so satisfying to wake up every day, knowing I am doing something I love. I am finally creating something beautiful.
My stationery has a powerful meaning and a purpose, and I love making my clients happy. It feels so good to create something from start to finish, with my own ideas, and to have created a company on my own. It’s empowering. And I think everyone should do it. You can create your own happiness, and write your own destiny.
HoC: What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given in setting up your business?
Jacklyn: The best advice I’ve received was from my Father. I was feeling down and defeated during a slow period, trying to figure out what was working, what wasn’t and what I should do next. And he simply said, “Just don’t give up. Do not give up on your dream, because you are on to something big, and you WILL succeed. I can see it.”
Of course, coming from my Father, this means the world to me. And it may possibly be the only reason I haven’t given up at times when I might want to throw in the towel. But it’s true.
“As entrepreneurs, we can never give up.”
We know deep in our hearts that this is who we are, and we’d never be happy giving up our passion. Always remember, it’s okay to fail.
Failure is a part of growth and learning, and it is necessary in order to succeed. But failure is never really considered failure, when you learn from your mistakes and use it as leverage to grow. Failure is only failure when you give up.
Photo Credits: Interviewees own, Jolene Siana Photography, Ivy Bee Weddings and Chris and Becca Photography.