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2017 Wrap-up

I’m writing my 2017 wedding season wrap-up post a little early this year, as I’m packing up + preparing for our move to Los Angeles. This year has taken some unexpected turns–most notably the decision to move across the country–but as a creative business owner I’ve learned to embrace the unknown. I remind myself that great things never came from comfort zones, so I’m *trying to* take the leap with arms wide open and figuring out the rest once I get there. It’s gotten me this far with my business (and celebrating 5 years!), so hopefully I’ll find similar success implementing the same attitude + drive with this new family adventure. And I’m really looking forward to continuing to serve my Connecticut + New England brides while building up business in Southern California!

And on the topic of change, my mom was talking about her wedding invitations the other day, saying that adding a lime green border was so out of the norm. It seems unimaginable now that adding such a simple detail to an-already simple invitation would push the envelope, pun intended, and yet it did. It made me reflect on how much change has happened to bring us to the current state of weddings. Couples are taking charge of their wedding and finding value in their wedding style like never before. My couples care about not only creating a thoughtful + beautiful paper story, but infusing their personalities + tastes into all the details of their day. It makes my job exciting, challenging, and rewarding because I get to know my couples on a level I never could if I had an online order site or traditional paper shop.

So here are just a handful of my 2017 brides + their invitations. (I’m still waiting on my fall + winter brides’ photos, so be sure to check back for lots of real wedding posts in the coming months!) I loved setting the photos up for this post side by side, so you can really see how their style +personalities directly influenced the look of their paper stories.

Thank you to all my amazing 2017 couples. You’ve made this season an unforgettable one, and I am so excited for all the weddings I’ve got cooking for 2018.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season and a joyous new year!

Cape Cod Watercolor Crest Wedding InvitationLongshore Winter Wedding InvitationChelsea Piers Gold Foil New York Wedding InvitationInvitationDarien Country Club Wedding InvitationBranford House Modern Wedding Invitation

Row 1: Melissa Robotti Photography / Row 2: Ashley Therese Photography / Row 3: Jessica Haley Photography / Row 4: Brooke Allison Photo / Row 5: Vicki + Erik Photographers / Row 6: Ashley Caroline Photography


Looking for more inspiration? Click here for more real weddings!

xo, Sandy
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Los Angeles, Here We Come!

California tee shirts

I’ve got some big news I can finally share with you all…my family + I are moving to Los Angeles!

The hubby got a new job and we are headed to the west coast right after the new year. My heart is so sad to be leaving all my friends + family (I’ve lived on the east coast my whole life), but I’m also so excited for a new family adventure!

You may be asking yourself, what does this mean for Roseville Designs?

For most wedding vendors, moving across the country would mean starting from scratch. But the beauty of being a stationery vendor is that you can do your work from anywhere. (Did you know I had 3 California weddings in 2017?) So the truth is not much changes for my clients + vendors. These days most of my consultations are over the phone, and for my current lovely 2018 brides I’m still only an email or phone call away! I also believe in my heart that a new city (and one as cool as LA) will deepen my artistic abilities + passions, and allow me to provide even fresher wedding invitations + paper stories.

I am also keeping my studio here in CT. I want to serve both coasts in an intimate way, and though Connecticut may no longer be my current state, it is my home state and I love the amazing relationships I’ve cultivated with my fellow wedding vendors + venues. I plan to be home sporadically throughout the year if anyone is itchin’ for an in-person consultation!

Darien CT Family Photography - Shaina Lee

Be sure to follow me on Instagram for updates + instastories of all my cool adventures (we are headed out there Sunday for a quick house-hunting trip).  I’ve also got some really beautiful save the dates in the works for spring + summer 2018 weddings that I’m looking forward to showing you.

I can’t wait to see what life will bring to my business and my family in the golden state!

(Photos: Shaina Lee Photography)

xo, Sandy
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Roseville Designs is 5 Years Old!

Rosevilel Designs 5 Year AnniversaryRoseville Designs Rowayton CT Headshots

(Photo Cred: Shaina Lee Photography)

Wow, 5 Years of Roseville Designs + creating fresh wedding paper stories + invitations.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I wanted to say to mark the occasion. After reading my very first blog post, my thoughts kept going back to how much has really happened since I took a chance on a dream. I remember the night I came home and told my husband I wanted to be a stationery designer. I kind of felt like a 6 year old who just finished the school day and declared to her parents, “I want to be an astronaut!”. But he supported me since day one, and is a huge reason for my success.

If you had told me back then that in 5 years I’d be doing this job I love full time, have my own studio with fantastic friends + vendors, get to make my own schedule (all while raising my 2 little girls), I would have said you were crazy. But that’s why they call them dreams and not goals. Dreams are things you hope for but secretly fear may never happen, so it makes it that much sweeter when they actually do.

In the creative entrepreneur world, people talk a lot about success. What does success truly mean? When you start out you quantify by number of clients, how much money you’re making, and how busy you are. You leave an Instagram scrolling session feeling like everyone is cooler, smarter, and more creative than you. When I had this feeling I’d crank up “Roar” by Katy Perry and repeat the saying, “Don’t compare your start to someone else’s middle.” Well now that I am in my middle, I can tell you that the hard beginning is worth the pay-off. You find your niche, grow a thicker skin, find a tribe of fellow creatives to lean on (thank you Brooke Allison Photo + Amy Champagne Events), and spend more energy on your growth. You know that just like life, nobody’s creative business is perfect. In this last season I still had moments where I’d ask myself, “Am I good enough to be doing this?” and wonder if it’s time to throw in the towel. So the bad news is it’s never easy, but the good news is your ability to roll with the punches vastly improves.

So what’s the conclusion? Success is something each person must define for his/herself. My friend Kerri-Lynn from Stella Day Events once said to me, “I just want to be with my kids and design pretty weddings”, and that pretty much sums up success for me. It’s dance parties with my 3 year-old in the kitchen while the chicken nuggets bake, sitting outside on my back porch any time I want, and getting to be creative every single day.

But let’s stop talking about me, because there’s no way I’d have made it this far without my amazing couples. They are the real stars! Over the last 5 years I’ve worked with brides + grooms that have trusted me to understand their wedding aesthetic, personalities, and what their needs are beyond just pretty design. I’m so thankful that my mission to be a “wedding paper planner” has resonated with so many people, and that I’ve been able to cut down on their stress of planning a modern + well-designed wedding.

There are lots of exciting changes coming in 2018, but what I hope never changes is my knack for attracting clients who embody the type of wedding stationery I love to create: happy, fresh, modern + thoughtful. Here’s a look at just a handful of my amazing couples over the past 5 years.

Barns at Wesleyan Hills CT Wedding InvitationsInn at Longshore CT Wedding Invitation CoupleEast Hampton Wedding Invitation CoupleCT Wedding Invitation Couples | Roseville DesignsDarien CT Wedding Invitation Couple
If you’re looking for some more entrepreneur inspiration, don’t miss this post! If you want to see details from these gorgeous couples’ weddings, head to the Weddings section.
xo, Sandy
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Client Love + The Busy Wedding Season

Mint & Gold desktopIt’s pretty crazy over here these days. It’s that extraordinarily busy time of the year where I’m working on invitations for fall brides and day-of paper for summer brides. Pretty much every ounce of free time is spent working, and most evenings I’m scarfing down dinner then assembling + packing up orders while I enjoy a Netflix binge. It’s been a new challenge balancing it with two kids, and there are days where my tank hits empty.

I had one of those days this week, but then this email hit my inbox….

The beauty of doing a job that you love is that in only takes a little positive energy to fill your tank back up. It’s kind of like how your kids drive you crazy all day, but they say one sweet thing to you and it manages to erase the last 8 hours of chaos. The other wonderful part of my job (that I say over and over again) is that I get to work with such wonderful people. I am fortunate that I attract brides that are kind, easy-going, have a great sense of style, and find so much joy out of the design of their paper goods.

So though I do look forward to the days when things return to normal-busy mode, I wanted to take this moment to practice gratitude for an amazing job and the couples that allow me to tell their unique wedding paper stories.

Now, back to work!


xo, Sandy
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How to Be A Successful Work-at-Home Mom

How to Be A Successful Work-at-Home Mom

Today I’m talking about some lessons I’ve learned for success as a work-at-home mom. When I had my first child, balancing motherhood and my business was chaotic. I had first-time-mom overwhelm and inconsistent childcare. So when Layla came I vowed to have a set plan.

So here are my tips for my fellow creative entrepreneurs who are also raising littles!

How to be a successful work at home mom
1. Be clear with clients about your work hours

My new client packet says 10-4 Monday through Thursday. Of course I often work beyond that (love my Netflix + assembly nights!), but it manages everyone’s expectations right from the start. As a work-at-home mom, I really try not to do any real work on Fridays beyond email so I can focus fully on my kids that day. (Boomerang for Gmail has been so helpful with this. It allows you to schedule when to send emails so clients don’t know you’re on email at 9pm on a Sunday night!)

2. Put your phone in another room

A stationer friend gave me this tip and it’s been amazing. When the phone is nearby it’s so easy to do a quick Instagram sesh or check the inbox. But removing the temptation is the easiest way to stay present.

3. Get really good at working in spurts

Plan, plan plan! Unless I go to a coffee shop, there is still at least one kid usually in my house. Even with a babysitter here, I may need to stop working to nurse or do some other home or mom task. Consecutive hours of uninterrupted work are rare, so that’s why I start every day with a plan. In Evernote I plan my week every Sunday evening, noting 3 things I need to get done each day. (Read more about my 3-things daily planning here). Things shift as the week goes on, so I usually reassess each night before bed. This has been invaluable in feeling accomplished + organized at the end of the day! You’d be amazed at how productive you can be with just 30 minutes when you don’t waste time figuring out what needs to be done next.

how to survive being a work at home mom
4. Get help

No matter how good you are at multi-tasking, it’s really valuable to know when you’ll have a block of time to work uninterrupted. (And we all know multi-tasking doesn’t always yield the best results for quality work!) If your kids sleep well, nighttime is great, but some days you’re just so gassed from watching them that you just want to sleep or unwind with some TV + wine. I am fortunate to have Finley in school and a nanny that comes a few mornings a week to watch the baby. This way I am able to schedule meetings or anything that requires 100% of my focus. If that’s not an option for you, have an afternoon where a friend watches her kids and yours, and another afternoon where you do the same.

5. Give yourself a break

Each day is different, which is part of the fun of being an entrepreneur, but it also has its challenges. Some days I give my 3-year-old a half-hour extra of TV so I can get a time-sensitive task done, and often I’m checking email while I’m nursing. I used to beat myself up for not being present all the time, but now I know that’s an impossible standard. I get to be with my kids a ton which I love, and they get to see first-hand their mom working hard. Though mom guilt never goes away, don’t let it cripple your creativity!

(All photos by Stories of Sentiment)

I’d love to hear about your challenges + successes as a work-at-home mom with a comment below!

Looking for more working mom inspiration? Check out this post! And be sure to follow on Instagram for daily happenings around The Shannon house!

xo, Sandy
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