We’re chatting with Shanleigh Heelan, Creative Director and Owner of August & Osceola, for today’s vendor highlight. Although A&O launched just this year, it’s no surprise that Shanleigh’s work is already gaining significant attention in Massachusetts and beyond. Just wait until you see her bespoke paper goods! Shanleigh is sharing how she got her start in the wedding industry + great tips for work/life balance for those of us who work from home (or are guilty of bringing work home with us). Enjoy!
–The Chancey Charm Team
What’s your area of expertise?
Graphic design, specializing in wedding paper goods.
First job you ever landed
After college, I worked as a designer for the Brand Design team at Converse. It was an experience that brought me out of my comfort zone and pushed me to produce work that would be seen by people all over the world. In college, I had worked for a variety of smaller design firms, so it was an eye-opening experience working for such a large company.
What brought you to the wedding industry?
I have always had a passion for stationery and paper goods. A little over a year ago, I married my best friend and dove headfirst into a year’s worth of wedding planning. It was such an exciting and overwhelming time. The one part that I always looked forward to was designing my invitations. For years, I had kept an idea in my mind (and on Pinterest) of what I wanted them to look like, but there is something about designing for yourself that is so much harder than for a client. I wanted to make sure that they were a perfect reflection of our personalities and really conveyed the essence of our day.
After designing my own invitations, I started getting requests from friends and family to design theirs. I took this opportunity to do what I had wanted to do for a long time and started my own business. After years of daydreaming and severl months of dedication, I launched August & Osceola with the hope of bringing joy to other couples in need of impeccable stationery to go along with their big day.
Favorite way to spend a sunday afternoon
Spending time outdoors with my husband and pup.
Best piece of advice to someone new to the wedding industry
I’d say one of the hardest things when starting out was knowing how to price my product. I didn’t want my designs to cost so much that they seemed unafforable. At the same time, I didn’t want to price them so low that I came across cheap. I knew the quality of my work and that I wanted my clients to appreciate recieving premium goods. It took a lot of time researching competitor’s pricing and crunching numbers before I felt like my prices were where they should be. It is important that your pricing reflects the quality of your work.
Some words you live by
“If you want to be successful, it’s just that simple. Know what you are doing, love what you are doing and believe in what you are doing.” — Will Rogers
Best tip for balancing work + home life
Separate them — It sounds obvious, but as a graphic designer, most of my time is spent on the computer. It’s easy for me to grab my laptop and work on the couch in front of the TV. While this is a perk that I can get away with once in a while, I find it important for me to seclude myself to the studio to really focus and create great work.
Best moment of your career
Having my invitations featured on a well-renowned design blog alongside a company that I have admired for years only three days after I launched A&O.
Chocolate ice cream and HGTV