– Skylar Caitlin, Chancey Charm Houston Wedding Planner
Hannah Miller Photography
Vendor Highlight | Gracefully Made Art
Melissa Gullatte of Gracefully Made Art
What’s your area of expertise?
First job you ever landed
The first job I ever landed as a business owner was for wedding place cards. I was still in college and would work on the floor of my house with navy and gold place cards surrounding me for hours on end. I remember being so nervous when I sent them off to my first actual bride – I was worried she wouldn’t like them or the writing would be too small or I would have misspelled a name. It is definitely scary initially showing your work to the world and hoping it is well received!
What brought you to the wedding industry?
During my own engagement, I wanted to add special touches to the wedding stationery and our wedding day, so I began learning calligraphy and design while finishing up my business and art degrees at Auburn University. After graduation, I created Gracefully Made Art and have been full time in the wedding industry ever since.
A lesson you’ve learned the hard way in the wedding industry
One lesson I learned at the beginning of my career is to charge what you’re worth. When I began my business, I assumed that since I was new and had minimal experience, I needed to charge a price that was much cheaper than everyone else who did have experience. After completing several projects that took more time and materials than I originally thought, I realized I wasn’t being compensated the way I needed to be to make a living. Furthermore, I realized that while you want to keep your pricing competitive, it was a disservice to the wedding stationery industry to be charging rock-bottom prices below the market average.
Favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon
If it’s a beautiful day, I love to go hiking with my husband and sweet pup. I’m also a big fan of reading, so I’m perfectly content sitting on the back porch reading all day.
Best piece of advice to someone new to the industry
Networking is key to working in the wedding industry! Stationery is an aspect of a wedding that is a little more behind-the-scenes, so it is important to get your face out there! Actually forming relationships with other vendors is so important, as they will oftentimes recommend you to their brides! As a business owner in the wedding industry, it is definitely a different way of life as we don’t have typical “coworkers.” So forming relationships with other wedding vendors is great because they understand the wedding world like you do, and can provide a wonderful friendship!
Ava Moore Photography
Best piece of planning advice to a new bride/groom
Specifically regarding wedding stationery, the best piece of advice I have for a new bride is to pinpoint her wedding style from the start. When I create custom wedding stationery, I encourage brides to gather inspiration so I can fully capture who they are as a couple, thus creating something that is unique and special to them!
Some words you live by
One of my favorite Bible verses is Matthew 6:26-27: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
Whenever I get concerned about life or business decisions, I always think about this verse and how the Lord always provides for His children because we are loved!
Best tip for balancing work and home life
My office is located in my house, so balancing work and home life is always a challenge. Having a designated office in your home that you only use for business is a great way to try to separate the two. I literally close the doors to my office on the weekends and enjoy the weekend with my family!
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Best moment of your career
The first time I saw Gracefully Made Art published in a national magazine was definitely one of my favorite moments! It’s so amazing to see your work in print in a publication that will be seen by so many people!
I love a good Gossip Girl rerun, I take a bubble bath every day, and I would eat pizza every day of my life if my husband wouldn’t object.
Your favorite Instagram account
Jenna Kutcher is my all time favorite person to follow on Instagram. In addition to savvy business tips, she promotes such a real positivity that is so needed in this world! Jenna is all about loving who you are and what you do and she provides such great advice for balancing your businesses with your life.
What’s your favorite aesthetic?
I love anything that is gold and white with a hint of Art Deco.
Intimate or Par-tay? What size wedding do you recommend and why
The wedding size really depends on the couple and what they are comfortable with. We had a fairly large wedding, and had a wonderful time seeing all our friends and family come together to celebrate our marriage!
What’s the first thing a newly engaged couple should do?
It is very overwhelming to plan a wedding, so my first piece of advice would be to hire a wedding planner! Wedding planners can help elevate the stress and the pressure of wedding planning. They also have contacts with so many talented vendors, so they can help point you to the perfect fit!