Today we’d like to introduce you to Natalie Leroux.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
After I graduated from college I landed a job at a digital advertising agency in Boston. About 6 months later one of my best friends was planning her wedding and asked me to help her with bridal shower and bachelorette party invitations. The whole experience of working with her, her mom, sister, grandmother, etc. was SO rewarding compared to my day job, and I was designing something I could hold in my hands for the first time, that I knew I wanted to take on more projects. There is something so humbling about being invited into someone’s life at those big moments – weddings, babies, first houses, etc. – I found it extremely gratifying to be able to use my talents to enhance those milestones.
I fell in love with branding and logo design in college. The process is fun and thoughtful. While my day job wasn’t formally a branding position, I found opportunities there to keep those skills fresh – including rebranding the agency itself. I didn’t realize until I started working with small business owners that I was still using my talents to enhance a milestone in someone’s life. Not a wedding, no, but someone’s journey into business for themselves. That’s a personal journey for a lot of people, including myself, so again, it’s rather humbling to be a part of that moment.
As for FunAndAwkward – the cards are a true creative outlet. Anything goes. The weirder the better. They have always been inspired by real-life – fun, awkward, silly, and sexy, etc. I am sure you have heard someone say, “That should be a t-shirt!” Well, I just happened to say one day, “That should be a card!”
Everything I do with Studio Eighty Seven is about connecting with people. Graphic design, typography, illustration, and creativity help me provide a service to my clients that is unlike any other, whether it is spearheading the new visual design of a dress designer, bringing a bride’s vision to life with custom invitations, or simply bringing a smile to someone’s face when they pick up a FunAndAwkward card.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Studio Eighty Seven is bigger and better than it was two years ago, and that journey has been smooth and steady. However, as an independent business owner, it’s hard for me to separate myself from the business: my struggles are Studio Eighty Seven struggles, and I’ve struggled with balancing my responsibilities as a wife and mom with those of being a business owner. I’ve been frustrated by how demanding a 2-year-old can be when I’m up against a deadline, bewildered by working into the wee hours of the morning while the family sleeps, and downright panicked at the thought of bringing a toddler to a business meeting. While I may have struggled with some form of anxiety throughout my life, it became a force I had to reckon with once I left the comfort and stability of a steady paycheck. Everyday it’s a challenge to strike the right balance, and everyday I’m getting a little better at it.
Studio Eighty Seven – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Studio Eighty Seven specializes in branding and logo design, custom wedding stationery, and is home to a line of greeting cards called FunAndAwkward. Again, the emphasis on getting to know clients personally really sets Studio Eighty Seven apart, and makes the work better. Studio Eighty Seven is known for providing custom solutions with excellent customer service.
I am proud of my clients – their successes are, albeit in a small way, Studio Eighty Seven successes.
I have a sense of pride in the breadth of services Studio Eighty has to offer – it’s definitely something that sets Studio Eighty Seven a part, and it’s sometimes difficult to articulate all that Studio Eighty Seven is capable of, but I’m making it work, and finding they go together more than people might think!
Also, anecdotally, I am proud of the hand-painted logo, myself and a friend, painted on the bricks above Altruist Brewing Company’s main entrance. We were at least 15-feet up in the air on scaffolding, and it was an epic experience with tremendous results.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success to me is an attitude, or a feeling. It’s not money, status, or the scope of the project. Instead it is being able to look at myself in the mirror and be proud of the woman I see, proud of the wife and mom I see, proud of the friendships I have, new and old, and proud of the work I am doing.
- Branding and logo design packages start at $825.
- Custom wedding Invitations range from $800-$1,500.
- FunAndAwkward cards are $4.00 each.
- FunAndAwkward cards can be found locally at Off The Common Antiques and Quite Fetching in Grafton, Ma.
- Website: www.studioeightyseven.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_studioeightyseven/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StudioEightySeven87
- Other: https://www.theknot.com/marketplace/studio-eighty-seven-grafton-ma-2002086
All photos by Natalie J Leroux