Happy Thursday, Partners!
Joining us in the PRO Spotlight this week is the lovely Krisanna of Krisanna Elizabeth Co., a boutique in Seattle, Washington specializing in wedding planning and curated custom wedding stationery; all things wedding! Krisanna talks about the social media comparison game, her deep love for chocolate, and more! Keep reading for our full interview…
Hi! I’m Krisanna (kinda rhymes with “banana”), and I am born, raised, and based just outside of Seattle, Washington. I love my fiance, Nick (aka N), my kitten (Tiny), hugs, the Backstreet Boys, and chocolate.”
Tell us about your business? What is your background? What is your craft? How did you start?
My company (Krisanna Elizabeth Co.) is unique in that it actually houses two separate branches! Wedding planning was my first career love – it encompasses all of my natural strengths and, most importantly, gives me my “people fix”. Calligraphy (and stationery design) was never a part of the plan – it started as a hobby, and slowly but surely made its way into becoming the second branch of KE! Together, they allow me to pursue my greatest passion – serving people – in two completely different forms. It’s the most rewarding rollercoaster in the world (and my degree in Psychology has certainly been beneficial for both ;))!
Three fun facts. GO!
1. I love singing and was in choir / took voice lessons growing up… which led me to the opportunity to sing in the Seattle Opera (my role was being one of the choir boys – yes, boys… we were all actually girls – in Tosca)! Now, I mostly just sing in my car.
2. Before I took the leap with my company, I was actually very passionate about / pursuing the possibility of studying criminology so that I could become a police officer!
3. I have two mottos / theories that I live my life by: one is “Perseverance Overcomes” (which I adopted from my Grandfather and have tattooed in Greek on my back), and the other one is the theory that the little things make the biggest impact (which prompted me to create the hashtag #littlethingstheory as a way of recording my life’s little moments and somehow turned into one of the biggest photography hashtags on Instagram!)
Spill The Tea
What has been your biggest struggle or challenge to date? And how did you overcome it?
There have been times when the social media comparison game is super detrimental to not only my emotional health, but also my creative abilities. Social media is a love / hate – it is such an incredible way to connect, but my experience has been that it can also be the most isolating thing in the world for so many of us. There are so many unreal talented people out there that, instead of being inspired, there are times when I feel small and like my work is very, very inferior and/or unimportant. I’ve had to learn to take breaks from social media to reset + revamp and have also created boundaries for myself when I am feeling those ways.
What do you find to be the hardest thing about running your own business and what are you doing to manage this?
It’s ironic because I tend to do my best work under pressure, but the seasonality of my company is one of the hardest parts for me.
Instead of being spread out over all twelve months in the year like a “normal” job, peak wedding season in Seattle runs from May through September (due to the weather) and those months are absolutely crazy. It just never stops. I’m in the midst of my 8th wedding season, and I still have times when I’m so overwhelmed with my to-do list during peak season that I freeze and can’t even do a single thing.
I’ve found that a lot of it has to do with my tendency toward perfectionism, so one of my biggest personal tasks has been to form a work flow structure that works well for me during the craziest times AND let go of achieving absolute perfection for every single item.
A Day In The Life
If you could give one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
I actually wrote this several years back and all of it still holds true today (I’m cheating a little because there are four pieces of advice, wrapped into one answer!):
(1) It’s cliche, but so important: be yourself. Create a brand that represents your company and talent, but also represents YOU in the most authentic way (even if it’s not the same as the other brands you idolize). There are people out there who will relate to you + your uniqueness and those are the people you want to connect with.
(2) Chaos is frequent as a small business owner and it’s totally fine to over-think, cry it out, take a rest, and/or throw some pieces away and start over. There’s always beauty in the chaos if you choose to look for it.
(3) Always take the leap with anything that makes you scared out of your mind. Like, literally your mind is telling you “you are dumb for even thinking you could do this”. Those are the best ideas. And if the idea doesn’t work, you’ve inevitably learned something very valuable that you can apply in the future. If it does work, it’s going to be the best feeling in the world. Win-Win.
(4) Your attitude will make or break you and only you can control it.
How do you maintain work/life balance?
Ah, this is a constant work in progress. More often that not, my work doesn’t feel like work! Again, I think boundaries have been really key for me – I do try to stick to a schedule that is roughly 8 hours per day, and a lot of that motivation has come from the fact that spending time with N (and our families) is my biggest priority in life! I’ve also experienced complete burnout as a business owner due to thinking that working constantly is what it takes to be successful. As much as I love my company, the older I get, the more I’ve realized how precious time is… it’s so important to make time for yourself to stay happy and productive!
Teach Us Something!
Okay, let’s talk flat lays! Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they’re a pretty crucial part of the stationery world. I don’t know about you, but there are often times when I want photos of current projects for social media or my website, and I don’t have access to a pro photographer right then and there. I’ve spent sooooo much time honing flat lays, but for the days when you are in a rush to snap some Insta-worthy photos, here are my favorite 10-minute flat lay tips (using your phone camera):
1. CLEAN YOUR PHONE LENS! Nothing is worse than when you snap a bunch of photos in a hurry and then later realize that they are blurry because there was a finger smudge on your lens!
2. Find the room in your home (or studio) that has the MOST natural light (aka lots of windows). You may need to gauge the time of day when this room has the best light and plan ahead to shoot at that time. Make sure you turn off any lamps that may cause a yellow hue when you are taking your photos.
3. Keep a large piece of fabric from your local fabric store on hand (if you don’t own a professionally-made styling surface OR if you want a certain background color for your project) – lightly textured linen fabrics in the “Home Decor” / Upholstery section tend to be my favorites. Choose a color that will consistently work well with your branding and know that the color of the fabric will likely change to some extent if you use photo editing apps (lighter or darker, depending on your editing style) – I tend to go with whites and neutrals for this reason. Also know that lightweight linen fabrics are gorgeous but need to be ironed. A lot.
4. Use white cardboard or poster board as your DIY light reflector. I literally have a piece of white cardboard that I got in a delivery box one time and have used it as my “in a rush” light reflector ever since! Simply set your “reflector” in a way where it is “corralling” your flat lay set up, facing the window producing the natural light. This should cause an immediate brightening effect on your paper!
5. Do a quick forage for greenery or florals in your backyard or neighborhood (of course, please ask if you are taking your neighbours flowers!). Even 1 leafy tree or shrub branch can make a huge impact in your flat lay!
6. On a day when you have spare time (or when you can multitask), use wax paper as a surface to premake a variety of wax seals in different colors! One pretty wax seal can make ALL the difference in your 10-minute flat lay shoot!
7. Be sure to take several photos of the same flat lay. Imagine zooming allllll the way out with your hand position, and then slowly “zoom in” with your hand / camera position (not with the actual camera zoom feature, as this can distort things). You should be able to shoot a minimum of 20 different photos of just one flat lay from different distances and angles!
1. Favorite stationery trend, tip, or trick? I currently loooove the trend of adding blind deboss elements to a design – it just takes it all to a whole new level!
2. How do you unwind after work? Usually by having some dessert and watching a TV show or movie with N!
3. Two web tools/apps you can’t live without? Google Docs and Photoshop!
4. Hobby? My hobbies are always changing, but right now I’m super into crossword puzzle books and baking desserts!
5. The book you always recommend? Daring Greatly by Brene Brown! Her research and authenticity changed my life (and yes, you have to be willing to consider the idea of becoming more vulnerable).
Thank You So Much, Krisanna!
Krisanna, it was an absolute pleasure having you in the PRO Spotlight. We loved learning more about you and your journey into the wedding industry. Thank you! We can’t wait to share Part Two of Krisanna’s PRO Spotlight. Be sure to connect with Krisanna on Instagram!
The Artisaire PRO Team