Thursday, May 6, 2010

L&H: A New Direction


As I've mentioned, there are changes going on over here at L&H - changes I've been thinking about for a while & am excited to finally announce them.

When I started L&H, it was with imported papers, rubber stamps and ink pads - most of which I still have:) I worked with clients one-on-one and made invitations by hand, stamping each piece. The result was beautiful and completely unique. But it wasn't easy. I didn't have many clients who were willing to pay for the work involved and the stamping took its toll. Wedding invitations had to be pretty close to perfect, and there is nothing perfect about a rubber stamp - except for its imperfectness:) So I decided I wanted to try out a line of note cards. With a small line of letterpressed note cards, I signed up for the National Stationery Show last minute. I had the sale of a lifetime that first year - to Paper Source. The then-owner walked in my booth and said she had to have them after seeing our moose note cards. I was beyond thrilled. I was giddy. And hooked.


We continued to release new note cards & products. We launched a custom album in 2008, which we sold that year to about 30 stores nationwide and one in Australia. What I thought would be an easy, streamlined process turned out to be more of a headache. Most of our retailers who ordered custom work were great. One in particular gave me heart palpitations – yelling, accusing, even threatening at one point. Can you imagine? I’m in client service, and I get it. But I wasn't happy about it. People think working with brides is a nightmare. In my experience, it was exactly the opposite. And I wished I had just kept working with them directly & exclusively.


On top of wholesaling our custom work, we were still working with clients one-on-one and offering a full retail line, which included new product lines too, and selling to over 100 stores nationwide. And I was the only designer. Three years later, I’ve got my two little hands in too many places without asking myself where I really want to be - for me and for L&H.

So, my friends, I’m pulling back on the reins. I took our albums out of stores at the beginning of the year and have pulled back on almost all custom work. And just this week, I took down our stationery line from our website and have stopped our formal pr efforts. It’s all a little sad, I must admit. But while I'm sad about ending some things, I'm even happier to be starting others. This is a transition. A big transition. And I’m excited about where this is going and most importantly, I'm excited about what it means for me – more control and more flexibility & freedom.

So what’s next for L&H, you ask? The only item we plan on wholesaling from now on is our annual calendar. It’s been my favorite project every year – and a favorite of yours, too, as it sold out last year by Thanksgiving! And then moving forward, I’m going to work on limited-edition projects - projects on paper and other materials - to be released on our website about every month (via newsletter and of course here on the blog). And I’m thrilled to announce here that our very first project is a letterpressed birthday calendar! (A peek at the cover, above.) I have been wanting to do one of these for years. John and I have 18 nieces and nephews, so it will personally make things a lot easier for us! We’ll debut the birthday calendar at the NSS next weekend and offer it to retailers exclusively at the show and then launch it on our website at the end of the month. I can't wait to show it to you.

Thank you so much for all your support over the years. I am really excited about this transition and am looking forward to sharing my progress & process with all of you here.

And as if this wasn't enough to digest, I have something else to announce tomorrow! So do stay tuned. I promise it's good!

18 comments:

chelsea said...

thanks for sharing this. good for you! can't wait to see what this year holds for you.

Kristi said...

Yay! Congratulations! I'm so excited to see your monthly displays of artistic talent. And, I can't wait for the first...everyone needs a birthday calendar...maybe it will help Peter remember mine!

ellie @ mint said...

so happy for you, and I can't wait to see how things grow/change for you over the next year. hope to see you at NSS!

nole @ oh so beautiful paper said...

I'm so happy for you Liz! I love that you're taking your future into your own hands and focusing on what makes you happiest - I'm sure these changes will bring wonderful things for you and L+H! I can't wait to see the new calendars at NSS soon!

Liz Libré said...

Thanks, guys! This means a lot. As with any change, it's a little scary - but I know in my heart it's the right move.

xo

Liz

cindy said...

Thanks for sharing your journey with us thus far... here's to more exciting things for you in this next chapter! Can't wait to see what the birthday calendar looks like? Everyone needs one of those to keep track of dates!

heather said...

Congrats Liz! I'm excited to hear more and super excited for you! I find the thing I most envy in others is when they have a vision for what they want in their life and go after it. It's beyond scary I think to do that (as opposed to being what you think others want you to be), but I think you are making a very brave and smart move! Can't wait to see what's in store!

simplesong said...

thanks for sharing! you're an amazing talent and i have no doubt whatever direction you go you'll be great. good for you!

Lucky D said...

Congrats Liz! We are psyched for you over here and have loved watching L&H grow and grow. I'm making room for more calendars right...now! xox

Kelly said...

Congrats Liz!!! I am so excited for you. I absolutely love to hear that you have taken a step back and are able to do what you really love to do! You do such great work and have amazing talent and are so creative. It has been so much fun to follow L&H and you through your blog.
I am very excited to see the birthday calendar and also hear your announcement tomorrow! Hugs, Kel

wishful nals said...

congrats! transitions can be hard, and so strange, but it's an exciting time! excited to see where it takes you :)

Amber, theAmberShow said...

Congrats on the change! I can't wait to see what's in store for you, and I'm really excited about getting my mitts on a birthday calendar. I've been dreaming about one for ages thinking I'd have to design one myself, but never got around to it.

Now I will be one of those wonderful people who always remembers birthdays.

Britta said...

Change can definitely be scary, but you can do it! I love your work and can't wait to get my hands on a birthday calendar. What a great idea!

Tommy said...

As much as I'm going to miss that Moose, I'm happy for you, Liz! I know that your work will continue to be top-notch, and I plan on supporting your new projects. It is scary, but it's also exciting.

Best of luck!

Joanna said...

I'm going to miss your stationary, as I loved penning missives to loved ones on your gorgeous notecards. Good luck with the new direction. I can't wait to see what you have in store for us!

Danielle said...

Congratulations Liz! Though, I will miss so many of your wonderful products. Will you be selling off all your remaining merchandise?

The Neo-Traditionalist said...

So excited for the birthday calender and the new direction you're taking things! And congrats on the baby!!!! You must be on top of the world!

XX katie

Kathleen said...

Can't wait for the birthday calendar!! Hope all is going well with the big transitions...