The team at Clarence & Co. are big fans of Forage & Spruce, home of some of New Zealand’s prettiest wedding signage. We also have a massive girl crush on Christine, the amazing creative lady behind the paint brush. So we asked this NZ wedding vendor about herself, what she does in the industry, and her advice for New Zealand brides….
You make awesome products that I would love to have at my wedding! Tell us a bit about what you do?
I design and hand-make custom wedding signage for lovely brides around NZ, and overseas (my work has winged its way to Iceland, Rarotonga, Australia, and Europe). I also do fun stuff for businesses (I’ve done custom work for Wild Hearts Wedding Fairs, Vodafone Xone, Crimson Education, and lots of lovely NZ wedding vendors), and have a range of made-to-order home décor pieces.
How did you end up in the wedding industry? (We hear you actually have a degree in Biomed!)
Yes, weirdly I have a BsC in Biomedical Science, which definitely doesn’t get used right now (luckily I met my husband in our first-year physics lab, so it wasn’t a total waste). After graduating, I worked in the industry for a few years but always felt a little bit “blah” and uninspired. To keep my creative side alive, I started hiring out wedding props from my own DIY wedding and found there was a massive demand for blackboard lettering and those super rustic “Pinterest” pallet signs. One thing lead to another, and with heaps of practise and some style-refinements, now I work on Forage & Spruce full-time!
What has been the most challenging and rewarding parts of being a creative and owning your own business?
It’s really rewarding to know that my work is part of so many special moments – my signs are at weddings, but I also get custom orders for new baby gifts, or to commemorate special anniversaries and birthdays. There was a moment this last Christmas morning, as I sat unwrapping a gift, where I realised that all around NZ there were people opening the things I’d made. That was such a crazy feeling.
The biggest challenge is trying to tame my creative-person brain, and focus on just doing one thing at a time. I’m sure lots of creatives will identify with that: the struggle of having to focus and finish one project when your mind is exploding with a million different ideas for other designs and products.
What would you love to make for a client (but haven't had the chance to yet)?
I’m dying to make something huge – an amazing lettered ceremony backdrop, or a photo booth covered in hand-drawn florals. Luckily I have a couple of exciting projects for 2018 that will scratch that itch, which I’m so looking forward to.
Can you share with us the most memorable part of your own wedding day?
We had a lot of special moments, but I have to say that hands-down the most memorable was our getaway car drama. We had specially arranged to drive away in this incredible Mustang GT500, but on the day some wires got crossed and the car wasn’t told where to park (whoops). The bridal party had decided to decorate the car as a surprise, but when they went to tart it up, it wasn’t there. In a last-minute panic they decorated a friend’s old Nissan Nadia. At the end of the wedding, my husband and I made our exit via the farewell arch (friends and family making a tunnel for us to run through) and as we reached the end we were abruptly met with a dirty silver people mover, instead of the gorgeous Mustang we were expecting. So to end our beautiful wedding, we bumbled off into the sunset in the old Nadia.
What advice would you have for brides-to-be planning their wedding?
Don’t stress about the small things! At the time, they mean the world to you, but nobody else knows your vision for the day and they aren’t looking to catch you out on tiny slip ups. That mistake may even end up being your favourite story to tell – ahem…Nissan Nadia… :)