Today’s CoChic Cool chick is the talented, creative Emily Asher, owner of Emily Rose Ink. Emily creates water color stationary and invitations and is also a calligrapher. All of her paper goods are handmade in Chicago. Being a calligrapher in and of itself is impressive. Have you ever taken a class? It’s an art that requires tons of practice! Emily is another girl boss I met through Creative Chics, a group of encouraging creative women business owners. I worked with Emily on a styled shoot and was blown away by how beautiful her work is. From menus to place cards to invitations, everything was spot on. Read Emily’s interview to learn about the ins and outs of her stationary business.
If you are new to CoChic Cool Chicks, every Monday I feature a woman entrepreneur who inspires me, who I am lucky enough to have in my girl boss network. These women are doing great things and whether you aspire to be an entrepreneur or not, I hope that they inspire you to do great things, too. I encourage you to check out their businesses, websites, and social media. And reach out to them, ask them questions, say hello. They’d love to hear from you!
Tell us about your business.
I am the owner and lead designer of Emily Rose Ink, a boutique design studio in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago specializing in watercolor wedding paper goods.
What made you decide to start your own business?
I started my business after creating my sister’s wedding invitations. She wanted a watercolor look, and I had always loved art and design, so I offered to design them for her. At her wedding, I got so many compliments, and at the reception, two people asked me if I would do their wedding invitations…so it all started there! A few months later, I launched my website and Etsy shop, and I’ve been growing the business steadily ever since.
How is your business different from others in the industry?
I think of my custom invitations as works of art, keepsakes that celebrate and reflect the personal story and personalities of the couples I work with. My invitation designs are all painted by hand in watercolor, making each invitation or card a piece of art in itself. They are printed digitally using a unique printing process that allows me to offer double-thick digital invitations on high-quality card stock. So my invitations have the thickness and quality of letterpress or embossing, with the versatility of digital printing.
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
I love the flexibility and freedom of working from my home studio and being my own boss. I am an introvert at heart, and nothing makes me happier than painting in my home studio with my dog at my feet. It’s exciting to know that I control my own professional future.
What is the most challenging thing about being an entrepreneur?
Being my own boss! I’m such a typical type-B artist, so I have to really work hard to stay organized and to keep myself on task. Structuring my own days has been a learning experience, and it’s something I’m always working on. It can also be hard to separate myself and my own sense of self-worth from my business, and that’s a work-in-progress as well.
What is your best piece of business advice?
NETWORK. I don’t know what I would have done this year without networking – making friends who are also business owners has helped me so much to feel encouraged, supported, and like I’m not in this alone!
Do you have any tricks of the trade you could share with us?
My biggest tip for creating easily-scannable watercolor artwork is to paint on the wrong side of the paper! Painting on the smooth side instead of the bumpy side allows you to scan artwork without the shadows made by textured watercolor paper.
How would you describe your personal style?
Bohemian Chic. I love patterns, unique jewelry, and flowy tops, but I have to be comfortable, otherwise I just want to go home and put on my pajamas.
What does being CoChic (comfortably chic) mean to you?
Wearing clothes that make you feel good on an aesthetic and physical level. Over the years, I’ve learned what fabrics and silhouettes make me feel comfortable and good about my body, and I naturally gravitate towards those when I’m shopping. I also invest in accessories that make me happy – I have a ton of scarves and chunky necklaces that can make leggings and a black jersey top feel like a million bucks.
Anything else you’d like to share?
When I find something I like, I usually buy it in two colors. And I buy two pairs of every set of earrings because I always lose one! Oh, and I’m obsessed with my dog, Phoebe.