Photography by Jamie Lefkowitz

Eliza Gwendalyn is a full service design studio specializing in modern calligraphy and graphic design. Based out of New York with clients all over North America, Eliza combines a lifelong passion for type, beautiful hand lettering, watercolor painting & illustration that has developed throughout her life. She uses these skills to create unique embellished custom designs for weddings, events, and corporate clients. Eliza prides herself on being innovative and creative. She has a well-cultivated eye and finds inspiration from nature and the beauty that she discovers in everyday life. She is dedicated to crafting and producing products for weddings and events that are individually embellished with Swarovski crystals, heat embossed, and delicately glittered; that they become the gift themselves.

Since launching in 2012, Eliza Gwendalyn’s studio has morphed into a full service design house working with celebrity clients and fortune 500 companies to the everyday bride, bringing a unique handmade twist to all things paper. This expansion has allowed Eliza to take on more corporate jobs and licensing deals as well as hone in on her love for lettering and channel her ingenuity into logos, monograms, envelope addressing, and custom design suites for invitation companies and more.

Why do you believe design is becoming increasingly important for businesses?

Our society has become all about visuals. When I was a kid you would have to pick up a phone and dial your friends land line to see if they were available to hang out but now all you have to do is open an app and you can watch or see a photo of where they are and even what they are eating. Everything we do is based on what we see. Social media has a huge impact on majority of the world and the people who stay on top of the trends are the ones we consider ‘trendy’ i.e. the kardashians, sports players, fashion models, etc; with that being said, every brand has a tone and must keep their tone cohesive and strong or they fall behind the trend. To keep a following and increase your following you must create a consistent visual tone through design for your audience.

What design trends do you see becoming popular in the next few years? Which ones are your most excited about?

I can’t foreshadow the future I will leave that up to Anna Wintour, but what I can say is this, hand-lettering is VERY much on trend right now whether it is for a bar menu or a sweatshirt for nike or just simply for a wedding invite. Sadly, there is a lack of emphasis on design in school curriculums. I only hope we can continue to keep this special art of the past alive. I also hope pastels and sparkles take over the world because those two together or separate brighten up my day!

Where do you draw inspiration from when working with each of your clients?

I am very inspired by nature and the foliage around us. I would say my style is elegantly whimsical, modern and romantic.

Share something that is unique to you and/or your business.

I specialize in a variety of art mediums which allows me to work with a bunch of different industries. I excel in graphic design, web site design, logo design, illustration, and calligraphy so when you come to me you aren’t just getting a calligrapher but a boutique agency. The possibilities are endless when it comes to achieving your wedding or event dreams. We aren’t limited to just paper. We can draw your dream and physically make it in to a 3D object.

What advice would you give small businesses and independent professionals?

First and foremost don’t give up on your dreams. If you are passionate about something, dream it, sleep it, breath it I truly believe you will succeed. Since I was 11 years old, picking out my bat-mitzvah invitations, I have been in awe of the stationery and calligraphy world. I was fortunate enough to come from a line of entrepreneurs and artist that pushed me in the direction I went in at a young age but people can only guide you so far. You have to want something so bad that you are willing to struggle before you succeed.

Everyone struggles in different ways, but most successful companies start with some sort of struggle may it be living on a friend or family member’s couch because you are broke for months or not buying that bag because your website isn’t up to par, do what you need to do to put your business first. If you want it to thrive, you have to treat it as if it is your child, ESPECIALLY in the beginning.

Secondly never stop learning and updating; you have to stay on top of trends even outside your industry and you ALWAYS have to continue to learn. I practice calligraphy on a weekly basis and even read books about it. I do the same with graphic design programs. If you don’t do it you won’t be able to stay on trend and someone else will come in and steal your thunder. I can go on with advice but I will end it with this, every business owner has dark days where they want to throw the towel in, whether they have been at it for 25 years or 25 weeks but if you truly believe in what you are doing or selling, take a deep breath, visit a spa, take a day off or go away for a week but NEVER feel like you are alone. We have all been there. One of my favorite quotes is ‘sometimes you’re flush and sometimes you’re bust, and when you’re up it’s never as good as it seems, and when you’re down you never think you’ll be up again, but life goes on,” and it is true. I’ve been in business for a while now and I still ride the rollercoaster of emotions but I must say the highs are worth the struggle and the struggle is real.

 

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