Category: Business

Part of a solid business plan is a stellar business card. Although in some respects a formal business card feels a little archaic with our email, digits and job titles accessible all over our web and social media sites, the need for a tangible item for face-to-face networking is still paramount. Even for our well-connected business contacts, we still love the idea of handing over a piece of our image, to be another reminder of Etch and the identity we are crafting. As designers and artists, the visual element of our work is just one small facet, so developing a crave-worthy, tactile form of communication is another necessary tool in our marketing arsenal.
We’re no strangers to needing perfectionism when it comes to presentation and we didn’t want anything less for our non-virtual identity. The team at Aeolidia did amazing work with us as we developed our logo, branding and website design (more on the design process and choices for our logo/branding in a later post), but we knew we wanted to construct the remaining marketing pieces ourselves. One branding requirement we were adamant about was the ability to have repeatable and recognizable elements to reuse throughout our marketing for a fully integrated package. We used a few of these branding embellishments for our cards with our logo and informational text as the other players. We wanted to take advantage of the interaction required by 2-sided cards, so we decided to organize our logo on one side and content on the other. The logo and web address then became a visual invitation into the world of Etch with our signature pink line guiding you to flip the card for personal contact information adorned by an Etch Deco element (we clearly appreciate these design methods, see here and here).
Of course for handheld marketing products, printing can make or break the result. We’ve used several local printers with nicely executed products for some pre-Etch projects and always love minted when it comes to personal and business greeting cards, but decided to go the route of business-card-printing-specialists from an online vendor, MOO. The quality is fantastic. We chose the classic card with a heavy stock and smooth luster and rounded corners for a less conforming shape. Even the packaging is swoon-worthy, which is always a plus in our book. They came in tiny black boxes with quirky written messages that were fun to open.
Our passion for design drives us to surround Etch with clients and industry partners who are equally, infectiously vehement about making the world a more interesting place. Now with our sparkling cards, we feel armed and ready to network. So the next time we meet up, ask for a card and we will excitedly hand one over. You can be sure to expect the same request from us!

The thoughts and opinions in this post are all our own. No affiliate links were used and we were not paid for our review of any vendors discussed.

We are so excited to introduce ourselves with this inaugural blog post!  We are Kari and Kate, and we’re behind Etch Design Lab.  We’re a collaborative creative studio, focusing on home, workplace and business design.  We’ll both be contributing to Delicate and Durable and we look forward to sharing our adventures with you!
Before we dive in, we wanted to raise our glasses to our brand new website and blog. Thanks to the Aeolidia team: our web designer, the very talented Lauren Hardage, and developer, Zak Hardage, the guy who made everything work.  Here, here!  We hope you’ll take a look around.

 Q&A with Kari and Kate

A few words about yourself: I love creating order from chaos and rethinking processes. Perhaps due to my transient military childhood, I spent countless hours rearranging my bedroom and built extensive homes for my Barbie dolls as a kid. The amazing design professors at JMU helped foster my interest in spatial relationships and instilled in me a deep understanding of process and questioning design choices. I credit Gensler and Esoarc Studio for helping to make Autocad short cuts and building code restrictions second nature and I thank my husband and two boys everyday for making the awesome trip of life worth riding.
What is your job at Etch: I am the Certified Interior Designer, (NCIDQ) National Council for Interior Design Qualification Certificate Holder and LEED Accredited Professional of the team. Creative direction and design ideas are an equal collaboration between us, but I can always count on Kate to help push my risk-taking when it comes to mixing colors, textures and furniture styles. My commercial design experience gives me confidence in coordinating a project’s engineers, contractors and consultants; I also typically handle the construction drawing preparation and the code implementation.
Costume of the Day: Nothing beats a good pair of jeans, but if I’m at home I am usually rocking sweatpants.
Favorite Downtime Activity: I used to play some mean Mario Kart, but now spend lots of non-work hours reading children’s books and playing dinosaur train. I enjoy reading, although embarrassingly still have Veronica Roth’s Allegiant unfinished on my Kindle since last fall. HBOGO is a commonly used app in our house and I am consistently following the airing schedules for Game of Thrones, Veep, True Blood and Newsroom. I’m also on the soccer field twice a week, but question my judgment when one of those games is outside during the winter (yay for Under Armour!).
What do you and Kate have in common: Since I met Kate 4 years ago, we just seemed to click. Although we differ greatly, we also seem to be so aligned and on-cue. There are already countless times where we have stereotypically finished each other’s sentences. She helped me enter the world of art ownership, brought gold into my life and is holding my hand as I take my initial steps into blogging for the first time. Together we are an exciting collaboration.
Drink of Choice: A latte in the morning and red wine at dinner.
Most Impressive Skill in the Kitchen: I am not sure impressive is a word I would use to describe my kitchen skills. I try to cook a variety of foods (despite the harsh critiques from kids), but still rely on takeout once a week. However, I do pride myself on a meticulously-organized dishwasher with pre-rinsed dishes laid out optimally to ensure proper wash coverage and drying capability, plus the skill of unloading it quickly without a crawling baby climbing inside (#creatingorderfromchaos).
Parting Words: It may be cliché (however life needs a little corny, right?), but I love what I do and I am thrilled to share it. Everyone deserves good design and I am excited to play my part in doing just that.
A few words about yourself: I am a Visual Artist, mother of two boys, and the designated dog walker to our English Shepherd. While I was drawing, painting, and sculpting my way to a BFA in Studio Art at Virginia Tech, I started dating my husband, who was making a place for himself among the theorems and lemmas, equations and analysis, in the Math department. A few years later, I moved to a one-room apartment in Glover Park, a cute little neighborhood in Northwest DC, to work on my graduate degree at American University. In 2009 I received my MFA in Painting and shortly after, my husband and I bought a fixer-upper townhouse in the suburbs where I could have a designated studio in the entire lower level. Once we became parents a couple of years later, the beautiful balancing act really took off.  In between work, bedtime routines, family adventures, and carpool, we are avid diy-ers.
What is your job at Etch: Officially, you could call me the artist. Not one that paints murals, faux finishes, or creates diy “wall art,” but rather, I collaborate with Kari to infuse my design sensibilities into a project. I know my way around pattern and color, and I am a formalist at heart. Additionally, I’m the guru behind any art consultations or placement. If a client is interested in collecting a piece for one of our projects, I can connect them with the artists and galleries.
If I think back to the time I first “decorated” my hunter green middle school bedroom with Dollar Store candle stands (ha!), to the classes I took in ID in college, and most recently, the house we’ve been making a home, I knew there was more than a little interest in Interior Design. Etch is the perfect extension of my studio process and I’m confident that both facets will inform each other in really engaging ways.
Costume of the Day: I’m equally comfortable in yoga pants or high heels.
Favorite downtime activity: My idea of “downtime” is usually catching up, so, literally, crossing tasks off my to-do list. Or making to-do lists (I love lists!). You will typically find me slinging a paint roller or a hammer, or rearranging furniture at the most unconventional hours of the day. Also, I never miss Downton Abbey Sunday with my favorite girlfriend, and a nice glass of Pinot Noir.
How are you different from Kari: Most obviously, subtract about 10 inches of leg and ignore the scattered files all over my MacBook! Kari and I are probably polar opposites, but only in a way that complements our process entirely. I can always count on her to think through every detail meticulously. When I get excited by an elaborate idea, I know I can run with it, because she’s always there to keep us focused and on task. It’s the best of both worlds!
Drink of Choice: I’ll never say no to a glass of champagne.
Most Impressive Skill in the Kitchen: I’m not the most inventive “cook,” but I know my way around the delicacy of Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I love throwing elaborate parties just so I can color-coordinate food and serve a cake that I’ve made from scratch. Who am I kidding, party or not, I could easily eat an entire bowl of swiss meringue buttercream.
Parting words: This is going to be so much fun, and a lot of hard work. I am so excited to share Etch Design Lab with you, and can’t wait to really get the ball rolling!
All Photo Credits: Bonnie Sen Creative Photography. Thanks Bonnie!

Website by * Aeolidia *