Meet Janine

Janine is the magic maker behind Handmade by Janine.
A self-confessed font nerd, Janine can spend hours in stationery stores, swooning over new prints and paper.
Coffee and chocolate are her go to’s, while a pink G+T and a Netflix binge is the perfect end to her busy week!

She is passionate about creating stunning bespoke, personalized, one-of-a-kind stationery to fit all of the important events in your life – be it your wedding day, baby shower, birthday or even a corporate event.

Janine shared a little bit more with us today, so grab yourself a pink G+T and let’s find out a little more about this creative lady!

Hey! Please can you introduce yourself to the Hooray readers.
Hey! I am Janine and I own Handmade by Janine. We design and create bespoke, luxe Wedding and Event Stationery & Signage – from Invitations and Save the Dates to Menus, Order of Events, Name cards, Seating Plans, Welcome Boards and more

Hooray: Tell us a bit more about yourself
Janine: I am married to a wonderful man who “gets” me and we have three rescue furkids who I adore. I run on coffee (my creative juice), designing pretty ideas and deadlines (I’m the Queen of I have a Medical Technology Degree and worked in Corporate until 7 seven years ago when I took my side hustle (my true passion) to full time and have not looked back. I am totally in love with my creative life.

Hooray: How did you get into the wedding industry?
Janine: A very (very) long time ago I taught myself Calligraphy and was asked by some friends who were getting married, to do their invitations and other stationery (this was before computers lol) The requests grew and my little business was recommended repeatedly. Once computers came along, I was well established in the wedding biz and this wonderful technology made my life much easier (and quicker!) I also design for some corporates but Weddings and Events are my first love.

Hooray: What inspires you?
Janine: I follow (and work with) a number of Wedding Decor businesses, Floral businesses, Venues and Wedding Planners. I also follow some other stationery designers – local and international to see the trends in other countries and I also follow some Interior Designers and Dress designers to see the trends and colours coming up.

Hooray: Running your own business can be hard, do you have a daily routine?
Janine: I’m usually in my office by 8 am (but often earlier) and tackle the emails first. Pin the ones for later and try to get quotes and urgent ones out first. Then it is on to do any orders/designs that need doing. Depending on the deadline I may work late (my husband is a much better cook than I am) but I do try and be out of my office by 6 pm. If I have errands and running around to do for my biz, I try to select a single day to do all of it. Zoom meetings and bridal appointments are slotted into my working day. I try to make a time that is convenient for the bride and often see them on Saturdays or Sundays.

Hooray: Tell us about your ideal wedding client.
Janine: I honestly don’t have a preference. I have branded myself as a high-end designer and if brides are on a very tight budget I usually cannot help them. My talent and experience come at a price and if a Bride loves my work, they will choose me to do it. I also love a bride who has very clear ideas of what they are looking for – it does make my life a bit easier.

Hooray: What do you love most about your job?
Janine: The freedom to be so creative, working from home and working with such amazing vendors. Also, I love my Boss bwahaha 😉

Hooray: Can you describe your style?
Janine: I’ve been told that I don’t have one! My designs can go from one side of the spectrum to the other. I’m actually OK with this as it means I can keep my brides & the other vendors I work with, happy. Whether they want Bling, Rich and Luxe, Boho, Natural or extremely Classic, I can do it all.

Hooray: Your favourite colour palette to work with and why?
Janine: Honestly I don’t have one. Most colour palettes really inspire me but I guess if I had to choose….working with dark moody colours (think black and burgundy with gold foil and gold leaf elements) as well as contrasting solid colours (think mustard wedding card, turquoise info card and cerise envelope)

Hooray: The mistake you made that has taught you the most valuable lesson?
Janine: When working with a new Vendor, get full payment upfront before handing over the stationery (I got taken for R21k two years ago). Also, make sure you charge for samples (some of them end up with a much cheaper stationer who just copies your design)

Hooray: If you had to get married (again) what would be the ONE non-negotiable?
Janine: Hire a WEDDING photographer!! We had a (really good) photographer friend do ours but she had not done a wedding before. The photos were just OK

Hooray: How do you assist brides who have no clue what direction to go with their stationery?
Janine: This is why I LOVE when the bride comes to my studio! They get to see all my samples and ideas, which often gives them inspiration. But I can also get a feel for the bride and what appeals to her and her vision for her wedding. This way I can offer ideas that will appeal to her. The venue and her budget play a role as well.

Hooray: Where do you see yourself and your company this time next year?
Janine: In March 2020 I was just about to employ a junior helper for the grunt work and then Covid hit and all the weddings died. Hopefully, I will get there again by this time next year

Hooray: If you could be anything else in the wedding industry, what would you be and why?
Janine: I wouldn’t mind trying to be an “On the Day” coordinator. I’m quite bossy and loud HAHA. No, I am very organised and it would be awesome to be a part of the day itself (something I don’t often get to do as the stationer!)

Hooray: Tell us about your most embarrassing moment on the job.
Janine: Forgetting to drop off the Order of Events stationery at the venue. Rushed back and ended up having to hand them out myself to the (beautifully dressed) guests in their seats literally minutes before the Bride walked down the aisle!!!! All the while I was in my “home” clothes and had no makeup on!! Hooray: Do you have any friends in the industry? Tell us who and how they impact you in this beautiful business.
Janine: SHEW!!! I have loads. Debbie – ETC Events, Jackie – Weddings by Jackie, Wilma Towell Photography, Katya Fedkina Photography, Mandy – Gracelands Farm, Yolandi – Bella Bride, Zolita Couture Cakes, Amy Artisan Cakes, Jayshree – Eastern Elegance, Kgomotso – Oak Events, Lindi – Labola, SA Weddings, Little Pink Book. Marriage Meander, Alison – Weddings and Functions, Jacqui – Accentuate, Luci – Luxe Events and quite a few more. I just LOVE all these creatives!!! They make me want to create beautiful stationery, try out all my ideas, play with colours and designs and help me take better pictures myself.

Hooray: 2020 was a hard year for all, what do you think the wedding industry can learn from this?
Janine: That we have to think differently about weddings. I think a lot of us have pivoted really well in terms of different offerings but we all just want to go back to actually having weddings and celebrations again. A lot of businesses in our industry have closed. Those of us that have made it, need to be positive and encouraging.

Hooray: If you could go back in time to when you first started out in the wedding industry, and tell yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Janine: Know your worth. It took me a long time to get this – I think we all suffer from Imposter syndrome at one time or another or compare ourselves to others in our field. These are the biggest killers of confidence. Hooray: What is your favourite way to unwind?
Janine: A good Netflix binge and a pink G&T

Hooray: The biggest stationery trend for 2021? 
Janine: Printing or vinyl on Perspex, foiling and vellum printing. Wax seals are also back!

Hooray: Tell us about the last time you were really, really proud of yourself or the job you completed.
Janine: I am very rarely not proud of the work I do, to be honest. I always put my all into my designs. I was particularly proud of being asked to do the Diwali table stationery and signage for Sorisha Naidoo for an episode of The Real Housewives of Durban recently. It was wonderful to meet her and some of the other ladies and my stationery (and myself!) even had our 5 minutes of fame on the episode!!  But I think in the last year (with little to no weddings) I have loved getting all my new design ideas onto paper and doing the most gorgeous styled shoots with some amazing people. Some of these designs have really been my favourite. Hooray: Lastly, what is your favourite part of the wedding planning process.
Janine: I do love meeting the couple. Even if we have chatted on the phone/email, it is great to actually meet them and get a feel for them as a couple and their vision for their wedding. I also love (where possible) to see some of the professional shots of the wedding, so I can see how everything came together

Janine, thank you so much for sharing more with us today!
If you would like to get in touch with Janine for your wedding stationery, click here.

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