image

If you’re anything like us, you probably have Allison and Jamie Nadeau to thank for remembering holidays…and maintaining relationships. This dynamic duo started INK MEETS PAPER, a line of colorful greeting cards, stationery, and other paper goods made right here in Charleston, SC. Each INK MEETS PAPER item is crafted on printing presses from the 1920s, and their thoughtful designs have garnered attention from the NY Times, Design*Sponge, and retailers around the country. 

More than a letterpress company, INK MEETS PAPER believes in the power of connections. Through events, calligraphy workshops, and their motto “Text Less. Write More,” this small-but-mighty company is on a mission to make the world more human one card at a time. 

Here, find out how they turned a side hustle into a national business, why they love what they do, and how they find creative inspiration, and make sure to grab tickets to their talk on “Craft” on Friday, June 22nd! 

image

What do you love most about what you do?
Allison: I love being involved in the physical process of creating. Every time we print a new card or product, it’s always like magic seeing the first time it comes off the press. Expanding on that, I love how many places our cards go and how many people connect through our cards. It’s absolutely humbling and amazing.Jamie: Constant improvement. Running our business offers continuous opportunities for “doing it better.” The more that we can refine the experiences (both internally amongst the team and externally for our customers), the better we are as a business. I feel lucky that we get to make a product that isn’t truly “completed” until someone has put part of themselves— their thoughts & feelings—  into the card through writing. We put so much love into our business, and it’s a complete honor to support the love of people that we may never meet.  

image

How did you get into letterpress printing and stationery design? Did you always know you’d be entrepreneurs and/or own a creative business?
Allison: INK MEETS PAPER initially started as a side/hobby project back in 2006 with custom stationery and invitations for friends and family (very very very small scale). Along with a move to Charleston, SC and corporate jobs as an editor and interaction designer, we discovered a love for the craft of letterpress printing in 2008 with a printmaking class at Redux Contemporary Art Center. After spending so much time behind the screen, it was refreshing to be so hands-on and involved in the physical process of creating a printed piece. 

That same year, we purchased our first press, a 1,000+ pound Chandler & Price printing press (made in 1923!), and moved it into a spare bedroom in our house. At first, we focused solely on learning the craft of traditional printing, rather than immediately trying to turn it into a business (we weren’t exactly sure what we wanted from this). We were both working other full-time jobs at the time, so we were able to take things slowly. 

As we became comfortable printing, we started to explore more of the industry (stationery/greeting cards, wedding invitations, custom printing for others). Handwritten correspondence really resonated with us — it’s such a beautiful and timeless way to connect with those you love. In particular, we saw greeting cards as an easy and accessible way for people to connect with one another. We started work on developing a collection of greeting cards to help spread a bit more love and kindness and launched the INK MEETS PAPER® greeting card line in 2010. Since then, we’ve continued to add new cards and paper products to the collection, all with the goal of inspiring people to send more handwritten love. Jamie: I think we always leaned towards owning a creative business. I started freelancing in high school, and our first side-business was an eBay store where we focused on packaging & customer experience to drive sales of used tech products. As we were working to leave the corporate world, we worked together as freelance designers before starting INK MEETS PAPER. INK MEETS PAPER built upon many years of attempts and failures to create a sustainable business that fit both of our skillsets in a way that we could build and build and build without feeling burned out.

image

How do you start your day?
A+J: With a pot of french-press coffee while sitting on the couch in the living room.

Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment.
Allison: Being able to be full-time with INK MEETS PAPER and designing a business that we love. Jamie: Building INK MEETS PAPER encompassed massive amounts of personal growth as I learned to take risks, live authentically, and to face fears about what I could accomplish as an individual. As a couple, we learned to find comfort in the “uncomfortable” times and to always work on business/personal growth. That work has benefited every aspect of our lives, and while I can’t pick a particular moment, I certainly feel pride as we tackle the continual journey of life & business-building together.

Do you have a hidden talent?
Allison: Jamie can juggle!
Jamie: Ha! I can get pretty ‘locked in’ when working on a project at work. Juggling is the perfect quick break when I need it. :)

Who or what gives you creative inspiration?
Allison: Since we’re a greeting card company, we’re very copy driven. We want the sentiments on our cards to be a starting point for the person adding their message to the interior— which we always keep blank. As a result, a lot of our card inspiration comes from relationships, both our own and those we observe.Jamie: I LOVE music, and am always listening to a wide-range of different artists. Music helps me get into flow, and I have specific playlists for different types of work I may do throughout the day, so it really drives the creative work I do.

image

What’s your go-to coffee order?
Allison: almond milk latte
Jamie: whole milk latte

What is your favorite place in or around Charleston?
Jamie: Ahhh, such a tough question! We’ve lived here for 12 years now and there are so many incredible spots to enjoy. Honestly, I think our favorite places in Charleston change with the seasons. I love the perfect Lowcountry views at Bowens Island, a cocktail at Stems & Skins in Park Circle, and dinner at Leon’s or Little Jack’s. When we need a break from routine, we go for walks downtown together. Since we live & work in Park Circle, downtown serves as a great place to disconnect and spend time in the moment.

How do you unwind or de-stress?
Jamie: going for a run, dialing in cocktail recipes, or relaxing outside
Allison: with a glass of wine while spending time outside in our backyard

Rapid fire: 

  • morning person or night owl?
    Allison: night owl
    Jamie: morning person
  • summer or winter?
    A+J: summer
  • mountains or beach?
    A+J: beach
  • pancakes or waffles?
    Allison: pancakes
    Jamie: waffles (with fried chicken!)
  • fiction or non-fiction?
    Allison: fiction
    Jamie: non-fiction
image

Photos by Keely Laughlin Photo, https://www.keelylaughlinphoto.com/

If you live in Charleston, chances are you know about Quintin Washington. After leaving the newsroom at WLCN-TV, he launched his own weekly YouTube show called “Quintin’s Close-Ups.” Since starting the show in 2012, Quintin’s taped over 1,000 one-on-one interviews with celebrity chefs, book authors, politicians, lawyers, community leaders, school leaders and other newsmakers. His interview with United States Congressman Mark Sanford in 2014 made headlines around the world with MSNBC and BuzzFeed running stories about the interview. 

Below, we flip the script and ask Quintin a few questions about his commitment to journalism, his proudest accomplishment, and how this morning person stays awake without coffee. 

What do you love most about what you do? Serving the public.

How did you get into your field of work? Working at local independent station, WLCN, as the host of the “Quintin Reports” Web show.

Did you always know you were going to be a journalist and entrepreneur? Absolutely.

How do you start your day? Praying to God in the name of Jesus.

Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment. Being on the front cover of the Charleston City Paper in 2016.

What’s one skill you think everyone should have? Being punctual. 

Who or what gives you creative inspiration? The Holy Spirit.

What’s your go-to coffee order? I hate coffee. The Arizona Herbal Tonic is my drink.

What is your favorite place in Charleston? The Mount Pleasant Towne Centre.

How do you unwind or de-stress? Running and praying.

Rapid fire: 

  • morning person or night owl? morning person
  • summer or winter? summer
  • mountains or beach? beach
  • pancakes or waffles? none. I actually like oatmeal.
  • fiction or non-fiction? The Holy Bible.

Photos by Keely Laughlin Photography 

Greg Tavares performed in his first improv show in 1985 and never looked back. In 2000, he co-founded of Theatre 99, "Charleston’s Home For Improv Comedy.” He’s also the co-founder of  the Charleston Comedy Festival, The Have Nots comedy improv company, and the Piccolo Fringe Festival. Greg wrote the book Improv for Everyone in 2012 and has taught at improv theaters and festivals all over the country. He has a BFA in acting and an MFA in Directing, but still has nightmares that he never finished high school. 

Here, find out why he loves improv, what gives him creative inspiration, and the one improv technique we all need to know. And when you’re done reading, make sure to snag tickets to Greg’s #CMGame talk at The Alley on April 20th! 

What do you love most about what you do? Getting to play with my partners in scenes is so much fun. It’s like being a kid so I never have to grow up.

How did you get into your field of work? Did you always know you were going to be a actor (and theater owner AND author?!)?

I knew I wanted to be an actor when I was in high school. I discovered improv at a young age (around 15 or 16), but the big moment for me with improv was when I was 18 and took a workshop. It was just like the lights got turned on in my brain, and from that moment on, I just knew this is what I wanted to do with my life. 

How do you start your day? I get out of bed and take my six-year-old to kindergarten.

Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment. 

Professionally, I’m proud of being able to open and sustain a theatre that is dedicated to improv. I get to share improv with people in shows and classes, and make a living as an artist. Personally, my proudest moment has been becoming a father of two kids. 

What’s one improv technique everyone should know?

Saying yes to what your partner gives you. Seeing what others do as gifts, instead of something to overcome or change.

Who or what gives you creative inspiration? 

The company members at Theatre 99. They all come from different walks of life, but have found improv, fallen in love with it, and chosen to become improvisers. It reminds me of why I got into this all those years ago.

What’s your go-to coffee order? Regular drip coffee at any local bakery

What is your favorite place in Charleston? The beach when I am paddling on my stand-up paddle board. 

How do you unwind or de-stress? Binge watch Netflix.

Rapid fire: 

  • morning person or night owl? Night owl
  • summer or winter? Summer
  • mountains or beach? Beach
  • pancakes or waffles? Buttermilk Blueberry pancakes
  • fiction or non-fiction? Fiction

Last minute switches call for finding more treasure in our community of creative gems. 

Pauline Sokol Nakios will be filling in and talking about her two amazing fashion brands, Lilla P and Leo & Sage, she has created and managed for the last 20 years. Hailing from Charleston, Pauline has found COURAGE to go out on her own and succeed in the cutthroat world of fashion NYC. 

Hear from her this FRIDAY, at Charleston Library Society. 

If you ask Beth Cosi to describe her work, she’ll tell you she’s an Entrepreneur, an Inspired Nerd and a Yoga Teacher. She’s the Founder of Bendy Brewski Yoga, a genius event series that brings all-levels yoga classes to local breweries around town. Through her vinyasa-meets-beer approach, Beth has created a unique place for Charlestonians to connect and unwind. So when it came time to find a speaker for “Anxiety,” we knew Beth would be the perfect choice. 

In our Q&A below, learn more about how Beth became a yogi, how she navigates stress, and why the people around her are her greatest source of inspiration. 

What do you love most about what you do? I love meeting new people and connecting with different communities. My work has opened up my life to an incredible amount of random & various people and interesting places. I delight in the fact that the thread that connects us is courage and play! And I greatly appreciate the hard work and dreams in action of the places we practice.

How did you get into your field of work? Did you always know you were going to be a yogi? On the surface, it was my relationships with 2 men that got me into my field. I was fresh from divorce with 2 young children in a town I didn’t know and I was smitten by a young man who practiced Yoga regularly. Underneath, I had forgotten who I was and I was seeking…to heal and to find connection- to the boy, the city, my Self. I am kind of nerdy (just ask my kids! ), and I really love to learn, so I decided to apply for a 4-month Yoga Teacher Training. I have always played sports and exercised. I have always been a teacher in some capacity. But I never had designs on becoming a Yoga Teacher. I had children to support! But, it emerged and developed. And I was very good at it.

How do you start your day? Let the dog out. Stretch. Make coffee. Say a prayer. (not always in that order).  

Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment.  Well, my most surprised moment was when Lululemon Charleston came to practice at Holy City Brewery and held up placards (they had hidden under their mats) asking me to be their Ambassador.  I was so shocked, I didn’t even answer for a minute—they had to ask twice!  But, I feel the most proud and in Flow when I get an anonymous or in-person thank you for doing what I do. It’s an incredible feeling to be of help.  

Do you have a hidden talent?  I make an amazing spaghetti gravy and i have magic powers. ;)

Who or what gives you creative inspiration? Great books, inspired Yoga teachers, but mostly the people I love. I’m blessed with amazing, talented, funny and thoughtful friends who have skills- in body work, mindfulness, artistry, entrepreneurship, words.

What’s your go-to coffee order?  Island Joe’s Shark Bite, black. 

What is your favorite place in Charleston? My home. 

How do you unwind or de-stress? Through my breath. I notice the length of my exhale and then, i turn my attention to my body and listen or let go.  

Rapid fire:

  • morning person or night owl?  I’m a reformed night owl (all those years of F&B!) ..but i’ve always loved the morning
  • summer or winter? Summer for sure
  • mountains or beach? beach…i love a long view!
  • pancakes or waffles? pancakes 
  • fiction or non-fiction? both, equally

Named two of Charleston’s 50 Most Progressive in 2016, Johnny Caldwell and Taneka Reaves are the dynamic duo known as the Cocktail Bandits. The two met at the College of Charleston, and now, with their booming hospitality business and self-titled Cocktail Bandits blog, promote female empowerment through advocacy for the food and beverage community from a feminine, urban perspective. 

They’ve been long-time CreativeMornings Charleston attendees, so we’re thrilled to have them take the stage for this month’s talk on Context. Grab a libation (whether coffee or a mimosa…) and get a sneak peek at what goes on in the wonderful world of the Cocktail Bandits here: 

image

What do you love most about what you do? Working with new people.

How did you get into your field of work? We saw the growth of bars and restaurants in Charleston and wanted to be apart of the booming tourism industry. Did you always know you were going to be a blogger? No, we were asked by one of our followers to start a blog.

How do you start your day? We both like to perform mental exercises in the morning, workout, refuel, and then start work. 

Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment.  Successful collaborations with other liked minded creatives; local and international. It was incredible to have two of our cocktails featured in ESSENCE magazine, and we also had the opportunity to work with Andrew Zimmern of the Food Network show ‘Bizarre Food.’

image

Do you have a hidden talent? Taneka plays instruments. Johnny is a seamstress.

Who or what gives you creative inspiration? Taneka is inspired by other creatives. Johnny is inspired by high-end luxury brands.

What’s your go-to coffee order? Taneka - non-caffeinated latte, Johnny - Americano with brown sugar and almond milk.

What is your favorite place in Charleston? Taneka loves Hampton Park. Johnny - any Charleston marsh

image

How do you unwind or de-stress? Taneka de-stresses with bike riding and/or dancing, and Johnny unwinds with gardening. 

Rapid fire: 

  • Morning people or night owls? Night owls
  • Summer or winter? Summer
  • Mountains or beach? Beaches
  • Pancakes or waffles? Waffles
  • Fiction or non-fiction? Non-fiction

Learn more about the Cocktail Bandits and their journey in the hospitality business on December 15, 8:00am at Charleston Distilling Co.! 

You’ve probably seen J. Stark’s handmade bags on shoulders and in shop windows around downtown Charleston. Our November speaker, Erik Holmberg, founded the company in 2014 and has recently expanded the line of leather goods and everyday carry products into a brick-and-mortar retail space and workshop on Coming Street. But beyond its day-to-day function, Erik and his partner Jess are using the shop as a place to build community, drive creative conversations, and support other local and American made brands. 

In our Q&A below, learn more about why Erik launched J. Stark, what inspires him, and where this Morning Person gets his coffee fix. 

What do you love most about what you do? 

Everything! Mostly the ability to wake up every day and make something with my hands and put it out into the world.

How did you get into your field of work? Did you always know you were going to be a maker?
I wanted desperately to leave the world of cubicles and sitting behind a computer screen all day. I started working with leather and sewing and I found it and it found me.

How do you start your day?
Alternating days between heading to Exemplar Fitness to work out and walking the dog around Avondale.

Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment.
My proudest moments are when we’re able to create a new job that didn’t exist before and when my friends have successes in chasing their dreams.

Do you have a hidden talent? I’m a really good listener.

Who or what gives you creative inspiration?
I’m inspired by shoe design, colors, and vintage military gear.

What’s your go-to coffee order?
Black Tap coffee, black.

What is your favorite place in Charleston?
The J. Stark shop!

How do you unwind or destress? Walk on the beach with my dog and my lady. Listen to jazz.

Rapid fire:

  • Morning person or night owl? Morning Person
  • Summer or winter? Summer
  • Mountains or beach? Tough Call – Beach
  • Pancakes or waffles? Chocolate Pancakes
  • Fiction or non-fiction? Non-Fiction (Biography)

Wednesday, November 8   |   6 - 8p

Happy Hour at Edmund’s Oast Brewing

+ Benefit Night

Just can’t wait until November 17th to get your CreativeMornings kick?
CreativeMornings Charleston and Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co. are teaming up to bring even more opportunities to connect with creatives in Charleston!  Join us THIS Wednesday from 6-8pm for a Charity Happy Hour at Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co. They’re graciously donating 25% of the proceeds from THE ENTIRE DAY to support #CMCHS. In addition to delicious brews & food, we’ve cooked up some fun games to make Wednesday the new Friday. ENJOY:
-Cornhole Competition: Up to 8 people can compete to win prizes! Competitors earn automatic spots on the list for this month’s talk. REPLY to this email to enter the competition, or slide into our DM’s
-Lumos Booth Movember Contest: Slap on a fake ‘stache (or grow your own…), snap a gif, and win Mo’ prizes
-Live Music
-Oh, and BEERPS: proceeds benefit CMCHS all day (11am-10pm), so why not spend the whole day at EO? As always, everyone is creative and everyone is welcome, so please invite a friend, a neighbor, a coworker, etc. The more the merrier…High fives!

We had the pleasure to sit with this incredible, local, entrepreneur on the go and grill him about what makes him tick. Juggling projects and launching Holy Spokes bike sharing program keeps a guy like Sean quite busy. Here’s what he had to say.

CM: What do you love most about what you do?
S: Our team for sure!  I have the privilege to work with a group that truly cares about what we are building and that energy is contagious


CM: How did you get into your field of work?
S: Did you always know you were going to be an entrepreneur? I was raised by two amazing entrepreneurs, even though they didn’t call themselves that back then.  As a result, I had a passion for creating at a very young age.


CM: How do you start your day?
S: I shoot to wake up by 5:30am and work out 6-7am.  And A LOT of coffee!

CM: Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment.
S: Personally: Birth of my two boys / Professionally: Dec 9th when we completed our mergerCM: Do you have a hidden talent?
S: I can make a mean breakfast and have one solid go to magic trick

CM: Who or what gives you creative inspiration?
S: My wife Jacklyn.  She is insanely creative, but the conversations we have about ideas at a very early stage are what have led to the best ideas I have had.CM: What’s your go-to coffee order?
S: Giant Cold Brew w a splash of creamCM: What is your favorite place in Charleston?
S: The Battery: Every time I walk or ride a Holy Spokes Bike past it, I’m blown away.CM: How do you unwind or destress?
S: Hanging out with my wife and two boys is the best destress.  I wouldn’t use the word relaxing, but a ton of fun.CM: Rapid fire: morning person or night owl?
S: Strangely, both.
summer or winter?
S: Winter
mountains or beach?
S: Beach
pancakes or waffles?
S: Waffles
fiction or non-fiction?
S: I would love to lie and say I’m this huge reader, but that isn’t the case.  When I do, non-fiction.

more