You may recognise the work of Nathalie Rivet - she's the woman behind Imprintables. I've featured her "thank you" notes a few times on the blog. They're just so darn cute. Since then I've spoken to her a few times and love her passion for stationery and creating children's parties that AREN'T all about the money. And as she says so well, "In the age of emails, how unique is it to receive a thank you card, note or playdate invitation in the mail? It reconnects us to our thoughts. Words handwritten on a card or note are so much more powerful than an email, and the act of receiving this gesture is cherished."

How and why did you start Imprintables? I am a stay at home mum with two little ones and needed a creative outlet. Working as a graphic designer in the hospitality, events and marketing industry I enjoyed the conceptual work but missed the hands-on approach and thought this would be the perfect way to combine two elements of what I love to do. Also, I have always loved parties and the whole process of planning a party. My invitations are concepts for parties. When I design an invitation I’m visualising how the party will look, what games could be played and which colours will work, how a theme can be carried through.
What has been the response? I have received many compliments thanking me for creating beautiful, simple graphics for children. Imprintables is only two years old and I initially approached retail stores with many rejections as they felt the graphics were not bright and colourful enough. Fortunately I was lucky to meet Louise from Amity Child in Dural, NSW, and the super-stylish Natasha from Spoilt Rotten in Northbridge, NSW, who are supporters of my work. I now have a wonderful base of customers who are grateful and appreciative of my work.
How is having your own business different to what you expected? Having your own business gives you immeasurable satisfaction, is rewarding, and being able to create work that you love and meet so many fantastic people is fabulous. On the other end of the spectrum I’m not particularly good with managing my time, I sometimes feel the work and ideas consume me and have been known to wake up in the middle of the night with a brilliant party idea and commence design at 2am because I cannot return to sleep until I have created a rough sketch.
What has been a highlight? Opening my very first retail arm at the beautiful Amity Child in Dural. I think to actually see the product and envisage how the party will coordinate with napkins, party bags etc really makes a difference. I can also create one-off pieces, stationery and soon-to-be–released personalised stamps.
Where do you look to for inspiration? My father invented fantastic games to keep us entertained. A favourite was the simple cardboard box which transformed into a toboggan when sliding down a hill and the grand finale would be the water balloon fight. My mother would always make me a new dress to wear and bake a beautiful cake. I love the way they made an effort to please my guests and made sure everyone was well fed and left with a smile on their face. The main aim was to always have FUN! I look back at the photos and remember how I loved my new outfit - how grown-up I felt, being surrounded by my favourite friends who were here to enjoy this special day with me. These memories are re-told again through each invitation.
What's the best lesson you've learnt so far? To always look for opportunities. When I first commenced most retailers did not like my creative style. I then decided to start selling my range at a market to determine directly if mothers were interested in my work and fortunately my instincts were correct.
If you could meet one person, living or dead, who would it be? My grandmother is nearing 100 years old and I would love to have all the family reunite for a party [of course!] and so I am able to be introduced to relatives I have yet to meet. My father is the 11th child of his family, which means it would be one very large affair!
What are you looking forward to? We are having a family holiday in Fiji and I am looking forward to some R&R, although I’m not sure if that’s possible with a 3 and a 4 year old!
What are you reading? I’m planning to read Isabel Allende's
Portrait in Sepia. I love South American writers: they are natural story tellers and have a spiritual connection with people and their land. As described by Rachel Orvino, Isabel Allende “ is full of beautiful imagery and language so delicately crafted that reading the book is like being swept into the tangle of a spider webs: gossamer soft, yet enthralling”. And I would like to finish Blubberland – the dangers of happiness by Elizabeth Farrelly. I would like to consume less "things" but need to understand why I find it so hard too.

Images courtesy of Imprintables.