Tell us about your upcoming collections. The upcoming collections are very close to my heart as they were directly inspired by my current life. My boyfriend of 7 years proposed last January....which means I have been planning a wedding for almost a year now ;) the newest collections include Engaged at Last which is geared specifically towards the planning process. I found it hard to find scrappy supplies for things like food tasting, appointments, dress shopping and bridesmaid fun like wedding showers and bachelor/ette parties! Naturally, the second collection followed, Love & Marriage. This collection is a wedding collection, featuring everything about the actual wedding day! And finally, the honeymoon inspired vacation collection, Sand & Surf.
In addition to these three paper collections, I've designed some awesome new Freestyle Sophisticates that are great everyday basics, hand drawn by yours truly :) Crochet Hearts are to die for and the new feathers are getting a lot of attention already from press and designers alike :)
Where do you look for inspiration? The inspiration for the Engaged at Last and Wedding collections came naturally as I have been searching web sites, bridal magazines, color trends, wedding blogs and Pinterest for the latest and greatest in wedding events!
Once you have a concept for a collection, what is the design process like? The design process, for me personally at Bella Blvd, usually follows the same suit: first, I must be inspired by a theme or idea (ie. wedding), then I gather plenty of inspiration in that theme and form a color palette based off my narrowed down mood board. After the color palette is decided it's all about prints, patterns and illustrations. I draw the majority of the elements within a collection. It's one of my favorite parts of the process.
How do you decide on the name for a line? I make a list. Then google to make sure no one owns a copyright. And I pick my favorite! How do you name the papers? The papers are always a lot of fun to name. It's one of those little details that creative people and designers alike really appreciate. I poll the DT team or my Bella Blvd staff, but sometimes when I hear a name suggestion I "just know that's it!" This time around I personally named a lot of the wedding papers with details about my wedding (ie. Turner Hall Ballroom patterned is the chevron stripe. This is the name of my reception venue. My florist has also been given credit in a paper name this CHA, and an ode to my new last name "Smokovich" is a long-time family knickname, Smokey. Hence, the patterned paper "Smokeys in Love" was born!
What is the most rewarding part of developing a collection? What is the most challenging? This is really hard to answer, because there are so many rewarding parts. Seeing the first round of samples arrive is amazing. But then seeing the first round of Design Team layouts is even cooler. The DT often plays with the product before I get too (since I still scrapbook :) and so it's so fun to see how they take my products and play with them!
I would definitely say the most challenging part of the developing process is trying to be original. Because the industry is very secretive, you never quite know what everyone else is working on, and you have to hope and have confidence that your idea is original and unique. At the end of the day, all art of any sort is subjective. So there is always the fear, "will everyone love this as much as I do?"
What is your favorite piece from your new releases? LOL. I hate this question because it's not fair :) It's like choosing your favorite children. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the feathers. They are fluffy and pretty and I just want to lay in them. I also LOVE the color palette in general of the Love & Marriage collection. I think it's so versatile for just about every wedding....my hope is that no one feels limited.