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Business Basics: My #1 Contract Source (and Why I love it!)

Running a business can be super fun, but sometimes working out all the little details can be a bit of a struggle. But it totally doesn’t have to be!

Let me introduce you to to my all new Business Basics blog series. (It’s free which is what all budding business owners like you love.) Every month I will discuss a process, resource or tool that has helped me build my business. So, essentially you get to learn from all my trials, errors and hair pulling out and skip to the pretty part where processes and tools are ready to use and extremely useful.

To kick of things off this month I am going to share all about my #1 resource for all things legal, The Contract Shop.

There is just one little item of business before we get started…

I use affiliate links in some of my posts and this is one of them. What does this mean? Well it doesn’t mean much for you (but I like to be an open book!) It does mean if you purchase something through the links in this post, I will get an incentive from the company AND it doesn’t cost you a dime! That being said, I would never suggest something haven’t tried or don’t use myself.

person in purple shirt planning their schedule and holding a white pen with the words, "Do your business a favor...and check out my #1 contract resource!"

Next to your kick-ass creative skills, the most important part of your business is your contracts and terms & conditions. Having solid (and easy to read) legal documents that your customers (and you) can understand will give you the ease of mind you need to focus on other parts of you business.

what i love most

a breeze to read

Christina, the mastermind behind The Contract Shop (you can read more about her here,) is great about wording all the legal mumbo jumbo in a way that is easy to take in. You will be amazed at how easy it is to read (and understand) the contracts. Not only is the whole thing in normal language, but Christina even includes examples of complex scenarios to help your clients and you fully understand what can happen.

easy to edit

Each template is super easy to edit. You get a PDF and a Word document that is ready to fine tune to your needs. Editing is super easy because every section you need to edit is highlighted. Plus, with the help of find & replace you can update your business information in a snap. It took me maybe 30 minutes to personalize the custom stationery contract template and terms & conditions and only like 10 minutes for the print release. That’s way quicker (and way more fool proof) than piecing together something to pull you through.

something for everyone

There are so many different template options available and there are options for all sorts of creative businesses. Christina also offers workbooks and courses to help you start your business on the right (legal) foot.

carefully curated bundles

If you are blooming creative and are new to your niche, it can be hard to know exactly what you need in your legal toolbox. Christina has created curated bundles to help you know which items are best for you (and save you some moolah, which we all know is tight in the beginning!) Check them out, they are super awesome!

if your wondering if it’s worth the investment…

abso-effing-lutely!

When I first started out, I pieced together contracts from what I could find on the internet to “just get by”. But here is what I found, I was always nervous that my contract didn’t protect my client or me in the case things didn’t pan out!

Things like:

  • if I didn’t get all the required information by the due date and it caused a delay, what happens?
  • what if there is a late payment (or non-existent) payment? How does it get resolved?
  • what if something happens unexpectedly that makes it so I can’t finish the order? How do we cancel?

Christina has been there done that, so she has included all of these examples and more in each and every contract. There were several places where I thought, “Wow, I never thought of that. Sooo glad she put that in there!”

Desk with a pink mug of tea, pink and white flowers in a white vase, raspberry macarons in a bowl sitting on a white fabric napkin, notepads, pencils and paperclips scattered around.  At the bottom of the image are the words, "My #1 Contract Resource (and why)" followed by a yellow banner with, "beautybrightdesign.com" in navy blue.

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Next to your kick-ass creative skills, the most important part of your business is your contracts and terms & conditions. Having solid (and easy to read) legal documents that your customers (and you) can understand will give you the ease of mind you need to focus on other parts of you business. So check out my #1 contract resource and give yourself the peace of mind you deserve!

Is DIY right for me?

After about 4.2 seconds on Pinterest, even the least creative person in this galaxy will want to try a DIY project. I mean those pins make everything look so effortless and simple. Now, I am pretty savvy at DIY and I still have had an epic #pinterestfail (or twenty).

A huge trend I am seeing is that couples want to DIY their stationery for their wedding. Now, I will be the first person to support them in that endeavor if they are experienced DIY-ers. If they aren’t, I really try and encourage the couple to re-think their DIY hopes and dreams and walk them through how much it would cost if it were to end in #DIYdisaster.

So before going off and getting your heart set on rocking a DIY stationery suite for your next event, let’s talk about whether or not this is your thing and if so, what tasks are best for you and won’t make your head explode. (We don’t need anyone slinging paper throwing stars!)

quiz time!

Ok, let’s be real, not everyone is cut out for the DIY life and that is completely ok!

I mean if you find macaroni art perplexing….then this may not be the time to experiment with your DIY prowess. So, if you are thinking about creating your own stationery suite go ahead and take my “cosmo” style quiz. (Click on the image to download the PDF version of the quiz!)

if most of your answers were, “what’s this?”…

If you read through those questions and didn’t feel confident about any of them, then set down the DIY supplies and just walk away.

Stepping away from the DIY, doesn’t mean you can’t save money by helping out. You can still absolutely cut costs by assembling (stuffing) your own stationery, or maybe if you have really nice handwriting (and don’t mind a hand cramp or two,) you could hand address your envelopes. I have a post that walks you through how to addresses your invitations here.

The best advice I can give you is to start researching different designers and styles to see what best fits your event’s vibe. Before committing to a specific designer, be sure to reach out to them and discuss your vision. Picking a designer is like dating, you really need them to understand you for it to all be happily ever after.

Here are a few of my favorite stationery designers (besides me of course! 😝)

Watercolor Stationery Suites

I absolutely love Cami Monet’s Custom Suites! She has some pretty epic custom watercolor maps and can even incorporate your fur-babies!

Calligraphy Stationery Suites

For custom calligraphy stationery suites, ElisaAnne Calligraphy is the way to go. (Her watercolors are awesome too!)

Need help figuring out a way to compare designers, check out my post about questions to ask your stationer.

if most of your answers were, “i guess”…

If you read through the questions and know you 100% can do at least some of the things I talked about in the previous section, then you can totally sprinkle in some DIY tasks. Just remember to play to your strengths to avoid getting overwhelmed.

Are you really design savvy?

Then create a beautiful color palette that is totally you to give to your designer. They can take that palette and run with it to create an out of this world suite that will wow your guests.

Are you computer savvy?

Well, if you have received enough wedding invitations in the past to know what (and what not) to include, then go ahead and design your own epic stationery suite.

If you are a cricut or silhouette pro don’t forget to brain storm about all the different shapes you can create to make your suite one of a kind.

Printing from will be easy peasy for a computer savvy person like yourself. So be adventurous with your paper for an extra pop of WOW! Just remember that (home) printers don’t print white, so be sure to take that into consideration before picking your favorite dark color.

Here are some of my favorite papers to get you started…
Stardream

Neenah Stardream is a metallic or shimmery paper. It is nice and heavy which is perfect for invitation suites. There are a bunch of colors to choose from and has a bunch of size options. They even have envelopes!

Plike

Another favorite from Neenah, Plike is a smooth touch paper that feels almost a velvety. The only downside is the color selection is limited to nine paper colors and only three envelope colors.

Make Way…DIY Pro Walking Through!!!

If you felt confident about pretty much everything, you may be on the wrong career path! 🤣🤣🤣 JK!

Ok, but for real…

With your wealth of knowledge and expertise, you can create an epic one-of-a-kind stationery suite that will sweep you guests off their feet!

so…which one are you?

Be sure to share your results on Instagram with the hashtag #bbdquiz or you can tag me @beautybrightdesign. You can even use one of these graphics for your IG story!

Just remember that overwhelming yourself with too many DIY tasks for your event has the potential to end in disaster. It’s definitely worth it to take a self-assessment of how much you have bitten off and seeing if you can chew.

As your guide to the land of stationery, I am always here to help you if you just don’t know which direction to go. Be sure to comment below with any questions you have!

Woman standing holding a present with words saying how much diy life is too much for me.

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New blog posts are rolling out every weeks with tips, tricks and freebies! I talk about everything from party planning and stationery inspiration to free printables and business know-how.

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Snarkastic | Elegant Wood Grain Wedding Stationery for the Sarcastic Couple
Watercolor Painting of Green Beer with saying "drink me, i'm irish."

Behind the Design: Snarktastic | Elegant Wood-Grain Stationery Suite for the Sarcastic Couple

I am super excited about today’s post because this is by far one of my favorite designs. Featuring soft colors and beautiful fonts it is elegant at first glance and then, chocked full of sarcasm. This beautiful wood-grain stationery suite that would make even make Joanna Gaines swoon ( at least I hope it wood! haha…see what I did there!)

Elegant Cool Grey Wood Grain Invitation and RSVP with Save Envelopes featuring calligraphy

hello wood-grain!

When I order paper samples I always try to pick a bunch of new finishes and colors so that I can get a feel for the weight, print ability and actual in-person color. When you are a stationery nerd🤓 (like moi) shopping for paper appears more like my son going down the toy isles in target than an adult looking for paper. There are just so many choices and I want it all!

First of all, I am huge fixer-upper and Joanna Gaines fan (my life needs more #shiplap!) So while on one of my digital shopping sprees, I noticed that Neenah actually offers a Woodgrain finish for their Classic Crest Line. And let’s be real , the only thing better than ship-lap is this friggin’ paper, or at least in this paper passionate princess’s opinion.

I absolutely 💛 the color grey (like the entire interior of my house is painted grey) so when I saw that Neenah offered their wood-grain paper in grey I totally had to scoop that baby up! So it hopped right into my shopping cart.

Grey Wood-Grain Invitation with Black Calligraphy Styled Font

sometimes simple is best

Not all papers are good for bold, busy designs and for me, this paper definitely fell in to that category. It needed something simple to help make the wood-grain detail become the main statement, so I stuck to the basics and paired it with an elegant black calligraphy style font.

Yes, you read correctly. It’s a font, and a gorgeous one at that!!!

Menu on Woodgrain Paper

light and airy envelopes

I didn’t want to detract from the wood-grain with a bold envelope choice, so I chose the Gmund beauty (featured below) in Sage. The grey/green combo really works together to make this suite a statement of beauty. Being far more elegant than their square counterparts (at least in my opinion) , I opted to use the euro (“pointy” for you stationery newbies) flaps. I find they look quite a bit more elegant than their square counter parts. To keep the wood-grain paper the main focus, I chose not to include an envelope liners.

Wood-grain Stationery Suite full of sarcasm

as full of sarcasm as me

If you have read any of my blog posts in the past, then you may have picked up that I am full of sarcasm as well as super passionate about incorporating personality into your stationery. I really wanted to showcase those two things with this design therefore, the stationery features some very blunt and super sarcastic wordings that really crack me up!

Check out these beauties!

invitation

Invitaiton on Wood-grain paper
“Joshua and Erin want you to be at their wedding, because you’re awesome.
So be there…”

website information

Sarcastic Wedding Website Information on Wood-grain paper
“We have a website and it’s kinda cool…”

program

Program on Wood-Grain Paper
“First we’ll seat our family, Then our entourage arrives
Josh walks in, Erin walks in, we say our super mushy vows
we smooch and then we’ll all party”
Grey Wood-Grain Paper with Sarcastic Calligraphy Styled Font
Sarcastic and Blunt Wood-Grain Stationery Suite

If you are dying to get your hands on this bad boy, then I have some good news for you! This design is now available for purchase in my shop.

ORDER THIS SNARKY AND SOPHISTICATED SUITE RIGHT NOW
Snarkastic | Elegant Wood Grain Wedding Stationery for the Sarcastic Couple

Well what do you think of this unlikely combo? Share your thoughts below!

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Forget tradition and bring on the sass! This invitation suite is in a class of it's own with wood grain paper and flowing calligraphy, but check it out closely...because, oh my lanta, is it snarky as h-e-double hockey sticks!