This post is in partnership with Susan Atkins Style + Design. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Espresso Edition.
Now that we’re less than three weeks away from the wedding, I’d like to introduce you to one of our incredible vendors – the maker of our wedding signs!
I was introduced to Susan of Susan Atkins Style + Design shortly after I began the wedding planning process. We met over afternoon coffee and connected immediately, as she’s a bride-to-be herself, and a creative like me! She’s incredibly talented, and her artistic style perfectly aligned with my wedding vision. Of course, I’ll be sharing the stunning signs she created for my big day during the wedding wrap-ups in just a few weeks. For now, here’s a sneak peek of her work, and a fun interview I held with her.
Read on to learn a little more about Susan and her work:
Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m Susan, owner of Susan Atkins Style + Design. I’m a Richmond native and live with my fiancé and a few house plants just steps from the James River. I attended college in West Virginia (Go Mountaineers!) where I studied Nutrition. Then, I made my way to the Hampton Roads area of Virginia for ~5 years to attend pharmacy school + get my professional career started. I love creating and working with my hands, despite choosing a very left-brained career!
How did Susan Atkins Style + Design get started?
This right-brained business sort of started because of my day job – I needed a creative outlet! Last summer, I broke my left ankle (broke my right when I was 16) and was confined to the couch for several weeks. Prior to, I had signed up for a hand-lettering workshop and was determined I wasn’t going to miss it! My oh-so-patient fiancé got me out the door, in the car, and into the workshop. Don’t worry, he came back and picked me up!
Fast forward a few weeks – a friend of mine was getting married and needed some wedding signage completed and asked if I would do it. No pressure or anything?! So I did! The rest is kind of history. I helped another friend for her wedding a few months later, and from that, this small business was born.
I know you’re also a pharmacist, and you’re getting married soon! How do you make time for it all?
Time management + an understanding and patient fiancé, family members, and friends! The thing is, you don’t necessarily make time for it all, but you make time for what’s important that day or week and take things one day at a time. Being a pharmacist is exactly that. For example, these prescription orders are due in the next 15 minutes to an hour, but those aren’t due until tomorrow – placing energy and efforts towards things that matter right now versus tomorrow will provide the best outcomes and experiences for everyone. Same is true for my small business! Being a planner, having a Type-A personality, and setting realistic expectations is also key! I look at things big picture (six months out) and month-of to see how I can best allocate time for my loved ones, my own wedding, and client projects. You’re human – you can only do what you can do!
What are your favorite products to create?
I love designing and creating things that are personal and meaningful, not just something that is functional for the day of an event.
In the Spring, I created a sign for a couple that had late night pizza delivered to their wedding reception. Pizza is a mutual love for them and something very meaningful to their relationship as a couple. Fun fact – they chose to display it in their kitchen after the wedding!
This summer, I designed several travel-themed baby shower signs for a mama-to-be (at the request of the grandmother). The mama-to-be loved them so much that she removed some of the menu lettering and asked that I make personalized touches for the signs so that they could display many of them in the nursery.
I love knowing things I have created are being preserved and used again, even if only for a small chapter of life!
What’s the coolest thing you’ve done so far with your business?
I’ve unintentionally fallen into branding for events and specialized items for a few local businesses. Gifted is a wonderful small business that specializes in locally-curated gifts that are ready for delivery. I have provided branding logos for Gifted and for one of their clients’ corporate gift boxes, The Graduate Hotel. Recently, I have partnered with Rebelle Con, a group focused on lifestyle design for entrepreneurial women. Their fall weekend workshops are coming up in November and I’m excited to create various items for their inspirational weekend!
Time for a little rapid-fire questionnaire:
Favorite pizza topping?
I have two favorite combos! Pepperoni and banana peppers OR sausage and mushroom. But the real MVP – the pepperoni roll! No tailgate is complete without them!
Never leave home without …?
My crossbody leather bag … which usually has a tape measure inside. Never know when I’ll need it, but I’m ALWAYS glad when I have it.
My perfect day is dreary, maybe a light rain, and a max temperature of 55°F. Needless to say, this carries over into my vacation dreams also. I love charm. My destination and accommodations must have loads of charm! I’d say the English countryside, France, Ireland, or Prague – I’d be entirely satisfied with any of those. Think, The Holiday (with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet) – that stone cottage, c’mon?!
I won’t share my recent honeymoon revelation but rest-assured it satisfies everything I listed above!
Best coffee place in Richmond?
I love Sugar + Twine like any good Richmonder but Café Zata has one of the best lattes in Richmond, in my honest opinion. A toffee nut or coconut latte is my go-to treat. Also, their blueberry cake donuts made in house – dead.