Did you know that a single custom invitation design can involve up to 15 or more separate creative partners? The paper, the envelopes, the liner, the acrylic or the chrome or the metal, the printing, the printer plates, the dies, the beveling, the ink, the laser cutting, the embellishments, the calligraphy, the stamps...all coming from separate people and places. Each a specialty, each located across the US (and around the world), each taking from 1-4 weeks to provide or produce. And honestly, this is a short list.
What about the special adhesive? What about the quadruple mounting? What about the custom made-to-order never-been-done-before item? What about the Swarovski crystals? What about the fabric? What about the custom illustration? What about all the "extras"...
We have sourced sea shells, coffee beans, faux grass, bow ties, miniature guitars, elephants, felt, masks, tequila, vodka, tiny cable knit sweaters, miniature foam fingers, terry cloth diapers, lanyards, rebozos, wine, jewelry, wallpaper, glass beads, brass keys, pillows, tassels and so much more.
So, in a given week, about 100 things can go haywire. They sent the wrong paper, the silk from Thailand is hung up in customs, the crystals are on backorder, the weather delayed delivery, someone's invitation got lost in the mail, the ink doesn't stick to the cool new substrate you sourced, the client spelled the guest of honor's name wrong (and didn't catch it) and so it goes.
This is why we only focus on solutions, not problems. When so many points of failure are possible for a single custom design, there is no time to panic or lose your cool. Just fix it. Put out the fire and keep calm. When you have a solution-centric mindset, you create an environment where mistakes are okay, you are ready for anything and innovation rules the day. Most days I double as a designer and a firefighter. -CT