In 2009, Lauren Chism was an accountant who decided to design her own wedding invitations.
“I still to this day don’t know why I thought I could do this, but it changed the course of my life,” the Lake Highland resident says.
Now an award-winning card designer, Chism does what she loves as her profession.
“I fell in love with stationary and design and spent every minute that I wasn’t at my day job, immersing myself in that world,” she says. “I quickly discovered Minted, which had just launched in 2008 and I began entering Minted challenges while simultaneously taking on clients until I was running my own studio full time.”
Minted is an online community of independent artists and designers. The company hosts design contests for artists around the world, and then the website sells the winning designs directly to the customers.
“I was able to transition away from the more time-consuming client work to exclusively designing for online retailers where I make a commission on sales but am not involved in the production process,” Chism says. “This allows me the flexibility to be a mother and a designer, while being happy and fulfilled in both of those roles.”
Chism's Inlay card was voted a winner in a design challenge that garnered about 2.5 million total votes.
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“I have a less-is-more approach to design with a focus on typography," Chism says. "I also lean towards a more classic aesthetic and take pride in creating something timeless that still resonates with customers for many years. While some might consider my design style simple, the process and time that leads to my final design couldn’t be farther from that.
“While some designers start by putting pen to paper, I start with a computer, a blank art board and an idea of some sort – a specific font, some clever copy or an idea I think is missing from the market."
Chism is excited to see where her passion for design will take her, even if the longevity of the stationary industry in a digital world isn't forever.
“As for myself, I know there will be seasons where designing might not be as big of a priority, but I will always have a passion for creating beautiful designs, however that manifests itself,” Chism says. “I feel incredibly fortunate to have found work that I love so much and a company that allows me to have the career of my dreams.”