Darlings- meet the amazingly talented creator and owner of Twinkle and Toast, Taryn Sutherland Gross. Twinkle and Toast is a calligraphy and design studio specializing in wedding invitation and paper goods. We love her creativity and her attention to the details!
Q: Give us your best "15-second" elevator pitch" on who you are!
A: I’m a calligrapher and stationer, focusing on custom, meaningful wedding invitations with artful details and fine printing. I’m completely passionate about the wedding industry and crazy about my rad clients (who I have a hard time letting go of). I’m a hustler, a wife, a mom and a serious morning person with an above-average love for Lady Gaga.
Q: Where did the idea for Twinkle and Toast come from?
A: I always hoped to be an artist when I “grew up”, and I was fortunate to find the wedding industry to allow me to live out those dreams. Many years ago I assisted with a wedding planning company, which allowed me to learn about different aspects of the industry, and calligraphy was a perfect fit for me with my arts and painting background. I started my business years ago as a side hustle, which eventually lead to me pursue it completely full time. My specialties slowly evolved over the years, and I am always open to more evolving and growing.
Q: Your company specializes in calligraphy and printed goods for weddings and special events! How do you find ways to stay creative in an industry that is always coming up with the next big idea?
A: When designing an invitation suite, I don’t want to just look to other paper goods we’ve seen. I’ll ask brides to share photos of the venue, something from their own home or personal fashion style, or see what kind of mood we want to express. I try not to be inspired by other invitations because not only do I not want to copy someone else’s work, I want to try to do something we haven’t seen before. Inspiration for paper from non-paper items is key for me!
Q: You're attending a party/event. What small details do you seem to notice first? Besides the signage of course ;)
A: Of course I’ll notice the paper pieces since I’m a big paper nerd, but I love food so a yummy dinner makes me happy! I’m also one to get down on the dance floor, and I can’t live without some killer tunes.
Q: Best advice you've received in regards to starting and owning your own business.
A: If you can’t do it, if you don’t have time for it… outsource and delegate! Whether it’s admin work, bookkeeping, blogging, Instagram posting, deliveries, or anything else, know when you’ve reached your limit and don’t make yourself take it all on. You’ll waste time and energy on something someone else can probably do better and faster. I’ll also add that don’t even think you have it all down- there is always something to learn and try to have a “perpetual student” mindset.
Q: Is there anything you wish you knew before you started your own business or would do different now?
A: You think you’re going to be your own boss when you start a business, but that’s far from true. I’ll have about 20 “bosses” for projects at any given time from various clients, vendors, etc. I’m working on. It’s important to find the balance of busting your butt to get everything perfect and completed, but also setting boundaries and having personal time. Always a work in progress, but it’s all so worth it.
Q: What are some tools you've used to grow your business and following?
A: Most of my brides and vendors find me on Instagram, which I love! Because of that, I try to put a lot of energy into posting, interacting, communicating and providing quality content here. Maybe that means I let blog-posting slip (oops) but I’ll stick with what works. I also use Honeybook which has been huge for my lead management, proposals and invoicing.
Q: Ribbon or glitter?
A: I’ve been known to often leave unwelcomed glitter in places (#sorrynotsorry)
Q: Neutrals or Bright colors?
A: I try to be a grown up and go with neutrals when I can, but my heart can stray away too far from color.
Q: Chocolate or vanilla?
A: No question, chocolate.
Q: Beach or mountains?
A: This San Diego native prefers the beach!
Q: Going out to dinner or staying in?
A: No shame in my staying in game, I’ll have to admit (I’m not a night person)!