Vendors We Love: Better Together Paper Co.

Vendors We Love: Better Together Paper Co.

June 18, 2019

You may have noticed Better Together Paper Co. popping up frequently on our website and social media. Founded by the incredibly talented, Nicole Wakeley, we love to pair up and make our stationery dreams become reality. (Follow our adventures via #betterpressedtogether). 

We bring to you a conversation with Nicole - so you can get to know her a bit better too.

What do you do and where are you from?

I am the owner and designer of Better Together Paper Co. - a design studio that specialises in bespoke wedding stationery and calligraphy. We are located on the Central Coast, NSW.

How did you get to where you are today?

I had always known I wanted to end up in the wedding industry but wasn’t 100% sure about what aspect. After design school, I spent a couple of months working on my portfolio and doing a lot of free work for friends - which included wedding invitations. 

Later, I applied for my dream job as a wedding stationery designer at The Distillery and this role changed my career. I was introduced to the world of Letterpress and I was constantly learning how to better my art, including illustration, lettering, typography, the list goes on.

Three years later, at the end of 2015, I felt like it was time to move on to something new. I wanted to go out on my own and started Better Together Paper Co. full time on the Central Coast. I’ve always lived on the Coast and no one was offering modern design (in my opinion), diverse printing techniques or calligraphy in the area - so I wanted to fill that void.
About a year into my solo venture, I found Alex at Terrace Press and she’s been essential in my ability to offer the best printing production and service to my clients.
What inspires you every day?
I love working directly with my clients to find out about them and their story. I want to inject as much of their personality into their stationery as possible because that’s the point of working with a designer instead of just ordering a generic product online. Every time I speak to a new couple, I am inspired by their love for each other and their guests, to create something truly unique that gets everyone excited for the big day!

Tell us a little about your workspace.

I work from my home studio on the Central Coast and as I type this, I’m enjoying my view of a lush paddock filled with horses, sheep and my favourite new addition - a llama! When we bought our home two years ago, I had a custom, room-length desk and shelving system installed to create an effective studio space where I could design, create, package and meet with clients.

I can’t work in there when it’s messy, so usually once a week it gets a good tidy up, and once every couple of months, the cupboards of samples and supplies gets a good “Marie Kondo-ing”. The best part about working from home though: my dog is with me all day. I can’t complain.
What is your creative process?
I love to meet with my clients in person, but if that’s not possible, over Skype works too! I want to hear everything about them and their vision for their wedding. After our meeting, I’ll put together a custom quote and we will get started creating! I’ll research their venue and other vendors.
My creation is the first thing guests see so I want to make sure it represents the big day (that’s also why I think stationery is one of the most important investments in the wedding budget). I’ll then start painting, illustrating, lettering and designing. I’ll then work closely with the couple to refine the design and make sure it’s exactly what they want!
What trends are you loving right now?
I’m loving how adventurous people are getting with colour. We can use ink, paper stocks, envelopes, liners, wax seals, stickers - so many options to bring a bold colour palette to life!
I’m also a big fan of minimalist design which couples are leaning towards more and more. We can still incorporate a touch of hand-lettering and illustration, but with more room to breath with white space in the design.
What does a normal day at work look like for you?
I get into the studio around 10 am and check my emails. I’ve been trying to implement better email practices so I’m not constantly checking and answering, but dedicating certain time to emails at the beginning and end of the day. I then work through my to-do list (written the night before) and usually get distracted by the dog wanting to go for a walk, having to go to the post office or visit my awesome printer to pick up client work!
Other days included meeting with clients in person on over the phone, packaging up jobs (including assembly with wax seals) and calligraphy for place cards or envelopes! Some jobs are more fun than others, but there’s usually a good balance!
Which other designers are loving at the moment?
Florist and insanely talented stylist - @carlfritzberg
Colour and lettering inspiration - @haveanicedayy_
Fave artist - @jensievers_art
Cute cat, perfect styling and all-round good content – @punodostres
Do you have any other creative outlets?
I recently completed a web design course and I’m loving this type of work. It’s completely different from print and wedding work, which stretches my design skills and helps open my mind to different ways to approach things. It’s great to have the two types of work to keep me interested and excited!
What food or drink gets you through each day?
Green tea – I probably refill my mug about 8 times a day.
(Imagery supplied)