When selecting handkerchiefs for the bridal party, do most brides order a matching set, or is it more common to customize for each person?
There is usually some type of continuity. The bride will often order the handkerchiefs personalized with the same lettering style but in different colors, or in the same color but with different lettering styles. Someone who is more extravagant may choose our Script-Diane font, which is quite ornate, but someone more understated might instead choose a simpler block style.
A monogram is very popular, as well. Having a hankie embroidered with a friend’s initials allows her to use it at future weddings she attends or at other special functions. Your bridesmaids and groomsmen will remember who gave them such a special personalized gift, and they will appreciate it more than a handkerchief embroidered with the bride and groom’s names.
You designed the most gorgeous handkerchiefs for Erwin and Ed’s Wish Upon a Wedding DC celebration. What inspired you to get involved with the organization, and what was your experience like in designing handkerchiefs for this special occasion?
When I first heard about Wish Upon a Wedding, I was intrigued and wanted to learn more. Through my phone calls and emails with Liz Guthrie, the organization’s founder, I could tell just how passionate she was about this cause. It inspired me, and I reflected back on my own wedding day, with all the planning involved, and how my grandfather was not able to attend due to an emergency surgery. Trying to determine whether to postpone the wedding, whether I could get to the hospital to visit him, and whether everything was all set with the caterer, florist, and so on, made for a stressful time.
I thought that it must be next to impossible to plan a wedding while also facing a significant other's terminal illness. I also thought about how sad it would be for a couple in love to not be able to express their bond through the unity of marriage simply because there was no time or financial means for them to do so. What started as “helping” Liz and Sasha Souza, president, with a wedding or two has now turned into the “official gift” for Wish Upon a Wedding, and I couldn't be more honored.
Erwin and Ed's handkerchiefs were the perfect example of creating truly personal keepsakes. The couple requested that the handkerchiefs be personalized with the phrase “E2LU,” and I had to ask, "What is the significance? Why E2LU?" They told me it stands for Ed, Erwin, Lobo and Urbaniak – the “E2” for Ed and Erwin, and the “LU” for their children. It was a beautiful way to personalize the message without being cumbersome. It's their personal monogram.
What do you love most about your job, and how did you first get started?
I love creating and designing wedding handkerchiefs because there is always something new and different around the corner, pun intended. It never gets old for me. I've always loved to sew, and was always designing something or other since I was very young.
Many days, after school, I would go to where my mother worked as a tailor, and there were always scraps of fabric laying around. I would make a handbag, a wallet, a headband, something to pass the time until it was time to go home. I purchased a sewing machine, and in high school, I took a design class and started making some of my own clothes. I then moved on to embroidery.
My father always used cotton and linen handkerchiefs for all occasions, and at first, I never gave it much thought. Then, on my wedding day, I saw my father use his handkerchief, and realized I should have created a handkerchief personalized just for him. I started designing handkerchiefs shortly thereafter and still haven't stopped 17 years later. I'll be adding new handkerchief styles for the upcoming season, plus even more design options. Handkerchiefs are a truly elegant way to wipe away the “tears of joy.”
Do you have a hobby that's turned into a lifelong passion? What's your favorite personal keepsake?
(Photo Credits: Lil Inspirations & Wish Upon a Wedding DC Facebook Library)