Inspiring Women: Meet Kristin Berry, Of Custom Wedding Accessory Brand Miss Design Berry
Berry tells us about building a brand with the goal of creating personalized accessories for all of life's biggest celebrations.
After you've said "yes" and before you say "I do," you'll probably spend countless hours going through wedding Pinterest boards and Instagram feeds while planning for your big day. And from personal experience, I can tell you that you will probably see the same wooden sign in wedding after wedding after wedding. Access to ideas on social media is awesome, but also incredibly redundant, believe it or not.
So when I discovered Miss Design Berry's personalized wedding accessories (think custom guestbook alternatives, signs, coasters, cake toppers etc.), I was sold.
Kristin Berry created the brand as a passion project back in 2010, and has since leveraged it into her full-time business. The Miss Design Berry motto is “if you can dream it, we can design it," and if you're looking to plan a wedding that isn't like all the other ones you've seen, at least when it comes to design elements, Berry's brand is a true gem.
She shared with us her Miss Design Berry inspirations, how planning her own wedding has influenced her brand, and why you should just follow your dreams already — like, right now.
Livingly: How did Miss Design Berry start?
Kristin Berry: To be honest, I did not start Miss Design Berry with any idea in mind other than making some extra money to support living in NYC as a recent graduate. It has evolved over time from a a side-hustle of assorted graphic design projects into a "wedding" specific brand, and then from there into the brand we now have today, which is very illustration and customization focused.
What kind of bride is the perfect Miss Design Berry customer?
The bride that is perfect for Miss Design Berry is the bride that wants her wedding day to be a true reflection of the couple and their love. She is not concerned about having the Pinterest-perfect wedding, she is focused on making the day as special as she can for not only herself and her future husband, but every guest as well.
She loves Miss Design Berry because we take the fun, quirky, and (sometimes) totally-out-there ideas she has and turn them into works of art. And, we find ways to incorporate all the little details that make their love so special, part of the special day.
How does your own personal life (and wedding!) shape your business?
I am getting married in 2 months and I can't believe it! There is a weird sense of pressure mixed with excitement when it comes to designing my own wedding pieces. I want it to be so perfect but also am trying to remain a Bridechilla (love that term). At the end of the day, I just love my fiance and want our friends and families to have a really great time.
I have come up with some new items and ideas for the shop during my own planning, and potentially even some new collaboration partners.
What is your favorite Miss Design Berry piece?
My favorite is hands down the couple portrait with the pet(s). My fiance and I are new dog owners and "obsessed" is not even a strong enough word to describe my love for my beagle, Brie. Remember when I said I was a chill bride? Well, I am a psycho dog mom.
What do you love most about your job?
My awesome, awesome team. For a team of women working remotely across the country, we sure do know how to make the best of it. I am constantly in awe of the amazing work they produce and the ideas they have. There is a lot of laughter every day, and a lot of love. My business partner Vera is one of my closest friends and is a bridesmaid in my upcoming wedding. And we weren't friends before she started working for me... I found her on Craigslist! I also have a theory that most of the greatest relationships of my life I owe to Craigslist, but I won't get into that :)
What inspired your work?
When I was a poor undergraduate (circa 2008) I was at the Goodwill on campus and I found an old design zine that featured some really compelling illustration work that I couldn't stop staring at. I ended up buying it and just ripping those pages out to keep. A few years later I looked back at those illustrations and realized they were by Jessica Hische, whom I had come to greatly admire at this point. I still have those pages, and I still really, really love Jessica Hische's work.
Another early inspiration (also from a book) came when a friend, whom I watched Mad Men with, gave me a copy of Mad Men: the Illustrated World: Dyna Moe. I became obsessed with her illustration style and the fun, quirky detail in her work. I remember practicing digital portraits and artwork, trying to replicate her style. I think that is when I first really started getting into portraits.
How do you see Miss Design Berry growing/evolving over time?
We are looking to continue to add to our team of smart, strong women around the country. We offer flexible hours and remote working options so that we can continue to help them support themselves while still being able to juggle everything else they do! We are also looking to develop a retail-ready line of products for the wedding market with our same of fun & funky vibe.
What advice do you have for other women who are looking to start their own business ?
Just do it. No wait, I think that's taken already.
But seriously, you just have to start somewhere. There is no perfect time, perfect product, perfect idea. The biggest thing I have learned during my adventures in owning a business is that most people don't start out with their whole business planned out. Most people start with one idea, one problem, one random connection and that little seed continues to grow, and develop, and evolve, into what becomes a business.
You don't need to quit your current job or get funding or do anything crazy to get started. Start today, start now! Its just a bunch of little steps that turn into great strides, so you just got to take the first one!
At Livingly, our motto is "Live life beautifully." What does living beautifully mean to you?
I struggle a lot with work/life balance, which I know seems weird because I work from home (often in sweats). But, when you run a business, there is no "off," so I really have to focus on putting the phone down, the computer away, and just experiencing my life. So, living beautifully for me is living in the moment, enjoying all the little things.