Throughout the next month, we'll be introducing you to the faces behind Cardtorial. Being a small, handmade business means that when you scroll through our feed, open up a package sent from our studio, or email with a customer service question, you’re interacting with one of the six of us. We thought it's high time we introduce ourselves to all you lovely people! Today, it's time to meet Kristin, Cardtorial's Wholesale Manager + Photographer!
+ How long have you been at Cardtorial?
I started in November 2015! It'll be three years just after Thanksgiving. It's been so interesting and inspiring seeing the studio grow over the years!
+ When did you start taking photos? What does photography bring to your life & how does taking a photo make you feel?
My grandmother on my dad's side was an artist (mainly painting), and my parents were very encouraging of a creative environment! I started taking pictures pretty early on; I think my parents got me a crappy little 35mm film camera when I was 8 and I loved to snap photos of life around me. I brought it to the San Diego Zoo when we went one summer and snapped photos of the pandas, and felt like a Wildlife Photographer.
I took a Darkroom Photography class my junior year of high school and "borrowed" (and still haven't returned; sorry Mom) my mom's film SLR camera. (Photo below) I still use it today!
That's when I really started getting into it. My photo teacher could tell that I had a passion and an eye for this, and made sure to foster a creative environment, investing in materials to use and teaching my best friend Tiina and me new shooting and developing techniques. For the rest of our time in high school, Tiina and I spent most weekends exploring LA and documenting the experience. We basically always had a camera on us.
I definitely feel really "in my element" when shooting! It's fun setting up a photoshoot, and seeing all of our prep work come together in that moment. It's extra satisfying going through the photos and editing them – I love a good "before" & "after" moment.
I think that photography has really made me a more thoughtful person, and look at the world in a different way. Sometimes a setup can look so beautiful in "real life," but the magic doesn't translate through the lens, and figuring out how to make things work in that way is rewarding when you're able to get it right. It's also taught me to find the beauty in moments that other people may not find beautiful! For example, this photo ended up pretty cute:
But you also don't see what goes into that photograph – a string of twinkle lights taped to a backdrop, the ornaments precariously taped together, and Maddy's (our Marketing Manager) hand cramp from that pose.
+ What’s your favorite part of working on wholesale?
Interacting with the wholesalers! I think it's so interesting to see what trends they're looking for, hearing how excited they are about our products, and learning more about their stores. I recently started attending wholesale shows to represent Cardtorial, and it's been an even more exciting experience for me. I get to travel for work to another city I love, and meet face-to-face with wholesale clients and potential new stores. It's really gratifying to hear from people in "real life" how much they love our products.
+ How do you feel seeing Cardtorial in the wild at our retailers?
I love it! I remember when I first started at Cardtorial and helping pack wholesale orders, I was hanging out in Venice Beach with some friends, walking down Abbot Kinney Blvd. I saw our wedding albums in the window at Urbanic! It was such an awesome feeling – I had bound those albums the week before, and now saw them displayed proudly in a beautiful store.
I still get a little "rush" when I see a product at a store – I love swinging by shops and pointing out greeting cards or journals to people I'm with, or getting photos from friends and family!
+ What’s your favorite office snack?
Peanut butter filled pretzels from Trader Joe's!
+ All time favorite Cardtorial product?
I've narrowed it down to two:
1) XOXO Heart Card. It seems so simple, but it's so cute and so versatile – you can give it to friends or family, use it as a thank you card...it's just so cute and fun.
I think they're so beautiful and unique, and I love their artwork! It's super fun working on custom projects for customers; bringing their artwork to life is such a satisfying experience. These were especially fun because they're so different from products we've created in the past.
+ What's your perfect day off?
Starting off waking up late, obviously – I'm trying to become more of a morning person, but it's an uphill battle.
Then, going on a hike with my boyfriend and our dog, Penny! We love hiking through Malibu, especially the trail that leads to a waterfall (when there's been enough rain, at least). And Penny loves chasing lizards along the way.