Before the idea came for a Kickstarter campaign, there was the idea for a Washi Wedding. It all started on a camping trip to Mount Shasta, where a group of friends and I were sitting around a campfire. We were talking about my business plans since I had just moved back to California, and one of the people who was there - Yumi Ishihara, was a friend of friends and happened to also be a visual merchandiser and stylist. I was telling her how I was thinking about hiring a stylist for my next photo shoot because I often felt that something was missing even with a great photographer. Right away Yumi offered to help me out! (bet she regrets that decision...haha just kidding...right, Yumi?!)
We got to brainstorming about concepts, as I explained that I wanted to focus on selling the washi paper itself to makers and DIYers (verses only selling products I already made from washi) after making some amazing connections in Japan. From there the concept of the Washi Wedding was born! I really wanted to show case unique ways that washi could be used, especially since it has a thick, fabric like quality and such a high-end, finished look.
Also around the campfire that night were friends Susan and Raymond Yuen. Susan is a great enabler. She is the ultimate cheerleader and has an amazing passion for helping "the little guys", and as it turned out - was entering a new chapter of life as a full-time small business/non-profit consultant. Susan is a great organizer and took charge of coordinating the day of the shoot. Raymond is an extremely talented photographer who has a heart of gold and is always willing to help a friend out and generously offered to take the photos. They jumped in on the conversation and the "dream team" was formed.
After the camping trip ended, Yumi and I went Pinterest crazy! Check out our boards at: pinterest.com/therareorchid (make sure to follow to keep posted on any updates). Pinterest is such a great source of inspiration and we could barely contain our excitement! From there we got busy prepping and crafting.
A week before we were set to do our photo shoot, I had an unfortunately incident where my laptop and external hard drive were stolen from a rental car while I was in LA. It was pretty devastating as I had previously not been a cloud user so I lost EVERYTHING. A lot of the prep work I had been doing for the photo shoot was on the computer, as I had been drawing out die cut flower patterns in Adobe Illustrator to cut using my computerized die cut machine for our decorations. It was certainly a blow to the momentum, but I'm a firm believer in taking lemons and making lemonade. It was actually from talking with Susan about ways to be resilient from this incident that the idea for this Kickstarter was born....but I'll talk more about that in another post.
Going back to the photo shoot, I was able to make it work thanks to my amazing friends. I called upon many people, and they were generous and gracious to oblige. In fact, every aspect of the Washi Wedding photo shoot was done by friends and family. We borrowed a family friend's gorgeous house and yard as a setting, and every model we used was a friend or friend's childe that agreed to play dress-up. My wonderful mother baked the wedding cake and mini cupcakes, and my friend Wes made the pretty purple macarons. Everyone pitched in to craft and make the decor look as amazing as it did. If nothing else, this photo shoot was a testament to the wonderful, loving network I have and how lucky I am to know such great people!
The Washi Wedding concept incorporated perfectly into the Kickstarter. What started out as a simple concept for blog and promotion purposes turned into a grand idea that has shaped the path of my company's future.
And that is the story behind the Washi Wedding! Check out the rest of our hard work here on my Look Book.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read these updates and get to know me, my company, and this project a little better. I hope by getting a glimpse of all the craziness you'll come to see how passionate I am about washi and how much it means to me to have your support!
P.S. Here are some exclusive behind the scenes photos! xoxo