Did you know that December is the most popular month for couples to get engaged? With all of the excitement of Christmas and New Year’s Eve, it’s no wonder. For all of those engaged, soon-to-be-engaged and those with a general love of all things stationery, we have the pleasure of introducing you to MJ Fontaine from Carte Blanche, a company specializing in designing beautiful, understated stationery for weddings and other events. MJ is a graduate of OCAD University, who is celebrating the tenth year of her Toronto-based business.
I was introduced (virtually) to MJ when South Pond made it into her Top 5 Wedding Venues blog post earlier this year. We have since had a chance to explore her wonderful work, and of course, subsequently fall in love with it. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with her and ask a few questions about herself and the industry.
SPF: How did you get into the wedding stationery business?
MJ: I’m a graphic designer by trade and worked in the graphic design field for 5 years prior to starting Carte Blanche Design. I started doing wedding invitations for friends who were getting married and then decided to put together a wedding stationery collection and invest in a few trade shows, and the rest is history.
SPF: What are the biggest trends you have seen this year for weddings with regard to invites and stationery?
MJ: Overall I would say most recent was the ‘mason jars’ vintage look. Damask-style patterns also had a good run. There is also the classic pocket enclosure or belly band (the equivalent of a belt for an invitation in paper form) and people have always loved shimmery papers.
SPF: Do you have any predictions for trends in 2014?
The French toile has become very popular amongst many of my clients. I’m also expecting to see lots of houndstooth and vintage floral patterns. There is a full list of 2014’s top colours of the year on my most recent blog post as well.
SPF: What aspect of your business do you have a secret or unique passion for?
MJ: There are four aspects of my work I really love: 1. Colour is definitely a biggest passion 2. Getting hugs from clients makes me very happy 3. Combining clever thinking and design is truly the best and 4. Seeing a job being printed on an offset or Heidelberg press is definitely an amazing experience that I often get to be part of.
SPF: In a world that often seems to be going paperless, do you find that having something printed and tangible—like an invitation—makes it all the more special?
MJ: A wedding represents old traditions, so that said, printed invitations are almost always sent out when it comes to the biggest event of your life. I’m sure there are couples who send out wedding e-vites but in our day and age these are still considered a faux pas in the wedding world. Maybe one day electronic will be the “it” thing to do?
As eco-friendly as we try to be here at South Pond, I must admit to having a secret love of unique, high-quality paper. All you have to do is take a look at any of my business cards and I think you can tell that. A weighty, textured paper—well, that may just be one of my favourite things of all.
If you are interested in finding out more about MJ and her work, you can visit her website at www.carteblancedesign.com and be sure to visit her blog for information on more insight into wedding trends, unique vendors and more.