Get ready for another Feature Friday! I’m so excited to have Brittany of Slate of Grace Sign Co. today! I met Brittany at a wedding show a couple years ago, and loved her work. I’ve followed her on Instagram ever since, and asked if she would be interested in coming on for another feature post.
I love getting to hear from other entrepreneurs, especially ones that work in the same industry I do, or alongside the wedding and event industry, and I hope you do too! Grab a cup of your favorite drink and read along to hear from Brittany!
Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you’re from, and what you’re passionate about.
Well well well… I’m Brittany Morris, but soon that will change to Miles. I got engaged during quarantine! How’s that for a fun fact!? I have never formally studied art or design, just always had a huge interest in typography and lettering. I went to school at St. Louis University then on to get my masters at Southern Illinois University. I’m originally from a small town in southern IL, near St. Louis. I am an ESL teacher for a charter school here in Indianapolis, so naturally I am also a huge advocate for my students who speak a variety of languages, but mostly Spanish. And yes, I do speak Spanish! Side note: I have yet to make wedding signage in Spanish so if you’re reading this and this sounds like something you’d like: llámame! I would say I am passionate about so many things – I love decorating my home and painting walls black. I love making unique signage with new designs, in fact I very rarely repeat any design I make. I’m sort of a perfectionist and spend way too much time on tiny little details. I love challenging myself, spending time outdoors, and Dave Matthews Band.
Can you share a little bit about Slate of Grace? How you started, and what that looked like?
In grad school I was nannying for a family and the mom owned a small children’s clothing boutique that had a huge chalk wall. She always joked that her handwriting wasn’t good so she wanted me to update it every few weeks for her. I gave it a try and that’s sort of where things began! We would come up with fun designs for the wall and use it as advertising for the business. Then customers and friends and family started noticing and asking me to make wedding signs and birthday boards for them. Ever since then it has been my “side hustle” outside of the teaching world!
What kinds of events do you work with – weddings, private events, others? And what sort of pieces do you typically work on for these events?
I mostly do wedding signage like welcome signs and seating charts, but I also get a lot of requests for Birthday boards, bridal or baby showers, and bar/restaurant menus. I’ve also done all kinds of unique pieces for home decor that people have custom ordered, such as a way to preserve wedding vows, or song lyrics.
For wedding couples who are planning, what advice would you give on how soon to reach out about pieces for their wedding?
It is best for couples to reach out to me within 3 months of their event date, and no less than one month before. Hand-lettered pieces take a lot of time and a lot of love!
Can you share a little bit about what the process working with you looks like for wedding and events?
Usually people reach out to me via facebook, instagram or email, then I will share an information and pricing sheet with them and we get the ball rolling! I love meeting up with brides over coffee to try to take care of everything in one sitting, to make them feel more comfortable and try to keep things easy for them. This is also a fun time where they can show me their boards and wedding inspiration so I can get a feel for the vibe they’re looking for when it comes to signage. It also allows me some time to get to know them, so I can try to pick up on something perfectly unique that might be an awesome detail they would have never thought about including! We collaborate and talk signage, materials, designs, colors, vision, then I coordinate pick up and drop off times for sign rentals. I am always flexible and do what I can to make the big day a little easier!
What is one really practical tip you can offer when it comes to signs and banners at a wedding? Are there things couples might overlook?
My number one tip would be to be creative! I think couples sometimes overlook the fact that they can get as creative and funky as they want to with signage. I am patiently waiting for someone to ask me to put some rap lyrics or puns on their wedding signs. Can’t you see it?! A “SIT DOWN BE HUMBLE” seating chart or “You stole a PIZZA my heart” for late night pizza! <3 It’s your special day, so signs should be uniquely you and fit your style as a couple.
What’s a good starting point that couples should expect to budget for designs with you?
For weddings, I have a $200 order minimum, and most couples pick a sign package around $375.
How can those of us who are wedding photographers work really well with you if our coverage overlaps with yours on a wedding day – any tips?
Normally our coverage wouldn’t overlap, unless I would happen to run into you while setting up signs the night before or the morning after. The most helpful thing would be to share images that I could share on my page and credit you, or credit me if you share images including my signage. I love finding out who is photographing weddings where my signs will be, so I can collab and share some awesome images and credit other vendors. It’s great for building a network and having great vendors to reference. I think sometimes “smaller” vendors like myself often get left out or unaccredited when shoots or photos get posted, so any time a photographer or vendor is willing to collaborate it makes me really happy!
Where do you work, do you have a studio, or a home space? I work from home. Sometimes the basement, sometimes the porch, but usually I am sprawled out in the living room floor with a billion markers!
You mentioned you’re also a teacher. Can you share what it’s like to work as both an educator and a creator? What are the challenges or rewards you have found?
Working as both an educator and a creator is… quite frankly very difficult. I find that I am often stressed, trying to juggle both, and giving up my free time on weekends or evenings to make or design signs can sometimes be exhausting. But the late nights and long weekends are worth it when I get to spend the days with my sweet kiddos and also can hand some pretty signage over to a couple and see their face light up. I also really enjoy when I get to be a creator and an educator at the same time. I get asked to do a lot of creative things for my school, like of course making signs and banners for events, but making my classroom and other classrooms a comforting/safe space, taking opportunities to allow my students be creative, and finding joy in the tiny details of my projects and my teaching.
What is something you love to create just for fun – not work related?
I have recently taken a dive into the Procreate world of digital lettering. I love sketching out punny sayings on my ipad and creating cool designs that I haven’t yet had the courage to share…. Maybe someday. 🙂
What’s been a really memorable piece or design set you’ve done in the past? Can you share a little about it and why you loved it so much?
I really love trying to make all of my orders unique, but I REALLY remember when others come to me with the unique ideas, and I get to bring their vision to fruition. Means so much to me to be a part of fulfilling their vision! My most memorable piece recently, has been adding a photo backdrop to my list of rentals. I have gotten a lot of interest in it lately and it honestly makes me giddy like a little kid on Christmas morning following a couple’s hashtag to see all the fun photos people post in front of my work. Such a cool feeling!
Ok, so I want to end all my interviews with these same questions!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love sitting on my front porch relaxing, and pretty much anything that involves being outdoors or with friends and family. I also play on a rec volleyball team with some of my good friends
What’s your favorite tv show right now? Jane the Virgin
What’s something you’re really proud of?
My little brothers – it has been so cool seeing them grow up and be “men” now… starting families, going to college, love those guys!
Are you a night owl or an early bird?
Is it possible to be both? Because I totally am!
What is one big dream you have for the future?
I’d love to paint a mural in downtown Indianapolis
Thank you SO much to Brittany for sharing her time and work with us! Please go follow Brittany on Instagram and be sure to reach out to her if you are needing some lovely signage for your next event!
I hope you enjoyed this interview, and be sure to check out the other interviews here as well. If you know of someone who would be a great fit for this feature series, or if you are a great fit yourself, please send me a message and I would love to interview you!