Andrea MacRae is a graphic designer based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia (and someone we admire so much!) As one of the top wedding stationery designers in Atlantic Canada, we were delighted to be able to launch Paper Hearts Post Office with her as one of our first Paper Hearts Pen Pals!
How did Lupin Design get started?
I started Lupin as a “side hustle” while working for a local start-up as a graphic designer in 2014. My best friend was getting married and asked me to do her invitations, which I gladly accepted! After those invitations, my cousin contacted me to do hers. Then another cousin (I am from Cape Breton, I have a LOT of cousins) and so on. It just clicked. For the first time, design didn’t feel like work - it was just so FUN.
Once I realized that I could have an actual business, I started to advertise my services a little bit as “Andrea the Designer” and worked with a few clients a year, for the first little while. When I really started getting some traction, I decided to actually create a brand and that’s how Lupin was born.
It took me AGES to come up with a name that I was happy with. (I almost ended up being Two Carrot… don’t ask). Lupins are so, so special to me. There was a large patch of Lupins that grew at my grandmother’s house, where I spent the majority of my time growing up, especially in the summer. I remember sitting with my now husband in my tiny one-bedroom apartment brainstorming business names. I knew I wanted it to be connected with my grandmother because she was extremely special to me.
As soon as I said “Lupin”, I knew that was the right one. For the first few years, I focused only on weddings (and the odd logo here and there), until 2018 when I launched my first card line.
What’s your favourite thing about stationery?
I will admit, when I first went to college, I expected that I would be building websites right now - not designing wedding stationery.
When it comes to wedding stationery, my favourite thing is creating something that is SO special to those involved. The couple trusts me with the most important day of their life. A wedding invitation is the very first thing your guest receives for your wedding. The excitement my clients get when they pick them up, when I get photos of guests posting them and talking about their excitement - it makes all the late nights worth it.
So in short, my favourite thing about stationery is the human connection it brings. Your mailbox is typically filled with bills and flyers. The best is opening it and seeing a bright pink envelope for your birthday, or a beautiful gold envelope with elegant script. Giving someone a card just because you’re thinking about them, or sending them one when they suffer a loss - there is something so tangible about stationery and that’s what makes it so special.
We know how hard it is to own your own business, what’s one thing you wish you’d known when you first got started?
Balance! I wish I knew how to balance things better, especially when I started to get busy. Not having balance means you burn out, and that means that you aren’t creating your best work. This is something I’m still definitely learning, but I’ve gotten better!
With so much of our world transitioning to digital mediums, what made you want to push against the grain and get into stationery instead?
It kind of happened by accident, since I thought that I was going to be creating websites for my entire life (which is so funny because they’re probably my least favourite things to do now). It just comes down to the tangible aspect of it. The feeling of the paper, the beautiful colours, the actual feeling something you created in your hands. I love it.
What made you want to be a part of Paper Hearts Post Office?
Stefanie is such an incredible entrepreneur. I remember when she started her business, I thought it was so unique and have been following her since. When she contacted me to be a part of this, I didn’t even think twice about the opportunity. She has truly been an inspiration to me! Want to be friends with Andrea online? You can find her on your favourite social platforms right here:FacebookInstagramTwitterWebsite