Dear oh me, it has been a while, hasn't it? We had a crazy November and December and thus, went into total hibernation from the start of the new year until now. Our studio took a well-deserved break in January, and we have been getting ready for the new work year by settling many administrative and backend matters since the start of February. And here we are now, all ready to take on 2017!
We thought it would be best to start with a BTS post to give you a quick summary of the months that have gone by.
Wrapping up the VSA Christmas Cheer Campaign
If you have forgotten what the Christmas Cheer Campaign was about, you can refer to this blog post for all the details. Thanks to the love and support of customers and friends, we managed to send over 200 Happy greeting cards to the VSA Singapore's beneficiaries! It was really heartwarming to see our customers and friends pen down their messages of love and encouragement to complete strangers.
We will be embarking on a new social project this year, so stay tuned to our website for more details in the coming months!
Rescuing Stray Kitties
Preparing for Christmas
Christmas is always the busiest season for us. It may sound a little crazy but our Christmas season actually starts from end September. Our retail line will always get an influx of new products, we have tons of events to plan for and attend, and our studio work increases significantly.
(Top L) Trooper being the curious cat while Jia was adjusting the lighting for our product shoot.
(Top R) Prep work for props can be totally yummy at times! After all, what is Christmas without a little cocoa?
(Bottom L) Preparing tons and tons of Christmas confetti for sale.
(Bottom R) Gift boxes and parcels all ready to be sent to our customers.
Pop-Up and Private Events
Sometimes, our work takes us to places with gorgeous views. This was taken from the TripAdvisor's office. It must be great to go to work everyday with such a magnificent view of the heart of Singapore!
(Top L) This is just 3/4 of the stuff we carry around with us to pop-up markets!
(Top R) Designers and brand vendors all stuck in the lobby of the F1 Pit Building as it was pouring endlessly towards the end of the Public Garden Christmas event.
(Mid L) It was pretty amazing being able to set up a booth in the middle of Orchard Road. This was after a super heavy downpour that had us frantically covering our booth with groundsheets and buying new clothes to wear. We. were. drenched.
(Mid R) The aftermath of any pop-up market is always a huge mess.
(Bottom) Our two-week long booth at Millenia Walk was awesome as we were next to our good friends, the lovely girls from Operation Overhaul.
Wedding Styling Prep
One thing that all weddings have in common? The need for floral!
Styling prep for weddings meant hours and days combing through nurseries and warehouses. These places are starting to feel like our second homes!
A bold and vibrant Indian-Chinese wedding meant tons of sweet-smelling flowers, bangles, and a riot of bright happy colours!
The start of any event decor set-up is always a messy affair. The above and below photographs are just some quick snaps of us and our crew setting up a church for a wedding ceremony. The theme of the wedding was greenery and so, we piled on copious amounts of fresh ferns and floral to create a green woodland wonderland.
(Top) Putting together this luscious backdrop of ferns and floral for the photobooth took more than four hours! This was the almost completed backdrop with the set-up of cameras and lights.
(Bottom) Drapes of ivies, bunches of ferns, and endless lengths of oxblood-coloured ribbons lined the aisle of the sanctuary. Not pictured is the massive amount of greens whimsically decorating the stage and the super cute pot as the centrepiece at the cross.
Halia at the Raffles Hotel was a dream to style in! The colonial aesthetic of the restaurant paired beautifully with the wild tablerunners made up of numerous garlands and apples. The center display table was decorated with more lush greens and some woodland flair. It is such a shame that Raffles Hotel has closed this area for renovations since the start of this year.
(Top) A beautiful costal line on a stormy day in Jeju Island, South Korea.
(Second from top) High up in the misty glorious mountains of Alishan, Taiwan.
(Second from bottom) Calm, cold, and incredibly serene winter day in Hokkaido, Japan.
(Bottom) The gorgeous shore and turquoise blue waters of Okinawa, Japan.
And... we went on vacations. Jia travelled to South Korea and Taiwan while Min explored Japan!
Now that we have relaxed and unwind from the hectic year of 2016, our studio is back in action. This means that our regular blog posting will also begin. Do look out for new content in the coming year and more emphasis on design in our everyday life. Here's to an awesome 2017!
With Love, Min+Jia.
Time flew by so quickly in July and August. We were up to our necks with deadlines regarding all aspects of our studio work and retail line. Doors of opportunities kept opening and we are so thankful for everything we experienced within those two months! Before we knew it, we are in the early days of September and another Behind The Scenes post is due.
If you have been reading our BTS posts (click here and here), you would know that we tend to run around and do different things every day which makes studio life so much fun! Even a 'quiet' day in the office is made up of a variety of work, so we are not in our seats all day. Every single day is different and we love that so much!
This post is a little different from the previous posts as we have gotten permission from a few of our clients to show sneak peeks of our work in the areas of custom design, event styling, and marketing and branding. Let's get started!
We participated in a ton of retail pop-up events which took up a substantial amount of time in July and August. But it's fine, really, as it means that we can spend more time with our fellow creative friends such as Operational Overhaul (see image below). This photo below was taken in Takashimaya where we had a two-week pop-up event. We were amused at how both our brands had 'Tutti Fruitti' items - we match!
Min and I love hanging out with our friends during events. They are a bunch of genuine, lovely creatives and it is so heartening to forge deeper and more substantial relationships over time!
(L) Vendor Tip: When your booth is really crowded, just snap a quick pic of your customers' purchases in order to hasten the packing process. This makes it so much easier to record down transactions when things quieten down.
(R) Oh, the glare of our lights! In order to illuminate our products and create a more comfortable shopping experience for our customers, we suffer the bright harsh glare of our lighting system. We often go home with white spots in our vision!
Custom Design and Client Meetings
Below is one of our favourite custom card design order from a client. We love it when clients share the same aesthetic style as us. This card may look like a plain white card with words but there was a ton of texture and light washes of colour in the background that cannot be seen on camera. It was such a pretty delicate project!
(L) Packing up an order for a client. We love to use our stickers!
(R) The best meeting location we had in July and August was in a cable car! We mentioned this in a Sunday Stickies post. Oh, how we wish that every client meeting could be as awesome. Check out the view during the meeting in the picture below!
A lot of time in the studio is spent prepping. We have to pack and prepare our new arrivals for both online and offline sales - hence, the Hello Kitty labeller for products going out on consignment - and also prep for our event styling projects.
Something that isn't photographed here but takes up a substantial amount of time is when I prep for my design work!
(Top L) Min doing light markings in pencil before I paint on the wooden pallet.
(Top R) A quick run to our regular craft supply store. The store has definitely seen better days! It was a huge mess that day and we ended up going to another store after this shot was taken because we couldn't find what we needed amongst the chaos.
(Bottom L) Choosing the perfect ferns and green florals for an event styling project.
(Bottom R) Preparing a template for our craft work in an event styling project.
(L) Trooper wandering into a shot that was to be send to a client. This super cute wooden set was used for a wedding. A normal guestbook does not cut it anymore!
(R) A horrifyingly messy look at the car boot when we are transporting props from one location to another for an event.
Event Styling and Client Events
(Top) A sneak peek at a wedding styling project. Rustic charm was the theme and we filled the venue with Baby's Breath, soft lace, vintage bronze frames, and wood elements. Sorry about the low quality photo, I had to zoom into my initial photo to crop out the couple's faces for privacy!
(L) Sneaking in a shot at a private event. It was a massive event with lots of 'clubby' and lounge elements. Loved it!
(R) Watching fireworks erupt right close in person at a private event. One of the perks of being part of the crew is that you can go into restricted zones!
Upon reviewing and choosing BTS photos for this post, I realised that July and August were very food-centric. Most of the outtakes during photoshoots belonged to Sunday Stickies posts and Eat posts. The top right corner above has a bonus reminder of the terrible 4fingers challenge that left us feeling very oily and bloated. And yes, we have not eaten a fried piece of chicken ever since!
(Bottom L) Cutting the pizza toast for a shot for Eat // The Ultimate Throwback Childhood Pizza Toast.
(Bottom R) Arranging ingredients for the blog header image in the Eat // Bovril vs Marmite Showdown: Mushroom Linguine.
Readying Products For Release
There is always a pretty lengthly process before we release any new product for purchase online and in person at pop-up events. After checking through everything to ensure quality, we have to photograph and pack the items before uploading them onto the store for sale.
I really love our new greeting cards and Faith Postcard Set. More details on the newest single greeting cards will be found in an upcoming blog post.
(Top, Top R and Top L) Photoshoot for the newbies! We love working with different types of floral and we get really excited when the photos pop with amazing colour.
(Bottom L and R) Cutting up boards that serve as backings for our product packaging. Yes, we are pretty much professional cutters by day. Cutting stickers, boards, and paper could be our retirement jobs!
Do you enjoy these Behind The Scenes posts? Let us know if you do and what you'd like to see next in our blog!
May and June were filled with many back to back activities for us in and out of the studio. As a design studio with a retail line, we often find ourselves trying to balance project datelines and materialising our new products for retail. A typical work day for us includes internal and external meetings, designing, account servicing, product photoshoots, packing, cooking, updating our website, blogging, updating our social media accounts and going to the post office. Phew!
If you have read our previous BTS blog posts in March and October, you will probably be a teeny bit familiar with what we are usually up to in the studio. Here is a brief look at what we did in the months of May and June!
Packing and Readying New Stock and Products
We spent a lot of time in May and June cutting, cutting and cutting more stickers. It is not new news but hey, we really do spend a lot of time cutting stickers and whining about our Scissors Hand symptoms. When we are not cutting stickers, we pack stuff... it could be new products that we are packing or the office. Jia and I like a clean and neat working environment so we are always cleaning and packing something in the studio.
(Top) Do you pack your coloured pencils the same way as us? :) We are incredibly finicky about certain things and packing our colouring mediums in a rainbow gradient is one of those things.
(L) Packing the activity postcards into the Travel Activity Kit's zipper pouch. Packing these kits took a very long time but we are so happy with how the ready kits look :)
(R) Styling the Travel Activity Kit for a photoshoot. Yes, we have our own honey&gazelle Design Studio tote bag!
(Top) Cutting stickers all day, every day, every single day. It's a lifestyle.
Though I say that we like a clean working environment, our photoshoots are typically the opposite of neat. It is almost like a war zone - everything is everywhere! Somehow, we are able to navigate amidst the chaos and still be productive during a photoshoot.
(Top) Jia and I found a kitty outside the Red Dot Design Museum in June and spent a considerable amount of time chatting with her while our friends looked after our booth at MAAD. What a cutie!
(L) The worst thing that can happen to us. It was an extremely hot day at the DBS Marina Regatta so we went to the nearest 7-11 in hopes to grab a cold drink. But, it was closed! What a nightmare. I remembered sulking for the longest time.
(R) Taking a picture of a customer's purchase to remind us what she bought.
Yearly Review and Retreat
Jia and I take our retreats very seriously. There is often a lot of planning, discussing and brainstorming, so we would usually choose somewhere quiet for maximum concentration and isolation. Our retreats tend to be mentally exhausting and it does not feel like a break at all!
(Top) We tend to snack a lot during our retreats because planning and reviewing is tough business! Gotta snack to reward the brain. Excuse the mess on the desk, this is truly a behind-the-scenes photo!
(Bottom) And by snacking, we mean durian and naengmyeon too. Looking at these photos is making me hungry.
(Top) Getting busy and messy with our hands. We love our event styling projects!
(L) Lugging yet another brand new printer back to the studio. Woohoo!
(R) Repotting herbs in our mini garden. We have been obsessed with creating our own salads recently. We cook pretty much every day unless we have a lunch appointment.
(Top) And the silly things that Jia and I do in the studio when we are extremely tired. Here, we challenged each other to write a strange sentence with our non-dominant hand with eyes closed. Not too bad actually!
Working in a design studio has been a crazy journey so far but I am loving every bit of it. I actually look forward to going to work!
How's your day at work or school like? Share them with us!
This post was initially entitled "Behind The Scenes // What We Did In March" but we were so caught up with the launch of our website that we failed to pause and shoot the moments. Thus, Min and I decided that we will collate two months' worth of behind the scenes photographs to create a longer and hopefully, more interesting picture post!
Our last (and only) BTS post was way back in October and since then, we have been getting requests from readers and customers to continue blogging about the insides of a design studio. So, here it is! We are trying our best to remember to document more of our lives and work in photographs to create a series of bi-monthly Behind The Scenes posts. For now, here is a little peek at what we did in the months of March and April (:
The main bulk of our studio time is dedicated to client commissioned projects and developing new designs and products. However, we didn't manage to capture those moments in photos as most of our clients are private and it is obviously rather strange to take photographs during meetings! We will try to shoot more of our development process next time though! (:
Packing and Readying New Stock and Products
About a quarter of our time is usually spent packing and preparing our new products for sale. If you follow us on Instagram or read our Sunday Stickies, you will know that we love to produce stickers whenever we have a pop-up event. A ton of time - usually after our official working hours and with a TV show at the background - is spent cutting stickers in preparation for an event.
A new batch of the Say It With Words Greeting Cards arrived at our studio in March! We had to quickly pack them as they were selling out quickly.
When our art prints are ready at the printers, we usually inspect them closely and return back to the studio to personally trim the ones that were not up to our standards. This is when our eyes get all wonky from staring at the art prints for too long. Haha!
I took the photo on the right while we were packing our newest postcards with the help of a friend from Kisetsu, at The People Avenue's Pop-Up Store. A few weeks ago, we took over the store and moved our studio operations down so that we can get some work done!
We cut, and we cut, and we cut. We have decided to stock our some of our sticker packs at The People's Avenue Pop-Up Store as well. Check them out, if you happen to be in Orchard Road!
Pop-Up Events and Consignment Plans
The humans behind honey&gazelle Design Studio. When we are not frantically working, we share our mishmash of thoughts on design, life, and love here. Grab a cuppa and stay for a bit!