We are David and Carlen Arnold, the married makers behind host & toast, an online retail source for the creative bride and groom. We design and make all of our products in Denver, Colorado.
The idea for host & toast came about after planning our own wedding in 2011 – we struggled to throw a stylish, beautiful event while also trying to DIY all the decor. Through our experience, we realized most brides and grooms want to make their own wedding decorations (but don’t have time). Our goal was to create a place where couples could find special, handmade pieces for their big day, without having to do-it-themselves. David also runs DA Custom Frames, so we knew from experience Etsy would be the perfect platform to create the unique space we envisioned.
We design our collections based upon genres we love. Our recently-launched Bohemian collection, for example, is a medley of Bohemian patterns, organic textures (like genuine leather and copper), and bright, eye-catching colors. We make our pieces by laser-cutting or hand-building them, then finishing each one by hand. Some products are gilded in gold leaf, finished in our signature driftwood, or sanded and sealed to reveal their natural character.
We’ve been so inspired by the impact social media (Instagram, in particular) has had on our business. We love sharing photos of the custom projects we’re working on and giving our followers a little glimpse of our life. Another source of inspiration is adventure; when we aren’t in the studio, you can find us skiing the Rockies or playing in our weekly summer volleyball league.
As creatives, Etsy has pushed us to continually pursue excellence in our craft, seeking growth in graphic design, woodworking, product photography, branding, and integrating technology into our process. There are a lot of amazing Etsy shops out there, and we are proud to be one of them. Eventually, we want to purchase several venues throughout the US, while maintaining our online website and Etsy shop. It’s a big dream, but it keeps us motivated. In the meantime, our goals revolve around buying a workshop, launching new styled collections, growing our social media presence, refining socially-conscious practices, and exploring new methods within our craft.