Hello, I’m Laura Shema. My husband Tom Hart and I run Jolly Edition, a tiny design studio where we create one-of-a-kind stationery and illustrations for weddings and special occasions. We started our business in Cambridge, England, but we recently emigrated stateside and are currently based in Baltimore, Maryland.
Jolly Edition is a combination of our talents, and a wonderful excuse to spend every day working together. Our skills are complementary – I’m the illustrator and designer and Tom builds our website, oversees our brand, and communicates with our customers while managing our studio.
Everything we make is for a specific person and we pride ourselves on illustrating personality, not likeness. We’re unlike any other company in that the energy and enthusiasm of our clients – their personalities and ideas — drive our projects. When we start a new project, our customer provides us with requirements they’d like to be included, like names and dates. Once we agree on the direction we want to go in, the hard work is done and the fun begins. From our approved sketch, we start developing the drawing and then my favorite part: painting!
Etsy has allowed Jolly Edition to grow from part-time infancy to an established small business. We had to learn fast what we were good at, what needed to change, what skills were valued, and how we could grow to be the best company we could be.
Tom and I put so much time, energy, and care into creating our products that when we hear a customer loves our work, we get giddy. We don’t usually get to meet our customers in person, which made sitting down Nicola and David really special. They met while studying medieval literature in Iceland, so we suggested a direction for their project that reflected that passion while blending in some playful references. It was great to hear their feedback when they received their stationery: “I’ve never been so excited to post anything!” We’ll be working on their remaining custom wedding stationery in September, and we can’t wait.
All photographs by Sarah Mooney.