Hello there! I’m Kristen McGillivray, and I spend my days doing what I love: creating personalized wedding invitations, temporary tattoos, and other party favors for customers around the world. I live in Portland, Oregon.
I’ve always been a creative person with varied interests. Throughout high school and college, I couldn’t get enough of my art classes — particularly drawing, printmaking, jewelry making and darkroom photography. However, after I finished school, I found myself in a job that didn’t offer much creative opportunity, so I decided to go back to school and learn graphic design. Not long afterward, a friend told me about Etsy, and I opened my shop.
Sales were slow at first, but I loved having a new creative outlet and a platform to share my designs. With time, I began working with more customers, and I found that my favorite part was helping people create party favors that made their events feel more personal and authentic. To this day, that early experience and customer feedback has an influence on my work: I still offer full-service custom design, along with custom options on nearly all my products. No matter how unusual or complex, if someone has an idea, I will help them actualize it.
I want to convey utter happiness and jubilation in everything I create, so I tend to gravitate toward bright pops of color, bold geometric elements, and memorable typography. I keep a ton of journals and sketchbooks, and I bring one with me everywhere I go to jot down ideas or make a quick sketch when inspiration hits. These initial sketches can be pretty rough, but they help me flesh out my ideas before I start working on the computer.
My experience selling on Etsy has been absolutely amazing. This past October, I was able to quit my day job and focus solely on running this business. Sometimes I still can’t believe it: It’s such a blessing that I get to pursue my dream full time, and that it keeps me busy and happy. Etsy is such a supportive community of buyers and sellers, and I really value the feedback I’ve received here. It’s made me a better designer, and one who welcomes collaboration.
All photographs by Kristen McGillivray.