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Featured Shop: One Lantern

Nov 5, 2012

by onelantern

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Hi! My name is Tamara and I’m the designer and creator behind One Lantern. I design limited edition paper goods with a message of hope, love and encouragement. Every piece is created from my sunny loft space in Queensland, Australia. I’m a sun-loving Aussie girl (born and bred) who somehow found herself in love with a man from the other side of the world, so after our lovely wedding I will be moving myself and my design business to beautiful Massachusetts as my next adventure!

One Lantern was born out of a truly heartfelt desire to see meaningful paper goods that reflect words of truth and hope without compromising good design. You know how there are things you know but need reminding of almost daily? My prints are the kind of reminders you might write on a Post-it note and stick to your bedroom wall or bathroom mirror. My vision is to see a range of cards, prints and bespoke stationery that reflect my aesthetic and my heart. I have a real desire to see people feeling loved, encouraged and finding purpose in their lives. It’s a big dream, but I hope my work and the words on it have a little part in bringing that into people’s hearts and homes.

My creative process usually begins somewhere in the middle of the night. I could spend all day long in front of my computer and produce nothing at all, but once the stars come out and things get quiet, my mind goes crazy with ideas that keep me awake until all hours of the morning. I have notes everywhere with thoughts and verses that have impacted my life. I start with those and when creativity hits, I head to my Mac to illustrate the vision. Once I’ve finished designing, printing begins. Every piece is painstakingly color separated and screen printed by hand using archival and metallic inks on thick textured card stock. It’s a long and intricate process, but so worth it when you hold the final piece in your hand. Nothing is mass produced or repeated; each and every one is part of a limited edition run created with time, attention to detail and love.

Maybe my favorite part of the process comes next: going to town wrapping each order with custom-made packaging and ribbon and finishing it off with a handwritten note. It makes me smile to think of my customers receiving their order in the mail all wrapped and beautiful like a surprise gift from me to them. It’s so personal! I love that I have the ability to bring a little joy into the day of someone I may never meet through One Lantern.

The ‘More of you, less of me’ print is the first print I designed when I started my company. I love the simplicity of the black and white typography on my wall, and the daily reminder that it’s not all about me. It helps me focus and get my priorities right before I start each day. I don’t always achieve that goal, but I’m working on it.

One Lantern is unique in the marketplace because of its combination of good design and a meaningful message. In the past when I’ve gone looking for a card to cheer someone up or say thank you, it’s been a bit of a disappointing search. I really wanted a selection of design-focused cards that delivered a powerful message. It turns out I wasn’t the only one searching – I feel like I’ve found a real niche in the beautiful world of stationery.

Etsy has been such an incredible journey. I truly love the feeling of community that it brings, and being in the company of other great designers and curators. It makes me feel very international, too. I spent my entire 20s traveling around the world and loved every minute of it. Now I live vicariously through my products. The last order of cards just jetsetted off to Norway – lucky them! I also love that I can spend hours procrastinating my way through other people’s beautiful stores and pretty convincingly pass it off as “networking for business.”

One Lantern has given me such joy (as well as the sleepless nights and a position on the poverty line). I love being my own boss and the flexible lifestyle that comes with that – Tuesday morning brunch, anyone? I’m not independently wealthy from One Lantern just yet, but I do feel like I’ve achieved great success already because I now know what it means to use my abilities to touch other people’s lives, and that’s pretty priceless. It’s my hope that I can continue to develop my business and make a difference in the world through it. That sounds like such a luxury, but really anything’s possible, and I can see great things coming from this one lantern.

Photographs by Nikki of Peas and Carrots Photography and One Lantern.

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