When I was little, my family lived in Germany for a bit. That was where my mother became enamored with papiergeschäfte – stationery stores, basically, but so much more than a Hallmark store or a Staples. More like Papyrus, if you’ve ever been to one of those, or a museum gift shop. Gorgeous, unique cards and notebooks, invitations and announcements, some handmade, all beautifully designed. My mom still sends me the best cards.
I, on the other hand, despite having a degree in graphic design, have fallen into a Party City rut. Fine for a preschooler’s Batman party, maybe, but for birth or wedding announcements or even a classy holiday card? Not so much.
So I responded with interest when someone contacted me from Minted. I had seen their ads in magazines but didn’t really know what they were about. Turns out Minted.com is a global community of independent graphic designers in 43 different countries and an online store that prints and sells the best of their designs on all kinds of paper goods.
A Minted rep explained it to me like this: “We are a crowd-sourced design store — all of our products are designed and chosen by our community of designers. We host competitions for everything from wedding invitations to holiday cards and art.” Their designers – people who may not otherwise have access to buyers through traditional retailers – earn commissions on all sales of their designs.
Here are some of my favorite products on Minted.com:
This heirloom bloom birth announcement.
This pirate party décor is so much cuter than anything at a chain party store it almost makes me cry.
And I’ve got my eye on this bookworm art print for the boys’ room or our home office.
For more, check out Minted’s Pinterest boards.
As someone who hired a graphic designer to create custom invitations for my wedding — and also someone who has cheaped out on stationery in the past — I can tell you that the difference between low- and high-quality paper goods is vast. Comparing the flimsy paper and smeary inks of discount-store cards and the 130-lb cardstock and offset printing of high-end designs is like sleeping on 1,000-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets versus 200-thread-count poly-blend Angry Birds sheets. Trust me, I speak from experience.
*This is a sponsored post. I received credit from Minted.com in exchange for reviewing their site.