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Kristin @ Sable & Gray

After graduating college with a degree in Architecture, Kristin learned that the career she envisioned for herself wasn't likely in a field focusing more on technology than the arts. Determined to not live her life in front of a computer, and focus on her love of watercolors and stationery....Sable & Gray was born. Best known for stunning custom wedding invitations, they also have a line of beautiful greeting cards. Kristin's designs are charming, whimsical and I can't get enough. 

First things first, let’s get the basics. Where are you from? Zodiac sign? Least favorite hairstyle you’ve had?
I grew up in Traverse City, Michigan, aka "The Cherry Capital", and was always encouraged to play outside and do creative things. My sister and I would entertain ourselves painting rocks, playing in the creek, and building tree forts (she actually just finished her second Children's book about this, aptly named, "Secret Tree Fort". It's amazing.) We also always had tons of animals... everything from pet chickens, a brown snake we found in the garden, to my horse, Sable and my cat, Gray. 

I moved to North Carolina after I graduated from High School to attend the NCSU School of Architecture, where I earned a double bachelor degree in Architecture and Design, fell in love with my future husband, Ryan, and gave myself the worst haircut ever (attempting to look like Sienna Miller in "Alfie").  I also fell in love with the Carolinas, and after graduating from NCSU Ryan and I tried out a few different cities including Charleston, SC and Asheville, NC. But I got very homesick and convinced Ryan to move back to my home town about a year and 1/2 ago. But I miss North Carolina very much... especially when it's still snowing here in April. My husband and I found out we were expecting the day before we made the move, which was pretty insane timing (... let's do ALL the changes), and now we have the cutest baby girl named Hayes. So now my days are filled with the balancing act of being a "momtreprenuer". 

How do you prefer to read? A hardcover book on your lap, audiobook or reading with a tablet?
I'm still a sucker for an old-school hardcover book, especially if it's Harry Potter. 

One thing you can’t live without.
I can't live without my piano. Singing and playing the piano are my biggest stress relievers and are sometimes the only way for me to unwind. When I moved away to school I couldn't exactly bring my piano with me, and would have to walk a couple miles to the music building and hope that one of their practice rooms would be available so I could play. For Christmas that year my parents surprised me and got a keyboard for me to bring back to my dorm room, and it is still to this day one of the most meaningful gifts I've ever received. I'm sure I was the most annoying person on the hall when I would be playing the same song over and over again at midnight (sorry, guys!), but it really was the best. I think it's probably the only reason I survived Architecture school. 

Last thing you binge-watched on Netflix. 
Oh gosh this is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine. Ryan and I are currently binge-watching The Walking Dead, and before that it was Orange Is The New Black. It should be illegal for it to autoplay the next episode. Every single time I'm like, "well, it's already started..." 

What’s the one piece of advice for anyone wanting to build their own brand you wish you were told in the beginning?
It's okay to not have it all figured out. I am such a perfectionist that I never would have started my business if my husband hadn't given me so much encouragement because I wanted to make sure that everything was PERFECT. The perfect logo, perfect website, perfect packaging, perfect products...But I've learned that a brand is an ever-changing, ever-growing, living thing. Since I started my business almost 3 years ago, I've redesigned my logo, revamped my website, reworked my products, and fine-tuned my mission and my brand. Letting go of things that didn't end up working for your brand isn't failing, it just means that you're listening to your ideal customer. You can take that information and hone in on what works and make your brand even stronger. 

Every business owner has that moment that gives them the warm and fuzzies and completely reminds them what their purpose is. What was yours?
Over the summer I did an artist market and it was a million degrees outside and I was feeling pretty miserable. But then I had a girl come up to me and say, "It's you!". I guess she had been following my Instagram account for over a year and was so excited to meet me in person and see my products first hand. It was such an amazing feeling to know that my voice was being heard. You spend so much time putting yourself out there and it can start to feel like you're yelling into the void, but then something like that happens and it makes you realize that you are making an impact and that people really care about the things that you're creating and investing your time in. 

Favorite movie? Food? Curse word? 90's jam? 
I think I might be able to recite "The Princess Bride" by heart. 
I'm a sucker for any kind of Mexican food. 
As terrible as it is, there's something about the F-word that is so satisfying. 
"You Oughta Know" will forever and always be my favorite angry girl song. 

If you could bring back one canceled TV show back to the air waves, what would it be?
Probably Clarissa Explains It All. 

Would you say you are more of a Broad or a Jones?
Well, my dad is a die-hard David Bowie fan and would sing "Oh You Pretty Things" to wake us up in the morning, and my mom is like Martha Stewart with more personality and less jail time, so I think that makes me a pretty solid Jones. 

Let’s say it’s the end of civilization as we know it, and you know you’re going to be stranded on an island for the rest of your life. What three albums would you bring with you?
This is such a hard questions. My pandora stations have everything from Billie Holiday, to Radiohead, to Opera... I think I'd probably have to take Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black" album because it never gets old, Adele's "21" album because I would definitely be feeling sad and lonely at some point, and The Ya Ya Ya's "Fever To Tell" album for when I'm like "F it". 

What was the one character trait about yourself that was the hardest, but most empowering to embrace?
Definitely my perfectionism. It can be crippling. And it makes me be a total control freak. But I hired an intern over the summer and made myself delegate tasks, and it was so nice to let go a bit, but still have a really high standard of quality. 

September 23, 2016 by Jessica Evans

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