Hello, friends! The 2020 Holiday Collection launches on Thursday! In the meantime, we have some fun shop news and updates that have been a looooong time coming. Live today at The Art Bar® are two beautiful new frames – Gallery Aged Brass Frame for canvases, and the darling Natural Wood Frame for prints. We're also thrilled to announce that our unframed art prints received a beautiful upgrade to our new Cotton Luxe Paper, and will be shipping in flat mailers (per popular request!).
New Art Print Frame: Natural Wood
This beautiful and understated Natural Wood Frame is the new darling of the group. You'll love the subtle grain of the light wood, which is sealed but not stained, allowing the natural beauty of the Pine to speak for itself. No two frames are exactly alike! You can find the Natural Wood frame on every art print in The Art Bar® at Lindsay Letters Co. Go see it on "Here is the World," here.
New Canvas Frame: Gallery Aged Brass
This new gallery finishing is an understated, moody metallic that adds a subtle shimmer to the face of an otherwise matte black frame. While it’s not an in-your-face yellow-gold, it adds an unexpected little something special to your artwork — especially when the light hits it just right. It's available now on all framed canvases in the Art Bar—go see it in the Christmas Classics Collection! Below is a photo of it in direct sunlight, on Bind My Wandering Heart. (In dimly lit rooms, the frame will appear more matte bronze, less shiny/metallic).
Cotton Luxe Paper & Flat Shipping!
And last, but totally not least: An epic art print UPGRADE! Fine Art Prints are central to the history and mission of Lindsay Letters, and the quality and experience of receiving them is so important to us! We're thrilled to say that all unframed art prints have now been upgraded to a beautiful new paper, Cotton Luxe, and will be shipping in flat mailers instead of rolled.
Thank you, dear customers, for your patience in this! We want you to have the best possible experience with LL from start to finish, and we firmly believe that experience ends with not having to mess around with a rolly-uppy Art Print. Amen.
Cotton Luxe is a beautiful, cream-colored, heavyweight (105#) archival paper that boasts a perfect subtle texture and matte finish, helping the art to shine as if it were the original piece. When we were discussing how to describe this paper, Laura said "I just want people to know it's really, really pretty." So naturally, we thought about calling it "Really Pretty Paper," but figured we'd reserve that for it's in-house pet name. ;o)
Stylist's Tip: Wondering what size unframed print to choose? If you're ordering an abstract piece as an art print, we highly recommend the 11x14 and finding a frame with a substantial mat. You'll love how it looks on the new textured paper!
You can browse abstracts, here. (Every piece in the Art Bar® is offered as a canvas or art print, framed or unframed.)
That's it for now! Don't forget that the Holiday Launch is Thursday, 10/29/20! Christmas is coming early and we are READY for it!
We have two VIP birthdays in the LL community this week.
Tomorrow is Eva's birthday, and Sunday is brother Phoenix's birthday.
As anyone who has suffered knows, celebrating in the midst of grief is bittersweet, bringing both joy and pain into sharper focus. The gap between what is and what should be feels deeper during holidays and milestones.
But I am wishing little Phoenix all the fun and happiness in the world on his birthday, even though I know he'll miss his beloved big sister so very much.
And for Eva, I am praying a pervading sense of well-being (Dallas Willard's definition of "joy") over her today, tomorrow, and in the days to come.
Friends, Eva is in such a rough part of the healing journey right now. If you follow Dugan on Instagram, you've seen the photos and videos of what's happening in this stage: crying, "posturing," "storming." It's draining and stressful and heart-breaking. It's so very physical and human and hard.
But I am praying, with everything in me, that deep down—deeper than whatever process her body is taking her through in this brutal path of emerging consciousness—Eva is secure in what's true: that she is protected, that she is held, and that she is so very loved.
Team LL has been thinking ahead about how to mark this important week with you, the Lindsay Letters community.
Most of you will be familiar with "Rainbow Daydream," which Lindsay drew a couple of years ago as an artistic imagining of what Eva's dreams look like. It's become the most well-loved piece of art in the LL shop for 2019—and for such good, beautiful reason.
Today we're revealing two new, special pieces that Lindsay created several weeks ago, that we've been anxiously waiting until this week to share.
"Adventure Daydream" (above) features pirate ships, lightning bolts, dinosaurs, volcanos, planets, and a friendly little campfire—the stuff of an adventurous kid's imagination. We love the invitation bursting from the background ("explore everything!") and the bubble of encouragement ("be brave, be bold"). Lindsay created this one to celebrate Phoenix Brave and brave little kids everywhere. (My son got a sneak peek of it and said: "I WANT THAT IN MY ROOM.")
And then: "Wild Daydream."
I know the world is good because it has you.
Wild one, remember... you will never go alone.
These words are nestled in a whimsical, visual symphony of rainbows, cacti, swings rocking in the wind, and music notes. Lindsay designed it with both of her children (and sophisticated, neutral rooms) in mind, but I know these words are straight from her heart to Eva in this season. All of the Daydreams pieces capture something ineffable, but this one has my heart right now.
Thank you for honoring this meaningful week with us, and thank you for your continued, faithful prayers for Eva, Phoenix, the entire Sherbondy family, and the Lindsay Letters team. It means more than you know!
Hello, friends! Happy Summer!
I am so thrilled to announce a new sister brand to Lindsay Letters® – Farmhouse Canvas Co! Here's a little overview of my heart and some quick FAQs about the new brand.
Q: What exactly is Farmhouse Canvas Co?
A: Farmhouse Canvas Co. is a new art brand I'm launching, with lots of notable similarities to Lindsay Letters®. The heartbeat of the brand is the same, but the art will focus more on simple, graphic designed pieces with a fresh, modern-farmhouse feel. While Lindsay Letters® focuses on heavily customizable hand lettered and abstract art, the pieces from Farmhouse Canvas Co. will be mostly black and soft white, and mostly typography and graphic design-driven. My background is graphic design, and it feels life-giving to be stretching this muscle again! The pieces will, of course, be all canvases, with an alabaster white background, and a bit of faux distressing to add character.
Q: Why make it a separate brand, and not just a new collection?
A: Great question! With a kind of long answer. (Hang with me!) Originally, FCCo was going to be on a totally separate website, and that's where I originally built out the brand. I wanted to see how it would work with a totally different, more simple approach than I'd ever used with LL. This included simple mockups instead of photoshoots, less customization options, using a pre-built website template, and a different (less expensive, but amazing in it's own right!) canvas style. I also wanted it to be especially easy for people who are loolooking specifically for farmhouse-style art to find it, and I thought that might be easier on a website with a very literal name. However! While I was building out this separate, new Farmhouse Canvas Co. website, we were simultaneously working on some more fun incentives for LL customers, including an affiliate and a rewards program, as well as wholesale offerings. It was after those were mostly completed that we stepped back and decided that it really didn't serve our customers well to have the brands be on separate websites. Ultimately, as a customer, I myself would want to have my shipping charges bundled and less, for my rewards points (launched today!) to be added together, and for me to see all of my options in one place. And so, I decided to move it all over to LindsayLetters.co. I'm still keeping it as a separate, sister brand, because the model is still a bit different, and because they are still being created on a different type of canvas than the pieces at The Art Bar. Which brings me to...
Q: What happened to "The Art Bar"?
A: We've been getting this question a lot, and my answer is simple –– Nothing! After lots of processing, we have landed on the fact that "Lindsay Letters" is the brand, and "The Art Bar™" is the method. While I tried dropping the Lindsay Letters entirely, The Art Bar wasn't as comprehensive as I needed it to be, because it just speaks to the actual art builder on the website, but not other products that I offer from time to time. (Almost like an operating system is to a computer). Since the creation of my very first digitally reproduced canvas in 2011, being able to cater to different customization needs and tastes of my customers has been a high value of Lindsay Letters, and so the Art Bar is here to stay!
I hope that you will be so blessed by FCCo, and that some of the pieces will be just the thing you've been looking for! Thanks so much as always for your love, encouragement, and support along the way! Now, go check out Farmhouse Canvas Co!
I have a good friend that would always use the term "percolating" to describe a time when everything might look normal and the same on the surface, but underneath, things are happening. Brewing, bubbling, changing. That's exactly how I feel about this season at Lindsay Letters. My business took off like I never expected, and I up until this past year, I've felt like it was snowballing away from me, faster than I could catch it. This month – the 31st of October, to be exact! – will mark a new day for Lindsay Letters, and I am thrilled and grateful and nervous and expectant! Here's a little about how I got here and where I'm going. Warning: It's LONG, so grab some coffee and hunker down, if you're ready to stick with me!
Eva Love will turn seven in November, and Phoenix Brave will turn three. The month Eva turned one (November 2012) is the month I officially opened the Lindsay Letters online shop (it had just been a blog + freelance business since 2008) and it has done better than I would have ever dreamed. Nearly exactly four years later and the month that Phoenix was born, I opened a little storefront in my town of Sun Prairie, WI. (Yes, I said BORN. Because I am a literal crazy person). A store and a space of my own was something I'd so desperately wanted, but having a growing online business, and a baby brick and mortar, and an actual baby, all at the same time... well, that was rough.
I'm an achiever, a die-hard creative in every sense of the term, I love my work, I believe in excellence, and I love making people happy. I'm also incredibly one-track-minded, and so working and mothering (and wife-ing) all simultaneously comes really, really un-naturally to me. In opening the brick & mortar, I realized that I'd accidentally created a seperate business, and I had no one doing it with me (save for some friends I was exhausting). I needed actual hands-on help, so I moved fulfillment away from my letterpress partner (where I was renting in space Illinois) to Wisconsin, and assembled a small but mighty team here to help with fulfillment as well as operations of both the physical and online stores. This leg of my journey confirmed one thing I already knew – that I LOVE working with people! But, unfortunately, I realized very quickly that I basically hate managerial leadership. No matter who it's with. No matter how amazing and capable and lovely and funny the people I work with are, I am a sub-par manager. I'm good at loving, good at vision and ideas and creating, bad at managing. This was an especially difficult realization since the businesses I'd created required more hands (and more brains!) than I had on my own.
I also realized that having an in-person store is the actual biggest business mistake I've ever made. Quite simply, it didn't work. I thought we'd kind of just be "open when we're open," but that made passerbyers grumpy, and that grumpiness made me miserable. It was also astonishingly hard to keep the store looking like a store but also a functioning fulfillment facility (which was my original vision – dual-purpose) at the same time. All in all, it was just a bad plan. Maybe it was something I had to DO before I could realize that, but it didn't take long before I was waving a white flag. My marriage was suffering, my mental and physical health were suffering, it was an ignorant choice financially, and I just wasn't having fun at all. I felt like I was drowning. Exactly one year after the store opened, pre-orders for my coloring book launched on Phoenix's first birthday, and I upped my Wellbutrin prescription.
It all came to a head when we went to Spring at the Silos in 2017. I was SO inspired by the place and the artisans and had a ton of fun! However, the main thing I walked away from that experience thinking was, something needs to change. I was around all of these people who I felt were working smarter, not harder, and I was in the "harder" group, no doubt. Now, that's not to say they weren't working hard! But hard and smart. Something is seriously wrong in a business when you can be invited to an incredible opportunity, set up just about first, leave just about last, have a packed booth for three days, have things go exactly or better than you expected, and still leave totally and utterly depleted. And that's exactly how I felt. Up until that point, I had always run my business from a strictly creative mindset. "Who cares if the margins on this stink? It's fun/beautiful!" "Who cares if this way is more work, it's the right way!" "Who cares if I stay up all night, every night?! I want it to be perfect!" We packed up that last night of the market, ate our delicious Silos cupcakes, and flew home from Waco (I in an old maternity dress with crusty formula on it that my friends still remind me about), and I drew a line in the sand the next day. It was time for a change in mindset. Even if it was risky. Even if it was hard. Because what I was doing and how I was currently working was simply unsustainable. For me, for my family, and then consequently to my business.
Luckily, God was all over it as soon as I relinquished control. (No shocker, there!) My team had other opportunities next on the horizon that naturally called them away, and we were able to sublet my store almost immediately. I was off to a good start! We had moved fulfillment away from the store already, since the shipping and receiving off of Main Street was just another thing in the long list of things that didn't work, and I started working on creating a home studio to base out of. (Still not my first choice, but it's what's best now). I still felt majorly short-handed, but knew assembling a team was not something I am made for, and so I had to continue to streamline and brainstorm unexpected ways to alleviate some of the pressure.
My next goal needed to be making the Lindsay Letters online experience as succinct as possible. I've literally had over 1,000 products in the store since it's creation. Way too many SKUs for you all to sort through, and way too much product to manage! It is SO HARD for me to "trim the fat," as they say. Basically because each and every product I have has some sort of emotional value to me. Also because every time I take away a design or product, I inevitably get emails asking for it back! (You guys, this is HARD!) A few holidays ago, I launched my broadest catalog ever (in addition to prints and canvases, I'd created bags, cups, barware, mugs, platters, pens, textiles, apparel, and so on), and that was frankly too much for me to manage, from too many different vendors. Plus, I've sold tons of Pumpkin Mugs (for example), but honestly Pumpkin Mugs aren't the thing that fuels my soul. And so, I'll hand that baton over to the many other lettering artists that are doing a great job at it, and try to zone in on what I can uniquely add to the conversation.
Along with editing products, I went to work creating the what we've dubbed the "Canvas Builder" (you can see it in action whenever you create a canvas) and the Help Desk – both in an effort to best set your expectations and answer questions ahead of time. (AND, to make it FUN!) Last Fall, in an tense week of pre-holiday-launch planning, I created this first calendar in an effort to get organized, and have been so blessed to discover that it's something you all have loved being able to use as well!
Over this past year, I've continued to prune products, streamline my fulfillment efforts, and take a long look at what I feel that God has specifically made me to do.
Where I've landed is two very specific things:
1. God has wired me to create approachable, attainable, hope-filled art available in a beautiful and user-friendly online environment.
2. God has wired me to connect and inspire, through art and words and authenticity.
And so from this point on, that is the measurement against which I will weigh my efforts! Anything that doesn't help to fulfill that purpose has to go. What does this mean for Lindsay Letters? Well my friend, I'm glad you asked! In bullet points, here's what this means:
• My focus for the store will be on Art. Wall art, specifically (although I wish there was a sexier term for it). This doesn't mean that I won't ever sell the occasional mug or shirt, but my focus will be on art for your walls. This is the direction I feel God has called me, and I feel SO MUCH PEACE about it! (And this includes the calendars, since I consider those wall art as well!)
• I am making the switch to offering Art that is exclusively print on demand. (As in, I won't have in-house stock/inventory). Right now (and for as long as LL has been a store), every single canvas, calendar, and textile is already custom made to order. So, no change there! The big thing this affects are the foil & letterpress Art Prints as you currently know them, which are consequently entering their retirement (hence the big Clearance sale I just ran). If you subscribe to my newsletter, you already know this info, and thank you for your overwhelming support! This was a really tough decision, but with all of the Art Prints comes a huge amount of product management, and packaging, and a lot of guessing about what y'all are going to like. Since I have so many designs, and with letterpress and foil you have to print so many pieces at a time, it requires a heck of a lot of work and brain power... not to mention waste if I print something that doesn't sell well. I sold down my remaining prints as much as possible and that's the end of that Chapter of Lindsay Letters. It's bittersweet, since those Art Prints are foundational to my business, but I know that something has to give to make way and make room for what's ahead! Which is!...
• Beginning October 31st, I'm bringing new material + finishing options to all of my art! At that time every single Canvas that I currently offer on site (plus the new stuff) will now be available not just in the Canvas and Framed Canvas materials, but you'll also have the option to purchase those designs as an Art Print or Framed Art Print. Each form factor will have a variety of sizes and framing options to choose from, making it even easier for you to find and customize a piece that's perfect for you! This means that for the first time ever, my abstracts will be available as prints! This also means that on the lettered pieces, you'll be able to really choose the exact background color that works best for your space, instead of choosing from the one or two color options I had previously.
My partners (vendor, web team) and I have been working extremely hard on building out this new ordering process and art builder function, and we are so close to having it ready for you to enjoy! I cannot wait!!! I feel so liberated, and excited, and I am so looking forward to seeing what you all create!
• The last big change will be the name. I began "Lindsay Letters" as a blog in 2008, and lettering was used in that blog name as a verb. It was to document all of my lettering projects, and the name was so unique at the time. When it was time to launch my store, it assumed the blog name because that seemed only natural since that's where the traffic was, and that's what I was quickly becoming known as. (My last name is actually Sherbondy – not quite as roll-off-the-toungey). However, my friends will be the first to tell you that having my name be the business name has always been a bit uncomfortable and awkward for me. I'm not a natural self-promoter, and it feels weird to talk about yourself in third person. Even though it's not. Because I'm the person Lindsay Letters but there's also the store and brand Lindsay Letters and you see now I'm already confused. I'll happily assume the adorable "Lindsay Letters" nickname that you dear internet friends have bestowed upon me, but the dot com and brand is due for a change! I'm delighted that my abstract paintings have become just as popular as my lettering, and so I really want a business name that will be more all-encompassing of my art and offerings. Since I was already calling the canvas section of my website "The Canvas Bar®", transitioning the entire site to The Art Bar™ seemed like a perfect transition!
I love the idea of a "bar" because that's a place where we can experience both community and customization. So much of my life is spent saddled up to a coffee bar (like now, writing this post), where I watch people greeted by friendly familiar faces, and then proceed to order (sometimes extremely long, specific) unique versions of what they'd like. That's my vision for my art, and the products I'm offering here! I will do my best to create beautiful, meaningful art for you! And then the fun part – you saddle up to The Art Bar™, find a piece you love, and then make it uniquely your own!
Over the next week, we'll be transitioning all things LindsayLetters.com over to TheArtBar.co, as well as updating art and getting ready to launch Holiday 2018 on Halloween Night! (Please pardon our dust if you see anything a little wonky in this transition process. We'll get it buttoned up by Halloween for sure!)
Thank you so incredibly much for being on this crazy journey with me over the past DECADE! It's my heart's desire to steward this thing well. To honor God in this business, honor my family, and then to honor you. It's my hope and prayer that these updates will be such a blessing to you, and that you will continue to invite my work into the places and people's lives you hold most dear. It's because of you that I get to do what I LOVE and for that I am immeasurably grateful!
Have a wonderful day, and make sure you save the date for October 31st!
p.s. Did you read this far?! If you did, THANK YOU! That was a lot of info! Enjoy the discount code BLOG23 for one FREE printable! Click here to shop! → downloadable prints (update: downloadable print giveaway is now closed).