The Little Things

Please don't kill me, Bryce.

Please don't kill me, Bryce.

It's always the little things, isn't it? A sweet note in your lunchbox, no reason flowers, an unexpectedly clean car when your partner returns from borrowing it...

The little things at your wedding count too. It's easy to get swept up in the big details: the menu, the centerpieces, the exact right shade of ivory linens!

The little details of those bigger elements will come to you throughout the event planning process—possibly as a panic attack in the middle of the night. So many of those little things are unique to your wedding + guests, but some are universal tidbits that are often forgotten until the last moment.

So, we're going to help you out with a bit of free advice. When you're planning your wedding, here are a few things to remember:

1. Provide Seating at Cocktail Hour
It's unlikely that your list doesn't include at least one older or disabled guest. If your cocktail hour layout is just high boy tables and a bar, you may want to inquire with your venue or a rental company about adding a little bit of seating to the space.
Standing for an hour or longer can be incredibly trying for some guests. I'm not advocating for seating for the whole guest list, but make sure you have enough chairs for a few tired guests so they can reserve their energy for dancing the night away.

2. Feed Your Vendors
This may be an obvious one to some, but I've known many brides + grooms who have asked if feeding their vendors is required. The answer is a resounding YES. Your vendors are with you all day long and can't leave for a lunch break during your vows. Not only is it respectful to feed them, it's required. Make sure to ask their meal selections and include them in your final list for the caterer.

3. Communicate Meal Selections
If you're serving a plated dinner, you'll need to determine a way of indicating each guest's meal selection to the wait staff. You don't want a waiter interrupting the best man's speech to ask each guest if they ordered the chicken or the fish. The simplest way to do this is with a place card. Make the ink or paper a different color based on entree selection. You could even use a ribbon or other decor item at the place setting to indicate this. If you have a wedding monogram or logo, a great option is to have a stamp made and use this on the place card in different ink colors. Just make sure to communicate which color matches up with each meal to your venue or caterer.

4.  Welcome Your Guests
A welcome toast from the happy couple is not a requirement, but is a perfect opportunity to thank your closest friends and family for their help with your wedding and, most importantly, thank all of your guests for coming. You won't get to spend a ton of time talking with each guest so taking the time to give a heartfelt thanks is a very nice touch.

5. Create a Clean Up Plan
At the end of the night, you're probably going to end up with more stuff than you came with. Between decor, flowers, cards and gifts, you'll have a lot that needs to be cleaned up and taken care of. Assign someone you trust to be responsible for gathering these items and bringing them to an agreed upon location, particularly gifts and cards, as you do not want to leave them at the venue for pick up the next day. (*cough* a day-of coordinator is perfect for this responsibility *cough*)

6. Schedule a Sanity Check
Holy cow, you just got married! A private moment with your new spouse during the blur of your wedding day is so special and important. Try to schedule five minutes of private time (between your ceremony and cocktail hour) to take it all in.

 

I like to think of a wedding as an expression of you and your relationship with your partner. While the day is about you, it's also about the celebration and coming together of families and friends. How people feel on your wedding day is an extension of you and treating people well is all in the little details.

As Maya Angelou said, “At the end of the day people won't remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”

Xo,
Ashley

P.S. Excuse my sappiness in this post particularly while I say Happy 9 Years to my husband!

The Wedding Blogs You Aren't Reading, But Should Be

Would a blog about blogs be considered “blog inception”?

Even if you’re a Level 10 creative genius – I am not – every once in a while, you need a little dose of good old fashioned inspo. And times, they are a-changin’. Wedding and bridal magazines have long been the go-to source for newly engaged ladies. Fast-forward to 2016. These poor brides are drowning. Seriously, if you Google “wedding inspiration”, it spews “about 6,280,000 results” back at you. There’s a nauseating thought.

We’re all already suffering from information overload. Consider this me throwing out the ring buoy to you in the vast ocean of wedding inspo.


THE STAPLES
The gangs all here: Martha, Style Me Pretty, Ruffled. These blogs have stood the test of wedding industry time (the longevity of wedding trends/style is probably most akin to the length of celebrity marriages).  They’re solid, trustworthy, legit sources to get your gears turning.

100 Layer Cake
Martha Stewart Weddings
A Practical Wedding
Ruffled
Style Me Pretty


LET’S GET ACQUAINTED
Okay, now we have to talk about the blogs you aren’t already reading.

BHLDN

BHLDN is Anthropologie’s wedding line. Need I say more? Aside from the fact that I’m obsessed with their entire collection, the site also features a “Wedding Resources” page that is g-g-g-gorgeous and chalk full of handy tips and stunning photos. They’ve got blogs ranging from what to wear on your honeymoon to 5 ways to wear a halo. BHLDN, I see you.

Brooklyn Bride

A wedding blog written by a New York interior designer just can’t be anything but delicious eye candy. Vané Broussard delivers some heavy hitting modern wedding inspo with impressive features on photography, calligraphy, invitations, fashion, gifts, and way, way more. This blog is much cooler than I am, but if you’re a hip + stylish bosslady planning a modern affair; this one’s for you.

OMG I'm Getting Married

London based digital designer, Alexis Cuddyre, started OMG while planning her own wedding as an experiment to broaden her design horizons and pay homage to the wedding blogs she already loved. Lucky for us, it spiraled into something way bigger than she imagined. Her featured styled shoots are SICK. I’m not kidding. There’s an Alexander McQueen styled shoot by Hawke and Hughes. Also, her very own wedding is featured on Vera Wang’s website. This chick is downright cool.

Rock My Wedding

I don’t know what’s going on across the pond, but the Brits are doing something right. RMW is a UK based blog that packs a pretty little punch. Living in the Midwest sure doesn’t make me feel fancy, but I feel like reading this blog somehow ups my game (logical, no?). With featured blogs inspired by marble + copper decor and an unbelievable Italian destination wedding, it doesn’t take long before you’re sucked into RMW for hours. You’ve been warned.


AND NOW...MY ALL-TIME, PERSONAL FAVE
All my GWS ladies say “Yeeeahhh”.

Green Wedding Shoes

This blog…speaks to me. I’ve been an avid GWS follower for years now. Honestly, if we’re Facebook friends, you’re probably super sick of me liking all their posts (sorry, not sorry). The “About” section on their site literally is what Noir is all about, too. Fate? I think so.

“At Green Wedding Shoes, we are truly. madly. deeply. head over heels in love with love. We love sharing weddings with our readers and believe that there is no “right” way to throw a wedding.”

Also, fun fact! The couple that started GWS got married in Milwaukee. Could this be why I’m obsessed? Everything on this blog is amazing and beautiful and I can’t wait for you all to get lost in the wonderful world of GWS like I have.


Blog inception complete.

Xo,
Colette

Getting Real: Wedding Joys + Regrets

Long before Noir existed, I drafted a post for my personal blog, Affichomanie, about what I would do differently and what I'm happy I did for my own wedding. I'd like to think the advice could be valuable to a few brides + grooms out there. So, here are my thoughts speaking as a former bride instead of an event planner.

I Would Have...

1. Chosen different entrees for dinner. Food is very important to me and my husband. As vegetarians, we worked very hard to find food that was delicious, satisfying, and aligned with our beliefs as vegetarians. We chose an incredible gnocchi dish and an outrageously good ratatouille (which was also gluten free). Our tasting was incredible...lots of mind-blowing food. We couldn't wait to treat our friends and family. But when the entrees were served at our wedding, they were suspiciously small and, frankly, didn't taste at all like what we'd been served at the tasting. It was a huge disappointment and I still question whether or not choosing different entrees would have made a difference.

2. Embraced the full bridal gown shopping experience. I bought my wedding dress pre-big girl job so my funds were quite lacking. I also had a silly, but serious aversion to the idea of a dress attendant seeing me in my full glory and forcing me to try on dresses that wouldn't work for my particular set of body issues. I purchased my $1,300 Alvina Valenta gown online for a mere $700 and was thrilled with the purchase. Unfortunately, I wasn't as thrilled with the dress itself. It worked. It was the style I wanted. But not only did I not feel this was my dream dress, I deprived myself and my mom of getting that experience.

3. Saved that bottle Veuve Clicquot the hotel gave us instead of opening it for a couple of sips before falling asleep. What a waste. (The things I worry about years later are outrageous, I know.) 

4. Done my own makeup. I love the person that did my makeup and she did an amazing job with my eyes, but I'd like to think I'm pretty okay at doing my makeup. I didn't need to spend the money on it. And I feel I would have had the kind of foundation coverage that I prefer if I'd done it myself...I mean, my foundation looks better TODAY than it did for my wedding.

5. Made sure someone was designated to get me drinks and save some cake for later. Here's what I drank all night: a few sips of water at dinner, two sips of wine during cocktail hour, 3 sips of G&T during the reception. Here's how much cake I ate: 3 bites. You know how they say to make sure you eat at your wedding because you'll be so busy? It's not so much being busy as it is feeling too excited to eat. I still daydream about eating more of the cake three years later...

6. Waited to pick our bridal party until closer to the wedding. Don't get me wrong, I love my bridal party to death and have no regrets about who stood next to us on our big day. We had a 2 year long engagement and, in that amount of time, a lot can change in peoples' lives. Where we all lived, what we did, and even our relationships with each other changed. I think if we had waited a bit longer to make that decision, we may have avoided some uncomfortable situations with people who didn't end up next to us that day.

 

I'm So Glad I...

1. Skipped the garter toss. It's just not my style.

2. Had most of our photos done before the wedding. We were actually able to mingle with guests during cocktail hour!

3. Hired incredible vendors that I truly trusted. Colette, my homegirl, couldn't have done it without her. Daniel LaBelle was my incredible photographer, Andrew Quella rocked my wedding video, Sound by Design got my friends dancing, Wood Violet delivered gorgeous, locally grown flowers, and Karl's made rentals easy.

4. Didn't invite everybody and their brother. Our wedding was quite small--only about 70 guests--which meant I was actually able to say hello to everyone. It saved on cost and, for the most part, there wasn't anyone there that I didn't know. I loved every single person that was with us that night and, being the introverts we are, that was very important and special to us. 

5. Wore a veil. I was pretty dead set on not wearing a veil until my Maid of Honor and I wondered around the shop where my dress was being altered and found an incredible veil. It is definitely my favorite thing I wore that day and I still cherish it.

6. Didn't feel the need to offer several reception activities. Do you know how many guests leave right after dinner?! If I'd done what I had wanted (cigar + whiskey bar plus champagne + perfume bar plus photo booth plus...) I would have spent a ton and half of money on entertainment for very few people. Everyone was perfectly entertained by the open bar, amazing DJ, and DIY trail mix bar. That's enough, I tell you!

Xo,
Ashley

MC, You Need an MC

Okay, who has been to a wedding and thought, “What the heck is going on right now?! Is something supposed to be happening? Do I have time to run to the bar for another drink? Wait, are they cutting the cake? Dude, am I missing something? OMG I’m so confused.”

We would all be wise to take notes from the classic Mariah Carey hit, “Obsessed”… “Will the real MC please step to the mic? MC, you need an MC.”

Friends – if you’re having a wedding, you need an MC. You also need music. For all those folks who argue, “Our budget is tight. Can’t I just make a playlist on my phone?” Unless your iPhone is built in with an intuitive host that can flawlessly execute all 10 things below, leave your device in your pocket and make the wise investment into hiring an experienced DJ.

Not convinced? Here’s what a DJ does, that your phone can’t do:

  1. Meet with you to creatively design an evening full of music that decisively represents you both individually and as a couple, all while keeping in mind your “Must plays”, “Do not plays”, and “Seriously, don’t you dare play this” lists.
     
  2. Help build out your wedding day timeline to ensure smooth transitions from one event to another throughout the evening.
     
  3. Integrate lighting and thoughtfully selected song choices to create a totally different vibe during cocktail hour, dinner, after dinner, and dancing, but still making the evening flow seamlessly and harmoniously.
     
  4. Coordinate the grand march with your entire wedding party, keeping in mind important relationships and suggesting appropriate song choices.
     
  5. Introduce and organize prayers, speeches, toasts, special dances, sendoffs, and all other events. This solves the “What the heck is happening?!” problem.
     
  6. Work hand in hand with your photographer, videographer, caterer, and planner to ensure all moments are captured and timed perfectly with dinner courses and all other wedding events throughout the evening.
     
  7. Interact with your guests by providing proactive information about the evenings events, fielding random questions (when in doubt, they always ask the DJ), responding appropriately to music requests, and reading the crowd to adjust the playlist in order to keep your dance floor packed.
     
  8. Continuously make adjustments to sounds levels and lighting according to the venue space, logistics, and layout.
     
  9. Recognize, adapt, and work around the inevitable changes that will pop up throughout the day.
     
  10. Check in with you to make sure everything is cool. If your phone is asking you, “Hey, how are things going?”…well, that’s both super weird and sort of awesome.
     

We’ve established why you need a DJ, so now you have to find the right one. As soon as you have your date and venue locked in, start your research. Reading through past client reviews – as with all wedding vendors you hire – is a must. Make sure they have the experience, the equipment, the backup plan, the insurance, and the knowledge to rock your wedding the way you always imagined. Interview your top two favorites, talk with your partner about who you both gelled with more, and lock them in. 

Having Noir on your side to help make this crucial decision doesn’t hurt either. Let us help you connect with the best in the biz.

Xo,
Colette

The Pretty Paper

Invitations and other paper items for a wedding tend to fall on the back burner for many people. It’s understandable. Sending invitations doesn’t seem like a priority when you’re picking out a venue and a pretty, pretty dress! 

The fact is, invitations (and save-the-dates) are incredibly important! Not only are they the requirement for actually getting guests to show up on your big day, but they’re also the first introduction to your wedding. They set the tone for your event and signal the formality + style. It’s also an opportunity to share your personality as a couple.

Maybe it’s because I’m married to a graphic designer, but browsing the internet for beautiful designs is one of my favorite ways to spend time. Here are a few invitation suites to get your creative wheels turning.

Invite Suite 6 - Honeycomb + Bright Florals.jpg

 

Gorgeous, right?! Now, keep in mind, Pinterest and wedding magazines are incredible for inspiration, but can be extremely misleading in terms of cost. Most popular suites, including most of the above, are high-end designs and easily cost in the thousands. At the same time, wedding budget calculators leave just the scraps of your budget for use toward your invitations & other paper needs. Even a simple pre-designed invitation + rsvp card from a large online retailer costs a minimum of $300 for 100 cards (that doesn’t even include the envelopes).

With paper design, there are a huge number of variables to factor into the cost from style of printing to paper selection. This is why it’s so important to meet with a professional designer who can provide education upfront in design + printing methods. It’s also important that your designer gets a feel for your style and budget so they can create the perfect suite just for you.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when you start on this paper filled journey:

  • When determining your budget, remember that it should include all of the paper items you need designed plus any extra elements like ribbons + envelopes and last but not least, postage!
  • Here are a few items you’ll need for your wedding + a few you may just want:
    • Save the Date Card + Envelope or Save the Date Postcard
    • Invitation Card
    • RSVP Card + Envelope or RSVP Postcard
    • Reception Card
    • Directions/Map Card
    • Accommodations Card
    • Folder and/or Envelopes (single or double)
    • Belly Band, Ribbon and/or Envelope Liner
    • Ceremony Program
    • Escort Card
    • Place Card
    • Menu
    • Thank You Card
    • Sparkler Farewell Card, Paper Fortune Teller or Fill in the Blank Fun Card
    • Monogram, Logo or Symbol (to use throughout your suite!)
  • Base your count on number of households for anything that is mailed, such as invitations & save-the-dates. For anything at the wedding, make sure to have enough for each guest.
  • Always, always, always order extras! We usually say to add 15% to your count. Ordering extra now will save you if more items are needed for a growing guest list or if anything is ruined by a disastrous red wine spill or dog ate my homework situation. Ordering more later will mean another charge from the paper company, another run on a printing press, and more work time by all involved—significantly more expensive than ordering extras upfront.
  • There are various printing methods + paper stocks so it may be helpful to take a little time to figure out what look you like and care about.
    • Printing Methods: Embossing, Flat Printing - Digital/Inkjet/Etc., Letterpress, or Engraving
    • Paper Stock Qualities: ThicknessColor, Eco-friendly, Textured or Patterned
  • Determine how you will address your mailings. You have a few options: By Hand (you, your friends, your family), Calligraphy, or Printed.
  • Begin thinking about what you want your invitations to say. Believe it or not, there are different wording rules to follow for everything from formality of your event to who is paying for it. A professional designer will be able to guide you along the way.

 

If you find yourself in need of design services, let’s talk! Contact us here for a complimentary consultation. We can’t wait to meet you!

Xo,
Ashley

The Bridesmaid Breakdown

Aside from being a bride, I've played a lot of different roles over the years in weddings: designer, coordinator, venue manager, MC, florist, and even second shooter for a photographer. This summer, I'm making my bridesmaid debut in my best friend's wedding (Yay, Bre!). Granted, she is absolutely the easiest, breeziest, most laid-back bride to ever exist - the role of bridesmaid is a super important one. Whether you're a rookie 'maid or an old pro, there are some key rules you need to adhere to and a few responsibilities you need to master.

The Easiest Rules We'll Ever Give You

Team Bride. All day. Every day.
Obviously, you and the bride are super tight if she asked you to stand beside her on the biggest day of her life. Support her decisions. Listen and really be there for her. You're her bridesmaid because she loves you and values your friendship. Being a great bridesmaid is really just being a great friend. And remember, if she hasn't already, she'll return the favor and be just as awesome if you ask her to be your bridesmaid one day.

Offer to help.
Seems obvious, but it's so easy to get caught up in your own life and let your bridesmaid responsibilities fall by the wayside. Talk to the bride and figure out where you best can be of assistance. Maybe it's dress shopping, maybe it's invitation stuffing, or maybe it's just taking her out for a drink to help her de-stress. Keep checking in and continue to offer your time throughout the entire planning process.

Be cool.
If there's anything you need to chill out on during your time as a bridesmaid, it's drama. If you have an opinion on something to do with the wedding, politely share it. If it's shot down, move on. She's planning her wedding. Don't dilute it by being rude, selfish, or dramatic. Remember, Team Bride! Always, Team Bride.

Your Ever So Important Bridesmaid Duties

  • Be honored + excited! Welcome to Team Bride.
  • Help with wedding planning.
  • Buy your bridesmaid dress, shoes, and accessories.
  • Get an awesome gift for the following events:
    • Engagement party
    • Bachelorette party
    • Bridal shower
    • Wedding
  • Check in with the bride to see what you can help with.
  • Coordinate with the other bridesmaids - especially the MOH - to plan, pay for, and host the bachelorette party.
  • Coordinate with the other bridesmaids - and maybe even the bride/groom's family - to plan, pay for, and host the bridal shower.
  • Seriously, keep offering to help!
  • Attend the ceremony rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
  • Be ready to rock on the wedding day. Be a calming presence. Keep an eye on the time. Fix her hair when it's blowing around crazy during photos. Oh, and dance with her. A lot.

Of all the ladies in her life, the bride picked you to help her go to the bathroom on her wedding day. If that ain't friendship, I don't know what is.

Xo,
Colette

Extra Tips from a Former Bride

  • Don't be afraid to have an opinion, especially when it comes to your attire. The bride has about one million decisions to make for her wedding so when she asks what you like, she's not just asking to be polite. Help her out!
  • During her wedding, keep her hydrated. She's not going to have time (or even be able to think to) head over to the bar. Every person there will stop her on the way and it will never happen. I literally  had three sips of a beverage at my reception and didn't go to the bathroom for a full 14 hours. NOT. HEALTHY. (Sorry for the TMI.)
  • Ooooo and ahhhhh at her when she comes out in her dress for the first time. You're her favorite ladies so being distracted with your own conversations when she comes out would be a sad moment. It's her big day after all!

Xo,
Ashley

Be Bond Worthy

As the only guy here at Noir Event Co., Colette and Ashley asked that I write today’s blog from a distinctly male perspective. Unfortunately for them, I’m going to write about fashion—men’s fashion, but fashion all the same. At least it will be wedding related.

When it came to my wedding day, I knew I wouldn’t be walking down the aisle in a rented tux. It just didn’t feel right for me. Over the years, I have worn more rented suits and tuxes than most people will probably see in their lifetime and most of them smelled funny, were dirty or simply did not fit. Not to mention those god awful, overly shiny patent “leather” shoes.  All of these issues made me extremely uncomfortable — which is the exact opposite of how you want to feel when your bride is walking down the aisle. You want to look like a freaking sexy beast! Have no fear! I’m here to help.

I realize that tuxedo ownership is not in the cards for most modern gentlemen — we simply don’t have enough opportunities to get our inner red carpet on. However, if you attend three or four formal events a year, a $500 tuxedo investment may well be worth your money. Consider that a rental will often run you $200 or more.  If you’re planning to buy,  spend your money wisely and select a timeless silhouette in either black or a deep navy blue. You’ll be a Bond-worthy badass forever and save a ton of money over time.  

For my groomsmen and I, we opted to purchase new suits instead of handing our money over to Men’s Warehouse for an ill-fitting nightmare. Great suits for reasonable rates can be found at a number of retailers. My personal favorites are J.Crew, Macy’s (wide selection of designers) and Suitsupply (where we purchased our wares).  While buying a suit is a little more investment than a rental — you own it! You can wear it again and again. You can also have your suit tailored to your exact measurements. You also won’t have to worry about returning your new suit the day after the ceremony. Trust me, formalware returns while hung over are zero fun!

Another advantage of purchasing your own suit is you select all of your own accessories. Have a great pair of shoes? Polish ‘em up and wear them! Hate aquamarine vests and ties? Skip them and opt for fresh pocket squares and ties from the ever-hip and reasonable The Tie Bar. The sky is the limit. Keep it timeless and you’ll look great in those wedding photos for years to come. 

If you really just want to rent, no biggie. That’s your choice to make.  A number of services are popping up online that deliver beautiful, fashionable tuxedos right to your door for less than the price of a traditional rental. The best reviewed service I’ve found is The Black Tux. Basically you send your measurements and they send you a designer suit or tuxedo guaranteed to fit. Easy peasy. This option is especially convenient if your groomsmen are all over the country.  

Hopefully that helps! 

Xo (I’m supposed to do this, right?),
Bryce

The Welcome Box

Sooo I have to be honest with you. To me, the best part of signing a new client is...creating a welcome gift box.

Picking out and putting together a beautiful box full of treats to welcome the newest members of our Noir family is WAY TOO MUCH FUN. Planning these welcome boxes feels like we're planning a teeny tiny event. We get to pick the treats, the colors, the design. And really, what's better than seeing someone's face light up when you give them an unexpected present?

Not only do we want to thank our clients for choosing us, but we also like to give them a few things to start the wedding planning process on an exciting and stress-free note. Lavender, candles, chocolate, and confetti poppers seem like a good way to accomplish that goal.

I don't want to share all of the incredible things we include in the box (it's a surprise after all!) so a few items are missing from the photos. But overall, here are the delightful boxes we've been putting together.

Xo,
Ashley

6 Weddings Trends for 2016 We're Obsessed With

A new year means new trends and we're freaking out. 

2016 is going to be an incredible year for gorgeous, unique, and memorable weddings. It was almost impossible to narrow it down to our top 6 favorites. After much internal struggle, we did it. 


Naked Cakes
Rustic is truly here to stay. These undone cakes are serious showstoppers - in the very best way.

Smoke Bombs
Your photographer's job just got a whole lot easier. Seriously, how cool is this?!

Comfort Food
Late night snacks have always been fun, now the whole menu can be just as exciting. Everyone from your niece to your grandma is going to squeal with delight when they see these options.

image (2).png

Metallic Color Palettes
What better day to go all out than your wedding? Metallic palettes transcend all seasons. Gorgeous year-round!

Jaw-Dropping, Gorgeous Lighting
Your guests will be immediately reaching for their phones to Instagram your beautifully illuminated wedding. If they can pick their jaws up off the floor, that is.

Creative Reception Seating
Goodbye boring seating! Mixing up the seating arrangements will elevate your wedding from pretty to absolute perfection.

Crazy beautiful, right? We think so, too.

Xo,
Colette

Our 1st Anniversary

Today is Noir’s first anniversary! While Colette and I officially launched our business in November, February 20th was the real start of it all.

We’d decided quickly through exclamation point filled texts that we were starting an event company together. A true modern day business, I suppose. We made plans to get dinner at Hinterland on February 20th and Noir was born over old-fashioneds, fried brussels sprouts, and pure excitement.

We went back to my apartment and with the help of design & branding god, Bryce, we came up with our name that night too.

It was a whirlwind. We practically had our five year plan decided that night including what our future office would look like down to san pellegrino in the fridge. Colette and I reallllllly like a plan. So after our crazy week we slowed it way down and made each decision very deliberately. We are both incredibly idealistic and realistic in the same breath.

Starting a business and putting yourself out there is TERRIFYING. I’ve learned very quickly since launching Noir that only crazy people start their own businesses. You would have to be crazy to choose to work for an extra 40 hours a week, right? Honestly, these days I’m lucky if I find the time and energy to wash my hair. (Um, I have a lot of hair and also, dry shampoo.)

But, I must say, it feels so good to be part of the crazy crowd now. Even though we have regularly scheduled mental breakdowns (I’ve been known to cry over how much to charge people; Colette cries over pretty literature), usually I’m just excited and proud and honored to run a business with Colette.

We’ve been so surprised by the immediate response we’ve had and by just how much has happened in the past three months since we launched.

That being said, I want to take this opportunity to thank our families and loved ones for supporting us over the past year and to thank our new clients, future clients, fellow vendors, and friends for all of your support, ideas, and faith in us. It means the world!

And mostly I want to thank my #1 chick, sister from another mister, and partner Colette. Colette, you poetic and noble land-mermaid, thanks for being the greatest business partner and friend anyone could ask for. You are a BOSS and no one can ever deny what a kind, hard-working, hilarious, and intelligent person you are. Thanks for starting on this crazy adventure with me!

Xo,
Ashley