Ah! Mazing Vendor Corner: SkratcHaus Studios

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I was blessed enough to sit and have a discussion with the wonderful Timi Majek, CEO and Founder of SkratcHaus Studios. They are known for their beautiful wedding invitation and stationary but they do wayy more than that! She was such a sweet soul and it was very interesting to be able to discuss and figure out what makes her tick as a Mom, successful businesswoman, and artist! Please enjoy!

Memi: Thanks for taking time out and sitting with us!
Timi: No problem at all!

Memi: Tell me about yourself and how you started your business
Timi: I actually grew up surrounded by a lot of art. All through high school at Federal Government Girls’ College Sagamu in Nigeria my focus was in the arts. I got accepted in to the General Arts program at Yaba College of Technology, Lagos and after a two-year stint there I moved to the United States in 1999 and started taking college business classes. Eventually, I realized my passion was deeply rooted in the arts and I changed my major to graphic design. In 2001, I got a scholarship to Columbus College of Art and Design, Ohio where I double majored in advertising and graphic design. It was there I honed my design skills and really began to understand the concept of design beyond “oh it looks cool, pretty and beautiful.”
After graduation I moved to Baltimore, MD and worked at an advertising agency for a couple of years.  I later moved to Atlanta still working a 9-5, doing freelance work and studying for my Maters in Graphic Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design. In the midst of all of this SkratcHaus Studios was launched in 2007, focusing on small business branding and direct marketing. Invitation requests had always been part of the scope for SkratcHaus but things picked up right about the time I finished my Masters. And shortly after graduation I decided to launch Recherch√© by SkratcHaus Studios, which is the invitations and fine stationery label by SkratcHaus Studios. 
The biggest thing was realizing what my passion was and sticking to it no matter what came my way. Because believe me, growing up in Lagos, Nigeria, my parents and I got blank stares when family and friends found out I was going to be an Art major in college. I thank God for my parents because they encouraged their children to follow their passions with no preconceived limits. My sister is a microbiologist and my brother is a computer scientist and I have 2 other siblings who are into finance and accounting. They supported and still support our dreams no matter what. 
Memi: What do you love about making designer invitations?
Timi: I think the biggest thing for me is working with clients that really understand what they want and being able to bring their vision to life. Anyone can go through a catalog, pick something and be ready to go. For me, it is something very personal that represents you and your wedding or event. It is the first thing people will see. So, the biggest joy for me in all of this is finishing a job and having the client say this is EXACTLY what I wanted or this is what I wanted it to be!
Memi: What keeps you motivated through all the bumps in the road? What keeps you going?
Timi: I derive a lot of inspiration from a lot of sources. Being a trained artist you see things very differently, your ideas and the way you interpret things is very different. I have learnt that if you quit you’ll never know if you’ll succeed. I’ve been faced with that choice many times before but my faith in God and my daughter keep me going. When she was born I got a new outlook on how to see things and how to interpret things. Seeing her is just like watching a mini me, even the most simple, mundane things she does motivate me. I do what I do to leave a legacy for her.  I also want her to have me as an example to always look up to. Taking the training I have, the things that inspire me and then introducing luxury and finesse is a beautiful thing. Aside from that I would say beautiful things and good people. They are very important and they keep me going every day! And I paint when I have the time to which is very rare so I cherish those moments.
Memi: How do you make sure you stay innovative and one of the best in the industry?
Timi: Number one I try to keep up with trends, see what others are doing and why they are doing it. Then it is important to look beyond what you think you are capable of doing, and being able to take it a step further. If I reach a solution for something and I’ve done that thing before, even if the client wants that I try to present something different to the client, as a way to push the envelope. As much as it’s new to them and me, I’m able to take it a step further. It is hard to keep up with what is going on out there and for me creating new things is just as important as keeping up with what is already out there.
Memi: What was your worst experience with a client? Your best?
Timi: I won’t call it a negative experience per se, but more of a learning experience: is when clients are not forthright with their budgets, after investing time into a concept and having the client walk away from it or having to tell them I can’t do it for what they are asking is always a sad thing.  The good part is that I’ve learnt from those situations. So it works both ways, you may lose a client but you gain some wisdom. So I try to understand what they have to start with upfront so I know what I can do. And I try to get the best solution within what they have because let’s face it everyone is on a budget!
My best client experience … I’ve had quite a few. I have a particular repeat client, she always knows what she wants, and she is a free spirit so I think our personalities work well together. The best clients to work with are those that know exactly what they want. I love when people come to me prepared with an idea and we’re able to communicate with each other. They appreciate what I’m here to do for them; I understand their needs and do my best to get them what they want.
Memi: What is your personal favorite invitation design?
Timi: Oh wow! A lot of the invitations I’ve done! Within the last couple of years I would have to say my showcase piece is the one I did for Natalie Jacobs…the purple and silver one (below). I have a couple of them but for right now those are the ones that take me to my happy place. The reasons I love them is the bride was GREAT to work with. It is such a simple design but it’s the details that really make it what it is!
Memi: What are some of your dream clients? Who would you LOVE to work with?
Timi: Today, there are so many people I would love to work with. Honestly, when it comes to events I look at them all differently. Overall I would have to say Tina Turner. When she is turns 75 or 80, I would LOVE to do the invites for her party because I know that whatever she does will be amazing! And if Oprah ever marries Steadman they could give me a call to and I would love to do her wedding invites as well!
Memi: What can future clients expect from SkratcHaus invites? What services do you offer?
Timi: First of all, we give our clients first class service, the BEST they can get. As far as products we offer everything from every component that goes in an invitation suite to menus, programs, floor decals for dance floors, wall decals, lighting pieces, gobos, favors etc. We are not limited to what is out there right now and we are constantly working with event planners and event designers to bring whatever they need to an event.
Photo Credits: Theori Images and Dave Batterman. http://www.battermanphoto.com//

Memi: Thanks so much is there anything you want our readers to know about you?

Timi: I just want to say THANK you for getting to know me, and hopefully I get to know about more of your readers who will be in need of any of our services!
How could they get in contact with you?
By Phone: 404.593.1672
Like them on FaceBook

Timi's work is also featured in the latest copy of Munaluchi Bridal Magazine.

You know how we love giveaways @ BCG!!!! Well SkratcHaus Studios is offering a giveaway just for our readers: 
25 FREE matching thank you cards for all invitation orders placed before August 31st 2011. ALL you have to do is mention "BCG"  during your consultation.

You can ALSO enter a drawing to win a set of 10 personalized note cards by liking them on FaceBook. A random winner will be announced on May 1 2011.

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Fola said...

WOW!!! I love seeing creative and talented folks. I especially love the lace inspired invitation. How come we have never heard of SkratcHaus? All these diamonds in the rough you people are keeping to yourselves ehn?
But we appreciate you spotlighting these vendors as it lets us know that we have people within our community to go to when have to plan our events.

Thanks again Memi!

Natalie said...

Yes, I can testify to the work and customer service of SkratcHaus Studios. Keep been creative and looking out of the box, I love that about your work.

Thank you for my invitations and for many more celebrations to come

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