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Life & Work with Shawntae Kennebruew

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shawntae Kennebruew.

Hi Shawntae, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I was getting married in 2002 and went to several stationery vendors. Their pricing was beyond my budget for what I was looking for. I then thought to myself “I’m pretty good on the computer, maybe I can do this myself.” I began researching, bought some invitation paper and was able to design my own wedding invitations on a desktop computer and a laser printer.

I started designing as a hobby and just for friends and family. People started spreading the word and I began to build my clientele. It’s especially gratifying when I have repeat customers who come to me for their events over the years.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I’ve had consultations to meet potential clients in public places. I bring my A-game and my portfolio. Once they learn I am a small at-home business and not a brick and mortar, many people would decide not to use my services. I do not let that deter me as it is my goal to open my design studio someday. For now, my fully functioning home office will suffice. As long as I produce a professional product, that is all that matters to me.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
My first love is event stationery; invitations, programs, menus, place cards, banners, etc. But I also design business cards, brochures, custom party decor, gift bags, graduation announcements, digital invitations and personalized cards. I love to think outside the box to set my designs apart and to make my clients happy.

Events were no longer being held during the pandemic and that was a big hit to business. I shifted gears and began designing custom magazine-style memorial booklets and obituaries. Funeral services were very limited for large gatherings and my focus was to give the families something beautiful to cherish. It was slightly weird for me at first, but to see the joy in the family member’s eyes when they held the booklet made my heart smile.

My tag line is “Let me put your personality on paper!”

We’d love to hear about how you think about risk taking?
I don’t really like to tell my potential clients no. When they come to with a difficult design or something that I have not attempted before, I’d like to at least try to see if I am capable of pulling it off. For the most part, it works and I am happy that I challenged myself to do something different. That in turn, makes my clients happy.

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