Today we’d like to introduce you to Lynn Jacques.
Lynn, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
It’s been a journey! As a kid, I remember making greeting cards and delivering them to our neighbors, with my bicycle basket overflowing with my silly little creations. Now here I am, with a sizable portion my career behind me and I’m just now finding myself back where I think I was meant to be. It’s going to sound crazy, but I feel like my career turning point came before I even had a career.
Seriously, I saw an old Chandler and Price treadle letterpress in my neighbor’s garage when I was a little kid and I was instantly obsessed. Here was this old beauty hiding back in the corner holding car washing towels. I remember how excited he was to pull out the font drawers and show me how to handset type. I stood on a step stool so I could see how the press worked. That was the coolest thing I’d ever seen.
I always knew my life needed to be doing something creative like that. College was all about advertising and design. I finished my degree and worked in a couple of agencies and corporate marketing departments before going out on my own as a designer. But in the ’90s corporate marketing shifted from print to digital—a disappointment for someone who’s passion was ink on paper. Marketing became all about web design and apps and I was all about cool papers and the art of printing.
So as print work slowed down, a good part of the work that was fueling my printing nerd-passion was social stationery and invitations. Honestly, the career lull in corporate work came at a good time. My kids were at an age that they needed me. While at the same time, sadly my mom was diagnosed with Scleroderma. At that point in my career, the universe was showing me that life is too short and it was time to slow down and enjoy it.
When my mom passed away in 2012, I did a lot of reflecting on what really made me happy. I got nostalgic for our mother-daughter arts and crafts, and the cards I used to make. I remembered that old Chandler and Price in my neighbor’s garage—that career turning point that had come before my career even began. It seemed to come full circle when I started putting my design studio back together. I decided a letterpress was the perfect addition. I found one in Minnesota and had it restored and trucked here.
There weren’t many people in my area using a letterpress at that point and I didn’t recall much from my garage lessons, standing on that step stool a million years ago. It was considered a dead art for all except those of us resurrecting it to use for stationery and specialty printing. So finding someone to give me a refresher course on letterpress printing took some effort.
I started printing greeting cards, stationery and wedding invitations. But honestly, it wasn’t a whole-hearted effort at that point. My kids were in middle school and high school and I was determined to honor my mom by being the best hands-on parent I could be. I was fortunate enough to have enough work to keep me going, but not too busy to be present for my family. I had the best of both worlds as a working mom.
Once both my kids were in college I relaunched my career, finally doing what made me truly happy. I dusted off my letterpress, rebranded my design studio and opened The Bridal Press. I couldn’t imagine doing anything that could possibly fuel my spirit more than working with couples planning the wedding of their dreams, and people planning parties and events.
I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I never gave up until I got back to where I wanted to be as a child—making pretty paper things. I don’t have bicycle-basket delivery anymore, but I still feel like that same happy kid—finally with the career I always dreamed of.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Deciding to take time off to be a mom was a huge struggle at that point. A lot of my identity was wrapped up in how I saw myself as a businesswoman. I think the girl I was back then was an idiot. I don’t see it as a struggle at all now. I was a mom and that was the best choice I’ve ever made. I’ll never regret spending that time with my family during those years.
Please tell us about The Bridal Press Papeterie.
We’re a custom wedding and events stationery studio. I personally make sure every one of The Bridal Press clients is getting the invitation package they’re dreaming of. I think they appreciate my passion for aesthetics—creating emotion through design and setting the perfect tone for their wedding.
I use hand-selected papers, hand-drawn/painted art, and calligraphy. I like being completely hands-on and I only book as many couples as I can personally work with. It’s important for me to be proud of everything with The Bridal Press name on it.
I think all of my years in design and printing works to my clients’ advantage. I’m able to offer competitive pricing by using my experience and resources to their advantage. Their happiness with their end product is most important, and I work to maximize that rather than my own profit margin.
Whether we’re recreating something they saw and fell in love with or designing something completely new, we always end up with something they can’t stop looking at—and something they’ll love like an heirloom for years to come.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I think I’ve been a designer since I was able to hold a crayon. My best memories are those when I was creating and giving my creations to others. I loved the traditional mediums, but my dad’s garage was magical. I remember my fascination with wire, tacks, little screws and metal shim. Even then I loved mixing surprising elements into my art.
My mom recognized that I liked to draw and create little masterpieces. She put together a cool little cabinet with different papers, fabric scraps, pens, paints, glue and a box of cardboard paper towel tubes that we’d create with. I was lucky to have parents who fed my creative spirit and helped me develop an inventive and curious mind.
As parents, my husband and I have always told our kids to pick a career that feeds their passion. My son was a gaming nerd and is now a computer science major, working for 2k on the NBA 2k games. Boom, passion followed. I couldn’t be happier for him.
My daughter has been a theatre kid since she was four years old. Her musical theatre college audition process was such a crazy journey for the entire family, I actually wrote a blog chronicling the experience (MTmom.life). A career in musical theatre scared me a little—I’m sure just as a career in art scared my parents. But it fuels her soul and I’m not going to squash that. Everyone should have a chance to follow their passion.
Creative souls need to have an opportunity to grow and bloom—creating those memories that fuel their future. It’s important to be able to feel we can chase our goals. As I’ve always told my kids, never give up. If it’s something you love, you’ll find a way to build a career doing it.
- Semi-custom invitations start at $299
- Fully-custom invitations start at $599
- Website: https://www.thebridalpress.com/
- Phone: 714.970.6486
- Instagram: @thebridalpress
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheBridalPress/
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-bridal-press-yorba-linda
Photography: Gayle Jarrett
Styling: Pretty in Vintage