Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Aihara.
Lisa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started doing freelance web and logo design after college as a creative side gig that I’d do mostly as a favor for friends and family. I’d always loved doodling, lettering, painting, and writing ever since I was young, and the freelance projects were a way for me to have a creative outlet that I was missing in my professional pursuits, which had taken an MBA-to-Digital-Marketing trajectory. I built a career that I was really proud of but felt like something was missing, and it was that creative design aspect that I continued to crave. So, in 2016, as a milestone birthday present to myself, I decided to design a stationery line with 16 greeting cards and launched the site on my 30th birthday. From there, the product line has grown to over 80 SKUs, and we’ve grown into a full-blown design studio that works with creative couples for their custom wedding invitation suite as well as visionary entrepreneurs owners with their business branding.
Has it been a smooth road?
Imposter syndrome is real, and it’s something that I still struggle with on a daily basis. What makes it even more challenging is that when you don’t take yourself seriously, it’s hard to take your passion seriously too. Think about it — if you’re telling people that your pursuit is “not a real thing” or “just a hobby,” how will you translate that into inertia to drive your business? So, for me, it was all about learning and training myself to really show up. To not play cool about it, and get gritty, dirty, and fugly desperate about it, no matter how it could turn out in the end. When I stopped trying to shield myself from disappointment and instead really lean into it, everything started to fall into place.
We’d love to hear more about Fiber & Dye.
What I’m most proud of is the type of clients that I’ve had the chance to work with on the custom design side of the business, and the connections that we’ve made among BFFs through our greeting cards.
For custom design, we’re creating something from scratch which is a really daunting process for a lot of folks. Whether it’s a custom wedding suite or a whole brand launch, taking something that’s in someone’s head and bringing it to life is really scary but exhilarating at the same time. There’s nothing like hearing someone say “how did you read my mind??” when I present a design, and I see that they make an immediate connection with it. For us, being someone’s designer friend is our ultimate goal. It’s like if your best friend who knows you inside and out was also a designer and could bring your vision into something tangible. There’s magic in that.
With our stationery line, our goal is to create that one card that feels as if it’s been designed just for your friend because it has that weird inside joke that you have with your loved ones. You know the ones, where you just say one word and the two of you can’t stop laughing, while strangers look at you confused but you two don’t care who sees. When I see someone pick up our card and exclaim “This is PERFECT for Julie!”, it makes our heart flutter.
Do you recommend any apps, books or podcasts that have been helpful to you?
In my personal life, the work of Dr. Brené Brown really strengthened how I wanted to approach life and the connections that I made with others as well as with myself, and I do believe it’s affected the way that I work on my business as well. The audiobook The Power of Vulnerability just rocks my world still, every time I hear it. I love how her work just sinks in with me because they’re concepts and ideas that I feel we understand and know intuitively, but she masterfully presents it in a way that’s easy to unpack and articulate.
- Greeting cards $4.50
- Logo Design starting at $295
- Business Branding Packages start at $695
- Custom Wedding Crest Design $300
- Custom Wedding Suite Packages start at $1100
- Website: https://www.fiberanddye.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fiberanddye/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fiberanddye
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/fiberanddye
© Lauren Mihae Photography, © Chloe Moore Photography, © Nicolette Moku Photography, © XO and Fetti Photography