I'm ellie snow, and stationery is my passion. I believe your wedding invitations are heirlooms that mark something big — the beginning of your family.
Founder Ellie Snow decided as a child that she wanted to be a designer. School lunch hours were spent in the art room, where time flew and Ellie could become completely lost in a drawing or a stack of art books. After high school, Ellie headed to UNC-Chapel Hill to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a specialization in Printmaking, and her love for fine papers and ink was born. And yet, after college, Ellie seemed determined to carve a career path unrelated to art. First, she spent a frustrating year in Americorps, living paycheck to paycheck and not making the impact she'd hoped. Then, a semester working odd jobs and taking pre-reqs for a masters in Occupational Therapy, which she quickly realized wasn't a good fit. Feeling lost and unfulfilled, what's a 20-something year old to do? Escape, of course! With very little money and no set plan, Ellie and her now-husband quit their jobs and set off for the adventure of a lifetime in Thailand. After a few glorious months of traveling, it seemed obvious that the more difficult path of art and design was the one to take.
design & nothing but
Fresh from traveling and broke as could be, Ellie pieced together part-time jobs with graphic designers and an interior designer. She took out the trash and ran errands. Outside of work, she poured through design books and magazines, obsessed over interiors and logos, and taught herself the computer programs. The research was so all-consuming that Ellie begin a daily design blog to keep it all organized. One of the graphic design firms she was working for took a chance and gave her a full-time job, where she learned the principles of design and the mechanics of running a small business. Her design blog Mint was later named one of the top 50 Design Blogs by the London Times, and readership grew. Newly engaged, Ellie shared her own wedding invitations on Mint and began getting requests to make them for others. Designing and printing invitations at night and on the weekends, Ellie realized she'd found her passion.
While Ellie worked hard to grow her Etsy shop, the recession hit and the small design firm where she was employed closed its doors. Though it was too soon to jump in to full-time self employment, Hello Tenfold was born, like it or not (but she did like it, very much). The work was fun, and Ellie especially enjoyed creating a tangible product after so many logos and websites. But the first few years of self employment were not easy. With no stationery experience under her belt, Ellie learned everything the hard way. Mistakes were made, profits were slim, and running the business turned into an all-day-and-night affair while Ellie fine-tuned her process and her products out of a spare bedroom and the kitchen table.
As the business grew and the kinks worked out, Ellie was able to move her business from home to a small studio in downtown Durham, NC. She remembered that her love for the creative process was what drove her to start Hello Tenfold, and "Creative Wednesdays" were instilled to make sure there would always be time for artistic play and exploration. She worked hard to find papers and printers that would provide high-quality products she could be proud of, and focused on working one-on-one with brides and grooms to create keepsake stationery to reflect their personal style.
Today, after ten years in the design field, Ellie works alongside her husband, who founded design studio Harbor in 2014, and makes paper dreams come true for couples around the globe.
"Ellie has of way of creating a moment with wedding invitations. She helped us see what it would feel like for our guests to open our invitations and experience the first glimpse of our wedding."
—English & Will