As mentioned before back in July I went down to Tunbridge Wells to assist the fab photographers Tino & Pip style a photo shoot of Ananya Cards; I got in touch with Vaishali, the founder and owner to ask her a few questions about the company and her background.
What’s your background?
My educational background includes an IB (International Baccalaureate) from the International School of Paris and a first class Joint Honors degree in International Management and French, where I specialised in Marketing. I am also an Associate of The Chartered Institute of Marketing. I have always had a keen interest and flair for design as well as a knack for spotting gaps in the market. My strong connection to my Indian heritage gives me a lot of exposure to its rich and varied artistic culture from which I constantly draw inspiration. Using this inspiration, I work closely with my design team to create new designs.
Why did you decide to set up Ananya Cards?
As a British Asian who has maintained a deep connection to my culture, I became acutely aware of the need for a culturally aware design agency. In order to address that need, my company creative id which is a boutique design and marketing agency established in 2000, launched a new service called ananya in 2008.
How would you describe your style/vision?
The name ananya means ‘without equal’. It inspires us to live up to the name and our vision of creating unique and innovative designs. ananya products have a signature deluxe feel, combining Eastern and European design elements with metallic inks and hand-embellished crystals. Our designs are known for their exotic elegance, sophistication and high quality. We at ananya have a multicultural approach and excel at creating stationery that is a beautiful fusion of cultures for our mixed and multicultural couples. With our attention to detail, we combine all the key elements that make a personal statement about the couple. Even our boutique collection of pre-existing designs for the more budget conscious is beautiful without sacrificing elegance. Our clients say we offer something that is very different and truly reflects who they are.
Our vision is to use our passion for perfection, style and multicultural sensibility to explore new ways to create something of unique value to the couple; something they will cherish and remember for the rest of their lives. What a perfect way to symbolise one of the most important days of their lives!
Where do you find your inspiration?
I try and keep my finger on the pulse and am always on the lookout for trends and themes and try to combine them in a way that is fresh and different. I am an avid reader of magazines and always looking for a different angle to express our style and vision. Because our designs are a fusion of Eastern and Western cultures, when I travel to India and Asian countries a couple of times a year, I draw inspiration from the vast array of colours, textures and art and explore ways to incorporate aspects of that into ananya’s designs.
What has been your favourite wedding to design for /work on?
One of my favourite weddings we designed for was for Kalyn and Todd. It was particularly satisfying for several reasons. Kalyn lived in New York, so we were never able to meet in person, however, thanks to modern technology we were able to communicate every aspect of the design process easily. Although ananya’s designs normally have a blend of Eastern and Western influence, Kalyn did not want any Eastern influence; she just wanted an exotic look and feel to the stationery and we were able to come up with a design she absolutely loved! She also wanted a complete suite of stationery including thank you cards, place cards, menus, table numbers and order of service. This really got our creative juices going and imagination soaring, harmonising all the different aspects of the stationery. Since Kalyn’s wedding was also a destination wedding, we were able to incorporate elements from the destination into the stationery. The final result was a triumph – we were able to bring her vision to fruition!
What have you found the most challenging job?
One of the most challenging aspects of our job is dealing with last minute changes from a client. We always spend a lot of time discussing and planning every aspect of the stationery design, including time scales, with a client at the beginning so we have the required amount of time to incorporate all the facets such as colours, patterns, textures, card stock, embellishments and printing that will deliver the ‘wow’ factor the client wants. However, when a client wishes to make changes at the last minute, it can make it difficult for us to juggle and co-ordinate the various components of the design and printing process in a timely and smooth manner. Although we try to be as accommodating as possible, it can be difficult and challenging for us and often clients are not aware that sometimes even small changes asked for at the last minute involve a lot of additional time and effort on our part.
What’s your one obsession at the moment-something you just can’t live without?
My collection of Converse shoes (I won’t tell you how many I have!!). What I love about Converse is that they have taken a basic design and are constantly adding variations to that design in terms of colours, textures and patterns. They’ve created a dynamic process which is very adaptable to your mood, style and the current trend. I’m always curious to find out how they’ll innovate next!
Come back next time for part 2 when we ask Vaishali about the design process and her advice to brides when planning their wedding and thinking about their stationery choices.
All images courtesy of Tino & Pip and styled by Always Andri Wedding Design