Lucky Girl- Eunice James

It’s always nice when your friend marries someone you really like. I had that luck when my old friend Daniel married Eunice. Eunice and her sister, Sabrina, started the letterpress stationary company Hello!Lucky together. They are an inspiration to me of can-do women who seem to balance the impossible task of being new mums with entrepreneurship.
And all with a lightness and sense of fun that I find admirable.
BRYR: Can you tell me a little about how you decided to start your letter-press company, Hello!Lucky? What were some of your early challenges and how did you get over them?
EUNICE: We actually started the company by accident - I was working as a freelance designer and illustrator with a back up job at a boutique pet store. When the pet store needed cards to sell I designed some for them. Happy with how they turned out I sent a sample to Kate’s Paperiein New York and I couldn’t believe it when they placed an order!  From there I was hooked and really excited to keep designing more cards. I took a letterpress class from Center for the Book, in order to be able to do the printing myself, bought a press on eBay and I was off!  Thankfully, Sabrina had just gotten her MBA and started helping me with the business end of things (she’s also the conceptual brains behind the operation) - if not, I’d probably still be making plates in my kitchen sink and hand-cranking cards one at a time! We’re in our tenth year and it’s been a really amazing ride, we love our little business and are so grateful to all of the people who have supported and helped us along the way. 
As for challenges - there have been many!  Figuring out how to transition from being just me packaging cards at my kitchen table to a small company able to fulfill orders for shops all over the world was a pretty big one. The biggest was probably simply trying to figure out how to manage the business and how to grow it while bootstrapping the entire way.  It’s still a tricky balance, but it’s worth it!
BRYR: Eunice, you have a super positive outlook, and I think that really comes through in your work. As Creative Director of Hello!Lucky, you are the creative force behind the aesthetic of the brand. Can you talk a little about how you developed your creative style and how you keep that style fresh and new, but still true to the brand?
EUNICE: It really started with an obsession with vintage design and advertising - to this day most of our designs are inspired by vintage sources, but I also spend a lot of time looking around myself and being inspired by everything from other graphic designers and illustrators to fashion and interiors.  I love tools like Pinterest to keep a constant flow of fresh influence coming.  Another important aspect the brand is our sense of humor - I think the thing that really allows us to stand out from the crowd is a combination of strong design and illustration and a cheeky, wry sense of humor that we work into our greeting card line - wedding is a bit different of course, but over all there is always a fresh, light-hearted approach that runs through everything we do.
BRYR: Your wedding was so gorgeous, cute down to every last detail. We are about to go into wedding season. What’s the one piece of advice that you’d give a bride-to-be?
The most important thing is to remember to have fun with it - enjoy the process, don’t get too hung up on perfection - things are bound to go wrong, but in the end no one is going to remember if the ribbon on your programs were the right color, the important thing is the marriage itself and having all your friends and family around you to celebrate with you.  It should be a joyful celebration, above all else.
BRYR: Jude, your son, has got to be the best-dressed little men I’ve ever met. Have you ever thought about starting a kids line of clothing? Where do you get your inspiration for his outfits?
EUNICE: I would LOVE to start a line of children’s clothing, but that’s a whole other can of worms!  I am a big fan of European style clothing for children - particularly French and Scandinavian. It’s hard to find boys’ clothing in the States that isn’t slathered with footballs and dinosaurs or super preppy.  I’m deeply envious of girls’ clothing - there are so many more interesting options - so, Jude often wears girls’ clothes - his favorite sweater has a big neon swan on it; I think he’s man enough to pull it off!
Some of my favorite brands include Bobo Choses, Mini Rodini, and Wovenplay - also love Fith - a great Japanese brand, and J.Crew is great for basics.  It’s all a little pricey, but my strategy is to buy big and they last for ages.  He’s wearing the same pants now that he was in a year or more ago - back then he was hilariously gangster with his diaper hanging out the back of his pants!  

BRYR: You’ve wrote a few awesome design books. Do you have anything new in the works?
EUNICE: Not for now - though one day we’d love to.  We promised our husbands not for a while though; the last one took about a year to write and was a lot of work (on top of the mountains of work we always have going on!) - I think my husband is still traumatized from having to carry my insanely heavy sewing machine through JFK airport on the way to the photo shoot (so fun!) for Handmade Weddings.  
Eunice is rocking the abilene boot in ebony shearling with a medium heal.


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