Janeil reveals The meaning of 7th & Anderson
When I was 30 years old, my husband and I were told I couldn’t have children (I’ll save you the details on how we got there). Primary infertility, a diagnosis that left our world shattered. Fast forward 7 years, when I am 37, and we find out we were pregnant with our son. He was born on 7/27 at 5:57 pm. He weighed 7 lbs. 11oz. and was perfect in every way. Notice a trend with the number 7? Plus, our family name is Anderson.
Big Sky Country
What do you think of, when Montana is mentioned? Cowboys? Andie McDowell? Skiing? How about custom designed luxury note paper?
Janeil Anderson’s studio, 7th & Anderson, is tucked away in the historic town of Laurel, Montana. Located in Yellowstone County in south central Montana, Laurel is close to Billings. And not far from Yellowstone National Park, if you remember that it’s not uncommon in the West to drive 100 miles to have dinner.
7th & Anderson offers wedding and fine stationery for those celebrating a big moment in life. The classic sophistication of Janeil’s creations is perfect for such special occasions. Customize every invitation in the Studio Collection to suit your individual style.
Preparation for Design
Janeil’s love for paper started early. As a little girl, she spent hours with construction paper, glue, scissors and crayons. That led to a passion for scrapbooking, then handmade cards. At some point, frustrated with the lack of available designs for her projects, Janeil began designing her own.
That grew into learning design software and teaching herself about typography. And then, into being privileged to be able to do something she loves every single day.
Now full time in the business of 7th & Anderson, Janeil is also a licensed mental health therapist. Her career for the past 20 years has been working with abused and neglected children. She has maintained her licensure and continues to assist on occasion at the local psychiatric facility.
Letterpress for Luxury
Choose from 3 different printing processes – digital, letterpress and foil stamping. If you’ve ever felt the luxuriousness of true letterpress printing on quality paper, you know it’s exquisite. And Janeil has it!
Add a classy self-adhesive wax seal in one of 10 gorgeous colors and a variety of designs. All wax seals are Artisan made in North America. And the details can be personalized.
More options include hand torn edges, vellum jackets, envelope liners and professionally addressed envelopes.
Janeil also offers Custom Design services, believing in the art of storytelling through the craft of paper and ink.
Every detail must speak my client’s story, every color must emulate love, joy and hope. With a custom suite, they direct the design process and I bring their vision to life.
Step by Step
Always, always research. Let your enthusiasm build the dream, but realize that the end result doesn’t magically appear. Janeil’s greatest obstacle was jumping in with two feet before doing any research. Then she had to backpedal, start over, realign and spend more money.
It was a costly obstacle that I created for myself, and one I could have easily prevented if I had taken the time to research. So, I stopped the insanity and spent an entire year researching. I researched everything from business insurance, to website platforms, to wholesale providers to my local market. From there, I spent another year developing, revising and honing a plan. Which brings us to today.
Take that first step from ‘something you do on occasion for that person you know’ to becoming a full time business. Realize that what you want is a series of first steps. Janeil took that first step into bridal fair, the first consultation, the first Instagram post, starting a Facebook page, and building a website. Everything – absolutely everything – starts with taking the first step. Don’t be afraid to take it.
Presentation is Everything
Oh, the website process. I have absolutely NO website design experience and had no real desire to try and learn, at least not on my initial build. There is enough going on without adding that to my plate. Lol. That being said, I learned a great deal throughout this process and am incredibly grateful for the patience, knowledge, and assistance of Jeff and Kate.
Going back to the research thing, the first decision Janeil had to make was, which platform to use – Shopify, Squarespace or WordPress? Every time you turn around, another platform is being hyped as the best. So she did some ‘comparison shopping’ and settled on WordPress, for two reasons.
First, it’s been around for quite some time and hosts the largest number of ecommerce sites on the internet. That means it’s reliable, and compatible with social media and other interfaces. Plus, it’s easy for clients to use, and relatively easy to learn as the website owner.
Second, customization. 7th & Anderson needs to have its own look and feel. Janeil is a fan of individualty and wanted to be able to make the site her own. WordPress offers a host of customization options, and with the help of Jeff and Kate, the customization was taken a step further.
In your own write
Content. Yep. Content. That’s a big one. I am an incredibly visual person and I found it difficult to decide on an overall look, not only for a single page on my website, let alone the entire site itself.
The website questionnaire utilized by Autumn Lane helped me to pinpoint what pages I would like to have. And from there they provided me with a website mockup based on this questionnaire. Once I saw the mockup, I could visually begin to put together my website, which included writing my content.
I am exceedingly grateful that Autumn Lane didn’t require me to have all my content ready at the inception of my website build. Did that extend my website build process? Absolutely. However, their willingness to allow me to write my content as we built the website was invaluable to me. It allowed me to work in pieces rather than wholes. I didn’t feel as overwhelmed, and I could really put thought into what I wanted in real time. Much better than hoping it would all work prior to even beginning the website build.
It’s an Investment
I am notorious for getting an idea stuck in my head and then hanging on to it with a death grip. One of the most difficult decisions I had to make required me to let go of how I wanted my pricing to work, so I could also have the look and personalization options I wanted in my shop pages. Through multiple, multiple emails and phone calls, Jeff patiently explained to me the limitations in what I was asking for and helped come up with a different solution. At the end of the day, I am quite happy with where we landed.
Whether you’re a large or small business having a website presence is almost mandatory. When we are looking for something specific, we do a search on the internet. My couples favor quality over economy and are looking for an effortless timelessness to their wedding stationery. Not only is my website consistent with my brand voice, messaging and personality, it also helps differentiate me from similar companies. My website has taken my brand voice and made it visual. I believe the quality of the images/content are a direct representation of the quality product my couples expect (and should expect) from me.
Look Forward, Angel
In the Billings area, look for amazing and wonderful things from 7th & Anderson! Janeil will continue to develop her online shop, adding new gorgeous and timeless wedding designs to the Studio Collection. Also she’ll add day-of paper goods as a standard option. That way, the amazing couples she works with can effortlessly create a cohesive look for their wedding stationery from start to finish.
Montana is a destination state for many couples. With that in mind, Janeil will be adding a section of Montana specific designs to the Studio Collection.
By the time her son starts Kindergarten (4 years from now), she wants an offsite studio. Not only to meet with couples, but also to offer the luxurious cardstocks and envelopes she uses to the DIY bride. This will lead naturally to a full letterpress print studio (letterpress is her FAVORITE). Couples will be able to come in and watch their wedding stationery get printed! Yes! And even help if they want!
Janeil also intends to learn hand calligraphy, to offer this option to her couples. Plus, she’ll bring envelope addressing and envelope liner printing in house as well.
On a personal note, Janeil is a runner, and will continue to run and train for marathons. She has a goal to qualify for and run the Boston Marathon. Spending time with family and friends – nothing brings greater joy than that.
The Packaging Details
I am a firm believer that there is room for everyone (in any chosen profession) so don’t let the fear of a “saturated market” stop you! Figure out and decide what makes you different. What is it about your product that will make YOU stand out over the competition.
Design what you love. Personally, my style leans towards the classic and refined, with just a touch of fun! I love adding little details you wouldn’t expect to see. And while I respect trends, I don’t rely on them.
Understand, and be okay, with knowing you won’t be a fit for everyone – and that’s okay! It’s called a “target market” for a reason. Figure out who that is and market to them.
Finally, develop relationships with the other amazing vendors (both local and not) in your field. Not only are they fabulous human beings to begin with, but it will offer amazing opportunities for collaborations.