Community Love: Syddesign


I love me some stationary. Actually, scratch that, I love paper. I also love the 3/50 project movement and everything it means for local business and small business alike.

So without further ado, here’s Syddesign!

I email-interviewed her but instead of giving you the question/answer story board here, I’m going to weave it together. How do you like them apples?


Syddesign is founded on a passion for paper, if you will. Abbey, Syddesign’smastermind, exited high school to persue photography which she stayed with until graduating from GVSU; although she fell out of love with it, claiming not to have an eye for the technical side of things or a love for the competitive lifestyle. (But she took all these photo’s, so she’s got game, I say)

She accidentally fell into graphic design working for Nevada Family Magazine in Las Vegas, and from there moved to a trade publisher here in west Michigan. Which is how she learned about graphics and software, and fine-toned how to use her composition skills on a computer.

At the publishing company here in Michigan, she worked on gift, party and stationery-related magazines, went to their trade shows, and soon fell in love with the party and stationery industries. After friends started asking her to do their wedding invitations, all arrows were finally pointing in the same direction.

Da-da-da-da!!! Syddesign is born! And she doesn’t think she could do this if it weren’t for a passion for her industry.

I agree there, because being the wife of a guy who thrives on deadlines and passion for what he’s doing – we can always tell when something’s not fun or work is just being work and not a challenge. Not that all challenges are force-driving junkets in a work environment. I’m just sayin. Passion has a lot to do with being your own accountability.


Here’s her blurb about how it works. Or, rather, how you would work with her:

… for the past few years, I have been doing 100% custom work. So, I meet with a client and they tell me what they’re looking for, I create samples and quotes, then they narrow down the design from there. During the process they can change the design/text/font/colors/papers/etc… so the whole process is custom!

Soon(ish), however I will be presenting some standard lines that make it easier to purchase my designs when a client knows exactly what they want from the beginning or doesn’t have much time. That way they don’t necessarily have to go through the whole custom process. I’m also just starting to get Syddesign stationery into stores. For that process, I will be creating exclusive lines that can only be purchased through a particular boutique.

My clients (mostly brides & grooms) have been a blessing this year. Through their gratified reactions and praise, they have all reiterated my love for what I do. I couldn’t have a better boss!!

You already like her, don’t you. Uh huh.

So. Since this is a work up about how much I love small businesses and her’s in particular, I asked her to spread some of her 3/50 love … funny thing is she spends most of her 3/50 time on food. And who wouldn’t when you have aHorrocks to browse up the road. (Although, Horrocks, can we talk to you about your website? I think it needs some help. And I know just the guys to call!)

Here’s her recommendations:
Horrocks and Abbey loves their fantastic produce and thinks it’s the best place to find an array of fresh cheeses

Graydon’s Crossing/Derby Station She Love love love’s their food and love how they have many MI draught beers along with a couple MI wines on the menu.

Mary Ann’s Chocolate DUH! I want this on my list. Abbey claims they have superb dark chocolate and there’s nothing else to say about that.

GB Russo which also carries a lot of regional beer and wine plus has a great selection of oils, sauces & dressings that she goes there for specifically.


Being an entrepreneur, and married to one, she’s got some good take-home on the whole “work/life balance”. In her own words, With all of the pressures in our lives, the early mornings and lots of sitting in front of a computer, my biggest concern for us both is to lose sight of our health and well-being. My mantra is that we work hard and play harder. So, when I do get extra time, I love to spend it with the hubby biking, kayaking, running, rock climbing, camping, hiking, snowshoeing and skiing!

And because we need just one more reason to root for her … here’s 10 things she wants to do before she dies. Which is morbid, I know, but still … interesting.

Take a trip to Fiji (this would be the first thing I’d do if I had 3 mos. to live!), get hair-removal surgery, skydive, take a cooking cruise, compete again in rock climbing, explore with my kids on the farm I grew up on, participate in adventure racing, take my MIL to Ireland, go on a working vaca with Mac (the husband) in the rainforest, and open a rock climbing gym.


And as a bonus:

Tell us your favorite breakfast item, reading material and dance platform (a club, your living room, the backyard when it’s raining??)

Breakfast = Arnie’s Sourdough bread with sharp cheddar cheese (from Horrocks), fresh tomatoes and sea salt (I have it every morning!).
Reading = 1. Science Fiction, like Kurt Vonnegut or Douglas Adams 2. Fast Company and Inc. Magazines
Dancing = As whorish as this sounds, my favorite place to dance is on top of the bar!! It’s like my 5 minutes of fame, plus it keeps me out of reach from all those sweaty nasty creeps:) Therefore, Coyote Ugly is my favorite place to go to dance.

So, yes. I love what these small companies are accomplishing and how they’re spreading their own success through out towns and main streets. Too bad I didn’t have a great avenue for stationary when I was getting married, but now I have a great one for birthday’s, announcements, parties and just plain old fashion stationary. I think getting snail mail is one of my favorite things and getting pretty snail mail is even better.

Like a hot bath, red wine and rain.

Thanks, Abbey, for showing us around your office and your talents!

Please check out her blog to catch up on the latest and greatest from Syddesign. (And then order some paper, too!)

***Wonderful credit to her photo-taking skills, her composition skills with stationary and all it entails and her words. Most of what is written up there is from her, I just reformatted it … and added all self love :)***

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