Hey everyone! Another installment of my Day in the Life series comin’ atcha! Can you believe this is the NINTH ONE?? And there’s only THREE LEFT! But we won’t think about that now because Chic + Nawdie is here to take you on a guided tour on a day in the life of being a maker of SO CUTE cards.
Honestly, I can’t remember how I got connected with Nhung. I think she just sent me some samples in the mail and they were just so sweet I couldn’t resist! Flash forward maybe 2 years now and I got to meet her at NSS this past Spring at her debut (!) and her tiny Kawaii cards are some of my most popular! Let’s see what she’s up to today!
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Hi everyone! It’s Nhung and Huy and we are the husband and wife team behind Chic+Nawdie, a New York City based design & illustration studio that aims to create “playfully genuine” illustrated stationery. We want to make products that celebrate the gentle side in all of us that is sometimes lost in the haze of adulthood.
I was born in Hanoi, Vietnam and came to the US when I was 18 to study at Connecticut College, a small liberal arts school. That was my first time going out of my home country (!) and it changed my life.
My husband Huy helps me out with running our website and building all our craft fair and tradeshow booths. I’m responsible for all the creative work, photography, packaging and marketing. My day always starts with walking our dog, Kitsu, around our neighborhood Lower East Side then followed by some breakfast and coffee while I’m doing my morning routine: reading news, checking my emails and, ahem, my Instagram of course!
While working as a graphic designer after college, I taught myself watercolor to take a break from the computer and felt in love with this medium. I then started to create small paper goods from my own illustrations and sell on Etsy. Last year in June, I decided to quit my full-time job to focus on building my own stationery line and Chic+Nawdie was born. Since then I have been working from our small apartment in Manhattan. Here is a snapshot of my desk in the morning.
I try to spend my mornings doing creative work because it’s when I feel the most productive. All of our products start with my watercolor illustrations. My inspirations come from nature, animals and all the lovely little things of everyday life. I want to put a smile on people’s faces when they buy or receive our little cards and encourage people to share more love and tell their stories.
After I have the final illustrations, I scan them to retouch and create layout digitally. Watercolor allows me to be creative and flexible while Photoshop & InDesign really help me get through the less-exciting parts of the job easier. I think all my experience working as a graphic designer comes in handy and help me run my business more efficiently.
For lunch, I try to go out and get some fresh air, grab a bite or take Kitsu for a walk to our favorite bubble tea place called the Boba Guys. While I’m having my lunch, Kitsu lies down and falls asleep underneath my desk like this! Working by myself can be very lonely at times so Kitsu has always been a big support for me.
(Editor’s Note: I am so jealous you can walk to a bubble tea place!!!)
In the afternoon, I try to squeeze in all the “boring” tasks. Yesterday, it was packaging and today it’s more packaging. My tips are: YouTube and Korean dramas!
I work with a print shop in Philadelphia to produce all of our greeting cards and notepads. Here is a sneak-peek of a new birthday card design that is coming soon to our shop!
All of our art prints are giclée prints which are printed individually in our home studio using archival inks on acid-free heavy rag paper to ensure the colors come out vibrant and the quality lasts a life time! You can see the quality of the final print (on the right) by comparing it with the original painting (on the left) here!
Thank you for having us today! It was fun sharing our story and process. We would like to end the day with a picture of me and Kitsu sharing a big smile!
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Thanks so much guys! We loved seeing inside your day and super love looking at Kitsu 😉