The Graceful Host
The Graceful Host is wedding planner and event design studio based in Charlotte, North Carolina. TGH is for clients who expect creativity and high-touch service for their wedding or event.
I met Ashley through friend of mine, Sarah, who was a part of Sarah’s Facebook group for calligraphers.
One of the biggest things Ashley wanted known about her website refresh was that she wasn’t afraid to have color. The Graceful Host is all about celebration, fun, vibrancy and color, and clean. So we made sure that her signature green was prominent across her site, while still adding in the toned down pink and blue to soften everything up a little.
On our kick off call we talked about both aspects of her company as she is a wedding designer and a calligrapher with a shop. Our goal was to design a website that highlighted both aspects of her business effortlessly. Ashley’s goal for the wedding planning and design side of her site was so her potential clients could see past events and learn more about her services. For the shop side of things, the goal was to launch the new party kits and increase sales of calligraphy products and party kits.
In the homework phase, Ashley gathered her copy and images using the foundation I use with most of my clients and took time to tweak the copy she had on her site previously to focus more on sharing who she was rather than just the services.
From there I put up a coming soon landing page so that she could still get inquiries and new email subscribers. I designed her site directly in Squarespace since she had a website already that I could use as a foundation to build on. During each round of revision I’d send a proof over via Dubsado so that she could give feedback on each section as well as upload images where we needed to swap old ones out.
We ended up launching her site in two phases. The first phase focused more on her planning and design services, while the second on her shop. We launched in two phases because Ashley was waiting on the products for her shop to arrive and for her photoshoot to promote the party kits. Having two launches allowed Ashley to celebrate each side of her business.
For each launch, Ashley and I hopped on a video call to walk her through her whole site and answer any questions she had about it. For all aspects of her site we created custom videos to allow Ashley the ability to update her own site confidently.
My favorite feature
A huge part of the TGH site was the new shop Ashley was launching. For years Ashley had been on Etsy for her calligraphy, but wanted to branch out into creating party kits clients could purchase, so it only made sense to move that aspect of her shop to her new site. Each party kit also includes access to an online style guide with party planning tips and DIY tutorials related to the kit’s theme.
From the client
Why’d you hire me?
After talking with you, I felt like you had a real passion for your business and that your clients weren't just a number. I felt like I was talking with someone who was very knowledgable and could lead me through the web design process - which was important really important to me.
What hesitations did you have about working with me?
None at all!
What did you like best about working with me?
I liked the organizational approach. I'm really busy trying to juggle a million things and so knowing what needed to be done and by what date was very helpful so that I could stay on task and the project could continue moving forward without my holding things up.
What did you think of the whole process?
It was easy for me! No complaints! I had a specific vision in mind, but it was also one that I wanted professional input on. For me, a collaborative process works well. I know that you as the professional, know best and me as the client, I don't know everything and you might have better ideas or ways of doing things. You were very open to my ideas and suggestions, which I appreciated. And I really appreciated your feedback to my questions, too.
What's the most important thing people should know about working with me?
That you are dedicated to creating custom designs for creative clients and making the process easier and more manageable for working professionals.