We have a festive and fun Behind the Brand for you today! Meet the lovely Kelly Lyden, of WH Hostess Social Stationery. Kelly and I first connected through good old Instagram, and we bonded over our admiration for each other's businesses!
Based on the North Shore of Chicago, this coastal gal is the owner and designer of the most charming gift wrap, stationery, and countless other pieces. We are thrilled to share some of our favorites with you this holiday season! We've already sold out of these holiday pieces THREE times (!!!) and have restocked once more before her pieces are gone for good...well, until next year that is!
Read on to learn more about Kelly and her charming brand, and to shop the chicest gift wrap we've ever seen!
CC: We’re so thrilled to have you on the blog today! To get started, can you tell us a little about WH Hostess and what inspired you to start the brand?
KL: Thank you for having us! We are such fans of your company and design aesthetic, so we are thrilled to have you carrying our products in your shop! WH Hostess is known for putting fresh designs on paper. We create goods that are ideal for your home, for entertaining and for gifting. All with a crisp look that definitely has a touch of preppy pizzazz! My background includes graphic design, retail buying and product development. This company has brought together all three under one umbrella and I pinch myself daily that people react so positively to our collection.
CC: Your designs are incredible! Tell us a bit about your design process and what that looks like. Do you design all of the products yourself? How long does it take you to go from concept to final product?
KL: Thank you so much! I design all of our products, and the process looks different for each item. Sometimes, we have an idea and it takes a year of sampling to come to fruition. Sometimes I dream up a design at night, get up and draw it in the morning and boom! it's on the line immediately! The joy of a small business!
CC: When it comes to design, some of your holiday prints are rooted in a classic Americana style (which we love). What was your inspiration for these designs?
KL: Holiday for me is all about the classics! Our collection will always include festive tartan plaids, Christmas trees and wreaths. But we love to throw in some unique design elements, like our Coastal Christmas Tree - a tree full of nautical-inspired ornaments! A lot of my inspiration comes from interiors and textiles. So I am always thinking about how I like to layer my home that time of year, and that typically spills over into the collection.
CC: What was the first product you created that made you know you were on to something big? How did you grow from there?
KL: Our collection started out as all personalized products. From stationery, to notepads, to gift tags and more....and it remained that way for many years. The increase in demand for our "stock" products (non-personalized notepads, notecards, etc) grew and grew, and I just couldn't ignore the wholesale requests any longer. So we launched our first wholesale collection about 5 years ago, and have been balancing the two sides of the business ever since. I think seeing retailers get so excited about our products gives us that jolt of excitement that carries us through the long months of packaging those store orders!
Our paper goods line quickly expanded to items used in the home, whether for decor or entertaining. And that was just a natural expansion of wanting those products in my own home! We now offer tea towels, tabletop items, and also have some fantastic collaborations that extend the reach of the home branch of the collection.
CC: What are your three favorite WH Hostess products that we carry on Cailíní Coastal?
KL: I'm obsessed with the Coastal Christmas Tree design this season, so I love that you are carrying the gift wrap and gift tag! The design was inspired by my little boy's Christmas tree - it sits in a Nantucket Basket in his room for the holidays and just brings so much joy to him and our mutual love of lighthouses, sailboats and all things nautical!
CC: What’s next for WH Hostess?
KL: SPRING!! Can you believe it?! We are getting ready to ship our samples down to Atlanta for the big wholesale market in January and seeing the new Spring designs come thru the studio in the middle of the holiday season, where it's a sea of tartan and boxwood, is like a breath of fresh air. There are DARLING new designs coming, and a new product category that we can't WAIT to launch. It's going to be fantastic.
We can't wait to see what Kelly and the WH Hostess team have in store! In the meantime, you can shop our newly restocked (for the third time!) WH Hostess Holiday collection now.