These are our letterpress designers.

Kamal 1

Kamal

London-born Kamal, now a resident of Richmond, Va., honed her design skills at Pratt before working as a graphic designer in New York and starting a company of her own in 2009. We noticed her work from Design*Sponge’s Grace Bonnie at the 2009 NSS, as the “ Best of Show.” Taking cues from her Indian heritage, she creates all her boldly patterned, colorfully modern couture paper designs herself. Kamal offers vibrant and exquisite stationery that can be creatively used to enjoy any season, celebration, and occasion. Her design work was honored by PRINT Annual Design magazine, HOW’s Best of the Best magazine and a promotional “ Wassau Paper” book was featured in the book “ Choosing and Using Paper for Great Design.” She also has received acclaimed press from the TODAY show, Daily Candy as well as a spread in Russia’s “ Fine Life” magazine. Some of her favorite projects include her children’s birth announcements, logos for both the Virginia Architecture Association and the Visual Center for Architecture, and the 2010 MTV Movie Style Lounge invitations.

What’s the most exciting thing you’ve done? All of this. Launching my own line and debuting my collection at the 2009 National Stationery Show. I’m a working stay-at-home mom with a 4 year old son and a 2 year old daughter. Doing all of this while making PB&J sandwiches excites me and, hopefully, inspires others.

Name 5-10 things that inspire your designs. Color contrast. Color union. East-West fusion. Mid-century art and furniture. Vintage jewels. Patterns pulled from the intricate. Simplicity drawn from the complex. Chic wrought from antique.

If you’ve been married, describe the style of your wedding or your wedding-to-be (give details!). If you haven’t been married, simply describe your (living) style. A modern-traditional 4 day affair. We had about 700 guests at the wedding, 1,200 at the reception, at a bed and breakfast farm in New Jersey. It was actually featured in the New York Times! There was a night of garba (dance), followed by a Mehndi night (henna ceremony), and a Vidhi (mini rituals) the next morning. Then came the grand Wedding and Reception.

The wedding: The invites were from India and were silkscreened on real leaves. My outfit was Ritu Kumar, all red and ivory with gorgeous antique gold beading. My hands and feet were adorned with henna, my head was covered in cloth and flowers, and my entire body was decorated in jewels from India. The décor for the folk wedding included vibrant baby cloth birds hanging from trees, metal rods sticking out of tree trunks with candles, fountains full of fresh petals. The guests were given playful “starburst” fans and were served Indian ice cream in tiny little clay pottery with white rangoli paintings. The mandap (canopy with 4 pillars) was decorated with fresh banana trees in each corner, and there was jute covering the entire platform. A red carpet was laid all through the farm so our guests could have a regal walkway. My husband came in on a horse. Yes, a horse. My brother and uncles carried me into the tent by way of a “dholi,” a golden carrier that brides traditionally sit on. Fresh jasmine flowers filled the air. I can still smell them.

The reception: My friend and his band played jazz for the cocktail hour. There were little food and drink huts all through the farm with a variety of favorites, such as jeera chicken, masala chat and raw mango drinks. We had this large, burlap lotus flower with cups on the end of each leaf for appetizers. The décor was pearls, twigs, gerber daisies, wooden trunks and goldfish under a massive tent all lit with votives. Everyone’s place setting was a large leaf plate, which really brought “nature” inside. Our chairs for the reception were stunning—all wood with intricate white Indian art work. Everyone received a small, hand painted clay pot with a tulsi (a holy plant that brings luck) to take home as a blessing. Most everything was shipped form India in 2 carts. And the best part? I got to do all my wedding shopping there – absolutely awe-inspiring.

Where did you honeymoon and why? If you haven’t taken a honeymoon, where was the best place you vacationed to and why you went there… We went to Italy: 2 days in Venice, 4 days Florence and the rest on the black sands in Positano. It was magnificent.

Describe the place where you design & send a picture of your design place if you can. I design downstairs, in my children’s playroom—where I have one eye on them and another on my work.

What are your favorite colors of the moment? Antique Gold, Coral, Peacock, Dusty Pink, Black, Mustard.

What were the colors of your childhood? Gold, Fuschia, Navy, Cocoa, Red, Sparkly Blue.

What’s on or in your nightstand? Sketch book for doodlings, an old Domino magazine, Elle, Décor, my laptop and my dimmer light.

What city do you call home, and for first-time visitors to that city, what are your top picks for “must see” sights? Although I reside in Richmond, home is the line between New Jersey and New York.

Walking and window shopping around Princeton is a delight to the eye, where old meets new and everything is always changing—you have to stop by ‘Hoagie Haven’ and grab yourself a sub! Eight years ago, we discovered this tiny, quaint Italian restaurant in Jersey City called ‘Presto’s’, where a little line still forms to eat their amazing food. New York, well, New York is New York. My favorite ‘must see’? People. So much goes on. Now when I visit, I am fortunate to actually listen to the sounds and take everything in.

What’s your prized possession? My family, they’re keepers.