Today, a local business owner here in Durham, Annie Franceschi, stops by the blog to share how she used Spoonflower to create the perfect custom pashmina to commemorate the three year anniversary of her business, Greatest Story Creative. Learn how she did it and how you can apply the same technique to celebrate the next big event in your life!
My name is Annie Franceschi – I’m the Owner and Creative Director of Greatest Story Creative – a Durham, NC-based branding agency that helps you tell your story in your business and your life. Some say you can wear your heart on your sleeve, in this post – I’d like to tell you how I figured out how to wear my business!
I’m celebrating three years in business and I was planning a party with clients and friends. For the party, I knew I wanted to do something special to commemorate the history of the business and everything I’ve learned from it so far as an entrepreneur. Since what I do is so much about telling people’s stories, I thought it’d be great to create a dress with snippets of those stories. But then I realized, I’d rarely wear something like that again. Then it hit me: a pashmina!
Having a pashmina that celebrated all the pieces and people behind my business was the perfect way to honor three years and get excited about the new chapters to come.
To create this, I used Adobe Illustrator to make the design file. I created a repeating pattern by writing out a very long paragraph in my brand font that included highlights from the history of the business. Once the paragraph was complete, I simply copied and pasted it to keep repeating it multiple times. The result looked like pages from a book (which is very consistent with what I do).
Here’s some of what you can spot in the design as the paragraph repeats:
- Names of all the small businesses I’ve helped name
- Quotes that inspire the work I do and motivate me
- All the couples I’ve done wedding invitations for
- And this special sentiment towards the end of all the details – to be a reminder to me of what this is really all about,
- “Three years is a long time. It’s also a drop in the bucket. There are so many beautiful stories. There were so many late nights, tough hours, and struggles. Peaks and valleys. Moments of giving up and moments of never giving in. Looking back, it’s all a part of the journey. Remember that life can either happen to you, or happen for you. Every day we’re alive is a chance to make, do, and help. Take that chance every day. May three years turn into three decades and may more great stories get told because we all had the courage to celebrate ourselves. Created in honor of Greatest Story’s 3rd Anniversary and in celebration of taking risks and living life with your whole heart. Live your greatest story…”
Though I did this for my business, you could easily apply this same idea to your wedding / love story (all the special dates, memories, quotes, etc.) or to your career for retirement, or even to your time in college or high school.
While I could design the words that went on the fabric, getting the fabric was another story. I immediately thought of Spoonflower! My husband and I used Spoonflower four years ago to create a special piece of chuppah fabric for our wedding. We chose the Modern Jersey, knowing it’d have great stretch and work comfortably as a scarf.
Creating the Pashmina
With Spoonflower taking care of printing my design, I had only one problem left: I had no idea had to sew. Enter into this story my sisters-in-law – Gina and Maria. They graciously offered their help and this business story pashmina became a family project!
As you’ll see in their directions below, they used 2 yards to make me TWO pashminas from Spoonflower’s modern jersey fabric. The first is a wrap that I wore to the party, and with the leftovers, they were able to create an infinity scarf from this previous Spoonflower video tutorial.
- Begin with two yards of fabric. We used the Modern Jersey which is 56” wide. Fold in half lengthwise and cut down the middle (splitting the fabric into two pieces that are 28” by 36”). You’ll only need one of the pieces to make a wrap – so feel free to use the other to make a second, or turn it into an infinity scarf as we did.
2. Taking one of the 28 x 36” pieces, carefully trim the edges of the piece.
After this is done, double fold along the edge, making each fold approximately a centimeter, maybe a half an inch wide, all the way around, and pin as necessary. Pay extra attention to the corners, as you do not want any raw edges showing.
- Sew the hem that you have pinned; we used a straight stitch, at a medium length.
- Finally, trim the loose threads, and show off!
The wrap was a huge hit (party guests were totally delighted to find their names or their business on it!). It’s the perfect addition to my wardrobe. I love wearing it to client meetings and events – it’s a great conversation starter for what I’m most passionate about: helping people tell their story!
Project Concept & Tutorial by: Annie Franceschi, Gina Franceschi, and Maria Franceschi
Process Photography: Annie Franceschi (www.greateststorycreative.com)
Final Product / Party Photography: Faith Teasley Photography (www.faithteasley.com)
Party Location: Juju Asian Tapas + Bar in Durham, NC (www.jujudurham.com)
About Our Guest Blogger
“I’ve always been a storyteller. As a kid, I was a creative fireball and the total arts kid (definitely not the sports kid). I was dreaming of broadway, or being a writer, maybe even an artist or a film producer. But two things were always sure: I loved creating and I loved movies. I never imagined that one day, I’d run a business that brings together my love of both in a way that allows me to make a difference in your life. In our story, you can get a bit more about my journey from working for The Walt Disney Studios to starting Greatest Story in 2013. Here, I’ll say I’m honored that my job is to help real people like you celebrate what matters most. For that, I’m very grateful. The chapters we write together stick with me for a lifetime – like no other work ever has or ever could.”