1.28.2010

Editorial Feature from Bella Magazine


I Do Originals
Written By Jennifer Romeo

You've found the perfect person, you have your ring, and now it's time to plan your perfect day-the first day of many in your new life together! With books, magazines, television shows, and numbers of other resources available to use for your wedding planning, the whole event can become a little overwhelming, but one thing is always for certain: the wedding should be a true and personalized reflection of the couple tying the knot. Business owner, Kristin Melissa, offers the perfect personalized wedding accessories to suit any couple's style.

Kristin is the CEO of I Do Originals, an e-commerce company specializing in personalized wedding decor and accessories, and she recently launched I Do Monograms, an online wedding resource for monogrammed wedding goods. Born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA, she graduated from Radford University with her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, and continued on to graduate school at Virginia Tech where she received her Master's Degree in Counselor Education. She now lives in Roanoke, VA with her husband Matt, and her basset hound, Ruby.

Her business began out of what she calls "quite the happy accident." After planning her own wedding in June 2006, she posted pictures from her day on a popular wedding message board. She quickly began receiving emails from brides asking her to recreate some of her pieces for their own weddings. "I was of course happy to help anyone who asked, and word spread like rapid fire," she tells us. "I received so many e-mails daily that out of sheer necessity, I developed a website where brides could easily access answers to their questions about my creations and place orders. And thus, I Do Originals was born!" She set up her studio and filled it with things to inspire and motivate her to continue growing and expanding her brand. She describes her space as a direct reflection of herself.

Now in her fourth year of business, Kristin continues to create personalized wedding accessories for any type of wedding, and she remains understandably busy Her typical day consists of emailing, designing, filling orders, shipping, bookkeeping, blogging and web updating. "Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day to get it all done, but I wouldn't trade it for anything," she says.

Her hand-painted pieces include items such as aisle and table runners, banners, parasols, candles, and even bridal party gifts. Kristin is able to create custom designs to suit any couple, but her process is completely self-taught She says, "I think it's an innate ability that I've been able to develop. I often surprise myself with the designs I create." Her beautiful designs are inspired by the weather, the seasons, fabrics and ribbons, fashion trends, wedding blogs, and wedding magazines, but clients are also able to select their own choices of fonts and colors on the online order form.

Kristin says the best part of her job is "being able to help couples personalize their weddings by creating custom wedding decor and accessories. I get so excited every time a client sends photos from their wedding day of the custom items I've created for them."

Her clients include couples from all across the country, and her pieces are even sought after internationally. Since she started her company, she has worked with over 2,300 couples, and that number continues to grow everyday. "I've also been very fortunate to work with some of the top wedding industry professionals across the nation," she says, "and I recently created a custom monogram aisle runner for Lauren Nelson, Miss America 2007, which was a big honor."

Throughout the years, she has created countless personalized pieces for weddings, but her favorite pieces are those that include a special quote or verse that is meaningful to the couple. She says, "I understand that brides want everything at their wedding to have a personal touch, but in most cases it's hard to find time to dedicate to all those do-it-yourself projects. That's where we come in. Our primary mission is to create those special, personalized details that guests will always remember."

Want to learn more? All of Kristin's products are available to view and order online at www.iDoOriginals.com and www.iDoMonogram.com and she also has a wedding blog at www.iDoOriginals.blogspot.com where you can read the latest news, check out specials, and view the latest creations.

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