Red River Paper Blog
Welcome to Success on Paper, our series highlighting businesses from around the country with at least one thing in common: Red River Paper. From architectural firms to printing retailers, companies that depend on impeccable paper quality and creative customer service are relying on RRP to help them present their work in beautiful, compelling ways.
Next up in the series: Watercolor Artist Sarah Lewis.
Marrying Art and Commerce
Sarah Lewis figured climbing the ladder of the fashion world was her future. She soon realized painting was more enjoyable than corporate politics. When her custom wedding gift for a friend inspired inquiries on Instagram in 2018, Slate and Brush Design Studio was born. Since then, Sarah has been elevating and evolving her wedding business from invitations to large seating charts, drink signs/barware, and monograms. Beyond weddings, she also creates greeting cards, art prints, notepads, and more.
Enter Red River Paper
Because paper goods are at the core of Sarah’s business, paper quality is more than just a nice-to-have — it’s a must. In fact, part of Sarah’s process with her wedding clients is to mail the couples a physical sample so they can see and feel the paper in person.
“I had a tough time finding paper that (a) was great quality, (b) could be fed through my printer, and (c) did a good job of holding ink,” says Sarah. "Red River Paper was recommended to me by another artist and I'm so glad I took their advice!” Her solution to these three challenges came in the form of Red River Paper’s Palo Duro Etching 315.
The keys to the superior museum quality of Palo Duro Etching 315 are its acid-free 100% cotton fibers that are lignin and optical brightener (OBA) free. We do not add any chemicals that make paper look bright white. The whites of your image are going to take on an elegant, warmer look. This is a benefit for images of nature, skin tones, landscapes, rich black & whites and artwork reproductions. It provides an elegant fine photographic print or art paper experience - look, feel, and performance.
Palo Duro Etching 315 was a perfect solution to Sarah’s ink challenge because it is specifically designed to have the texture and feel of watercolor or cold press fine art paper and to hold ink. The surface adds just the right amount of texture to your print and will not distract from the details you worked so hard to capture. That texture and the modern inkjet coating captures ink in a superior way to give your work a powerful impact. You will be amazed that a matte paper can create such true saturated colors and luxurious deep blacks. The secret is a barrier coat between the paper and inkjet receiving layer. Ink stays locked into the inkjet coating and cannot sink into the paper base.
See More of Sarah’s Work
Sarah’s website, Slate and Brush, is cheerful tour through wedding wonderland, but you’ll also find custom pet portraits, art prints, ornaments, even tea towels — all featuring her artwork. Check out her Instagram for sneak peeks into projects in progress, including a McDonald’s neon sign Sarah designed for one burger-loving bride and groom (8/2/23 Insta post). To see how her art reflects her personality, see our Q&A with Sarah below.
Enjoy our Q&A with Watercolor Artist Sarah Lewis…
What year was your business founded and how did you get started?
I wanted to create a special wedding gift for an old friend. After posting a sneak peek on Instagram, I realized people wanted to buy it! So I started a business in 2018.
Tell us a little about what product or service your business offers.
I'm a watercolor artist and sell my artwork on products like art prints, greeting cards, stickers, and more. Currently the majority of my business is all-things-weddings, including invitations and day-of items like welcome signs.
What makes your business unique?
I create all of the artwork myself in my little studio and I'm always looking to try new techniques and products.
Where do you source your raw materials from?
I only use Red River Palo Duro Etching 315 for my 8”x10” paper. Everything else I get professionally printed from different printers across the U.S.
In what ways does the business reflect your own personality?
It incorporates some puns and quirky humor.
Who are your typical customers?
For the product side, my customers are people who love a good pun and want art to send to friends/family or to decorate their homes with something they can't find in the stores. For the wedding side, my customers are around 25-35 years old who want custom invitations that showcase their personality. Often pets are involved in their weddings because they want their weddings to be different from the norm.
What is the most interesting project you've encountered in the course of your work?
A lot of my business involves weddings, so I've designed everything from dance floor wraps to 7-foot-tall seating charts. But I love when I get to work on barware like signature drink signs with watercolor pet portraits and cocktail napkins.
What has Red River Paper done for your business? Is there a particular challenge Red River Paper has helped you overcome or a goal they helped you meet?
I had a tough time finding paper that (a) was great quality, (b) could be fed through my printer, and (c) did a good job of holding ink. Red River Paper was recommended to me by another artist and I'm so glad I took their advice!
What do you appreciate most about Red River Paper's products/services?
I love the paper quality and that I'm able to quickly buy everything in bulk!
All artwork and/or photographs used in this post are subject to copyright held by the featured artist.
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Last updated September 21, 2023