Good-bye and Thank You from I Do Originals!

It is far overdue that I take the time to announce that after a long temporary close after the birth of our second child, I have decided to close the doors of I Do Originals permanently.  This decision has been a difficult one as I Do Originals provided me with six truly amazing years, allowing me to work with  over 5,000 couples worldwide and so many talented wedding industry professionals.  I am so honored that the wedding industry embraced my creations the way they did by featuring them in a multitude of wedding magazines both nationally and internationally, including The Knot, BRIDES Magazine (twice!), Weddings Unveiled, and numerous others.  Another incredible honor was creating a large order for golf legend Greg Norman (aka the Shark) and his beautiful bride.  I am so blessed that the little company created in my home grew to have such great success and I am forever thankful for all of those who were a part of my journey, especially my incredible husband who supported me every step of the way.  I am sad to be closing this chapter of my life but excited to focus on being a mommy, which (although exhausting at times) is the most amazing and rewarding job in the world.  Best wishes to all, happy planning, and thanks for a wonderful ride!

My Sincerest Gratitude,
Kristin Melissa
Owner, I Do Originals


Important Product Announcement!

After much consideration, we have decided that come April 1, 2012 we will discontinue our aisle runners, table runners, banners, and candles so that we can focus solely on expanding our parasol and monogram lines. This was an extremely difficult decision to make, but with the massive growth in interest for our parasols and electronic monograms we feel that more time is needed to dedicate into growing and expanding these lines. We have had an amazing 5+ years of offering aisle runners, table runners, and banners as they have been featured in numerous national publications and used by several celebrity clients. While it is saddening to discontinue that branch of our company, it is so exciting that we will become even more specialized in our field. So if you've been longing for one of our aisle runners, table runners, banners, or candles be sure to get your order in soon! We are accepting all orders for July 2012 weddings and beyond until March 31st*!

*Limited openings are available for July 2012 weddings and beyond. Orders will be accepted on a first come first served basis until all available slots are filled.


Press: NRV Magazine

It's always such an honor to open the pages of a magazine and see products created by I Do Originals... it truly never gets old! I was so flattered when NRV Magazine asked to do a feature on me for their 2012 wedding issue and I think the article turned out great. I love the way it really focuses on the very humble beginnings of I Do Originals. For those interested, here's the whole story:

I Do Originals
by Ron Matney
photos by Laura's Focus Photography

“It just blew up!” I’m sitting in Kristin Melissa’s immaculately neat home office listening to her describe what happened with her business in 2006. Her beautiful one year old daughter Bellamy is happily making faces at me through the glass table as she crawls around with Ruby the bassett hound, Kristin’s constant work companion. Kristin started her company, I Do Originals, in 2006 after what she has quoted as a "happy accident.” She is a talented calligrapher and for her own wedding in June of 2006 she personalized a table runner for her big event. She posted pictures of her wedding onto a popular wedding forum hosted by the wedding magazine, The Knot. The forums soon exploded with comments on her beautiful work and she received numerous emails the first day after she posted the pictures from brides wanting to know where she purchased her table runner.

Kristin is classically trained as a counselor, which is what she was doing, and happily so, when all this took place. A New River Valley transplant from near Philadelphia, PA, she attended Radford University for her B.S. in Psychology, then obtained a M.S. from Virginia Tech. Despite her science/education background, she is very business oriented and quickly recognized the opportunity. Initial market research showed her that this is very much a niche market and that there weren’t many people providing this product. She also realized that she wouldn’t require much overhead if she kept her business limited to the internet instead of trying retail space. She started responding to brides via email to give them what they needed and soon launched a web site. The business is now internet driven and marketing is entirely by word of mouth.

Her business grew at an astonishing rate. She was immediately inundated with orders. She would work all day as a counselor and then all night filling orders. Soon people were asking for other custom products such as aisle runners, parasols and candles. Kristin found suppliers who could keep her stocked and was soon running at full capacity. She soon realized that she could not keep her clients happy and work full time as a counselor and so left her safety net and threw herself full time into her new business.

Its success is obvious. In preparation for this story I researched her business website and soon found that she is wildly popular. She has been featured in numerous wedding magazines, including Brides, the Knot, Weddings Unveiled, Belle, Kentucky Bride, Brides of North Texas and many others!

Thanks to the internet, her business is not limited regionally. She ships her products all over the United States. She finds international shipping to be very risky with such a fragile product and so limits international shipping. Despite her hesitations with international shipping, Kristin soon realized just how popular her work is when international brides-to-be in Canada hired a courier service in New York to get what they wanted! She now ships internationally to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and beyond through the courier service. Now that is ingenuity!

Every artist and/or business owner has their favorite story, and Kristin is no exception. When I asked her about her most memorable experience, her face lit up and she immediately started smiling. With no hesitation, she said, “Well, my biggest client contacted me when I was eight and a half months pregnant with Bellamy.” As if on cue, Bellamy gives me a huge smile and points at me through the glass table. Kristin was contacted by an event planner in Australia who needed twenty-one parasols in [drum roll] two weeks. At that moment, Kristin was buried in orders that she was trying to get out on time and trying her best to begin maternity leave. She attempted to hand the order off, but the client responded with, “I have done my research and you are the only person that can meet what I have planned.” The planner went on to explain that the groom in the marriage was the famous golfer Greg Norman, aka “The Shark.” It is Kristin’s policy to not cater to one client over another, but in this case she took the order (for fewer parasols than twenty-one) and got everything done in time!

I enjoyed my visit with Kristin, Bellamy and Ruby very much and felt once again, very humbled by the ingenuity, perseverance, dedication and work ethic of the small business owners here in the NRV. Look Kristin’s business up at www.idooriginals.com and fall in love with her beautiful work. If you want a parasol, aisle runner or candle customized for your wedding plan ahead. Kristin has a three-month backlog!


New for 2012

I am so looking forward to all of the exciting things happening for 2012 at I Do Originals, including faster turnaround times (now just 2 months for hand painted items and 3-4 business days for electronic monograms) PLUS we're bringing back the "Featured Couples" section of our website, AND most importantly I am so excited to start the new year out in our NEW studio space. Here is a quick peek behind the scenes...

photo by Laura's Focus Photography

If you're newly engaged, congratulations and welcome! I know a lot of couples get engaged around the holiday season and we always get a huge influx of orders come January... so be sure to get your orders in early so you can take advantage of our faster turnaround times... they won't be around for long!


A Labor of Love

This monogram provided by my sweet bride, Lupe, was a true labor of love to recreate onto a custom aisle runner but the turnout was totally worth it! The intricate design took nearly double the amount of time I had anticipated, but it really is spectacular, and one of my favorite runners to date! Best wishes to Lupe & James for a beautiful wedding day in the Riviera Maya!


Smitten Magazine Feature!

LinkJust received word that one of our parasols is featured in the Sept-Oct 2011 edition of Smitten Magazine! One of our lovely brides, Lauren, is gracing the cover and her entire wedding is featured in the mag. Congrats Lauren & Jon!


New Monogram Turnaround Times!

As we're only accepting a limited number of orders at this time, it's allowing for faster monogram turnaround times on our electronic pre-ready monograms (yay!) Our current monogram turnaround time is now 3-4 business days from receipt of payment, although we're getting a lot of orders turned around same day or next day. This new turnaround time may not be around for long so get your orders in now!

Please note this is for electronic pre-ready monogram orders only which are sent as jpeg files directly to your e-mail. Turnaround times for aisle runners, table runners, parasols, and candles can be found in the FAQ section of our website.


We're Open!

I know we have some very anxious brides waiting for this news... we'll the time has come to us to repen the shop! We are however, going to do a "soft opening" where we only accept a very limited amount of orders as our 8 month old daughter is still requiring a lot of time spent in the hospital. The orders we are currently accepting include all electronic pre-ready monogram orders, orders for non-personalized items, and a very limited amount of orders for our custom items for October 2011 weddings and beyond. If you submitted an order form prior to August 3rd and have not received an invoice, please resubmit your order. We are looking forward to working with our fabulous brides again!


Shop Update & Photo Blast!

Thank you all so much for the continued support and prayers for our daughter. In the last five months she has undergone 13 blood transfusions (receiving transfusions every 1-2 weeks) and 5 platelet transfusions as her little body cannot sustain on its own. After an exhaustive amount of testing, doctors still have not been able to pinpoint a diagnosis. Through it all she remains in good spirits and is one of the happiest babies you'd ever meet.

Now to get down to business... despite all the hospitalizations and doctors visits, I've thankfully still been able to get out almost every order that was placed this year before the temporary close. I still have about 20 orders being processed and I'm so thankful to those clients for their patience. Please rest assured that I will definitely have these orders to you by your wedding dates! As of current, orders have been shipping out aprx. 2 weeks prior to the wedding date via USPS priority mail 2-3 day shipping.

For those of you who are anxiously waiting to place your order, I am now accepting all pre-ready monogram orders, so feel free to get your orders in for those. At this time those are the only orders I'm accepting; however, my tentative plans are to fully reopen the shop late July/early August. I will continue to keep everyone posted on the definite reopening date once I have that available. Thank you!

Here are just a handful of the creations that have come out of the I.D.O. Studio of the past few months...