The Creative Local: Allie Seidel

If you are new to Uniquely Women, I started a new blog series column – The Creative Local. This series showcases boss ladies, whether it be bloggers, entrepreneurs, or women making a difference in their neck of the woods. Each will showcase their current city, taking us around to their favorite places along with a little bit of their current business endeavors. Tag #thecreativelocal on Instagram & Twitter to showcase the creative local in YOU to be featured.

Up this month: Allie Seidel of Allie Seidel Lettering & Design.I’m constantly looking and admiring her handwriting, photography, and design skills. She is definitely an inspiration and I’m excited to introduce her to all of you today! She will share some of her favorite Seattle favorite hangouts as well as a little more about her business and her day-to-day life. Without further adieu – meet a favorite creative of mine – Allie Seidel!

Her Favorite Seattle Spots:

I am a fourth generation Californian, with loyalties deeply tied to Cal football games, long hot summers, and weekly trips to In-N-Out. But when I accepted my college admittance to the University of Washington, my life forever changed.

I met my husband when we were five, (read more about our love story but we reconnected in college, and our life is in the Pacific Northwest now. My adjustment to Seattle wasn’t the easiest (my freshman year of college the weather broke a record for the numbers of days of rain in a row), and it was a rough switch from the mild “winters” I was used to. But, I can wholeheartedly say that now, after seven years, I’m in love with this city and I can’t imagine our life anywhere else. I’m thankful for a rich network of friends and in-laws here, and for a city known for being a goldmine of creativity and entrepreneurship.

If I were visiting Settle for the weekend, these are my top three, must-see places:

Green Lake Park

This is the Central Park of the West Coast. It’s a three mile loop surrounding a peaceful, tree lined lake, filled with joggers, new moms with strollers, and the occasional rollerblader. I’ve run this three mile loop consistently since college, and I could not live without it

Green Lake Park

Oddfellows Cafe & Bar

My favorite brunch in the city, and thanks to impossibly good lighting and on-trend hipster decor, it’s possibly the most instagrammed spot for breakfast. They have a gluten-free biscuit that is to die for, the menu is simple and fantastic. They also have a full service restaurant and bar, and lots of coffee and baked goods.

Oddfellows Cafe & Bar

Percy and Co

Located in the hip and trendy Ballard neighborhood, this is one of my favorite bars. They have an outdoor back patio with long tables that is great spot for small or large groups, and a cocktail menu the size of a textbook. Really fun in the summer

Percy and Co

Next up: An Interview with Allie

(Read Below)

In a few sentences describe yourself:

I’m a designer and stylist of many forms: hand lettering, stationery, parties, photography, and writing mostly. I’m crazy about my husband, the annual 4th of July weekend spent at my grandparent’s lake house, crushed ice, and gold flatware.

How did your shop start? Where did that passion come from?

I think I’ve always kind of had the “business bug.” In high school I sold handmade purses, in college I sold ribbon headbands in our school’s colors for football games, and later I had an Etsy shop of hair ties before I launched my lettering business. I think I just have always been drawn to the process of creating and selling. It’s so energizing to me, both the creative aspects as well as the business and marketing side of it.

You have an amazing knack for hand lettering. Tell us a little about that and where your inspiration for hand lettering came from?

Thank you! I am a total accidental letterer. I took a calligraphy “class” in December 2013 which was more like a party with a group of friends. It was really fun but I wouldn’t say I was a “natural” (which is good news for anyone wanting to take a workshop!) I practiced and practiced, and launched a line of cards a few months later for Valentine’s Day. The business continued to grow quickly and organically, and it’s been the most surprising and rewarding journey. I’m so thankful to have found a career that combines so many of my passions and skills.

What is one of your favorite things you have designed/hand lettered?

The postcard series is my current favorite. I love everything about it: the combination of both my photographs and my lettering, making snail mail and thank you cards easier to send, the matte finish. Every detail about them was carefully planned and I think they fit a good niche in the market.

What was your biggest hurdle to overcome (business wise) in 2014?

Learning how to say “no.” I think as women, this can sometimes be a tough skill to learn because we can feel like we’re letting people down. But the very nature of managing a growing business, opportunities are continuously pitched to you, and you have to quickly decide if this is something you are willing to take on our not. I am learning when and how to decline offers effectively and graciously so that I can fiercely protect my time while continuing to grow the business. It’s a very fine line and something I’m sure I will be learning for the rest of my career.

Top Bucket List Locations (name between 3-5)?

I love the Cinque Terre in Italy. It’s a group of these stunning, tiny little coastal towns, and I’ve been before but my husband hasn’t, and we’d love to get to travel to Europe together someday. There’s so many places over there that I’d love to see with him, the Amalfi Coast in particular, and Greece would be a dream.

Currently – Top Must Read Blogs (name between 3-5)?

  • My friend Sarah Adler at Simply Real Health has a fantastic blog centered on healthy living. I love all of her simple, inspiring, and naturally gluten free recipes.
  • My elementary and high school friend, Elise Blaha, has a fantastic blog, and it has always been a favorite of mine for a real life look into running a small business.
  • I have followed Kelle Hampton’s Enjoying the Small Things blog since Nella was born, her daughter with down syndrome. I loved how she wrote honestly about that experience, and seeing the amazing photos she takes of her kids.