East Meets West In Wedding Design Business
When Dorothy (“Dot” for short) was a child, she and her sisters desperately wanted a video game console. Rather than buy one for her children, Dot's mother gave them some glue, paper and cardboard and told them to make their own video game.
The sisters spent hours assembling what Dot (pictured, middle, with sisters Canna (at Dot's right) and Mei) says turned out to be a pretty good rendition of the real thing, complete with joy stick and seat for the sisters to take turns using their makeshift race car video game.
Fast Forward a few decades and you get a lovely melding of flowers and east/west fusion, as the creative talents of these sisters combine at Mints to create dream weddings for couples throughout the San Francisco Bay area.
How did you start your business?
My sisters and I all had stable corporate jobs and never thought we would start our own business. Things changed when we started planning Canna’s wedding. One of our aunt's created the invitations while another one made all of the dresses, including Canna's. I designed her wedding website and her flowers.
Of course we could have hired people to do these things, but we love to make things ourselves. For Canna, we wanted something personal and meaningful. At the wedding, we received many compliments on our work. Soon after, requests and referrals started pouring in. It wasn't long before we knew that business ownership was the path we had to pursue.
What's the inspiration for the business name, "Mints"?
Canna loves to cook. On top of that, we believe life should be refreshing and green.
What do you love about being Indie?
We love having more time for ourselves and our families, and we enjoy working together very much. It's almost like we have extended our childhood fun.
We also love having direct interaction with people, something that did not happen much in our corporate jobs. We really enjoy talking to our customers and working with other local designers and vendors to make a client's dreams come true. Nothing beats the personal satisfaction we feel when a newly wed client emails us after the honeymoon to tell us how happy she was with the flowers at her wedding. These kinds of experiences don't happen in the corporate world.
We also appreciate and respect other artists and small businesses. We live in a fast food nation and sometimes, we forget to thank people who make our world unique and fun. Being an Indie designer myself, I know how much time and energy goes into staying in business. It takes a lot of guts and effort. We are proud to be Indie.
What's special about this arrangement from a client's wedding?
This arrangement is from Jessica & Geoffrey’s wedding. Jessica is American-born Japanese and wanted her wedding to be modern with a touch of tradition. Note the origami cranes, which means honor and loyalty, peace and love in Japanese culture. This arrangement and all of the pieces we produced for this event showcase our signature east meets west style, and features our talent for designing unique arrangements that reflect the bride and groom's culture and values.
What are you plans for the future of Mints?
We hope to extend our product line from flowers and plants to a wide range of home, lifestyle and garden décor. We are currently building our online store and plan to use it to bring our ideas to more people. We are also incorporating plans to become a greener business in the coming months.
How I Met Dot
Dot emailed me last night out of the blue. I had never heard of Mints or her before. Dot said that she felt someone was stealing some of her design ideas and she wanted an attorney to help her determine her options. Unfortunately, I could not provide Dot with legal advice, but I offered to help her find some assistance.
After sending my reply, I decided to have a look at the website link at the end of her signature line. I was enchanted when I saw Dot's website (which she designed), learned that she worked with her sisters, saw that they were Indies and, of course, saw their beautiful and creative floral work. I simply had to share my new discovery with you.
Visit Mints Design here, and be inspired. I know you will love what you see.
I think Dot and her sisters have little to worry about. First of all, their work is signature unique — hard to duplicate without looking like a fraud. Second, if this other person is copying them, do they really want to take from their creative journey to make her stop, when their time may be better spent creating things so beautiful that Miss Copy Cate won't be able to keep up anyway. Third, anytime someone is copying you, it pretty much means that they have no creative juice of their own, and in that case, you have nothing to worry about. Just exactly how long can a lazy, uncreative, thieving Copy Cate stay in business anyway?
Let's Show Dot Some Indie Love
Don't worry, Dot. You and your sisters are all over it. Still, it's frustrating to pour your heart and soul into your work and find out that some troll is trying to copy you.
C'mon Indies! Let's show Dot some Indie love and let her know that we have visited Mints and that if we find Little Miss Copy Cate, we'll be sure to give her a piece of our mind.
Learn About Copyright Law
If you have questions about copyright, trademark and patent law, you might enjoy my Indie Business Radio Show with guest Andrew Sherman, Esq., a Washington, DC intellectual property attorney. Also, you can visit the US Copyright Office website.
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