Meet Stacy Kleber, the founder of Stacy Kleber Design
We met Stacy a little over a year ago at a Capitol Romance event. We spent the majority of the evening chatting about business. After eight years working in the industry, Stacy was planning to make the leap to working on Stacy Kleber Design and Jensen I Do full time. When she came to one of our Vendor Socials, we were THRILLED to hear that she’d made the transition and business was BOOMING! Now, Stacy is going to be one of our Participating Vendors at our FIRST Vendor Social in Maryland at Kendra Scott on November 5th from 6-8:30pm!
When did you found Stacy Kleber Design?
I opened Stacy Kleber Design in 2008, around the time the economy took a downward turn. It was a way of staying afloat when jobs were scarce. Slowly, it grew, and I began to realize that owning my own business was the only thing that I wanted to do. I officially went full-time in February of this year, and I couldn’t be happier.
Jensen I Do, a division of Stacy Kleber Design specifically focused on printable invitations, is a bit newer. When I was planning my own wedding in 2012. I realized there weren’t a lot of affordable options for invitations, and I wanted to offer couples something that was both well designed, and within their budget. I launched Jensen I Do a year later.
What made you decide to name your design firm Stacy Kleber Design? And, what is Jensen I do?
The name Stacy Kleber Design comes from my maiden name – Kleber. My father always said that he’d see Stacy Kleber Design on a billboard someday, and the name just stuck. And, ironically, the first real project my family saw in person after I started working? A billboard.
When I opened Jensen I Do, I chose to use my married name. Jensen I Do was the name of the website my husband and I used for our wedding, and it seemed like the perfect answer to the name of the invitation company.
Do you have a team of designers that works for you?
One of the things that is special about my business is that I personally handle all the design. When you hire Stacy Kleber Design, you get me. Period.
What is your favorite part of running your own business?
My favorite part about being a designer is working with and learning about a variety of industries. I specialize in working with small businesses and start-ups to find their brand – and often they teach me as much as I teach them.
The wedding community has always been a favorite of mine, as it allows for an abundance of creativity – from invitations, to signs, to branding. Weddings are a special and exciting time, and it is an honor to get to share that with couples.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your business?
One of the interesting things about my business is that I do a great deal of work remotely for clients in various cities. I have long term relationships with clients that I may have only ever met via email. One of my favorite testimonials came from one of these clients:
I’ve received many compliments on the website. The most common one from people I know well is ‘It’s so you.’ That is quite a compliment to you, since we have never even met.
Design is trying to capture the ephemeral sense of a person/couple/business in a visual way – and in that sense, every job is unique and interesting.
Do you have a favorite memory?
One of my favorite stories is from my client, ASRC Federal. In 2010 they hired me to rebrand their internship program for Alaska native students. With their current collateral which appeared very corporate, they were having trouble appealing to the high school crowd – and struggling to get them excited about doing an internship in the lower 48 states.
We rolled out a campaign that I considered picture yourself here, with silhouettes of kids in exciting iconic places in the corresponding cities – for example a silhouette in front of the Washington Monument for the DC internship. The campaign was young, fresh and fun.
A year later, when I spoke to my client, I asked how the campaign was received. She said not only did they get high quality applicants, but they found that the kids were traveling to the cities and taking pictures of themselves that very much resembled the campaign. The fact that it made that kind of impression on the students is something that I won’t soon forget.
Tell us a little bit more about what you’re doing right now
I am finishing my Masters in Marketing at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School in May. With classes in New Product Development, Marketing Strategy and Digital Marketing under my belt, I hope to offer my clients a competitive edge.
Do you have a favorite type of project or event?
My favorite sort of project is branding – be it for businesses, events or weddings. I like creating the logo or visual identity, and then carrying it out in all aspects of a project. I’ve been excited to see the influx of weddings that have begun to use logos and themes to really personalize the event. Couples are allowing their personalities to shine, and it opens the doors for designers to enter the wedding industry in a way that they haven’t before.