Hello, Hello... I'm Alison. (That's where the 'Al' of 'Aldale' comes from, of course.)
And the 'Design' of Aldale Design refers to not only graphic design (which should be obvious by now if you're on this tab), but the craving to design an inspirational, savvy, meaningful life. Lofty goal, no? But let's go back to the beginning. (You clicked on 'story', you'll get a dang story!)
It all began informally in 2008, with my very first VIP Client: myself. What conceit! But it's true: I was newly engaged and armed with a creative arts diploma (yes, I'm formally trained in graphic design, desktop publishing, marketing, photography... and journalism, hence my tendency to ramble.) My then-fiance and I couldn't find an invitation to fit what we envisioned for our wedding. (Mind you, this is BEFORE the age of Pinterest and Instagram - oh, how I would have become a Pinaholic!) I had a love for beautiful typography, the perfect 'handsome yet romantic' colour palate, and anything damask or lace. (Yep, sure did sport the all-lace gown well before any Ms Middleton did!) We also wanted to incorporate our venue, which was slightly opulent and built in 1912... think gleaming marble, red carpet and sky-high pillars. (Take that, Gatsby trend!)
The problem: finding wedding stationery that really fit our vision and theme, at a price point we could realistically work with. The "solution": giving up and just DIYing it.
Was it a disaster? Was I using Scotch tape on my wedding eve to finish table numbers? Was my crappy home inkjet shutting down and leaving me in a full-blown Bridezilla panic? SURE WAS!
Although I managed to make it work in the end, something happened... AFTER the wedding, when I could just forget about the nightmare, when I could easily send out thank-yous using a generic store kit... I was still into it. No, let's clarify: I had become obsessed. Totally and completely smitten with the world of Wedding Stationery. I continued to buy wedding magazines, just for the invitation ads. Lehr & Black was my idea of Utopia. I examined (okay, judged and critiqued) any weddings I attended, with a fine-toothed 'wedding insider' comb.
Since my day job was less than desirable (that 'diploma' I mentioned? Totally useless in the local market...), and with my new hubby's support (thanks, Sweets!), I took a blind leap and landed in a world of being my own boss and having a home business. Boom - Aldale Design, est. 2010. It was pretty dang awesome - a flannel uniform, creating wholesale accounts with paper companies, guessing the new Pantone of the Year, joining an online community of likewise designers (yes, it really existed!), fondling pretty swatches, playing with samples and colour palates - it was heaven.
And as my life evolved, so did my products:
I couldn't find THE ideal Holiday Card... I wanted to send a brief-but-meaningful, non-denominational message, but with our dogs' photo. (And then, our somewhat-slimmed-down faces. And then, our son's.) So, I made them, for others.
I couldn't find THE perfect Birth Announcement... I wanted a luxurious paper to showcase my son's extraordinary newborn photos. (Boast, boast, boast.) So, I made them, for others.
I couldn't find THE perfect Birthday Party Stationery... I wanted a photo invitation but then with matching mini menus, favour tags AND a photo notecard. So, I made them, for others.
And finally, I couldn't find THE perfect Nursery Artwork... I wanted something personalized with Squish's name (that's the aforementioned son's nickname, of course...) in our unique room colour choices, and with some inspirational words of encouragement that he could wake up to and read one day. So, I made them, for others.
Recently, I couldn't find THE perfect Wall Art... I wanted an inspirational quote, with a lovely en-trend watercolour look, and a fresh colour combo. So, I made them, for others. (Ok, and they *may* be in every room of my house now.)
And that's really the current chapter in this story! I'm glad you have found me. Because whilst it's great to create products that *I* can use... Sharing is Caring. (Thanks, Daniel Tiger...)
'Tis all for now... Feel free to drop me a line at anytime. We can discuss your wedding, your project, your new baby, or even the time of day.
- Alison, Owner & Creative Director