Every so often you come across a female entrepreneur that seemingly has figured out how to magic a few extra hours into her day. Meet Kelly Legare, owner of paper forest design, a luxurious full service event and design company. Between wedding and event planning, interior design services, a gorgeous custom gift line, and balancing home and family life, we were lucky to have a few moments to catch up with Kelly to hear first hand how she makes it all work (and looks great doing it!).
Read on to hear how Kelly creates a warm, intimate experience with her clients, how she transitions with her clients from wedding to new home, and the importance - now more than ever - of having an experienced planner with you during your wedding journey.
Tell us about yourself! How did you get started in your profession?
Thank you, Jessica & Risa for having me. I left my job as a corporate account manager after I had my first child in 2014, with the intention of starting a design business. I graduated with a Fine Art degree and early on in my career I worked for two female entrepreneurs - an art gallery owner and a textile designer. I was most inspired everyday when I was in creative, design-driven environments. I created paper forest design with the intent of having a few channels to offer my services through, which was a combination of the things I was naturally drawn to and had worked on throughout my career: design, interiors, events, and planning.
We love the name of your company. It evokes such a peaceful, elegant vibe. How did you come up with it?
I appreciate you saying this as it was my intention to exude a dream-like and unexpected feeling with the name. I was in a brainstorming session with one of my best friends from college, I had shared mood boards, photos, a long list of key words that I felt spoke to a natural, elevated feeling. My dear friend was actually the one to call out -”what about paper forest?” I instantly thought- yes! I shared the name with all of my friends and family for feedback and thoughts and everyone was drawn to it as much as I was. I knew it was right. I also highly credit my graphic designer for capturing my branding, website and marketing materials to flow with the feeling. Her name is Margot Ricci and she was amazing to work with.
Many of our readers are engaged. Can you describe the process for hiring a wedding planner? Who can benefit from your services?
Yes, absolutely. My approach to working with clients is to create an intimate, rich and collaborative experience through the design and planning process. The first and foremost important aspect is that you are instantly drawn to the person or team you have hired to support and guide you, and there is a solid connection. You will be spending a great deal of time interfacing, communicating, meeting and getting to know each other so it’s crucial to feel 100% about who you are entrusting. As far as who can benefit, we have a few offerings to work within budget ranges. We pride ourselves on full service planning because we are heavily involved with every decision and design detail form start to finish. And ensuring this is an honest, and true reflection of our couples. We also offer design service as an add-on to our event management offering.
We love that your design offerings are available not only for weddings and gatherings but also home interiors. And we are loving the gift collection you’ve launched this past year! How can our readers incorporate your gift offerings into their wedding festivities or life events?
We are big on gift giving to our clients, partners, friends and family and strive to present unique and striking gifts that will leave a lasting impression. I was always coming up with my own unexpected, cool gifts so it only made sense to bring a tangible piece of my aesthetic into gift form. I launched our online store and introduced a small collection of custom and semi-custom gifts. We are now providing gifts for large and small corporations, realtors and mortgage brokers, urban planning firms, architects, event industry partners and beyond. It has been a dream! One of our best sellers is our natural wine + floral gift box that I created - which you can see on our website and learn more. It is a beautiful and fun twist on gifting wine and flowers. For weddings and life events we customize every gift to the T with our natural, effortless aesthetic.
It’s a natural transition from wedding to new home...lucky for us, you offer residential interior styling as well! What is the benefit of hiring an interior stylist?
As a designer/stylist I would say the biggest benefit to hiring someone like myself is to execute a cohesive design plan and natural flow in the particular spaces of your home that need help or aren’t functioning at their highest level. I am able to walk into a space and instantly see what needs to be addressed to bring out the best. I work collaboratively with my clients and present concept boards which include suggestions for anything that is in need of an upgrade- paint colors, furnishings, textiles, window treatments, flooring, lighting, finishes, art, you name it. Our residential styling services are competitively priced and worth every penny.
Now more than ever, moms are BUSY. How do you balance family and work life?
I would not say I’m an expert at balancing this currently, after the past year of living in a pandemic and the crossover of home life and work life being heavily blurred. I do my best to carve out time with both of my children and husband each day to focus on them separately and together. Lots of dance parties, reading, arts and crafts, cooking and baking together and outdoor adventures. I do make it a priority each day to dedicate uninterrupted time with my family, but some days it is harder than others with my schedule.
There are a lot of moving pieces during a normal, non-pandemic wedding planning process. Now with Covid, brides have even more to balance and nothing feels certain. What have you learned over the past year that you can share with our readers who are planning (or re-planning…) their weddings?
This is a great question for anyone who is planning a wedding whether it be on their own or with the support of a planner, I will say it is like riding waves. If you can go with the flow, you are energetically able to move through and cope more soundly. We recognize how much heartbreak and disappointment was (and still is) occurring because the vision so many couples had in their minds of what their wedding day would be changed drastically. We planned and successfully executed six weddings and events in 2020 through the height of very uncertain times and we kept ourselves calm, cool and collected for our couples and clients, while simultaneously learning all the extra steps and precautions that needed to come into play. It was a profound amount of time and energy to get it right and we did. Arguably, COVID has demonstrated the extreme case of necessity to having a trusted advisor/planner by your side to dodge the waves for couples.
Last but not least, how can our readers find you? And most importantly, what is the best way for our readers to support you and your business?
I am honored and grateful to have this opportunity to share about paper forest design, thank you again. You can find us through our website www.paperforestdesign.com, Instagram @paperforestdesign. My direct email is - firstname.lastname@example.org
We loved this chat. Be sure to check out Kelly's amazing work and offerings, and give her a follow on her socials! Thank you Kelly!
risa + jess
Meraki Wedding Photo
Sara L. Price
Sarah Peet Photography
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