Cedar Rapids Wedding Photographer | A conversation with AC DesignApril 25, 2014

I’m a people person. I think most people who meet me catch onto that pretty quickly. So being the extrovert I am, I love the aspect of this industry that I can email or message random strangers and we end up becoming friends! A few weeks ago, Andrea let me into her amazing office and I photographed some of her amazing design work. We chatted over some coffee and I’d love to catch you all up on AC Design.

Be prepared to have some major workspace envy!

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Tell us a bit about you

My name is Andrea Nicole Castek and I went to school at Iowa State University and graduated with a B.F.A. in graphic design. After joining Minted.com my sophomore year of college, I realized how much I loved designing stationery (I was staying up till 3 a.m. just so I could get a last minute design entry into the challenge). My senior year of college I started looking hard for jobs after graduation, and I thought long and hard about what I really loved to do. I’ve always had a huge passion for paper, designing, and helping others. I then decided to combine all 3 and make it a business. I started my own company, AC Design, a custom stationery boutique.

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Why did you start your business?

AC Design is my biggest passion. Making people happy with my designs is what I love to do. I strongly believe that custom stationery is the only way to go – no wedding nor birthday party nor baby shower is the same! Your stationery should be unique because you are too.

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What advice would you give to newly engaged couples?

Relationships are hard work, so focus on that first and foremost – try not to worry about silly little wedding details! Having mutual respect, love, and understanding for one another is so important. Love your partner for who they are and they will do the same.

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Where do you get inspiration from?

I try to get off the computer as much as possible. Of course that is where the designing happens, but the inspiration comes from being outside and having a calm head. I love to sketch, paint, and run, and those are all times where I am able to look around me and think. My best designs come from my own inspiration, and not from something I saw on the internet.

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What sets you apart from other graphic designers?

I think what sets me apart from everyone else is my passion to be constantly learning. I’m always looking to better myself and learn new things. Whether it be taking web design classes at a community college, practicing calligraphy to YouTube videos, taking customer service classes, etc. I’m always looking to improve as a person and as a designer.

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I’m obsessed with traveling. What’s your dream vacation?

My senior year of college I lived in NYC for an internship and then went to Rome to study aboard – I love traveling too. I don’t think I could ever permanently live in a big city (I enjoy the quiet too much) but I wish I could travel to a new place every weekend! I love trying new things. My dream vacation would be to hop from state to state and try the best restaurants, check out the best local shops, etc. It would be fun to just go with the flow and not have a plan for once. :)

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“You know all those things you wanted to do? You should go DO THEM.”

Gosh I just love that quote!!

Leave some love for Andrea in the comments, or say hello to her yourself :)

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