This week's interview features Kemba Johnson of CoolHot located in Atlanta, GA.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I love to create things with my husband, Justin. We actually run the shop together and create everything as a duo. I have a not-so-secret love of Japanese anime and if I could, I would spend the whole day laughing. But when we aren’t crafting new designs and pieces for our customers, watching anime or laughing, we are marketing consultants (which is sometimes funny!).
What special things do you create for weddings?
We craft handmade wedding stationery, from save the dates and invitations to menus and favor tags. Our designs are inspired by cultures from around the world and by themes. And we love dimensionality. So in addition to drawing intricate design patterns, we use decorative papers, diecuts, embellishments, and multiple layers to make our designs pop.
Who or what sparked your interest in making wedding-related items?
A dear friend was getting married and including her Persian heritage in her wedding. She couldn’t find wedding stationery that spoke to her, so she asked us to “brand her wedding”. We were hooked. It’s like we get to create personal art for brides to express themselves on one of the most important days of their lives. What’s not to love!
What is a little known fact, or something unique about your work that is interesting?
All of our handmade wedding stationery is based on cultures and themes. For our cultural designs we do design research looking at decorative arts, textiles and architecture of that culture. That provides more options to find a unique interpretation of the cultural design. And then we modernize it for today’s bride.
If you are married, what’s the one thing you wish you had for your wedding that you didn’t?
An actual wedding! We were married at the courthouse, which was perfectly fine for us at the time. But I actually love weddings, and would like a fun theme weddingish reception one day.
What is your favorite wedding song?
”At Last” sung in classic jazz standard style. Timeless.
What is your favorite part of the wedding journey?
The reception! All the work that went into the wedding has paid off, you’re married and starting to enjoy the rest of your lives together with family and friends over good food and music.
What advice can you share for all the brides getting married this year?
Be yourself and have fun. It’s so easy be pulled into what you should do in terms of trends, pressure from family, guests, etc. Your wedding is an opportunity to express who you are and share what you like with the people who matter most to you.
What is your perfect honeymoon spot?
Secluded hut on a secluded beach.
If you could pick anyone famous that would purchase your items for their wedding, who would they be?
Angelina Jolie. She seems to have a more global sense of responsibility to community and a real appreciation of multiple cultures.
If you could choose 1 item from your shop that you wish every bride could have, what would it be?
Our seashell wedding invitation. With a seahorse diecut, decorative palm leaf paper and a real sliced seashell attached with a ribbon, it’s so three-dimensional.
Links where we can find out more about your work: