I grew up in the 80’s. It was a generation of multiple Heathers and Jasons that filled up our valley mall. Boys were drooling over Alyssa Milano and Danica Mae McKellar; Girls were crying over Ralph Macchio and Johnny Depp. The cars were fast and the hair was BIG. MTV was the new radio and parents… parents just didn’t understand. Magnets, key chains, erasers and pencils all had to be personalized with their owner’s name because that was cooler than cool. Personalization wasn’t much for me since I could never find my name on a pencil or eraser in the sea of Melissa, Jennifer, Michael, and Jasons. I grew up in that typical small town where everybody knows your name, your parent’s name, and where you live similar to today’s smart phones. I rode the bus to school, had a dark blue Jansport backpack, I had super straight (not super curly) hair and was not one of the cool-named kids. My name was Naomi, and I was that kid who was missing out on “something BIG”.
Fast forward to my adult years and the times have changed. The computer is in every household, technology has shied us away from communicating face-to-face with people and the pen pal you used to write once a month texts you every ten minutes. I miss those days of walking to the mailbox at the end of my childhood driveway to see if I had a colored envelope with my name on it. What happened to the pen and the paper?
A year ago, I received a box set of cards that were personalized with my full name on them; the Magenta flowers were shiny beautifully and my favorite shade of chartreuse green made my name pop on the card. I was personalized! Finally my childhood wants and needs had been filled. I know, I know. It’s not the personalized eraser or pencil I wanted, but it was a start that didn’t end there. A few months later, I received two more boxes of personalized cards. One set of tangerine orange with a white Beach Cruiser on the front while the other green and white set had a quote on the front in light blue: “Love, Joy, & Happiness”. As I turned the sets of cards over I was amazed to see “handcrafted contemporary cards & paper goods, by Ruby Dot Designs”. I went on a hunt to find Ruby Dot Designs. I soon found what I was looking for not at Target or Papyrus, but in Ruby’s home being a Supermom. She is not only a wife and mother, but the owner, designer and seller of Ruby Dot Designs. TUBE was happy to sit down with the woman behind it all, Kim Farrens, and ask her a few questions about her local business.
Where was Ruby Dot Designs born?
It started in 2010 here in Sacramento. I had always made cards for my friends instead of picking one up and signing my name in it. I would purchase a set of cards and I would add my own touch to it by stamping or embossing them to give a more personalized look & feeling to it. In February, friend of mine came to me with an order for some personalized Valentine’s Day cards. I figured I am helping one friend out why not my other friends, so I put a post out there on Facebook. Next thing I knew, it was March and orders kept coming in. Another friend wanted some personalized stationery to keep around the house for birthdays and holidays. I soon started attending the home shows, craft shows, attending the new aged Tupperware parties…any way to get my product out there.
Let’s talk personal and how special Ruby Dot Designs really is.
I love stationary! It’s personal. Each order. Every card & sticker. It is just me, Kim Farrens, that’s how personal it is. When each order is made… it is made with love by me. I am the one you speak to on the phone and the one behind the computer. I custom hand cut each order individually to size. I hand crease each card, re-trim, and package each individual order. I am the one ordering, cutting, designing and packaging. My stationery is fresh and contemporary. I specialize in personalization and custom designs. At the moment I have a catalog that has most of my designs and the customer decides everything – design, design placement, color, fonts…their idea of their personalized gift. With the holidays coming closer I really want to put myself out into the market. I have been working on some new cards and new posters, but I am currently working on coffee mugs and plates. I am hand making notebooks that can be personalized with colors, fonts, and pictures of your choice. Each notebook will be created and the binding process will be done personally by Ruby dot designs.
Where can we find Ruby Dot Designs?
You can find me at: www.rubydotdesigns.com, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook.com/rubydotdesignspaper. At this time I am local here in Sacramento. I have some local shops such as Parkside Pharmacy, Koukla Kids, East Sac Mercantile, and Kerrie Kelly Design Lab. Also, If you have purchased tickets to the Home Tour in East Sacramento you will see some of my new items such as my coffee cups and my plate designs for the holidays in their homes.
What is the next step for Ruby Dot Designs?
I am excited and super happy to be where I am at this moment. I like that I am small and very personal with every order. I mean… I would be excited for the next level which would be moving out of the spare room of the house to a studio…to getting my cards into other businesses in different towns. It’s scary. I’d like to branch out and have a store in Santa Cruz, Carmel, & San Francisco. I just placed an ad in Kidding Around, a local Sacramento magazine, which is my first. Also, I am working on a website that will feature everything of Ruby Dot Designs.
I always like to end with my favorite questions…
Favorite place to Eat: CENTRO, Red Rabbit, and sometime Mulvaney’s.
Favorite Movie: I like multi layered films like Shawshank Redemption & American Beauty. I really like Old Films too.
Favorite Book: ( lots of laughter in the room) I haven’t read a good novel in a minute. I have been reading books about business and marketing, but I did really enjoy “The kite runner” as well as “ Under the rising sun”.
Favorite Music/Band: I am such an 80’s girl. The Go-Go’s, Aerosmith, and definitely Prince.
Hanover Remedy: Eating greasy fried foods, and a really good Bloody Mary.
I have enjoyed the last few years working on something I love while turning it into a business and career that my children can grow up to see and also be apart of . One day, I might let my children put the stickers on, but just not today.