One of the biggest questions I get at pop-up shops and in person about the Fredericksburg Skyline designs is how did I come up with that? Where did the idea come from?
The real answer is: it happened accidentally. I didn't I wake up one day and know that I wanted to create this Fredericksburg skyline design. It just kind of formed from other ideas and took off from there. So I'll go back to the beginning.
A few years ago, I created a local logo using the skyline as a part of it. I found a real photo of the skyline from across the river, and digitally traced the skyline on my computer. I incorporated it into what I wanted, and that was it. I didn't really think much of it. It was just....a skyline.
Not too long afterwards, the Burg Box came about, and incorporated the skyline into the logo and the main designs, because it just seemed natural. If the box was about all things Fredericksburg, why wouldn't the graphics reflect that? I also started including the skyline cards in the boxes, which really became my first big hit.
People LOVED the skyline cards. I sold more cards than boxes, and started really connecting with the community about this skyline. Selling these cards was when I had one of the first moments of 'man, this could be something.' But I had no idea how to make it happen or what to do. And of course I was scared, so I just kept moving forward with the boxes because that's what I knew.
A little bit later, I stopped in to visit a good friend downtown, Catherine at Monkee's of Fredericksburg, and she proposed the idea of creating some skyline shirts and items that she might be able to sell in store. And that's when I really got the courage to start this, even though I won't lie, I was so scared and thought it was going to be a total flop.
Up until now, most of the Fredericksburg items in the area are civil war based, maybe a little out of date, or tailored towards visitors, not locals and people who have grown up here. To be honest, until I started doing these designs, I didn't own anything Fredericksburg related.
So I created a few designs to narrow it down from, we brainstormed product ideas, and the brand was born! We started with the t-shirts, cards, and drinkware, and it's grown since then. As most of you know, the gift boxes have since changed, and that's partially because of how well the skyline has done and how much people love it.
Ultimately, I love how this skyline and these gift boxes have brought me closer to this amazing community. The support and love I have received from it is unlike anything else. While it's so much fun coming up with new ideas myself, hearing from YOU about your ideas or suggestions and even just how much you love it, is the best feeling ever.
You see, there isn't some large corporation behind these skyline products. It's just me. Every t-shirt, every mug, every tumbler, etc. you see at Monkee's or in my shop, has been hand checked. Every state cut-out or watercolor or sign was hand drawn or painted by me. Every order that comes into my shop gets a legit happy dance with my dog and a text to my fiance that I got another order. I'm really just a small town girl who's passionate about her community and happened to stumble upon something that people really like. Isn't that how any business really works?!
Moving forward, I'm looking into new products and activities for the skyline and am always looking to hear from you! If you have an idea or product suggestions, let me know! If you're interested in working with me on a particular project or want to use the skyline for something, please reach out! I would LOVE to work with you and hope to continue to expand the skyline in the future, but I know I can't do it alone, and I don't want to! Your support means everything to me.
I could never thank Catherine enough for her amazing support and for believing in me and my designs. Without her encouragement, these designs would not have happened. And thank you to all of those who purchase and support local businesses, not just mine, but all of the amazing ones in this area. You have no idea how much it means to us as small business owners. You mean everything to us!