Meet the Maker: Mary Barnhart with Simply B Prints

Welcome to our “Meet the Maker” series, where we introduce you to the insanely talented artists whose work we love and feature at Salt & Grove. Each month, we will showcase a different maker and give you the opportunity to get to know and adore them as much as we do.  At Salt & Grove, we are super passionate about not only finding local artisans but finding those who we feel share in our passion for community, supporting one another and the idea that “a rising tide lifts all boats”…working as a creative, small business owner is definitely not the easiest path, but it is one where creativity fuels our mission and our work, and it is a very personal journey.  Understanding and relating to that is something perhaps only a creative entrepreneur can do.   These are our people, and we cannot wait for you to meet them!

The first maker we would like to introduce is our very own Mary, from Simply B Prints, located right here in Newburyport, in fact, right here at Salt & Grove!  Mary joined our creative space just a few months back, and her presence and energy have been the perfect fit for us.

Mary is a local entrepreneur, balancing her business and motherhood eloquently, fashionably (seriously, she always looks so GOOD!), and humorously.  From what we know about Mary so far, she is one funny chick who doesn’t seem to try to hide how blurry the lines can be when talking about the “balance.”  Professionally, Mary cares so much about her clients and making sure she provides a level of work that is top notch.

If you are on the hunt for a stationer who is not only excellent but can make you laugh and tell you where to find the best cup of coffee on the North Shore, Mary is your girl.  Without further ado, meet Mary!

Salt & Grove: Wahoo! We are so excited to have Simply B rocking in our studio space! Tell us more about what you’re all about:

I’m so excited too! So, I am a custom stationery and invitation designer, specializing in wedding invitation suites and accessories. Basically I try and take my clients’ visions and bring them to life, and if they don’t have a clear vision, I play around with a few ideas, set them up with a few samples, and we collaborate/edit from there. With Pinterest being so huge, most people are very “specific” and so I aim to try and get them those “just right” pieces.

Salt & Grove: What is your favorite type of project to work on?

WEDDINGS! All things weddings! I love weddings so much, because they begin with the Save-the-Date or invitation suite and then it evolves into the program, the menu, the escort cards, etc. and elements of the invite are carried into these other pieces, but I get to continue to play and edit and embellish. It’s the best day of two peoples’ lives, and I get to help make it beautiful and give the guests the FIRST peek at what this amazing day will look like!

Salt & Grove: What inspires you and/or how do you stay inspired to create?

So much! I’m very much inspired by other creatives, new styles, new trends, color and texture! I’m a huge fan of Ceci Johnson-she’s an incredibly talented artist, and her completed invitation suites are usually finished with gold foil and/or an amazingly embellished laser cut pocket fold… it’s just a work of art!

Salt & Grove: The best part of being a lady boss is the ability to blend work and life. Do you have any tips for balancing the two?

Ha! Balance! So here’s an area I’m trying to get better at. I think having the studio space outside my home (now) is going to help a little, but the truth is, I love to work, so I work pretty much all the time. BUT, with that said, I LOVE my family and my two little ones and absolutely value my time with them. I think having a schedule (and trying really hard to stick to it) helps. Having certain days/times that are “work hours” and when it’s not that time, focus on what time it is…it’s definitely a learning curve for me, and I think it will get easier when both my kids are in school full time, and I have more regulated work hours, but for now I working on it, haha!

Salt & Grove: The best book you’ve read lately … ready, go!

I’m embarrassed (but not really) to say I haven’t read a book for ME lately. However, “The Day the Crayons Came Home” is hi-LARIOUS!

Salt & Grove: What’s on the horizon for Simply B in 2017?

I couldn’t be more excited for 2017! I’m really looking forward to meeting more local wedding creatives and collaborating, educating myself in more design areas (which will hopefully allow me to offer a few more printing options), and absolutely, most definitely attending the National Stationery Show again in NYC- I have been dreaming about it since last May!