All About Artisan Matchmaker
I have known Kathryn Hupczey, co-founder of Artisan Matchmaker, for over six years now and the reason why I can accurately tally the date is because she assisted me with my own wedding invitation suite when she still worked for a major stationary retail shop here in Old Town. I had no idea of what I was doing when I walked into Kathryn’s stationary corner and knew nothing of the layers upon layers of detail that go into stationery design. In working with Kathryn, it was clear to me that she was really, really good at creative design. So, I wasn’t at all surprised to learn a few years later that she had left her retail position and started her own company with her husband Ron doing exactly this.
Kathryn and I stayed in touch over the years and traded stories of business ownership and raising kids (she and Ron have two: Audrey (4) and Magnus (3)) and she was actually one of the first people who sign up for a membership here at Seedling. She knows everyone and everything about wedding and event detail design and her professional eye has earned accolades from Bride & Groom, Washingtonian Magazine, and more. So, I was thrilled when she decided to host a pop-up and can’t wait to see what this creative concierge has in store for The Studio…
So, tell us a bit about Artisan Matchmaker and what led you to create your own company based around creative services.
Kathryn: Artisan Matchmaker was a dream long before its 2015 establishment. After working in management for a nationwide stationery retail business it was clear to me that there was a need for a creative concierge service. Customers were seeking a more custom, personalized experience and looking to have their vision met regardless of what set options were available. Once I had my daughter in November of 2014 I knew it was time to start the business and fulfill two dreams of owning my own business and staying home with my kids.
So, Artisan Matchmaker LLC was founded in March of 2015. We work primarily from our home studio in Mt. Vernon. Unlike other stationery boutiques, we are a fully custom creative concierge service. We want to be a place where your questions are answered and your creative visions are brought to life.
You mention a few times about how your company is in the service of much more than stationary design. How have you grown your business over the years?
Kathryn: Since Artisan Matchmaker started in 2015 we have launched rtsn Designs, a stationery and home essentials line. rtsn Designs creates locally-inspired artwork that highlights the places we live and visit in our communities. We showcase a variety of images of important neighborhood landmarks and points of interest, appealing to a wide audience of visitors and locals. In 2019 we officially launched Stockton Laser Works. Stockton Laser Works provides custom laser engraving services to individuals and businesses.
Artisan Matchmaker is primarily an online/services-based business. Have you ever done a traditional retail concept before? Why did you decide to do add pop-up spot with Seedling?
Kathryn: We have participated in local pop ups before, highlighting different aspects of our business. It is always better to meet people in person. Since our business prides itself on being a custom, personal experience we want to meet people and listen to their needs so we can best serve them. Seedling allows us to showcase all our of work under one roof and allow for people to touch and feel our product and understand the possibilities we are able to provide.
What type of experience can we expect to find at your pop up?
Kathryn: Our pop up will feature three brands that are a part of the Artisan Matchmaker family. Artisan Matchmaker will feature examples of its fully custom wedding/event stationery. Stockton Laser Works will feature custom laser engraved gifts that can purchased on site or special ordered with your own design/logo. rtsn Designs will be showcasing its line of locally inspired stationery and home essentials line. This will be truly unique in that there will be product that you can purchase and take home or opt to get further customized.
I love how you approached the traditional retail pop-up concept and turned it into a way to display your craft and services side of your company. Your website is beautiful, but touching and feeling a custom crafted display is so much more compelling to a potential client.
Kathryn: That’s right - our pop-upis an opportunity for you to see examples of our work and find out how we can bring your creative visions to life. Our business was created as a concierge business and we look forward to introducing ourselves to future clients in person during our pop up.
Any special promotions or workshops going on while you're here?
Kathryn: YES! We will have specials on custom orders placed during our pop up. It's never too early to think about holiday gifts **wink wink**
Kathryn’s Five Favorites:
1) Favorite neighborhood in Alexandria and why?
I love Old Town proper. I started working on King Street in Old Town in 2008 and have seen it blossom and grow into the city it is today. There is always a new restaurant to try or a new shop to pop into. I love that it's a city that has provided me a place to transition from being a new college graduate, to a newlywed, to a parent and now to a business owner.
2) Favorite part about living and working in Alexandria?
Our one rule for buying a house was that we didn't want to be more than 15 minutes from Old Town. Whether I am grabbing dinner with friends, having a play date at the tot lot, or meeting with a client, Old Town provides a place where all my family and business needs are met, while still having that small-town feel.
3) Favorite thing to do in Alexandria on a free day?
Saturdays are all about going to the Farmer's Market, grabbing a smoothie at South Block and walking around the new waterfront. The kids love to see the art installation and see if any ducks are out. We usually try to pop into a shop or two and always seem to run into familiar faces.
4) Favorite spot to grab a drink?
Anywhere there is coffee!!
5) Favorite day trip outside of Alexandria?
If we have a free weekend we like to head out to a pick your own farm and see what is in season. We have a great garden at home but definitely not an orchard. It's great to supplement what we have with fresh berries and apples depending on the season.
Thank you, Kathryn! We’re looking forward to your pop-up!