I first found out about lifestyle brand Lark & Ives when I saw their travel pins at one of my favorite ‘local’ stationery shops Elisabeth Rose Stationery. From that point on I became an avid follower via Instagram, and their initials pins provide an extra bit of personalization to my tote bags I carry throughout the spring and summer seasons and I love their travel and cities pin sets (France which features several well-known Parisian landmarks, is my favorite but then again I’m a bit biased as you already know.)
Founders Heather Sui and Karla Lim both had Instagram businesses (@myrtleetolive & @writtenwordcalligraphy) of their own before founding Lark & Ives in 2017 and the Canadian-based stationery and accessory designers, have expanded the business beyond decorative pins with the release of their vegan leather travel goods and gift sets. (The best-selling vegan leather card purses are absolutely essential for both entrepreneurs and content creators.)
Before co-founding Lark & Ives, you’ve both created your own individual brands Myrtle et Olive and Written Word Calligraphy. When did you first come up with the concept for Lark & Ives?
We often get asked by our clients (brides and grooms) about welcome gifts / thoughtful presents for their loved ones and we wanted to extend our relationship with our clients beyond the wedding setting.
What’s the story behind the name?
Lark and Ives, are both small migratory birds. We picked these two birds to signify our passion to travel the world and create wonderful memories, and also to perpetuate courage in this journey of life. Sometimes the strength within you is not a big fiery flame for all to see. It is just a tiny spark that whispers ever so softly, “Perseverance is like a bird against the wind”.
How would you describe your brand?
Lark and Ives is a lifestyle brand that focuses on beautiful yet functional accessories – from monograms to push pins, to our growing collection of vegan leather travel goods, to gift sets.
What is your goal as a brand?
Lark and Ives’ goal is to become the next ‘it’ international lifestyle brand. We want to create beautiful, personalized products that stand out and also have thoughtful functions. While Lark & Ives’ roots are in gifting, our long-term goal is to explore opportunities within the fabric, paper, hospitality, home decor, etc., and we look forward to continuing to expand our brand story.
Karla — what do you enjoy the most about being able to use your background in design and calligraphy to create new products?
I really enjoy the entire process, actually – from dreaming about new and exciting things and getting to develop them in design, and actually producing them and seeing people enjoy the fruits of my labor.
Along with your Travel, City, and Baby Pin sets you also have Monogram Pins allowing customers an additional personalized detail when using Lark & Ives pins. Tell me about how you decided which cities and locations to feature, and the design process you went through.
We actually get our audience to help guide us in our decision-making most of the time. We ask them through polls, surveys, and by analyzing how people respond to our posts on Instagram and Pinterest.
In addition to pins you also sell vegan leather card purses, key holders, and luggage tags. What would you say is your most popular product?
Currently, the vegan leather card purses are the best sellers. People just love this mini wallet so much! It’s so versatile, you can put your essential cards and some cash into it, and also personalize it. It started off simply as a sample for pinning, but everyone wanted this card purse, so now we’ve released it in a variety of photos.
From Martha Stewart Weddings to Flutter Magazine, how did you feel when you first saw your products in the press?
Definitely a sense of accomplishment, knowing that our products have been recognized and accepted by people we respect. Taking on a product-based business is hard and risky, so seeing these help make the journey worth it.
Do you have any new products in the works?
Yes, we are working on new colors, new products in the works for sure, but we have to keep mum about it!
Karla is a mom, calligrapher, and designer. She’s the creative behind the look and feel of Lark and Ives. She’s often busy working on the website, crafting new products and packaging, designing and photographing content for the brand, planning merchandising and setups for pop-up shops. When she’s not so busy for Lark & Ives, she’s often seen running around with her son, spending time outdoors, or baking / cooking some new recipe at home.
Heather is the travel connoisseur of the brand. She gets the brand to places. She’s the marketing and sales arm of the business, and behind every partnership, trade show, pop-up shop, marketing strategy that we’ve implemented. Her tasteful aesthetic and passion for beautiful products that she gathers all over the world drive the direction of Lark and Ives. When she’s not busy traveling all over the world and working for Lark and Ives, you will find her eating out at the next big “it” restaurant.
Keep up with Lark & Ives through the following links…