The Inspiration Behind The New SJM Lifestyle Collection

Yesterday evening I launched my new SJM Lifestyle Collection of mugs, pillows, and tote bags, and this morning I want to share with y'all a peek into the inspiration behind this collection! I always strive to have a clear vision and purpose for everything I design, and this collection was no different!

Simply Jessica Marie Lifestyle Collection of Calligraphy Mugs, Watercolor Pillows, and Calligraphy Tote Bags | Photo by Jaimie Carl Photography

While I work with so many sweet brides and grooms on their wedding design details, I also know how important everyday life is. Those days are the ones that will truly create your relationship, and build your marriage.

With that in mind, I created a collection of pillows (for snuggling extra long with your sweetie or your girlfriends), mugs (for taking the time to slow down and enjoy some quiet time throughout your day), and tote bags (to carry with you both on fun new adventures and to run everyday errands). 

But let's delve a little deeper into the various aspects that went into the collection inspiration, even before I began designing!


Color Inspiration for the SJM Lifestyle Collection

One of the most important elements of creating a cohesive collection is setting a color palette from the beginning, and not straying from it. That will help to ensure that while some of your pieces do not match perfectly with others, they all complement each other and when put together make a whole, unified collection. 

I decided on a palette with strong, bold colors as my primary colors, ones I knew would pop well against fabric and bright white mugs - light fuchsia (one of my favorite brand colors), magnolia green (the perfect elegant Southern green), and classic black.

I then introduced three softer secondary colors, to help add variety to my palette. I chose a soft blush to pair beautifully with the light fuchsia, pale apple to complement the magnolia green, and sweet peach to add in the perfect shade that will blend summer (peaches and berries) and fall (pumpkins). 

farmers market fresh tote | totes ready for the weekend tote
chai love you a latte mug | watercolor floral pillow

Having this color palette set helped me to easily design all of my shop products! I pulled from those exact hues when adding color variations to my primarily calligraphy focused designs, and used a mixture of the primary and secondary tones when painting watercolor elements for the products. This watercolor floral pillow pattern has all six colors in my palette, can you spot them? 


calligraphy his pillow | calligraphy hers pillow
watercolor & calligraphy his pillow
watercolor & calligraphy his pillow

My personal style, and the style of my SJM brides, is a mixture of a true love of classic design details with unexpected twists and pops of color. Keeping that in mind, I knew I wanted to create variations of my products, for those of y'all who lean more toward the classic side of home decor style, as well as for those of y'all who prefer to go a bit more bold in your interior design! 

This most significantly impacted my choice of pillow design. When designing wedding invitations, I always encourage my brides to add a design element to the back side of their main invitation, for their guests to frame and cherish as a keepsake art print.

I carried that idea through to my his and hers, and my mr. and mrs. watercolor and calligraphy pillows. Since the front sides of these pillow designs have fun and flirty watercolor illustrations, I knew that those of y'all who are interested in this design aesthetic would most likely LOVE the idea of having a reversible pillow with a complementary pattern on the back. That way, you can choose which side to display based on your decorating mood of the day, and essentially get two pillows in one!

The opposite is true for the more minimalistic black and white calligraphy his and hers and mr. and mrs. pillows. These were designed for you classic, timeless lovers in mind. I know that you gravitate toward more simple decor elements, that you can pair with a complementary pattern of your choice or with pillows you already own and love!


oh hello love mug | let's cuddle pillow

When designing, it is always important to keep your customers in mind as you create your collection - as I touched on above. While I primarily design for brides and grooms, I know that many of y'all are not yet engaged or married, or have been married for years! Although many of my designs in this collection are targeted toward couples who are engaged or recently married, I knew I wanted to have a little something for those of y'all in different seasons of life, too! 

That is where my cheeky calligraphy designs particularly come into play! I wanted to create designs that would help build more meaningful, love-filled, fun-centered lives. Whatever phase in life you are currently in, everyone can always use an extra pick me up of coffee or slow time with a chai latte, an extra few minutes cuddling in bed, and weekends filled with fun adventures!


it's PSL time! mug | watercolor garden floral pillow

Most designers launch Summer and Fall collections separately. I wanted to go against the norm, and create a cohesive collection that combined my love of the best aspects from each season! This collection came from the blending of a constant love of fresh Summer colors and that light, airy feeling the longer days bring paired with excitement for the new activities brought on by fall - like football and Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

The transitional time between Summer and Fall is one of my favorite seasons, as the anticipation and longing for each season is so sweet. That is what I knew I wanted this collection to embody! 

So that's the inspiration behind this new collection, friends! I hope this provides a little bit more insight into the love and consideration that went into each and every detail. I cannot wait to see these pieces popping up in your homes over the next few weeks!

Want to see how this inspiration impacted my entire collection? Click on the darling image above!