Paper Flowers and Custom Invitations
By Kip Tabb –
Sometimes it’s difficult to keep what is special in our lives, but somehow Heather Rollins has managed it in hers.
Heather is HLR Designs. She specializes in creating personalized wedding invitations for couples, an idea that came about from her own wedding. “When Dave (NBS Art Director, Dave Rollins) and I got married, we made our own invitations,” she says. “A lot of brides will say, ‘Oh, my wedding is over and now I’m depressed.’ For me I’m still doing weddings. It’s not my own wedding anymore. I can still design and help people get their vision for their overall look for their wedding.”
“I love weddings. I love helping people,” she adds.
Although much of what she does starts with the invitation, for some couples the design of the invitation becomes the central theme of the ceremony. “Most people, it’s just the invitation. But I get a few people every year that we just blow it up. It’s really cool,” she says.
Her background is in graphic design and she worked on both coasts in her profession before settling on the Outer Banks. “I went to college for graphic design,” she says. “I worked in New York City and I worked in graphic design there. I was an art director in Santa Cruz. That’s where I met Dave.”
She has been creating her unique invitation designs for almost ten years now, but didn’t do much with it at first. “Dave and I will be married 10 years in June,” Heather says. “I started slowly. I probably only did maybe four a year in California.”
When she came to the Outer Banks 2010 years ago HLR Designs became a much bigger business. “I joined the Wedding Association and things really took off.”
There is a distinctive creative flair to the invitations she creates and when given free rein to coordinate the decor for the wedding her creativity generates some surprising touches.
If she has the opportunity to coordinate the decorations, the color palettes blend together smoothly. She can also provide all the signage using the invitation design as a template. “If you do a cottage wedding, there’s a lot of signage there that people don’t think of until they get there,” she says. “Party favors, bathroom signs.”
Paper flowers and intricate paper designs are a hallmark of her work–especially when coordinating a room. “Anything with paper. I love paper products,” she says.
“My mom always bought me art supplies and I was always into art,” she recalls. There was a show she watched as a child, Hatchy Milatchy–a very popular children’s show in northeast Pennsylvania where Heather grew up. “I watched her everyday and there was a craft. I would tell my mom, ‘I need things,’ and I would sit down and do my craft. There were a lot of collages. I just loved art.”
It is that blending of all the skills–the art and the graphic design–that Heather has developed over the years that brings the magic out. “When you receive an invitation to an event, you know what kind of event it’s going to be,” she explains. “Is this going to be something fun, something classy. The invitation says it all.”
Beyond the art and graphic design, there Heather seems to thrive on the challenge to her creativity. “I sat down with a couple who couldn’t find an invitation with sharks. They loved sharks,” she says. “They got engaged in a shark tank. So I created them an invitation with sharks with their names on a sandcastle. And they were so happy with it.”