I’d like to introduce you to one of the most creative (and beautiful) women in all of Chicago. Eloisa P. Luevano-Owner/Designer of Loi Designs. Loi Designs is a hand-made card business…but that’s the understatement of the year. Eloisa is creative, fun, skilled and thoughtful. She makes custom cards based on requests, but her creative license is not dependent on ideas being provided by the customer.
I first met Eloisa at a Chicago Autumn/Winter farmer’s market. Wait. What? An Autumn/Winter farmer’s market in Chicago? Yep–this gem of a market, Olivia’s Garden, decided that the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago wasn’t ready to stop shopping for handmade goods, or commiserating with friends and neighbors, and began inviting artists and crafts (wo)men to sell goods in the warmth of their greenhouse. There was Loi Deigns, a table covered with arrays of color, materials, graphics, and Eloisa’s high-beam smile behind it all. There is no way you could NOT stop and look. And oooh and ahhh. And touch.
If you’re wondering what GIANT appeal cards could possibly have, take a look (Wow, right?)
She has it all: birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, wedding, anniversary, sympathy, baby/bridal shower, gift tags, teacher cards, first-day-of-school, best friends, Valentines….you get the gist. She also does invitations by order. Those big box stores, (the ones people claim Sweetest Day was invented by to make more profit), well they should be ashamed. Stocking 10 of the same kind of card with pre-written sentiments. Hmpf. Eloisa has spoiled me so much in that I feel like a generic and heartless person by handing over one of those impersonal offerings.
In today’s electronic drone of communication (yes, I see the irony that I’m blogging about it), I’ve talked with family and friends who agree that letter writing, phone calls and face-to-face time without an electronic device pinging our attention away is sorely missed, and I couldn’t agree more. I cherish the notes from my now-departed Grandfather and father, from friends in school and teachers who took the time to share a thought with me that I will have forever as a keepsake.
There is really nothing that can replace a very personalized and thoughtful note or card. It’s priceless for me to know that a $3, $4 or $5 custom card really made someone’s day happier. And I can promise you that Loi Designs’ cards has an impact on people more than any I’ve seen.
One of the coolest parts of Loi Designs, aside from the products themselves, is that there is a Birthday Club. All you need to do is submit what types of cards you need a month prior and she has them ready for you to distribute. Never forget your parents’ anniversary or your Grandmother’s birthday again! Even better: you can request specific themes or ideas for a specific card (you can do this outside of the Birthday Club as well), and she’ll take care of it.
I chatted with Eloisa a little bit and want you to get to know her better.
T: I have to ask, of course, what inspired you to start Loi Designs?
E: I have always been a creative girl and enjoyed making others happy. I tried photography, but it just didn’t click. I tried painting, but couldn’t find my stroke. I took a paper making class and learned the history/art of paper and stationery and felt that was my true passion. I always enjoyed writing correspondence and the feeling of giving or receiving a greeting card or invitation in the mail. I then created a birthday card for a dear friend; it reflected who she is and felt personable. She loved it so much that it inspired me to create another. Then when one of my best friends announced she was getting married, I offered to create her invitations. From then on it was all fun!
T: Why Loi?
E: Well, I was named after my grandmother, who I always looked up to. She was known as “Loi” and I was “Little Loi.” I grew up down the block from her and always enjoyed her stories, singing and most of all… her love for her family.
T: All of your cards seem like they must be your favorite because they all have such pizzazz. But, if you had to choose, which is your favorite theme or card to create?
E: My favorite theme is Birthday! Apart from being a year older, birthdays are a blessing! It’s another year of life and it’s a celebration! Giving a card that reflects that person’s personality holds a true thought from the heart.
T: How long do you spend making a card, in general? They seem so detailed that I’d guess 30-60 minutes each.
E: It takes about 5-8 minutes to create a card. From creating the message, cutting the paper and placing the decals…and sometimes making the envelopes.
T: I’m impressed–it takes me 5-8 minutes to find a pen to write in the cards you designed! And, really? Making envelopes! I just learned something new about you!
T: What is your favorite medium or material to work with?
E: My favorite material to work with is glitter!! I absolutely LOVE it. My husband of course hates it, because it gets everywhere. “I’m so crafty, I sweat glitter!” is what I tell him. LOL! It just really makes a statement and makes people smile.
T: Have I confessed to you that I hate crafting and glitter, but I’m obsessed with the materials? Well, except glitter. I love seeing it, but I have to agree with your husband. When my daughter wants to use glitter, I shudder and try to think of at least 10 reasons why she can’t.
T: Eloisa, how can people get in touch with you to discuss their order?
E: Get in touch and I’d be happy to help! (See below)
Chicago is lucky to have Loi Designs, but we’re willing to share. She can ship anywhere, so reach out to her and let your shopping begin!
You can contact her and learn more on her website; http://www.loidesigns.com/
You can keep up-to-date on her events and new additions on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Loidesigns?fref=ts
You can reach out with any questions or thoughts via her email: firstname.lastname@example.org
And for those who prefer the personal telephone assistance: 773-732-8463