Creative Louisville: Chelcey Tate * Graphic Designer + Hand Letterer + Blogger

Meet Chelcey.

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I forget how I first met Chelcey but I do know it was on account of the growing Louisville blogger community. However it happened, I’m so glad we were able to connect because she is such a positive, bright and creative soul. Plus she’s super friendly and as my close friends know, I often say that friendliness is one of the most underrated qualities in people. When you meet Chelcey you immediately feel like a friend and that’s a credit to her warm and welcoming personality.

Beyond that though, she is extremely talented. When I met Chelcey she was still working at a 9-to-5 gig but within a few short months, she was forging out on her own to launch her own graphic and web design company along with a shop of her custom prints. When she dropped me a note about her latest collaboration, I couldn’t contain my excitement and so we put this feature on the fast track so I could help share her great news.

If you’re a regular reader around here, you know how much I love The Bachelor/ette franchise. Those Secondary Embarrassment recap posts are some of my favorite to write and I could easily chat (and snark) on the series for hours. You’re probably wondering what in the world this has to do with this post. Well, one of my all-time favorites from the show has recently partnered up with Chelcey on a series of prints and tees. Yup, the always stylish and sometimes silly Kaitlyn Bristowe has launched a line in collaboration with Chelcey.  To be totally honest, I cannot wait to catch up in person with Chelcey to get the full scoop on how everything came together and of course, hear more about their shoot together. Also, I must know if she got any good Bachelor scoop.

Thankfully she shared a bunch of the details in today’s feature which includes lots of fun images from their recent shoot together in Kaitlyn’s new home of Nashville. I couldn’t be more thrilled for Chelcey on this awesome collaboration. I also think I need to get the “Drink More Wine” print for my kitchen. Have fun checking out the prints (I also included pics of a couple of my favorites that aren’t part of the collaboration) and then make sure to head over to her site to shop the collection. 

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Chelcey Tate

Chelcey Tate Designs

Blogger, Hand Letterer, Graphic Designer

It was actually entirely by accident! I remember growing up, I was always trying to come up with ways to change up my handwriting … Little did I know that a variation of the quirky hobby would end up being my career! When my husband and I moved into our first apartment, I was looking for affordable ways to decorate without cutting back on style. I stumbled upon Etsy, and it sparked an idea — That was when I decided to try my hand at making my own prints. A free trial of Photoshop, and a few weeks later, Chelcey Tate Designs was born! I also run my self-titled blog full time, and just like with my lettering, it started early. My mom has been blogging since before I can remember. I’ve started more blogs than I can count before the one that I call home now, but the timing was never quite right. I’m so thankful to have been exposed to the creative world my entire life, especially because it’s one that most people still don’t even know exists!

Music, sunshine, nature, my faith, photography, really great conversations, and my family … I have a secret board on Pinterest called my “Inspiration File” where I collect different things outside of my field that bring me inspiration. Whenever I’m feeling drained, or need an extra boost, I scroll through that board and it never fails to help me out!

Creative, minimal, light

Driven, creative, free-spirited

I’m a pretty open book in terms of sharing my life online! This isn’t the most positive random fact, but the only thing I can really think of is that I struggle with something called Misophonia — basically, ever since I was small, the sound of people chewing/smacking their mouths sends me into a fight or flight spiral. It’s seriously the craziest thing!

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My family moved to Louisville when I was in the 3rd grade, and we’ve called it home ever since! I’ve tried to convince my husband to move somewhere warm, even just for a year, but I think we’d end up back in Louisville wherever we go.

I grew up in Middletown so that’s where my heart is, but I really love NULU! Between all of the great restaurants and local shops, it’s hard to beat!

The Juice Bar for a Mint To Be smoothie, The Silver Dollar for a bloody mary, and Ramiro’s Cantina for a Strawberry Margarita on the rocks!

If by lunch you mean brunch, then The Silver Dollar ALL the way. I mean, biscuits and bacon gravy? What else could you possibly want?

Mussel & Burger Bar and The Goat are both pretty high on my list! I’m a sucker for a really great burger.

The Parklands — totally random, right? I’ve been spending so much time there recently walking with my pup and my mom in the mornings. It’s just so beautiful!

Blaze Pizza — Get the Red Vine, and add spinach. SO good!

I think it really depends on who it is, but I typically send people to The Silver Dollar (or Wild Eggs) for brunch, Revelry Boutique to check out some awesome local art, and then encourage them to take their time! Walk around, pop into other local shops, and soak it all in. Louisville really is such a unique city!

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As I mentioned before, it was really just a happy accident! I was working my way up the corporate ladder in hospitality sales when I stumbled upon graphic design, and I haven’t looked back since!

It started with typography, playing around with different font combinations, and I started to get bored with it. I needed a new challenge, and hand lettering seemed like the perfect way to go! In terms of website, logo, and custom design, I am an entirely self taught. I’ve always tried to figure out ways that I can do things myself, so when it came time to build a website for my shop and blog, I accepted the challenge in full swing. Similar to design in general, I figured out that I had a knack for it, and studied everything I could before I started accepting clients. I’m now proud to say that my background in marketing, paired with my experience in the creative world, has really helped me develop in my website, branding, and blog design to an entirely different level.

Oh, so much! I feel like with any good thing, there’s a ton of change happening all the time. I’m still learning new things every single day about myself in my work, through my writing, in the creative industry, and I’m always looking ahead to the next big thing. I have way too many ideas going through my head … I think that’s what I love most about this career path that I’ve chosen. I thrive on change, and no two days are ever the same!

Communicate, and trust the person you’ve hired. That is the best advice I can give you in terms of working with a designer for any sort of custom work. If you’ve properly communicated to them what you’re looking for, then all that’s left for you to do is to trust that they’re capable of bringing your vision to life. You hired them for a reason, and always know that if you don’t immediately love something at first, changes can always be made!

You are the sweetest! All of my work starts out with a brush pen on whatever paper I can find, then I scan it, touch it up using a few different programs, and that’s pretty much it! Behind every finished design there’s a massive stack of paper full of letters that never made it to the second step. It definitely requires a lot of patience, and I typically letter whenever inspiration hits me. It’s really therapeutic for me! I have to get in the right headspace to really get the letters just right.

Creative Louisville * Chelcey Tate x Kaitlyn Bristowe Collaboration_0939

I can’t even begin to explain my excitement about this one! After several emails back and forth with Kaitlyn, we came up with the collection that you see today. Kaitlyn is so witty and honest, I knew immediately that a collaboration with her would be a ton of fun. Kaitlyn came up with all of the phrases in the collection, and then I hand lettered and developed them into the products that are now live at chelceytatedesigns.com! We had a photoshoot in Nashville last week, and we were literally laughing the entire time! It was such a blast to work with her on this line. I think it really represents both of us perfectly! You can definitely see Kaitlyn’s humor throughout, and the designs stick with my minimalistic style.

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My list of dream collaborations is way too long to even try to pick my favorites, but I do have a collection coming out in the next month or so with Morgan DeYoung – The Southern Yogi – that we’re super stoked about!

As of right now, I’m working on more collaborations like the one I just launched with Kaitlyn Bristowe, trying my hand at starting a YouTube channel, and whatever other crazy idea I come up with next!

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Want to connect with Chelcey? Follow her on Instagram and Facebook. Check out the launch video from the Chelcey Tate x Kaitlyn Bristowe collection here.

Photo credit to Haaken Reed

Style Spotting: Kentucky Derby 142

We made it to the finish line of another Kentucky Derby season. I am definitely not one to wish Derby away but putting it in the rear view means I’m one day closer to not being pregnant anymore (May 17 can’t come soon enough). Derby + Mother’s Day were the last milestones on the calendar before this due date so now I’m officially in waiting mode.

It wasn’t quite the same as last year’s Derby madness – both here on the blog (sorry for not getting a style series together, promise to get it together next year) and at work (ducked out of party/gala duties) so I’m already looking forward to Kentucky Derby 143. But enough of all that nonsense, let’s talk Derby one more time before next spring.

Want to know what locals and real girls and guys ACTUALLY wear to Derby, this post is for you. I get a little annoyed when the national media think throwing on a straw beach hat means you’re Derby-ready. It doesn’t. We all know that your hat has to be more than just something you can wear on a beach vacation. And I love that Churchill Downs and Derby sponsors bring in national bloggers and stars to shine a little light on Louisville and Derby but sometimes the looks don’t line-up with what Derby is really all about.

So here’s a look at what locals (including yours truly at 39 weeks) wore to Kentucky Derby 142 as well as some snaps from Kentucky Oaks 142. This is always one of my favorite posts of the year with a big thank you going out to all the gals that send in/tag me in pictures. I’ll update this a few times throughout the next couple days so if you want to get your picture added to the round-up, email it to me (danielle@louwhatwear.com) or tag me (@louwhatwear).

Kentucky Derby 142 * Lou What Wear * What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby
Shannon Kessler (Owner of Primp Salon) and Brittany Swan at Kentucky Oaks 142
Taylor Collins, Madison Eberenz, Erica Parsley and Kathryn Denbow
Taylor Collins, Madison Eberenz, Erica Parsley and Kathryn Denbow
Kentucky Derby 142 * Lou What Wear * What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby
Steve and Courtney Nassau at Kentucky Oaks 142
Kentucky Derby 142 * Lou What Wear * What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby
Will Rice, Frankie Hilbert, Matt Case, Kevin McFarland, Nissan Gabay and Joey Wagner at Kentucky Oaks 142
Kentucky Derby 142 * Lou What Wear * What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby
Grace Wainwright – A Southern Drawl – Judging the Kentucky Oaks Longines Fashion Contest
Kentucky Derby 142 * Lou What Wear * What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby
Dustin Amrine and Joey Zembrodt at the Hermitage Derby Toast presented by Vanity Fair
Kentucky Derby 142 * Lou What Wear * What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby
Kyle Pierron, Larkin Walker, Lauren Cox and Kelsey Chapin
Kentucky Derby 142 * Lou What Wear * What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby
Bridget Peake Dewson, Sara Ivens Moffett and Marigny Johnson Bostock
Hats by The Mysterious Rack
Kentucky Derby 142 * Lou What Wear * What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby
Dan and Shannon Kessler (Owner of Primp Salon)
Kentucky Derby 142 * Lou What Wear * What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby
Andy Cregg, Jackie Coakley, Micaela and Mike Skura
Kentucky Derby 142 * Lou What Wear * What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby
Drew and I + Kristin and John Esham
Hat by Headcandi + Dress is BCBG from Rent the Runway
Kentucky Derby 142 * Lou What Wear * What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby
Michael Getz, Erin Bailey, Morgan Getz and Taylor Parker – Bacardi House at Kentucky Derby 142
Kentucky Derby 142 * Lou What Wear * What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby
Denise Sohm and Baili Taylor
Kentucky Derby 142 * Lou What Wear * What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby
Lee Wilkinson Receveur and Claire Tidmore
Kentucky Derby 142 * Lou What Wear * What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby
Lindsey Brodsky – Hat by Alison Thiel
Kentucky Derby 142 * Lou What Wear * What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby
Amanda – @realitytvstar
Kentucky Derby 142 * Lou What Wear * What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby
Karen Waller and friend at Thurby
Kentucky Derby 142 * Lou What Wear * What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby
Sara Ivens Moffet and friends before Kentucky Derby 142
Kentucky Derby 142 * Lou What Wear * What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby
Jana Metcalf and Eric Reader
Hat by Jana’s Hat Box
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Jessica Sullivan, Moira Dugan, Kathryn Denbow, Alison Denbow, Taylor Collins, Liz Harper, Madison Eberenz
Kelley Moore at her very first Kentucky Derby!
Tara Anderson and Friends
Tara Anderson and Friends
Alison Yeager, Stephanie and Max Hannum
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