OFFICE TOUR: SMASHING THE GLASS
If you’ve been a B.LOVED reader for any length of time then you’ll know that we’re all about appreciating and celebrating unique talent and creativity. And the owner of the beautiful office that’s the subject of today’s tour has both of these qualities – by the bucket load.
Karen Cinnamon (even her name is divine!) is the and founder and editor of Smashing The Glass – the UK’s only blog dedicated solely to Jewish weddings. In a world where blogging is becoming such a commonplace phenomenon, it’s always refreshing to meet someone who’s found a way to put such a unique and personal spin on it.
I love Karen’s eclectic office, full of bright colours, patterns and books. Here she explains how she got started and exactly what makes her tick…
Name: Karen Cinnamon
Current Title + Company: Founder and Editor of SmashingTheGlass.com.
Tell us a little about your business?Smashing The Glass launched 21 months ago in June 2013 when, in the run-up to my wedding day, I realised that there was no one place that brought together creative, individual, and original ideas for stylish Jewish (or Jew-ish!) soon to-be brides and grooms. It has since garnered monumental traction, and now Smashing The Glass is my full-time thriving business, and I couldn’t be more delighted to spend day and night working on it.
How did you get started in the industry + what prompted you to get started? When I was planning my own wedding in early 2013 I excitedly explored books, blogs and magazines to piece together ideas and inspiration to create my perfect W-day, but to my huge disappointment I found that there wasn’t any one place that brought together what I was looking for – creative and downright super cool ideas for Jewish brides and grooms. I decided to do something about it and started SmashingTheGlass.com, which instantly became the UK’s only Jewish wedding blog, and the only blog worldwide focusing on creative and original Jewish weddings (and it still is!).
What do you think has made your business successful? The fact that such a resource doesn’t exist elsewhere, either on or offline. It’s heart-warming when couples email me their photos after their wedding and tell me that Smashing The Glass has helped them have the wedding they truly wanted.
Where do you work + how do you make sure your space stays inspiring? I split my time between my home office in Kentish Town, North West London (pictured) and my office in Marylebone, central London. I can often be found working in bed, on the sofa, or at the kitchen table – wherever really takes my fancy! I love a clean, orderly space, with lots of natural light, and surround myself with lots of design books and magazines.
Before Smashing The Glass became my full-time business, I ran my own digital and branding studio for ten years, hence the ‘graphic design’ influence all around my desk space (and the plethora of Apple gizmos!).
What’s the biggest mistake people make when starting their own business, and what advice would you give for avoiding it? I think that some new or potential business owners tend to obsess over the tiniest of details before their business has even launched, and end up taking forever trying to get things ‘perfect’ before launch.
In my book, procrastination will stall a business and prevent the business owner from seeing the bigger picture. My digital and design background taught me to launch with a ‘minimum viable product’ and then gauge reactions. What I mean by that is your clients will steer and react to your business in ways you never could forecast yourself, so spend the least amount of money, and a sensible amount of time, launching your business, and just get it out there! You can always make changes once you see what your customers really want.
How would you describe your style? What attracts people to your brand + how important is this to the success of your business? My style is clean, crisp, design-led, approachable and friendly, and I hope that’s reflected in everything that Smashing The Glass does. Obviously with my background in design, I love the visual side of the business and take great pride in creating bespoke design features online, and also in print-form for Smashing The Glass.
I like to think that my audience of brides, grooms, and wedding industry pros, are sophisticated, creative, and informed, and that they resonate with the branding. I’m not aware of any other wedding blogs that use black and white as their main brand colours, but I wanted a clean, crisp look to the site, to let all that lovely content shine. I think it’s so important to differentiate yourself and opt for a brand that feels really ‘you’.
What trend predictions do you have for 2015? I think that grooms are becoming more and more involved in every aspect of the wedding planning. Over the last few years, grooms have been really impressing us all by adopting great style, but now many of them are getting super involved with wedding planning too – it’s wonderful! I often get emails from grooms, asking me questions, and they are often jointly (or solely!) filling out the wedding reports for my Smashing The Glass real Jewish weddings. Their increased involvement is fantastic!
I also think that bold, bright, fabulous colour and statement bouquets, much like you see in this wedding, are working their way through all the neutrals and pastels, and I’m also seeing a lot of stylish bridal separates å la Olivia Palermo these days,
Finally, I’m a big fan of more intimate guest lists over large, grand celebrations, and I think we are going to see a lot more of that.
What challenges have you set yourself for the next 12 months? Well I’m expecting baby number two in April when I will become a proud working mum of ‘two-under-two’, so the challenge is to successfully juggle motherhood and blogging in a seamless, orderly fashion! That aside, the Smashing The Glass shop is opening next month (I’m SO excited about that!) and I am also working on some digital products that I believe will greatly enhance my readers’ wedding planning process