My Meet Cute with Stationery
We probably met back in kindergarten, but things didn’t get serious until the third or fourth grade. Oh my, it was a pivotal moment when my mom took me to Walgreens to pick out the perfect Trapper Keeper for the school year. I remember it vividly – gray with three fuzzy kittens.
And that’s when I discovered it – the stationery aisle. I went back countless times after school with my brother. We’d look at the magazines. Then he headed to the snacks for Slim Jims and such, while I headed over to gaze at the newest Lisa Frank products. Good times!
After moving to Florida, finding the perfect stationery sets to write letters to my friends back in New Jersey became a big deal–especially because long-distance phone calls in that day cost a grip. And although my taste has far evolved from the big-eyed unicorns and neon rainbow palettes (well, maybe not that far), my love for stationery has only grown.
Glimpses of a Passion
Art has been a part of my life since childhood. My mom was the original artist in the family, and I have fond memories of the Arts & Crafts parties she used to throw. I can still picture myself sitting at the table, surrounded by bowls of sequins, fuzzy balls, paints, and glitter, alongside my cousins and friends, all happily creating.
My family’s encouragement fueled my creativity, but I wasn't sure how to turn my passion into a career. Throughout high school, my favorite classes were drawing, painting, and ceramics. However, I also had a knack for math and science, which led me to consider pursuing something in healthcare.
When I first started college at Florida A&M University, I initially chose a pharmacy major. But my path took an unexpected turn when my roommate's friends, all graphic design majors, saw my artwork displayed on the dorm room walls. Their enthusiasm and encouragement ignited a spark within me.
For the first time, I could envision myself in a career where I could do what I loved every day – designing. Though I wasn't entirely sure what a graphic designer was at the time, I felt an undeniable pull towards this creative field.
Curiosity led me to talk to people in the graphic design department, and as I learned more about the profession, I knew I had found my calling. I made a bold decision to change my major, following my heart's desire to embark on a creative journey. After completing my bachelor's, I took a leap and enrolled in grad school at the University of Central Florida to obtain my Masters of Fine Arts degree. The plan was to teach on the collegiate level.
Grad school became a whirlwind of learning and growth. I honed my artistic skills, experimented with digital illustration, and dived deeper into the world of design as I began teaching it. The experience was transformative, preparing me to take on the world of art and design with renewed passion and dedication.
Lynise and Company: A Turning Point
After college and during grad school, I taught graphic design as an Adjunct Professor at colleges and universities across central Florida (UCF, DSC, VC, IADT… IYKYK). I also worked fast-paced corporate jobs, all while freelancing under the company name “Lynise and Company” — Lynise, my beloved middle name, served as inspiration. However, a voluptuous model with the same name impeded my Google search results, prompting me to reconsider the brand name.
I knew I wanted to start my own business and was quickly finding a niche in events. I loved creating invitations for baby showers, milestone birthdays, and weddings. Yet, I yearned for a name that truly embodied my love for stationery.
The Birth of Hey Hunn
Around 2016, my passion for hand-lettering flourished, leading me to take my first copperplate calligraphy class. Though my hand hurt from the effort, the beauty of traditional calligraphy captivated me, deepening my appreciation for artisanal techniques and processes. As I explored and experimented, my aesthetic evolved, and the desire for a name that matched this new chapter intensified.
Finding the perfect name for my stationery company was a process. I wanted it to be a take on a letter salutation or sign off, something that would embody the essence of stationery itself. I wrote a long list of about 20 potential names, carefully researching to ensure no other company had claimed them. From greeting lines like “Dear Heart” and “Hey Love” to sign-offs like “Writefully Yours” and “Yours Truly,” I explored a myriad of options. Other ideas included “The Purple Honey,” which I still plan to use for something special in the future, and “Hot Peach” because, well, why not?
Then, one day, it struck me like a burst of inspiration - Hey Hunn. This simple yet endearing salutation not only resonated with my personal goals but also perfectly embodied the personality of my brand. After conducting thorough research and securing the name, Hey Hunn was officially born.
Every time I hear my mom call for me “Hey Hunn” or use it to address others, it brings an even wider smile to my face. It just felt right, a name that carried the warmth of a familiar greeting and the charm of a cherished salutation. Hey Hunn became the perfect representation of my aspirations for the brand – to create stationery that feels like a warm embrace and spreads joy with every stroke of the pen.
As I reflect on those early moments of uncertainty and self-discovery, I'm grateful for the winding path that led me to where I am today – the proud founder of Hey Hunn. This journey, filled with artistic inspiration and the love for stationery, has shaped the essence of Hey Hunn, infusing each piece with heartfelt creativity and a touch of whimsy. And as I continue to create, I carry with me the memory of those arts and crafts parties, where the seeds of my creativity were sown, blossoming into the stationery dreams I now share with the world.
Looking ahead, my goals for Hey Hunn are ever-changing, just as creativity knows no bounds. At the end of the day, I want to create more than just stationery; I aspire to build a lifestyle brand that crafts beautiful goods to support authentic and intentional human connection. I want Hey Hunn to be a catalyst for spreading joy and fostering meaningful connections between individuals, near and far.
I envision expanding the Hey Hunn collection, with unique designs that celebrate life's special moments and everyday joys. From thoughtfully crafted cards that capture the essence of heartfelt emotions to intricately designed journals that become cherished companions, each product will carry the soulful touch of Hey Hunn.
As Hey Hunn continues to grow, I remain committed to upholding our values – integrity, creativity, exploration, intention, and joy. These principles guide every aspect of the brand, from design decisions to interactions with our wonderful community of stationery enthusiasts.
And so, my journey as a creative and the founder of Hey Hunn continues, fueled by the desire to craft meaningful stationery and bring joy to every letter, note, and invitation. To all who have been part of this journey, thank you for your support and encouragement. I can't wait to see how Hey Hunn unfolds and evolves, as we embrace the beauty of authentic human connections and spread joy one beautifully crafted stationery piece at a time.
With love and stationery dreams,
Danielle Lynise Jones
Founder, Hey Hunn