My name is Melissa Fox-Austin and I'm a graphic designer, stationer, owner of Cherished Prints, an online boutique shop specializing in made to order and bespoke funeral and memorial stationery—wife, and mom. I hope to transform consumer expectations of funeral and memorial stationery by providing modern designs that are both a celebration and gift to the grieving through premium customer service and guidance.
What are you best known for?
Being patient, respectful, compassionate, dedicated to each and every customer while offering a fast and thorough design process.
What or who has influenced your design aesthetic the most?
My customers. Listening to their stories, reading obituaries, and hearing the love they have for their loved one. The designs are always enriched when it is a collaboration.
What inspired you to become a designer?
Becoming a designer was a process for me. When growing up, I had both an analytical and creative mind, and it made it difficult to choose a career path. It wasn't until the last semester of college when I took an integrated advertising course that I realized I wanted to make graphics and to tell a story through images. After college, I started to learn web design and took up photography as a hobby. I dove into photo editing and loved how technology met creativity. I devoured online tutorials, became a member of the National Association for Photoshop Professionals, experimented, and made all sorts of designs for friends, coworkers, and family. My first design job was for an estate accounting firm. I turned their complex numbers and spreadsheets into branded proposals with visual representations of the accountant's solutions, which helped the company to land new and more complex accounts. I then moved to an in-house design position at a restaurant franchise where I learned to maintain brand consistency, create complex multi-unit marketing campaigns, file set-up for print, signage, and web, art direction for photo shoots, developed vendor relations, and hired and fought for freelancers. After I lost my mom in 2012, I realized I needed to design. I needed to create. I also needed to give in order to heal. I took my knowledge, my grief, and my love of design and I made Cherished Prints.