Ampersand Design Studio


Category Archives: party perfect

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014! 01.13.2014

As we move into 2014, we have been doing a lot of future-planning, goal-setting and plan-making for this coming year, but we feel like it’s really important to pause,  look back at the previous year and assess what worked and what didn’t. So we started writing down our biggest successes, most exciting moments and also the things that disappointed us or we’d count as failures, because frankly, each one of these things will teach us how we want to move forward into 2014. Its not all just list-making though, we are putting on our business women hats and crunching some serious numbers, as well.

We’re so thankful for the new relationships, friends and clients that have come from 2013. It’s truly been an incredible year for our business. We can’t go without recognizing that we are some of the lucky ones that are actually living our dream, doing exactly what we were meant to do! And a huge thank you to all of our Ampersand friends who stop by our little blog to see what we’re up to, we’re grateful for each and every one of you!

We’ve got big plans for 2014 and some of them have already started (ah…you know how we hate keeping secrets)! But before we move forward, let’s look back at 2013, want to come along on the journey with us? Let’s go:

JANUARY // We kicked off 2013 by traveling to Salt Lake City for Alt Summit and we had the honor of speaking at a roundtable about Going Into Business with Friends, (Full Alt Summit recap here). Oh and yes, we got to meet Jessica Alba! // We got to introduce our first stationery collection with teNeues // We launched our partnership with LaPlates for our custom designed melamine plates and platters

FEBRUARY // moved out of coffee shops and got our very first studio space // launched Ampersand iphone cases on our etsy shop // spoke for AIGA Kansas City Homegrown Fashion

MARCH // our very first fabric collection, Cream & Sugar, starting shipping to stores across the world and online boutiques // our work was published in Playing with Type book by Rockport Press // announced we are in over our heads HIRING an intern //

APRIL // welcomed Jordan & Emily to the Ampersand team // partnered with The Honest Co for their awesome productspinning parties // did a local meet & greet at Harper’s Fabrics to launch our Cream & Sugar fabric collection

MAY // collaborated with Anthropologie for a Mother’s Day craft night event // showed at our 2nd Surtex show in NYC and it was a big success! // full recap of our 2013 Surtex show right here!

JUNE // really tapped into our DIY side for Father’s Day & Mother’s Day

AUGUST // spoke about Branding for Blgogers at Go Blog Social conference in Kansas City //

SEPTEMBER // Carrie had a baby!

OCTOBER // attended Quilt Market in Houston and shot a video //  new partnership for kids room decor with Oopsy Daisy // we moved (again)! to the Kansas City Crossroads Arts District downtown // prepared to launch our second fabric collection, 8 Days a Week, with a massive 3-location photo shoot and lots of help from our sewing friends!

NOVEMBER // started selling our screen prints at one of our favorite local shops, Utilitarian Workshop // Had the pleasure of designing The Country Club Plaza Lights banners // hosted a super fun holiday trunk show for The Land of Nod in our very own studio!!

DECEMBER // featured in Spaces magazine // partnered with Mane Message for a custom design package of  hair bands // added new stationery items to our shop

And 2013 was so good to us in the press! Thanks to all of you who featured one of our products, our shop, or the work we have done!! We appreciate every single word! Better Homes & Gardens, Apartment Therapy, To & From Magazine, Adore Home Magazine, the cover of Fon’s & Porters Love of Quilting, Camille Styles, Honest to Nod, The Vault Files, 100 layer cakelet, blogshop Philly, Spaces Magazine, KC Weddings magazine and so many more!!

We also took our wholesale business to new levels and added lots of new accounts to our list including Shop Made by Girl in NYC, Collected in Aukland, New Zealand,  Take Heart in Austin, TX and our most recent, Schoolhouse Electric!

All in all, we’d like to say a big huge CHEERS to 2013!!!! You’ve been incredible to us and we can’t wait to see what 2014 holds!

(And just in case you’re curious, here’s our look back from a year ago and 2012!)



  1. Nicole

    This is so awesome! I’m excited to see what 2014 brings to you beauties!

    January 13, 2014 2:34 pm
    • ampersand

      Thanks, Nicole! So excited for your 2014 and your new beginning, too! Hopefully this will be a great year all around!

      January 16, 2014 4:16 am
  2. Megan

    What a great year you two had! Congrats. :)

    Megan from Chasing Davies

    January 13, 2014 6:46 pm
  3. ampersand

    oh thanks, megan! it sure was a crazy one ;)

    January 13, 2014 7:15 pm
  4. Akram Taghavi-Burris

    Congrats on your successful year. May 2014 prove to be just as fruitful.

    It’s good to see local business’s thriving and I love sharing you guys inspiration and insight with, my graphic design students.

    Keep up the good work ;)

    January 16, 2014 1:10 pm
    • ampersand

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Akram! And thank you for sharing our work with your students! We are so flattered. We hope you have a wonderful 2014, too! Cheers!

      January 16, 2014 4:07 pm

Land of Nod + Ampersand Design Studio Holiday Party 11.25.2013

We are officially in the holiday spirit over here! We had the amazing opportunity to kick of the season in style on Thursday when we co-hosted a party and trunk show with The Land of Nod! We have long been in love with everything Nod and jumped at the chance to deck our studio out with their holiday decor and have a fun shindig.We had a blast catching up with our blogging friends! What made the evening even more fun was that at the same time that our event was happening here in Kansas City, eight other parties were also taking place across the country hosted by many of our favorite bloggers. Be sure to hop over to their blogs for more party pics and holiday inspiration. The other hosts were: Joni Lay of Lay Baby Lay in Atlanta // Kirsten Grove of Simply Grove in Boise // Chassity Evans of Look Linger Love in Charleston // Darcy Troutman of No Monsters in My Bed and Rebecca + Suzanne of A Feteful Lifein D.C. // Kelly Lanza of Studio DIY and The Honest Company in Los Angeles // Raechel Meyers of Finding My Feet in Nashville // Kirsten Krason of 6th Street Design School and Small Fry Blog in Salt Lake City/ Provo // Cristin Bisbee Priest of Simplified Bee, Michaela Warner of Michaela Noelle Design, and Mary Heffernin, at her business, The Makery in San Francisco. Everyone used the hashtag, #nodevents to instagram, tweet and Facebook their events so we were able to feel like we were party-hopping our way across the country.

We loved transforming our space into a cheerful wintery wonderland and the only difficult thing was deciding which Land of Nod items we wanted to use. We threw in some Christmas trees in white, hot pink and gold metallic and several strings of lights overhead for good measure. We thought they looked quite nice decked out with Nod ornaments, tree skirts and a doily decals. We also decided we needed a mantle to hang our stockings on and had a blast painting one to do the job. Since we spend so much of our time on the computer, it was a nice change of pace to do some painting and crafting. We pulled out the glitter, yarn and paintbrushes and got all DIY.

Everyone at the party got to get in on the crafting, too, at a table all set up with Crepe paper flower kits to put together.

Our guests were thrilled to find out that there were a bunch of awesome giveaways to be had. A teepee, a Nod chair, a pig rocker, an intergalactic playset and two animal sleeping bags were up for grabs to name just a few, and every guest got to go home with a darling tote filled with a set of 12 days of Christmas ornaments. Our awesome Land of Nod representative, Jason (who we decided is our new bestie), did the honors of pulling the lucky winners from a box.

While we did not enter ourselves in the drawing, we each got to decorate (and keep, yay!) cottage dollhouses. Each party host got to personalize their dollhouse however they wanted and post photos of them at #noddollhouse. Some people were so creative with theirs!

Of course we had some treats & drinks! Doughnut holes, French macarons from Au Bon Macaron and some herb and cheese gougeres from a brand new bakery in downtown Kansas City, called Sasha’s Baking Co! And really, what’s a party without a photo booth to capture the memories? We glitzed ours out in dots made from pink, gold glitter and metallic paper in front of hot pink wrapping paper.

We want to send a million thanks to our super-talented friends, Emily and Corie (below) of Peep Toe Photography (how cute are they?!) for being our photographers for the night. We love how they captured all the fun of the event!

Now, the best part is that we get to bring all of you in on the action with a special 15% off promo code to The Land of Nod! Just use AMPGALS at checkout to receive your discount through November 27th. Happy shopping!!!!

We can’t go without thanking our studio mates, Wirken Photography, for being so patient us turning the studio into an early holiday wonderland!

Biggest THANK YOU to The Land of Nod, for helping us host the best party ever!!!! Let’s do it again sometime, shall we?!

  1. Cassandra

    It was such fun meeting you both, and spending the night with such lovely ladies. Thank you for having us!

    November 25, 2013 6:22 pm
  2. Justine

    All of this is so darling! Can I ask where the C’est La Vie sweater is from? Many thanks!

    November 26, 2013 2:16 am
  3. Trina

    you guys are the super cutest! adorable everything! looks like you had so much fun! xo . t

    November 26, 2013 4:14 am
  4. 15% OFF at Land of Nod | Ampersand Design Studio

    [...] in case you missed yesterday’s post, we wanted to make sure you saw that we have a really special treat for you all from Land of Nod! We [...]

    November 26, 2013 6:00 am
  5. Gwen, The Makerista

    Such a beautiful party! I really love the faux fireplace and backdrop too!

    November 26, 2013 5:10 pm
  6. ampersand

    Cassandra, so glad to meet you, as well! Thanks for coming :)

    November 27, 2013 3:23 am
  7. ampersand

    thanks for the sweet words :) The sweater is from Forever 21, it’s a steal! get one :)

    November 27, 2013 3:23 am
  8. ampersand

    Thank you, Trina and thanks for everything you did to make this happen!!!!

    November 27, 2013 3:24 am
  9. ampersand

    Thanks, Gwen! So nice to hear sine we were up painting that fireplace at midnight :)

    November 27, 2013 3:25 am

KC Weddings magazine feature 07.09.2013

Huge thanks to KC Weddings magazine for featuring our monogrammed melamine plates from our signature collection with La Plates in their gorgeous Pink & Red color story!!! The Fall/Winter 2013 issue if full of inspiring and unique wedding ideas and we’re happy to be included! So brilliant to feature a monogrammed plate for wedding inspiration–wouldn’t it be the sweetest gift to host a shower or luncheon and have a set of monogrammed plates made for your guest of honor and use them during the shower? Or a nice little touch to serve the wedding cake on at the reception. Suddenly our minds are going crazy with creative ways to incorporate these into the wedding festivities! Thanks again, KC Weddings! Pick the perfect plate over at La Plates!

to & from magazine // spring 2013 gift picks 04.19.2013

Did you see the latest issue of To & From? It’s all things for Spring 2013 including gift ideas for graduation, mother’s day, father’s day, wedding, baby shower and birthday! We are so honored to share our picks for a baby shower for “The Color Lover”! So, ya know, basically we were shopping for ourselves! ha! But if you are anything like us, and can’t get enough color lately, this is YOUR list. And if you have a soon-to-be-mama girlfriend who embraces all things rainbow, we have your one stop gift-shop! Find our colorful baby shower must-haves on pg. 96 & 97!

Thanks to Megan & Katie, the genius duo behind To & From for featuring us!

one comment

  1. megbiram (@megbiram)

    Your spread was so cute & colorful! Thanks for curating!!!

    April 19, 2013 8:15 pm


We paired some of our favorite fashion images with our trend-forward melamine party ware to help you envision your next backyard BBQ, wedding shower,  or evening soiree! So let us know what kind of party hostess you are!! It’s that easy!! We can’t wait to be sending out four matching salad plates of your choice to our lucky winner! (PS, the party hostess you choose does not have to be the plates you choose to order if you win)!  You can peruse the entire Ampersand Design Studio Signature Collection for La Plates right here and see lots of fun options to pick from right here and more here.

This contest will run from today, Wednesday, February 26th through midnight Friday, February 28th. We’ll announce the lucky winner on Saturday, March 2nd!

Here are all the links you need to enter:

• like our Ampersand Design Studio facebook page

• like the La Plates facebook page

• and…IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to leave a comment on this post telling us which party hostess you are!! Even if it’s your imaginary party for now!!

G O O D L U C K ! ! !

Share your picks with Ampersand on Twitter at @AmpersandStudio and instagram at @morgangeorgie, @carriekiefer, or the brand new @Ampersand Studio profile and with La Plates on Twitter at @LaPlates and instagram at @LaPlates!

{want to find all these fashionable ladies above? of course you do! here are the links to the snapshots from some of our favorite fashion bloggers and pinterest stars: Bright & Bold fuschia top  & red full skirt from Atlantic-Pacific, Poolside Casual ombre maxi from Popbee, Margarita in Hand from Like a Princess by Kuka, Mod Minimalist black & white dress from Atlantic-Pacific, Classic w/ a Twist denim, olive hat & red pumps from Frankie Hearts Fashion, and Boho Chic ikat top from Tory Burch}

comments 71

  1. Allison

    absolutely in love with these designed pairings! leave it to you two to think of the most creative execution :)

    February 27, 2013 6:49 am
  2. Lynzy

    These plates are so adorable! I am in the boho chic category for sure! :)

    xx Lynzy

    February 27, 2013 12:54 pm
  3. Laura @ chaotic domestic

    I’m probably classic with a twist…

    February 27, 2013 1:11 pm
  4. tamara

    If only I had a pool (and lived somewhere warm enough), I’d be poolside casual for sure. Otherwise, I’m more boho chic.

    February 27, 2013 2:49 pm
  5. Amanda

    Classic with a twist! Love all of the designs though!

    February 27, 2013 3:28 pm
  6. megan

    Love this! I try to be Mod Minimalist when hosting. Streamlined decor with hints of special details here and there to keep the event personalized. Thanks!

    February 27, 2013 3:35 pm
  7. Alissa Oleksa

    Love the collaboration! I’m obviously margarita (or two) in hand…( ;

    February 27, 2013 3:42 pm
  8. Emily Hawkins

    I consider myself a classic with a boho twist kinda gal. Love these plates so much – my mind is spinning with ideas for a party now!

    February 27, 2013 3:44 pm
  9. Lindsay Kahler

    Love these color combos!! I would probably be best classified as Margarita in Hand! Shaken or frozen!

    February 27, 2013 3:54 pm
  10. Mandi Davis

    I am boho chic!

    February 27, 2013 3:58 pm
  11. kate

    I love these plate designs. Definitely am a Mod Minimalist!

    February 27, 2013 4:05 pm
  12. Paige Bennish

    All these styles are great but I think I’m more of the Margarita in Hand type of lady!

    February 27, 2013 4:07 pm
  13. Jeannine

    Classic w/a twist!

    February 27, 2013 4:07 pm
  14. Brooke Williamson

    I’m definitely a “classic with a twist” kinda girl!! These are so AMAZING!

    February 27, 2013 4:46 pm
  15. Kelly

    It’s a toss up between classic with a twist and mod minimalist, but I think mod minimalist is the winner. Truly though, I adore them all!

    February 27, 2013 4:49 pm
  16. tobe | BIA

    duh. margie in hand (errr….usually.)

    February 27, 2013 5:57 pm
  17. Lisa M.

    Love these monogram plates! I am a pool side casual kinda gal! Great giveaway! Thanks.

    February 27, 2013 6:23 pm
  18. Rhayni

    Mod Minimalist on the outside… Bright & Bold in the inside!

    February 27, 2013 6:35 pm
  19. jbkcmom

    Margarita in hand, but it would be a cocktail other than a margarita. Tequila and I aren’t friends.

    February 27, 2013 7:21 pm
  20. Emily R

    Definitely bright & bold …you can never have too much color!

    February 27, 2013 7:31 pm
  21. megan

    love all the designs – I’m classic with a twist!

    February 27, 2013 7:31 pm
  22. Allie

    What a great giveaway! I am boho chic, definitely.

    February 27, 2013 7:52 pm
  23. Rozlyn

    I could be any of them – depending on my mood. :0

    February 27, 2013 8:08 pm
  24. kelsey bang

    super cute giveaway! bright and bold for sure :)

    February 27, 2013 9:18 pm
  25. ampersand

    we’re loving hearing which party hostess you guys are! lots of margarita-drinkers, eh? us too. One of us has been known to call them Morg-aritas even. just saying.

    February 27, 2013 9:22 pm
  26. Rachel

    Margarita in hand, no doubt. Love, love the color combination and of course, margs!

    February 27, 2013 9:52 pm
  27. Em Byerly

    I’m a bright & bold person! Hosting wise- our big event is always a derby party! Mint juleps, steamers across the porch, and everyone dressed up- hats included.

    February 28, 2013 1:52 am
  28. Ali

    I love the classic with a twist well really all of them are absolutely darling.

    February 28, 2013 3:05 am
  29. Kate

    These plates are too cute! I’m definitely boho chic! xoxo

    February 28, 2013 4:09 am
  30. Christine Kelly

    Hmmm…hard to choose, boho chic or poolside casual? Poolside casual! It’s Texas!

    February 28, 2013 5:39 am
  31. Megan

    All are so lovely, but I am totally bold and bright! I love loud pops that ate totally eye catching!

    February 28, 2013 5:43 am
  32. Tia

    These are great! So torn between the margarita in hand and the boho!! But I think I would go with the yellow since it would match my kitchen.

    February 28, 2013 1:52 pm
  33. Danielle

    So many I like! I’d probably go with the mod-minimalist.

    February 28, 2013 2:29 pm
  34. Julia Dzafic

    Ok I love every single one of these plates but my style is bright and bold. For dinner parties I dress in brights, serve brightly colored food and decorate with as much color as possible.

    February 28, 2013 2:54 pm
  35. Melinda Singer

    Mod minimalist! With a bold splash of color…maybe red or GOLD (not yellow).

    February 28, 2013 3:45 pm
  36. erika

    i am definitely the mod minimalist hostess… so perfect!

    February 28, 2013 4:08 pm
  37. Ning fathia

    I’m a true and true classic with a twist girl. I can imagine a nautical theme party by a sea cabin, serving fresh seafood on a La Plates plate!

    February 28, 2013 4:28 pm
  38. Kayley

    I am most certainly classic with a twist those are absolutely adorable with a pop of color !

    February 28, 2013 6:09 pm
  39. Jenny

    My family wants to celebrate may 1 that I’ve been well for one year!!!

    February 28, 2013 6:49 pm
  40. julie

    this is a tough one! I think that I am a mix between bright and bold and boho chic with bright and bold i think slightly having the advantage! :)

    February 28, 2013 7:39 pm
  41. Nicolle

    These plates are FANTASTIC! Is it possible to be a perfect blend of the Mod Minimalist and Classic with a Twist because that’s where I am!

    February 28, 2013 7:45 pm
  42. Heather

    Margarita in Hand. If I wasn’t pregnant right now, that is … :)

    February 28, 2013 7:52 pm
  43. Elle

    These are all so great! I’m definitely the mod minimalist or classic with a twist!

    February 28, 2013 8:13 pm
  44. Allison

    While I’d love to be “Margarita in Hand” or “Boho chic”, in all honesty, I’m probably “Classic with a Twist.” Love, love this collaboration, ladies!

    February 28, 2013 9:04 pm
  45. Fabianna

    Definitely Classic with a Twist! Love this giveaway! So fun :)

    February 28, 2013 9:09 pm
  46. Angie Atkinson

    Classic with a twist! Love them all!

    February 28, 2013 9:09 pm
  47. Alex

    I love the classic with a twist!

    March 1, 2013 12:05 am
  48. carlie

    Love them all, but probably Classic with a Twist!

    March 1, 2013 2:46 am
  49. Melanie

    Definitely classic with a twist!

    March 1, 2013 2:56 am
  50. Kari Lavelle

    Love them all! Today, I’ll be bright & bold. :)

    March 1, 2013 4:33 am
  51. Ingemar Hulthage

    Classic with a Twist

    March 1, 2013 6:34 am
  52. Dave Levin

    Mod Minimalist

    March 1, 2013 3:39 pm
  53. Chanyn

    I love the mod minimalist and the bright and bold! I could be either depending on my mood… All of the designs are very pretty!

    March 1, 2013 4:17 pm
  54. Kathryn

    I love Classic With a Twist! So perfect!

    March 1, 2013 5:37 pm
  55. Kayley

    Love the POOLSIDE CASUAL!!! ❤

    March 1, 2013 5:52 pm
  56. Rachel Lora Simmons

    Classic with a twist, 100 percent.

    March 1, 2013 6:22 pm
  57. Sandie

    Bright and Bold! Love them all! Thanks for the chance to win.

    March 1, 2013 6:49 pm
  58. Susan

    Mod minimalist with a boho twist. I like things simple, but when it comes to accessories, piled on!

    March 1, 2013 8:23 pm
  59. Laura Bogart

    Dreaming of the pool…relaxing with a much anticipated adult beverage! So poolside casual for me!

    March 1, 2013 8:29 pm
  60. Melissa

    love love love your laplates collection! i think i am a classic with a twist kinda’ gal!

    March 1, 2013 8:39 pm
  61. Katie Dosenbach

    hi girls! loving the classic with a twist!! xo

    March 1, 2013 9:43 pm
  62. Jennie Bixler

    boho chic

    March 1, 2013 10:41 pm
  63. Jennifer

    I’m in love with the Bright & Bold! My husband and I are refurbishing our 1960′s canned-ham camping trailer and the interior is going to have splashes of these colors. These plates would be perfect! Great Job!

    March 1, 2013 11:03 pm
  64. Ann Greenleaf

    Oh how to choose? All so cute. I think I’m margarita in hand but desire to be mod minimalist.

    March 2, 2013 12:22 am
  65. Amy Schumm

    All of these plates are so great!
    I love the colors and designs. There is something about the green and yellow that keeps grabbing me so I pick the Margarita in Hand set! :)

    March 2, 2013 12:28 am
  66. Sarah

    Poolside casual! I just need the pool now:)

    March 2, 2013 2:03 am
  67. HollyJ

    Mmm… Classic with a twist is my fave but hard to choose!! Loving all your new products, ladies!

    March 2, 2013 3:50 am
  68. Pat Pelland

    Mod Minimalist

    March 2, 2013 4:52 pm
  69. ampersand

    Rachel Lora Simmons,
    We just wanted to let you know that you are our La Plates + Ampersand Design Studio WINNER!!!!

    Thanks for playing along with us, we’re thrilled you won and we hope you have a great time picking out your set of 4 monogrammed salad plates!

    Check your inbox for details :)

    Morgan & Carrie

    March 4, 2013 5:30 am
  70. ampersand

    AND, thank you to every single one of your for your fun entries–we are wishing we could organize a party for all of us to get together, but for now, we want to thank you by giving you each 10% off of anything in the Ampersand Signature Collection for La Plates. Use code AMP10 at checkout!

    March 4, 2013 5:31 am
  71. Lindsey McClennahan

    I am margarita in HAND! I ate a lime with salt last night… and opened all my windows today because I a DYING for it to be summer! Those plates would make my almost summer dreams just THAT MUCH CLOSER!

    March 4, 2013 3:28 pm