Chelsea Carpenter – Southern Fried Paper


Social Stationery, Custom Invitations & Event Branding

Chelsea Carpenter, owner of Southern Fried Paper, is amazingly talented and super witty! We absolutely love being right next door to such a creative individual. Everything from the paper to the printing process is tailored to each unique event. Southern Fried Paper has been featured in top magazines, online and television including Southern Living Weddings, Good Morning Texas and Green Wedding Shoes. Chelsea shares some insight into her world of paper goods & weddings below:

Q: How did you come up with the name “Southern Fried Paper” and how does that translate into your business style or identity?

A: I’m from a small East Texas town where many things are fried, and everything is southern. I wanted my brand to have a slightly fun and quirky name (and reference my southern roots.) I’m never TOO serious and I like to make people smile.

Q: How was Southern Fried Paper born?

A: I graduated with a Bachelors in Creative Advertising from SMU. I learned to think outside the box and really push an idea as far as it will go. While working in the advertising industry, Souther Fried Paper started by accident. My husband’s aunt and uncled owned a home-goods and gift shop and needed some Valentine’s Day cards that weren’t the typical sappy mush. A year later, I had retailers in several state and the Southern Fried Paper retail line was born.

I didn’t transition into custom design until I was planning my own wedding. I had the hardest time finding an invitation that fit my style and budget and was truly “me”. So I designed and produce most of my wedding stationery and decor. Guests adored it, friends and family requested orders, and I saw the opportunity to turn my creative hobby into a full-time career.

Q: You offer custom design service. How does that process work?

A: Everything from the paper to the printing process is tailored to your unique event. We begin with a complementary design consultation to explore your ideas and style. We then provide a custom estimate based on variables such as your quantities, paper choice, and printing process. We develop a few different designs and then discuss the things you like and the things you’d like to change. Revisions are made and the final product is created!

Q: When some people think of wedding stationery they immediately think of invitations. Is there anything you offer that people may not know about or haven’t heard of?

A: We LOVE to work outside the 5×7 invitation… Plastic, wood, fabric, you name it we’ve printed on it. We can design everything from menus, favor boxes and napkins to lighting gobos and hand-painted wooden signs. The stranger the request the better. Once we develop the wedding brand, it can translate to just about anything.

Q: What is your design inspiration or style?

A: Much of my inspiration comes from Victoriana (think ornate scrolls, lavish fonts, pretty silhouettes), old Hollywood movies, vibrant colors, and slightly-girly typography. It’s been said that my designs are “traditional with a twist.”

Q: Weddings are all about the experience. What’s different about the experience brides get with you versus at a traditional retailer?

A: Everything we create is truly custom. The bride can have as much or as little involvement as they want. Some brides come in to the studio with a specific idea or theme and others just let me run wild with ideas. I like creating things that truly represent the couple – where guests say “yep that’s them.”

I also prefer to do business with local vendors. 99% of Southern Fried Paper’s products are printed in Dallas on paper purchased from Dallas distributors. “Shop local ya’ll!” – Insert Texas twang here.

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