Enclave Books- Wedding albums & the woman behind the business, Bend Oregon
I just want to start out by saying whitney has proven herself to be such a blessing for my business. And the fact that i get to partner with her in giving my couples a beautiful handmade leather wedding album is kind of the best ever. i’ve done a few shoots for whitney and her business and i thought it would be fun to introduce her to y’all! because i am all about supporting small business women while growing my own! part of what i want to focus on in 2019 is curating a wedding experience for my couples that they can’t get anywhere else. And partnering with enclave books has been one of the best decisions i’ve made to start that process.
This post is all about whitney + her business in interview form, because who better to tell us about this boss babe than herself!
Introduce yourself! And tell us the story of Enclave Books and how it came to be!
Hi! I’m Whitney Carmack. I own and run Enclave Books! I started making books three years ago. I was taught by some mentors of mine. The practice had a profound impact on my life. I have found having a creative outlet is awesome for my emotional health. Another thing that is so healthy for me is journaling and working through my emotions on paper, even when I don't want to. This is really what drove me to sell my creations in the first place. I found such freedom in having a beautiful place to honor and work through my emotions and connect with God. I want that growth in emotional + spiritual health for everyone, whether it’s through using their book to paint, write poetry, draw, journal, etc! We all need a safe place to process.
What gets you inspired?
Oh dang, a lot of what I see inspires me! My main source of inspiration is the outdoors. I love living in central Oregon for the pine trees, the high desert flora + fauna, the mountains and the changing seasons. Another source of inspiration is the leather store, Maverick Leather in Bend, OR, where I buy all my hides. The feel and smell of leather is amazing!! Sometimes I will find a hide that is JUST what I’m looking for. It bends perfectly, has beautiful natural edges and when I oil it up it just sings. Those moments encourage me.
What do you like to do when you are not working on Enclave Books?
When I’m not working on books I like to go on walks with views of the Cascade Mountains. I spend a lot of time with family because my family, as well as my husband’s, live in central Oregon. This is something we love! Doing “normal life” with family is a big dream of ours. We go to a lot of breweries since this area has a lot to offer. Reading is another big way I like to spend my time, I read a lot of fantasy and non-fiction. My husband, Anthony and I have a great network of friends who we spend lots of time with as well.
Describe your creating process?
I will always protect having creative freedom in my work. What this looks like for me is creating small batch books (for example, not making 40 books that all look the same). What keeps me invigorated in my creating process is choosing different color combinations and doing different cuts on the front fold of the leather, choosing an accent color for a strap and always combining artistry with practicality. I want my products to look great and function amazingly! When creating I keep these two thoughts in mind. I typically start by folding and cutting a lot of paper. That’s one of the only steps I try to do all at once. From there, I will cut into my leather hides so it’s prepped, but I have to alternate and make different colored books. I can’t sit down and make 10 brown books. Even though they will all be different from one another, I have to have more variety. Therefore, I like to cut into all my hides so I have my choice of color to work with. This way when I have an idea or inspiration about a color combo I want to create it’s all at my fingertips. I will make two blue books and then a brown earthy one and switch to a moody black. If I know who I’m making a book for I keep them in mind and use colors that remind me of them. This keeps bookmaking a creative, artful process for me.
What do you value most about what you do?
I value the freedom for sure. Working for myself is something I never thought I would do but of course, I love being my own boss and having the freedom to try new ideas! I also value the people I meet and work with. I love being in charge of communicating with clients, helping them find what they’re looking for, or helping a vision come to life. I make sure I communicate clearly, kindly and efficiently with everyone, this is a skill I know I bring to the table in a small business and it’s rewarding to see it pay off. I often meet really great people!
Where do you most like to make journals? What’s playing in the background when you create/work?
At home! Most of my work isn’t mobile. This can be frustrating at times when home is distracting or boring and I want to leave but can’t. It’s also great because 80% of the time I love being home. I also still work part-time out of my house so that helps :) Now that I am doing more computer work though (with the photo books) I have done most of that work at my favorite coffee spot in Prineville, Foundry Four. You can find me here often. When I’m creating I listen to all kinds of music: Indie, hip-hop, worship, pop….a bit of everything. Though, honestly, I’m watching the Office a lot too. Ha ha! I know, it’s almost cliche with millennials. It’s just SO GOOD.
What’s the best advice you’ve received about being an artist?
Wow, that’s tough! I would say my best piece of advice was more about being a businesswoman and the advice is this: don’t let fear hold you back. You are capable. Go for it and see what happens. I also love that famous Mr. Rogers quote to “look for the helpers” I have found this so true. People are all around who are willing to help. When I have felt tentative about taxes or posting on social media or trying a new idea there are always people to ask questions of. Many people want to help others and give the gift of knowledge. This is good to remember.
What’s a goal that you are working towards?
Some of you may have heard that Tandy with Rosemary & Pine (of course) and I have teamed up to bring you photo albums! This is my main focus for 2019. My goal is to create an efficient system for creating these new books! It’s been a huge learning curve for me, teaching myself how to print professional photos onto paper I can stitch into a book. This goal includes organizing my space better for printing so I know where to find everything and furthering my knowledge of the Adobe programs for layouts.