We’d love to introduce you to Jaime Gill, the fabulous owner and designer of Eikoh Design Studio. Eikoh Design Studio offers handcrafted, customized gifts for home, life & love. You’ll love her and her amazing products!
1. What is your story? How did you get started/Do you have training?
I fell in love with art early in life and over the years my love for art blossomed into crafting (thanks Mom!), photography and graphic design. Thanks to a very inspirational high school teacher, I knew in 10th grade what I wanted to be “when I grew up.” I attended Virginia Tech to pursue Graphic Design and I’ve been designing ever since! After graduation, I started my design career in Baltimore where worked as an in-house graphic designer for many years. I jump-started Eikoh Design Studio while working full-time, but as of last fall I’m excited to announce I am taking the business full-time, along with freelance graphic design.
Looking back I think I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. In elementary school I opened and ran a candy store at the end of my driveway with a childhood friend—but, I like to say that Eikoh Design Studio was a “happy accident!.” I didn’t plan to start a business, but rather it just happened out of a desire to gift something more unique and personal than diapers and wipes, to some friends having a baby. Using my design background, I developed my first product, LifeSquare, and custom sandblasted stemware & glassware seemed to naturally follow. It has been both fun & rewarding to work with couples and gift givers alike to create unique, customized and personalized one-of-a-kind pieces that can be gifted or used at your special event or occasion!
Each piece is carefully handcrafted from design through production and shipping! I sandblast each piece by hand, and this process offers a greater range of depth, is permanent and leaves an upscale etched finish that will not fade or change overtime.
Everyone asks how I got into sandblasting, and it’s a fun connection! My husband Brian, who owns a commercial glass company, was working on a custom sandblasting project at the same time I was designing the gift for our friends’ new baby. It was because of my husband’s work
project that I decided to incorporate sandblasting into my design It’s been fun taking my graphic design skills to a new industry, and from paper to glass!
3. What are tips to have a stress free wedding/event?
This one is for the Brides & Grooms…Be Flexible! Not everything may go as smoothly as you planned, but at the end of the day, and years down the road, chances are you will look back and smile on things you thought were a huge deal. It will be all the moments that went perfect (or even not so perfect) that you will remember for a lifetime. I know first-hand as there were a few hiccups on our wedding day. Like when my mom bought the Challah, brought it all the way across the Bay Bridge, and then left it at the hotel, so the Kiddush was done over a dinner roll (oops!). But we look back on this now and smile and laugh, and it made for a fun introduction to the start of our reception.
Also—trust your vendors, and bridal party! You hand-picked these people to support you, guide you and take care of you on your big day. If you need or want something, don’t be afraid to ask!
4. Where is your favorite venue and why?
Although there are so many wonderful and beautiful venues around town, my all-time favorite has to be the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club, especially since my husband and I were married there in 2012. I love all of their unique spaces, natural-light ballrooms, and the gorgeous waterfront view. This was the perfect backdrop to my all-time favorite day! It’s also just far enough from home to feel like a mini-vacation.
5. What would you want to share with prospective future clients?
I LOVE working on custom orders, and I work one-on-one with clients to design their perfect gift. Clients can choose from pre-designed art to personalize, or work with me to create a custom design. They have a direct line of communication with me throughout the ordering and design process, and each personalized order includes a proof so the customers can sign-off on their order before production.
All of my gifts can be completely personalized to tell a unique story for your occasion. My products are made with love in Baltimore, Maryland—but ship nationwide!
My favorite product is my LifeSquare, for a few reasons. Aside from creating a special gift for friends, I developed LifeSquare as a way encourage people to print their photographs. Today, we live in a world filled with cell phones, digital cameras and social media, and people are neglecting to print their photos. LifeSquare puts your photos, memories and occasions front and center, where they belong, and displayed beautifully in your home, office or other special location.
I’ve always been into photography, and I can remember getting my first 110mm film camera as a little girl. And, nowadays you’re still likely to find me out and about with a camera on my hip, and not just my cell phone camera either!
7. Do you offer handcrafted gifts for other purposes besides weddings?
Sure do! All of my products are completely customizable, and can be personalized to match your special occasion, event or gift giving needs. The options are endless but if you need client gifts, something to commemorate a special trip with friends or are a realtor looking for a unique settlement gift, I can help! My shop also offers a variety of ready-to-gift items for things like milestone birthdays, anniversaries, showers (both bridal and baby), housewarming and more!
The product line is also expanding this year to include new glassware styles (including coffee mugs), custom mirrors, song lyric LifeSquare’s—perfect for your first dance or other special song (maybe a favorite)—and more!
8. Where are you based out of and how far do you typically send your handcrafted gifts?
My studio & workshop is located just outside of Baltimore, Maryland, but my gifts ship Nationwide! And, most orders will ship in just 2 weeks!
9. Where is your favorite place to travel to near or far work or play!?
One of my all-time favorite place is Blacksburg, Virginia, home of the Hokies and Virginia Tech. I also love a good beach, but after returning from my second trip to Sonoma & Napa, it might be a toss up!
10. Do you create commissioned or custom gifts?
YES! In fact I love custom gifts, and it’s the reason I started my business! I’ve worked with a variety of clients, to help them create a special piece for their own event or to give special gifts to their clients, friends or loved ones. Everything from monograms to mantras to logos, and no occasion is too small when it comes to my personalized items. Have an idea of your own? I’d love to hear from you!