An Intern’s Perspective: A typical day at SCD

iz supplies

Note From Courtney: We’ve had the most wonderful summer intern this year. We thought it would be fun for her, before she jets off to Paris for a semester abroad, to share some insight into an average day working at SCD.

All artwork created by Isabel Marvel

Hello !
My name is Isabel and I’ve been the intern at Swiss Cottage Designs this summer. I’m a 20 year old product of Brooklyn, an Art History major at Vassar College, and an illustration enthusiast. Some things I enjoy: days spent at IKEA planning my (affordable) dream home, coffee flavored coconut water (hydrating and energizing), disco music, and paroozing Five & Dime shops. Working at SCD this summer has been such a blast, and I wanted to commemorate it with a post illustrating a typical day at the office:

I wake up early at the crack of dawn like humans were supposed to to maximize the workday. However, two things keep me stationary in my bed. One, I have invested in one of those lovely silk eyes masks that make me feel like I have an upper east side apartment and an income, and Two, my work day officially starts at ten. This is just one of the many perks of being the honorary (the only) intern at Swiss Cottage Designs.

I get to the office, lock up my bike, and smooth down my hair, which, after my morning ride, more closely resembles frizzy fly tape.

Some mornings I arrive in the middle of an account of Sunny’s raccoon groupies, who hang out on her fire escape and have now taken the liberty of slashing through her screen and helping themselves to the vulnerable bowl of cat food. Other mornings Courtney might be discussing people she scooted around while on her morning PW (that’s power-walk for those not in the know). The characters of Brooklyn never cease to amuse, especially the posses of old men who have inconveniently installed themselves on nearby stoops and never fail to make you feel very observed as you weave through them. I’ll tell them stories of my party-throwing dad and his infamous glass bridge, or my latest whirlwind ContainerShop run on my bike: my handlebars balanced out with the voluminous white bags that catch like pregnant sails.

Some slices of office life: Leon Bridges provides a constant musical backdrop, the room is filled with the swoon-worthy scents of Mazola Bakery’s delish blueberry muffins, and condensation covered ice tea drips onto the neatly organized white desks at SCD. Sunny and Courtney occupy themselves by diligently and punctually answering emails, taking phone calls with clients and answering any and all questions and concerns. Their calendars are constantly updated and color-coded. Clients come through to ogle samples, to discuss color palates and dreamy designs, and to come see where all the magic happens.


While they busy themselves with computer programs and client consultations, I fold and tape and crease and line and wrap; the production component of SCD keeping my hands constantly busy. Whenever I’m working at the production table next to the air conditioning, Courtney is quite conscious of my temperature. She knows that, just as earth needs wetting and drying cycles to maintain healthy growth periods, regulating the AC for proper heating & cooling cycles keeps us functional.

I make daily trips down to Omar (Omi, O-man), our shipping savior, who may be seen sporting his “FedEx Ground” T-Shirt that I’m fairly certain is a 90’s JunkFood T.

3rd or 4th iced caf. in hand, (typically I ingest more coffee than water) I return to the office mid-discussion of whether or not the latest project’s proper proportions will offend, and whether or not the featured dog looks like he’s chewing on the flag in a realistic manner. These things matter!

Lunch time appears before we know it, and we break off to make a healthy smoothie or to run to the nearby deli (but really end up inhaling boxes of Nerds and Hi-Chews accompanied by mysteriously irresistible coffee sodas, brought to us by Sunny’s love for Met Food). While we eat, we:

​1. Rock out to WFUV radio
​2. Talk about latest Young Adult novel obsession
​3. Exchange organic beauty product tips
​4. Question the weather and whether or not it is Courtney’s “truck” double-parked out front

After satisfactory consumption of our grub comes the unspoken agreement to work diligently for a while before breaking out into a heated debate over Singularity (is Man V. Robot the future???). Soon enough, a piece of either sky or scaffolding crashes onto the air conditioning, and we all briefly make awkward eye contact with the loitering construction workers outside. Back to emailing and designing and whirling ice cubes and lemon rinds, thinking of the next beverage break.



During the past several weeks, I’ve sifted through boxes of old projects and have had the pleasure of seeing the illustrated timeline of Swiss Cottage Designs and the progression of projects and picture presentation. The office, I’m happy to report, is packed into neat brown and orange boxes, labeled and separated by color, pattern (illustrated, bold & graphic), type (flat-printed & letterpress), occasion (save-the-date, invitation, rsvp, day of, etc.). What was already a smoothly sailing ship of a business is now an even more fluid operation with easily-accessible and organized components. As a summer intern, I see what might be viewed as menial organizational tasks, typically delegated to interns, as being very important to the functionality and longevity of a business. It also doesn’t hurt to work with rad people like Courtney and Sunny who make work never a dull moment, for they are constantly conversing and convulsing with laughter, all the while keeping things professional and work-centric. It’s been a wonderful and educational experience and I am very sad to have to leave the lovely office and lovelier people of SCD.

Editors Note: I did not pay her to write this.

5 Things I’ve Learned in 5 Years of SCD


Last week we had a little shindig to celebrate the 5th birthday of Swiss Cottage Designs! Sometimes it feels as if I’ve just started this business while other days it’s impossible to remember how it felt to work for anyone but myself. Running the business has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve undertaken but also one of the most rewarding. It’s been fun to look back on the last few years to see how far it’s all come and how much I’ve learned along the way. In that spirit, I wanted to share 5 lessons I’ve learned over the last 5 years of SCD.

Mistakes are okay. You will make them. No matter how hard you strive for perfection, there will be slip ups, accidents, and oversights. From small errors to (seemingly) more colossal mistakes, they are bound to happen along the way. As the old cliche goes, no one is perfect. The upside is that each mistake can be a learning experience so that you can do better in the future and avoid making the same mistakes again. Even as you perfect one aspect of the business, new challenges will arise in which you are bound to encounter some hiccups. It’s an ever evolving process, so take it in stride and don’t let it get you down because…

There is always a solution. I know it doesn’t always feel that way, especially in the moments after something has gone wrong. If you take a deep breath and give yourself a moment to brainstorm, a creative workaround will always come to mind. Reprint the job, messenger the samples, offer a discount….it’s won’t be the most ideal situation because ideally nothing would have gone wrong! But it’s great to take a step back and realize that nothing is so bad that it can’t be fixed or solved. Keep a positive outlook and an open mind and you’ll be able to tackle any issue that arises.

Kindness always wins.  When it comes to clients, vendors, employees, and yourself – being kind is never the wrong way to go. You won’t regret treating someone with kindness and understanding, especially when it would have been much easier to respond with annoyance or terse words. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and truly empathize with where they are coming from. This helps avoid tense situations, awkward interactions, or sour relationships. It won’t always feel like the easiest way to respond, especially when you’re frustrated or stressed, but it goes much further in the long run and will keep you and those around you much happier and more positive.

Self discipline goes both ways. It takes an incredible amount of self discipline to work for yourself. It’s wonderful to make your own schedule but even when trying to stick to a “normal” 9-5 , many nights and weekends will be swallowed up by the business. It’s not uncommon to miss out on beautiful days because you’re inside working or having to say no to a night out with friends to meet a deadline. A lot of willpower goes into saying “no” in order to prioritize the business but I’ve also discovered the importance of making sure you say “yes” to things – don’t let too much of life pass you by as you work. I’ve certainly missed out on things or events I won’t have a second chance to go to, so I want to make sure I’m mindful of the balance I’m striking so that the business continues to thrive and that I feel fulfilled in my other relationships and activities. Set aside time for yourself and your other priorities outside of the business.

The positive outweigh the negatives. Despite the bad days or moments of uncertainty, running your own business will always be worth it for many reasons. You’ll spend your time doing work you actually enjoy doing. Pajama Friday is a very real thing. Setting your own hours leaves you free to run errands on a weekday afternoon or work remotely for a week while you visit family. No one can judge you for how many snacks or treats you consume during the day. Great relationships will be forged with clients and you’ll get to see and feel the excitement firsthand. Each day is a new chance to improve and expand. Failures can feel more personal but successes feel empowering, exciting, and earned.

I’ve been so fortunate these past five years and I can only hope that the future brings even more exciting challenges and learning opportunities for Swiss Cottage Designs. Do you have any lessons or insight that you’ve taken away from the work that you do? I’d love to hear them if so!


Hello 2015 Mixtape


We hope that everyone’s 2015 has been off to a great start! We’ve gotten back into the swing of things pretty quickly around here. It’s shaping up to be a great year full of wonderful clients and exciting new projects! I love how rejuvenated and inspired a new year can make you feel.

To celebrate, we pulled together a little Hello 2015 mixtape for you! It’s a concoction of old and new tracks that are focused around the spirit of a fresh, new year (plus a few that we just like in general). We hope you enjoy it on your Friday afternoon!

Happy New Year!


London Love

Take a peek through the blog and you’ll notice it’s no secret that I’m a big fan of all things London. The Swiss Cottage studio wouldn’t be complete without endless amounts of tea, miniature Beatles figurines, and vintage London Underground poster. Even our business name is borrowed from a neighborhood in that lovely city!

Being the anglophile that I am, you can imagine my excitement as I worked on this London-centric wedding suite. We opted to move away from the traditional blue, red, and white in favor of black, white, and red. The dramatic colors are balanced with softer, watercolor illustrations of some of the city’s landmarks. I love how striking the overall look is. It’s bold while still maintaining a more gentle, romantic edge. Highlighting some of the most iconic spots around London was also a great way to get guests excited about making the trip for the big day! 

The juxtaposition of old and new is such a prominent theme within London, which is why one of my favorite details is the envelope liner of the Underground map. It introduces a modern element alongside the watercolor images of Big Ben and Tower Bridge. There’s a nice visual push and pull within the suite that I had a great time balancing through the artwork and design.

This is one of my favorite suites that we’ve created this year and I’m so happy to have had the chance to work on it! You can see this plus many other new projects on our freshly updated website! Enjoy!



SCD Holiday Mix 2014



Christmas tree markets have popped up on every corner, stoops are decorated with twinkling lights, and the air is nice and chilly (though no snow quite yet.) Christmas is only 4 weeks away and it certainly feels festive here in Brooklyn. We’re celebrating the arrival of December with lots of chai, sweet treats, and of course – Christmas music!

We’ve pulled together some of our favorite tracks to help get you in the holiday spirit. It’s a blend of old and new with plenty of classics and a few you might not have heard. Feel free to use it for your holiday shindigs, cookie decorating sessions, or inaugural tree lightings.

Bonus fun fact – all of the songs from our Holiday Mix Tape card are featured on the holiday playlist!

Grab a warm drink, get comfortable, and press Play!

Introducing Our First Ever Holiday Card Line

Can you believe that November is here (and cold weather along with it?) The holidays are just around the corner, making this the perfect time to finally share what I’ve been working on over the past few months – the first ever Swiss Cottage holiday card line!

Custom work has always been our bread and butter, so it’s a very exciting step to be offering these ready-made designs for 2014. It has been a very big labor of love and something I’ve wanted to do for years. I can only hope it’s slightly more successful than my first attempt in 2007 where I stood outside a Starbucks on 83rd + Broadway with a TV tray and some cards I printed on my lunch break. The joys of looking back!

The line is made up of 6 unique designs and includes flat digital printing, letterpress, and gold foil!

For any retailers interested in wholesale, please email for a line sheet and more information.


Christmas on Main Street


Holiday Allover Pattern

good spirits holiday card2

In Good Spirits


Happy Hollandiase


Holiday Mixtape



multi pack 2

The full 2014 holiday line!

All of our cards are available for purchase on our Etsy store! You can also click the fancy new button on the top right of this page to start shopping now. I hope you all enjoy these as much as I love creating them.

Weekend in the Woods :: Alyssa + Drew

Fall has officially arrived in Brooklyn! I’m loving the cool weather and changing leaves. The only downside is how early it’s getting dark now! But if that’s the trade off for spiced treats and the ability to dress in layers, I’ll take it.

With the changing seasons, it seemed only right to bring a bit of autumn color to the blog. Alyssa and Drew planned a beautiful fall weekend in Ontario that included not only their wedding festivities but also canoeing, fishing, hiking, and swimming! The couple wanted an invitation that would get their guests excited about the woodsy weekend that awaited them.

My favorite part of the invitation is the lush border. It showcases the natural foliage of the area as well as the warm colors of the changing leaves. I also can’t help but feel nice and snuggly when I see the flannel inspired envelope liner. Oh, who is that cute turtle on the crest, you may ask? That’s Caeser, their beloved pet. Their invitation just wouldn’t be complete with him!

I had a lot of fun working with Alyssa and Drew to bring their vision to life and hope you like it too. Hopefully the weather is lovely wherever you are and you’re treating yourself to plenty of pumpkin flavored goodies.







SCD May Mix Tape


Another month, another mix tape! Somehow April has come to an end and May snuck in! It doesn’t quite feel like it, but spring is here! We’ve been keeping busy and have already been able work with such amazing clients this year! Don’t worry – we’ve still made some time here and there to enjoy the occasional nice day!


This month, we’ve got a new mixtape to celebrate the days getting longer and (ever so slowly!) warmer. Hope you enjoy it! Leave a comment or shoot us a tweet with any suggestions of what we should listen to in June!

SCD May Mix Tape from sunnyeckerle on 8tracks Radio.

Track list:
Family Portrait – Other Side
Sonny & the Sunsets – Too Young to Burn
Uncle Dave Macon – Don’t Get Weary Children
Django Reinhardt – When Day is Done
The Band – The Weight
Broken Social Scene – Shampoo Suicide
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Who’ll Stop the Rain
Land of Talk – Some Are Lakes
Mountain Man – Animal
Band of Horses – The Great Salt Lake
Megafaun – Worried Mind
Elyse Weinberg with Neil Young – Houses
Benjamin Britten – Cuckoo
Connie Converse – How Sad, How Lovely

Swiss Cottage Mix Tape














Well hello there! Welcome back to the Swiss Cottage Designs blog. You may have noticed something’s a bit different around here. What could it be, you ask? Aside from the fancy new .gif, there’s also a new office manager! Hi, I’m Sunny.

You may have been emailing with me lately, or maybe you’ll be emailing with me very soon. Either way, lovely to meet you! I come to Swiss Cottage Designs after several years in the agency world. Before that, I was getting my BFA in Graphic Design from Florida State University. Now I’m here to make sure everything runs smoothly & of course to draw the occasional animated gif.

In addition to lots of emails, lots of packaging, and lots of design, I’m also in charge of the studio music. It’s arguably the most stressful part of my day to day! Good tunes equal good vibes which of course equals good design. I make sure to stay on top of the DJ duties lest we have to listen to each other’s occasional stomach gurgles in awkward silence.

That brings me to the Swiss Cottage Mix Tape! I’ve curated a playlist of what we’ve been digging lately and shared it for your listening pleasure. I hope you like it! If you have any recommendations, you should tweet them to us at @swisscottagedsn too!

Looking forward to chatting more with everyone. Have a great rest of the week!

SCD is hiring!

Thank you for your interest! This position has been filled.

Like stationery? Cute packaging? Sometimes awkwardly wearing your PJ’s to work? You might be just our type.

Swiss Cottage Designs is looking for a jack of all trades to join the team as our Office Manager / Design Assistant extrodinere. We are a custom design studio based out of Brooklyn, New York. We specialize in illustration and wedding/ stationery design.

I am looking for a responsible, conscientious and above all enthusiastic office manager to come in and whip things into shape. We are a small business with an ever growing client list that requires a lot of attention and organization. Office Manager duties would consist of:
-Corresponding with clients on a regular basis
-Answering all new inquires
-Managing client needs whether by quotes, following up, invoicing, etc.
-Keeping track of our client calendar and timelines

The ideal candidate will be a skilled communicator and writer who has that extra flair for the personal details. You need to be quick on your feet and self motivated with excellent time management skills. Organization and attention to detail are a must!

While this is not exclusively a design job, design skills are preferable to be able to assist on projects. A knowledge of the Adobe suite is required. Design duties would consist of:
-Assisting on edits
-Helping to jump start projects
-Graphic Design/ layout projects

I am looking for someone who is a good listener, quick learner and a problem solver. This person will be my right hand man and will know the in’s and out’s of the business as much as I do. You’ll be doing lots of crafting and production so a love of projects is a must. If you have any interest in learning how a small business works, this would be a great opportunity to get involved. You’ll have your hand in all aspects of the business and will be an integral part of it’s growth and success.

Because of the small nature of this business, the right attitude, personality and sense of humor are just as important as background and experience. The office is a home studio in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Although this is a full-time position, the hours are flexible. This would be a great opportunity for a motivated, young professional wanting to be a part of a team while working on their own creative projects. The start date would be ASAP.

Please send your resume, links or a PDF of your work and a cover letter that best showcases your personality to swisscottagejob{at}gmail{dot}com
(for extra bonus points include your favorite band/ music and the last book you read!)

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