Dec 18, 2012

Getting Minted, that is. I'm not usually one to call out brands or companies, but my experience with Minted was so fabulous that I have to share a little review here. (I'm not getting paid for this, I'm just a happy customer!)

One of my first orders of business once our lovely new computer arrived last week was to place an order for holiday cards. I had a slew of Max photos to sort through and edit, and it took me days to decide which one to use, and which of the many photo card websites I would order from. I'm a longtime Shutterfly fan; other contenders were Paper Culture and Tiny Prints (which is now a subsidiary of Shutterfly). I've seen samples from all of these sites, and each company offers good quality prints and card stock. My personal style just gelled with Minted best and that was how I finally made my decision. Their cards are slightly more expensive than the basic card options on sites like Shutterfly, but since I'm a graphic design nerd, to me it was worth the money to get something I love (plus their basic card stock is thicker and higher quality than average). And we didn't need to order a ton of cards, which helped keep the cost manageable. Here's a peek at some of their charming holiday card designs:

Once I completed my order, I was surprised to see a message pop up saying that included with my order was free - yes, free - address labeling. {I'm not sure if this is offered year-round or if it's just for the holidays.} All I had to do was upload an excel document of my Christmas card recipients and Minted will print the addresses right onto the envelopes. Score! Already the extra cost was paying off in the form of valuable saved time :)

Also included is a proof of your design, created and reviewed by a graphic designer. My proof arrived in my inbox the next morning with a note saying there were some concerns about the quality of my photo, and that I should try a test print to see if I was happy with it. Just my luck, our printer recently bit the dust (talk about a technology fail at our house lately!), so I called and was thrilled when I was put on the phone with a real, live designer. She spent ten minutes chatting photo quality with me, printing off the card herself, and advising me on my options.

I eventually opted to go with a different photo but also wanted to change up my entire card design, and to my amazement she canceled my order with no problem and allowed me to create a new card with the same promotional discount I had already used. This is a company that would rather see you happy than cut corners or give customers a hard time for uploading a photo that didn't quite work. Here's the photo in question ... sadly it had some grainy patches so it got the axe ... although I do see a frame in our house in its future! Never fear, I had another equally cute photo ready to swoop in and save the day! I'll share it once our cards have gone out ... don't want to ruin the surprise for anybody ;)

The much-anticipated cards should be arriving any day now, and I'm eagerly awaiting that delivery! I'll follow up to let you guys know if the print quality is all I'm expecting from this (so far) great company. Check them out if you haven't already - it's a truly design and quality-driven site that's fun to browse even if you don't need to buy anything.

And since it just seems wrong to do a blog post without at least one more photo, here is Max meeting Santa over the weekend. We went to Cheekwood Art & Gardens, a favorite spot of ours, and made a morning of it. Max had a blast decorating Christmas cookies, checking out the live reindeer and having fun with my mom, but when the moment came to meet Santa ... well, you can see he wasn't thrilled. Luckily he still loves Santa Claus and wasn't traumatized :) On a side note, isn't that the best looking Santa ever? Totally authentic as far as I'm concerned!

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