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Design Family Reunion Santa Fe: Birds of a Papery Feather

Written by in Events, Inspire

Nesting in Style in Santa Fe

Abbey Fowler Goes to Town on Neenah Environment

When designer Abbey Fowler agreed to whip up all the swag for the second biennial Design Family Reunion (DFR) [], attendees knew we were in for a treat – in a pure Neenah ENVIRONMENT® Writing, Text and Cover Papers environment, if you see what we mean. Santa Fe artist Joel Nakamura []  created a quartet of paintings for DFR, providing Abbey with superb Southwestern artwork to draw from. Joel’s paintings were also available as signed, numbered prints.

Abbey specializes in wedding invitations. She has a retail shop in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and she also wholesales a line of greeting and occasion cards. Her studio and shop, 6.25 Paper Studio [], are named for the date of her own wedding.


Nothing less than turquoise twine for the notecard sets
showcasing details from Joel Nakamura’s paintings.
Printed on three colors of Neenah ENVIRONMENT®.

Abbey is equally fond of sustainability and festivity. A great fan of Neenah ENVIRONMENT®, she’s brilliant at creating papery party favors, keepsakes, embellishments and etceteras. She refers to these collectively as “paraphernalia.”


Abbey Fowler’s daughter Zoie happily up to her
elbows in Neenah ENVIRONMENT® scraps.

We checked in with Abbey the week before the reunion to see how everything was coming together. She announced, “Well, I decided yesterday to make feathers from some of the leftover papers, for table centerpieces. Then, one of my employees suggested buying little nests for the votives. This inspired me to make the nests – from more scraps. My daughter helped with the papier mâché.”



When Abbey asked Zoie what she thought of doing
papier mâché and making the nests, she responded,
“Perfect.” – and then was on to the next thing.

Another member of Abbey’s home team is George, who is the owner and entire staff of Issue Press. Abbey says, “He is that guy in town who everyone knows one way or another. George has his feet in a lot of great community-oriented projects.” For DFR, Issue Press did the spiral binding on the 8 x 8 inch sketchbooks after Zeeland Print Shop [] (since 1919!) cut all the papers down to size.


Limited-edition Neenah ENVIRONMENT® sketchbook: 
Front cover is Honeycomb; back cover is Wrought Iron,
in the new RAW™ finish. Inside sheets are assorted Desert Storm,
Concrete and 100 Natural. These colors sound like they were named for Santa Fe!



Commemorative t-shirts feature original artwork by Joel Nakamura.

Abbey’s local screen printer of choice is Citizen Shirt []. She says, “They are young and edgy, but expertly professional and caring. They’ve been in business for about five years and are looking at ways to start and expand their own line of clothing.”


Victor Rodriguez of Eurie Creative []
in Las Vegas pitches in to nip and snip paper feathers
the afternoon of the opening party.



 The centerfold of the Welcome booklet.

Abbey designs custom maps for many of her invitation clients. I can personally attest to the attractiveness, helpfulness and legibility of Abbey’s central Santa Fe map. It served me perfectly.

Jason Brantly’s addition to the Welcome bags reminded us all to hydrate in high spirits. He re-branded bottles of water “AMMO” (in classic stencil type) and included a lovely turquoise squirt gun.

Top photo by Woody Welch [], taken in the bar of the Inn & Spa at The Loretto. (Woody’s business card is wood veneer, branded with a big E. Yum E. We’ll be showcasing Woody’s photos of DFR in a subsequent feature.) All other photos courtesy of Abbey Fowler.

  1. 09

    Fantastic article! It reminds me to ask my printer for the trimmings from my print jobs – LOVE the upcycling/re-purposing!