When you grow up in the south, monograms abound. As Reese Witherspoon likes to say: “If it’s not moving, monogram it!” We’re big believers in this edict. But when it comes to choosing which style to go with, that’s a tough one. We typically opt for a classic three initial script. That said, you won’t hear us say no to a bold block letter look. One of our latest purchases, a cute boat and tote, dons initials flanked by two blue and white ginger gars (because #blueandwhitealways). So maybe you’re not the type to go plastering your personal acronym on everything you own. And, we get it. After all the art of monogramming can be a bit tricky. For those perplexed as to how to best approach, see our rules one needs to consider when monogramming post-marriage (we answer the tough questions like whose initial comes first). Fingers crossed once you’re well-versed, you’ll be a convert.
And once you are, we take things a bit further below, exploring what your choice of monogram really says about you. To tackle this topic, we sat down with Katherine Trinler of Saddle Stitches (the company where we found that cute chinoiserie-inspired boat and tote mentioned above), who specializes in everything from personalized wedding decor pieces (linen cocktail napkins, table runners, etc.) to baby gifts (sweet smocked dresses and bibs). Here, she outlines what your monogram of choice communicates about your personality. Read this before you make your next purchase.
One of our favorite sayings is “if it doesn’t move, monogram it.” What was your first memory of a monogram?
I love that Reese saying! Words to live by. My grandmother taught me how to sew and we often added our names on cross stitched pillowcases when I was a little girl. Everything was monogrammed—our dresses, sheets, silver, stationery.
When and why did you start your business?
I started Saddle Stitches about 3 years ago at our kitchen table in Kentucky. It began as a hobby and a business was not in the original plans. Claudia Engle created a custom monogram for our wedding that we used on our invitations. After the big day, I wanted to add it to everything—bedding, towels, napkins, pillows. If it wasn’t moving, I was monogramming it! I bought my first machine and through trial and error monogrammed everything in our house. It slowly grew and grew into a business by word of mouth. I love working with friends and meeting people through the business on all sorts of projects from new babies to new bedding. It doesn’t feel like “work” to me, even though I sometimes find myself staying up all hours of the night.
Is there anything you think shouldn’t be monogrammed?
I’m sure there is but . . .
Gotcha . . . you don’t want to limit anyone’s creativity. What would you say is the funniest or most unconventional thing you’ve been asked to monogram?
Women’s underwear . . . (FYI, I didn’t take the job!)
Do you believe in married monograms, where you do one spouse’s first initial, then the other spouse’s first initial and the first initial of their shared last name in the middle?
I do believe in the married monogram. I always tell customers that you should choose what you love—your monogram, his monogram, her monogram, our monogram. It is something that represents you and you should feel fine mixing monograms on your bedding, stationery, barware, etc.
Monograms have a personality much like the people that use them. Based on the below monograms you offer on your site, what can you tell us about the person who uses them:
1. The Pagoda Monogram
I love Asian influences—lots of blue and white ginger jars. I’m currently obsessed with Mark D. Sikes’ book Beautiful. I could see this monogram in there—traditional but not stiff.
2. The Lauren Lexington Combo Monogram
This font looks beautiful in two-tone colors and is great for someone who is redecorating their bedroom. You don’t have to limit yourself to just one color with it, plus, it doesn’t look too busy. The design is also a great way to tie in multiple colors from wallpaper or fabric.
3. The Bellefaire Monogram
Definitely great for a new mom—I love this font for a little girl. It is beautiful on baby blankets, bloomers, sun hats, etc.
4. The Antique B Monogram in Ginger Jar
I love this look—it’s perfect for someone who wants a personal touch without a three letter monogram. A great option if you’re struggling with whether or not to use a married monogram or not—instead use both of your first names or your shared last initial in this manner.
5. The Maxwell Monogram
This modern style is fun and playful! I love how it looks on linen cocktail napkins. It’s the perfect addition to any summer soirée whether your table setting is formal or informal. I particularly like how this style looks with a mixed-thread pattern, shown here in blue and white—it adds a pop of unexpected whimsy to the party.
6. The Claudia Angle Custom Monogram
It is always a delight to create custom monograms because I get to work with my longtime business partner and friend, Claudia Engle of Claudia Engle Designs. Her monogram designs are the reason I started Saddle Stitches! Claudia has a vision unlike any other, she creates the custom design and I embroider. Newlyweds love doing a “custom monogram.” It’s for the person who loves a look that’s unique and original to them, and the best option for someone who plans on using their monogram on linens, glass, silver, stationery, and beyond.
7. The Newport & Bellefaire Mixed Monogram
The Newport & Bellefaire mixed monogram is the most popular style in the shop, partly because it’s so versatile. It’s for the traditionalist who wants something classic but with a little bit of flair, and the look is perfect for everything from the master bedroom to the nursery. It even works at a formal dinner party. Regardless of age or decor, it seems to blend seamlessly. Here is it shown on napkins in a neutral soft gray for a more formal aesthetic, but it really pops in bright blue and navy.