Faculty of Animation, Arts & Design
Year of graduation: 2016
Love is Bruin for arts grads
Tayne and Ashley Wyatt’s journey from Sheridan sweethearts to entrepreneurs
Tayne and Ashely Wyatt’s business is truly a labour of love.
Monarch Design Co. – a branding and design company specializing in weddings – was conceived when the pair realized they could use their artistic skills to make their own wedding extra unique. Now, the business enables them to pursue their passion for design and art, together.
Tayne and Ashley first met on campus at Sheridan in 2014. Today, some six years later, their partnership has grown into the personal and professional. As graduates from arts programs, Tayne (Bachelor of Illustration ’16) and Ashley (Graphic Design ’14) knew they had the skills to personalize their own wedding. When their own nuptials were approaching in 2019, they jumped right in, using the laser cutter they’d first learned to use while at Sheridan to create calligraphy signage, personalized rubber stamps and custom cake toppers.
They quickly realized other couples might be looking for unique, customized items too. They opened an online Etsy shop, selling cake toppers and signs before launching their own website to offer customized, hand-crafted seating charts, wedding signage, wedding stationery and venue illustrations.
The transition to the wedding industry was a natural one for Ashley, who had completed a design internship at WedLuxe – a luxury magazine founded by fellow design alumna Angela Desveaux (’97). “I’ve always had a soft spot for weddings,” Ashley says. “I just really liked how invitations play a role between branding of the couple, and having that creative freedom to create something that can be an heirloom piece.”
These days, Ashley’s moved into the world of entrepreneurship full time. Through Monarch Design Co., the pair design wedding stationery, offer calligraphy for clients (including luxury brand Holt Renfrew), teach local workshops and have provided branding solutions for other entrepreneurs.
The calligraphy came naturally to Ashley. After graduation and working at various design and marketing firms, she landed a job working at her father’s (also a Sheridan alumnus) design firm, AS Advertising and took up calligraphy as a way to relax after work. Now, in addition to offering calligraphy on wedding invites, she runs courses in her local community and teaches in the Graphic Design program at Humber College. Tayne also continues to hold down a full time job, while helping Ashley run the business during his down time. He believes their skill combination offers them a unique perspective.
“A lot of stationery designers don’t understand typography, design or have the illustration skills,” he says
Ashley says having that edge is important in the wedding market, where many vendors compete for a couple’s dollars. Over the years, they’ve been a part of wedding shows, and featured in various wedding publications and websites including WedLuxe and Today’s Bride; their own wedding was featured in Wedding Bells. But in addition to the marketing, she says the best advertising she can get comes from the couples they’ve worked with over the years. And she says the couple’s own relationship helps them stand out in the marketplace.
“I think we have a competitive edge because of our unique backgrounds and our own love story, we can relate to the couples that are going through the wedding planning process,” she says.
Photos courtesy of Megan Burtchard Photography.