Fresh Website Design: Emerald Sky

Owned and operated by three sisters in Texas, Emerald Sky creates adorable t-shirts and apparel, but was being operated on a third-party retail site. As the business grew, the sisters realized they really needed an easier-to-use platform for keeping track of inventory, and a more automated ordering system for their customers, complete with a seamless and secure payment system. We also thought they should have their own logo showing prominently and most importantly, the site should be hosted at their own domain for branding purposes (how can you build a customer base if your customers aren’t really dealing with your brand, but with your storefront on a big e-commerce platform instead)?

The solution: First, we secured Emerald Sky’s domain, www.shopemeraldsky.com and then we designed a custom e-commerce site, hosted by Squarespace. The shop is organized by category (womens, kids, or mens apparel, or non-apparel accessories), and within each product design, there are various colors and sizes and various quantities available of each size/color at any given time. This way, the owners can enter in a product color and size set when they do a printing run of a design, and the shop will stay automatically updated as products continue to sell. Another great tool they’re enjoying is setting up their order reply emails so the site automatically sends order confirmations to customers and then they just have to check in and click a button once the order is fulfilled and the customer is notified their order is on the way. The Emerald Sky owners can even create discount codes in a matter of seconds to run a promotion.

As another of our web design clients recently said, "You can limp along on your own or get a first-class product that will take you to the next level with Green Apple Lane." See the full review here

We know the ladies at Emerald Sky are loving their new website and we couldn't be happier with how it turned out!

Why we recommend Squarespace:

There are very few small businesses that truly require a site built from the ground up, which can cost up to and even more than $10,000. For everyone else, a designer is usually hired to build a site using a platform like Wordpress or Squarespace and customizes the features from a template. These are the two platforms we use the most because they enable the small business owner to handle their own site updates, photos, and blogs easily (which is a constant process for a small business), unless the owners would like to delegate those tasks to us as well, in which case we’re happy to make updates. For an e-commerce site, it doesn’t get more simple than Squarespace, which uses Stripe as its payment processor – seamless for you, and for your customers. Green Apple Lane is a recognized Squarespace Circle Member and developer, meaning we’ve built tons of sites on this interface and we know the ins and outs as well as anyone. Sure, it’s a user-friendly interface, but A) if you don’t know all that it’s capable of doing, you might not know what to look for, and B) what might take you 20+ hours of time to figure out, might take us a fraction of that time, and as a fellow small business owner, I know you're all about delegation!

Whether you are just starting out with a new business or you're a maker who's ready to skip the big commerce platforms and truly call the shots in your own online shop, we would love to build your new website – reach out here and let us know how we can be of service!

Inspired Women

Organized by the Women's Alliance of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, the Inspired Women Luncheon is the largest and most lovely event of its kind in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We are excitedly gearing up for the biggest and best event yet, and we're ecstatic to serve as the graphic design sponsor for the third year in a row! 

This luncheon is so much fun and sells out early every year, so the committee moved it to a venue large enough to handle all of the fabulous inspired women who wish to attend. Also new this year is our esteemed speaker, Carrie Wilkerson ("The Barefoot Executive") – watch a few of her social media feeds or short videos and you'll be hooked on her sweet personality and savvy business sense, too. The sixth-annual Inspired Women Luncheon will take place Friday, November 4, 2016 at the Arlington Convention Center – can't wait to see you there!

The Story Behind Our Business Name

The quick story of how Green Apple Lane came to be is this: After studying journalism at UT Austin and working in the magazine industry for several years Laura Heymann began designing invitations and logos for friends on a freelance basis as Art by Ellie in 2009. Once the workload increased, she left her day-job as an Art Director, making Art by Ellie a full-time operation in 2010. After several years of steady growth, in Spring 2016, all business design and marketing services were moved under the umbrella of Green Apple Lane, with Art by Ellie continuing to exclusively offer wedding-based design services.

Many people love our name and ask about what it means or how we came up with it, so here's the very true story...

THE ORIGIN OF GREEN APPLE LANE

Green Apple Lane is a real street in East Arlington where my grandparents lived when I was little girl. Their house is where I climbed trees, picked vegetables in the backyard garden, helped bake Christmas cookies, and counted stars from a huge nearby field to the echo of cicadas. There, I played softball with my cousins, swung on the screechy wire fence that was draped waist-high along the edge of their yard, and in their living room, I played the angel every year in a live nativity scene, with a gold garland halo and white satin wings. There in my Papaw’s garage, I swept up sawdust, played with tools, hammering and c-clamping lumber of all shapes and sizes, and “painted” the floor using a crappy paintbrush and a metal Sanka coffee can halfway full of water. 

My Nanny and Papaw were a sweet couple who fell in love writing letters back and forth during World War II. Each day after breakfast and cup after cup of coffee, they would read scripture together at the kitchen table. Most days you could find them stealing an afternoon nap in their recliners, separated only by a small side table with various remotes and a TV guide. Papaw could build anything you dreamed up, and when I begged my dad for a specific dollhouse, he passed the specs to Papaw for “research and development,” and then Pap built it ten times better than the store-bought version.

Nanny and Papaw never pressured us grandkids to become one thing or another, or to do things a certain way. They never chided us to call or come by more often or to quiet down. Even now, I can’t remember one raised voice in their house, ever. Nanny was always happy to see or hear from me, whether it had been 5 hours or 5 months, and I sincerely believe the only thing she ever wanted for us kiddos was for us to be happy. They have been gone for years now, but I have no shortage of amazing memories from Nanny and Papaw’s house on Green Apple Lane, where creativity abounded, and ingenuity flowed as freely as the never-ending coffee.

Fresh Graphic Design, a La Carte

You’re here because you love our fresh designs. Maybe you’re thinking that you might want a new logo design soon, an updated website, or maybe you’re ready to launch your new business for the first time. Branding/rebranding your business or redesigning your website requires some investment and is usually an important decision you don’t come to swiftly or lightly. When you decide you’re ready to take the leap, we will be here and would love to help you develop your business, but in the meantime, we wanted you to know you can still work with us to help grow your brand right where you are now, with what you already have. 

Green Apple Lane can design social media graphics and campaigns to help expand your online presence.

Green Apple Lane can design social media graphics and campaigns to help expand your online presence.

Beyond fresh logo design and websites, we love designing graphics for social media (just a handful or a whole campaign); creative print collateral like brochures, stationery, flyers, media kits, rack cards, etc.; business cards; and even ads for print publications or blog sites.

How our a la carte design services work: contact us here about the projects you have in mind, and we can email you our price sheet and let you know an estimate of the design time the project(s) will take us. We charge an hourly rate for design time, with just a 2-hour minimum retainer to get started, and once you’re booked, we’ll keep you updated on our remaining time as we begin emailing you proofs! Super quick and convenient so you can start making small steps right away, and launch a fresh new look once you’re ready. Let us know what’s on your mind and how we can help!

Fresh New Logo Designs


Amber Louthan Photography approached us to rebrand her business after she outgrew her original personal photography brand from long ago. She wanted to stick with muted ocean tones and was open to seeing some watercolor brush lettered options as well. We are so in love with the final product – a gorgeous, simple, clean design that will also double as a great borderless watermark on her stunning photos!



We also recently completed a logo for Classic Stainless, Inc., a custom metal fabricator in Dallas. Their specialty is kitchens, but they also create custom counter tops, grills, and cabinets. They have been doing gorgeous commercial and residential work for years, but never developed a professional look for their brand. For the logo, we obviously wanted the letters to look like steel and the business owners were also open to a bit of a 3-D effect. We opted to keep the full business name in clean, masculine type, and finished things off with metallic screw head graphics in the corners. What a perfect representation of the business and what they do best!

Custom Business Cards

Along with your logo, your business card is a direct reflection of your business, and usually someone’s first impression of your company. Potential clients will be handed several (read: too many) cards at events and trade shows, making it important that yours stand out – a unique card with a clean design can make all the difference.

Keep your card's layout simple, with legible contact information available at first glance, but don't be afraid to show off your creativity with color and design. Vertical, square, and even circular cards always stand out, or we can also create letterpress, foil stamped, or painted-edge business cards as well. Ultimately, Green Apple Lane is all about your brand as a whole, and one of the best things you can do for your small business to take it to the next level is to invest in your business cards. 

Clean and simple, these cards contain all the information a client could need, and showcase both sides of the card which serves to keep things uncluttered for maximum impact. Let us know how we can be of service!

Blush and slate grey square business cards on textured ivory cotton stock, for The Novel Planner.

Blush and slate grey square business cards on textured ivory cotton stock, for The Novel Planner.

Royal plum business cards on textured ivory linen stock, for Shaila Patel, author.

Royal plum business cards on textured ivory linen stock, for Shaila Patel, author.

Gold foil on ivory and silver foil on white square business cards for Doulas of Capitol Hill.

Gold foil on ivory and silver foil on white square business cards for Doulas of Capitol Hill.

Full-color wood-grain-print business cards for Farm to Fork Foods.

Full-color wood-grain-print business cards for Farm to Fork Foods.

Full-color square business cards for Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery.

Full-color square business cards for Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery.

Client Spotlight: Marcoot Jersey Creamery

When we were approached to design a new website for Marcoot Jersey Creamery, we jumped at the opportunity. What could be more fresh than a family-owned dairy farm in Illinois, America's Heartland? Amazingly, we had the opportunity to try nearly every product Marcoot offers in their online store and their quality, craftsmanship, and pride in what they do is evident in every crumble of deliciousness they produce. The relationship turned out to be a great fit for all of us!

Their previous site was pretty basic. It was... "fine." It had a lot of text confined to just a handful of pages, which scrolled on for quite a while. It served a purpose - a home for the farm on the web, and provided lots of info. But the seventh generation of the Marcoot family was ready to take their family farm to the next level design-wise AND wanted to be able to sell their farmstead cheeses online (e-commerce was something beyond the scope of what their original site could handle, to say the least). And finally, they really wanted a site that was user-friendly enough that they could take over themselves and make updates of new products, events, blog posts, etc. and not feel they had to continue paying someone to make those updates forever (I got the feeling they had been burned in the past). Enter Green Apple Lane!

Luckily, they had some really gorgeous photos of their farm and their products, mostly taken by Izehi Photography, so we wanted to make those stunning images the focal point of the product line. The Marcoot sisters (Amy & Beth) also wanted the site to give off a chalkboard look and feel, much like the full wall chalkboard featured in the farm's country store. The last, and perhaps most important, feature was the organization of the vast 30+ page site. Everything needed to function seamlessly, of course – we kept the navigation and the page layouts simple and clean, and let the cheese do the talking.

In addition to the website design, we were able to assist the Marcoots with transferring old and securing new domain names and hosting, simplifying their previous situation dramatically; assist with setting up new email accounts associated with the new domains using Google apps; we provided hand-chalkboard-lettering on the homepage images to fit with the overall theme of the website; and finally, we designed a fresh and clean brochure to coordinate with their new look.

In the 13 months their new website has been live, they have shipped online orders to 25 states including one Canadian province as well - talk about expanding your customer base! We couldn't be more proud of our work with Marcoot Jersey Creamery and hope to continue to count them as clients (and now, friends) for years to come.

Open, for Business

We are beyond thrilled to announce the launch of Green Apple Lane, a new graphic design firm rooted in fresh logo design, hand-lettering, creative print collateral, and web design. For a complete list of the MANY products and services we offer, please see our Services page. 

We would love to serve your business' design and printing needs, whether you're a "solopreneur" just starting out in your own venture, or a seasoned pro ready to freshen up your company's look. We bring our designer’s eye and over 10 years of marketing expertise and education to the table on every project so you can keep doing what it is you do best, and let us help take your business to the next level. Let us know how we can best be of service!