Meet Kelsey from Sweet Thangs - A Custom Wedding and Design Studio

Meet Kelsey from Sweet Thangs - A Custom Wedding and Design Studio

Meet Kelsey from Sweet Thangs - A Custom Wedding and Design Studio. Mobile Image

Feb 19, 2021

Meet Kelsey Shonkwiler – Founder and Creative Director of Sweet Thangs Designs



How did you come up with your business name?


I wanted a name that had meaning - that way it didn’t only brand my business, but also tell the story behind it. I spent a good month brainstorming for about an hour a day. One night I decided to take a break from brainstorming, to scroll social media, and realized my phone went missing (cue panic attack). I grabbed Andrew’s (my husband) phone and typed in my number. The name Sweet Thang appeared on his screen and that’s when I knew.


Andrew has been calling me Sweet Thang for as long as I can remember (he’s a movie quoter), and I realized right then the name couldn’t fit my business more perfectly.


Sweet Thangs was perfect because it has two important meanings behind the name. First, It represents my life and the person who fully supports my dreams. Second, it represents what this business is all about; the sweet thangs in life (love, celebrations, and home)


Tell us what you do? What products or services do you offer?


Sweet Thangs Design is a custom stationery and design studio split into three different categories; Custom Wedding, Custom Home Décor & Gifts, and Branding & Graphic Design. You can find a full list of services on our website, but if you don’t find what you’re looking for please email me! I’d love to help bring your vision to life!

1. Custom Wedding: Invitation Suites, Place Cards, Tags, Labels, Menus, Ceremony Programs, Signage, Vow Booklets, bachelor/bachelorette gifts, resin decor with dried wedding flowers, etc.


2. Custom Home Décor & Gifts: Let your heart run wild with this one!

3. Branding and Graphic Design: Branding Elements (logos, business cards, style guides, package design, etc.) and Print/Promotional Items (posters, flyers, brochures, etc.)



Tell us what inspired you to start your business, your why.


Choosing one creative path was always a battle for me. At first, I wanted to be a Designer and Strategist, but a hybrid role didn’t entirely exist in the corporate world. I found myself forced to choose between the two, but I didn’t want to give up either. So, I chose to leave the corporate world and start freelancing. Freelancing gave me the option to design without boundaries and to work on anything thrown my way.


After two years of freelancing, I knew the entrepreneurial lifestyle was for me. I love being able to create anything and everything without someone telling me I can’t. I enjoy having autonomy over my schedule, working from wherever, and challenging myself each day with new projects. Starting a business is hard work and sometimes terrifying, but I’m doing what I love. So, the short answer? I followed my heart and didn’t let anyone stop me.



What makes you unique?


I believe it’s the connection I have with my clients. I wasn’t a bride too long ago, so I know the stress and how much everything can cost. I will spend as much time as we need to make their vision come to life. Whether that’s coming up with new ideas to fit in their price range or offering free upgraded items. Oh, and things like COVID-19 do happen! I worked with all my brides to make sure they didn’t lose any money from me. I think it’s super important to take a step back and understand that, yes, this is a business and I need to make money, but my clients come first.




What are your price ranges?


Pricing depends on so many things. For a custom wedding suite (invite, envelope, rsvp, detail card and printed addresses), our clients spend, on average, $1,600.00 for 150. If you have a budget, just let me know and I will work with you on options to stay in budget!

What one thing that happens to brides that makes you cringe?


Oh gosh, just all bridezillas. Yes, this day is about you, but it’s not only about you. Your wedding day is special to so many more people; your fiancé, parents, siblings, best friends, grandparents. It’s important to listen to their concerns, keep them involved (if they want to be), and to be thankful for all the time and money they have spent for YOU. If you struggle with this, just remember the importance of the day for you and your fiancé, why you chose those lovely humans to stand next to you, and that nobody will care about the color of the carpet.

How do you want your clients to remember you?


As someone they loved to work with. Having clients come back to me for multiple projects (I don’t only do weddings) is the absolute best compliment!



Best piece of wedding advice?


Take time to let it all sink in! Before your wedding, celebrate all the little accomplishments with a glass of your favorite beverage. On the day of your wedding, sit and eat for at least 15 minutes. This will give you a moment to talk with your hubby or wife, enjoy the food, and to look at everything and everyone around you. It’s the one day that all your favorite people are in the same room and it’s the best feeling.

What else do we need to know?


I have a new side of business coming out in the fall of 2021 and I can’t wait to share it!

You can reach Kelsey via email at

See more of her beautiful designs at Sweet Thangs Website and follow her on Instagram at @sweetthangs_designs

Featured in the Celebration Society
The Knot Best Of Weddings 2023
Best Of Naperville 2019
Best of Naperville Award 2021
Couple's Choice Awards 2020
Best of the best award
Best of the best award
Chicago Style Weddings 2023