Whitney Berkowsky - Otto & Berk
Whitney Berkowsky is a graphic designer and the owner and designer behind Otto & Berk, a lifestyle stationary brand for the modern woman. Through her beautiful cards and collections, Whitney is putting a refreshing spin on the greeting cards and stationery you give to your friends and family. She specializes in bold typography and beautiful florals, with a touch of wittiness and fun.
Whitney’s background is in fashion merchandising. Her love for design, combined with her obsession with paper, led her to starting Otto & Berk. Whitney’s cards are beautiful, her designs are delicate and inviting, and her color palette is warm and feminine. From birthdays to weddings, Whitney has cards to help you celebrate every occasion.
After becoming a mother to a fun-loving, and energetic (almost) 2-year old, Whitney decided to turn her passion for bringing joy to others through her designs into a full-time business. (How cool is that?!) She created her company to help instill memories through paper, and today she loves being able to bring joy to others through her greeting cards and stationary. Whitney’s hope is that her work puts a smile on your face and some warmth in your heart.
I’m so excited for you all to learn more about Whitney and to check out her designs! It’s so wonderful to see how she’s turned her passions and creativity into a business she loves.
In honor of Mother’s Day, Whitney and I have teamed up to give one lucky winner a set of beautiful Mother’s Day cards and a $10 gift card to her shop! Head on over to Instagram on Friday May 3rd to check it out and enter!
I'd love it if you'd introduce yourself, what you do, and what you're working on.
My name is Whitney Berkowsky and I am the owner & designer behind Otto & Berk, a lifestyle stationery and greeting card brand based out of New Jersey. At the moment, I'm currently looking at my business model to see what I can do to bring more joy into my day to day work, which includes launching a new Bold & Beautiful Birthday Card collection.
How did you get started?
My background is actually in Fashion Merchandising. I attended Mercyhurst University & The Fashion Institute of Technology which led me to New York City. Turns out I was pretty good at sales and ended up as Account Executive for a premium denim company a few years later. I learned a lot about business, account management, and product development, but I was missing my creative outlet. In 2013, I got engaged and enjoyed planning every little detail of our wedding. I designed our wedding invitations and found this beautiful paper store in Chelsea that I always found an excuse to visit. After getting married, I decided to start an Etsy shop designing wedding invitations. I have zero background in graphic design but I absolutely loved the creative freedom graphic design gave me. After a few years of doing weddings, I decided to dabble in greeting cards in December of 2017. Fast forward to January 2019, and greeting cards/stationery are officially 100% of my business.
What inspired the work that you're doing?
Honestly, It's always changing. When I first started out I designed wedding and baby cards, because thats where my friends are in life. I've also found a lot of joy in designing cards for specific non-profits to raise money. Last year, I donated over $500 to RAICES, the Celiac Disease Foundation and The Pink Agenda.
What is your biggest passion? Do you feel like you're living your passion and purpose?
It's funny you ask because that is exactly what I'm evaluating at the moment. I'm a very creative person and I absolutely love working for myself. But I've also always been a person to prefer structure, whether it be while I was in school or my 9-5 career. I'm beginning to accept that my purpose in life right now is to raise my 2 year old son and so I'm trying to figure out where my passions fit into that going forward.
What is your joy blueprint? What lights you up, brings you joy, and makes you feel the most alive?
I love helping others and putting a smile on others' faces. That was what I loved about wedding invitations initially and why I switched to greeting cards. I wanted to create a larger reach of happiness!
How do you live intentionally? Are there tools/resources/practices that you rely on to help you stay mindful and grounded?
I recently started waking up before my son so that I can have some time each morning to sip my coffee and begin my day with intention. I've also been speaking with a therapist to help me dissect my life as a mom and as a business woman. I've learned so much about myself! I'm much more mindful of the energy I put out into the world and who I give my energy to. My husband also keeps me grounded. I'm a big dreamer and he brings be back to earth.
What would your younger self think about what you're doing now?
My younger self would be incredibly surprised honestly. I had really big dreams for myself in the fashion industry. I also never had a dream to have my own business and to be my own boss. But I'm the happiest I've ever been in my career, even though being an entrepreneur has proven to be the incredibly difficult.
Do you have a go-to mantra or affirmation?
It's always changing as I try to evolve with what is going on in my life. Right now it's "I am strong. I am grateful. I am bold. I am beautiful."
What is your biggest dream?
My biggest dream is to make my son proud. Right now I'm not sure what that looks like. But whatever it is, it will allow us to travel the world as a family.
Joy Corner is a new interview-style blog series brought to you by Seek The Joy Podcast. Our mission continues to be a desire to share your stories, truths, joys and inspiration in your words. We invite you to join our corner, and share your joys, passions, and moments of inspiration as we continue to seek the joy, together. Join this series here