Sugar & Gold

Introducing Vacasa Designhouse

Emily Vaca3 Comments
VACASA | Sugar & Gold Relaunches as VACASA

In 2012, I took the leap to officially start my first company. I had been freelancing on the side of my full-time job for a few years under my own name. But with my side business picking up, I felt like it was finally time to incorporate and make it feel a little more real. More like a business, rather than just a passion.

I went back and forth for weeks, trying to decide how to put that passion into one or two words— a name that I felt encompassed everything I thought my work stood for and what I wanted it to become. Even years prior, I knew one day I wanted to start my own company, a design studio. And one word kept coming to mind when I pictured walking into the front door of that office, filled with all white furniture—Sugar. It was the nickname my father—also a graphic designer—had given me since I can remember. He was the force behind my design talent and my biggest inspiration and connection to the world of design, as well as an extra set of hands for all of my DIY projects even before I had ever heard of Photoshop (which he taught me in 7th grade). So it was only fitting for him to be the reason behind the company name.

So years later when it was time to fill out the incorporation form, I already knew part of what the name would be. But I wanted to make it a little more unique and unexpected. And “gold” came time mind immediately. Not only did friends joke that if I could spray paint everything in my life gold, I would’ve by now. But I loved the analogy of “striking gold.” That ah-ha moment when you feel like you figured it out.

Sugar & Gold was born in September of 2012 with a primary focus on designing and printing wedding letterpressed invitations, as well as creating custom event decor. The blog began a couple years later when planning my own wedding, wanting to document everything I was created for my own special day. And after one of those projects became a pin, so many future brides were reaching out to make it for them, that I started to realize that it made more sense to create one product that could be customized for each bride, instead of only creating custom designs for each bride that contacted me for my design services.

In fact, exactly a year ago today, on May 10th, 2016, on a flight coming home from our vacation in Mexico, I had a flash of what I wanted my company to be. Custom design services will always be a big part of my company, but the thought of developing a product line truly was my ah-ha moment. Everything just clicked. And then, just a few days later, on May 14th, the idea for our first product hit us like lightning... It felt like we struck gold!

And ironically, this was also the first step towards deciding that it was time to change the name of my company. As bittersweet as it is to say goodbye to the name Sugar & Gold (especially the logo I hand-lettered), I felt like the direction of the company had evolved beyond them. And with the goal of creating a product that would hopefully end up on retail shelves one day, I wanted the brand to feel a little less delicate, a little more ownable, and to have some connection to our name and our story.

If you've been following the blog for awhile, you'll recognize it as the name we lovingly gave our first home when we got married and I became Mrs. Vaca. Not only was our home the Vaca Casa, but it became “The Vacasa.” So it only seemed fitting that it become the official name of our designhouse!

For me, the name is also a symbol of where it all began, in our casa… where we spent hours designing and creating brands for amazing clients, hours creating DIYs for our wedding (which also means hours and hours spent sweeping glitter from our hardwood floors), and hours thinking up and designing a product line of home and party goods that would create a joyful home for ourselves and others. Like for so many, we believe home is the heart of everything and we want to celebrate it! Plus, I’m a total sucker for puns so the fact that we could sneak our last name into the word “casa”… done and done. And with a focus on home and party product design, Vacasa made even more sense!

So at the end of the last summer, I incorporated Vacasa Co. and started developing future products while streamlining my design service offerings, which I offered to my first client under the new name in December of 2016.

And now that our first home product—the one that hit us like lightning on May 14th of last year—is almost ready to reveal (!!!!!!!), it is time to officially say goodbye to Sugar & Gold and introduce you all to VACASA! 

Over the next few days, I will be transitioning everything to the Vacasa name, explaining a little more about the design of the logo itself, and updating the website to include an online shop feature—just in time launch our very first product!!