Why Love is Key for a Successful Business
After experiencing a harsh winter throughout much of the U.S., spring is finally on its way. The warmer weather and brighter spirits are an indication that wedding season is almost upon us. Calendars are filling up with weddings and bridal showers, and shopping lists are filling up with wedding registry items. This is an exciting time of year for many of us and especially for those who are in the wedding industry, like Andra Christianson, owner of Andra Delores Design, a wedding stationery business.
With a degree in graphic design and a love for all things wedding-related, Andra opened her own business right after graduation. Every day she gets to do exactly what she loves, while also giving her customers services and products they love. Because this is wedding season and the season of love, it’s a great time to take a deeper look into loving your work and your customers. How can you have a successful business by spending time doing what you love to do and giving your customers products and services they love? Let’s take a look at how Andra Delores Designs does this on a daily basis.
Attend Conferences, Tradeshows, Industry Fairs
Andra Delores Designs is based in Eau Claire, WI, so Andra has the opportunity to attend many local bridal fairs. This is a great opportunity to book initial consultations with couples. She’s able to get her foot in the door and explain what she does. Many couples end up booking with her after the initial consultation. Take advantage of events near you where you can get new ideas, meet potential customers, and get your name out there.
Create an Environment of Inspiration and Creativity
You should always be on the lookout for new ideas and opportunities. Andra finds inspiration for her stationery designs by looking at photographs, antiques, and interior design. She also loves to travel and work from new locations to get a fresh perspective. Do what you have to do to get creative. It’s easy to fall into routine and forget about the importance of having new and fresh ideas. Surround yourself with images, quotes, and music that inspire you. Read industry blogs and forums for new ideas. Occasionally get out of your typical office workspace, and work at local coffee shops or an outdoor park.
Also, make sure you’re specifically meeting your customers’ needs. As businesses, it’s tempting to do things for our own reasons and involuntarily forget about what our customers want. One way Andra has overcome this is by sitting down with each couple and talking about what they like and don’t like for their wedding. She then puts together a shared Pinterest board where they both have the opportunity to share visual inspiration. I think this is a great way to collaborate and share ideas. It’s only after this joint inspiration process that Andra begins to sketch her designs.
One of the reasons Andra has experienced so much success is because she has fun with what she does. She loves weddings and being a part of two people committing their lives to each other. She’s a huge fan of classic “wedding movies” like Runaway Bride, Father of the Bride, and The Proposal. She is passionate about what she does and the part she plays in the most important day of these couples’ lives.
Remember to love what you do! If you’re feeling burnt out or tired, return to the honeymoon stage of your small business. Remind yourself why you opened your business, and have fun with it. Start attending more industry fairs, create an environment that fosters inspiration and creativity, and have fun!