In 2013, I walked NSS for the first time. I felt like a very lost kid in a candy store. I was so happy when I stumbled upon the kind Mattie Tiegreen of Puddle Duck Paper Co.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS : I think my favorite thing is that it’s all mine. I hear a lot of people say they love (or wish they had) the “freedom” that comes with being your own boss. I think that’s some crazy myth. There is no freedom in running a business – if anything, it’s more stressful and, with so much invested, terrifying. But, I love that it’s mine. When there is a problem, I put my head down and figure out a solution. When there is a victory, I feel accomplished. Little milestones are meaningful successes. I’ll take ownership over freedom any day.
FAVORITE CANDY/TREAT : Ice Cream Sandwiches. And Nutella. And Girl Scout Cookies. Not all together, but that might be yummy, too.
WHAT’S A RECENT FAVORITE FIND : I just discovered Slingshot Coffee. Oh, my!
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN STATIONERY/DESIGN – AND HOW DO YOU BALANCE OFFERING BOTH PRINT AND WEB :
I started out in my college dorm room making cards for friends and family. My original designs were very – um – scrapbook-y. Yikes! From there, I began creating my own designs and patterns and then launched a line of greetings, then a line of wedding paper as well as other paper gifts.
Last year, I began offering branding and web development services in addition to paper goods. I fell in love with the challenge of bringing someone else’s business ideas to life while staying true to my own design style. I seriously get giddy when speaking to a new client.
Over the past few months, I’ve drastically increased my branding and web clients and decreased my wedding orders. I am about to launch a new collection of wedding paper and will gear that side of the business toward the modern bride with clean, simple taste. I think being honest with myself about my style and how I want to convey it through my products has narrowed down my offerings, but I love that. I’d rather design for a select few brides whose taste I am a perfect match for than dozens over the course of the year that I’m not as passionate about.
ANY ADVICE FOR FELLOW ENTREPRENEURS : Be yourself! I feel like every creative block and struggle I’ve encountered comes back to being true to my style. I’m realistic about the fact that I didn’t pioneer the greeting card or creative business logo. But, no one can do what I do – exactly how I do it – if I’m being myself.