The stationery was one of the things I enjoyed picking and creating for my wedding. It was something I gave a lot of thought about. It’s the first impression of your whole day people get and I wanted to get it right. I Do Invites wasn’t around when I got married, but if I ever did it again. I’d definitely send my business her way! See what you think in this weeks Creative Corner interview.
1. Introduce yourself.
Hello, I’m Sally Jones a wedding stationer / freelance designer based in the West Midlands. I live with my husband Ben, and my 3 year old daughter Cora in a little village called Aldridge. The same village I have done all my life (cough*30 years*cough). I’ve been a graphic designer for about 9-10 years working in studios around the Birmingham area. More recently I now work from my office at home.
2. Tell us a bit about I Do Invites.
I Do Invites create beautiful bespoke invitations. It started off as purely wedding based but now more and more I am being approached to create birthday invites, baby shower and hen and stag do invitations, birth announcements, thank you cards etc. Currently everything I create is bespoke, I tried to create customisable wedding suites for brides and grooms to change their details on but it never really took off. Now, my lovely customers come to me for something different and unseen by anyone else (and usually with a bit of a twist!)
3. What made you start I Do Invites?
I Do Invites came about in one of those moments when you least expect it, rewind back 2.5 years and i’m sitting in bed doing a 4am feed of my baby girl (while my husband lay asleep next to me…) and I was thinking about my future plans; I had been asked by friends, and friends of friends to help with some wedding stationery or birthday invitations, of course I had said yes – mainly for a bit of pocket money whilst on maternity leave – but I realised I quite enjoyed doing them! So i began the process of looking into running my own business.
I stumbled across the name I Do Invites by accident, when someone asked me “what do you do, I said “I do invites”, they laughed and told me it was a clever name for a wedding stationery company. No idea what they were talking about, then it clicked… I love a good pun or play on words so I did a quick name search in Google and bought the domain that day.
4. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
I was one of those kids that didn’t want to go to Uni straight from school, so I worked for a while (in a none creative job) and did a spot of travelling until I found I wasn’t fulfilled and needed to do something creative again. I applied to a Foundation Diploma and did a year of trying a bit of everything from sculpture, life drawing, textiles, and graphics to photography, skip forward a year and I stayed on at the college to complete the first 2 years of a Foundation Degree in “Creative Industries”.
Here I met a lecturer who introduced me to the Adobe Creative Suite, and from there I taught myself different techniques for various mediums ie. print / web / branding etc. I completed my degree and turned it into BaHons, to which I completed with a 2:1I Do Invites - #CreativeCorner Interview Click To Tweet
5. Explain your creative process.
It’ll start with an enquiry – usually from a potential bride and groom, or bride and bride or groom and groom – they’ll be looking for a unique suite of stationery to match their big day. On some occasions (depending on their location) I’ll arrange a visit to them where I bring my box of samples and we have a good old chin wag and they tell me the details of their day. (my favourite bit) We’ll discuss various options and i’ll go away and create some concept ideas based on what we had spoke about.
Once the designs have been tweaked and proofed, i’ll send them to print and start the “build phase”; this could be mounting the invites, building up pocket folds, tying ribbon or twine, folding, gluing… You name it, I’ve done it! Finally i’ll either hand-deliver or post out their invites; one of my favourite moments is watching someones face as they open the box and seeing their invites for the first time, or receiving lovely feedback.
6. Describe your typical day.
A typical day for me starts with getting myself and my daughter ready and dropping her down off at childcare, i’ll come home and head straight upstairs to the office with a cup of coffee to answer any emails that came in the evening or day before. I’ll write a to do list of jobs for the day so depending if i’m designing or building or both this is where my routine changes. One day I could be sat at my Mac designing, creating welcome packs for newbies or invoicing, and another day I could be sat at my crafting table surrounded by cut offs of ribbon or twine, or getting a buzz from copious amounts of super glue…
7. What’s your biggest seller?
As everything I do is all bespoke I never have one particular “best seller”, however the biggest trend that I get asked to create for at the moment is the “rustic wedding”; I have created more rustic wedding suites than anything else, but strangely, each one has been slightly different! Some people like the kraft cards, tied with twine, some like the full on floral designs wrapped in delicate lace, some like foiled invites and others prefer the really simple but beautiful typography invites. each suite has it’s own personality and has matched the feel of each couple’s day.
8. What have been the high and low points of running I Do Invites?
Let’s start with low points; up until recently I was running I Do alongside having a full time job and trying to juggle bringing up 3 year old (a threenager I call her); although the high point of all this time I was putting in was that I Do was gradually building a bigger following on social media as more people were recommending me to their friends, but it also made for long days and the majority of nights and weekends being taken up with my head buried into my laptop or my office door closed from my family.
The biggest high point of all this being that my hard work for the last two years has meant that I no longer need my other job and I can spend my days working on just I Do Invites and then have time over evening and weekends to spend with my family! Hard work really does pay off and it was worth all the wo-man hours!
9. What would be your top tips for running your own creative business?
My top tips would be…
1. If you really want your business to work then put the time and effort in to make it work. You can’t expect your customers or clients to just find you. So spend your time “getting seen”. Create a strong consistent brand that you can push across multiple platforms and put yourself out there for people to see!
2. don’t worry about your “competition”; there’s always going to be someone else somewhere probably doing something similar to you, but remember that you are just as good as anyone else so don’t let that knock you down.
3. Talk to other creatives; join Facebook groups or forums of other creatives like you, other people running their own creative businesses have plenty of great advice and are normally willing to share their knowledge with new business. We’re all in this together!
4. Write lists; this is the best advice I can give you. I make a to-do list every day, even if it’s to remind me to email somebody back, or pick up something from the shops. There’s nothing more satisfying than looking down at your list and seeing things being ticked off. But don’t worry if you didn’t get round to doing everything that day (it’s all about balance). Just add it to the top of tomorrow’s list.
5. My last tip is to remember to be creative; 90% of my work is designing to a brief set by my clients, although this is great for me as I can take this brief and put my own spin on it sometimes a client will know exactly what they want, offer them an alternative to their idea. You never know, they might prefer your design over what they have in their head!
10. What are your aspirations for I do Invites?
So I have a plan..! I’ve contacted a local lifestyle photographer who is going to be shooting my best suites to update the website with. The last two years I have taken my own photos and they have worked great for me, but I feel now that although I love my suites I could showcase them so much better, and so i’m putting my trust in a professional. I’m also going to be applying to some wedding awards this year; the big one “The Wedding Industry Awards” and some local and UK based awards. Fingers crossed I’m a finalist or even win!
11. Where can we find you?
You can visit the website at www.idoinvites.co.uk
You can give the I Do Invites page a like on Facebook at www.facebook.com/idoinvit3s
The Instagram page is www.instagram.com/idoinvit3s/
The Etsy shop (currently only showcasing customisable stationery) will SOON be opening up with a brand new range of “Will you be my… Bridesmaid/Maid of Honour/Flower Girl/Page Boy/Best Man/Groomsmen” cards. Alongside lot’s of other wedding stationery suites, printable planners, large-scale wedding wall planners and none-wedding-y stationery like Baby Announcements/Baby Shower Invites/Birthday Invites/Milestone Cards and so much more! (all to come before Summer 2018) www.etsy.com/uk/shop/IDoInvitesbySally
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