Small Business Spotlight of the Week: Invitation Consultants Amanda | April 25th, 2012
The Bridal Association of America reports that the average cost for a wedding’s invitations and reply cards is $659. (If you have a few extra minutes, check out that link to wedding stats. It’s pretty fascinating.) Stationery is a very expensive venture, for both individuals and businesses alike.
Invitation Consultants provide classy, customizable invitations at an affordable price. What Vista Print is to business cards is what Invitation Consultants is to your invitation needs. This includes anything from weddings to corporate events. They also provide users with suggestions for how to word your invitations and proper etiquette when mailing or sending them out.
Each year, Invitation Consultants crowdsources one of their designs using crowdSPRING.
CEO Allison De Meulder discusses the business of invitations below:
How would you explain what you do to somebody’s grandmother?
Our company designs invitations, stationery and gifts for all event types. Customers use our website to personalize each item to suit their occasion.
What are some industry specific challenges you faced?
When we first started having vendors let us sell their product because they did not know who we were. When we said in 1999 that we were internet-based they thought we were a sub-par company. Now when you say internet company, people take you seriously.
What was your biggest learning curve/experience?
Learning to do the production angle, best practices, be efficient, not waste and economies of scale when implementing new technologies and equipment.
What made you use crowdSPRING?
We decided to use crowdSPRING to bring fresh ideas into our invitation line. Each year, we host an invitation design contest where winners are selected to have their designs sold on our site. We knew that crowdSPRING would help us reach talented designers who could bring new perspective and inspiration to our product line.
What’s the craziest story you have from starting your own business?
Crazy is defined differently by each person. I am typically a conservative person, but I walked into Best Buy spent $1000 on my first laptop and started a business and never looked back. No money, school loans, credit card debt and minimal life and work experience at 23. I define crazy as a risk and this was risky.
Six words of advice to those looking to start their own company.
Generosity. Perseverance. Honesty. Creativity. Efficiency. Leadership
How do you see your company growing in the future?
We want to be more involved in the production and manufacturing of our products. Not only is this option more economical, it is also important for us to be involved in every step of the process.
If you could go back, would you do anything differently? If so, what and why?
No, I don’t ever believe in regrets. That’s the truth. Everything I did – I had a purpose at the time. If you question anything too much or regret what you have done, you are creating road blocks.
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