One of the things we love best about the work we do is getting to know our wedding professionals. We love to hear about how they got started, why they do what they do, and how they’ve reached their goals and successes. In our newest blog series “Your Stories” we’re going to share some of those stories with all of you.
Odd Lot Paperie
Tell us why you started your business. What motivated you to become a wedding industry professional?
I was working at EA Sports as a video game designer in Chicago. I LOVED what I did professionally, it was super creative and fun working on video games and advertising materials for them. Although creative and fun, by the time the end of the game was done the art I created 6 months ago changed so much and was art directed so much it wasn’t mine anymore, I barely recognized it. I started designing at home, illustrations of pets, tattoos, anything offbeat and fun and what I wanted to design. And then I started a website and started offering my designs to the public, people caught on and my initial vision started! Over the course of about a year I got contacted by more and more brides, mainly wanting offbeat or non-traditional wedding invitations. I have a certain illustration style that appeals to offbeat individuals while being classy and eye catching. Before I knew it I was in love with creating these artworks for couples getting married and my slogan was born: Be Unique ~ Be you! I loved that I could offer couples something different for their weddings, something they LOVED and not just settled with, and something we all could get excited about. Out of this came Odd Lot Paperie, and yes the name says it all!
What marketing strategies have been the most successful for your business?
I love connecting with my audience at live events, but when I can’t do local shows I’ll pop a video online of a wedding tip, say hi, or talk about my services. I like people to connect with me and get to know the lady behind Odd Lot. I also do Instagram which I am really coming to love and I use Facebook as well.
What systems have you set up in your business to aid your success?
I make a plan each day of 10 action items. I MUST get the top 5 done and anything after is icing on the cake. I schedule out my day to include time for MY business. This includes new designs, website upkeep and social media marketing. I have found if I don’t schedule time for my own business I would be doing nothing but completing orders for clients. Which is great, but doesn’t help the business grow. So I make sure I invest back into myself.
What is one thing you know now, that you wish you’d known when starting your business?
Have a marketing plan and have other like minded business people in your corner. No one is going to believe in your business as much as you, but having a support group to chat with at least weekly is amazing. I now have a great group of ladies that I chat with every week, and even though I have never met them in person, we have known each other for over 8 years now. I consider them my friends and we bounce ideas off each other, talk about our lives, business etc. They are like minded and we just support each other in ways my family and friends never could.
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
I’d love to be expanded into actual brick and mortar stores like Crate and Barrel. I want to be an established brand and be known for great customer service and amazing products. As a small business entrepreneur, who is also a single mom, I’d love to have something set up to donate a % of profits to supporting single moms and I’d also LOVE to be able to have my business represent women in business, whether that be at women’s events, business events etc. I don’t think there is enough support for ladies in business in this world and it’s my passion besides art to encourage and uplift as much as I can.