Boss Lady Beginnings: the starting point

Davenport Wedding Planner Small Business Advice

Happy Monday! 

Ok, so Monday's might not be my favorite day, but I do think that this blog series might be my favorite to share with you! I love sharing my passion for building a creative business and I love helping others on their journey.  I know I'm not an expert yet, but I hope as I learn, I can also help someone else!  

I've learned so much in the last 6 months about starting a business and I'm so thankful to be at the point that I am.  Everyone's journey is different so I'm not at all suggesting to follow exactly in my footsteps.  I truly believe that you should start your own path, but hopefully I'll be able to share at least one helpful things with you!  I want to share what has worked for me and what mistakes I've made.  Hopefully I'll help you avoid making the same ones!  

I fell in love with wedding planning when I was planning and designing my own wedding.  I've always loved all things creative and I wanted to help other brides with their big days.  I started an Etsy shop in November 2013 before my wedding and started creating stickers, favors, and other wedding related items.  

After a couple months of selling items on Etsy, I started an Instagram account with my shop name "Chevrons and Champagne" for shorting my products and I hoped that I would gain new customers. Unfortunately when I started I didn't know how to use the platform for marketing purposes.  I was also clueless on how to take a strong picture.  

As we got closer to my wedding month, I struggled balancing my full time job, personal wedding planning, and my Etsy shop orders so I ended up closing it.  (I just relaunched it when I launched my website and am still updating and adding products) It was a hard decision to close it since I loved creating orders so much, but I was going to wear myself out.  Lesson #1: learn when to say no and learn your limits.  You don't do your best work when you're exhausted. 

Chevrons and Champagne Etsy Shop Envelope Liners

Even though I closed my Etsy shop, I kept my Instagram and slowly learned how to improve my feed.  I absolutely love Instagram and believe its a great tool to grow your business.  I looked at my favorite accounts every day and took note of what images I liked and why I liked them.  And then while I was my own pictures, I tried to incorporate similar elements. Once my pictures improved, I slowly started to build more followers. So, even if you don't have a website or business started, I would highly suggest starting to grow a following on social media.  It doesn't have to be instagram-you can choose your favorite! I loved the response I received from my amazing followers when I officially launched last week!

After my wedding, I knew I wanted to transition from selling small items on Etsy to designing every detail of full wedding and after months of hearing me talk about starting my own business, I won over the support from my husband and family.   Sometimes I'm worried that it sounds cliché--I loved planning my own wedding so I thought I could just go out and start my own business.  But I can't tell you how much I love every detail of this business.  I have some amazing brides that are allowing me to plan their weddings and I can't wait to show everyone what I can do.  I've also planned some exciting styled shoots that I can't wait to share.  

I know today's post wasn't full of tips for running your own business, but I want to share my full story of how I got to this point.  I want you to have my background before I jump into giving advice.  

Next week I'm going to share the experience that really gave me the confidence to start my business!