Everybody always wants to know how I set up my handmade wedding invitation business. It wasn't all that difficult really. Anybody could do it. All you need is a little artistic ability and an imagination. And with all the neat stuff they have in the craft shops now, you don't really even have to have that.
Have you seen all the beautiful papers they have out now. When I first started out you had your choice of white, ecru, and maybe a few pastel colors. And if you wanted them to have any kind of floral design or pattern on them, you had to do it yourself. But when it comes to wedding invitations, you have to be very precise and exact. Nobody wants a paint spattered wedding invitation and the more "store bought" they look the better. Even though it's an original design, it still has to look professional.
But now you can get all kinds of beautiful papers. Floral patterns and stripes and polka dots. And some of the most breathtaking colors, too. Those days of peach or lavender are long gone! Another thing that's helped in my design business is the increasing popularity of scrapbookking. With so many people turning to this as a hobby now, the manufacturers who create those products have created hundreds and hundreds of embellishments for those scrapbooks that are just perfect for wedding invitations and stationery.
No matter what theme the bridal party is looking for, you can find something useful in the scrapbookking aisle at your local craft store. I had someone ask me for a beach theme for their wedding stationery a few weeks ago and I found the most beautiful embellishments at the craft shop. They had these little pearlized seashells that matched perfectly with this muted seashell pattern paper that they had. I also found a lovely sand colored paper to use for inserts and finished it all of with a natural raffia bow. They were gorgeous! And the bride loved them!
Computers have helped a lot, too. Years ago, when I first started out, my only option for the lettering on my invitations was calligraphy. Can you imagine?! Hand lettering an invitation is a very time consuming process, even when you know what you're doing. But now, I can let the bride sit right beside me as we choose the font styles for her invitations and I can even print our samples for her to help her decide. And in the blink of an eye, I can print out all of the inserts I need without ever lifting my calligraphy pen.
Of course, I make sure to make an extra of all of my invitations so I can put them in my portfolio. I have people ask to see samples of my work all the time. Which is only natural. No one buys wedding invitations without being able to see them first. So you see, setting up a handmade wedding invitation business these days is easy!