Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ally Parker, Owner of Madly in Love Designs, located in Memphis, TN, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Madly in Love Designs is a hand-lettered decor business focusing primarily on the event space (especially weddings). Our customers are usually brides to be looking for beautiful, customizable wedding decor for a fraction of the cost.

Tell us about yourself

I first began hand lettering when I was a bride myself and couldn't find anything that matched the feel and aesthetic of my big day but stayed within my budget. I trained myself to hand-letter all of my signage and invitations. After my wedding, I had a lot of leftover wedding signage, which made me think, "Why do brides RENT all of their other wedding decor but BUY their signage?"

From there, Madly in Love Designs was born and has grown to serve brides all over the MidSouth. I know how stressful it can be to be a bride planning a wedding up against deadlines, budgets, traditions, and personal preference—it's a LOT! So my mission is to take one stressor off of every bride's list through the products we offer.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment to date is the creation of our complete wedding signage rental inventory. We have 4 collections (and they are growing) of rental signage that brides can use (and we can reuse) to save money, reduce waste, and reduce stress on the bride by taking storage and transportation of wedding decor off of their to-do lists. This collection gives brides a low price point option for decor.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the most fun yet challenging aspects of being a business owner is staying ahead of emerging trends in the industry. Our brides foreshadow what is to come in our industry, and it is our job to adapt, pivot, and deliver quickly so we don't miss the window of opportunity. This challenge is fun for us because we are always trying something new and building out our inventory.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

First and foremost, identify your niche and ensure you are 100% positive you want to work in that niche every day for the rest of your life. If you're not excited to get up and help your customers achieve their goals every day, you won't have the motivation to push through the hard, demanding times that inevitably arise as a business owner.

Next, start organized to stay organized. Once you're a few months in, the library of business resources you will have will be so vast and numerous that you will have trouble centralizing and organizing. If you start organized, you avoid losing time to reorganization later.

Lastly, find a business coach. You are always so close to the nitty-gritty details of your business that you may lose sight of the big-picture vision for your company. My coach pushed me to set big, scary goals for my business and then instilled my confidence to reach them, which is why Madly in Love Designs has so much in store in the upcoming months!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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