Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Michelle Marks, Owner of Inviting Affairs Paperie, located in Austin, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I have a wholesale stationery business. We specialize in stickers, greeting cards, and notepads. We sell our items to retail shops around the world.
Tell us about yourself
I first started out as a caterer and got a Master's degree in Hotel Restaurant Management. After working in catering for some time and starting a family, I decided to purchase an invitation business. I have now had the same business for 17 years. We started out providing wedding and other invitations to clients in Austin. About 8 years ago, I started my wholesale business, and now we have moved to designing stickers, greeting cards, and notepads. I can not tell you how much I love designing stickers and greeting cards. Most of the time, I wish that was all I got to do and did not have to worry about the bookkeeping, deliveries, etc.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
What I concern my biggest accomplishment is being able to pivot my company to what is the right move for it. My company has had many different looks, and after 17 years, it is the most successful.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I personally think one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner is all the office work, bookkeeping, taxes, shipping, etc. I love the design part and interacting with the clients and shops, but I really do not like the "desk work." Even after 17 years, I still feel I struggle to manage that part of the business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
My top three tips for someone looking to start a business is to be ready to change your business plan a lot. Everything is changing every day, and you to be able to adapt. I would also say to stay true to yourself. So many people will have opinions or judge you. Don't let anyone else mess with your ambition and goals. And really, most importantly, have fun, and don't get down when things are slow. Keep your passion alive, and it will be seen. If you work hard enough, keep your love for what you do, and show it off, you will always be successful. Some days will suck, and it is easy to give up but take it from someone who has been doing it for 17 years. I am beyond happy and the most successful I have ever been. Just don't give up.
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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