Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Featured Vendor: A Milestone Paper Co.

Some of you may remember reading my post last week regarding our new series that will feature a new vendor each week whose work we adore!  Because invites and other paper items can totally set the mood for an event, and are one of my own favorite elements to a party, I thought we would kick off our first feature with A Milestone Paper Co., located here in Minneapolis.

Meet Sarah from A Milestone Paper
I came across Sarah's (the creative mastermind behind A Milestone Paper Co.) work at the Twin Cities Bridal Fair last week and loved it!  I must admit, I really loved her business card, too - what a great piece of business marketing material she has!!

With that said, read below to find out more about Sarah and A Milestone Paper Co.

After designing her own wedding invitations, in addition to several friends and family members invites, Sarah and her two sisters, Sue and Kate, started A Milestone Paper Co.  They wanted to start a business that allowed people the opportunity to purchase reasonably priced custom designed invitations.  A Milestone Paper Co. focuses on the customer's individual interest.  They make sure the style and design of the order fits the personality and style of the client, which makes every stationery or invitation set unique.  They also offer services at multiple price-points, making their services available to fit into any budget.

I'm always curious to hear where people get their inspiration, and Sarah says her number one source of inspiration comes from her clients.
"Just this week I worked on Minnesota Twins ticket wedding invitations, tropical invitations for a wedding in Grand Cayman, Art Deco 1920s-themed invitations, vintage-inspired Save the Dates and formal elegant invitations.  This job is never, never boring!"

In addition to her inspiring clients, she finds inspiration on the many wedding blogs, online fabric shops and on Design Sponge for graphic design inspiration.  For business related inspiration, she turns to the vendors she's come to know and work with.

If there was one thing Sarah wishes every client knew to make her job easier to assist them is that she always wants to know their story!
"I really want my clients to share as much of their story/vision/style as possible.  The more I know, the more I can reflect in the projects I create.  I love hearing about little details that are meaningful and finding ways to incorporate those bits and pieces into the designs".

So where does Sarah hope her business is headed in the future?  Well she hopes to continue to meet with clients face-to-face and create custom designs for them.  In addition, she hopes to work collaboratively with other like-minded entrepreneurs in a loft-type space - "there's a lot of positive energy when you gather together people doing what they love to do".  She also wants to share her story in hopes of inspiring others to find a way to do what they love {like me!}!

Because a lot of my readers, and myself included, have hopes of starting their own small business ventures, I wanted to know what advice Sarah had for those starting.  What did she find helpful and difficult when starting her journey as a small business owner?
"Most of all, go for it!  Hone in on what you love, find a way to market it and take the leap!  Reach out to others in the industry who are farther along in their business adventure and ask questions.  Have faith in your unique set of skills and heart and put it out in the world.  Also, I think it's important to identify the things that are holding you back or causing fear.  Then face those things head on - realize that fear is in your own mind and work through it.  For me, I knew the money/business side would be a challenge for me, so I found a good accountant and bookkeeper as soon as I could.  My most important advice though is always BE YOURSELF!"

Fun facts about Sarah:

1. What are 5 things she can't live without:
- Family
- Wine drinking, laughing and chatting with her favorite girls
- Faith
- Challenge
- Chocolate

2. Favorite color scheme right now:
- Deep purple and lime green

3. Favorite time of year to design invites/stationery for:
- summer because of the bold bright hues that are used

4. Trends in the invitation/stationery industry right now:
- a lot of acrylic and laser cutting

Check out some of Sarah's favorite items from past client's events...

super adorable set!

Here's an example of a laser-cut invite - adorable!

To check out more products offered by A Milestone Paper, check out their web site here or become a fan of them on Facebook!  Thank you, Sarah, for allowing us to interview you for our first Featured Vendor post!

My hope for my featured vendors is for my readers to get to know other professionals in the industry, getting them some exposure and allowing me to get to know them better, too!  If you are interested in becoming a feature vendor, please contact us today by sending us an email today!