Expert Insights from Christine Traulich of @redblissdesignWednesday, February 26, 2014
Company Name: RedBliss
Years in the Industry: 12
Location: New Hampshire
How did you get started in the wedding industry?
It all started with a piece of barn wood, tied with twine, placed inside a box filled with hay and stamped with a picture of a cow. My first invitation. To my own wedding. In a barn. And voila, the idea of sending invitations in boxes was born! I gave up a decade of high-tech marketing experience and a fancy salary to start RedBliss. My sister, Dori McDonald, joined me a year later. We pioneered the silk invitation box trend and continue to use innovative design techniques and modern materials for creating avant-garde work.
How has the industry changed since you started?
The media landscape has changed dramatically since starting RedBliss. Twelve years ago, we told our story in print magazines. And early on, this was essential to our success. Presently, only a handful of magazines remain while numerous blogs, TV shows and social media outlets have become mainstream. Your PR strategy is your lifeline to telling your story. Today, there are many more opportunities to promote your business. Frequently examine and capitalize on all available media opportunities.
What was the biggest lesson you learned early on in your business?
Table your fear and be persistent. When I started RedBliss, I did not know a single person in the wedding industry. I didn’t even have friends who knew people in the industry. So I scoured wedding magazines for names of event planners and cold called them requesting “twenty minutes” to meet with me. Almost no one took my meeting on the first request. In some cases it took years to secure a meeting. RedBliss still works with many of these people today. And I still cold call!
What was the biggest lesson you've learned in the past few years?
Find out who has your back. You are only as strong as your weakest link. Seek out loyal and attentive creative partners and treat them well. This is a competitive industry and while price matters, customer service matters more. In return, be a strong partner to those you serve. To me, this is the foundation for finding success in such a fast-paced, high-expectation business.
What one piece of advice would you give to another entrepreneur on sticking it out in a competitive industry?
Share your creativity with integrity. You will be tested to be sure. Long-standing relationships are not built on great work alone, but also on a great work ethic. Can I share two more things? Continually and competitively innovate. Never stop. And third, be grateful. Even on your hardest day, find gratitude and your sanity will prevail.
Expert Insights is a series of conversations with wedding professionals who have been in business for ten years or longer.
Think Splendid will be offering insights and perspectives from Splendid Guests for the months of February and March while I am working in Africa.