It’s hard to believe that this October marks the 10-year anniversary for Roseville Designs! It has been an exciting + challenging ride. Having a dream, working hard towards it, and seeing it come true—it’s one of the greatest joys any person can have. I am so proud to say that I have built a six-figure business from the ground up.
A coomonly used argument against wedding invitations Is, you just look at and throw away, why spend so much on them? As my friend Laney, a fellow designer + industry coach pointed out on Instagram a while back, everything that you curate for a wedding is eventually tossed + will never be used again. The florals, the dress, hell, the food eventually goes into the toilet! (Sorry to be graphic.) But we invest in all these things for a once-in-a-lifetime celebration: celebrating your marriage, but also who you are as a couple and what brings you joy. And the thing about the invitation? The couple never throws it out. It stays with them, whether it’s framed on the wall, or lovingly tucked in a memory box, it is something to visit and remind them of that day, of that time in life of planning + being creative. And I am so honored I have done that for over 250 couple over these last 10 years.
When I worked at a marketing agency before going full time with Roseville, we talked a lot about creating “raving fans” for the products we helped sell. I started out hunting down leads and convincing couples to take a chance on me. Now I’m at a point in my business where fans find me—whether it be through a friend, or on Instagram—and they connect so much with my story, my design, and me. I feel deeply fortunate to have these amazing couples.
I’ve been reflecting on the important things I’ve learned, and here are a couple I want to share…
“I don’t like to gamble, but if there’s one thing I’m willing to bet on, it’s myself.” – Beyoncé
I didn’t go to art school. I graduated with a degree in Spanish and sociology, and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I stumbled into that marketing job I mentioned earlier where I got to dabble in graphic design with coupon flyers for weekly newspapers. Immediately I was hooked.
After that I took some online design courses, but truly the bulk of my learning has been on the job. Learning things in application vs. in theory matters. So don’t worry about where you’re from or what your resume says; just believe in yourself and be ready to work hard. The rest will fall into place.
Now, let’s talk a little more about the working hard part.
I, like many other established vendors, will occasionally get those DM’s on Instagram asking, “How did you get started with your business?”, or “Can you tell me your favorite printers to use?”. I am all about community over competition, but this is not the way to build your business. Good entrepreneurs don’t look for shortcuts. The mistakes and difficult moments are where you learn the best lessons. Starting out, I remember late nights on the floor in tears after a printing error or unhappy client. These days I still get a pit in my stomach when I’ve made a mistake, but it doesn’t completely derail me like it did 10, or even 5 years ago. Developing knowledge + grit is essential to growth, and there’s no quick hack for that.
I recently listened to a Ted Talk about regret. He spent years compiling people’s regrets and found they fell into 4 categories. One of them he called “boldness regrets”, which were for things people wish they had done, and he specifically called out starting your own business. The interesting find was that even the people who took the bold step and failed still didn’t regret it. At least they knew they gave it a go, and they won’t have to wonder, “What if?”.
Believe deeply in what you are selling, because if you don’t no one else will. Figure out your “why” and let that drive you, push you through those long days where you wish you could just lie in front of the couch instead of work at your computer ‘til 1:00 am. It will also create connection with the right clients. Your “why” may take a while to be found, and it may change with time, but it’s worth putting in the work to answer the question.
Happiness is on the other side of fear.
Here is the first blog I post I wrote when I launched my business, and I still keep this book near me in my office. There is more I want to do with my business, and even after 10 years I still have days of doubt + fear. That doesn’t go away. I also still make plenty of mistakes. But a wise person once said that if you’re not making mistakes, you’re not pushing yourself.
Making it this far feels pretty darn good, and I’m excited to keep designing + challenging myself, and see what lies ahead in the next 10 years of Roseville Designs.
Thanks to all of you for reading and supporting my business. It means more than you’ll ever know.
Looking for more small business tips + advice? Check out my podcast interview on Talk with Renee Dalo!