099 | Pivoting to custom wedding work with Emily Asher, Emily Rose Ink

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Today on the 99th Episode of Proof to Product I’m joined by our friend and Tradeshow Bootcamp alumni, Emily Asher. Emily is an artist, calligrapher and the owner of Emily Rose Ink, a boutique wedding stationery studio based in Chicago. Emily started designing wedding stationery as a side hustle while working as a high school English teacher, but since taking the leap to make it her livelihood, her wedding stationery has been featured in countless publications and blogs, including Vogue, Martha Stewart, Style Me Pretty, and Oh So Beautiful Paper.

Early on in her business journey, Emily made the decision to intentionally narrow her focus, from art prints and greeting cards, to custom wedding stationery. Although this felt like a risk at first, this allowed Emily to perfect her design aesthetic, grow customer relationships, and solidify her business foundation. As a result, Emily’s wedding stationery business took off and her designs made celebrity status. Seriously… She just did Hillary Swank’s invites!

On today’s episode, Emily shares her startup story. She talks about how she got her foothold in the stationery industry, what inspired her to dive fully into her business, and why it was important for her to narrow her focus to solely doing custom wedding work. Emily also shares what she learned from celebrity weddings, how she manages her growing business today, and what’s coming up next for Emily Rose Ink!

ON TODAY’S EPISODE:

  • How Emily got into hand lettering and calligraphy

  • The turning point when she decided to start her own business

  • Her decision process for focusing solely on weddings

  • How she streamlined and strengthened her business foundation

  • Emily’s favorite project management tool

  • The importance of continuing to evolve

  • What it was like to do Hillary Swank’s wedding invitations

  • What she learned from celebrity weddings

  • How Emily manages her team and employees

  • What’s up next for Emily Rose Ink


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KEY TAKE-AWAYS

“I was thinking, “Oh, it’ll be something fun and creative for me to do on the side.” The more I got into it, I was really struck by how awesome it was that you could actually make a living doing something creative.” – Emily Asher

“Paper Camp was actually a big turning point for me because I met so many other people who were making a living and supporting themselves full-time with stationery.” – Emily Asher

“As I started to get more wedding clients, who are really my ideal clients, I started to be more inspired.” – Emily Asher

“I felt I was splintering my marketing a little bit by doing greeting cards and art prints, and the wedding stuff, because they weren’t necessarily geared towards the same person. So I decided to just try and pursue the wedding thing and that really exploded for me.” – Emily Asher

“By focusing on weddings, it allowed me to really fine tune all my systems and focus on what was going to serve the clients better.” – Emily Asher

“There’s so many details that go into starting a business; logistics and organization, and the systems. I feel like it took me two years to get all my systems down and I’m still constantly changing them.” – Emily Asher

“Take a look at how you can automate, streamline and build systems or step-by-step processes so that you can easily bring people on board to help with things.” – Katie Hunt

“Just being able to say that I did that level of wedding helps me have confidence in charging my worth for projects that are really time-consuming.” – Emily Asher

“It’s good to take some time to reflect on, “What am I doing this business for? What’s my main motivation here? Is it freedom or flexibility? Is it the money?” because those priorities will shift at different times in the business depending on your own personal circumstances.” – Katie Hunt

“It’s all about figuring out what are your employees strengths and skills and how can you best apply them to the things that need to be done in the business. Sometimes it takes a little while to figure out.” – Emily Asher

“You wanna have the right people on your team, but you also wanna make sure that the work that they’re doing is aimed at their areas of expertise, and their skill sets.” – Katie Hunt


CONNECT WITH EMILY ASHER

Website: Emily Rose Ink | Facebook:@emilyroseink | Instagram:@emilyroseink


Connect with Katie Hunt

Katie Hunt is a business strategist, podcaster, mentor and mama to four. She helps product based businesses build profitable, sustainable companies through her conferences, courses and coaching programs.

Website: prooftoproduct.com  |   Instagram: @prooftoproduct


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