A Look Back: the First Year!

*takes deep breath*

IT'S BEEN ONE FULL YEAR!!

I honestly can't believe that Iris & Marie Letterpress has been in existence for ONE FULL YEAR! So much has happened in this one year & now I'm going to recap because it's fun to look back on the good times!

So, April 3 is kind of the start of I+M because it is the day I quit my full time job & I could fully devote my time to Iris & Marie, even though I bought Iris in November. April 3 was actually a really rough day because quitting my job was not easy. It was one of the lowest days of my life & the last day that I will ever feel like that again! I talk with my friends a lot about that life I led one year ago & it's surprisingly hard to believe that I lived through a period of time that was really sucky. But did I dwell on that hurt of my last job?? NOPE! The first thing I did to kick of the entrepreneurship life was go to Disney!! That's right, my husband & I went on a whim to Disney for 3 days. I have pictures to prove it. I was the most happy I had been in 2 years (besides my wedding day) & I felt like a kid again. It recharged me to go into owning my business & made me realize how lucky I am. I was soooo excited to be in Orlando & away from the past that I even got a button for by backpack that says: "I'm celebrating quitting my job!"

 
 

 

Returning from Disney was sad, but I was ready to dive into work. I went into year one knowing that I needed to take it slow. My business & clients had other plans. Year one went off slow to start & I remember sitting in Indah Coffee typing inspiration, goals & working on my branding. I had one or two clients, but not much income wise was going on. That was until local wedding planners & friends started to bring me business. Grateful doesn't even describe how I feel about the people that helped me start my business. They introduced me to brides that are now my friends & gym buddies. I even worked for a client that is now my go-to massage therapist every two months. (like clockwork, babyyy!)

My first client was my sister-in-law who got married in the Bahamas in June. I remember posting her suite on Instagram & feeling alllll the love. I was confident that I could do this whole business thing. After her, I continued working on a couple family projects, sending out some Mother's Day goodness & still working on my branding & website with Rachel from Imaginary Beast. I knew that I needed to get some professional photos taken, so Kathleen Dew (who was my first branding client) took some really awesome photos of Iris & I that I will cherish foreverrrrr! A little while after, I participated in my very first styled shoot (& now I am addicted) & met some great photographers! Not too long after, my brother & now sister-in-law got engaged! While I was super happy for them, I was even more happy that I was able to design & create their wedding stationery! (& their stationery was pretty much a dream!) The last big event I did in my first year was go to my first creative conference with Paulene from Leen Machine Calligraphy where I met some powerhouse entrepreneurs that had some really great lessons to tell us. I met creatives in all stages of business & learned a ton! It was a good way to think harder & smarter about my business & its future.

Now let's get into the ladies that allowed me to let my creative juices flow this year: my brides. The next few brides that chose me to create their stationery were amazing to say the least. Let's see... there was Katie, my first bride out of Greenville that used dreamy handmade paper & organic blue watercolor edges; Miles, the local artist & designer-extraordinaire; Amanda, the cheerful & romantic bride that had a dreamy wax seal, ribbon & monogram; Laura, the beautiful spirit with red hair & a simple, classic style; Betsy, my sister-in-law that had a formal wedding, but still incorporated pieces of evergreen that made her suite super unique; Natasia, the bride from Brooklyn that incorporated a double happiness symbol instead of a monogram; Sarah, the green goddess that is a lover of all things custom & equestrian. I can't wait to work with more & more brides to create unique pieces of heirloom stationery for them!

 
 

One of my favorite parts from designing all that wedding stationery is to be able to experiment & create new textures for brides. I was able to marble, watercolor, ombre, create custom monograms & illustrations, edge paint, & gold leaf. It brings me so much joy to work with my hands & create meaningful pieces of art in the form of heirloom stationery. In fact, as I'm typing this blog post, I am also edge painting an invitation suite!

 
 

Let's not forget the branding that I was able to create for some fellow female entrepreneurs! Kathleen Dew (who I mentioned before) allowed me the opportunity to work for her after she did so much for Trevor & I. She has taken alllll of our family professional photos from our engagement to our Christmas photos. She is a sheer talent & I'm amazed at her abilities! Bailee from Abundantlee worked with me at my last job & we have remained close friends. She is a strong, knowledgable & courageous lady! Bailee helped me & continues to help me with ideas for I+M & content. I honestly don't know how I would have survived my first year of business without her! She chose me to create her blog branding & Bailee is giving a ton of really great healthy & simple life knowledge! Next up is Bailey from the Supine Studio. I actually met her through the first Bailee! Bailey is a fun spirit & knows SO MUCH about massage & the human body. I was fortunate enough to create her branding for her new massage studio & now I am a faithful client! My body will never be the same after going to her! If you need a massage, something is out of wack or you just want a nice chat with a friendly lady, go to Bailey!

 
 

The second year of Iris & Marie has already begun & I am excited for the new things I will be diving into. Want to know what those things are??

1: I'm heading to Denver in May for another styled shoot! (Remember when I said I became addicted??)

2: Letterpress classes!! Be on the lookout for more details!

3: Emailsssssss. I will be creating an email list for you to get all the deets on what's coming up next for I+M & you!

4: More blog videos! You will get to know all the ins & outs of letterpress wedding stationery through the informative videos that I have already started here on my blog. Have suggestions about what I should talk about? Shoot me an email or DM on Instagram!

5: Stickers stickers stickers! You heard me right. I'm bringing back one from Valentine's Day & introducing MORE!

6: GIVEAWAY! Yessss, my first giveaway! It will not be for stationery, but something else you Cola or South Carolina locals will be excited about!

7: Another giveaway? Maybe so!

8: More amazing heirloom stationery coming your way! It will be a feast for your eyes!

9: Almost forgot to mention that some special people in my business life will be receiving some cute gifts in the mail! I'm pretty sure gift giving is my love language! So ladies, keep a look out in your mailbox for some fun!

Which piece of exciting news are you most thrilled about?! I have to say that I'm pretty pumped for it ALL! 

I wish I could mention all the people I've met along the way & throughout the year, but there are just too many people to mention! So many people have supported me in ways I never thought possible! It's crazy to know how much love & encouragement comes from people when you need it most. To close off this recap, I just want to express how thankful I am. I am usually a silly, light-hearted person on Instagram & even here, but I do want to take some time & get serious. I am seriously overwhelmed by the love & support everyone has shown me this year. I have grown stronger as a person, morphed into someone I never thought I could be & have found friends in all the right places at all the right times. Most of the people that support me on Instagram don't even know me & that is insane to me! The entrepreneurship world is so cool today because of technology & it's amazing how easily we can connect with people that will inspire us! A big THANK YOU to everyone that encouraged me throughout the year, from my parents to friends to wedding planners to brides & Insta friends! Iris & I are truly overwhelmed with love! Cheers to year two!

 

xoxo, Iris & Shana

 
 
Shana Wanco