Invites She Writes: Infusing invites with elegance and charm
Victoria Stefano has always loved the allure, romance, style, and warmth exuded by personalised invites of yore. But when the 23-year-old wanted her wedding invitations to reflect the same elegance, it came with an exorbitant price tag. Therefore, to recreate the same old charm of personalised invites for others, complete with calligraphy writing and an affordable price, Victoria started Invites She Writes. Through her business, the Adelaidean creates and designs beautifully crafted invites that are pleasing to the eye, and easy on the pocket.
“The idea of my business came when I was researching vendors for my wedding invitations, and I realised just how expensive they are! I wanted to create invitations that are beautiful and affordable and thus started my business in August 2017," says Victoria.
She adds, "Invites She Writes is different because we are a small business, and that allows us to give a personal touch to our products. Every one of our invitations is hand made with utmost quality and care, and all of our paper is locally sourced.”
Victoria points out that though her business is new, the training towards creating something as lovely as Invites She Writes started a long time ago. “As a child, I was always creative and was involved in a lot of artwork. I also indulged in some DIY while growing up, and continue to do so even today. Also, throughout high school, I studied Information Processing and Publishing and learnt the basics of Photoshop and Adobe. At University I studied graphic design and photography for a year. My creative side got a boost from all the technical knowledge I gained over the years, and with the learnings I gathered, I managed to start something of my own," she says.
Creating and designing an invitation is a lengthy process, adds Victoria. “It involves a high amount of drafting and printing on various types of paper and experimenting with different effects such as foiling and embossing. And since each customer is different in their requirements, no one set rule can be followed," she explains.
The most common type of invitations, Victoria says are wedding invitations. They also happen to be her favourite. “There is something so joyous about helping make a bride’s magical day even more special. I also love receiving photos of my invitations from brides on their wedding day,” she says.
The journey and challenges
Victoria adds that the though the journey has been rewarding, it has its share of challenges. “One of the biggest challenges of building a business from scratch in such a niche market is getting your name out there, and fighting the competition. The wedding industry is a very high priced market, and I have come to find that more and more brides are turning towards large printing services for their big day. I won’t lie the prices they can give are great! And, a small local business has a hard time competing,” she says.
“However, if a bride does use large online printing companies they lose the personal touch that a small local business can give. Your wedding day is such a momentous occasion and Invites She Writes gives you that special personal involvement with your invitation and stationery process every step of the way- from the initial design up until your invitations are ready to be delivered. I feel that through my business you are not just ordering an invitation, but a service,” adds Victoria.
Another challenge, Victoria notes was to get the word out about her business. “Invites She Writes began to grow primarily from word of mouth advertising and having satisfied customers recommending my business to others. Social Media also played a significant role in helping me get the word out. Recently, I had the opportunity to be the primary invitation vendor stall at Adelaide Bridal Emporiums Bridal Shower expo held a few weeks ago. That was great for exposure and generated a lot of interest in my business. I think it is great that local businesses support each other,” she says.
One member team
In spite of the hard work involved, Invites She Writes is a one-woman army. “I am the only member of my team! I create each invitation individually and by hand. In time as the business grows I may need to take on more staff members. I am looking forward to the day when my business grows to the point where I will need to relocate and hire more people. It is a fascinating thought,” says Victoria.
The voracious reader also thanks her support system comprising her mother, father, sister-in-law, and an encouraging husband for helping her realise her dream of owning a business. “My family was and still is overwhelmingly supportive, especially my husband. He has been my rock, and without him by my side, I would not have been able to start my business, let alone grow it,” she says.
Victoria has some exciting plans for the future. “I hope to grow my business and am also looking to a create a DIY segment for brides where they can order their invitation supplies through us and put them together themselves! And maybe a YouTube channel to go along with it? I have so many ideas and hope to put them all in action soon,” says the invites maker.