Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Why I'm Waiving My Custom Design Fee

For those of you that "like" the Believe Notes Facebook page, and read the post the other day, you already got a preview of my slightly crazy way to grow my custom wedding line. Some people may call me crazy, but for me I see it as a great opportunity.

As I have mentioned in recent posts, I plan on making big changes to Believe Notes. One of these changes will be a relaunch of my business, under a brand new business name (I can't share it yet, but trust me, I am itching to tell you more about it!). Moving forward will be really focusing on quality, quality, quality - the best papers, the best printing options, and the most perfectly elegant designs. I will not be discontinuing any of my current flat print wedding invitations, as I already think they are the highest quality that exists for flat printing options, but I will be adding new invitations that feature more exquisite specialty printing options.

Since formalizing this new intention and purpose for my business, my nights and weekends have been completely filled with getting samples and contacting dozens and dozens of print houses and presses. I've been on the hunt to find a press that can give me the best quality paired with the one-on-one attention I need in order to bring my brides perfect invitations.

Last week I completely hit the jackpot. I swung by a local, Long Island based print house, expecting it not to particularly stand out. I was so wrong. I spent the next 45 minutes talking to the owner about how he and his brother grew their family business; chatting about my own business and future vision, and then looking at some of the most unbelievably gorgeous print samples that I have ever seen in my life.

When I left the press house, I was literally shaking from excitement. I knew I wanted to use them for all of my custom projects because without a doubt they would be capable of producing the quality I wanted - and I loved that they were local, which would provide me the opportunity for press checks and so forth. All I could think about was getting them to print my designs, ASAP and then use them when launching my new brand and wedding line!

However, I needed to build my portfolio and create a price life. Printing lots of sample designs would cost me hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars, which I just don't have the budget for. And since each design is priced on a job-to-job basis, I really wouldn't know the pricing until I started sending work to the printer for quotes. I needed to find a way to build my portfolio and familiarize myself with my new printer, process and pricing - all without going completely broke.

Time to put on my business thinking cap. How can I find a way to create a custom portfolio?

An idea! Work with brides that want custom work!

But how can I attract these brides? Another idea! I could waive my custom design fee ( a $250+ value) as well as offer the final printed products at a discount, to any brides that are looking for custom designs with specialty printing and don't mind being a little bit of a guinea pig. Brides would save a lot of money, and I would be able to build my portfolio. No matter what, the quality and design will be amazing, because I'd be working one-on-one with my brides to design the custom invitation, and then my awesome printer would be executing the print job perfect.y  Total win-win

So if you're interested in working with me on your custom designs, please contact me so we can start chatting about your perfect invitations.

fine print: contracts must be signed and a deposit left before any design work is started. Exact price quotes will not be determined until after the design is finished and sent to the printer for a custom print quote. From past experience with letterpress printing, please plan on budgeting anywhere from $7.50 and up per suite. Pricing will increase depending on printing technique and the number of pieces/finishing touches desired.

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