Wedding stationer Emma Margaret has been busy juggling starting her new sweet-as-sugar, pastel perfect business Bea & Bloom with her other job, as well as planning her own wedding. We caught up with her during her first year in business to chat about balancing multiple commitments, lessons learned, the power of social media and the future. You can also read her first interview with us back when she first launched here.
What have you learnt in the first six months of business?
“I have to admit, the first six months have been a long process. It's definitely tough getting started and I'm still very much finding my feet! It takes a lot of motivation to keep going, often working long hours on website updates, emails and social media posts (when I'd much rather be drawing pretty floral designs!), and I've had to make quite a few changes along the way as I've started to figure out what does and doesn't work. I'm sure that will continue over the next six months too. I've enjoyed the whole process so far though, and met some lovely people along the way who have gone out of their way to help me. The advice I hear from others, and the main piece of advice I can give at this stage, is just to be patient and keep going!”
How easy has it been juggling this new business with your other commitments?
“I still work part time for four days a week (although that's dropping to three soon which will be very helpful!) so it's a struggle to fit everything in to the one remaining working day. I do often end up working late evenings and at weekends, especially when I'm working on an update to the website or some new designs. This is something I'm beginning to figure out now and I have a rough timeline of my week of all the important things that need doing, although the housework does occasionally get a bit neglected as a result! On top of all that we're planning our own wedding shortly and looking to buy a house, so it's a little hectic at the moment to say the least!”
How important has social media been in getting your name out there? How have you promoted your business?
“At the start of launching the business I made a few mistakes with promotion and paid for a few things that didn't work out for me. Social media is probably my best, and definitely my favourite, way of promoting myself and my business. I've also had some luck with Google AdWords. Once a week I spend a couple of hours planning and scheduling all my social media posts for the next week to ensure I don't fall behind. It's also been great for meeting other stationers and wedding professionals.
“I've also been taking part in #the100dayproject, sharing sketches, photos and illustrations of all things floral (follow along at #100daysofblooms🌸) which I think has helped get my name out there a bit more as it's something a little different to the usual product posts.”
What are your future plans?
“Over the last few weeks I've been working on my plans for what's next, and I've got quite a few ideas in mind! Towards the end of the year there should be some new collections on the way, as well as some hen party printables and other new products. I've also been trying to decide what to do with my other business, Emma Margaret Illustration, as I feel it's due a re-brand as it's been a bit neglected while I launched Bea & Bloom. I've got plans to merge the two businesses together next year, which should result in some exciting changes and lots of lovely new things!
“I've also been talking to a few wedding venues about getting involved in some open days later in the year so that should be exciting too!”
Image credit to White Stag Wedding Photography
Are you thinking of setting up a creative business this year? Let us know by commenting below! We are always looking for small businesses to feature on the blog so please get in touch if you’d like to be included.