Friday, February 16, 2007

Lass'od Moon Designs

You dream it and Carey Bunker will create it! Carey, the owner of Lass’od Moon Designs, creates custom invitations for every phase of your life-from birthdays, to weddings, to birth announcements. Here she talks about her business, her family, and everything in between.

In the Business of Love
“My business is creating handmade custom invitations (or announcements ) for brides, moms-to-be or any one in need of an event invitation. We also provide access to over 500 different favors. We have the big books from Carlson Craft for those brides who are short on time and a full line of wedding gifts and accessories from Cathy’s Concepts. I’ve been in business two years as of February, 2007.”

“My typical customer is the first time bride, usually in the 25-35 range, though I’ve worked with older and younger brides.”

A Mompreneur
“I am the mother of two boys, one of whom stays home with me during the day while the other is in school full time. It presents a real challenge to getting done all that I need to do. But I’m fortunate to have support from my husband and family who can watch him if I’m getting behind.”

“My typical work day –I wish I had one! Each day seems to bring its own set of challenges, but I mostly work in the afternoons, early evenings and after the kids go to bed if need be.”

Planning From Scratch
“Making a business plan is probably one of the most important things you can do (I say this because I flew by the seat of my pants, and still do, but I wish I had sat down in the beginning, researched a bit more and really considered all the costs).”

Pricing with the Customer In Mind
Most (like the favors) are keystone, though with the handmade invitations, it really depends. I try to keep the costs minimal, but still make enough to pay the bills. If I see a client is concerned about cost, I’m happy to suggest any number of ways to save money. You can’t be in this business and not be accommodating. I also want the brides to get what they want—if they’ve got their heart set on a certain design, I’ve been known to offer discounts to help them out.”

Stretching Her Marketing Dollars
“I mostly market online (relying heavily on SEO) and Google’s adwords. I also attend a lot of bridal shows throughout the year, which is really key to getting to know my main clients (brides) and getting my products out there. I’ve had horrible luck with newspaper advertising. There’s a saying that a potential customer has to see your ad at least 8 times before they’ll really act on. For that money, I can attend 2-3 bridal shows.”

“[Another] free way I advertise is though my company’s blog. Google loves their own blogs, so it’s a great way to get exposure for my site. I also include my website on any forums that I belong to. I have also listed by site on as many wedding related sites as possible that offer free link exchanges…. We [also] have a couple of local papers that publish articles about new businesses for free.”

Keeping It In the Family
“I haven’t had to outsource [my labor] yet, but I have bribed my sister into helping me over the next few weeks. Each year has brought more business, so I’m not quite sure what to expect, but it’s already busier than I had anticipated for this year.”

Friend and Mentor
“I have a good friend who has owned her own business for almost 10 years (but worked for the previous owner for many years before that). She’s always willing to answer my questions and let me vent about vendors who’ve dropped the ball. She’s great with advice too.”

What Keeps Her Lassoing the Moon
“Love (as corny as that sounds) and color. I also love to watch those insane million dollar weddings. You just never know where the next trend or big idea is going to come from.”

“I’m also motivated by creativity. I love weddings and I love being able to help people make this part of the process easier.”

Recommended Business Sources
“I’ve found a lot of help at and another private forum that I belong to for stationers. But mostly, it has been trial and error. I’d also recommend The Switchboards and”

Words of Advice
“Patience. Patience. Patience. Building a business from scratch takes an incredible amount of time. It’s also more expensive than most realize. There are many things to consider when first starting out. How will you pay for it? How will people find out about you? Are there things you are willing to sacrifice to make that happen? Are you willing to work for peanuts (or to be in the hole for a while)? What are your goals for the next 5 or even the next 10 years? Which is better…strawberry or grape jelly?”

“Perhaps the most important question you can answer for yourself is what will it take for you to feel successful? Is it a lot of money? Is it enjoying what you do? Is it both? Believe in what you do, and there’s no way you can fail. It’s kind of like the quote from Field of Dreams –“if you build it, they will come” (sometimes it just takes a while).”



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