Friday, October 1, 2010
Feature Friday featuring Leanna Doohan of Creative Invites
Welcome to another of our Feature Friday articles - today we'll be featuring Leanne Doohan from Creative Invites, a wedding stationery company based in beautiful Donegal, Ireland.
Thanks so much for taking the time out to chat with us today Leanne - can you tell our readers a little more about yourself and your company?
My name is Leanne Doohan and my business is Creative Invites, a handmade wedding stationery business based in Co. Donegal in Ireland. The business has been going since 2005 and I bought it in early 2009. It was well-established and very busy but the previous owner had other commitments which meant she couldn’t continue running it. I hardly had time to find my feet when I took over. It was so busy and there was a lot to learn! In fact, I’m still learning every day!
Where did the idea of running this as a business come from?
I can’t really say that it was my business idea as I didn’t set it up from scratch, but I’ve always done cardmaking and scrapbooking as a hobby. I also knew I wanted to own my own business and studied Business Studies and Marketing at college but I never made any business ideas a reality! It was only when I saw Creative Invites for sale that it clicked with me that this was something I would love to do!
This is a difficult one! There is nothing like the buzz you get out of being your own boss. Just having the control to get things done. Even when there’s a problem such as a late delivery, I enjoy finding a solution to a problem! I also love working with brides (and grooms!). They are very enthusiastic about choosing their wedding stationery. They’re at a very happy time in their lives and it’s wonderful to deal with that type of person. Getting married is usually a once in a lifetime thing so they are new to all the planning and everything that goes with it. Being a newly-wed myself, I can offer little tips and recommendations for other areas to do with the wedding and they’re always so grateful for any information that helps!
What would you like to change?
I’d like to work less hours and have my weekends to myself! But I doubt if that will happen any time soon!
What is your aim for the next year?
I have a lot of exciting changes planned for Creative Invites in the next six months alone. Customers’ needs and wants are changing and competition is increasing. This keeps me on my toes and means that I am always thinking ahead to see how we can be innovative and improve on what we do. Last year we received national recognition by winning ‘Irish Wedding Stationery Supplier of the Year’ with the wedding forum www.realweddings.ie and we were voted in the top 5 wedding stationery suppliers in Ireland with the wedding forum www.weddingsonline.ie. I hope that 2010 brings the same success!
Where do you ultimately see yourself?
I see myself with a successful business that allows me flexibility in my work schedule. I want the Creative Invites brand to be well-known in Ireland but without losing the small business feel that people like us for at the moment. And I might get around to trying out some other business ideas…who knows?!
What are your Top 5 tips for new Business Women?
Tip 1 Surround yourself with supportive friends and family and never be too proud to ask for help.
Tip 2 Don’t try to do everything yourself – you can’t know everything! Get an expert to look after things that aren’t your area of expertise, whether that be your website, accounts etc.
Tip 3 Always listen to your customers but more importantly listen to people who aren’t your customers. Ask why people would buy from your competitor instead of you.
Tip 4 Network!! This couldn’t be easier these days with all the social media platforms out there. I have built up fantastic contacts with people in other Irish businesses who I’ve never even met!
Tip 5 For women that work from home, don’t feel that because you are at home you have to do the housework as well. Separate work time and home time although it can be difficult when it is all under the one roof!
If a prospective client was reading this and wanted to get in touch with you, how can they contact you?
I can be contacted via my website http://www.creativeinvites.ie or they can drop me an email to email@example.com. I'm also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/WeddingStationeryIreland or they can Tweet me at http://www.twitter.com/CreativeInvites.
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat to us today Leanne - sounds like a fantastically busy business and well done for such amazing awards! Long may the acclaim continue!
Remember, if you are a businesswoman working from home and you'd like your business to be featured on one our Feature Friday slots, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and put the words "Feature Friday" in the subject line. Or check out our new forum at http://www.creationcollaboration.myfastforum.org - happy to see you there!