Category Archives: Founder Stories

Happy Thanksgiving Week! Things That I’m Thankful For

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photo credit: Martin Cathrae

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our American readers! I’m currently in Canada visiting my boyfriend’s family (who celebrate Thanksgiving in October, so I’m missing it doubly-so). I usually head up to my cabin in the mountains at this time for Thanksgiving with my friends and I am a bit sad about not having it this year. If you’re celebrating, eat plenty of turkey, stuffing, and pie for me!

I also wanted to blog a bit about things I’m thankful for. Sometimes I forget how amazingly lucky I am.

First, I am very thankful for my blogging assistant, Jessica. Jessica is an invitation vendor (check out Odd Duck Press) and has been working with the WeddingLovely Blog for quite a few months now: organizing, posting, and sharing our posts. I literally would not be able to do my job without her. Thank you Jessica!

Second, I’m thankful for WeddingLovely — that I was able to build something that people love. That this job (that I love) supports me. I’m thankful for all of our blog readers, for all of our visitors to our planning application and our vendor directories. I was able to work while traveling in Europe for the last three months — how amazing is that?

Third, I’m thankful for you, dear readers. WeddingLovely wouldn’t exist without you. Thank you so much for supporting us.

Have a wonderful week — blogging will resume next Monday!

Cheers,

-Tracy

Founder Stories: Lately at WeddingLovely


Photo credit: By yours truly, on Instagram

It’s been awhile since I’ve written personally on here! The last few months have been so very hectic — just finished up two big trips to LA and then Seattle for a few weddings (see above with my dear fencing friends from university!) — as well as a bunch of big development stuff for WeddingLovely that has been keeping me busy. Curious on what’s coming up?

WeddingLovely’s network of wedding directories now include florists, bakeries, and musicians, bringing our total number of wedding directories to eight. I launched our latest three in quick succession since I have been working on something bigger — a single all-vendors WeddingLovely Vendor Directory. Vendors will continue to have their profiles shared on their dedicated directories (as well as within our wedding planning and wedding website app, WeddingLovely.com), but we’ll also have a dedicated vendor space to showcase all of our lovely vendors as well as finally supporting every vendor category, not just the ones we have dedicated directories for.

I’m working hard to make sure everything plays well together (so vendors only need to update their information in one place and it’ll automatically share across every listing we have for them) so it’s been a fun few weeks developing and designing all of this! The WeddingLovely Vendor Directory will launch sometime next month, so stay tuned.

Combined with this, I’m also working on an analytics solution so vendors will be able to see the views they’re getting for each of their listings (again, on the dedicated directory, the general directory, and on our wedding planning app). This includes both search views as well as dedicated profile views!

Last, I’ve mentioned a Blogging and Social Media for Wedding Vendors eCourse, which has been delayed (for the above good reasons). I have a huge document where I’ve been writing everything out and making sure I have all the materials before announcing a date. So when the course is completed and perfect, I’ll announce the starting date and start signups! I really want to make sure it has great information, so don’t want to launch prematurely.

What do you think? Anything you think I should work on? My favorite part about WeddingLovely is that I can work directory with my customers (you!) and build awesome things. I welcome all feedback and requests.

Have a lovely day!
-Tracy

Founder Stories: Why I’m not at the National Stationery Show

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I LOVED going to the National Stationery Show. My first time was two years ago, when all I had was WeddingInviteLove and didn’t know many people in the industry, so I snagged a press pass on a whim (in fact, I created this blog at first solely to get that guest pass) and flew myself out there. I met SO MANY amazing stationers, made a ton of new friends, and really started to grow my connections in the industry.

Last year, I went again — WeddingLovely now had a bunch of different wedding vendor directories, not just stationery, and I even had an employee. This year was also our big WeddingLovely Shindig (planned with the amazing 5th Avenue Weddings & Events) — we held a huge party at Etsy Labs, met MORE people, and had an amazing time again.

Each year was a smashing success for WeddingLovely. So why am I not going this year? It’s been breaking my heart to get email after email from friends asking to meet up. The big reason has been a major change in direction for WeddingLovely — last year, we had a small bit of funding from 500Startups, but the business as a whole was losing money (ah, the joys of a traditional startup). Rather than raising money again (and potentially getting investors on board pushing WeddingLovely into a bad direction, you know the weddings industry), I decided to lower our expenses drastically (one reason why the full-time WeddingLovely team is just me again), bootstrap the company, and run a much leaner business.

The good news is that WeddingLovely is now profitable (though I have a teeny-tiny salary) which is pretty much amazing — the bad news is, I won’t be able to go to NSS while also pinching pennies. Being a West Coast gal, it would involve flights, food, lodging, and probably a slew of miscellaneous expenses, and I’ve made the decision to stay at home and watch the goings-ons from afar.

Like I said, it breaks my heart — I’ve had such a good time at NSS over the years. That said, if any stationers at the show want some coverage-from-afar, I am more than happy to blog photos or anything else sent to me from the show or after! Just send an email over to [email protected].

I hope all my lovely friends at NSS have a great time, and hopefully I’ll be there next year!

Cheers,
-Tracy

Founder Stories: A Day in the Life of Tracy, WeddingLovely’s Founder

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Horribly unflattering photo of yours truly working on the Fall WeddingLovely Lookbook!

If you’re a small business owner, you know the work day isn’t just Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm. I’ve gotten into a good routine lately with my schedule, but it’s a little odd, and I thought it would be fun to share it with you so you get an insight into how I spend my day! Also: this generally applies to six days per week, with one day which’ll be lazier than the rest or I have some event going on.

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Happy New Year from WeddingLovely!

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2012 was an amazing year at WeddingLovely. As the founder, WeddingLovely is pretty much my child, and nothing makes me happier than seeing it grow. I’ve compiled some great stats about 2012:

I’m so excited about 2013! One of the biggest things done behind the scenes was a major update to how our directories run, so new features and new directories can launch faster! Sneak peek of new features planned for this month alone:

WeddingLovely is a one-woman project, and I plan on keeping busy—running this blog, launching new features, and helping vendors and brides/grooms. Stay tuned for more posts about the best posts on the blog in 2012 this week!

I’m so excited about 2013!

Love to all,
-Tracy

Photo credit: Photo from Christmas day near my cabin in the Sierras. It was a beautiful trip!

Thanksgiving + Cranberry Sauce Recipe + Story

It’s almost Thanksgiving here in the United States. Every time the holidays roll around, I do a lot of thinking — about what the holidays mean to me, what I’m doing, the people I love, and things like that.

When I was a kid, I loved Thanksgiving. Who didn’t? It was a day that revolved around delicious food and loving family. My parents divorced when I was two, which means that all I remember is switching back and forth between parents for holidays my entire life.

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Founder Stories: How WeddingLovely Started

One thing I get asked a lot is how did WeddingLovely start, especially since I’m not married nor engaged, nor have I ever been! It all started when I left my one-and-only “real” job I’ve ever had — I’ve worked a variety of service positions like most teenagers/young adults, but my only “real” job was working during and after graduation from college (with a BFA in Art & Design) as the “Lead Design & Optimization Manager” of an online education startup. I was there for 4.5 years, and after leaving, I tried freelancing web design for a bit until I got it in my head that I wanted to do a startup. This jump was a bit less scary since my significant other was running his own startup at the time, and I got to see him go through working on it and learned a lot from him.

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Founder Stories: The Ups and Downs of Startup Life

One of the hardest parts I’ve found about being a “founder” is the rollercoaster of emotions. Some days there are exhilarating highs, and then the very next day can make me want to crawl into bed with my covers over my head and not come out. Ever.

As a founder, is that you’re always expected to answer, “How is your startup doing?” with, “Fabulous!” You’ll almost never get a straight answer out of a startup founder — it’s always going to be roses and awesomeness, even if that founder woke up that morning worrying about the present and dreading the future.

See the rest of the post after the cut!

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Founder Stories: What WeddingLovely Means to Me.

Hi — Tracy, founder of WeddingLovely here!

One of the things that I have not done but have always known I should do is write personally on the blog here. We run interviews with our vendors, showcase products, announce new launched products and features, and talk about the wedding industry — but there hasn’t been a real personal element. Why? I’m not sure — perhaps the fact that we’re super busy, or lazy in a weird way, or perhaps a bit of fear. Today, I’m going to change that, and I’m hoping to write every week about something. The progress of WeddingLovely, what we’re trying to do, what our last week was like, what our next week will be like, something. They won’t really have a point, but you’ll get insight into WeddingLovely and what we’re trying to do, and get to know us

Sidenote: Julia has been a lot less lazy than me and has already been writing about her wedding planning progress. So there has been some personal content, but it hasn’t been from me (whoops!)

Rest of the post after the cut…

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How to thrive as a solo non-technical founder

In the last year, I’ve gone from building a random side project (after finding a cofounder ultimately failed), to running a revenue-generating company which just finished the F11 batch of 500 Startups.

I’ve done all of this as a solo female designer first-time entrepreneur. I’m building WeddingLovely, dedicated to making wedding planning easier and supporting independent wedding vendors.

Looking back on the last year, there are several big things that directly contributed to the success I’ve had thus far. Before I dive into my story, I’d like to note that having a cofounder is better than not having a cofounder, but doing it by yourself is 1000x better than giving up (and 200x better than continuing with the wrong cofounder).

My tips for surviving and being successful as a solo founder:

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