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.
I jumped into entrepreneurship and the first thing I did was try to find a cofounder (which didn’t work so well) and started WeddingType, an online invitation typography generator. Wild, right? We managed to get an interview at a prestigious startup incubator, but we were denied, my cofounder and I broke up, and then I was on my own again.
I only knew design and front-end web development, so I was faced by a few choices: find a new cofounder, quit entrepreneurship, or learn programming. I decided to try the latter, and after about six weeks, I launched the first version WeddingInviteLove. This was January 2011.
Here’s the part of the story that I really wanted to tell — I was about to travel abroad for two months when WeddingInviteLove started. I managed to get ten or so studios to sign up through a whole hell of a bunch of emails (bless their hearts for believing in me!) and previously-mentioned-significant-other and I traveled to NYC for a few days before taking off for Rome for three weeks.
I had sent an email to Tina of swissmiss asking her if I could take her and her studiomates to lunch (a move which had previously worked with Jeffery Zeldman, one of the web design elite, and led to being featured on The Big Web Show — sidenote, I only had about two hours sleep that night, I was *so nervous*.) Long story short, I went out to lunch, showed Tina WeddingInviteLove, and then as I was heading to the airport, my phone started buzzing wildly, since Tina blogged about WeddingInviteLove — still the best day of traffic that any WeddingLovely property has ever had.
After a some celebrating and a red-eye flight, Andrey and I landed in Rome and I promptly got everything but my clothes stolen by gypsies. This was right when WeddingInviteLove was taking off, we’re the first day into our two-month trip abroad, and my laptop, iPad, passport, wallet, cash, credit cards, iPhone, camera, and probably more that I can’t remember was gone.
Andrey and I managed to get a police report after a lot of sobbing from yours truly, and settled into our rented room, and thing started getting better. We were alive and healthy. Andrey didn’t lose any of his stuff, so we ended up working on our startups from his laptop — he’d work for four hours, then hand the laptop to me to work, and we’d go back and forth all day (which mades us both incredibly efficient and we got probably more done than we would have with two laptops.) I got a new passport. A friend eventually sent me his old laptop and iPhone. The rest of the trip was uneventful. WeddingInviteLove kept growing.
That’s essentially how WeddingInviteLove and WeddingLovely started, almost two years ago. Fun times!