As I sit here at the computer this evening, I can think of a million things I need to be doing other than blogging! Tomorrow, four great friends and team members of this adventure and I will be leaving for New York City to debut our line of greeting cards "Molly Anna and Friends" by Julie Heppe. To get a true picture of what an endeavor this has been, lets back up!
My husband Dewey and I started our first business, Heppe's Studio 14 years ago. This business was created out of our love and passion for photography. The beginning years were primarily on location shoots of children of all ages. The business took off and grew faster than we had dreamed it would. I resigned from teaching to enable the business to keep up with our fast growing customer base. We opened our first storefront studio in 2001 and to this day Heppe's Studio continues to maintain a loyal customer base and through word of mouth continues to bring in new clients weekly.
As my love for photography and creativity continued to grow, I held a new dream in the back of my mind. This dream would give me the opportunity to be even more creative in my daily work, and fulfill my urge to start each day with a blank canvas giving me complete control of the final masterpiece! The dream tucked away was to start a greeting card company.
Countless hours, and weeks were spent sitting at the computer researching the greeting card industry, then one day I came across a blog that led me to a site that sparked my enthusiasm even more! The National Stationery Show being held in New York City in May 2010. My first reaction was "There is no way I can get prepared to be at this show in 6 weeks, I'll just go as a buyer this year to get a feel for how the show works so that I can return next year." Well, that night I went to bed and couldn't stop thinking about the show. Those of you that know me know that when I get something in my mind that I plan on doing, then there is NO stopping me. I work well under pressure, and love doing things spontaneously. That night I decided that not only would I be going to the show, but I would be attending as a vendor to debut my new greeting card company.
I gathered what I call my "dream team" to help me launch and promote my business. I had just finished reading "The One Minute Millionaire" and had learned some incredible information on building a team that would give a proper balance to enhance any business. The book was accurate, we were able to see the values that each one of us could bring to the table to enable one another to grow a successful business.
With my team on board, next came long days of intense research, and long meetings that went way into the night hours. We stuck to our agendas and everyone had jobs to accomplish before the next meetings. The undertaking was HUGE! We had NO idea how big this project was going to be, but we were all determined to do this and to produce a product of the finest quality. Printing companies, envelope companies, producing enough cards to present to the market, invoices, policies and procedures, displays, advertising, promotional pieces, pricing, catalogs, and web sites were just a small portion of the work that we had to sort through to be prepared for the show. Not to mention the booth design and travel arrangements! The booth design was left to Tina P. She spent hours on the phone and computer with the company that builds the booth. She drew out a sketch letting them know exactly how we wanted the booth to look. Everything from color of walls, scallops on walls, logo, type of floor, lighting, electricity, table, chairs, and even trash can was discussed. When we arrive at the Javits Center in New York City, our booth should be built and ready for us to put up our products! Travel arrangements were my department. This was a breeze, except for the fact that so much of our things had to be shipped to our hotel prior to our arrival. This makes me a little nervous!
The final cards arrived yesterday, and we will be carrying them onto the plane with us. They are already packed away in our carry on luggage. It's amazing that this is all happening and not just a dream anymore, but a new business endeavor. I couldn't be happier in the way things unfolded right before my eyes. I know without a doubt that God has had his hand in this from the beginning. He has given me the resources and shown me the ways and I am so thankful that I followed the path. It has been a huge undertaking with long hours of work and few hours of sleep, but I would do it all again in a minute. I have no doubt that this company will take off and grow. The company is driven by love and passion. I will see to it that this business gets whatever it needs to grow and become successful. It is a new business born from our existing business, and like Heppe's Studio, Julie Heppe Greeting Cards will be taken care of with love and passion so that the company can withhold the test of time. I plan on Julie Heppe Greeting Cards to become a household name that will forever be.
Follow my journey as we leave for New York City. I will try and blog each day and provide pictures to document the beginnings of a great company. And don't forget...always work towards your dreams!