In my ongoing quest to bring inspiration to your day; Sparklefly Candle Company has reached out to some other amazing entrepreneurs to share their stories and products. As always, I encourage you to explore these small business owners with me and remember to shop small all year round.
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”
― Helen Keller
This week I deliver to you, MelissaWert of Print Therapy. Melissa designs the most precious and unique handmade stationery for every day life. Her work inspires one to remember that nothing replaces a handwritten note. I am so smitten with her work that I am going to be offering her line of greeting cards on my site soon as a special upgrade. Once you get to know Melissa, you can't help but be smitten with her too! Check it out!
Q: Tell me about Print Therapy and how you got started?
Print Therapy is a stationery company that really comes from the heart of my husband, Nick, and I. Our greeting card line focuses on the every day moments of love and celebration, and we really love playing even the smallest of parts in those moments for people. We also do custom wedding work, and we feel so honored to help our couples with the stationery aspect of their day. Wedding days are so intimate and special, and it’s a true blessing to help communicate that day to their friends and families.
The inspiration to start Print Therapy happened while we were planning our wedding – after searching for days (okay, weeks) for perfect invitations that weren’t too mushy, too formal, or too flowery, I became exacerbated and thought we’d never find something that felt like us. Although I had three business degrees under my belt and not one lick of professional design experience, I had always loved art, had studied architecture for a few years in college, and felt like I really needed to be the one to design our stationery. While I had found many, many beautiful invitations from super talented creative and designers, none of them felt quite like us, and I knew they had to come from us to feel right.
Once married, we kept the idea of opening a stationery shop on the back burner – the way, way, way back burner – as a one day, wouldn’t it be great if, type of plan. We both were working full time jobs, I had finally finished graduate school, and I often found myself working 60+ hours a week and on the road for my job (sometimes for weeks at a time) as a project manager in the insurance industry. Starting a business just didn’t make sense, but it was a nice dream to keep that creative passion alive.
Well, cut to a few months later – we were newlyweds, unexpectedly new homeowners, I had just been promoted at work, and I found myself away from home more often that I was home. It should have been an amazing time in our life, and yet I was miserable. Overstressed. Unhappy. I couldn’t focus on the things I loved because I was so consumed by my professional goals – things I had longed for and worked so hard for, only to question them once they began to come to fruition. During one particularly stressful business trip where I truly felt myself hitting my limits, I called Nick from my hotel room and declared “We’re starting Print Therapy TONIGHT!”, and from my work laptop I legally registered us as an LLC, researched opening an Etsy shop, and starting working on our first greeting cards and wedding invitations.
It’s not the most romantic start up story out there, but it’s our truth, and always reminds me that our company is always, always driven from wanting to find true happiness and to live in love – and to share that with other people.
Q: What is your favorite aspect about being a small business owner?
I truly love the freedom that comes from being responsible for all aspects of the business. Yes – that leads to some very scary, stressful, tiring moments too – but I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Every product we design, every sale we make, is completely based on our hard work, our efforts, and our passion. Nothing about this business works if don’t give it everything we have, and I feel so confident that Print Therapy will pay us back in spades for everything we’ve given it. It will allow us to live the life we want to live.
Q: What should a customer expect from Print Therapy when making a purchase?
Customer service is huge for us – while I love our products and we use just the best feeling paper and heavy weight envelopes for them, I totally believe that the most important part of our company is how we treat those who invest in us, card by card, invitation by invitation. Our customers allow our dreams to flourish and to become real, and we want to thank them for that by offering the best, heart fueled customer service we can. We send an order acknowledgement note once an order is received, we print it and pack the order to ship it out as quickly as possible, and we’ve worked really hard on our packaging to make it feel like a little gift to open that really feels like us. Plus, Nick or I always write a little hand written thank you note to slip into each order. We feel loved when people place an order from us; we want people to feel the same way when they open their order!
Q: What are some of your best selling products?
Our bridal party thank you cards are always popular – we often get requests to customize the phrases to make them extra special, which we’re more than happy to do. Our “You are my favorite" card is also a big crowd pleaser, and it really defines what our brand is about – simple, to the point, heartfelt messages. People also love our Love Notes – they’re miniature business card sized notes and envelopes that are perfect to slip into lunch boxes, suitcases, purses, or to hide around the house. Every day love moments are the best, and these little notes really help create those moments.
Links: bridal party thank you cards - https://www.etsy.com/shop/PrintTherapy?section_id...
You are my favorite - https://www.etsy.com/listing/174689054/valentines...
Love Notes - https://www.etsy.com/shop/PrintTherapy?section_id...
Q: Who or what has been the biggest inspiration for you?
I’m not going to lie -starting a business, especially while working full time is really, really, really tiring. Really. But I know first hand how detrimental it is to toil away at a job you hate. So every day that I look at Nick, and the family we’re building, I am inspired to keep going, to keep pushing, because it makes me the happiest person I can be. That’s good for me, and with our son expected to make his debut in June, I hope it will be a great inspiration to him too. My parents have also been such a huge inspiration. As a business owner, my Dad has taught me by example that you can do things your own way, and it can work. My mother, a business professional, really showed me that women can do whatever they want, and they don’t have to be defined by preconceived notions. They also continue to remind me that family, above all, is most important, and just because you “should” be doing something, doesn’t mean you have to keep going down that path. Their faith in me and my decisions, in Nick and I, in our family, and in our business have really given me the inspiration to keep going and to build Print Therapy.
Q: Do you have any special events or offers coming up?
We have a pretty big life event coming up this summer – our first baby is due in June! Later this spring we’ll be offering a special deal to celebrate his impending arrival. Until then, pop in code HAPPINESSPAYS at checkout for 20% off of your order – our little way of paying our happiness forward.