Tuesday 23 April 2013

2Inspire Business Profile: Cardiff Invitations

We're so happy to be featuring this inspirational interview with Anna Carter who owns Cardiff Invitations that creates handcrafted bespoke wedding and event stationery. Anna is a busy mother of two who balances her family life with her successful business.

Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
There isn't really a typical business day for me - when you are running a business around being a mum of two small children then I have learnt to be flexible. The only constant thing seems to be lots of late nights! 

What made you start the business and how did you get started?
I made my own wedding stationery and loved making cards but it was always just a hobby alongside my demanding career as a tax accountant. I used to make wedding stationery for friends and family and loved it. When I had my daughter, we didn't think me returning to my old job would work for our family so so I used the opportunity to set up my dream business.

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
My greatest accomplishment was when I won best wedding stationery in the East Wales region in the Welsh Wedding Awards 2011. I had put so much work into the business and working on your own business it can be difficult sometimes to know if you are going in the right directions. So to win an award was really the recognition I needed to push the business forward and it has gone from strength to strength.

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
My biggest challenge is the ongoing task of balancing work and family without the ability to create more hours in the day. 

What are your future plans for the business?
The business has been growing steadily and I am always coming up with new ideas to make us stand out from the crowd. 

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would probably have more confidence in myself and not be afraid to take a chance. 

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams? 
Young people and especially young women are the future. By following your dreams, you have the chance to reach your full potential instead of going doing the path you feel you should follow and that doesn't always lead to happiness. 

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
1.       Put in the research in the beginning, not only into the products/services you wish to offer but also the business side of things. There is no point offering a product that people really want if it doesn't make you any money and be realistic in your pricing. I see a lot of new businesses who offer really low prices as they start up but aren't actually making any money so they take lots of bookings and end up letting people down. 

2.       Focus on customer service and don't let standards slip when things get busy. Especially in the wedding industry, it is a big deal for every customer as it is their big day.

3.       Don't try to expand/grow too quickly. I have seen lots of businesses start well but then try to take on too much and then end up not delivering the great product/service that people want in the first place.

What or who inspires you in business and why? 
 Laura Tension, founder of Jo Jo Mamam Bebe, has always inspired me as a woman who has really worked hard and achieved.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?
Not sure whether it would be classed as an inspirational quote but my dad said the following to me when I started the business and I think it is something really important to remember, 'You meet the same people on the way up and you do the way down so treat everyone how you would like to be treated.'

Contact details:
Anna Carter

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