We’ve MOVED!

We are SO thrilled to share with you our new home.  Please make sure to bookmark our new site and change it on your reader:

Our new address:

www.sageweddingpros.com

SEE YOU THERE!

August 17, 2009 at 2:00 am Leave a comment

Exciting Announcement!

We are MOVING!!!

(to a new url)

On Monday at 12:01am we will have a new home.  So get ready!!!

Our new address will be:

www.sageweddingpros.com

See you then and there!

August 14, 2009 at 1:49 pm Leave a comment

Insider to Insider: Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo, Owner of ABCD Designs Bespoke Stationery, inc.

I’ve been a fan of Amy from ABCD Designs Bespoke Stationery for some time now.  I first came to know her wedding stationery from features in Grace Ormonde, Style Me Pretty, and Brooklyn Bride.  But, it was through Twitter that I really got to know Amy.  She is incredibly candid and very personable.  And, then I fell in love with her blog.  WOW! Oh – WOW!  Her blog is a true work of art.  Amy manages to showcase not only her stationery, but also her amazing sense of style.  She speaks from her soul about things that truly move her.  By doing this she has an incredible way of connecting with her readers.  I can only imagine that she has a million fans… oh, and then there’s you. Dear Reader, you’ll SOON be a fan of ABCD Designs too!

Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo
Owner, ABCD Designs Bespoke Stationery
New York, NY (sells worldwide)
www.abcddesign.com
Established 2006

What is your favorite thing about weddings?
There are always wedding guests (like parents’ friends) who may not know the bride or groom very well. For me, the wedding invitation is a wonderful place to tell the couples story. I like to incorporate the feel that the bride intends for her wedding celebration. I am very inspired by the decor, food and space where they plan to marry. I love to be able to set the tone for their party as invitations are the first glimpse of the wedding day. In my eyes, there is nothing like helping to grow and heighten the anticipation for the celebration through their printed wedding stationery wardrobe.
What is your best tip for time management?
I open up the blog with my first cup of coffee in the morning. I treat it like it is a part of my work. By blogging, I give my customer the chance to get to know my personality. While I do updates of recent projects on my blog, I do not try to “sell” my product by constantly shoving it down their throats. I Twitter mostly from my blackberry. I am very much a multi-tasker. I keep the widow open and tweet when I am standing in line, waiting on a train and sometimes when I am riding the bike at the gym!
What is your little marketing secret?
THE ABCD Design BLOG!! It is pretty amazing – I’d say about 90% of my clients find www.ABCDDesign.com long before they find www.bespokestationery.com. They “stalk” the blog for a while, convince themselves they like “me” and my product. It makes selling my services that much easier come time that they decide to hire me. They trust if I am exhibiting good taste and promoting item/design/decor/recipes that they like, they realize that I will not steer them in the wrong direction when it comes to their wedding stationery. The blog is great because I blog about all things “nesting” and about “living a well lived life.” Brides stick with me and the ABCD Design blog long after the wedding day because I don’t blog about 100% weddings all of the time. It’s a great thing, because when it comes time for holiday cards, change of address, business cards or baby announcements ABCD Designs Bespoke Stationery is at the top of their minds.
What is the funnest (most fun) trend you are seeing in the industry?
The brides that I work with often buck (or make) the trend. I really like to incorporate the personality of the couple that I am working with. The more they share about their story, the more creative I can get. Recently, I worked with a couple who met when he was working on a the Campaign trail and she was writing a political blog. The result was fantastic. We ran a campaign of our own, complete with a wink and a nod to the Constitution and “real life” campaign stickers!


If you were starting your business all over again, what would you have done differently?

I would/should have charged more for custom services from the get-go. The amount of time you spend brainstorming, baby-sitting, editing, revisions and calming the bride down all adds up. The brides -knowing my history in floral design, styling and event planning- often look for my advice on flowers, food and styling the event. Maybe I should have offered this as an ala carte service? At this point and time they get a really, really good deal for my design services and wedding “therapy!”

Thanks Amy!

August 14, 2009 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Sage Declaration No. 2 ::: Practice

Yesterday, I asked you to think about how you are going to educate yourself.  Today, I want you to think about Practice.  All of those things we learned in our youth (walking, running, biking, swimming, reading, math) were only accomplished with a great deal of practice.  Today, we expect “now, now, now”.  I want the email now.  I want the appointment now.  I want the money now.  I want my dinner now.  But, nothing great is ever learned over night.  We must practice – and we must practice A LOT.

I recently read Malcolm Gladwell’s newest book, Outliers.  In it, he discusses the “10,000 Hour Rule”.  His theory is that no one can achieve greatness without working VERY hard.  He believes that you must practice something for at least 10,000 hours to become an expert at it.

He explains how everyone thinks of Bill Gates as this child prodigy / phenom / college-dropout / computer mastermind.  But, the reality is that he started his computer programming education as a child.  He had the fortuitous opportunity to go to a school in Seattle that had one of the first computers in the country.  And, he began programming while in junior high.  He was a bit obsessive so he programmed at all hours.  By the time he reached college, he had years of experience unmatched by most in the country.  Naturally, he had become an expert.  Gladwell surmises that Gates had practiced his skill for 10,000+ hours before starting Microsoft.

So, I ask you:

What do you need to practice? How will you build your skill set?  How will you commit to practicing?  How will you improve and benefit from 10,000+ hours of hard work?  What will you do to achieve success?

We cannot become experts in our field or in our business without practice.  There are no short-cuts.  We cannot build an empire overnight.

August 13, 2009 at 6:00 am 1 comment

Sage Declaration No. 1 ::: Educate Yourself

It seems like we spend most of our youth actively learning.  As a child, we learn how to walk, then run.  We learn how to ride a bike and swim.  We learn how to read and do math.  Over time, we’ve learned gazillions of complicated things.  Once we graduate from school, if we go to work for a company, we are asked to learn new things from our employer.  But, what happens when we are self-employed?  Where does that learning come from?

Today’s post is a simple one… think about:

How are you going to continue the learning process?  How are you going to build on the knowledge you have to become a stronger business owner?  What do you need to learn to be better at what you do?

If you aren’t learning something new, you are becoming stagnant.  Make a decision today to read something that educates you.  Make a decision to start surrounding yourself with people who encourage your learning process.  Make a decision to expand your mind, and learn something new.

August 12, 2009 at 6:00 am 2 comments

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