In this first of a new series we talk to wedding business owners about their first year in business.
This week it’s Jo Harrison, founder of Premurosa which means thoughtful in Italian.
What do you do?
We create unique invitation gift boxes – invitations which include a gift and can be posted directly through a letterbox.
As well as a range of invitations designs, there’s a choice of gifts (including chocolates, biscuits and jewellery) and we also provide Save the Date and RSVP options.
These invitations are beautifully presented in a white & silver bespoke gift box and are posted in a metallic silver envelope.
What was your “big idea”?
When my daughter left home, she moved 300 miles away and was a big miss. After a couple of months she sent me a small gift which was delivered through the letterbox. It arrived in a tatty brown envelope and her message was typed onto a sticky label. It wasn’t presented well but that fact that she had been thinking of me and the present had popped through the letterbox onto the doormat as a complete surprise really made my day.
From then on I couldn’t help thinking that if I produced letterbox gifts which included a greetings card and bespoke packaging there could be a market for it… Premurosa was born. From there I soon realised that my lovely letterbox gifts would make amazing invitations so set about creating these unique invitations and save-the-date packages.
Why did you want to do this?
I wasn’t planning on starting my own business at the time, but the idea wouldn’t go away and I really felt as though I had it in me. I love the concept of Premurosa and believe it will do really well. Success brings with it opportunities and freedom to make choices and I want to be able to make those choices.
What were you doing before?
Before and during the setting up of Premurosa I freelanced as an office manager for a luxury holiday company and also caddy for my husband on the PGA European Seniors Tour which I continue to do now. It’s good fun travelling and meeting up with the rest of the players and their wives and it keeps me fit! Although, as you can imagine it’s not always fun, for example if John’s not shooting a good score and I’m caddying in the rain, trying to keep both of us and the clubs dry it’s not much fun.
How has your first year gone?
Without a doubt, it is the hardest thing I have ever done but I love it. I have had problems with web designers which has cost me both money and wasted time and had to eat an awful lot of chocolate because it reached its best before date (such a chore). The factory is freezing in the Winter and too warm in the Summer and there is never enough time in the day. However, you learn as you go and things do start to improve. This year, with the change in gay marriage laws, I have exhibited at gay wedding shows and am now looking into Asian wedding fairs which I think will be amazing!
What’s been the biggest lesson learned?
My website is good and much better than the previous one, however (maybe it’s a bit like building your own house) you always feel as though you could tweak it. Start with your design on paper and have your say. Ensure you have as much control of the back end of the site too, it’s important to be able to change text regularly and it’ll save you money in the long run.
And, start your business organically if possible. Working from home to keep your costs down. Believe in yourself and go for it!
Top tip for other newcomers?
Whatever you do, attention to detail and good customer service are so important. We always go that extra mile and add little finishing touches to our invitations that the recipients won’t expect so they really get that wow factor. Oh and be prepared to work long hours. I very rarely take time out and even when I do, I still find it difficult to switch off. Premurosa is a part of me.
Thank you, Jo.