This month our featured business is Lil’Guy Stationery based in Sussex, UK. Like many others, owner Kim Stewart started her business part time while still in employment before taking voluntary redundancy to concentrate full time on her business.
1. What does your business do?
We make beautiful stationery using top quality materials, Grade A rhinestone buckles and embellishments, genuine Swarovski crystals, gorgeous ribbons and flowers. I have sourced some different embellishments that are not currently available elsewhere in the UK as I think brides are looking for something different.
As well as wedding stationery we also cater for other celebrations such as anniversary parties, christenings etc.
2. When did you start?
At the beginning of 2009
3. How did you get started?
I’d been looking for something to do using my creative side as my day job was working with figures and finance. In September 2010 I took advantage of voluntary redundancy and have been working at my own business full time ever since – and I have to say it was a good decision!
4. Why did you choose this particular business?
Having designed and hand made my own wedding invitations, many of our friends and family said how lovely they were and where had I got them as they thought they’d been produced professionally, so it was a natural progression really.
5. Can you describe a typical working day?
I generally start with the email inbox, making up any sample requests to get them out quickly – I don’t like to wait for things to arrive in the post so I assume that others are the same as me! If I have an order deadline I’ll probably take the LGs (my 3 mad and often naughty, but always loveable dogs) out for a walk before getting started so that they give me some peace. My working day usually finishes at around 4pm when my son comes home from school and I have to prepare dinner for the family.
6. What’s been your best moment so far?
The first time I saw some of my work published in a national wedding magazine feature. It’s still a thrill to have work endorsed in this way and I get butterflies each time a new issue drops through the letter box! So far I’ve had work published in National Weddings Magazine, Wedding Ideas Magazine, Perfect Wedding Magazine, Just Weddings Magazine and Your Sussex Wedding Magazine.
7. And the worst?
I haven’t really had one so far – we all have ups and downs that we have to deal with. I try not to dwell on things, just learn from things and move on in a positive way.
8. Anything you wish you had known when you started?
Loads! But that’s all part and parcel of the learning curve of having your own business.
9. What’s your biggest challenge going forward?
To continue to source different items such as embellishments from the usual ones available in the UK at a reasonable price. It’s always good to have something unusual to offer.
10. Do you have a top tip for someone starting out in the wedding business?
Build up a good network of contacts in the industry, including others in the same line as yourself – it’s a very friendly industry by and large and we can all help each other in different ways.
You can see more of Kim’s designs at www.lilguy.co.uk.