The thought of running your own business may seem like a dream to some, and venturing into entrepreneurship may sound a lot easier said than done. If progressing out of your 9-5 job and venturing out on your own has always been on your mind, why not learn from the ones who have taken a leap of faith to run their own business and decided to take it online?
Today, GoldWire will be sharing an exclusive interview with the founder of a local wedding stationery studio who started her own business online. Meet Michelle Yip, 26, founder of Papeteree. Read on to find out how she uncovered her passion and hidden talent for wedding stationery design, and find tips on how to collaborate with other local brands.
1. What were you doing before you went full-time into running your own online business? What influenced that decision?
I was previously employed as Advertising Account Executive in a wedding planning company for a whooping 2 years and that’s where I fell in love with weddings.
Being a bride-to-be at the same time, I DIY’d many of the decorative elements of our wedding, so one of the DIY projects I enjoyed the most was designing my own invitations and stationery. Little did I know, I had done early market viability testing! Our guests were so impressed when they received the invitations in the mail, and I even got requests from friends to design the invitations for their weddings.
Just like that, I got my first few “clients”.
Papeteree is a Singapore-based fine art wedding stationery studio featuring timeless, classic design. Our work has a minimalist approach yet is refined and rich in delicate textures, combining the colour palette inspired by the beauty of nature with calligraphy and modern serif fonts to give you the freedom to create a one of a kind invitation that is unique to you and your wedding style, our work often features surprise elements like pressed flowers, botanical and venue illustrations or wax seals.
Besides invitations, Papeteree do offer other day-of stationery such as place cards, menus, vow books and wedding signage that matches your invites.
3. What is one thing an aspiring entrepreneur should focus on when building an e-commerce webstore?
Finding a niche! Many small businesses start out trying to be the best at everything, but that means you are up against all the big sharks in the ocean, all vying the same customers, and same piece of the pie as you. Finding your own niche helps to filter and attract the ideal client to your service / business.
4. Is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) important for e-commerce businesses? Share a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tip with our readers!
Yes! One of the most important functions of SEO is increasing visibility, which means making it easier for prospects to find you when they search for something you have to offer, hence it is important for ALL e-commerce businesses!
Our SEO tip to you is to start building your expertise. If you’re a newcomer / small business, it’s going to be hard to compete against a website that’s been around for a long time. What you can do is create great content and pages that showcase your expertise. In my case, calligraphy.
5. How much time do you put into creating content for your brand on a weekly basis?
3-5 hours a week. Every Monday I will create / design, plan and schedule the content for the whole week.
6. Papeteree has a number of collaborations with other brands, share a useful tip with other local business owners on how to best reach out to other brands for partnerships and collaborations.
Make a list of your dream collaborations, it helps to shape where you want to take your brand, and always find brands that fit within your niche and support your values. Never send an email 100% cold! I would’ve reach out to them via Instagram or Facebook and ask for their emails first.
Lastly, keep your email short and sweet and always include a call to action (CTA) such as setting up a Zoom call.
7. What do you enjoy most about working with other local brands?
I love doing styled shoot with other local brands! I take every styled shoot opportunity to challenge myself and try something new before trying it on actual wedding, such as new die cut or a new way to incorporate wax seals into the wedding invitations.
8. Last but not least, share a piece of advice or an encouraging word with other small business owners.
Stay focused on your niche so that you can stand out of the pact. It’s easy to get excited and want to tap into different markets when you begin a new business venture. But, spreading yourself too thin can result in missed opportunities to capture an engaged audience.