Hi, I am Amy, and my mother, Annette, owns Creative Concepts by Design. We create and run the business together and want to share our story of how we got started. Annette had been playing around with the idea to buy a laser in order to make labels for her and my dad’s other business in the waste water industry and they decided if they were going to do this that they would start it as a separate business.
I (Amy), at the time was a paralegal but had gotten laid off while pregnant with my son, a blessing in disguise so I could stay home and have one on one bonding time with my daughter. Once Freddie was about five months old, it was time to start figuring out what life was going to look like and re-entering the work field. Mom (Annette) had approached me about her new business venture and asked if I would be interested in working and help run the business, this way the kids did not have to go into daycare.
ROAD TRIP TO INDIANAPOLIS!
Why to Indy? Well there was a trade show that we wanted to attend to look at lasers and suppliers. WOW! We were able to see some of the coolest gadgets around while we were there. Our minds were reeling. We ended up purchasing a laser engraver and another process (that we no longer use) while at the show. We found multiple suppliers that we could use and spent the day networking.
At first, we thought we could do it all, and we did. It was stressful at times, but we made it work and loved that each day was different and liked that we had that freedom. As we learned the machines and how to make things, we got better. This was all self-taught, through asking questions on forums and searching online. Through trial and error, we learned what worked and what did not.
In the beginning, our hours were short but busy. We stuck with mostly making industrial labels for a few companies and just a few personalized gifts on the side for friends and family. We alternated schedules so that someone was always available to be with the kids. Annette continued to run their other business with my dad and helped when she could or if we got busy. A lot of times we would run a whole bunch of the standard labels we knew people were going to order frequently so we could just pull those when the order came and run the specialty labels.
Once the kids started preschool, we were able to put a few more hours into each week. We started fulfilling more personalized gift orders. We absolutely loved seeing the customer get so excited when they saw their gift, and we couldn’t wait for them to get back with us with the recipients reaction as well. Seeing the impact certain gifts had filled our hearts.
WHERE TO NOW?
By this point both of my kids were in school all day and it was time for us to CRANK up the volume! We did not quite have enough time though to be doing shows and fairs. We continued to sell to friends, family, and word of mouth. A couple years later we thought maybe we should start doing some shows, so off we went looking for groups on Facebook to join. We ended up stumbling upon a group that taught marketing for Facebook. Sure, let us try it, cannot hurt, right? It is crazy to when someone points something out to you that you know, and you are like “Duh, I knew that!” Implementing things, we already knew and the other new ways we were learning has grown our online presence and knowledge tremendously. We have come a long way in the short 9 months of this program.
Along the way we have completely switched gears and are now making family fun games and puzzles. We always had friends and family over on the weekends to play cards or games and decided we wanted to try and bring that back to our lives and to game lovers. Life gets so crazy busy, so we want to bring back the Family Game Night to everyone with lots of easy and fun games for all ages to play. While we still take custom orders/gift requests our focus is how to bring the FUN back to your Family Game Night table.
Every year we still alternate between going to two trade shows in our industry. We go to Indianapolis one year and Las Vegas the other. While there we are taking continuing education classes and walking the show floor to see what sparks our creativeness and to find new products to bring to you or materials we can use to make beautiful games or gifts for the game lovers of the world.
Until next time, PLAY ON!