A woman’s wedding day is proposed to be one of the happiest day in her life, so it comes as no surprise why most women would want that day to be perfect. Thus cue in the bridezillas who would do anything and everything to get their way on their big day.
In this episode of Spotlight, I’ll be talking to a creative entrepreneur who is no virgin when it comes to weddings. Having been a bride, she knows what it takes to get that perfect day right; but not just the day itself, I’m talking pre-wedding details.
When it comes to handing out those special invitations to save the date for your wedding, Ibiyemi Boboye has got you covered. She’ll work your style into the most minute detail and you’ll be lost for words.
Bespoke wedding invites could not be any more creative than this! Read on to learn more about this brilliant woman and her creative venture, The White Card company, tailored to every bride’s dreams.
Even the meanest Bridezilla of them all will be lost for words!
S: Hello IB, could you please tell us a bit about yourself and your passions while you were growing up as a child.
IB: From a young age, I have loved and had strong connections with all things creative arts. Truth be told, I was always in my element every time I held a pencil or paintbrush to hand; and would doodle away on any paper that had the misfortune of coming my way. I remember always getting in trouble with my dad because his newspapers and the last page of my school note books were not spared. I had a strong passion for the Arts, and while most of my mates loathed art lessons, I looked forward to it each week.
While preparing for university and completing my JAMB form with my dad, he almost had a fit when I asked whether I could choose Fine Arts as a course of study. I can never forget the look he gave me or what he said! That brought me back to reality, and at that point, I watched my dreams go down the drain as I sadly but swiftly wrote Economics on my application form.
I have a B.Sc Economics from OAU Ife, Nigeria and a Masters in Business Administration from Herriot Watt University Edinburgh. Even at that, at different stages of my life and with no formal training, but as a result of my passion and innate sense of style, I have had a shot at different art forms, from costume designing, to interior design, fashion design, photography, events decorating and you won’t believe this, owning a shawarma take out place. And I often received great feedback for my passion and attention to detail.
S: Did you ever dream of owning your own business when you were growing up?
IB: Yes, I wanted to own a business doing what I truly loved, but I wasn’t sure if it would ever happen. While at University, and during my MBA programme, all I wanted to do was graduate, make my way into a top financial institution and make shit loads of money by growing a career as a financial analyst. That was the mindset I had come to have mainly because I had left what I genuinely had a passion for to pursue a bachelors degree in something which I felt less strongly about – at this point money had become my only true motivation. The more money a job would pay, the more I wanted it, and if I got it, the bigger the void and emptiness. This was because deep down I still felt I belonged in the creative world and envied any designer, artist or creator I ever read about or came across.
S: How then did the idea for your company come about?
IB: I was slowly going through the motions and despite the economic downturn, I still held my job as a project analyst. However, year after year, my obsession with the arts grew and with time, this moved on to events stationery. I would only look forward to attending social events and weddings with the most beautifully crafted invitation cards. And of course, these types of invitations were rare and hardly ever came along. I have a keen eye for detail and would easily notice everything wrong with any events stationery I came across. These frustrations were further fuelled while planning my own wedding as finding ‘the’ card was near impossible!
Thinking about it now, I’m sure people thought I was mad because they couldn’t understand the fuss. I remember an ex colleague saying to me, ‘’it’s just invitation cards after all – no one will remember what they looked like’’. But every time I heard this, I educated the culprit on how invitation cards are indeed the first glimpse your guests get of your day and how they were indeed the most important part of the day. In fact, they set precedence of what your guests should expect at your party.
All of these led to the creation of The White Card Company – a bespoke design studio that specialises in the design of breath taking, quality, hand-crafted event stationery. We create unique stationery that form a lasting impression and our process allows us to first consult with you and exchange ideas.
S: Have you always been crafty or did this develop as you decided to start your own bespoke cards company?
IB: I’ve always been creative, though with owning a business it is very important not to shove your ideas down clients’ throats and listen to what they have to say. Incorporating my customer’s ideas into mine and creating the most sophisticated, unique pieces is the most fulfilling part.
S: What was the first thing you did after you decided to take the plunge to establish a business for yourself?
IB: The first thing I did was to come up with a business plan to help have a clear cut business objective, stay on strategy and of course give me an insight of future projections. Also, I did a lot of research, and more research. To be honest, this cannot be over emphasised!
The whole process has been a learning curve and I can’t even begin to explain what I have learnt in this little time. Every day in itself comes with new things to learn and new challenges to overcome. And of course, I committed the journey to God and there’s been not one moment of regret.
S: How long have you had the White Card Company for?
IB: We launched 4 months ago.
S: If you had the opportunity to revisit the early days of you launching your business, is there anything you would do differently now that you probably have a bit more experience?
IB: I am a perfectionist and I took extreme care before launching. Thankfully it’s all been phenomenal; however with that being said I wish the website was ready way before it was.
S: Throughout the process from the birth of your idea for the company to finally launching, what would you say was the most challenging? And what did you learn from the process?
IB: The most challenging thing has been dealing with suppliers. A lot of people are not true to their word. I have had disappointments here and there regarding quality of materials received and time delays. We take pride in sourcing and using only the best materials and print expertise for each and every one of our designs so if anything fails quality check then we won’t take it likely with the supplier.
S: What advice will you give other budding entrepreneurs out there who might want to follow in your footsteps and launch a business in your field?
IB: One thing I would say is just do it! Of course, it’s good to plan but then don’t waste too much time planning. Don’t spend months on end waiting to execute because the more you look for excuses not to start, the more you will find. Try to maintain a low overhead and manage your cash flow effectively. Lastly, learn from your mistakes and never make the same mistake twice.
S: Having investors seem to be something most people are worried about when they think of starting a business. Did you have an investor when you started out? Will you advise startups should seek out investors or save up and do it by themselves?
IB: I am an ardent believer in saving up and using your own money. If you need large capital to launch your business, then go back to the drawing board and scale down. Simplify the idea and find ways to maintain the business model on a shoestring budget.
S: What’s a day in your life like?
IB: I have my normal day job and run The White Card Company mostly in the evenings and weekends. If I have orders, then I work round the clock and burn the midnight candle. I hate to disappoint clients and will do all I can to ensure deadlines are met and customers receive their orders as at when due.
S: What do you enjoy most about what you do?
IB: From conception to the finished design, we engage in a customized process that ensures each piece of stationery delivers information to your guests in style. As there is so much joy surrounding planning a party, I always feel lucky being part of each client’s special day and bringing their papered ideas to life.
Stories like hers demonstrate that there’s no better time to do what you love than now. Better late than never I say!
For more on this creative and all inspiring entrepreneur, check out her website and social media links below.