One thing I am asked is how do you stay original in such a diverse and saturated market. Knowing how to stay original is everything in a creative business. Without the need to refer to another person, thing or place. Without the need to copy and dilute another person’s hard work. I run two very different businesses, in the same industry. Ikonworks and the rather new and shiny – Hampshire Wedding Club. These businesses mean that I must have two different types of observation skills. I must keep my eye on what is going on around the wedding industry, to stay on track with what I offer my clients. I must also keep an eye what is going on within my regional industry. Ensuring I stay community focused and supportive. What does the word original mean to you? What do you feel when someone says they are original? or unique? or authentic. Finding a way to communicate originality in your business is difficult and emotional. Finding a way to stand out, in this busy and noisy industry takes inner strength and commitment.
There are a LOT of trends in the wedding industry. They ensure both brides and suppliers fit into boxes and categories. Sometimes, I question if that is a good thing. As suppliers, we become defined by what we produce, the style we portray, and what we say. You’ll hear people talking about luxe, couture, rustic, boho, or minimalist and organic. You will hear photographers describing themselves as storytellers and fine art. Florists talking about foraging and sustainability. Cake makers talking about luxury sugar work or degrees of nakedness.
What words can you use to describe the wedding of a couple with the emotion it deserves? In a way that honours this emotional and important day. As well as in a way that will resonate with new couples, you hope to connect with and book as future clients? How do you create a website so perfect it represents the heart and love you put into your business? How do you create a biography that not only sounds real but is also evocative and inspiring? Where do you place the catchphrases, the hashtags and perfect images to convey your true message?
I have learnt this year, is that it is imperative to show up for your business as you. You are more than capable of achieving incredible things if you trust you are enough. If you are brave enough to be a creative entrepreneur in the first place, you are can chase dreams and achieve them. Breathing life into your business takes effort and pride. You don’t need to copy and dilute what you offer. You don’t need to repeat what everyone else is saying. So take a step back and find a way to be you. You are so much more than enough.
This applies to couples as well. If you want a shocking pink theme, god go for it. If you want a Hawaiian luau in deepest darkest Hampshire, do it! If your husband-to-be loves star wars, find a way of factoring it in. Why? Because just as I am unique in what I offer to my clients. You are unique in your quirkiness, loves, passions and stories. Why lose that when you come to styling your wedding?
Being original is a natural instinct, why smother it? It requires you to acknowledge you are innovative, unique and capable. Keeping your eyes on your own mat, and respecting yourself. Taking a calculated risk in ok, because a creative idea is never guaranteed to succeed. So what have you got to lose? Most of all you need to be consistent and actually do the work, something I have also learnt. You can show up in your business, but avoid the work that matters and not be consistent and committed.
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If you’re a creative, you create – OBVS. You love to create and you get paid to create. Your creativity is what sets you apart from others. If your ideas are a rehash of someone else’s idea – then its lost its originality before you even put it out there. It is no longer unique, its no longer something from your brain and heart. It is no longer true to you. It no longer represents your capabilities and beliefs. By being a small business owner and creative, you have the opportunity of giving a unique gift. You have the ability to reach your clients in an emotional and beautiful way. You have the ability to commit to providing a bespoke an individual service. How? By being you, uniquely you. Everyone who knows me appreciates and understands I am an emotional person. I am also often very sensitive. It is part of being a creative, it is part of being someone invested with a whole heart in her businesses. They also know, or at least I hope they do, that everything I do is from a place of genuine interest and respect. I am the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve!
I am a photographer drawn to beautiful bridal loveliness. I appreciate beautiful styling, and carefully created wedding days. I love it when a couple creates a unique and personal beauty within their wedding day. I adore it when they take a moment to tell their own story. When they acknowledge their rare stories and individuality.
I believe we all should strive to be unique and in tune with our ideal client’s diverse needs and wants.
“In life, finding a voice is speaking and living the truth. Each of you is an original. Each of you has a distinctive voice. When you find it, your story will be told. You will be heard.”
― John Grisham
Thanks for listening, thanks for your interest in Ikonworks.