We are thrilled to have Ashley from InvitoBella in the PRO Spotlight this week! InvitoBella is based out of Louisiana and delivers wedding stationery and goods to clients around the country. In her PRO Spotlight interview, Ashley talks about how she started her business, imposter syndrome, and what it’s like “doing all the things”. Keep reading for the full interview…
Partner Profile: InvitoBella
Hello there! I’m Ashley Barado, the hands and heart behind InvitoBella, LLC located in Hammond, Louisiana. I’m the wifey to my high school love, Jason, and momma to two of the most handsomest boys (I’m biased), Caleb + Jax.
Tell us about your business? What is your background? What is your craft? How did you start?
I’ve always been on the creative side, whether doodling on my notebooks in class or the occasional craft project. I’d lock myself in my room for hours and sketch or read, however “artist” was never on my list of things to be “when I grow up.” I wanted to be a doctor or a marine biologist – like every other kid (I ended up getting a Bachelors in Science in Psychology with a concentration in Substance Abuse Counseling.)
InvitoBella was born out of love for the elegance of the south and all things weddings. Based in Louisiana and serving clients nationwide, I specialize in high quality paper heirlooms for your Big Day. I like to focus on modernly traditional, yet classic, designs that are created with an eye for detail and a whole lot of Southern heart. Some of my favorite design elements to use are sketched elements + handwritten fonts.
1. I’m a certified bookworm. I can easily read through 4-5 books a month. No particular genre, I just like to read. I’ve often re-read books more than once and not realized it until I was a few chapters in!
2. I love baseball! Go Nats!!
3. I’m firm believer that most problems can be solved over a cup of coffee and a good chat.
Spill The Tea
What was the pivotal moment when you decided to start your business?
When my youngest turned 2, my sister in law and I decided to host a joint birthday party for our two little ones with a “Mermaids and Pirates” theme.
After endless Etsy searches at the beginning of its conception, I realized this is something I may have to create myself. So after purchasing the clip art on Etsy, I created the invitation on my own….and guess what? I loved it – from the design process to the finished product! Several friends asked where I purchased the cute invitation, and I told them I made it on my own. Requests started to come in and I eventually turned the invitation designing into a side hobby-business, selling digital files on Etsy.
In 2019, I decided to focus my art solely on Wedding Stationery as I found the most joy in creating a piece of someone’s love story. I’ve worked with some of the most gorgeous and humble couples, amazingly talented wedding planners, and a plethora of creative photographers.
What do you find to be the hardest thing about running your own business and what are you doing to manage this?
What a lot of people don’t know, is that in addition to InvitoBella, I also have a full time job. I’m a mom to two young, active boys and wife to my high school love. Finding time to “do all the things,” be a mom, a wife, a model employee, and a business owner is oftentimes hard. I’ve learned to rely on others for additional help, when needed, as well as to-do lists for time management….hello, Asana!
If you could give one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Let go of Imposter Syndrome and don’t rely on the theory that so-and-so is better because they have 10K+ followers. FALSE. Take the time to invest in yourself, whether through a business coach or educational events, create your voice and aesthetic, and just DO YOU. You started your business for a reason – an attainable goal, a desire to put your art out there, etc – rely on that reasoning to fulfill your dream.
Teach Us Anything!
As solopreneurs, our jobs can be lonely. Stationers are often “out of site, out of mind” when it comes to the actual wedding day. I try to network as much as possible with other wedding vendors, participate in styled shoots and try to attend those shoots, as well as attend mixers and educational events for fellow creatives. Having a friend in the industry can be so rewarding to discuss your business milestones, fears and accomplishments with, especially with someone who understands this industry!
Two web tools/apps you can't live without?
Dubsado and Asana!
Favorite place to add wax seals?
Wedding programs! I love printing an open crest and adding a wax seal monogram to the center.
Go to place for wedding inspiration?
The couple’s venue and floral choices! Oftentimes, the venue is chosen because of a certain aesthetic it provides to the client. Between the overall feel of the venue and the colors chosen in the floral bouquet, I can pull a lot of inspiration for the design of the suite.
Thank You So Much, Ashley!
Ashley, we loved learning more about you, your journey, and InvitoBella. Thank you! We are looking forward to sharing Part Two of InvitoBella’s PRO Spotlight with you next week! Be sure to connect with Ashley on Instagram!
The Artisaire PRO Team