We are so excited to be welcoming the wonderful Marti from M.Harris Design to the Spotlight, who joins us from Kentucky! A lover of Broadway musicals and coffee and a creator of all things beautiful, keep reading to learn more about Marti and her business…
“Hi! My name is Marti Harris, the owner of M. Harris Design. I am originally from Birmingham, Alabama, but me and my husband got married last year and moved to Kentucky, and my little business was born shortly after that!”
What is your expertise?
“Two primary areas of expertise that I bring to my business come to mind: my customer service and my ability to foster new relationships. I worked primarily in customer service before I started my business, and I was surprised at how much of that carried over to my business! There are so many things that I am able to handle smoothly that easily could have become time consuming. Also, my favorite thing in the world is building new relationships, and aside from growing my talent/skill, this is the reason that my business is where it is today.”
Spilling The Tea
What has been your biggest struggle to date?
“I know it sounds cliche to say that pricing was a big struggle for me early on, but this struggle truly is so real! I think every creative business owner wrestles with finding their value and work at some point in their journey. Fortunately I finally feel like I am at a place where I am valuing my time and my expertise and service, and it has definitely paid off to have clients who value those things as well.
Another struggle of mine has been time management. Coming from a corporate setting where the days were planned out for me vs. now where I have no one telling me what to do or how to spend my time – it was a weird transition to say the least! I am a 7 on the enneagram so I constantly find myself moving onto the next thing before I’ve finished the first, and I have always struggled with being distracted by so many different things at once. I’ve managed to channel my distractibility into being an incredible multitasker, and I just have to make the effort at the beginning of each week to plan out my time!”
What was that pivotal moment for you when you decided to start your own business?
“I feel like this moment came long before I actually started my business, and maybe even before I realized what I wanted it to look like exactly. In college I really struggled to land on a major and a career path that I felt really confident pursuing. At the time, I always felt like I would do something really different and unique, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. In the back of my
mind I always had this feeling that I would run a business someday, but I kept that thought in the back of my mind for a long time.
I picked up my first pen (& nib?) right after I graduated college and immediately fell in love with calligraphy. It was just a hobby for a long time because never in my wildest dreams did I think that people would even admire my work, let alone actually want to pay for it. The next two years were spent honing in on my skills and figuring out my style.
At some point during those two years my mindset changed from hobby to business and I thought, what if I actually did this? I got engaged right around that time and life got a little crazy so I put the thought on hold. However, I did get the chance to design my own wedding invitations and it just further confirmed that this was something I wanted to do and could do. So after we got married, (with the encouragement and push from my incredible husband) I launched M. Harris Design and haven’t looked back since!”
Teach Us Something!
“Two things come to mind when I think of valuable tips/advice in this industry. The first one has to do with the fact that I hardly had any design experience, and definitely didn’t have a design degree, when I decided to venture into this business. It’s hard work, but it is possible to do this from scratch! There have been so many times that I didn’t feel good enough in this industry because I didn’t have a real design degree. So if that’s you, don’t get discouraged but use it as a reason to work harder and to always remain teachable.
The second thing is keeping a servant’s heart. I get that we’re all running businesses and at the end of the day we have to make the decisions that are going to be best for our businesses. But you will go far in this industry if you are intentional to seek out ways you can contribute to and serve the industry rather than what you can get out of it. Same thing goes for your clients! I’ve seen so much positive feedback in my business by simply putting other people before myself and constantly thinking of ways to better serve my clients, as well as other vendors.
Lastly I’ll leave you guys with a couple of tips 🙂 First, always keep a water dropper close by if you’re a calligrapher! Second, invest in a good pair of blue light glasses. They will save your eyeballs through all those hours looking at your screen!”
- Favorite Artisaire Sealing Wax Color? “Although I just now got to use it for a project for the first time, I think Clay is my favorite! It’s the perfect mix of taupe and gray. Antique gold is a solid second :)”
- Favorite vacation spot? “Rosemary Beach in the 30A area of the Florida Gulf Coast – hands down! If you’ve never been, you’re missing out. It also doubles as a place of inspiration for me!”
- Favorite place for inspiration? “Practically speaking, really anywhere outside. More specifically, I love where the mountains meet the ocean in nature. There’s something about two completely different elements coming together to create something beautiful. I love implementing that in my stationery!”
Thank You So Much, Marti!
That concludes Part One of the Partner Spotlight with M. Harris Design. A HUGE thank you to Marti for sharing her story and journey into stationery with us and teaching us a thing or two or three! We absolutely loved learning more about you! Be sure to follow Marti on Instagram here!
The Artisaire Pro Team