For the next two weeks, we have the lovely Krista Murphy of Wishtree Invitations & Design in the Spotlight and we could not be more thrilled! This adrenaline junkie and Nutella lover covers it all in her spotlight interview. From the importance of community to work-life balance and what a typical day looks like, keep reading for the full interview…
“I’m Krista Murphy of Wishtree Invitations & Design Inc. A stationery and design studio from Ottawa, Canada. Specializing in custom invitation suites for weddings and events, as well as brand design for small, but mighty, businesses. Wife to a number-crunching husband and mom to two kiddos; Gabrielle (age 5) and Jacob (age 3). I’m an art director at an advertising agency by day and creative director at Wishtree by night.”
Tell us a little bit about your business!
“With a graphic design degree and 15 years of industry experience, I’ve worked my way from production artist to art director in the corporate world. Wishtree grew out of a love for the prettier side of graphic design. We are multifaceted and diverse in style, and focus on making the entire process fun and easy for each and every client.”
Three fun facts about you! GO!
- I’m an adventure junkie! I’ve been skydiving twice, hit 8Gs in a fighter pilot plane doing the same move that killed Goose, gone dune buggying in the desert, jumped off the Stratosphere tower in Vegas, been zorbing, rappelled off mountains in Australia…BUT! I refuse to bungee jump!
- I’m a huge Nutella fan. You’ll often find me with a nutella latte or a spoonful…
- I’m a total chicken when it comes to selfies. (which also lends itself to IG lives) I much rather be behind the scenes then front and centre.
Spilling The Tea
What was the pivotal moment when you decided to start your own business?
“The pivotal moment to start my own business happened 10 years ago with my best friend. We were both graphic designers in corporate agencies. Our friends were just starting to get married and reached out to us to help them with their invites. When we started looking around the city, we noticed that there was a serious lack of good stationery designers. [this was well before Pinterest existed!] In fact, the one shop that we found was rather outdated. So we took matters into our own hands, started designing for friends and it snowballed from there. Realizing that the demand wasn’t
dwindling, we decided to make it official a year later and incorporated. 5 years later, I bought my friend out so she could focus on her new family and went running with Wishtree—offering logo and brand design on top of weddings.”
What is the hardest thing about running your own business? And what are you doing to manage this?
“The business side; finances, taxes, the boring stuff. Best way to manage this is outsourcing. I have a bookkeeper and accountant, I have a few girls that I outsource designs to, and I rely on the industry around me to help when needed; styled shoots, photoshoots, supplies, etc… These are always great investments in your business.”
A Day In The Life
What does your typical work day look like?
“Typically, my workday for Wishtree starts off with a good coffee (love me a nutella latte) and Instagram posts. Always a new post, followed by our story polls. (these have become expected now with our followers) Then I sit down and go through emails. From there, we tackle the design pieces. Whether it’s new designs, revisions to a design, prepress for printing or quotes/invoices. There’s always something to do. We’ve got a good mix of wedding and corporate clients now. So it’ll be a mix of invitations and brand design (logos, social media, promo, etc…). This helps keep things fresh and exciting. I tend to save assembly for evenings once the kiddos are asleep. This allows me to spend time with the hubby while multitasking envelope wraps and stuffing envelopes.”
How do you maintain work-life balance?
“WINE. Kidding! But in all honesty, I’m still struggling with work/life balance. I have the routine, but lately it’s been bleeding into my evenings once the kids go to bed. The best advice I can impart is to put your life first, but always be aware of your deadlines. So if you know that you have a big suite due by end of week, you’re going to hustle and get it done within the time you have. If you’re putting things off, then it’s going to cut into your family/you time and there’s no one to blame but yourself. So be cognizant of your to-do list and timelines and plan them around your life.”
If you could give one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
“COMMUNITY. Build your support system within the industry you’re in. Whether it’s wedding planners, photographers, florists, graphic designers—or even your own competition—reach out. As well, contribute. Don’t just piggy back off them. Ask your questions, but pay it forward as well. Whether or not you can share advice, you can certainly leave comments on their social media and help promote.”
What is one of your proudest accomplishments?
“This is so tough to define! I suppose that 10 years in the industry says something. I’ve seen the rise and fall of many stationers, designers and artists. To have built a successful business before social media and Pinterest is a rare thing to see these days.”
What is one of your biggest goals?
Getting an online shop up so I can focus more on the corporate side of Wishtree. Logos and brand development are my first love. I’d love to make the custom side of Wishtree entirely exclusive, but still have the option for brides to have a piece of Wishtree as part of their wedding through pre-designed suites. It’s in the works!”
Teach Us Something!
“1 – Jack of all trades, master of none. Find your niche and stick to it. Don’t try to do all the things because you will inevitably be unable to give your all on what matters most. Balls start to drop and you never master your talent. Focus on what you’re amazing at and outsource what you struggle with or don’t like.
2 – Be Present. Whether it’s showing up on social media (daily posts, stories, lives), answering emails within a short amount of time (don’t leave clients wondering where you are!) or networking (build that community); be present. It takes a lot of energy and perseverance to make a name for yourself. But if you’re not showing up, no one knows where to find you.”
- How do you unwind after work? “Good glass/bottle of wine and couch time with the hubby once the kiddos are asleep.”
- Two web tools/apps that you can’t live without? “Later for Instagram/Facebook scheduling and Lightroom”
- Hobby? Wine! Currently taking the Sommelier course with the husband at our local college.
Krista's Question To Artisaire PRO Partners
“Would you rather; design everything by hand (resulting in days or weeks of work) for more pay OR design everything by computer (resulting in a speedy turnaround) for less pay?”
Thank You So Much, Krista!
That concludes Part One of the Partner Spotlight with Wishtree Invitations & Design! A big thank you to Krista for sharing her story with us, we loved learning more about you!
To follow Krista’s on Instagram click here!
The Artisaire Pro Team