Today in our ongoing Meet the Maker series, we’re getting to know the lovely Amanda Wright, who runs her perfectly witty-pretty stationery company Wit & Whistle from home in Cary, North Carolina. Welcome, Amanda!
LBC: What inspired you to take your leap as an entrepreneur?
Amanda: I started Wit & Whistle because I needed a creative outlet. I was working as a graphic designer at a design firm, but my work wasn’t giving me the freedom I craved. Logos, annual reports, websites, and stubborn clients were holding me back. I felt like I needed a big change, so I made one!
LBC: When you first got started, how did you envision your business would be defined?
Amanda: I didn’t have a vision when I started my business, which probably isn’t a great way to start out. I only knew that I wanted working to be fun. I took it a day at a time without a big plan—tweaking and slowly growing my business as I went.
LBC: How would you describe what you create?
Amanda: I create witty and whistle-worthy greeting cards and paper products. My work is pretty with a touch of unexpected crassness.
LBC: Where can we find your products?
LBC: Walk us through your typical work day.
Amanda: I recently had my first baby, so my typical work day routine has been thrown out the window. These days I frantically try to cram a full day of work into nap time and the few hours I have after the baby goes to bed. I’m not getting much done, but my shop is open, and I’m keeping up with orders. So I’m content with that for now!
BEFORE parenthood, my typical workday was dreamy! After breakfast, I made a cup of tea and headed to my basement studio. In the morning I shipped orders, replied to emails, sent invoices, and reordered supplies. I reserved my afternoons and evenings for fun creative things like working on new designs, taking photos, brainstorming, and writing blog posts. Those were the days!
LBC: When you’re overwhelmed, what brings you back to focus?
Amanda: Remembering that I’m the boss! I chose to do this, and I can make Wit & Whistle into whatever I want it to be. If I’m not happy with the way things are going, I can change them.
I also remind myself that my business has peaks and valleys. If I’m overwhelmed with work, I just need to power through until I hit a slow period. Ahhh, sweet summertime… when they are no card-giving holidays!
LBC: Tell us about a few of the best business decisions you’ve made to date.
Amanda: Starting out selling on Etsy was a great decision for my business. Many potential customers (both retail and wholesale) constantly search Etsy. It was much easier to be found and gain recognition there than it would have been starting out with only my stand-alone website from the beginning.
Building a relationship with a trusted local print shop so I could outsource my printing was also a great decision. For the first few years in business I printed all my cards myself, but it got to be too much for me to handle. I was always printing, cutting, and folding when I really wanted to be designing. Picking up boxes of freshly printed and folded cards from my printer is the best feeling! It frees me up to do more of what I love.
LBC: Please share one mistake or obstacle from your business experience. How did you bounce back/overcome it?
Amanda: I’ve grown my business so incredibly slowly that I haven’t made any massive mistakes (thank goodness). Several years ago I decided to expand my line and introduce a collection of home goods. I spent a good chunk of money screen printing large quantities of tea towels and printing custom fabrics for pillow covers. My pillows and tea towels weren’t total failures, but they definitely didn’t become customer favorites. Since then I’ve been slowly selling out of my home goods. I’ve realized that my customers love Wit & Whistle for the witty paper goods, so why reinvent the wheel?!
LBC: Is there a cause or organization that you contribute to that you’re particularly passionate about?
Amanda: I support Water for Good (they drill and maintain wells in the Central African Republic) and the local North Carolina food bank. There’s nothing like helping others in need get the basics—food and water!
LBC: What are 3 essential resources in your business toolbox that you can’t do without?
Amanda: My sketchbook, Adobe Illustrator, and Wave Accounting.
LBC: Suppose we had a time machine. If you blasted ourselves forward a few years, where would we see your company?
Amanda: I honestly have no idea! I’m going with my “take it a day at a time” plan for now. There may be more babies in my future, in which case Wit & Whistle will be coasting for the next few years while I savor this phase of life. Maintaining the business has helped me stay sane and feel like myself as I adjust to motherhood, so keeping the shop doors open one way or another is important to me.
LBC: What’s one thing you would eat, if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life?
Amanda: Warm-from-the-oven, gooey-in-the-middle chocolate chip cookies. With milk. (I’m a total chocolate chip cookie snob.)
LBC: Your musical playlist is full of…
Amanda: Regina Spektor. Pretty sure I have all her albums. I also love Rubble Bucket. Oh, and Parov Stelar.
LBC: Share one of your guiltiest pleasures.
Amanda: I can’t control my self around desserts. If I make a pan of brownies or a batch of cookies, it will be gone within 24 hours. I’m a monster! I have to limit myself to making those single-serving mug brownies.
LBC: If you could hire someone to do just one thing that you sort of loath doing, what would it be?
Amanda: Cleaning the grout in my bathrooms. Grout is the worst.
LBC: What’s your favorite quote and who said it?
Amanda: Today my favorite quote is: “Don’t panic, and it’s amazing what you can do in a day!” —Rhea Thierstein
Thank you, Amanda, for sharing your talent with us! We absolutely love what you’re doing with Wit & Whistle, and we look forward to all the wonderful things ahead for you and your company. We’re cheering you on!
Want to see your brand featured in our continuing “Meet the Maker” series? Drop us a line: hello AT luckybreakconsulting.com. Please use “MEET THE MAKER” as the subject line and be certain to include your web address. We look forward to hearing from you!