Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Arey.
Hi Melissa, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Hi there! I’m a graphic designer and have always loved doing artsy projects and fun DIY crafts! I unknowingly started HELLO INVITE in 2010. I had just graduated from the University of Cincinnati as a double major (in art and in marketing) and was engaged to my high school sweetheart! I decided to design all of the wedding stationery and paper goods for our wedding coming up that December, where I got my first design inquiry DURING our wedding reception! It was for a set of rehearsal dinner invitations and I agreed on the spot. Right there in my wedding dress! From there, it snowballed from a “hobby” to a full-time job!
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Nothing that’s worth it is ever easy! I struggled a lot in the beginning with time management and pricing. When I was first starting out, I was charging next to nothing – I’m embarrassed to admit, sometimes barely enough to even cover my supplies! I loved what I was doing so much that it was hard for me to put a price on it! I also found it hard to say “no”. I took on any and every design request, while also working a full-time job, and printing/cutting/assembling everything myself. Let’s just say I was working A LOT of hours and also a bit overwhelmed!
It wasn’t until I became pregnant with my son that I knew something had to change. I wanted nothing more than to continue doing what I love, while also having the flexibility to be able to spend time with my family. That forced me to really understand my business costs and figure out my pricing structure, be more selective with the projects I take on, and outsource where I can! This has helped me become so much more efficient and profitable with my time! It has also led to the design and launch of a semi-custom wedding collection, and did I mention I was able to quit my full-time job!?
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
So incredibly honored to be here! I own a small print and design studio located in Cincinnati, Ohio called HELLO INVITE! I specialize in personalized stationery and handcrafted paper goods – from wedding invitations to party stationery to birth announcements, and anything and everything in between! I’m the person who will never say no to adding (by hand) ALL the cute, tiny, personalized details to your invitations! All ideas are welcome here!
Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
Growing up, I vividly remember my mom saying to me, “Melissa, if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life!” Those words have always stuck with me! Choose to make a living by doing what you love and you will show up excited to work every single day with a grateful attitude and a humble heart.
- Semi-Custom Save the Dates start at $235
- Semi-Custom Wedding Invitations start at $275
- Embellishments (silk ribbon, wax seals, vellum, envelope liners, etc.) start at $35
- Custom Wedding Invitations start at $3,000
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.helloinvite.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/helloinvitedesign/