Have you ever wondered what it’s like to run a creative business across the pond? If so, you’re in for a treat with this episode! Today’s guest, Hannah Wilkinson is a Graphic Designer (BA Hons) nestled in between Manchester and Liverpool, England. She has been creating modern and romantic luxury wedding stationery for nearly 5 years. Listen in as she sheds light on some of the differences she’s noticed over the years between the logistics of running a creative biz in the United States versus the United Kingdom.
Grab your FREE Training — 4 Essentials You Need to Turn Your Biz into a Profit Party: https://bizbirthdaybash.com/free-training
How did you get started in your creative business?
I was a graphic designer before and then I had Penny, and She kind of gave me that kick up the butt to finally do it and not be scared to do it because nursery costs a lot of money. Like you may as well not go to work. So I started off with a few little kinds of semi-custom sets and on Etsy and digital downloads on Etsy as well at the beginning, just to kind of say what we’re going to work. And then it kind of built from there. And then I’ve added things and like hot foil as I’ve gone along and gained more knowledge.
Have you been able to find a creative community in the UK?
We have a good wedding community. Everybody’s rent is quite small and tight-knit, especially in terms of the local supply. I mean, the station is different because you can kind of order it from anywhere because it doesn’t matter so much, but like the florists and things. Tend to, you know, get the people from the local area or things like that.
So you kind of get to work with the same people, quite a lot, if you’ll, cause sometimes people do want stationers from the local area as well, so they can meet up with you and see what you like in real life have that kind of face to face time, because I think as well, they get quite excited to meet you sometimes and actually have a meeting because it’s like a first like say the first tangible thing that they say.
Well, they went in. Cause it’s the only thing that you kind of get to kind of, cause he goes to the floor, stares at you and you say, oh, I quite like their sets, some pictures and things, but you can’tsee and touch things and say, oh, can you change that? Can you do that? You can just kind of get what you’re given don’t you on the day.
So I think they quite like the control of going through things with you. Um, but yeah, I’ve met great Flores and things like that.
And we have Facebook groups in the UK, um, for. Style shoots, um, for wedding stationers, it’s not going to be quite like what you’ve got because we did, you don’t have people in charge of it doing like videos and things like that.
So it’s just kind of, you know, if you kind of look into something, you’d say I need help with this, that type of thing. And then we have like a little local Instagram group a stationers.
What do you find to be the biggest difference in regards to running a creative biz in the UK?
I don’t think our wedding budgets tend to be quite as large in The UK.
Yes. I would say that that is something that I’ve picked up on over the years when we do have people write in and ask questions from the UK perspective, there have been a couple people who say, well, people here in the UK and Europe, aren’t spending the same amount on weddings, you know?
So how do I apply your pricing principles to what I’m trying to do here? So that’s definitely a difference. I would say.
Have you been able to find UK vendors that you love and trust?
Yeah, I don’t think we have as much as you guys have. Cause I think like the wax seals, we don’t have as much choice. I’m so jealous of like, you know, you have Artistan. Stuff like that costs a fortune for us to get them by the time we ship them over.
I think Artisan is actually Canadian originally. Isn’t it Cami?
I don’t know. I always use a different one.
I’m not sure, but either way. I mean, to get something from North America in general, whether it’s Canada or the U S is probably expensive.
Has Brexit and all the rules associated with it affected you/your biz personally?
I mean, Brexit was going on for so long. I just started watching the news. It’s like, Nope. Someone will tell me if it’s important. Yeah, no, like, I, I don’t think it’s changed a lot in a lot of ways for me anyway, maybe different, like good space businesses, you know, where you’re sending lots out, but I sent an order to Switzerland and I didn’t have to do anything different.
I think the only thing that’s changed for me at the minute is that we can’t get boxes like packaging boxes. Okay. It’s just taking ages to get like, no kind of nice gift boxes that you’ve put your orders in or, you know, the kind of fancy ones that some people put their invites in.
Like there’s not enough paper. And then, when they get there, they’re getting held off customs or whatever it is. Um, that’s been the only annoying thing in a minute is like, how am I going to send my orders out? So, it’s just a struggle to get shipping boxes in general.
Are you serving clients all over Europe and the world?
Most of mine are actually just in the UK. I’ve had a couple recently that live in Italy and Switzerland and places like that. I haven’t had American clients that I did have at the beginning when I used to sell digital products..
What is your main biz focus and goal through the remainder of 2021?
Well, it was deciding between whether or not to get a foil machine. I still don’t know. It’s such a hard decision to make.
And then kind of getting myself into my business a little bit more because I had a baby. I’ve felt a bit fatter than I want to feel, et cetera so I haven’t had brand pictures taken. But I’d like to get some photos taken soon to share on social media.