Stationery near me Today I tell you how to start a stationery business. There isn’t much out there specifically on starting a stationery business for invitation designers, and that’s my passion!
The way I got started as an invitation designer was a lot of trial and error! But now I have a 6-figure stationery business and I want to help you get there, too.
I also run a monthly membership community for stationery designers, Stationery School, filled with art and business courses that will help you achieve great things and connect with other stationery designers.
In teaching you how to start a stationery business, I will refer to many videos and blogs that delve into individual invitation design and business topics. You can explore them however you want. This post will be an overview of what you can do to build a successful stationery business from scratch. I hope you join Stationery School to continue your arts and business education!
What is stationery?
So you want to become a stationery designer. First, everyone wants me to let you know that the type of paper stationery is spelled stationEry, not stationAry. With an A, it is like an exercise bike. I like to remember him saying don’t be an idiot. Therefore, we are starting a stationery business, not a fixed business (we want your business to move, not to stand still!).
Stationery items generally only refer to paper items; think of greeting cards, invitations, thank you notes, etc. Stationery stores usually sell other things like candles, diaries, gifts, but the actual stationery is just paper items.
Now there are 3 main types of stationery businesses to start:
Wedding invitation business for event stationery such as invitations, escort cards, menus, etc.
Personal stationery business for things like note cards and branding
Business stationery business for things like greeting cards and art prints
What type of stationery business should I start?
It’s about what you like the most!
My business is a wedding stationery business. This post is not ONLY about starting a wedding invitation business, it is my area of expertise. That’s usually the luxurious end of the market, with bigger bills and a more hands-on experience. Plus, you can deal with all the thrills of wedding planning over and over again (if you like!). Wedding invitations come in a few varieties: custom, semi-personalized, or pre-designed, but they all fall under the same umbrella.
You may want to start a wedding invitation business if you like working with clients one-on-one directly, if you like high-quality documents and printing methods, and if you want to work with fewer clients.
Personal stationery gives you more freedom. You can work with business stationery clients on brand strategy and long-term marketing goals, or you can work with people on personal projects.
You can start a personal stationery business if you like working with individuals one-on-one, but prefer smaller projects that can be repeated over time.
If you like to sell greeting cards and art prints, chances are you have a larger product line and sell your stationery wholesale to retailers or directly to individual consumers. There will be many smaller sales but at a lower price. If you are a commercial stationer, volume will be your best friend.
It is important to focus on a niche, so you are talking to a specific customer rather than trying to talk to all customers at once. You also can’t perfect your stationery processes for all the different types of stationery. Consider who is the ideal person you want to sell to – this is called your ideal customer (read further and download our free worksheet) and it will help you determine where you should market your stationery business.
Ask yourself who this person is, what they like to do, what determines their buying factors. Where do they buy? How much do they earn and what makes them spend money? All of this will help you determine where you can market. If you want to sell to a larger audience, you can market more on Facebook or in retail stores, for example, while a younger audience can be found on Instagram or even places like TikTok. You may determine that starting a stationery store is the best way to go! It depends on who you are trying to reach.
I sell stationery internationally and throughout the United States, which is why I market primarily on Instagram and my website, and establish relationships with wedding planners to sell my invitations.
Branding Your Stationery Business
Once you determine your ideal customer, you can use those qualities to develop a good stationery brand for your invitation business. I have a video you can watch with the designer who actually designed my recent rebrand! These tips will help you.
It’s about your internal message of why you’re doing this and who you’re doing it for: that ideal customer. In all your posts, marketing materials, etc., you will act as if you are speaking directly to that customer. Use language that makes sense to them, touch on their pain points, and the solution your product will provide.
Stationery Design Programs
When you’ve decided who you want to serve, you should definitely familiarize yourself with their design programs. This is the best way to learn how to create your own stationery. Industry standard programs for designing office supplies are found in Adobe Creative Cloud, specifically Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, and Adobe Photoshop.