I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love to make a living finding beautiful things for other people. Mariah of Oh, What Love has that enviable job! Her business is so well-branded it’s easily as lovely as her wedding products. I think you’re going to love this interview with Mariah. She shares a lot of advice and inspiration for anyone who’s wanted to step out and make a living doing what they truly love!
In case some people don’t know about your amazing wedding business, Oh, What Love, would you mind giving them a little peek into what lovely things you create?
Oh, What Love started basically from my hobbies: reading wedding blogs, antiquing and going to auctions, doing crafts, putting together color boards and searching for great stationary. I realized that I could put all of those things together and, along with my background in Graphic Design and Marketing, create a business centered around helping brides build a personalized and totally custom wedding day that shows off exactly who she and her hubby-to-be are as a couple through all the little details that go into the big day. I create wedding stationary, handmade decorations and custom wedding design plans, as well as help brides find vintage pieces for their centerpieces and decorations.
Your business centers around custom design and working with brides-to-be. What are some of your tips or tricks for offering amazing customer service and creating satisfied customers?
One of my favorite things about my biz is that each bride is different and has a different vision for her day, and I love helping her figure out what that vision is, partly through my Wedding Style in a Week program. Wedding Style in a Week is a free program I offer that helps brides find their perfect wedding style with one actionable task to do each day for a week. At the end of that week, I create a custom inspiration board and color palate based on her wedding personality. This helps the bride and groom by focusing in on their perfect style, but it also helps me because if we were to work together I know their back stories, their personalities and their vision for the day.
Also, I think that making sure the bride and I are on the same page throughout the entire process is super important because I would never want her to end up with a wedding day different from her vision. I offer a Fearless Guarantee where we work together for 30 days to make sure I’m the perfect person to help her. If not, she gets a full refund – simple as that. I want her to be happy and have the day she’s dreaming of.
You have a beautiful ‘real weddings’ page, which really help brides imagine how your work will look at their own wedding. How do you encourage your brides to send in their testimonials and photographs?
Aw, thank you! Most of the pictures I have on my Real Weddings page were taken by me, mainly because I love to document the process of what I’m working on on my blog. I have some images from the actual weddings, and will be adding more soon – I just wrapped up helping a bride with her wedding and am in the process of helping 4 more, and I can’t wait to get some new images added to the collection!
As for testimonials, those that I have featured on my website both came in Thank You cards from the brides. I like to use words they’ve written in these cards because it’s real and it’s how they feel. It’s not forced and there is no pressure for them to come up with a testimonial on the spot if I asked them to.
There are so many custom wedding businesses out there. How did you brand yours to stand out? What do you do to encourage new brides-to-be to put their wedding in your experienced hands?
You’re right, there are TONS of custom wedding businesses out there – believe me, I’ve read all their blogs When I was first starting my business, I had doubts about starting a wedding blog because I felt like I would just be spitting out the same information as everyone else. But then I realized WHY I wanted to do this (you can read about that here) and figured out that I was different than other people in the wedding business. I’m not just a wedding blogger, I’m a paper-good designer, a decoration crafter, a consultant and a prop shop all wrapped into one which helps me stand a part from other wedding businesses.
The main thing I try to express to brides is that I have been where they are, I’ve gone through what they are experiencing and I know how hard and stressful it can be to plan a wedding. I explain to them WHY I do what I do, and that helps them understand that I really can help them plan a perfect day.
You have come such a long way since you started your business earlier this year. At any point were you worried it wouldn’t work? And what helped you push on to get where you are today?
I’ve definitely had doubts about being able to take my hobbies and turn them into a career. Sometimes I feel guilty because I’ve done ‘arts and crafts’ all day while my husband is gutting our kitchen (which is what I’m dealing with right now), but then I realize that I am getting paid to do what I love, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world. There have been days that I wonder if it’s worth all the blogging and time spent on designing free content for my readers, but I realize that I have to put the work in if I want the end result, which is a successful business that allows me to work from home. There has been one phrase that has pushed me along in my journey to doing what I love to do – “In 10 years, will you look back and regret not doing this?” as said by the amazing Marie Forleo. For me, I know that I would regret not giving my dream a chance to live and thrive. That’s what gets me through the doubtful times.
If you have a wedding in your near future, or if you’d just like to spend a few minutes each day looking at gorgeous displays and blog posts, you’ll want to pop over to Mariah’s site: Oh, What Love!