Most of us would love to venture into a business (just for the heck of it). While some entrepreneurs become extremely successful, only few are genuinely happy. The reason for this is lack of passion.
But what if you can have both?
An amazing business coupled with your passion.
Then that’s probably one of the best ways to live and earn, don’t you think?
Speaking of which, I met a single Filipina mom who decided to leave the corporate jungle to spend more time with her son, and to pursue her passion. She opened up her own graphic design services – Papeldelights, and let me tell you, she does a fantastic job! Let me call her Clean, Crisp and Classy Cath!
But anyway, before you browse through her website and get inspired, it would be cool to know more about her, and possibly get ideas if you want to start your own business.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m Cath, a single mom, decided to leave the corporate world and became a WAHM early 2015 so I can spend more time with my son.
Tell us about Papeldelights?
Papeldelights is an online design studio that offers graphic design services specializing in customized invitations and stationery. Majority of my clients are soon-to-wed couples but apart from weddings, I also design invites for birthdays, baptism and other occasions. Other freelance projects like designing for business marketing materials are also accepted depending on availability.
What made you decide to start your own business?
I’ve always wanted to work on something I’m passionate about and that is design and the arts, but I didn’t really have the time to focus on it because of my previous work schedule. I’m a graduate of AB Communication and my interest in design started in our Advertising class. Most of my graphic design skills were self-taught. I finally decided to take freelance design services when my bestfriend urged me to put it into business, after I made her wedding invites. So I thought, I’d give it a try. I did it as a side job while also doing other VA work. Number 1 motivation is of course my son, but also what keeps me going are the positive feedbacks I get from my happy clients. I literally can feel their excitement when we finish a project and they get even more excited for their wedding. My clientele grew from word of mouth. When I’m able to make my clients happy, I feel that my work is valued and that makes me happy!
How did you plan your business?
It was mostly trial and error as I have started it from scratch. I don’t have any business background so I spent a lot of time doing research. Read and got inspired by design blogs and tutorials too.
What were the challenges? How did you manage it?
The business side and being a one-man-team is challenging. I managed by being open to learning, being open to criticisms and taking in difficult situations as challenges. I am still in the early stages of my business up to this day. I learn as I go along. I used to work as an analyst in a BPO company before. My work experiences from there combined with my creative skills has helped me a lot.
Also, offering a design-only and no prints kind of service isn’t that popular yet in our country so that has been quite a challenge, but targeting the right clients does the trick.
What was your biggest break?
I would say, my biggest break yet was when I got referred by my former clients in one of the biggest wedding groups in the Philippines. (Weddings at Work / www.weddingsatwork.com) It is a wedding community with a closed group discussion of soon-to-wed couples. Two of my clients happened to be part of that group which I had no idea of that time. Vendors aren’t allowed in the group so feedbacks from the members are legit based from their firsthand experience. Around October 2016 my clientele rapidly increased and from there, I was able to build a better portfolio.
Your advice to those who want to follow your footsteps?
This is too cliché but I’d say, don’t hesitate to follow your dreams! Find your passion and work on it. Work on something you love and you wouldn’t have to feel like working at all. Putting up your own startup biz takes a lot of discipline, time, effort and even money. Expect more sleepless nights. You will definitely make mistakes so just learn from them and keep going. Your skill and talent IS your capital. Be bold and brave to jump in! Start small. If you’re on a day job taking in a “practical” career (because bills!!) then start your “passion” career as a side job. Be humble, open to criticisms and look at obstacles as challenges. You will grow from them. Always be grateful for your blessings and Pray.
If you want to get in touch with Cath of Papeldelights, make sure to follow her social media accounts.
PeN will never stop sharing amazing stories from people who build their careers around their passion. To Cath – you are extremely talented!
Don’t forget to share this with your PeN Pals. They might need her services soon.