An Engagement Gift Put Her In Business, Now She Is A Stay At Home Mom - An Interview With Tina

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We encourages our visitors to share their stories, poems and experiences.
Tina sent us a rather unique story about how a wedding engagement gift put her in business and changed her life.
We were so intrigued by her story and had so many questions, that I decided to contact her.
She was kind enough, actually excited to allow me to interview her.
Following is the interview.
Nily: Hi Tina.
Thank you for contacting A-wedding day to share your very unique experience.
Would you be kind enough to tell us a little about yourself? Tina: Sure! Well, Ron and I have 3 children between us, all living with us.
When we decided to get married, we also decided that the children will benefit from having a stay at home parent, especially since Ron has a good job, but it requires him to travel quite extensively.
We had no idea how we could afford to do so.
You see, before we got married, I was a nursery school teacher.
The pay was not great, just enough to support myself and my son.
I could not afford a babysitting service and the saving grace was, that I was able to take my son with me and did not have to pay tuition for him.
If both Ron and I work outside the home, our babysitting service for 3 kids will eat a large chunk of our income.
Also, we could not be quite as involved in the out of home lives of our children as we want to.
The issue was tabled because Ron and I knew that we would need to supplement his income.
Imagine, an engagement gift SOLVED our dilemma.
Nily: Your story is fascinating.
We believe that our visitors and article readers, many of whom have children, will benefit from your sharing your experience of how an engagement gift put you in a business that allows you to be a stay at home mom.
Please tell us about this gift.
Tina: My mother in law makes jewelry and sells it both on consignment and in craft fairs and bazzars.
Exhibiting at one fair she noticed that every time she looked, the same stand was crowded.
Her curiosity led her to that stand as well.
She noticed the owner was giving away free personalized ribbons.
Everyone wanted one.
As the fair was closing, my mother went over to ask about the ribbon-printing machine they used.
She was told that it was purchased from a company abroad.
Never the less, she obtained the contact information.
My mother in law decided to buy a ribbon printing machine and give it to me as an engagement gift.
She told me that this little machine would save me a lot of money and let Ron, me and the kids have a most personalized wedding.
With the costs of weddings today, we were delighted as we consider every penny saved, a blessing.
Nily: Was she right? Tina: We cannot thank her enough.
She probably saved us more than the machine cost her.
Nily: How did you save money? Tina: We personalized each wedding accessory as well as everything from the wedding stationery, pew bows, flower and baloon bouquets, chair Sashes decorations, place cards, favors, napkin ties and wedding cake, to the wedding cars.
We personalized some with our names, the names of our kids and the wedding date and some with Today We Are A Family.
We actually created a huge variety of personalized wedding keepsakes.
If we tried to purchase all these items - personalized - if even available, we could spend a fortune.
Nily: What gave you the idea to start your own business? Tina: Actually a few things did.
Having children, we decided that I should be here for them rather than out in the work force.
Now that I am no longer single, it can be done if I contribute to, rather than fully support the household.
The business idea came to me when I figured that like us, other brides and grooms would be willing to pay for personalized wedding items.
I also realized that printed ribbons are not just for weddings.
Personalized ribbons also enhance: pageants and homecomings, birthday and anniversary gifts, new baby gifts, sympathy tributes, corporate and private gift baskets, ribbon cutting ceremonies, special events, even political campaigns.
The market is quite large.
Wedding vendors, jewelers, florists, gift shops, gift basket makers, funeral homes and others would want to offer them and increase their profits.
Nily: You said that the ribbon-printing machine set you in business.
How did you start? Tina: After returning from the honeymoon, I consulted with my husband about starting a home-based business.
Since he wanted to contribute, both of us wrote down whatever came to mind.
A week later we read our lists and put together a plan for: who we should contact, where we should concentrate our efforts, how we should approach customers, what incentives we should offer, etc.
Well, the rest is history.
Now, I am a stay at home mom and have not only a nice home-based business but a lot of fun too.
Nily: Who are your clients? And I do not mean their names.
Tina: The first person we contacted was our wedding coordinator who happens to be a trainer and the president of the local wedding professionals group.
We wanted her input.
She got excited especially when we offered her a reseller status.
We also approached our florist who spent time and money on Stick-on letters she had to keep in stock and glue on ribbons one by one.
She could not thank us enough for saving her work and inventory space.
Then we contacted the lady who made the gift baskets for our out of town guests.
She too got excited about being able to offer not just gift baskets but Personalized gift baskets.
The baker who created our 3-layer wedding cake where a personalized ribbon surrounded the center tier, is very interested in personalized ribbon for cakes and baked party favors.
My mother in law helped us with gift shops by talking to those who sold her hand made jewelry suggesting that they offer personalized gift wrapping.
Nily: How do you promote your business? Tina: I love the Internet! Through it I contacted different vendors who could use personalized ribbon to enhance their businesses.
Do you know what sold them? I require absolutely no minimums and offer them a way to purchase samples, even single ribbons, without paying set-up charges.
They have a choice of many ribbon colors and what kind of font style and in what color ink to use.
They can even add icons from a large library of elegant emblems that truly personalizes their ribbon for their needs.
I also offer them the opportunity to become resellers.
The Internet makes it all possible and I do not have to run all over town.
Word of mouth recommendations help build the business too.
Nily: Wow! This sounds like quite a start.
But how can you accommodate small and single ribbon orders? Tina: You see, the beauty of my machine is that unlike the big commercial machines, this thermal printer is connected to, and prints directly from my computer.
It does not require any set-up or preheating and it is fast.
So I can print one ribbon or a few spools with the same ease.
Nily: I am curious.
Did your mother in law purchase a ribbon-printing machine for her jewelry business? Tina: No.
We are very good friends and she lives only a few minutes from my house.
I offered her the use of my machine any time she needs it.
She uses it mostly in fairs and bazzars.
She connects it to her PC laptop that has Windows and uses MS-WORD to prints ribbons.
Now her booth draws crowds too and her sales soar.
When she needs a ribbon printed She either comes over, or lets me know what she needs and I print it for her.
I am very thankful to my mother in law for her insight and thoughtfullness.
I do not know how much the machine cost, but I bet that by increasing her sales, she already earned much more than what she paid for the machine.
Nily: So I guess it would be safe to say that the machine actually built two businesses.
Tina: right.
Nily: Do you have any parting words? Tina: My mother in law is a fantastic person.
If every bride was blessed with a mother in law like her, the world would be a wonderful place.
Nily: Thank you Tina for sharing your experience and for permitting us to post it under our copyrights.
Tina: You are welcome.
I hope that other moms readsing this, would be encouraged to start home-based businesses and be home for their kids.
It is so very important.
NOTE: Since this interview, we contacted the Canadian manufacturer of the machine and will represent them here in the USA.
Please CONTACT US with any comments, questions or suggestions you may have.
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