This week, our very own CEO, founder, and fearless leader, Allison spoke at Tory Johnson's Spark & Hustle here in Tampa.
Allison spoke to the group on the Muscle Marketing panel alongside fellow Tampa businesswoman Nique Mealey. They shared their stories of starting their own businesses from scratch, as well as how they've continued to be creative in the ways they grow their companies.
We're not sure if you've heard, but Allison started IC from her apartment's spare bedroom back in 1999 with zero startup capital and only a laptop bought on credit. She's one inspiring entrepreneur! We're lucky to get to learn from her everyday.
Spark & Hustle is a conference run by Tory Johnson, of GMA (and so many other credits). It's on a tour of the US to inspire women who are starting their own businesses!
Invitation Consultants is thrilled to announce Thank You Card Week, which takes place this year March 3 - March 9. During Thank You Card Week, you are encouraged to send heart-felt, hand-written notes to all of the people who you want to say 'thank you' to! From family to friends, co-workers to teachers, even (or especially) your mail carrier! There are so many people who help us in our day to day lives that we just don't get to thank properly.
And we want to make it easy for you to participate in Thank You Card Week. Visit www.thankyoucardweek.com during the month of February and submit your request for five FREE thank you cards! That's right - you get the sweet card shown above to write your 'thank you's on!
Don't forget to come visit us on Facebook, or tweet along with us, during Thank You Card Week using the hashtag #ThankYouCardWeek and tell us who you've been saying 'thank you' to!
On Friday, Olivier and I hosted a spooky Halloween party for our kids. There were 20 boys between the ages of 9 and 10 in our house - so already that could be a fright!
The kids played games including mummy wrapping (using toilet paper), hot pumpkin (similar to hot potato), limbo, scavenger hunt and a crime mystery.
I created a ghostly dinner menu of pasta with blood sauce, wrapped mummies, and quesadillas of doom. Dessert was a choice of dirt with worms or eyeball cake! The kids washed down the meal with water labeled with the skull bottle labels.
The kids all went home with party favors of sweet treats - labeled with fright night seals. The kids had a blast! What are your plans for Halloween?
We've been showing you what goes on behind the scenes here at Invitation Consultants for a while now - but we wanted to give you a better idea of who we are, what we love - and what inspires us! First up in our "Chatting With" series is Invitation Consultants founder and CEO, Allison!
Q: Where do you find inspiration?
A: Interior design books. I usually buy them from
Anthropologie or Stanton (in Atlanta), Houzz, Apartment Therapy,
magazines like Elle Décor, Veranda + House Beautiful, one of a kind
restaurants, touring cities, boutique hotel websites, chick flicks, listening
to playlists on my iPod, my kids. Inspiration is everywhere in life.
Q: What is your favorite
piece of clothing that you own?
I will search till no end to find the perfect piece for my fireplace mantle, but
for clothing I just don’t put as much effort into it. I don’t have a favorite
piece, but once in awhile I get in the mood to shop for clothes and then I shop
from only the same stores (because it’s easy), GAP, Banana Republic, J.Crew +
Q: What colors are you crushing on right now?
A: Mauve, clover, fig and any lighter colors with grey in it.
Q: How would you describe
Paper style: modern lines + striving for mainstream usability with fabulous
color combinations. Interior design: vintage modern. Fashion: preppy ever since
grade school. Food & Restaurant: boutique-style local restaurants. I try to
rarely eat at chains, communal eating is my preference. Travel: city.
Q: What is your favorite part
of your day?
The morning because the day always has a fresh outlook, the weather is cooler,
it’s either bright out or the sun is coming up. My mind is most clear at that
moment, then it all turns to mush.
Above, Allison shows of some of her daily inspiration - from Buddha, to interior design to Los Angeles!
Q: What are some of the songs
in your “most played” list on your iPhone?
are so many! Anything from Rob Thomas + Matchbox 20, Michael Buble (I love
crooner music), anything with a saxophone, Van Morrison, old school rap, Josh
Kelley, The Black Keys, New Wave, KC & The Sunshine Band, Gipsy Kings. To
be more specific these 3 songs: "How Long" by Matchbox Twenty, "I’ll be Your Man" by The Black Keys, "Sunday Morning" by Maroon 5.
Q: What’s your astrological
sign, and do you think it describes you?
Everything! I am a total Leo. Strong-willed, bossy, takes care of everyone,
driven, makes decisions quickly, strong intuition, loyal.
Q: Where would we find you on the weekend?
A: Home Depot, Pottery Barn, Anthropologie, on a walk or biking, boutique food markets + restaurants (let’s face it, I love to eat), drives along the water, at my computer reading about travel and hotel reviews, hosting a dinner party, but most of all enjoying it all with my family + friends.
Adoption has always been a topic close to my heart. November is National Adoption Month. Every day children around the world are matched and placed in their forever homes.
The love, patience, and kindness that surrounds the adoption process is like no other event in life. Upon all of my readings and research on adoption, whether the books are about babies, toddlers or children, the journey that adopted children and their parents take is so special, delicate and heartwarming.
Each story is so unique and the attachment and bonds formed are ones that are beyond words. This month celebrate those adoptees you know and love, and if you do not know anyone adopted, take the time to read a few beautiful stories online.
I have been to my 10 year high school reunion and my 20 year is around the corner. So I have this advice from experience and hoping I can use this advice for the next one:
1 - Don’t starve yourself for weeks before the event to fit into an outfit you really have no business wearing. Most of the class gained the freshman 15 plus mommy weight, so not being your 18 year old weight is totally expected and realistic.
2 – Don’t pretend to be the inventor of something you did not invent or be a top executive of a new startup and you do not even know what they sell i.e. Romy and Michele's High School Reunion
3 – Do take this opportunity to talk to as many people as possible. The Prom Queen may have been off limits to you 10 years ago but today she is no longer a queen. The truth of the matter is, very few people remember each other (especially if your class size was above 250). 10 years is a long time and 20 even longer. So she won’t remember you are the one that threw up in the high school cafeteria on her new Reeboks.
4 – Don’t feel like you have to bring your spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend to make a statement. Most times they will be bored out of their mind. They could care less who the class clown was and the “remember when’s” will get stale. You don’t have to prove that you have a significant other by them being present.
5 – Do be yourself. Most people could spot a phoney a mile away. You don’t want to be the one that is the “phoney” at the reunion. Be genuine and honest, even if they aren’t. That means don’t brag about superfluous things, and if you have to brag do it in a subtle way. Certainly do not undermine your successes, just finagle them in to the conversation.
6 – Do steer clear of drama. So don’t bring up long lost memories that should be labeled “forgotten.”
Have you been to your class reunion? We love hearing from our customers who have purchased class reunion invitations and we would love to hear your story too!
On Monday morning, myself, Kyle, our Senior Web Extraordinaire Designer, and Olivier, our Veep attended An Event Apart in Atlanta. The conference lasted two days and was focused on web design. We heard from the hippest in the industry, learned about responsive design and ate great food. My two biggest takeaways were
Content first, then design
Design for 80%
Not having a web design background, my eyes were wide as I tried to grasp the technical concepts, but I reveled in the design aspects. It was truly an honor to be in a room full of creativity and cutting edge ideas.
I would love to show super trendy items that I suppose I would want for Christmas. But the practical side of me, really wants these items to make my life a whole lot easier. As a working mom of three, chef (only for my household), laundress and house cleaner, I have to have a practical side!
1. Sharper Image Steamer for tablecloths and clothes. I honestly get frustrated by wrinkled linens, yet we eat on them every meal. So now I am looking for the best solution.
2. Chi Flat Iron, because the one I have now has a mind of its own. I suspect that this item is on many female holiday lists. However, I promise you, on my list, it is a true necessity!
3. Waffle Maker to make square waffles, and one that does not look like mine does, like it was run over by a truck. We love breakfast for dinner and simply cannot accomplish this with our beat up one. There is nothing cozier than waffles and warm syrup on a rainy cold evening. Plus this one could feed us all in one go!
4. Love, love Simple brand vegan sneakers and boots. I seriously need comfy shoes to keep up with the kids and all the running I do in the office. I have their sneakers in grey and I very rarely take them off. So another pair would be most appreciated.
5. Puff jacket that is comfy enough to sit in almost all day. Taking a jacket on and off is too much hasssle. When I tried on this jacket in Miami (oddly enough), it was like a pillow. I would love to get a new jacket each year, but my coat closet does not agree.
6. Pretty personalized stationery to write notes all throughout the year. I try to remember to write thank you notes because I am in the business of etiquette; however, I often forget because I don't have stationery around. I know that sounds funny not having my own personalized stationery. But, I am always thinking of everyone else's stationery. So I would love these notes.
So there it is... my holiday list. I am sure right on December 23rd I will remember the one thing I have wanted all year. However, the most important thing I have realized as I ascend further into my thirties is, all I need is health, happiness and peace! And if that was all wrapped in a Pottery Barn box, even better!
Back in October, we excitedly announced that we'd be teaming up with Dina Manzo's wonderful charity Project Ladybug, an initiative dedicated to working with families who have children that are facing life threatening conditions. While you might know Dina from The Real Housewives of New Jersey, we have certainly enjoyed getting to know her through this creative and special endeavor.
Just in time for the holidays, we have several items up for sale on InvitationConsultants.com that help support Project Ladybug. What could be more satisfying than donating to a worthy cause? All proceeds generated from purchasing an item from this adorable ladybug themed collection will go straight to Project Ladybug. We have created photo holiday cards (with coordinating liners and return address seals), luggage tags, and gift stickers. Take a peek at some of the designs below and don't forget to add something polka-dotted to your shopping cart this holiday season to show your support for Project Ladybug.