Today we’d like to introduce you to Vy Vy Vo.
Vy Vy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Since I was young, I have always been inherently creative, a perfectionist, and extremely passionate for art and design. I was first exposed to the world of graphic communications when I had to select a high school elective. I never knew what seemed like such a simple decision at the time would lead to obtaining a life skill set and my current journey. During my senior year, I decided against applying to an art school and chose to attend Boston College. Realizing that I still had a passion for design, I enrolled in every design course available on campus as well as off campus in a consortium program with Boston University. From decorating my dorm room door for every holiday and season to creating custom desktop backgrounds for me and my friends to helping classmates with various design projects, I tried to find as many creative outlets as possible.
After BC and a plethora of rejected job applications, I went on a design hiatus believing I was not meant to design for a living. However, design somehow always found a way back into my life. Between 2009 to 2012, I created custom baby shower invitations for friends including hand-cut and handmade onesie-shaped invitations with eyelets to resemble buttons, folded diaper invitations, and bottle-shaped invitations with ribbon. It was then that I found my calling as I realized how much joy I felt in my heart to bring these invitations to life even without being compensated.
I had this urge to start my own custom invitation business, and a fellow graphic designer casually asked me what I would call my company if I ever decided to start my own business. On the spot, I decided to play off of my name and called it Invytations. I purchased the domain name and registered all of the social media handles, but I did not do anything with those items until almost a year later.
The fear of failure and rejection stopped me from launching. It was not until a friend mentioned she was launching her own Facebook business page that reignited the fire and hunger within me. On August 21, 2013, I launched my Facebook business page for Invytations. Within 1 day, I reached 100 likes. Within 4 days, I reached 200 likes. Exactly a year later on August 21, 2014, I launched my company website. Fast forward 4 years, and I am still in business. What started out as one-off gifts for friends became my part-time hustle and full-time passion.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There have definitely been some bumps along the way. I had trouble finding a full-time job that I loved and determining a clear-cut career path as I graduated during a recession with a Communication degree with the hopes of being hired as a graphic designer. I felt lost and defeated. Negative feelings of regret and failure would consume me, but at one point, you have to stop feeling sorry for yourself and realize that you are the captain of your own journey. Finally taking a leap of faith led to being able to do what I love on my own terms.
However, pursuing your passion and starting your own business is not easy by any means. Most small businesses fail within the first 3 to 5 years, and I did not want to be one of them. Getting my name out there was the initial challenge. The power of social media and word-of-mouth helped successfully leverage my brand, but I would settle and take on small orders for little to no profit. I would justify the losses as “for portfolio purposes,” but I had to comprehend the true value of my time as I worked a full-time job in addition to operating my own business. I had to learn that it is ok to charge what you are worth and it is ok to let a potential client walk.
In true entrepreneurial fashion, weekends and free time did not exist for me. There were many sleepless nights and declined plans with friends as I would dedicate evenings, weekends, and holidays to completing orders, building the business, and expanding my network. When you start your own business, you are not going to simply just work 9 to 5. You will be working after work and then some. The hustler mentality is that you should always be working even while others are sleeping, and the hustler goal is that you are making a profit even while you are asleep. For the past 4 years, I learned from my mistakes, setbacks, and oversights with some clients, and I am still learning and growing to this day. Through trial and error, I solidified policies and processes that worked well for me and what did not – to work smarter, not harder.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Invytations specializes in custom-designed, handmade, and personalized invitations and day-of-event stationery. From baby showers to weddings to any other special occasion in your life, I dedicate my time, creativity, and passion to designing exclusively and setting the initial tone for your event. Everything is guaranteed to be “made with love.”
I currently do not use templates and curate each quote and design based on a client’s specific needs and requests. Eventually, I plan to have an Etsy store to accommodate other types of budgets in addition to continue offering the custom services of my business. When clients choose to work with me, they can be confident that they will not receive an average “cookie cutter” invitation or stationery product. My overall goal is to successfully set the tone and caliber of your event for you and all of your guests.
Besides my colorful hair, what sets me and Invytations apart is the level of customer service and care given and the custom designs for each client. There have been many occasions that I end up not only building a client-vendor relationship, but a lifelong friendship as well. From complimentary consultations to transparent communication throughout the entire process, I strive to provide a stress-free, personal, and unique stationer-client experience. When you hire me to handle your invitations and/or day-of stationery, that is one item off your event planning checklist that you do not have to worry about further.
For the past 2 years, Invytations has won The Knot Best of Weddings, the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award, and Best Wedding Invitations on the Boston A-List, which is powered by CityVoter and WGBH. I attribute the 4-year growth and success of Invytations to my support system of family and friends, my education and professional network, satisfied client reviews and referrals, but most importantly, my drive – the drive to work 2+ jobs for the past 10 years, the drive to work 7-day weeks, the drive to push through setbacks and to never quit, the drive to someday be my own boss full-time, and ultimately the drive to make all of my stationery with love that clients will love. If I can keep doing what I love and what I am good at, providing a product that people need, and get paid to do what I love, that is when I will have fully succeeded.
What were you like growing up?
Most people currently in my life will not believe this, but I was actually shy, quiet, and unconfident growing up. A fun fact about me is that I am a retired child model. I was on a few game boxes and clothing advertisements, but the superficiality of the industry and my desire to fit in led me to quit. I desperately wanted to be accepted by my peers that I even considered changing my first name, Vy Vy, to something more Americanized as it was mispronounced almost every time during attendance. Good thing I changed my mind as Invytations would not have been born.
As a child, I loved doing anything creative from coloring to dressing up in costumes. My earliest memories of using my creativity are with my mother who introduced me to the world of arts and crafts from origami to gimp to paper flowers. The first custom invitation I can recall ever making is for one of my elaborate childhood birthday parties when I was so intertwined with selecting the perfect font and making sure the text printed centered on specialty balloon paper. At that age, I didn’t realize where that attention to detail would take me until now.
I found my voice and personality by high school. I was in the top 3 ranking of my graduating class and was Class Vice President for all 4 years. During my senior year, I was the Editor-In-Chief of my yearbook, won the class superlatives for Most Involved Senior and Standout Senior, and was on the Homecoming Court and Prom Queen. You might say that I am a bit of an overachiever and social butterfly (understatement). However, all of this has made me who I am today and has truly facilitated the success of my entrepreneurial journey.
- Website: www.invytations.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/invytations
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/invytations
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/_invytations
- Other: www.weddingwire.com/
Vy Vy Vo