It's hard to believe that I've been working on the Small Business Series project for over 2 years now! I've almost kept to my posting every month. I love this project so much because of all of the awesome people I have gotten to meet and work with, and these two definitely fall into the category of people that are life giving and so fun to know. Please meet Kelsey & Leslie of Touies Design!
Name: Kelsey + Leslie (and Louie the goldendoodle)
Business Name: Touies Design
Favorite Dessert: This actually might be the hardest question to answer on this entire survey! We pretty much support any dessert choice, but some of our favorites are chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, anything Oreo-themed, angel food cake, chocolate covered strawberries, pretty much any Blue Bell ice cream (this is Louie’s favorite), cookie cakes, marshmallow bars….we could literally go on for days.
Favorite Artist/Album: This is so hard to narrow down as well! When we are working you will most likely hear one of two Pandora stations, either George Strait or Sunday Slow Jams. That pretty much sums up our musical taste!
Tell us a little about what your business: We are a graphic design studio that specializes in custom stationery and invitations. Our clients range from newborns to grandmas and if you can print it, we can make it. The main goal is to be able to provide both collection pieces for customers to choose from but also have the option of completely custom designed paper products for their events.
When did you start your business? Our official birthday was April of 2012 when we filed all of our legal documents, but we really got started and took off in June of 2012.
What inspired you to start it? We were both working together and designing for our individual jobs and then in 2011 we had multiple family members and close friends get engaged and married. That year we got lots of requests for custom invitations and after doing some research, we realized there was a need in our area for custom-designed stationery. We played around with the idea for a few months and then we just decided to be bold, take a chance and see what would happen!
What would you say was your biggest challenge to overcome? Hands down, our biggest challenge has been overcoming fear and insecurity within our business. Starting and owning a business is a pretty overwhelming experience and you have to take risk after risk after risk. In the beginning, we were so anxious about making mistakes that we would get in our own way at times. We had to learn to be confident in our brand, our talent and ability to make decisions. Once we got more comfortable with those things, our business really started to take off and it’s still something we constantly work on.
Who/what was your biggest encouragement and why? No doubt, our biggest source of encouragement is each other. It has been priceless to have the two of us start this business together. There have been countless days where one of us is at the end of our rope and the other one is right there to offer encouragement and lift up both of our spirits. It’s so hard to explain some of the daily challenges in owning a small business, so having each other to depend on, and vent to, has been huge.
What is your favorite part of your business: All the free time! Haha (sarcasm). The best part has to be all of the clients we get to work with. We have such a wide range of requests, anywhere from a Harry Potter-themed first birthday party to a 600-person black tie wedding. It has been so fun to meet all of these different people, hear their stories and be able to help their visions come to life. We get to celebrate with people every day and there’s just nothing like it!
If you had advice to anyone who might be starting a business like yours?
We would both say the number one thing is that you have to pour your whole heart and soul into it or it won’t work. There will be days when it is so hard and you will have no idea what you’re doing. But, there will also be days when you can’t imagine it any other way and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Just keep your head up and take it a day at time!
Anything else about your small business that you’re passionate about?
One of the most beautiful things about all small businesses is the care that goes into every product and that’s something we really care about in our own business. We always want to be a company that goes the extra mile for our clients and be intentional with every detail and order, big or small. No matter the occasion, no matter the budget, no matter the client, we always strive to put our best work into our products.
Thanks so much Kelsey & Leslie for being part of the series, and Happy (a little belated) Birthday on your business anniversary!