getting busy: new business

4th February 2013

So I dropped the hint in my new years resolutions post that I was starting a new business. And, you guys know that I have had it on my 30-before-30 list to make a part-time income through my side businesses. I really enjoy working in public health (I even think about maybe going back and doing a PhD at some point), but I am the type of person who is happiest when I am engaging both sides of my brain – the more academic side and the creative side. My dream would be to work a 50/50 split between public health and the side businesses. So far, those “side businesses” include this blog (it makes a very modest amount of money through advertising on the sidebar and sponsored posts), my little etsy shop, which is really just a delight to run as it gives me an excuse to get artsy (though I don’t spend nearly enough time creating new pieces or doing marketing of any kind and hence not tons of income), and now my third little business. I’m spilling the beans.

30before30

Here is the story.

When we got married in 2011, it was a low-key, lovely (!), but budget-friendly affair. I really wasn’t interested in any of the mass produced wedding decor and kept it simple with white linens, white chairs, and our white tent. To add a personal and sweet touch, I did quite a few crafty projects (check them out on our wedding page here), and then just collected things from thrift shops, flea markets, and antique shops to use as decor. Old mason jars and milk glass vases for the flowers, wooden crates, vintage silver cake stands, etc. I collected as much as I could (we had a short engagement of just 4 months!), and loved every second.

flower in mason jar

After our wedding, I had a couple of people contact me to see if they could buy my stash of decor items off me. Initially the thrifty side of me thought what a great way to make back a bit of the money we had spent on the day, but something in me wanted to keep them. Then a seed was planted. If other folks were interested in buying my stuff of me, then I guess not everyone loves to do the collecting, curating, cleaning and storing like I do? And maybe people would be interested in renting this stuff out, since it would cut out the hassle, be more affordable, and mean that folks didn’t end up with 200 mason jars after a wedding and no idea what to do with them. When I searched around to see what other businesses were out there, I realized that there was a gap in the Ottawa market for the non-mass produced event decor.

wedding collage 1

Last July, the idea really came to fruition. On my Nicaragua trip, my two girlfriends and I brainstormed names, decor items, and all things business. They definitely gave me the encouragement, and I purchased a URL from our hotel room. Once I got back to Ottawa, I started collecting like crazy and building my website. I still have a long way to go to build up my inventory and have some other product ideas in mind (some crafty stuff that would be for sale rather than rent), but it is time to officially launch. Friends, meet my new business: Pieces of Love.

finallogo

The website is up and running and has my growing collection of inventory. I have so many things on my list that I would still like to source and find, but I have made a start!

inventory

I’m completely nervous and excited to get this business off the ground! I am taking part in an amazing indie wedding trade show in Ottawa this Sunday – Wed By Hand. If you are in the Ottawa area and planning a wedding, you should definitely swing by. It promises to be a super fun event full of crafty folks! Make sure to stop by and say hello at my little booth!

postcard

For any more info about Pieces of  Love, you can check out the website here. If you are in the Ottawa area and planning an event, let me treat you to a coffee and we can chat decor!

So that’s it. The new business! Wish me luck!! :) 

  • Farrar Brodhead

    Good luck good luck Gemma!!

  • Dacia @ Lemon Drop Life

    Fantastic idea!!! I wish you tons of success!

    • gemma

      So sweet – thanks Dacia!

      xo,
      gem

  • Nadine

    Fantastic idea – congratulations, Gemma! I have a feeling this is going to be a huge success. :-)

  • Kim @ Painted Love Blog

    This was very much like my wedding two years ago too. I hit up the thrift stores for nearly everything. Mason jars galore but I was able to pawn those off to a friend of a friend for her wedding. Best of luck! I love your website by the way.

    • gemma

      So fun to collect the goodies, right? Thanks for the encouragement, Kim!

      xo,
      gem

  • Kelly @ A Swell Place to Dwell

    What a fun new adventure! Your new website is beautiful, love the logo. Good luck.

    • gemma

      Thanks Kelly! I’m smitten over the logo too – the graphic designer did a great job :)

      xo,
      gem

  • Michelle @ Sweetsuite10

    Congratulations! Way to go following your dreams! I love the look of the new website too!

    • gemma

      Thanks Michelle!! Kinda scary.. but exciting :)

      xo,
      gem

  • Captain Micah

    Woohoo! Congrats! Good luck this weekend. I am sure people will fall in love with all of your ideas!

    • gemma

      That’s so sweet – thank you!! I hope so :)

      xo,
      gem

  • Crystal @ 29 Rue House

    Gemma, what an awesome idea! I’m the same way with the 50/50 split and you really inspire me to find ways to use my creative side to make money. Maybe we could go on a trip and brainstorm together for me! ;)

    Good luck/have fun at the trade show! Take pictures and share!

    • gemma

      That’s so sweet, Crystal. Thanks!! I hope I’m able to make the 50/50 thing work, and that you can too!! A bit scary to put yourself out there, but so worth it :)

      xo,
      gem

  • jackie jade

    this is so exciting! i’m so happy for you and wish you tons of success! my friends and i were also throwing around the idea of doing something wedding related (more on the venue side) but it is just a little idea now. i hope to eventually get a business off the ground too. good luck!!
    xx jackie – jackiejade.blogspot.com

    • gemma

      Amazing!! I think there is lots of demand… sounds neat! Let us know when it turns from idea into reality!

      xo,
      gem

  • Kal

    This is SOOO cool! I will keep you in mind when I need some of these goodies. Good luck with it- not that ya need it ;) The website looks amazing- love the logo. Congrats!

  • Tia

    Awesome! Gemma, that is such a sweet idea. I will definitely be sure to let all of my O-Town friends know :)

    • gemma

      Thanks so much!! I hope its a success :)

      Xo,
      Gem