This blog post is a continuation of "Why I'm Sad My Competition is Moving: (Part 1: Our Story)". Make sure you go back and read that post first so that you have some context on how I became best friends with a local girl who is also a calligrapher/stationer in the wedding industry.
Our story wasn't a completely smooth path, but I'm so glad where we ended up! The following reasons are why I LOVE having a best friend that is also my direct competition. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
1. You have a local sounding board within your industry.
Ever been approached by someone who seems a little crazy or is submitting a request for work super last minute? Chances are that your competition might have received that request as well. Katie and I love talking strategy when it comes to handling rush orders, pricing our work, etc. We’ve been approached by planners for the same project multiple times (this often happens when planners or brides are price-searching and trying to find a good deal) and it’s so easy to call her and talk about it! We often share how we are pricing our work – that’s how open we are with one another. And if one of us gets the work and the other doesn’t then we celebrate each other. There are NO hard feelings.
Just remember: there is plenty of work for everyone.
I hear non-stop about “how saturated the market is” and it is easy to believe it, especially when you are sitting right in the middle of the wedding market pond. The average person I talk to knows almost nothing about calligraphy and finds is fascinating. Don’t forget that your work is valuable. The market is NOT saturated, just your Instagram feed is ;)
2. You have someone trustworthy that you can refer.
Referrals area huge deal! The referrer is trusting that the person they are sending the work to will take amazing care of the client. The last thing you want to do is send a client in the wrong direction to someone who does a terrible job because, as much as you might hate to think this, it does reflect back on you.
Katie is one of my go-to referrals in the Marietta area! She currently lives 10 minutes away from me. Someone who wanted to drop off envelopes at my place for a rush order is going to have just as easy of a time making the drive to Katie’s house. I wouldn’t want to refer a friend back in Seattle for something like that!
3. You understand each other as friends AND business owners.
The average person stares at me as if I have horns sprouting out of my head when I tell them, “I make wedding invitations and work from home.” In their eyes I can see them processing and wondering what does that even mean.
What it means is that I spend copious hours of my time serving my clients to the best of my ability while also managing my social media accounts, balancing my finances, planning blog posts, styling and editing photos of my work, and answering emails and inquiries. It really never stops and it’s so hard to set up good boundaries. My friends that work 9-5 jobs will never understand exactly what I do. Being your own boss and a solopreneur is one of the best things I’ve ever done, while simultaneously being the hardest.
Katie and I have both worked jobs while pursuing a side-hustle, we’ve both stretched ourselves thin to get work done for clients, and we’ve both experienced the double edged sword of a small business world. She’s one of my go-to girls when I have something I need to talk about and I know she’ll get me in a way most of my other friends can’t. I’m not full-time with my business and I can’t wait for Katie to be full-time with hers!
There are a multitude of other reasons why having a biz-bestie in exactly the same profession can be amazing and wonderful. These are only three of them.
I will also mention that I know friendships like this aren’t for everyone. Maybe you have been betrayed by a close friend before and you are still taking care of the wounds from that hurt. Maybe you haven’t learned how to surrender your jealousy or insecurity, and that’s ok too. We have all been there, I promise.
Do you have anything you want to ask me, or a story of yours to share? Feel free to leave a message in the comments and I will do my best to get back to you!