Mariposa Dew | www.mariposadew.com
Designer, Wendy Carmona-Florencio loved stationery since the day she held her first Hello Kitty Writing set. Fast forward to 18 years later & that’s exactly what she’s doing, selling her unique stationery designs on her business Mariposa Dew Design Studio. Learn how this bold designer turned her passion into a highly sought-after business.
When did Mariposa Dew Design Studio start?
Tell me how and when everything started. At the age of 5 I held my first Hello Kitty Stationery set. I don’t know what it did to me, but I became completely obsessed with designed paper goods. Mariposa Dew actually started as Studio Piluca in 2007. I changed the name sometime in 2009 after reading Seth Godin’s book, Tribes. I had a little success with Studio Piluca, but felt that I had tried to attract everyone and anyone instead of focusing on the audience I knew would benefit from what I have to offer.
When did you first know that you wanted to be your own boss?
Officially, I was about 12 years old, but I took the plunge after I ended my maternity leave after giving birth to my fourth (and last) child. Taking my children to a sitter while I sat in an office was tearing my heart up. The final straw came one morning when I walked into the nursery to give them a kiss goodbye before I went to work. My mother was staying with me for a few weeks and was watching them at home. I broke down crying and quietly promised them that soon Mommy would be there every morning when they woke up. That year I got a large tax return, purchased all my equipment, got all my legal paperwork in order, & have never looked back.
What steps did you take to prepare for transitioning into full-time entrepreneurship?
If I knew then what I know now, I would have had a very solid business plan in place & about 6 months of living expenses in the bank before making the full-time leap. What I did do was gather up as much information as I could on running a business & how to market it. I also read a lot of success stories that encouraged me during my moments of doubt.
What services/products does Mariposa Dew Design Studio provide?
Mariposa Dew is a Design Studio. I create event & personal stationery for sale on my online boutique. I specialize in children’s products & in the future would love to expand my product line to include children’s textiles & apparel. I also take on clients who are looking for a more catered stationery experience. I design a custom theme collection for their special event.
What makes Mariposa Dew Design Studio unique?
The one thing that sets my studio apart from the others is my design aesthetic. I am drawn to bold images & full, strong color treatments. Rarely will you find one of my designs with a lot of white space. I like to be seen & heard.
What are your best marketing tips?
My customers are Kings & Queens. If I can cater to their specific needs, they will reward me with their business. It is truly all about them.
What’s the hardest part about running your own business?
I’d say time management. I have had to remind myself lately that I followed this path because I wanted to be a Wife & Mom first. There are days where I feel like I am neglecting everything & everyone & I am always on the quest to discover the perfect balance of work & life.
What advice would you give someone considering a similar path?
Do your homework. Answer the Why, Who, What & How questions of your business before you jump. Why are you going into business? Who do you want to cater to? How will you accomplish that? What will you offer them? If you can answer those as specific as possible, then everything else kind of flows from that. If you don’t, you will probably find yourself where I did, a couple years down the road deciding that you have to start over.
Are there any special projects you would like to work on?
I’d like to create Jlo’s twins birthday stationery. I’d like to create children’s bedding.
What do you do in your down time?
I watch movies. A lot of movies. It’s the only thing I can do to get my mind off of things. During family time, I enjoy cooking with my husband. He is a much better cook than I, but I am the baking queen in our home & enjoy sharing that time with my children.
What motivates you?
I’d like to create a business I can hand down to my children in the future.
What’s next for you?
Apart from adding designs to my collection & expanding my product line, I’d like to start donating to charities that help children. Maybe sponsoring children on the businesses behalf, or just giving a percentage of all sales. Sowing into the lives of children is on my top 3 list.
Thanks to Wendy for sharing her story. You can visit Mariposa Dew Design Studio for more info!