Fabulous Personalized Wedding Illustrations, Fabulous Career Story!
By, Nicole Crimaldi
Thanks to Twitter, I found out about a very cool company called Champagne Promises. Champagne Promises creates custom illustrated wedding invitations, thank you notes, place cards, etc. all designed to represent you and your unique and sassy personality!
All creations are designed by Astrid Mueller, the founder of Champagne Promises. Astrid’s products have been featured in magazines such as The Knot, You and Your Wedding, Marie Claire, Girlfriend Getaways and Her Nashville, to name a few.
Since I’m always intrigued by small female-owned businesses that make it big, I had to reach out and ask Astrid some questions. I was lucky enough to score an interview with Astrid and here’s what she had to say about working for herself and how she got started.
MCG: How did your company come about? What inspired its inception or your desire to work for yourself?
AM: I started at the very bottom – I had just returned to Switzerland from studying in USA, and was about to apply for a new job. I came across a free business class (sponsored by the Swiss government) called “Today unemployed, tomorrow self-employed”, and took it, mostly because I thought it was free and I had nothing to lose. It was such an eye-opener! The coach, Kurt Hugentobler, was amazing – he inspired me and showed me that I had everything I needed to start my illustration business!
As a result, I launched my Swiss illustration and design business, PotatoMammaDesign.com, in 2006, and have illustrated for international magazines and books since then. Just a few weeks ago, I went live with my brand new venture in the USA, www.ChampagnePromises.com – with which I specialize in personalized wedding illustrations, stationery and accessories for the modern bride.
MCG: What do you love about working for yourself?
AM: Everything! I love being able to make my own decisions, to shape my own future and business goals and to have my own product and to get great direct feedback from my clients. I simply love to make my customers happy with my designs and products!
I also love the business aspects of entrepreneurship – I find marketing, PR, business growth and strategic discussions all very fascinating and inspiring! The bookkeeping I’d be happy to give away (smile).
MCG: Why do you feel customized invitations are the way to go for today’s modern bride?
AM: A bride’s wedding is her big day. Many women dream about it since they are a little girl and have their own vision of their dream wedding. It’s about her and the groom, and who they are — not just any wedding. Brides want to celebrate their own special love; they don’t want to just have the same wedding as their friends or neighbors did. It makes me very happy to be able to personalize stationery and wedding keepsakes for brides – to the ultimate level of personalization: I don’t just add a starfish to reflect a beach theme. I can illustrate their unique love story, the groom with the bride in her actual wedding gown, a family portrait of the bride, groom and maybe their pets — the sky is the limit. And, best of all, once they commission me to design an illustration for them, I can help them to create wedding stationery and other unique keepsakes, such as cake toppers, cocktail drink coasters and even luggage tags for their honeymoon!
MCG: What advice would you give to young women who hope to work for themselves some day?
AM: I’ll pass on great wisdom I’ve heard from several entrepreneurs, such as Jack Canfield (author of Chicken Soup of the Soul and inspirational speaker) and Lissa Leon (editor-in-chief and founder of ecostylemagazine.com): Surround yourself only with positive people, and don’t let anyone stand in the way of your dreams. And, another quote that has been following me for years, a Native American proverb (source unknown): “Believe in yourself and reach for the moon and stars!”
Thank you Astrid! I have no doubt your company and products will continue reaching for the stars!