[quote style=”boxed”]You always need another viewpoint because, as an owner, you tend to be one-sighted. Never make a decision right away. Wait at least one or two days for your brain to soak in everything. If after that time you still like the idea, then it is time to contact the programmer, marketer or whomever and bring your ideas to life.[/quote]
Jackie Asta is the founder and owner of Wedding Bliss Lane and RSVP Custom Creations. She has been in the wedding/event industry for 4 years designing invitations. With the knowledge she gained working in the invitation design business, Jackie launched Wedding Bliss Lane, an e-marketplace dedicated solely to the wedding industry, at the end of 2010. Jackie resides in Montvale, New Jersey.
What are you working on right now?
Right now, we are designing an affiliate program to drive traffic to my company, Wedding Bliss Lane. The program entails the affiliate to include a Wedding Bliss Lane badge on their website, which brings people directly to our site when clicked. Behind the scenes, the badge is coded so that if the user buys an item, the affiliate will receive a percentage of Wedding Bliss Lane’s commission on the sale. It’s an easy way for the affiliate to make some extra money, without doing any work on their end. The affiliate program will be free to join. It’s really just a win-win for both parties.
Where did the idea for Wedding Bliss Lane come from?
The idea came from my wedding invitation business. I was selling my invitations on various online marketplaces, and my wedding invitations were getting mixed in with all other type of invitations. I realized that there wasn’t an online marketplace strictly for wedding items.
What does your typical day look like?
I am up early every morning so I am ready for the day before my two kids wake up. After getting them ready and off to school, I spend several hours surfing the internet for potential vendors, and then contacting them and telling them about Wedding Bliss Lane and how it can help build their business. I also spend time on various social media sites to spread the word to potential buyers and vendors. Early evenings are spent with the kids, doing homework and making dinner. Evenings are always spent working on my invitation orders.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I always tell my husband about my ideas first. You always need another viewpoint because, as an owner, you tend to be one-sighted. Never make a decision right away. Wait at least one or two days for your brain to soak in everything. If after that time you still like the idea, then it is time to contact the programmer, marketer or whomever and bring your ideas to life.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Social media is definitely really exciting. I was hesitant to use it at first because I didn’t know how it could drive traffic to my business. I’ve learned that it really does work. Facebook, Twitter, and now Pinterest all draw a lot of traffic to Wedding Bliss Lane.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I did not have any bad jobs; I just chose the wrong career path in college. I majored in accounting because I was good at it in college. Let me just say that college accounting is not like real-life accounting. I stayed in the accounting field for five years before I jumped ship. I am a people person, so meeting with invitation clients and contacting vendors to open a store on Wedding Bliss Lane is more reflective of my personality.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would have majored in human resources or public relations in college. These majors fit better with my outgoing nature and would’ve saved me from those years in accounting.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I recommend people network, network, network. Network with everyone! You need to make your company known and build a strong community. Recommendations and referrals are critical in business, and successfully networking can really help drive sales.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A great business idea is having a manicurist who will come to your house and do your nails. I’ve been thinking about this idea for a while and how I wish it existed. This type of business would make a killing.
Tell us a secret.
I hate crickets! When I was 5 years old, one of these insects jumped into the bathroom while I was brushing my teeth and I had no way of getting out. Horrifying!
What are your three favorite online tools and what do you love about them?
1) Google Search – because I always look for interesting wedding facts or quotes to post as updates on Facebook and Twitter.
2) Google Analytics – So I can see where my traffic is coming from.
3) Trip Advisor – I love to travel and always read reviews for a place I am considering.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I recommend everyone reads How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. My father was a huge Dale Carnegie believer, and I read this book based on his recommendation. His advice is so obvious and so easy to follow, but many people find it difficult to carry out.
What’s on your playlist?
My playlist consists of Elvis, Bob Marley, Pitbull, and Josh Groban. As you can see, I have a wide variety of likes.
If you weren’t working on Wedding Bliss Lane, what would you be doing?
I would probably be a college or MBA recruiter for a big corporation. My interest in helping others, combined with my love for talking to people, would make this type of position really fun for me.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
I love following publications in my industry and other vendors. For the most part, users should try to stay within their niche industries to build the best community possible online. It’s easier to connect with relevant people and find interesting news pertaining to your company.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
My 6-year-old daughter was watching the “Little Rascals” movie on TV. She yelled to my 7-year-old son to come down and watch the “Little Rats.” I couldn’t stop laughing at her cute mix-up!
Who is your hero?
My dad is definitely my hero. I’ve learned a lot of great life lessons from him. It’s hard to beat advice from parents.
How do you know when it’s time to switch careers?
I switched from accounting to the wedding industry pretty easily because I knew in my heart what I wanted to do in life. Entrepreneurs can never ignore these gut feelings.
What is your favorite part of your day?
I love my company and my job, but nothing beats family time. I really believe in making time for personal connections in order to live a fulfilled life.
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.