Name: Cathy Colbert
Location: Serving Las Vegas Area
Company Name: 1st Impressions Invitations
Number of Years in Business: 2
How did you get started in stationery design? I started designing invitations after I had issues finding an invite that really represented my husband and I and our relationship for our wedding. I created our wedding stationery and soon after started helping friends with their events and weddings as well. I saw a need for a personal, custom experience with invitations and opted to start the business to fill that void!
What did you do prior to this? I danced professionally. Most recently I just retired from Nevada Ballet Theatre where I was a Soloist Company Member.
If you didn’t do wedding/event stationery for a living what would you be doing instead? Probably going to school for something medically related: I have always loved science and the anatomy of the body.
What are some of your hobbies? Yoga, Reading, Sewing, Dancing, and hanging out with my husband and cat.
What is the craziest wedding experience you’ve ever had? I had completely finished an entire project and was ready to mail-thankfully, I hadn’t sealed the envelopes yet- when I received a frantic call from the bride that the RSVP meals had been changed: with in two days, I had to completely scrap the entire RSVP, over-night more paper & supplies, and completely recreate the item, with the proper meals listed. It was very hectic, but luckily we caught it prior to sending the invitations out to the guests!
What is the best wedding experience you’ve ever had? Whenever I am invited to one of my clients’ weddings I am so honored. As a vendor, I am not really involved with the actual day of the wedding and for them to invite me to be a part of it is really amazing!
What is your inspiration? My clients are the basis of all the designs: their lives, hobbies, love for one another, and theme of their wedding. When we sit down at our first meeting, they often bring tear-outs of ideas from magazines or fabric swatches, but we also talk about who they are as people and I try to use that to create stationery that is specific and unique to them.
Name an exotic location you’d like to visit soon. India! My brother-in-law is Indian and I really would like to visit his family and his country to see where he grew up and to know more about his history.
Why do your clients choose you over some of your competitors? My whole business is based around the model of making the experience stress-free, easy, and fun! I spend a lot of time with my clients, getting to know them and creating a very personal relationship. 1) Every design is created specifically for each client and each project starts with a clean palette that we build upon to create something extraordinary and distinctive. 2) I try to make life a little easier by going directly to the client. All the consultations are done at locations and times that work best with their hectic schedules. I also include services meant to lower the amount of work they have to do, such as addressing and drop-off. 3) From the personal relationship we build during the project, most of the clients and I become friends are keep in touch for years after the event.
What is the best piece of advice you can offer a bride and groom on their wedding day?
Eat a big Breakfast! You may not get to really eat the rest of the day and you will need something in there to help keep you calm and focused!
Anything else interesting you’d like to share? I was a 10 year 4-H Member, which is a youth based program that is very popular in the mid-west, where I grew up. You learn basic skills through projects that you take each year and display at your county fair. It has a lot to do with who I am today. To this day, I can still recite the 4-H pledge, hand gestures included, which is as follows:
I Pledge my Head to clearer thinking,
my Heart to greater loyalty,
my Hands to larger service,
and my Health to better living,
for my club, my community, my country, and my world