May 18, 2011
What do you believe? One Dallas-based entrepreneur believes work should be fun and doesn’t have to be from 8-5, flip flops are mandatory, even in the winter. Her job is to make people smile. Meetings are most effective over chips and salsa. And she can’t do her job without cool office supplies.
With a business manifesto that jumps off the page, infused with fun and uber-coolness, Jenn Sprinkle is definitely on to something. “One of my favorite memories growing up was getting together with my sister and cousins and letting our imaginations run wild,” says Jenn Sprinkle, Founder of Wax Paper Design House, a Dallas-based branding and design firm. “We wrote plays, built forts… One of our many creations was a purse and matching wallet made out of – you guessed it – waxpaper.”
Jenn has come a long way since then. Sprinkle parlayed her love of design into a multi-faceted design house and print shop that soon offered branding, printing, web, social and invitation design. Learn how a life-long obsession can transition into a profitable and sustainable business. Sprinkle shares why quick ideas have significant value.
Company: Waxpaper Design House
Founder, Age: Jenn Sprinkle, 33
Location: Dallas, Texas
Startup Year: 2002
Startup Costs: $0
How I Got Started:
It’s the classic story of “all my friends new I designed so they asked for my help”. It quickly became a referral based business for me.
Best Success Story:
My invitation line was birthed out of my sister’s need for a wedding invitation. She didn’t care what it looked like, but wanted something to represent her personality. When they sent it out, her fiancé got numerous calls from guys that they loved it. I knew I was on to something. Fast forward, six years later, it’s my best seller and has recently been nominated for an international industry award.
Biggest Startup Challenge:
Starting off doing projects for friends quickly became a challenge as I realized I needed to apply real monetary value to my work. It has continued to be a challenge to this day. I love what I do and often ideas and designs come easy to me so clients don’t put much value on an idea that comes quickly. I have to constantly remind myself that my “quick” ideas and designs have value and worth because of all of my years of experience, not the 30 minutes it took to create!
#1 Tip for New Entrepreneurs:
It is inevitable you will have to wear many hats when starting a new business. But, there are solutions to not becoming overwhelmed. 1. Identify your weakness or those things that keep you from making profits. 2. Consider outsourcing your weaknesses. There are lots of inexpensive ways out there. 3. Hire an intern. Lots of students are interested in learning the ropes of running a business. But be ready to invest in them and teach them. It’s not just free help. 4. Its old but true: Take time for yourself before you burnout!
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