My Million Dollar Idea
Chances are, if you clicked on this post, you either:
A. Saw the words “million dollar” and just blacked out...
B. You already know my connection to the Lettermate & wanted to get the full story!
or C. You’re related to me and are biologically obligated to engage in eveything I do.
Either way, I’m glad you’re here.
I get asked constantly how I did what I did, so I decided it would be a story worth sharing with the world.
Before we dive in, I’m going to lead with a quick introduction...
My name is Kimberly Wilson, and I make up one third of The Wilsons Build team. The Wilsons Build is a website my husband and I started to document our family’s passion for creating things, and our journey through building our own house!
Building a home has always been a dream of ours, and after the success of the Lettermate, we were finally able to get started on making this dream a reality!
Although I am very proud, this post is NOT about bragging rights, but more of a road map if you have an idea cookin’ that you’d like to one day bring to life.
I have a BFA from the Academy of Art University (Urban Knights, whoop whoop!) with an emphasis in Graphic Design. Upon graduation I got engaged and instantly became obsessed with the wedding industry. My graphic designer heart gravitated right on toward designing both my own wedding invitations, and also invitations for others. I immediately discovered that addressing a seemingly endless amount of envelopes for our wedding was a very difficult task. Turns out that many other people shared the same struggle. Most of my clients didn’t have the budget for custom calligraphy, and when attempting to do it themselves, found that they either hated their hand writing or couldn’t for the life of them write in a straight line! (Myself included!)
I immediately thought “Why isn’t there a tool for this!?” If architects and interior designers use lettering guides to help keep their handwriting crisp & clean, than why hasn’t anyone came up with something specific for addressing an envelope? It wasn’t long thereafter the Lettermate was born. The end.
Now for the good stuff... the HOW.
I firmly believe that any good product is born out of necessity. No one really wants to welcome problems or challenges into their lives, but often times they are the best opportunities to ask yourself...
“How can I make this easier?” “How can I make this better?” “How can I solve this problem?”
Say you do have an idea swirling around in there? What happens next?
Please, please, please do NOT be one of those people that just sits on something that could be great because you think you don’t have the resources, the time, the money, or the skills to bring it to life. If you’re passionate about it, than I’d be willing to bet there are other people in this great wide world that would agree with you.
Finding a manufacturer...
(I could really write a book about these next few parts, but for now, here's a few nuggets to get you going!)
Finding a manufacturer is a lot like bad online dating... you look at hundreds of business profiles, only to get laughed at, stood up, and sometimes straight up rejected. But don’t give up, because there deep in the fog might be your knight in shining armor. The perfect company that is going to help bring your idea to life! The internet is amazing because it gives you access to millions of manufacturers right at your fingertips.
Think about your idea. What’s it made of? Wood? Plastic? Fabric?
Let's take fabric for example...
Start by Googling “textile manufactures” or “local seamstresses” Perhaps you have a friend who can sew you a prototype, or EVEN BETTER one that you can sew YOURSELF!
Short on cash, but really believe in your idea?
Create a business plan, and look for investors. (Got any rich uncles?)
Even better, create an awesome video and put it on Kickstarter! iPhones take great videos, or maybe your niece, roommate, or neighbor’s friend is a novice videographer who’s looking for some gigs to build their portfolio. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t NEED a million dollars to MAKE a million dollars. You just have to have passionate & resourceful!
And last but certainly not least... Getting your idea out into the world!
There literally has never been a better or easier time to share your thoughts and ideas. Social media platforms are not only amazing forms of advertisement, but they’re FREE!
Not to mention the dozens of amazing hosts for e-commerce and online marketplaces!
The first shop I started (way back when) was on Etsy, so it’s very near and dear to my heart. Another one of my all time favorite e-commerce platforms & web hosts is Squarespace.
These are NOT affiliate links! Just great resources to get started!
Phew, that was a lot of typing for one day!
But I hope, at the very least, I've inspired you to take action. Some little baby step that pushes you closer to realizing that those little ideas you have tucked away in your head, could be your next big thing!
I’ll try and work on some follow up posts with a bit more in-depth information on each component. But in the mean time, please comment below with any questions or topics you’d like to read about!