Working Women Wednesday is a weekly feature highlighting the hard-working, wonderful women within the Girl Gang. This week’s feature is the Owner of Impress, Camille Grossi.
Your Local Girl Gang: Tell us about your business. What is your mission statement? When did you launch?
Camille Grossi: Impress was founded in August, 2014 (coming up on our 5 year anniversary!) Our mission at Impress is to design custom materials that brand your business or special event with creativity and uniqueness in order to be unforgettable.
Impress- paper, events, people:
Impress paper (literally, we can impress, emboss, stamp, etc.), Impress events (with design materials) and Impress people (with creativity, quality and uniqueness).
YLGG: When and how did the idea for your business come to you?
CG: I was working for an architectural firm full-time and had helped a lot of friends with their events as "side jobs". My degree is in interior design, but after receiving so many questions regarding my freelance work I knew a choice had to be made.
Once enough people asked me about my graphic design material, the wheels in my head started turning and I couldn't let it go. I made the choice to spend the Summer of 2014 working on a business plan. I then presented it to my parents in August and made Impress official!
YLGG: What characteristic do you admire in other entrepreneurial women?
CG: I admire other female entrepreneurs that are self-starters. There are so many things that have to get done when you own a business, and you don’t always know how to do them. Someone that can learn what they don't know and who can tackle it on their own is always impressive in my book. Don’t wait for anyone!
YLGG: What piece of advice you would give to women starting their own businesses?
CG: Go for it! You will only regret the chances you didn’t take. Have a plan, and think things through. Don’t rush on decisions that can shape your business. There are many aspects of my business that I outlined in my business plan that differentiate from my business today. I have adjusted as I made mistakes and learned lessons along the way, but I started with a plan and I think that helped get me where I am.
You don’t have to fit into a tight niche! You can dabble in a lot of areas and figure out what is not only successful as well as what you personally enjoy. When I started I never imagined I would do as many weddings as I do now, but I love them!
YLGG: What do you like most about your workspace?
CG: Ahhh, my office (insert heart eye emoji)...With my interior design background, my surroundings and workspace are VERY important to me. I’ve had 3 different spaces in my five years of business (all within my place of residence). My current office is by far my favorite aspect of our home. It’s bright, modern, simple and organized (everything I love about a space)! Everything has a place and I love having lots of storage.
YLGG: Have any mistakes shaped the way you run your business today?
CG: Definitely! After you have made a big enough mistake, you remember it and never do it again, which has been very helpful at times. One of the first mistakes that comes to mind is not requiring customers to sign a contract before I begin design work. When I first started my business, I didn’t always require a signature and ran into some issues. Whether it was getting paid for the work I had already done or customers backing out after several design iterations had been completed, I constantly seemed to run into an issue. I made the changes; even if they are one of my best friends, I follow the same procedures to this day. I’ve learned that it is better to be safe than sorry!
YLGG: What is something you could not go a day without?
CG: My dog. Kidding--kind of. Rory (our Miniature Goldendoodle) is the Impress mascot and customers love him. I’m also health nut and always have my water bottle within reach. Lastly, my Carmex chapstick.
YLGG: Name a woman, past or present, who you admire.
CG: This is easy: my mom! She is the most incredible woman for a number of reasons. She is tough, but fair. Her work ethic is unmatched and has always instilled this mindset within my brother and me. She knows how to have fun, and has pushed me to be the best version of myself that I can be. Not only is she an extraordinary mother, I consider her a stellar role model, and friend as well. My creativity definitely stems from her, and I know she will always be there to support me during the hurdles I may face in the future.
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