Each issue we will be asking a wedding supplier about what they do; here’s this week’s Meet the Maker.

What’s your business? 
The Jasmine Cottage Studio is a unique business that specialises not only in wedding photography but stationery too. It is amazing how these two elements compliment one another and work hand in hand!

How did you get started?
I had been doing photography for years, as this is what I specialised in when I did my Fine Art degree. After I finished at Uni, and gained my Photographer’s title, I went into the world of work within the Arts & Crafts sector. Family photography was my main focus outside my day job, but during my full-time employment, I would demonstrate crafty products and that is where my love of creating stationery began!

How long have you been established? 
In 2017, I was lucky enough to take my photography full-time and that was when I decided to officially set-up my own business; The Jasmine Cottage Studio! This was when I thought I could combine my two passions together and so rather be labelled as “Lindsay the Photographer” or “Lindsay the Wedding Stationer”, as I live at Jasmine Cottage, The Jasmine Cottage Studio was born.
What obstacles did you have to overcome to have a successful business? 
Not many people / fellow industry suppliers could understand why I would offer the two services, as they believed one could discredit the other. I disagreed. By combining the two, I provide an ease to couples who are on their wedding planning journey by bringing together two of the key ingredients under one roof! Not only that, but it really allows me to get a clear picture of how their special day is going to be and get to know them even more than if I were just one or the other. The amount of couples who choose me as their photographer, where I then create their stationery too are endless! This is why my business, I believe, is so special and unique – and isn’t that what everyone’s wedding should be too?

Do you do this full time or do you have other employment? 
Full-time – you bet! In 2017, I just had to take the opportunity to concentrate on my dream and I have not looked back since.

What piece of advice would you give established wedding suppliers who may be struggling right now due to the pandemic? 
Just keep going and keep yourselves active, especially on social media! Whether you are reliving old content or just providing existing and future couples with snippets of who you are so they get to know you, it is important to keep popping up on social media feeds. Also, get to know your local suppliers within your area and organise some styled shoots. It is great for content and plus, it will get your creative juices flowing too! You may even come up with new ideas that you didn’t even know existed. Finally, give your website a bit of refresh and make sure your SEO is up to speed. I find, it is good to keep busy and remember to share what you are up to!

What helpful tips would you offer brand new budding wedding suppliers looking to dive into working for themselves? 
If you are a product based business whether it be wedding hire items or even stationery, make sure you have a basic portfolio to begin with! Similar to existing businesses, you want to keep yourselves active on social media and so, for me, if there is something I learnt, it was not to run before I could walk! Build your portfolio first, decide on your brand identity and set out a marketing plan, as well as a target audience; whether that is over a 3 month or 6 month timeframe, then move onto social media and your website, which by that time, will hopefully look full and ready! Establish relationships with venues and other suppliers too and see if you could be part of any styled shoots in the future. Plus, ensure image consistency with your product; maybe you could work with one photographer for all of your imagery ensuring flow and consistency throughout, which will help with your overall feel and brand.