Thank goodness Tracey’s friends needed help with their wedding planning or Tracey Clarke, our next, very special wedding stationer, may never have launched Tiggity Boo!
Tracey has stepped into the ‘Spotlight’ to share with us her Tiggity Boo story.
Tracey runs ‘Tiggity Boo' in St Albans, Hertfordshire
The beautiful presentation and quality of stationery will delight
wowvow: What were you doing just before we stopped you?
Tracey: Deep in the middle of the chaos that is wedding season!
wowvow: Tell us a little about the journey you made to launching your business.
Tracey: Although I have always been in creative industries, joining the wedding industry was never on my radar. However, having been dragged around various wedding fairs by friends planning their weddings, I noticed there was nothing in the way of stationery being offered. Certainly there was no one offering a truly personalized service which would allow couples to express their individuality in their stationery. The more I looked in to it, the more I realized that there was huge potential to create stunning designs using beautiful materials that would be exclusive to each couple. Everything else we found was either something on-line or from a card shop which was so impersonal. Since I was in between jobs at the time, it was the perfect opportunity to work on my idea and in 2014, Tiggity Boo was launched.
wowvow: What were some of your biggest challenges in starting your business?
Tracey: Probably the biggest challenge was sourcing the right materials. I knew that I wanted everything I created to be high end, luxurious and exceptional quality. There’s no point creating beautiful designs and then cutting costs on materials as it will ruin the finished product. I spent ages trying samples of everything from card weights to ribbon qualities and even glue options to make sure I could achieve the finished result I wanted.
wowvow: What advice would you give to any stationery designers setting up?
Tracey: Don’t give up. If you have a vision, go for it! It takes time to build a client base, especially as this is an industry where you don’t really get repeat clients – after all, once they’re married, hopefully they’re not going to come back to you! This makes it more difficult but it can be done with perseverance and by offering exceptional service.
wowvow: How do you differentiate yourself from other wedding suppliers?
Tracey: Now that a good question! I have no idea! In fact, I’m not sure that I do! There are so many elements which come together to create a wedding and these elements are so diverse that it’s difficult to compare. Most suppliers will put everything they have into helping their clients have a memorable day and I’m no different. All I can do is offer the best service I can and the best product possible and hope that to my clients at least, that it makes a positive difference to them.
wowvow: What is your favourite craft tool?
Tracey: My Fabric Master. I use it constantly as it gives such a neat finish. In fact I use one of the interchangeable tips so much that the heat has welded it all together so its no longer interchangeable! I suppose really I should get another one but its certainly one tool that I couldn’t be without.
wowvow: What's your favourite wowvow product?
Tracey: Can I say everything? The embellishments are absolutely exquisite and most of my clients have huge problems in choosing their favourite – I gave up a long time ago trying to choose a personal fave! I also love the ribbon – there are so many colours to choose from and I love the quality of them – particularly those by Shindo and Satab. The new silk range is also gorgeous!
wowvow: Why do you like to shop with wowvow?
Tracey: Wow vow has virtually everything I need and an unparalleled choice which means I can offer my clients the variety and service which was my vision when I first set up the business. With the choice of embellishments and ribbon, it gives my clients so many more options when we work them to create their designs.
Their service is always excellent and it’s because of this that Tiggity Boo is able to provide the service we do. When we deal with our clients, nothing is too much trouble and we go above and beyond to give the best service we can. Because Wowvow shares this ethos with their clients, it means that in turn, we can continue to give the best service we can to our clients. Plus the fact, it’s always nice to have a good chat with Wendy or Gillian when I phone about something!
wowvow: Do you have a favourite design?
Tracey: I create every look from understated to elegant and from rustic to full on bling depending on what my clients want. Because everything is bespoke I never create the same thing twice which makes it very hard to choose. I suppose if anything, I have a current favourite technique which is gilding my stationery with gold leaf to create a beautifully sumptuous look. At least, it’s my favourite until I dream up my next idea!
wowvow: Where do you take your inspiration from?
Tracey: More from my clients than anything. Because I offer each couple a one-to-one consultation, it means I get to know them and can get a good idea of the vision they have for their wedding. They will have a picture in their minds of what they want to achieve and it’s my job to interpret it on to their stationery. Some are more unusual ideas, some are more of a challenge but everything they describe or tell me, inspires me. That said, my brain never stops and I’m always dreaming up new ways to do something or a different way create something a bit different!
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wowvow: What is your proudest personal and/or professional accomplishment over the last year?
Tracey: I have to confess it’s not over the last year, but my proudest professional moment was winning the Stationer of the Year 2017 at the Four Counties Wedding Awards
wowvow: What do you most enjoy about your job?
Tracey: I love design and colour so being able to work full time with these components is just heaven! More than anything though, it’s seeing the pleasure my work give couples when they see the finished design for the first time. I have lost count of how many times I have been hugged and kissed by clients just because they are so happy. To know I have achieved their dream and their vision, and added something special to their big day means more to me than anything