To Briana McCormick, planning a wedding or event or, specifically, choosing the invitations for that event, is more than just another part of planning — it’s a whole separate experience.
McCormick, who runs B Joyful Invitations out of her Indiana home, realized her true passion was creating stationery when, she said, her now-husband proposed.
“My husband and I got engaged and it wasn’t even a question — I was going to make my invitations,” she said. “I realized then that I really loved doing this.”
Surrounded by at-home businesses her whole life, she knew that she was meant to do something of the sort, she said. Her mother owned her own business.
McCormick, who primarily sells her products locally and in Pittsburgh, has sold certain invitations globally, and was featured as a vendor in The Knot, a popular wedding magazine and wedding-planning aide.
Her products include invitations and stationery, handmade or printed, with intricate, custom designs.
“There are all sorts of layers and textures,” McCormick said of the designs. “Some are handmade … (some) when I do custom designs I have a printer.”
Among the materials are lace, pocket holds, even invitations that she said come in a box rather than an envelope.
McCormick meets with most clients she works with to do consultations to create an invitation that perfectly matches their personality. To these consultations, she brings her albums — she has 18 to 20 of them, she said, and each of them contain close to 200 designs.
“It’s an entire experience when you get to look through the albums and go through them. It helps to sit down and have a consultation — because I go through these albums I know where certain invitations are and can direct (the client) to an invitation that might match their personality.”
Invitations range from $100 to $800 per 100 invitations.
On the business’ website, bjoyfulinvitations.com, McCormick offers items for every occasion: weddings, showers, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, quincinieras, graduations, anniversaries. There’s even a special section of gift items that McCormick makes by hand as well.
The business is something that has kept her busy through the years, and she has plans to move her and her husband and two children to a new home in Indiana where they’ll have a separate shop for her items.
“I do a lot of business online,” she said, but she tries to stick with local clients because she “really enjoys the personal, in-touch-with-somebody” meetings.
The rise of the social network Pinterest, she said, has caused her flow of business to slow a bit, but it’s not been unwelcome. She said she enjoys being able to adjust her schedule and spend time with her boys. “It’s the best of both worlds. I’m able to stay with the kids all day and then I’m able to work in the evenings.”
Because of her flexible schedule, she’s able to meet with clients fairly easily. And, she always makes sure the job gets done on time.
“The day I got home from the hospital with my first son I was working. I was working at the hospital at the birth of my second — they can’t change their wedding, you can’t change their date, it falls when it does.
“It’s such an honor being a part of their day, she said. “(Invitations) are a really important piece.”