Amanda Rae Heinrich wanted to help brides preserve and protect their wedding gowns so she introduced her revolutionary product to the market and brides are falling in love with it! Read our interview with the lovely Amanda below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs and have always had that mind set. Since I was little, I wanted to start something new, help people and be my own boss in the fashion industry.
Tell us about your business.
Stay Purrfect is a new way to protect your wedding dress before the day of the wedding. Its a professional protection treatment that allows the bride to be comfortable in her dress and keep her “picture purrfect”. The treatment protects from any type of stain, so drinking wine, eating dinner, self tanner, makeup and perspiration will all not effect the dress at all. The protection will last for eternity and not allow any moisture to discolor or yellow the dress over time. Stay Purrfect also protects from 99% of UV rays, smoke, flame spread, mold, mildew and moth damage. The dress will be diamond strength protected and the memories will last forever.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
My first step was to outline my idea and brainstorm every point of the business, pros and cons. I looked at my competition and called local bridal shops to see if they would even be interested in a product like this to see if there was a market for it. I then did various tests of the product and made sure it was effective for the bridal market, because I was already using it for home fabrics. I then switched to the creative side of the business. I needed to make it come alive so I started making the logo, marketing essentials, and then eventually the website.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
So far bridal trade shows have been the most effective way for my business. Not only have I met great bridal shops to become affiliated with, but I also am meeting with the brides face to face and being able to show them the greatness of Stay Purrfect and how it will protect their valuable treasures. I actually poured red wine on a dress as an example to show how the dress is not hurt at all by the wine and can just be dabbed right off because of the Stay Purrfect Protection.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
The biggest challenge was just getting the courage that my idea was worth making into an everyday reality. I have many ideas always popping in my head and have helped with many business start ups, but fear and procrastination can really interfere. Stay Purrfect was an idea that would not leave my mind and something I felt I needed to pursue. Making a business into a reality is a huge challenge all while doing your day job. Once the courage is built and it’s time to fly, everything falls into place if you believe in yourself and strive to meet your goals everyday.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I overcame them by personally looking at myself, my goals and what I wanted out of life. I knew that this was something worth making because I ultimately am helping people. My studied fields of marketing, fashion and graphic design all started working together to make this happen. It was time to dive into a new project and I could afford a little risk.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
Daily inspirational quotes always help when Im falling into a rut. I love catching some motivational speakers on Youtube. Also traveling always helps. New places, cultures and new things to look at get your mind working in new ways and help with resolving issues that have been hard to solve when I’m in the daily mix.
How did you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I am coming from a new standpoint, being more innovative then the normal dress preservation places. I am also letting brides “think outside the box” by allowing them to still preserve their dresses without having to stick them away in a box for the rest of time. They can still touch and try on their dresses and not hide them away. Being modern with my approach and really thinking what brides need today by protecting the dress before any elements can hurt the dress is key. Staying white all night is most important with the dress and that is ruling out most of my competitors because I am going above and beyond what they can do.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Enjoy all the moments. The success of an entrepreneur is everyday accomplishments. Being able to do what you love and all on your own should be something enjoyed everyday.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Don’t worry about mistakes, just do it. You will figure out all the answers as you go and gain more experience then doing it right the first time.
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
A great resource to help connect with your clients is MailChimp to start. It’s free and is easy to use and has so many add-ons that are modern and keeps you socially connected to your customers.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
· Instagram @Stay_Purrfect
· Pinterest @araeofsunstudio
· LinkedIn: Amanda Heinrich
· Facebook www.facebook.com/StayPurrfect
· Hastags #staypurrfect #thinkoutsidethebox #wedding #brides #shinebright #diamondstrength #diamonddress #preserveandprotect
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
GirlBoss! I read it a few years ago, but its still one of my favorites. Smart, funny, and really shows how girls can do whatever they want if they just keep their drive and go after what they love. Sophia Amoruso, the author and CEO of Nasty Gal also has a podcast and she interviews all the top lady bosses today. I highly recommend the podcast because you can relate to their struggles and learn from their success stories all while gaining endorphins and drive for your own prospects.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My goals are to branch Stay Purrfect Protection into at least 10 local bridal shops in the ChicagoLand area in the next few months. In the next 3 years I am shooting to expand out of state to the major cities in the USA.