Interview with Owner and Creative Director Josie Helmstetter

Josie Helmstetter, Owner and Creative Director at Ivory Isle Designs, LLC, was recently featured by Support Her Endeavors for their Feature Female Friday. Below is an excerpt where she shares what it’s really like to run a custom stationery design studio, what she enjoys doing outside of work, and where she dreams of traveling next!

What do you enjoy about running a wedding stationery business?

I love the challenge of how to best put each client’s personal love story to paper. It takes a lot of listening, to what they say, as well as what they don’t say, to find their style, and determine their true vision for stationery, when sometimes they aren’t even sure of it themselves!

What are some of the challenges you face?

As many vendors do, we face the challenge of clients sometimes wanting products that are outside of their budget. We never want to push someone past a price point that is comfortable for them so we find ways to get them what they want at a price they feel good about. Sometimes that means that they do part of the assembly on their stationery themselves. We’re happy with that, if it means we can help get them the invitations that they love!

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

I bought a 1948 fixer upper home about three years ago in cute downtown Waconia and have spent a good amount of time renovating it, so much of my time off recently has involved a hammer in my hand! Thankfully, it’s now at a place where I just get to enjoy it with my family and our rescue puppy, Abby. If I’m not at home with them, I can be found at a concert, sporting event, or traveling.

What is your ultimate dream job?

I honestly can say that I have my dream job. There is nothing else I’d rather do, (since the role of host of The Amazing Race is already taken!) I get to meet new people all the time, whether they are clients, vendors or other graphic designers. I get to be creative, but also get to scratch my left brain itch when managing the business, employees and finances.

Who would be your ideal person to collaborate with?

I’d love the chance to collaborate with Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York. She is such a talented painter that I’d love to produce something she hand painted.

What would you consider your biggest win so far in business?

We reached our twelfth birthday as a company recently. Most new businesses fail within the first three years, so reaching this milestone feels like a wonderful accomplishment. My work has appeared on both WCCO Channel 4 an KSTP Channel 5 television which was really rewarding. My stationery has also been in the hands of Kiefer Sutherland and football quarterback Peyton Manning, so those are both wins as well.

What are your interests outside of your business?

Photography, running and cultural history.

Where would you like to travel?

Being born in the highlands of Scotland, growing up in Minnesota, attending college in England and cutting my teeth in business in Los Angeles, travel has always been a big part of my life. I’m happy just enjoying Minnesota with my family now, but when I’m ready to get out there again, Greece has my name all over it, I hope!

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