At age 23, Allison De Meulder started an online business in a time when ecommerce was a relatively unknown term. Sixteen years later, she reflects back on how she grew the business and how the business turned her into an adult.
This book tells Allison's story. It is not meant to give advice, but rather to inspire women. She wants to show women that they can have a successful business, be a wife and be a mother, all at the same time. Allison has done it all, from hiring her husband to work with her, bringing the kids to the office on holidays instead of brunching with bunnies, to providing jobs and opportunities and inspiring a corporate culture filled with creativity, comradery and lots of sugar, chick flicks and crafting. Allison did it by choosing the right (and wrong) people for her team, making mistakes at every turn, taking risks and being an introvert. It sounds exhausting and it was, but Allison is still standing tall.
I enjoyed reading this author’s account of her experiences in the world of entrepreneur and what she has taken away from it. It’s a big accomplishment to own your own business at such a young age, and I applaud her for it. I agree with her that some people are not cut out to manage, and it’s a daunting task weeding through them. I can understand why she is so successful. She has taken the time to find her dream team, and she does whatever it takes to keep them happy at their job. And I must say that she has some ingenious ideas for motivation. The one thing that disappointed me was her pet peeve of the term ma’am. I’m sorry, but I’m from the south and my upbringing requires me to answer with that term. It’s a sign of respect and should be received that way. I could see the growth of her character throughout her learning process, and that’s what it takes to be successful.
**The above opinions are 100% my own, whether I purchased the book or it was given to me to review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Successful entrepreneur, creative genius, passionate leader. They may seem like buzzwords, but nevertheless they describe Allison De Meulder. In 1999 she launched InvitationConsultants.com, one of the first online retailers of personalized invitations and announcements. In 1999, she was a true pioneer. In 2015, In 2015, she remains at the helm of one of the few original online invitation companies that has survived the dot com bust and the wave of consolidation in the industry. The company is still privately owned and never accepted any capital or debt. Their products have been featured on Good Morning America, the Today Show, Real Weddings, The Knot magazine, HGTV Magazine, Woman’s Day and numerous other publications.
In December of 2013, she successfully launched the wholesale line Matrick & Eve, a strong brand of paper and gifts sold in brick and mortar stores. She saw an opportunity in the market for creative, fun and unique products. The line features greeting cards, coasters, notepads, stationery, and more. All of the products are designed, printed and packaged in-house at the Matrick and Eve studio, proudly made in the USA. In one year, the line went from zero to over three hundred stores, including museums, boutiques, home decor shops, bookstores, and stationery and gift stores, and is still growing strong. This spring Matrick and Eve can be found in such stores around the country as Sur La Table, Francesca’s and Paper Source.
Allison’s main focus is to maintain a company culture steeped in creativity, teamwork, service and out-of-the-box thinking. Fun is always present at the office and can be seen at their craft days, sketching afternoons and monthly luncheons which usually involve movie trivia. Allison has grown her company to be a unique place of opportunity for designers as well as those creative minded individuals who want to be in an innovative and challenging environment where things are always changing and growth is not a noun but a state of mind.
Born in New York City and raised in Miami Beach, Allison dreamed of becoming an entertainment lawyer. She majored in business because she thought it would be a good foundation for law. She studied at Boston University’s School of Management before finishing her degree at the University of Tampa. To her surprise she fell in love with everything business and took a different path. She then earned her MBA. Allison’s work experience includes marketing communications and public relations. She considers her areas of expertise to be: organizational management, product development, creative direction and change management.
Allison enjoys sharing her passion for business and creativity through public speaking and writing. She is currently writing her first book, a business book with a personal twist. To follow Allison’s business musings, and for news about her book, visit www.allisondm.com. She enjoys spending her free time traveling with her family, watching chick flicks, listening to 80’s music, collecting interior design books, walking, writing, reading, dreaming of new products, touring universities and working on interior design projects that focus on rustic chic and modern vintage decor. She and her husband have three children and four chickens.
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