This interview was made possible by our friends at DomainNameSales.com:
The marketplace for domain names.
Wedding Bliss Lane (WBL) is an online marketplace focused solely on the wedding industry. It began as an outgrowth of Sal and Jackie Asta’s custom invitation business. While searching for places to sell their invitations, they came across the “usual suspects of websites”, those where business owners could buy and sell every product imaginable, not just wedding related. They also came across wedding related marketplaces but those were niches, such as budget brides or recycling wedding supplies. There was not one main site where someone could find everything they needed for a wedding, from bridal shower gifts to tiaras. This was how WBL came to be.
MO: Can you explain to our readers how you went from running a custom invitation business to founding Wedding Bliss Lane?
Sal: The custom invitation business was started by my wife, Jackie. I would go with her to wedding shows helping her set up her displays and talk with the brides. Going to these shows can be expensive costing anywhere from $350 to over $5,000. She was also selling her invitations on a big name e-marketplace, but the fees to list and sell were eating into the profits. By selling the majority of her invitations online, it was easy to see that today’s bride does a majority of her wedding supply shopping on the Internet. This led me to research if there was any company that dominated an online marketplace focused on the wedding industry. What I found out was that there were no dominate companies in this area, so with encouragement from my wife we launched Wedding Bliss Lane.
MO: How has WBL evolved since you first launched in 2010?
Sal: We originally launched the site thinking both the bride and groom would be doing the shopping, so the site appearance was gender neutral. But in seeing that it was mainly brides doing the shopping, we made cosmetic changes to the site to be more feminine (especially with the logo, adding the swirls and flourishes). We added the “Take a Peek” section which highlights the categories you see listed on the left had side of the page. This helps visitors navigate our website easier. In addition, we also added the ability for visitors to email pictures of specific items they find on our site to people who may be interested through our “Email to a Friend” feature.
MO: What influenced you to recently redesign your homepage?
Sal: We wanted to make our homepage more visually appealing to the female client. This meant making it “pretty”. We went with a green tone throughout, because we did not want the typical feminine pink feel. Also by adding the flourishes and swirls to the logo and headers, it gives elegance to the site, but not ostentatious.
MO: How long did it take for you to gain a foothold in such a competitive market? Was it hard to initially attract vendors to your site?
Sal: Attracting vendors to our homepage was not too difficult for a couple of reasons. One, we made listing items for free as well as we did not collect any commissions as we wanted vendors to try out our site and get a feel for how it functions. Two, we built this site from the perspective of the vendor and we felt that by making a site specifically for the wedding industry we were helping out vendors who had to settle on selling on non-specific marketplaces.
MO: What wedding trends have you noticed since first starting WBL?
Sal: One trend that we noticed is many brides want to add bling to their wedding. Rhinestones on invitations, shoes, hair, etc. Another trend was the damask design. Many brides love the black and white damask look, and one vendor had a beautiful damask card box that she was selling many of.
MO: What has it been like to create a company with your wife? Do you have any advice to couples who are looking to start a business together?
Sal: Starting a business with my wife has been a great experience. She has been very supportive and encouraging throughout the entire process and continues to be. We both have our strengths and weaknesses and we recognize that. Therefore, in order to make our business relationship work we are open to criticism from each other and let each other focus on what we do best thereby taking advantage of each other’s strengths.
Find the right Domain Name for your business at Fabulous.com!