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Conversations with Ariel Thieken

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ariel Thieken.

Hi Ariel, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Hi, I’m Ariel! I am a branding and web design specialist for wedding professionals and the face behind I Do Design Studio!

Weddings have always been a passion of mine– the dress, the vows, the venue, the color schemes, the love, the excitement, the I Do’s–you name it, I love it. I have always had an eye for graphic design–the lines, the colors, the fonts, and the creativity. After getting lots of positive feedback from the wedding invitations I created for my sister, I started to realize that these two passions of mine could be more than just a hobby!

I had so much to learn! At the time, I was working at a large format printing company and would practice my designing as much as I could in my spare time. Eventually, I was asked if I could create a website for one of our clients and I jumped at the opportunity. I created my first website for a whopping $65 and if confidence could make you fly, I would’ve been in the sky!! Even though it wasn’t a lot of money, it gave me the confidence boost I needed to know that I could actually do this!

Soon after developing my small business in 2016, I was approached by a popular wedding venue and was asked to be the Operations Manager. I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into but I was hopeful that this job would only further my knowledge and love of weddings, after all, I did really enjoy working with couples and I could still run my design business.

In 2019, things changed. I became a mom and my design business slowed down a lot.

[Picture this] I just became a mom, just moved to Raleigh, don’t know anybody and I have NO clients…was it scary? Heck Yeah! But in the midst of all of these changes, I had some clarity that something needed to change.

Eventually, it just AHA moment hit me and I just knew what had to be done. Call it my mommy-sense, call it whatever you want, but this girl knew what to do!

I got back to the basics and focused on my two passions–wedding and design. I realized that I wanted to help the wedding pros create a space for themselves to showcase their unique businesses and capture the hearts of couples. So I Do Design Studio was born and the rest is history!

I’ve mastered strategic design that evokes the warm, fuzzy feelings couples look for when planning their big day. Today, my mission is to provide high-end design solutions to the wedding industry so that couples fall in love with what they have to offer.

I’ve gotten to know so many wonderful people in the wedding business who are so amazing at what they do and it has been a dream come true for me to be able to use my two passions to not only support my family but also help support the dreams of others!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
When I started my business, I thought the straight path to success would be to design websites from the ground up for everyone. Even though pursuing this led me to where I am today, I didn’t realize:

“When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one” -Meredith Hill

My audience had to be defined, a task I thought I would be unable to do because I designed for coaches, doctors’ offices, therapists, photographers, and others. But I had to choose one.

I was a generalist that wanted to be a specialist.

55% of website visitors spend less than 15 seconds on your website. This means you have less than 15 seconds to grab their attention so I need a clear niche.

After having my AHA moment and defining my audience I gained major clarity on my business. At the time I honestly thought it was something that was impossible. But by listening to my heart and following this passion, this has become one of the most significant (and rewarding!) parts of my business.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I’ve worked in the design business for over 10 years…

And not only do I design show-stopping websites for wedding professionals…

But I also manage a wedding venue (I live and breathe the industry, baby!) I am literally working in the industry. And guess what? This dual life I live… has allowed me to develop this superpower to get into the minds of couples looking to tie the knot.

And I’ve honed this skill so that I can understand and know their desires, wishes, and exactly what makes them book.

And I weave that knowledge into my branding and web design strategy so that professionals in the wedding industry can cut through the noise (while evoking all those warm, fuzzy feelings couples look for when planning their big day)…

And just as importantly, so they can finally stand out online and build the business of their dreams.

Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
Growing up in Naples, Florida with only sisters, I’ve always had an eye for sparkly things, grand entrances, and beautiful dresses. So being a ballerina was just natural.

I danced for over 17 years and one of my favorite memories is performing at Walt Disney World. Just being at Disney is magical… but I got to perform there. It was a pure dream that I still remember today.

So why should I choose I Do Design Studio?
My sole mission is to provide wedding professionals with high-end, stress-free designs that are rooted in strategy, intention, passion, and functionality. Working in the wedding industry myself, I know the ins and outs of how to attract more high-end clients, provide a seamless experience, and truly elevate your business so you can always put your best foot forward.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Betts Photography

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