Entrepreneurs Heart Hartford - InstaCraft

May 27, 2015

InstaCraft is a DIY wedding service provider. Erin Drennan, founder of InstaCraft, won the pre-launch category of the HYPE Entrepreneurship Awards this past April. She plans to launch InstaCraft this June.

Tell us about InstaCraft

InstaCraft is a business I started this past winter as part of a business class at Central Connecticut State University. It combines my love of creative craft projects with my passion for starting a business.

I’m an active Pinterest user and found that it is often difficult to complete craft projects pinned without detailed tutorials and descriptions of where to find materials. Our kits allow customers to personalize centerpieces, signs, wedding favors, and more to create unique elements for their special day. I plan to someday be a do-it-yourself bride, and know this is a growing trend. InstaCraft targets these DIY brides to help them design personalized craft kits to simplify their wedding plans and ultimately express themselves.

Why did you decide to start your business in Hartford?

While attending school, I lived a stone’s throw away from Hartford and knew I wanted to stay as close as possible. As a member of HYPE, I found a welcoming group in the Hartford community that I never expected. From my first networking night, I was overwhelmed by how generous and encouraging everyone was to help this business grow. I know that Hartford is full of people like the ones I’ve met and that small businesses need supportive groups in order to grow.

How does your business impact the community?

Through the HYPE Entrepreneurship Awards and a few other business competitions that I’ve participated in, I’d like to think that I’ve brought people together. I look forward to collaborating with business owners that I’ve met and getting my student team involved in the business moving forward. Weddings and special events bring people together, and it is our goal at InstaCraft to help create beautiful unique events and be a part of the celebration.

What words of wisdom would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who may be hesitant to take the plunge into entrepreneurship?

I won’t pretend that getting to this point was easy. In between finishing up my senior year, studying for finals, having a social life, winning competitions, and working part-time, I grew this business from more than just an idea in a notebook. And that takes a lot of commitment and drive, and staying up until 2am many nights. So I would say that if you’re interested in starting a business, you should be aware of the stress that comes with it, and know that without a support system you will have a lonely, stressful time. I would not be launching InstaCraft in June without the help of so many.

What is it like being an entrepreneur in Hartford? What difficulties or challenges have you faced?

I have many more opportunities being a part of the Hartford community than if I were to move home and start this business. Growing up in a small town, I was not used to being surrounded my hardworking young professionals, and that is something that Hartford has in abundance. It was hard for me at first to meet people and talk about the business, but it’s something I had to get through to make some wonderful contacts and resources. Hartford has made great strides in recent years to support small businesses, and that has created a huge support system for entrepreneurs like me.

What is your vision for your business over the next five years?

Although I am working on InstaCraft part time right now, over the next five years I see myself full time in the development of the business. I plan to expand our craft kit offerings to more than just weddings, and to partner with bloggers to reach more people and help them plan their special events. I’d like to have a large warehouse facility to operate out of and a small team of young entrepreneurs employed. My goal is to involve as many young creative minds as I can and teach others as the business grows, to encourage others to explore their passions, and eventually groom managers for when InstaCraft takes over the world.

Follow InstaCraft on Facebook, Twitter, Etsy and Pinterest to see where they go next!

This blog series, posted in partnership between HYPE and reSET, offers a platform to showcase the commitment that Hartford Entrepreneurs have for their work and this City. It will examine how young entrepreneurs have chosen their work, and give examples of the ways in which they are having an impact in Hartford.


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