We had the good fortune of connecting with Robin Spence-Vanderford and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Robin, let’s talk legacy – what do you want yours to be?
Wow, I will try to sum this up in as few words as possible. I want people to keep God first, keep doing the right thing and trust His plan.

We face many challenges in life. No one desires to be a widow with two kids in college, but that is where I am. There have been many times that I could have given up and thrown in the towel, but I’ve kept pushing through.

In navigating life with the cards I’ve been dealt, I hope others who may find themselves in the same (or similar) situation see that with Christ many things are possible and just don’t give up.

I want people to remember that I trusted His plan even when it didn’t make sense to me and seemed daunting.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
When my husband suddenly and unexpectedly passed away, I experienced many emotions and challenges. While the void of losing him can never be filled, I needed to find something to occupy my mind. My kids were in school all day and I was alone until they were dismissed each day.

I started to design stationery and party products for my kids’ school parties and their personal use. People in the community started seeing my work and requested stationery products from me.

Just a few months later I found myself with RSVdesigns, working full-time. I expanded my offerings of two products (invitations and cupcake toppers) to offering thousands of products.

Because I’ve faced financial challenges, it is important that I provide the best quality products at affordable prices. I NEVER want a customer or client to be turned away because of cost. For this reason, I keep my business overhead low and I negotiate pricing with my suppliers and vendors. I am in a position to offer various price points, quantities, and finishes to suit EVERY single budget.

A few years ago, a single mom reached out to me to inquire about graduation invitations for her son. I provided three different price tiers to her. She started to cry and I didn’t really know how to perceive this. When she got herself together, she said, “he has worked so hard and I didn’t think I would be able to afford these, but I can, I can afford his graduation invitations.” From that moment on, I adopted the phrase, “not on my watch”! Meaning, everyone who comes into contact with me will have an affordable option for their wedding suites, graduation invitations, stationery and more!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite spots, in general, are church and sporting events. In Tuscaloosa, we would enjoy conversations with the folks at Heritage House Coffee Shop and my favorite, Baked Oatmeal (plain with a pat of butter)! A lunch at Rama Jama’s, and dinner at Baumhower’s. We would take in as many sporting events as the local colleges and high schools offer.

A night of music from Hotel Indigo Rooftop, a stroll along the Black Warrior River, and through Downtown Tuscaloosa. Sunday morning and a few weeknight services at Calvary Tuscaloosa.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We are part of an AMAZING church family and community. When my husband passed it was very important to me that we remained in this community.

Our church and community have been great supporters of my business, by words of encouragement, ordering and sharing my business with others.

Website: rsvdesigns.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rsvdesigns/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RSVdesigns1

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/rsvdesigns-tuscaloosa

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlanta is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.