NEW SERIES: Interview with a boss babe Featuring Perfectly Planned Moments
I love meeting new boss babes, and people who share the same general interest in the creative entrepreneur lifestyle. Therefore, I was thrilled to kick 2017 off with a super special series for January, which I decided not to name because, well, I am just not cool enough to think of something that fit (lol). But I will be featuring a few special boss babes, who have inspired and motivated me, and whom I feel deserve some extra special l-o-v-e. If there's one thing I love about being in the creative business field, it would be meeting and connecting with SO many awesome creative business owners, who have decided to chase after their goals and dreams, and say YES! To kick off this series, I decided to start with MaKenna Stevens, owner of Perfectly Planned Moments, who connected with me from all the way over in sunny Cali through a Facebook group! She was super nice enough to let me guest post on her blog as well, which you can read right here! MaKenna in a nutshell has a "fierce love for soft pretzels, organized closets, beautiful dresses that bring out beautiful personalities, and—most of all—weddings." And to make things even cooler, we have the same last name, just different spelling!(pictured above, MaKenna Stevens)Here is the interview we did:How did you get started with you business planning weddings?I started my wedding and event planning business at the beginning of summer, 2016, right after quitting my job as a day-of coordinator for another company. While I really enjoyed the work I’d been doing at that company, I found the management to be very frustrating and disorganized. I kept on thinking, “If I was running this business, I would do ABC this way instead,” and “I wish I was put in charge of XYZ, because I would make sure X got done.” I was in the midst of finishing a wedding and event planning certification I was taking online, and felt prepared with the experience I had received working for this company to begin planning and coordinating weddings myself. It was at this point that I decided I would put in my two weeks and begin to build my own business.Why are you interested in the wedding industry?I’ve been working in the wedding industry with nearly every job I’ve ever had—but without intentionally being in the industry. I like to tell people who ask that I planned my parents’ surprise anniversary party when I was 8; it’s amazing how even at that age I had an instinct for what I was good at, however, at that time, I wasn’t thinking about my future—I had just wanted my parents to have an anniversary party after they told me they weren’t doing much that year. Since then, I’ve taken cake decorating classes, worked in event catering, taken an internship as the assistant to a wedding gown designer, worked in floral design, wedding rental décor setup, and as a day-of coordinator. It was only about a year ago that I decided I was going to pursue wedding planning as a career, hustled to get my certification, worked for some experience, and then started my own business. A fast-paced year, but it’s a fast-paced industry.What did you do before you planned weddings, and how do the two relate?Looking back, it’s really incredible to me that I’ve received so much work experience that directly relates to what I do now. The jobs I’ve had before as various wedding vendors have given me useful information that I pull from on a daily basis when I plan my clients’ weddings. It enables me to understand the needs of my vendors because I can think like they do, and understand the costs and work that goes into their jobs to ensure that expectations are realistic and no detail goes overlooked. The work from these past jobs has also improved my ability to prevent or fix problems as they arise. I understand how tiered cakes are built, which helps to prevent cake falls, I’ve arranged flowers so I know how to whip up an extra boutonniere in a hurry, fix a wilted bouquet, or rearrange a messy centerpiece, and I know how a caterer operates a pop-up kitchen, so I can help if need be.How has life changed since starting your business?After I began my business there was a bit of a learning curve. I needed to learn how to keep track of my expenses, run a website, use successful advertising, manage a work-at-home schedule, and find my ideal client. I am still learning how to do these things… I’ve learned that while it is challenging to work under the management of other people, and it is easier to plan my schedule and make decisions when I work for myself, it is a different sort of difficult to work when you are only accountable to yourself. I’ve learned that building structure into my schedule—just for the sake of having a normal work schedule—has really helped keep me organized, and maintaining a social life due to working by myself without any coworkers has proven to be very important.(pictured above, is a styled shoot done by MaKenna)What are your future plans and dreams for your business?I have so many plans for the future of my business! It takes patience to be okay with where it’s at right now, but I know that with effort and time it will grow. When it does I want to hire employees to take on weddings alongside me, increase my reach with social media, and possibly add more service options to the business. Someday, I’d like to write a book—but then again, doesn’t everybody?It has been a dream of mine for a long time to move to Oregon from where I am in California, and so I plan to uproot and replant my business somewhere in the state in the next couple of years. It’s a very intimidating process to move a business, especially one that is dependent on an established clientele and strong networking. A lot of that will need to be rebuilt, and I anticipate that I will get discouraged sometimes, but hope that with time my business will grow just like it has for me this year.A big business leap that I am in the midst of taking now is starting a product line! I am hoping to open an Etsy shop where I will sell handmade silk flower crowns, custom wooden table numbers, wedding day emergency kits, and more. More than anything, I am excited to see where these plans will take me!