I know a lot of you have been asking where I’ve been lately so I figured it was time to clear some things up. Before I just cut straight to the point though, let me explain how I got here…
Ever since I was in the 8th grade I knew I wanted to be a child psychologist when I grew up. I held steadfast to this dream up until my last semester of college when I completed an internship with a group of professionals who had lost the passion for their career and the children in their care. It was disheartening. So there I was, planning my summer wedding and trying to figure out what the heck I wanted to focus on in grad school now that my dream had been crushed.
Planning a wedding was stressful for me. I had a lot going on aside from the wedding; like school, my internship, work, etc. I had little time and resources available to me so I did the best I could. It wasn’t until after the wedding that I realized how important having e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g listed in the contract actually was and how I couldn’t count on some of my vendors to really do the things they had promised. The lightbulb came on that planning would have been so much more enjoyable if I had someone to guide me through the process. So there I was, the summer after I graduated, got married, moved to Virginia, and I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to focus on in grad school. What-the-bleep-am-I-going-to-do…I decided I needed a way to channel my energy while I tried to figure everything else out on the backend. I made a mental checklist of all the things I loved:
-Working like a maniac
And there it was. That very same lightbulb right in front of my face like the best damn idea I’d ever had. I’d just listed the job description for an event planner and my recent experience of planning my own wedding justified the importance of this position. So, that was that. I decided I would find an event planner to work under while I studied for the GRE’s and I didn’t care who they already had working for them – I was going to become the best assistant on their team. No doubt about it. Now I just needed to find said event planner.
Her name was Adrianne and she changed my life. After working only 2 events with her she insisted I get my business license and take over As You Wish. Clearly I thought she had lost her mind as I had only planned to become her best assistant, and not a business owner. She insisted that if I didn’t take the opportunity she was giving me no one else would offer me the same opportunity, and it would be very hard to do it on my own from scratch. I knew she was right. I still fought her on it though. I was only 24 and had zero interest in owning a business… It wasn’t in my plan. She was persistent though, like one of those at home business people that stop you at Target to try and sell you on joining their pyramid scheme team. Except Adrianne wasn’t just convincing-she was absolutely right. This was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. So I shut my mouth and listened to everything she told me to do. She booked my first client for me that same year and literally pushed me out of the nest so quickly I had no choice but to figure it all out or fall flat on my face. My big girl pants were now on and there was no holding me back. I did 5 weddings my first year, took notes and regrouped after each one on what I learned and could have done better and made goals for the future. I went to seminars, took courses, and joined associations. Five weddings a year turned into 10 and 10 to 15 and before I knew it I was doing 31 weddings in one year. What a whirlwind that was. Let me tell you. I didn’t know what was going on outside of my wedding world.
And that’s when Brandi came into my life. She contacted me just like all of the other hopefuls, and I was literally so busy trying to keep up with my client load that I couldn’t find the time to even schedule a call with Brandi to find out what she was all about. But she was persistent and continued to follow up with me, so I eventually found that time to meet with her, and boy was I glad I did. We hit it off right away and it was evident Brandi was passionate about joining our industry so I was excited to bring her on board. Brandi worked her first wedding like a pro. She was good. A little too good. I remember stepping back and wondering to myself if she had been secretly stalking me at weddings because she was taking the lead on so many things (and doing them well), before I had even asked her to. I must say, I was a little scared because I felt like I had finally met my match and I couldn’t quite comprehend how this all was happening so perfectly.
I soon began giving Brandi more and more responsibilities and eventually clients of her own. I taught her everything I knew and watched her continue to grow As You Wish well beyond what I had done. I was so proud of her and us and by golly we were a match made in heaven! I was so proud of what I know considered our As You Wish.
I have been a part of so many beautiful wedding days and worked with some amazing clients, but I’ll be honest there have been times throughout my career where I wondered what else I may want to do. Since I never ended up going to grad school it was always a thought in the back of my mind that maybe I still would. Or did I maybe want to start a second business? I can’t help but view life as one big adventure and I’d been yearning to experience more. So, last summer after taking one of my clients to her dress fitting I decided I wanted to work in a bridal store as well and add that into the mix. And so I did. I truly loved it. Every second of it. Now that Brandi was basically running As You Wish I was able to focus on solely my design and full service clients in addition to being a bridal stylist at Pure English. I’m not trying to brag, but I was absolutely living the life and loving it. What an amazing feeling it was to have worked so incredibly hard to build As You Wish into everything I had imagined it to be, only to turn most of it over to Brandi while I focused my attention on a select number of clients.
So here I was, at the point in my career that I had always wanted to be and yet I couldn’t just be still. I wanted more. I didn’t know what, but I wanted more. So I put some feelers out there into the corporate world. I wanted to see what I could become involved in with the experience I had from the past 9 years I had spent in the event industry. And guess what? I learned that there were a lot of options out there! I ended up being offered a position at a very successful company that welcomed me with open arms and I couldn’t be more thrilled to say that I am so excited for this next chapter of my life. I am so incredibly proud of all of my accomplishments with As You Wish and couldn’t be more confident in passing the torch on to Brandi. She is and has been a beautiful, hard working, and incredible talent that has propelled As You Wish for the past five years. It could not be a more fluid transition. Truly she has been the driving force behind us for a while now, and I appreciate her hard work, determination, and just plain amazingness more than I can put into words. She is going to continue to do big and beautiful things with As You Wish.
We of course still have Jess and the rest of our wonderful team to assist with executing our events, which I will still be a part of from time to time, so don’t worry-I’m not gone forever! I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to join our industry in the way that I did, and for all of you amazing colleagues that I grew to know as friends. Keep doing amazing things!
And so you see…. It’s Not Goodbye, It’s See You Later.