Today marks Felicity C Weddings LLC's third anniversary. I officially started my company exactly one week after getting laid off from a corporate job in 2009. I had planned weddings on the side of that corporate job and had been looking for full time event planning jobs when the lay off happened. While most of my former co-workers were distraught over losing a stable, high paying job, I knew that there were no prospects in sight for what I wanted to do and decided to create an opportunity for myself. Looking back now I realize how crazy I must have sounded telling my family & friends but it was sheer blind confidence that didn't allow me to see the crazy at the time. I started my company without having taken one business class, no business plan and basically no idea what I was getting myself into at all. What I did have was a passion for event planning, a couple years of experience and a stubborn determination to do what I loved. I never dreamed of owning my own business but these past three years have been an incredible and invaluable learning experience.
When I first started my company I remember having one of 'those days' when it seemed like everything was going wrong. I was getting some work done at my parents' house and my mom could tell that I was stressed. She told me about the life cycle of bamboo, that in the first couple of years it barely grows at all. Then, around year 3 or 4 it shoots up into the tall, strong, beautiful bamboo we all think of typically. It was the single best piece of advice anyone could have given me right then. I often say that I "Forrest Gump'ed" my way through the first year of the business side; like many small business owners I paid too much for advertising, pushed to keep up with social media (I was SO intimidated by blogging when I first started!), crumbled under the stress of business accounting, abused my loved ones as free business consultants and experienced many never-ending days. My car was towed in downtown Baltimore during a wedding reception (skip to: $310 in cash plus dragging my poor parents out of bed to retrieve said car), I have fired disappointing vendors & found new ones less than a month before the wedding and dealt with a vendor cancellation the day of the wedding... oh the stories I could tell you over a few beers.
Setting a foundation then building my company has taken a lot of blood, sweat & tears but it is all worth it when I see an ecstatic couple on their wedding day. I will never be anything less than humbled and thrilled to continue to see my company grow each year. I am lucky enough to have a lot of clients that turned into new friends and I have had the opportunity to work with some truly spectacular vendors. A sincere thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has made this dream possible for me!
*Photo credit: Lindsay Hite/ ReadyLuck, Diamond wedding 5.22.10, the first official wedding for FCW!