Wow! I can not believe that I am entering my second year of business today! My oh my how time flies!! Well, I thought I would share a round up of some of my most favorite events and projects I have worked on to date. I will also share the changes Dandy & Fine Parties has gone through, where it is now, and what my goals for the future are. And I'll share my thoughts on being an entrepreneur - the pros and cons and why I wouldn't trade it in for anything! It's kind of like my business journal entry for the start of a fresh new year.
Disclaimer: Although I am here to serve my clients - brides and grooms, primarily - and post pretty content, I like to take some time-outs to be transparent about who I am and share content about the business side of things. Many of my past and present clients are entrepreneurs (funny how similarities do, in fact, attract) and we enjoy talking about business together, so I like to offer my tid-bits from time to time, in hope that it might help someone along their own journey. So, I hope this entry will serve as beneficial to someone out there. Running a business has so many ups and downs, but the more we all share, the less crazy we can all feel just knowing that we aren't alone!
It's kind of crazy for me to reflect back on how much change D&F has already been through since first launching in 2014. I originally started this business with two partners. Unfortunately the partnership did not work out, mainly due to mindset differences. Big lessons learned here. It's a challenge to find people with a similar mindset who can be on the same page as you, just in general. But when starting and running a business this is crucial if working in a partnership. While I do enjoy running D&F solo, I will be looking for a counterpart who will compliment the work that I do as well as share the mindset I have in running this business. My dream and goal is to find a planning counterpart in the not-too-distant future.
When I launched Dandy & Fine Parties, I was still working my full-time corporate job. I continued to work at my job for the first nine months of operating my business. So though I launched March 2014, I was finally able to run D&F full time beginning in January 2015. So, while D&F is going into being a business for its third year, it is truly going into it's second year of a full-swinging operation.
Have you ever felt so passionate about something that nothing nor no one could stop you? Something that you just knew you had to do? That thing that keeps you awake at night because you can't turn off your excitement? That was the thought of running a Wedding Design business for me, and I felt so strongly about it that I didn't even have to think twice about the crazy hours I was pulling to make it happen, not to mention lack of sleep.
My first year was really all about learning what it takes to run a business - get a routine down, marketing strategies, writing contracts, networking, etc. I am pretty sure that I grew exponentially as a person that year. You see, my natural strengths are in styling, creating, and designing. Business strengths, not so much. But, because I was knew I was no longer just nurturing a hobby, I pushed myself to my limits and beyond to learn the things I needed to know to successfully operate a business.
It's quite amazing the things you learn about yourself when you push your boundaries. I learned that I am stronger than I often give myself credit for, and that when I am focused and passionate, I exceed. I have learned over and over again that boundaries are false and I would be a fool to say that I am done learning that lesson. Oh the joys of growing as a person!
2015 was a really beautiful year for Dandy & Fine Parties. There were a lot of opportunities that came up that were non-wedding related. Now, you will notice that Parties is in my name. When starting this business I knew that I wanted to do weddings, but I also wanted to keep myself open to other types of life celebrations as well. I was very excited to explore what occasions other than weddings would look like, so I went on a bit of a hiatus and took the year to creatively explore these opportunities.
WEDDINGS IS WHERE IT IS TRULY AT
Towards the end of the year, I naturally started to reflect on the year past. I do not take back or regret any project or event that I worked on. In fact, I embrace each and every moment dearly. I had more creative freedom than I believe I ever have had in my career. And I learned yet more wonderful lessons and tools that I will be able to carry with me for years to come. I believe that that 2015 was a wedding hiatus much needed to gain clarity in my overall mission for Dandy & Fine Parties.
But here is the thing, I realized that I absolutely love weddings. Truly and wholeheartedly. Though parties is in the name and I still love to create events for all of life's celebrations, weddings is where it is truly at for me. Are they more stressful? Yes, absolutely they are. A wedding is a sacred event and an incredibly huge deal to all of those involved. This is what adds so much for meaning and value to what Dandy & Fine Parties does. You see, I love creating something beautiful for others - something that they have most likely dreaming about forever - that will last in memories for a lifetime. Giving to others through acts of service is my love language and when I can provide that through the work that I love so much, well that is what we call a win, win.
So, as I was soul searching and determining where I would take Dandy & Fine Parties in 2016, it was so clearly all about weddings. This is the destiny for D&F, at least for the next 5 years. Hooray! While I embrace all that I learned outside of weddings in 2015, I have been so excited to hunker down and be laser focused on the weddings I am currently designing and acquiring the future clients I wish to work with.
Another big update is that Dandy & Fine Parties now services both Seattle and San Diego. While Seattle is my home base, I have a huge network of family and friends that I am frequently visiting in San Diego. I have a great love for California, as I was born and lived the first 22 years of my life there, and I especially have a big place in my heart for San Diego. It just feels so natural to offer my services in both places because they both feel like home to me.
Photoshoots are definitely still on the radar for me as they are important for me to be fulfilled in my creative freedom, however I will be taking on less shoots that are bigger in scale so that I can really pour my all into them are create at the high quality. So, hint, hint...if there is anyone out there reading this who would be interested in collaborating on future shoots, please let me know!
And so, here we are today. A new chapter unfolding. And. I. AM. SO. READY. This is going to be a golden year for Dandy & Fine Parties, I already feel it! I have so many people that I am so grateful for and must thank for supporting me in getting to this place...
My husband. He is is my number one, as he made it extra possible for me to leave my corporate job and pursue this passion of mine. He encourages me, helps me with the business side of things...and let's not forget the times I've dragged him into helping me finish projects and schlep cargo back and forth to events! He's quite the husband! To my family and friends for continuous love, encouragement and support. To my business savvy friends for their honesty and advice, and for sharing a similar mindset. And a special shoutout by name to Lindsey Morando, of Get It Done Gals, who kicked my butt into gear and helped me to make the official launch back in 2014 in a quick 90 days (after I pittered and pattered for 3 years thinking about it and then feeling so overwhelmed by what it took to even launch a business)! To my clients, past and present... for believing in the work I do and trusting in me to bring their vision to life...without you all, Dandy & Fine would be without purpose. And to each of you that follows along with me in this crazy entrepreneurial journey of mine! Whether it's here on the blog, on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or a combo, your support means the absolute world to me and each and every one of your likes, comments, e-mails, etc. keeps my passion alive!
Oh, and just for fun I thought I would share one fact about myself that I have never publicly shared. When I was 15 I swore that I would never ever get married. It certainly started to look that way once Daniel and I were dating for a super long 14 years...but then we finally tied the knot. So, here I am, nearly 4 years into marriage with the love of my life and running a wedding design business. And it is actually our wedding where the thoughts of Dandy & Fine Parties began. Life works in the funniest ways, doesn't it?!