Jenny came into our Social House lives via the best possible method: she showed up, in both the figurative and literal sense. She engaged with us on social media, reached out personally and remained persistent, came to our events and brought friends, told other creatives about us, brought them in to check us out, and, when I needed it the most, began working for and with us here at the House by saying, "I'll do anything," and meaning it. Watching her grow both her company and her creative talents over the past year has been both fulfilling and inspiring, and as a community, we've benefited in so many ways from her journey.
After leaving her full time gig a year ago, Jenny and her husband/partner Glen have grown an event and floral design business that continues to evolve, filling a niche in the area and taking advantage of their unique skills and interests. We recently took a breather in the Studio with Jenny to get her perspective on the path that has led her here.
Current mood in less than 3 words:
How did you discover that event design was what you wanted to do?I planned homecoming, and was heavily involved in SGA events in high school, which made me realize I wanted to be involved in events in some capacity as a profession.
How'd you take the leap from passion to full time job?
Laura offered me a part-time job here at Social House, which I took it in order to get out of Pharmaceutical marketing.
What's your favorite part about your industry/your job?
The people. The vendors who I work with are all so different and creative. They each serve such a different/unique purpose for an event. The clients are also such individuals, who push me to try new things.
How has Social House helped you with the way you do business?
It completely changed everything for me. It opened a whole new personal/professional network of creatives to help inspire me.
What was your ah-ha moment?
My real big ah-ha moment came after attending a local bridal show. We went to support our friend Micah, who we had met while I was working on a video project at a marketing firm. I remember leaving that event thinking I had just met some pretty incredible people; however, there was something missing in the wedding industry. Why were these huge talents forced to stand behind a table in a stuffy hotel banquet room. The show was lack luster even though it featured all of these incredible vendors. I remember thinking: I can do this, and I could maybe do it a little better. So that night I brainstormed a name over a few beers and started developing a website the next day. Our company has grown a lot in that short period of time, and it has changed focus, but I now get to work alongside those people I met (Lauren Louise Photography, Chelsea Erwin Photography, Joshua Kane Wood Photography). I even get to call them my friends and that is the real ah-ha moment. Doing what you love and finding new way to do that with people who you respect and love.
Most challenging part of owning your own business:
Staying current in this industry, and never getting too comfortable since there is no specific formula. Being in charge of yourself and making clients happy while making your heart happy is a challenge so staying adaptable is both important and rewarding. Nothing will ever be the same...
Most rewarding part of your week:
Date night with my husband, and happy hour. Wedding days are always rewarding when I get to see everything we created come together.
Something that has happened while owning your own business that you never could have planned for or expected:
Adventuring into floral design, something that I'd tried to avoid but has been both challenging and fulfilling.
What do you wish more people knew about you?
That I'm not just a day-of coordinator. I get a lot of traction, which people don't see the value of - it's so much more involved than just showing up to do the grunt work. It's an emotional investment, so I wish people were more open to hiring someone to advocate for them during the entire design process. Trust their vision and have confidence in the planner/designer.
Your favorite piece of work:
I think I'm working on it now, it hasn't happened yet, but I can't wait to see the end result. My favorite tactile thing that we have helped bring to life is our copper arch. I was able to take a picture/idea and then found the right people to build it for our inventory. Favorite project from start to finish would be my own wedding.
Your dream job:
What I'm doing. But maybe on a more Martha Stewart level, to oversee, manage and teach a team of people who do everything that I do.
Any productivity tips or secrets?
Certain software has been super helpful. I use 17Hats for invoices, which has changed the way I do business and lets me stay on top of everything, including work flow. But pen and paper are my go-to. It helps me visualize and get everything that I need to do that day/week out of my head and onto something tactile.
Any tips for other creatives looking to start their own business?
Oh man... have a good support system. My family and husband were super supportive; it's important to surround yourself with people who push and encourage you. Set your mind to something and don't wing it, just don't be afraid to do it or be afraid of failure.