Tell us about what you do. I wear five hats in the wedding industry. I own a couture bridal salon. I’m a wedding planner with 1300 weddings under my belt. I’m a gown designer, at one time the Collection sold in 40 stores in the United States. I am a published author now three times and I’m also a professional speaker.
What inspired you to get into this industry? My interest has always been in visual arts and one of my undergrads is in photojournalism. So through college, I freelanced as a wedding photographer and I can see through a lens finder, how it would take just so little to make the composition of that picture more beautiful. I think it was because I always appreciated the visual of a wedding at the alter, how the train looked, if it was fluffed out perfectly, or if it looked like a rumpled bedsheet for the back. If somebody would have taught the maid of honor how to fluff that train out, that’s the reason the girl fell in love with that dress. And so I think it’s perhaps I’ve always had an appreciation for things that are aesthetically beautiful.
What is something you love about the local area? I love the sense that it really feels like a village and I can bump into friends at church, Henhouse or in another shopping experience.
When out of towners come to visit you, where do you take them? Well, my favorite restaurant, hands down is Yaya’s. In normal life, I would eat at Yaya’s at least twice a week, and I go out to dinner about four or five nights a week. So I love dining out and I love supporting locally owned businesses as opposed to a chain. We typically don’t take people out to the Kaufmann or the Nelson or the Memorial, I guess we’re so excited when guests come, we just want to hang out together and a lot of our enjoyment of our company revolves around food.
What is one thing you wished you learned earlier in life? Hire an attorney and an accountant from day one. I didn’t have a mentor who showed me the ropes. Everything I learned was by doing it the wrong way first. When people ask me about wanting to follow in the footsteps of a career path like this, I say be sure you have professionals to fill in the gaps of what you’re not good at.For me, the whole accounting side, the administrative side of running a business, if I didn’t have Emma Lea, I’d have to shut the place down because all I’m good at is running my mouth. My mantra is do the thing that only I can do and delegate the rest.
Who is the most exciting or interesting person you’ve met? Anyone who has a passion for their niche career.
Favorite hobby when you were not at work? The pool. We have a community pool, but we have a small neighborhood, and it’s a very nice pool and it becomes village central. I can be there with my hard cover magazine on the edge of the pool and melts away my anxiety. So when I’m not working, I’m in the water.
Is there a quote that motivates you? Second Corinthians chapter four verse 17 to 19 summed up says for light and momentary troubles are achieving for us a glory that far outweighs them all.
There’s an emergency and you have a chance to run back into your home to grab one thing…what is it? I think it would be my wife’s bridal gown because that is the symbol of the culmination of the best season of my life.
What’s a pet peeve? People who have pushy opinions and no skin in the game. He who’s payin’, is sayin’ and if you ain’t payin’, you ain’t sayin’.
Do you know someone who is a positive influence in our community? Please let us know, we would love to meet them for consideration to our Artist Project!