A while back, I realized all the coffees and brunches and cocktails I keep promising back and forth with other fellow vendors would never come to pass with each and every one, because we all are so dang busy – but we really need to get together frequently, to exchange ideas, tips, marketing strategies, information about our businesses, and celebrate (and commiserate, perhaps?) all at the same time.
And selfishly, I am undyingly curious about all the latest and greatest in wedding and event planning, and the best way to educate myself on such – and educate my clients, then, as well – is to sit down and gently interrogate my sisters/brothers in arms about what they do.
With that, the first No Worries Vendor Roundtable was up and running. Last Thursday, I had Shani Barel of Don’t Smile Now Photography, Molly Dain Suber Thorpe of Plurabelle Contemporary Calligraphy, Andrea Boudewijn of Superfine Bakery, Shannon Kim of Shannon Kim Hair, and Dani Barkat, No Worries’ own assistant coordinator extraordinaire who is also a designer and makeup artist, over at my slightly chaotic but welcoming ‘chateau’ in the oh-so-glamorous West Valley.
After some nibbles and Prosecco, it was time to get down to business. I lightly moderated a discussion that yes, went ’round the table, and the conversation was fascinating, informative, and as bubbly as the sparkling vino.
Andrea and I met Molly at last year’s Hitched event, an assembly of some of the hippest event pros in L.A. Molly’s contemporary calligraphy is stunning, and business is strong. I learned that if clients can’t quite afford each and every envelope addressed, they could order hand designed stamps in her lettering for a variety of their wedding stationary needs. I myself am ordering a stamp for my handmade thank you notes.
Shani and I worked a beautiful backyard event last May and got along swimmingly, both being West Valley-based moms/entrepreneurs. She’s a citizen of the world, truly, and has a wide and gorgeous portfolio, from celebrity shots to sweet kids’ portraits – she does it all, and does it well. She spoke about the new world of photography, how digital has affected the industry, and explained some post production techniques that many photographers use.
Shannon Kim and I met through a mutual friend and immediately hit it off. (She and I even braved a bridal expo together.) She is super smart, very talented (Allure named her a top colorist), and has a keen business sense. She runs a beauty concierge service for brides and grooms that takes the pressure off planning beauty treatments for the big day, and discussed how she finds and serves her clientele.
Dani is my right hand peeps who is invaluable in the field, and has an outstanding eye and knack for artistry in every domain (pen to paper, events, costuming, makeup – you name it). She is also completely obsessed with weddings. Recently engaged, she shared from a future bride’s point of view the difference between planning one’s own wedding, and working on another’s.
We saved dessert for last, and just before cutting the two gorgeous cakes Andrea brought, she told us how Superfine was borne out of years of treading water in a lucrative career that just didn’t satisfy her. Her career switch – from website production to culinary school to running Superfine – was a success: She books up to two years in advance and has been featured in a variety of major blogs and magazines. And damn, are her cakes good!
The evening was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the various facets of our shared industry, to bond, and most of all, to enjoy each others’ work and ideas. I’m looking forward to the next one, and thank the ladies for taking the time to come over to my neck of the woods to talk shop!