A couple months ago, we asked readers to submit the Story from their Soul. This is the story of one’s entrepreneurial journey… the story of when your soul was on fire with the passion for business ownership! You can read other Soul Stories here.
This is the story of Bernadette Smith, Owner of 14 Stories (previously named It’s About Time, at the time of her submission) based in Boston...
Nearly six years ago, on November 18, 2003, I was in my car driving towards the subway stop, listening to NPR. There was a news bulletin about a forthcoming ruling later that day on the Goodridge v. the Massachusetts Department of Public Health case to remove the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
I went to the office and glued myself to Boston.com and GLAD.org, waiting for the verdict to come. Sometime around 11am, in my cramped little office with a view of a brick wall, I heard the news that the state may not “deny the protections, benefits and obligations conferred by civil marriage to two individuals of the same sex who wish to marry.” The verdict indicated that these marriages could take effect in six months, on May 18, 2004.
My job (that I mostly disliked) in downtown Boston was a few blocks from the State House. There were almost daily rallies in support of or opposed to gay marriage because, within that six month period, those who opposed gay marriage tried in vain to preemptively ban it through a Constitutional amendment. I would frequently take long “lunches” to attend these rallies, listening to moving stories from former Senator Dianne Wilkerson, Rep. Byron Rushing and other leaders, standing alongside couples together twenty or thirty years, hoping they can one day marry.
I was inspired. And I didn’t like my job. And I knew I was good at event planning, frequently called “calm.” Somehow I had the bright idea that I should start a gay wedding planning firm. It was honestly a “light bulb” moment. And those who know me well know that when I get fixated on an idea, I make it happen.
So, I recruited a business partner who knew a thing or two about weddings, bought an ebook on how to plan a wedding, did lots of online research on venues and questions to ask vendors. My business partner got us a logo. I got us a website and immediately set up Google Adwords, and miraculously, by March or so, I was the co-owner of a business called It’s About Time.
Editorial Note: Since Bernadette submitted her story, It’s About Time has become 14 stories. Why the name change? 14 is a powerful number in the history of civil rights. It was the number of individual plaintiffs who were a part of the case that first legalized gay marriage in Massachusetts. 14 is the U.S. Constitutional Amendment that was used to dismantle segregation and end the ban on interracial marriage.
If you want to submit your soul story, you still can. The contest has passed… but we always love a good story! Submit here.