Kathy contacted me a few months to tell me about her business, Well Rehearsed, and I just fell in love with the whole thing! First of all, her branding is so awesome… love the colors and style! Her website is classy and celebratory, just what you’d expect of someone who’s job it is to design memorable rehearsal dinners. And, I love that she has a very specific niche. This clued me into someone who’s done her homework. She started her business based on a long history of party planning. As a kid, there was a tightly knit theme: Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony, Cinderella. She’s taken this to the next level with really cool details for rehearsal dinners. Love it, Kathy!
Owner, Well Rehearsed
San Francisco, CA
Why did you start your business?
I will quote my husband for this question. He said “You wouldn’t be happy until you rule your own world.” And he was right. My background is in corporate marketing and events, specifically in promotional marketing and then marketing for medical device and technology companies. Sounds fun, right? I was ever-searching for the perfect position that really allowed me to showcase my creativity AND be recognized for it. I felt like I was going in circles and there was never a clear answer.
I actually took the leap out of corporate American before I even knew what I was going to do next. I just knew it was out there and was confident in my skills and my creative passion that I would find it. Well Rehearsed actually organically evolved out of my own rehearsal dinner. As a bride designing “my” wedding day, I wanted my groom to have something that was “his.” And so I designed our rehearsal dinner to reflect him and his hobby of woodworking. I never would have thought it would have turned into my business! However, the rehearsal dinner is part of the wedding celebration that gets little attention and is eager to have some! If the groom’s family is hosting, this is their night to transform the evening from just a dinner into a memorable event.
What book (business or soul-searching) do you recommend to new business owners? Why?
Besides the Twilight series? Okay, I just had to throw that in there since it’s all the buzz right now. Just for the record, I am in Team Edward.
So I do have to admit, these days I’m not much of a reader unless I’m on a vacation. But put me in a tropical paradise and go through books like a mad-woman. However, there are a few books that stick out as being really eye-opening and influential. Which reminds me, I should read them again!
This was a book I read during my first job out of college where I worked for an inspirational woman entrepreneur. This was the backbone of her philosophy on customer service. Raving Fans: the title says it all.
Although I was familiar with “The Secret” this was a great follow-up book that discusses the Law of Attraction and the power of feelings. I am a believer and this philosophy has really shifted my thought process and how I live my life and how important it is to show gratitude on a daily basis.
I read this book as I was on the verge of leaping from corporate America. It was perfect timing as it really made me feel less anxious about leaving and that it was okay to not follow the nine-to-five career model. The book brings to life the pairing of creativity and lifestyle and how they can be one in the same.
Do you have any cool goal-setting tips to share with us?
As a detailed, organized and strategic person, this is actually a hard question to answer. Reason being is I default to my left-brain when it comes to goal setting. I would think that I have lists of goals and I mark them off as I complete them. But actually I track my goals based on how I am feeling. Over the years I have really started to become aware of my “gut feeling” and make sure that I am following it. If I am energized and feeling on top of the world… my goals are being met. And if I’m gloomy, then something isn’t working. Although I’m not the best at documenting my goals (okay… that should be a goal of mine to improve), I believe (that with enough time and money) anything is possible. And it’s amazing what you can make happen!
What do you find to be the biggest challenge as a business owner?
Oh there are so many. But my biggest challenge has been to generate awareness about my business. Currently I am a category of one. Clients understand the traditional wedding vendor categories: florist, photographer, wedding planner, etc. But I am in a new category of “rehearsal dinner planner.” I’m amazed at how many colleagues don’t ask their clients about their plans for the rehearsal dinner, because there is potential business waiting for them.
My second biggest challenge is reaching my primary target market which is the mother-of-the-groom. Almost all wedding marketing is targeted towards the bride. However, most of the time my client is not the bride. She will probably be involved in some of the planning and decisions, but it’s the host of the event that is my audience.
It’s a very exciting place to be: paving the road in a new market. However, it has its unique set of challenges that are different from the rest of the other wedding services.
If you were starting your business all over again, what would you have done differently?
I would have done it sooner!
Want more great reads? Check out our book list!
Is there someone that you think is AWESOME in the wedding industry? Tell us about’m!