Amber is the owner of Amber Events in Los Angeles. She is witty and charming… and, she keeps me laughing on Twitter. Her blog is rich with stylish finds (she’s a flea market / vintage store aficionado), fabulous adventures (read about her recent trip to Paris) and naturally, the lovely weddings that she designs (like Rachel & Brad’s recent wedding). I love her bio:
“Amber considers herself a romantic soul, a realistic businesswoman, a free spirit, an organized individual, an opinionated gal, a good people person, and a funny lady. You can be the judge on the funny part.”
Classy, funky, fun, spirited… all rolled into one Amber. Here she shares her smarts with us on the business of weddings…
Owner, Amber Events
Los Angeles, CA
Why did you start your business?
I’ve feel that I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was a child. When I was 13 I started reading Victoria magazine and I imagined myself one of those fabulous women who owned beautiful Bed & Breakfasts, flower shops, or boutiques. I was so inspired by those business owners and knew that someday I would be one of them. I started Amber Events, Inc. not because I’m obsessed with weddings, but because I love working with people in a creative supportive field and I love being a part of the birth of a new family. And because I’m damn good at it.
What book (business or soul-searching) do you recommend to new business owners?
I love “The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber because it tears away the glitter of owning a company and if you can get through it and still want to own your own company, then you have what it takes. I also recommend reading anything related to marketing and sales that is a bit out of the box (Seth Godin, for one) Thankfully, my entire life I attended the “Mike Landry College of Business” (my dad, Mike, is a marketing professor) and I’ve always had a natural grasp on the concept of branding, marketing, selling, advertising, networking, etc.
Do you have any cool goal-setting tips to share with us?
As clichéd as it is to say, I find that writing goals down really makes them become tangible. I’m not a huge believe in things like “The Secret” but I do believe that there is something powerful about taking a thought or dream and putting it on paper. It almost makes you work harder since you’re looking at it.
Here’s one goal I now need to make happen since I’m writing it down and making it real:
I’m trying to figure out how my husband and I can take one month next year to spend in a language immersion program abroad yet continue to still expand my company while I’m gone.
What do you find to be the biggest challenge as a business owner?
Hands down, balancing my personal life. And I don’t even have kids yet. I have no idea how I’m going to cope with that one when it happens. I’m sure I’ll figure it out like all working moms do. I attempt to set parameters on myself such as taking one day off per week and not answering emails at crazy-o-thirty (that’s what my husband calls emails sent at 2, 3, and 4 in the morning) and not answering my cell phone every time it rings.
Since I have a home office, when I am done working for the day, I have to close my computer down or that one email “ding!” will drive me batty until I check it. Same with my iPhone: I turn it off sometimes. Crazy!
If you were starting your business all over again, what would you have done differently?
Absolutely nothing. I took a year to train with my mentors and work as a catering server to really understand the world of weddings before I took on my own. During that year I witnessed what I liked and did not like about the companies I worked for, and I started developing my polices and procedures in my head based on my experiences. I asked for advice from every person I could. I also had a job that allowed me to work four 10 hour days Monday-Thursday so I was able to maintain my income and health insurance as I started my business. I’ve always believed that if I want something bad enough, I’ll get it with enough work and determination. I’m a huge believer in training in the trenches and paying your dues.
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