We are continuing our business profile series today with Soiree Event Design. Anyone who has met owners Ali and Jessica know that these ladies have a reputation for hard work, an eye for detail and creating amazing events! It’s been such a pleasure to watch their business blossom into one of the leading event planning companies in Spokane.
Here is their interview!
Names: Ali Messer and Jessica Sheady
Business: Soirée Event Design
When did you start your business?
We opened in October 2011
Why did you start your business?
Both of us have a background in catering and a love of events. After spending a lot of time talking about events and what we love about them, marketing and small business it was clear we both had a passion for events and weddings and we felt opening a business that combined our passions and experience was perfect.
What was your biggest struggle your first year in business?
We have two biggest struggles: time and the market for what we do. When a business is mainly run by two people, having enough time to complete everything on your (growing) to-do list is difficult! But, we also have the flexibility that there IS two of us. Also, in the first year, we were a little discouraged that the Inland Northwest Market might not be large enough and affluent enough to support what we were trying to do. Through education from many online sources and easier access to inspiration for weddings, the INW market is growing for coordinators.
How did you overcome that struggle?
Balance is something we are constantly striving for and acceptance. The life of a small business owner in the events industry not a 40 hour work week that is just reality. Finding balance in your work and personal life is extremely important, and we work on that every day.
As for market, it forced us to look at our business plan and change it. Even in the smallest ways. There are things we do to bring in revenue that are not coordination. We don’t always advertise these things, but we do them to help grow our business and keep more consistent cash flows.
What was your biggest source of growth?
We have learned that Spokane is a community that relies heavily on word of mouth and positive reviews. Our biggest source of growth has been going above and beyond for our clients. Even early on when we weren’t quite asking what we needed to ask for our services, we never let that affect the effort that we put in. Because of this, we receive many good reviews and feedback from previous clients and industry peers that has really helped grow our business.
On average, how many hours a week do you work on your business?
Working in events, there is really no “average” week. On weeks that we do not have events both of us work about 20-40 hours a week on Soirée. On an event week, that number jumps quite a bit higher!
What is the best social media site for your business?
For us, the most successful social media outlet is has been Facebook. We find many brides and clients seek us out and find us through social media.
What practical tools do you recommend to other business owners?
For us one of the most helpful resources was our peers. There are so many successful small business owners in the Spokane community, and they are a wonderful resource!
Best advice for someone wanting to start a wedding business?
Research, flexibility, and determination! It take a lot of planning to open a business, and that plan will often change throughout the process. It’s important to enjoy and adapt to that journey!
If you would like to be interviewed about your business email email@example.com!