When I opened my business several years ago I had already spent a lot of time as an event planner working for hotels, venues and non-profits so I knew how to effectively plan and manage events for clients. After opening the business I quickly realized how little I knew about being a business owner! Pricing structures, package building, template creation, websites, email setup, taxes, copywriting, time management, software programs, etc… they seriously need classes to walk new business owners through these things! With that said, I feel like the first couple of years were just about me “figuring it out,” getting my name out there and taking any client that would hire me. I was drowning in the day-to-day business owner tasks without ever really having a clear plan for what I wanted for my company in the long run and I was beginning to not enjoy my job.
There was a point about a year ago (maybe after a particularly hard season) where I asked myself, “Why do I do this?” and “Who am I doing it for?” I was finding myself anxious, overwhelmed and not worthy. I felt taken advantage and not appreciated by clients and vendors and I just felt inadequate to do this job. I was finding myself constantly “stalking” fellow vendors social media pages (don’t judge – you’ve done it too), being jealous of other’s opportunities and constantly questioning myself and my abilities. I was overcome by the feeling of competition and comparison.
One day I had a wake up call and realized that my unhappiness was my own doing. For example, I was terrible at setting boundaries with my clients thus I was feeling taken advantage of. Beyond that, I was gently reminded that “comparison is the thief of joy” (-Theordore Roosevelt) and it was the moment I realized I needed to find joy in my current situation or move on to something else. I knew that if I was going to keep my business I needed to get to the “heart of my business.” Thus, came the rebranding exploration and some clarity about the future.
When I was finally ready to take the financial plunge I hired Patricia with Fancy Girl Design Studio (graphic and website designer) and Ginny Kraus (brand strategist) to help me with my rebrand. Ginny helped me walk through the new naming process, continued to get to the heart of who I am as a person and a business owner and developed some key elements that contributed to the overall brand aesthetic. Next, Patricia took these new ideas and made the brand come to life by designing all of our graphic elements and website. I am forever thankful for their patience and perseverance over the last several months.
The rebranding process has really helped me to discover who I am and helped me learn more about my ideal client that I can serve well. For example:
– I love working with clients that enjoy the planning process, but also value and trust professionals to execute their vision and “let go” along the way.
– I was reminded that my personality is laid back, but still detail oriented and I find I work best with clients that appreciate those attributes rather than get stressed out about them.
– On the aesthetic end, I was reminded that I gravitate towards a classic and timeless look with a clean and modern edge. Also, as silly as it sounds, I simply like “pretty” things and there’s nothing particularly bold about me.
– I like a luxury feel that is not pretentious or overdone.
– I hate to be the center of attention! This is important, first, because I was uncomfortable saying my personal name as my business name and, second, because I felt like it brought too much focus on myself rather than my team and creative collaborators. Thus, the business rename to Crain + Co. Events.
In the end, my rebranding gave my business a facelift and a self-confidence boost, but most importantly, it has given me new direction as to what I want for myself, my business and my clients. I have realized that I do not need to book every client… I only need to book the clients that are best for me and I for them. The ones who value our services, our aesthetic and, quite honestly, value us as people and, in return, I am confident those clients are going to get the best service from us. With a renewed sense of purpose and energy, I’m so excited for my team and I to continue to collaborate with talented creatives in order to make clients feel loved and taken care of during some of the most important seasons of their lives.