Yesterday was the two year anniversary of this business. Woo hoo! Break out the champagne and cake!! It’s officially entered toddlerhood, past the time when it needs my attention every second and currently walking around on it’s own without falling down. Systems are in place, my backend is constantly getting more streamlined, and the brand is defining it’s self to me more and more everyday.
Scene from my inspiration board: me launching my company in a Starbucks in 2011 and my first dollar made. Photo by brklyn view photography.
People always want to know why I started. Why weddings? Why design? These last five months of completely working for myself has really carved that reason into stone for me. Even though I’ve been in business for two years, it’s been five months since I’ve quit my day job. The first year and a half of growing this wedding design company was spent at a corporate desk from 9-6, then on my couch from 7-11. Why did I stay so long? Well, two reasons: Saved money and income. I needed the income of my day job to pay for life until I booked enough wedding clients to replace that and I wanted to go full time at this business with a nice cash cushion. For a year of that time, while I was working my butt off to market this company to a point when I could quit my day job, Adam and I were also trying to make a baby.
photo by Inbal Sivan Photography
On the last day of my day job, ironically, I found out I was pregnant. I was so blessed! I got the two things I’ve worked for a year for on the same exact day. It was going to be such a great story! I started A) working for myself and B) officially my first trimester the very next day. I was tired. Three hour naps in the afternoon were not uncommon. Neither was burning hours of the day on the web searching for everything baby, birth, nursery, day-care, college fund (OK, getting ahead of myself, but I like to have a life plan), and chatting with so many of my friends who were also pregnant.
photo by L&L Style Photography
I had big dreams of doing a monthly blog series about my experience of working for myself and building a wedding-focused business. I get so many emails from people, so similar to myself a few years ago, who want to live their dreams but don’t know where to start. They have a great idea, although don’t have the steps to get there. After speaking at Making Things Happen in March, a fire was lit under me to share my experience of starting something with a purpose with the world.
Month and month went by working from home (finally!), but I was just too tired.
It was two days before my biggest, most amazing, wedding of the year. On Wednesday, I was 14 weeks pregnant. On Thursday, I just wasn’t anymore. We saw the baby’s strong heartbeat and it’s little arm buds moving around just a few weeks before. Then bleeding, ER, no heartbeat, labor & delivery, and that was it. Miscarriage.
photo by Divine Light Photography
In my apartment sat buckets and buckets of flowers. I had escort cards to make, linen rentals to confirm, decorations to pack, and 30 centerpieces to make. Two people were promising their lives to each other in 48 hours and my team and I needed to be there. My family came into town and my team stepped it up. I taught my mom and sister how to make a centerpiece. My brother carried a thousand boxes up the stairs. Adam did everything I asked him to. We got it done (while I was wearing one of those GIGANTIC hospital issue pads, not fun) and it was amazing.
I built this company to give myself a job that had a purpose and to be a part of two people’s lifelong promise to each other. If I miscarried and had to go to a corporate meeting the next day over something trivial – HAHAHAHHAHA – I definitely wouldn’t have been there. My previous day job didn’t have a purpose, really, on the grand scheme of life. This one does. I wouldn’t have made it through those three days without my family and my husband. A wedding is the creation of that – a built-in support system that promises to help and take care of each other even during the shittiest day of all time.
photo by hart & sol photography
So this week, on the two year anniversary of this business, I’m celebrating all of the couples who have given me the honor of being part of the creation of their new family. This post is filled with photos of those lovely people. The first three months of officially working for myself were spent growing a baby that was making me tired. The last two months were spent eating my feelings and trying to cope with our sucky loss. So now, I’m back on my feet and have a lot of big plans for Michelle Edgemont Events in our third year in business.