If you were to ask me 20 years ago what I pictured my life to be today, I would have said: Definitely Married, Mother of 2 or possibly 3 kids, homeowner & a business owner. I had it all planned out! BUT guess what fairy-tales don’t exist…Currently at 36 years old I am a mother of 2, still not married, or own a home, BUT I am a business owner! Although I thought I planned out my future at an early age, life had different plans for me, well more like some of the decisions I made changed my future plans. I had my daughter in my Senior year of High school, 2 months before Graduation to be exact, can you imagine? At 18, I had no idea wtf I was doing, sometimes I still wonder if I’m doing this right! Despite all of this I still went to College & Graduated with a Business Management Degree in 2007 from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Later I had my son in 2009, I know i’m crazy, another child under 30, but lets be honest I’m not the 1st or the last. I was working as a Bank Teller during college, I had no idea what kind of business I was ever getting into but I knew eventually I would work for myself. Fact of the matter is my mother was an Entrepreneur all my life, so the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, working for herself is all I ever saw, & I loved it, always thought she was bad ass! Once I graduated College, you can only imagine I dealt with a lot of trials & tribulations, along with many roads that lead to dead ends. The funny thing about growing up is that you can’t determine what or who is meant for you. Those are the lessons that you learn along the way, that help mold you to who you are destined to be.
I had always enjoyed decorating & throwing parties, I even decorated my own baby shower for my son. Soon after College, around 23 years old I had started decorating more, & hosting events for other people, I started messing around with party favors, balloons & diaper cakes (who remembers diaper cakes?), sold Easter baskets. I even took classes on baking and started making cakes & cake pops. I WANTED TO DO IT ALL! I’m talking about a time where 3 balloons with a small weight was acceptable at your party, plastic table cloths and all. I really enjoyed doing these types of parties and helping my friends & family with any event they wanted to host. Of course, for FREE because who charges family right? Haha Well at that time parties were different, parties were more for people to get together & actually dance, have a good time, take a few pictures on their polaroid’s or cameras and call it a night. There wasn’t a craze for social media, there wasn’t a competitive mentality, it was just FUN!
Check out some of my A-M-A-Z-I-N-G Designs back then!
Time flies when you’re having fun!
Let me take you back to 10 years ago, Imagine this 26-year-old, single mother of 2, a 7-year-old girl & a 1-year old baby boy. I was lost still unsure of what I wanted to do with my future, but that was that year I decided F*** it, I’m going to open my own business, Tax ID & all. I had already been decorating so why not right, Should be easy! Those that knew (family & friends) told me I was crazy & not to get myself into that because I wasn’t ready, Yada Yada Yada… BUT being that I always lived on the edge, I did it anyway, in my mind I had nothing to lose. I had a decent job (back then) & bills weren’t what they are today, so I always had income to fall back on. Although I hated working my 9-5 I knew I was in no shape to let it go, I had 2 children to provide for, the Event Planning industry was more of a fun Part Time gig at the time, so I wasn’t ready to go Full Time for a long while. Truth is I just loved the idea of decorating, setting up the party seeing the happy faces, I didn’t even care about making money, in fact there was A LOT of times I came out of pocket to make sure the event went as planned. I was more content with the satisfaction it gave my clients to see how beautiful their event looked. It took a lot of years to understand the industry, to understand how to bring in clients.
My sister Yomaris, worked with me for a few years from 2010 to about 2015 we both had FT jobs so it was a hobby for us both, that later grew into a passion for us. This is when we started doing all kinds of events, we did our first wedding & everything it was so cool, yet so nerve wrecking. We did a lot of mistakes, a lot of Trial & Error. Fact is we didn’t have any proper training in the industry. I later went and got my Event Planning Certification in Bergen Community College in 2011. My sister took some floral courses, this is when she fell in love with the floral industry. We hosted many events together, from planning, to designing, to later coordinating. After a few years we ended up going our separate ways & she branched out and created her Floral Design Company Called Divablooms, LLC. Working together was fun, we sure are 2 very creative designers, but in reality, we bumped heads every now and then, nothing too drastic, but it’s common when working with family. We are both strong minded & great business owners, just had different goals & that’s ok. Sometimes partnerships/relationships aren’t meant to last. At the end of the day we are both in the same industry & continue to work with one another when we can, and we support each other. Check out her amazing work on Instagram @DivaBlooms or her website www.Divablooms.com…
Check out some of our older events… I Love you sis!
Around 2014 I was working Full Time in the Mortgage industry, when I got my 1st lay off…Can you imagine how frantic I was, I thought my life was over. On top of all the personal issues I was facing, losing work, almost losing my apartment, feeling completely lost. I wasn’t making enough with F & M Events to sustain my living and support my kids. But I needed to keep pushing, I applied for another job and Boom ended up getting laid off again (mortgage Industry at the time was crashing) I was a mess, I had no idea what I was going to do, I kept looking for work, and wasn’t getting anywhere. I kept blaming myself & wondering where I went wrong, but it finally hit me… I WAS OFFICIALLY AN ENTREPRENEUR & this was my breaking point to really push hard for my brand. This was a sign to NOT get another job, and although I definitely was not financially set to do this Full Time there was no other time for me to decide that. It was then at that moment that I needed to do this for myself & for my family! And let me tell you till this day I wonder WTF was I thinking?!?! This Entrepreneur Roller coaster is straight up Bat shit crazy, Whose with me?? haha . Needless to say that in 2014 that was our first mini feature in an online Magazine. I was happy as ever, thinking I was super cool. Those are the little things that made me realized I was on to something. Check out the Online Feature page 38-40.
Still with me? Lol I’m almost done!
After 4 years of planning, designing & coordinating all sorts of events, meeting so many vendors & companies, things were going amazing but truthfully I still wasn’t making as much financially so I still wasn’t content. I did not know what I was doing wrong. So many things have changed, Social Media started taking over. I realized that Instagram & other social Media outlets can be both a blessing & a curse. When you start a company without social media you truly get to enjoy it. Once Social Media is involved the pettiness, the cattiness, the competition was just out of control. Everyone is always trying to outshine one another, it’s like a battle of “Who Did it first?” when in reality this Industry is supposed to be to cater to the clients and make them happy. A lot of people lose that focus, a lot of people let other Brands successes set them back. Why do we do this? Is this the new norm? I can admit for a while before I really woke up I used to look at other Brands and say how the hell are they doing these events, they just started? But in reality this industry is all about WHO you know & HOW you get your name out there.
Fast forward to 2018, the Year I decided to start doing things for me as well as giving back to those in the Industry. Being that I have a Business Degree I always try and help people achieve their highest potential, sometimes I give them better advice that I do to myself. I decided to launch my workshops series, CTC “Coordinate to Celebrate” to help people in the Industry get the support & guidance they need to be able to succeed. A lot of my attendees come in and tell me stories about how they reach out to certain industry professionals & ask questions or advice & don’t even get a response. I often wonder is it because they are just rude or do they feel threatened? Either way I won’t ever understand that. There is so much room for growth in this industry or any industry for that matter. The attendees have really paved the way for me of a new passion, which is Coaching/Teaching & Mentoring. Never would I have imagined that this was in my cards, but like I said you really never know what path your life will take!
Which brings me to today 2020! The year more Trials & Tribulations were given with this Pandemic-Covid-19 Ruining the Event Industry one Event at a time! None the Less March 29, 2020 Marks 10 Year Anniversary for F & M Events, My 3rd Baby!I have learned so many lessons not only about the Industry, about entrepreneurship, about life & most importantly about myself. I realized I doubted myself for so long and it’s really sad, yet also a relief when you can finally admit that. For a while I wasn’t content with where my life was and it was hard to keep pushing. I gave up a lot of my life to make sure my kids had food on the table & and a home to reside in, Nothing else mattered, but I ended up missing a lot of their life trying to build my brand. These are things you neglect when you become an Entrepreneur so you have to be careful, it may not be intentional but it will happen. This is hard work, dedication, blood, sweat & lots of tears!
My life hasn’t always gone as planned, even today, I still don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Sometimes we depend on Family or Relationships to help mold the way but in reality, no one can set your path but you! Being a young mom & working numerous jobs was rough, until realizing this was it for me it was a long process & a long ride that I would take over & over again in a heartbeat, while making a few adjustments down the line.
Thank you to everyone who has rode the wave with me throughout the years, you guys mean the world to me! I hope this read has brought you some laughter, & maybe some tears, but mostly MOTIVATION!
NEVER GIVE UP, ALWAYS FIGURE IT OUT!
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