• Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.

The Estes Park Wedding Association’s goal is to connect engaged couples with the highest quality vendors who will make their wedding day in Estes Park absolutely incredible.

Broader goals:

Providing resources and support for wedding planning and preparation.

Representing the interests of wedding industry professionals.

Promoting the highest standards and ethics in the wedding industry.

Fostering a sense of community among members of the wedding industry.

Educating members and the public about wedding-related topics.

Supporting research and advocacy related to the wedding industry.

Providing networking opportunities for members.

  • Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).

I’ve been working in the wedding industry since 2010 and have been president of the EPWA since 2020. After photographing so many weddings with my own personal business in the Estes Park area, I wanted to be more involved with the local wedding community which is why I initially joined as a member of the EPWA.

  • What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?

My current role in the EPWA has been merley transitional – taking over for a long line of existing presidents. My job has been to continue the hard work they have put into the position and maintain an active membership so we can better serve our clients as wedding vendors.

  • What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Focus on solving a problem: Identify a real problem in the market and find a unique solution for it. This way, you have a better chance of success.

Build a strong network: Surround yourself with like-minded individuals and make connections with mentors, investors, and customers.

Stay flexible: Be open to change and be willing to pivot your strategy if needed. The most successful entrepreneurs are those who are adaptable and able to adjust their plans as needed.

  • What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful business owner?
    • Strategic planning and decision making
    • Financial management
    • Marketing, sales and interpersonal skills
  • How many hours do you work a day on average?

All positions within the EPWA are volunteer based, but as President I spend about 8 hours a week working in my position.

  • To what do you most attribute your success?

A very strong team of board members that volunteer their time to help create an awesome community for our vendors.

  • How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?

Through the use of paid advertising and networking.

  • What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
    • There is no single “best” way to achieve long-term success, as success can mean different things to different people, and the path to success can vary greatly depending on a person’s goals, interests, and circumstances. However, some common traits and habits of successful individuals include setting clear goals, working hard and consistently towards those goals, seeking out new knowledge and opportunities for growth, surrounding themselves with supportive and motivated individuals, maintaining a positive attitude, and being flexible and adaptable in the face of challenges and failures.
  • Where do you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?

Continuing to grow our membership base and bring in high quality vendors.

Recommended Questions –

  • How important have good employees been to your success?
    • Having good employees is crucial to my success. They are the backbone of my business and play a significant role in meeting my goals and delivering quality service to customers. Good employees are dedicated, motivated, and bring a range of skills and expertise to the table that contribute to the growth and success of my business. Having a positive and productive work environment is also essential, which is created by good employees who work well together and are committed to their jobs. In short, good employees are a valuable asset to any business and can make all the difference in achieving success.
  • How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
    • I stick with an idea as long as I see potential for success and believe in its viability. I usually give an idea a reasonable amount of time to show progress, gather data, and make adjustments where necessary. The length of time varies depending on the nature of the idea and the resources invested, but I typically reassess the idea every 6 to 12 months. If the idea is not delivering the results I had hoped for, I reevaluate and make a decision on whether to continue, pivot, or discontinue. Ultimately, my goal is to make informed decisions that benefit my business and its growth.
  • What motivates you?
    • Achieving Success: I am driven by the desire to succeed and build a successful business.
    • Solving Problems: I find fulfillment in finding creative solutions to problems and making a positive impact in my industry.
    • Financial Reward: Building a successful business can provide financial security and stability for myself and my family.
    • Making a Difference: I am motivated by the opportunity to make a difference in my community and have a positive impact on others through my business.
    • Personal Growth: Being a business owner requires continuous learning and personal growth, which is also a source of motivation for me.
  • How do you define success?
    • Client Satisfaction: A successful wedding photography experience is one in which the client is happy with the photos and feels that their special day has been captured beautifully.
    • Reputation: Having a positive reputation in the industry and being sought after by clients is a sign of success for a wedding photographer.
    • Financial Stability: A successful wedding photographer is able to sustain their business and earn a living from their craft.
    • Personal Fulfillment: Success as a wedding photographer also includes feeling a sense of personal fulfillment and satisfaction in the work that I produce.
    • Professional Growth: Staying current with industry trends, developing new skills, and consistently producing high-quality work are also important indicators of success for a wedding photographer.
  • How do you build a successful customer base?
    • Exceeding Client Expectations & Referrals
      • Increased Trust: A referral from a satisfied customer carries more weight than traditional advertising and can lead to increased trust in the business and its products or services.
      • Cost-Effective: Referral marketing is a cost-effective way to reach potential customers as it relies on word of mouth instead of paid advertising.
      • High Conversion Rates: Referrals often result in higher conversion rates as customers are more likely to trust and act upon recommendations from friends and family.
      • Improved Customer Satisfaction: When a business receives a referral, it is a sign that the customer is satisfied with their experience and is willing to recommend it to others.
  • In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
    • Fun!